Patton Oswalt got to experience something cinephiles may well kill for: He was invited into the Motion Picture Academy Archive to pick out a classic film and then watch it. It’s clear as he peruses the shelves in “Let’s Go to the Movies With Patton Oswalt” that Oswalt is truly passionate about the film medium, and knowledgeable as well.
At one point, after stumbling up on the reels for “Cleopatra,” Oswalt shouted at them, “You destroyed a studio, ‘Cleopatra!'” That studio was 20th Century Fox, which was nearly bankrupted by the 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Ultimately, though, Oswalt selected another film from the ’60s. He went with the far more obscure crime noir movie, “Blast of Silence” from 1961, for the Academy Original video. Oswalt screened the film with fellow comedian Karen Kilgariff, and then the two of them had a lot of fun simply tearing it apart. Nevertheless, it was a way for Oswalt to reconnect with his youth, when he would screen new films every night in the same theater he watched “Blast of Silence.”
“Let’s Go to the Movies With Patton Oswalt” is one of three original videos produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with more to come. “Academy Originals” also features a video about how the blind enjoy movies, as well as a look inside the creative process of director/screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism (“Drumline”).