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"Serenity," "What Dreams May Come," "The General," "The Wizard of Oz," "Elephant," "Citizen Kane"

Germain Lussier

Sunday 17 September 2006, by Webmaster

If I told you there was an amazing canceled sci-fi series you may never have heard of, and a movie based on it, too, is that something you might be interested it?

"Serenity" is the 2005 film version of Joss Whedon’s (the creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") canceled sci-fi western television series "Firefly," which made it to No. 6 in my top 10 movies of last year.

The series and the movie are about a group of space pirates traveling the galaxy on the run from the law. And while "Battlestar Galactica" is the sci-fi show du jour, if "Firefly" were given a chance, it could have been better.

The show is funny without being hokey, exciting without being numbing, and it has a unique Western spin on space that hasn’t been seen since Han Solo. It has even spawned its own fan base called "Browncoats," a few of whom are sure to show up when "Serenity" screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Tuscan Cafe, 5 South St., Warwick. The film is probably the last gasp for the universe, but if you are into sci fi or just great character drama and action, check out the film (or at least rent it) and maybe pick up the complete series as well. RIP, "Firefly"/"Serenity." We hardly knew ye.

Admission is free. Call 987-2050.

While "Serenity" has almost spawned its own religion, real religion is the driving force behind the brand new "Movie With Spirit" film series beginning at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the First Presbyterian Church, 80 Elmendorf St., Kingston.

The first film of the series is the lucid and beautiful "What Dreams May Come," starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. With this series, its organizers are hoping to encourage discussion and understanding among people of different religions using a common love of cinema. Every month, a new film will screen at a new place of worship followed by a discussion. Admission is free. Call 331-7168.

Silent films are the building blocks of today’s cinema. That’s why some of the best will be showing as part of the Lyceum 2006 Fall Film Series beginning at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the SUNY Orange Harriman Hall 111 Film Center, on the corner of Wawayanda Avenue and East Conkling Street, Middletown. First up is the incredible train chase comedy "The General," starring Buster Keaton. Admission is $2. Call 341-4891.

Follow the yellow brick road to the Yellow Bird Gallery in Newburgh for a few special screenings of everyone’s favorite musical, "The Wizard of Oz." It’ll screen at 1 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the gallery’s Downing Film Center, 19 Front St., Newburgh. In addition, there’s a special "Adults Only" screening that is by reservation only at 9:30 p.m. tomorrow night. So if you and your loved one would like a night out without the worry of screaming kids in the theater, call and reserve your spot in the area’s smallest and newest theater. Dorothy will be waiting. Admission is $6. Call 561-3686.

Gus Van Sant named his ultrarealistic film about the Columbine High School shootings "Elephant" because the issues implicit within the film are like an elephant in the room - everyone sees it, but no one wants to talk about it. If you haven’t seen it, "Elephant" is playing at 6 p.m. Wednesday as part of the SUNY Dutchess Communications Society Wednesday Night Film Series at Dutchess Hall, 53 Pendell Road, Poughkeepsie. Admission is free. Call 431-8612.

Finally, it’s largely considered to be the best film of all time. "Citizen Kane" is playing at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Lafayette Theater, 97 Lafayette Ave., Suffern, and if you’ve never seen it, I’m not going to tell you what "Rosebud" is. So go. Now. Admission is $6. Call 369-8234.