Westchester movie and tennis buffs got a sneak peak recently at “Battle of the Sexes” – the gripping “reel” life story of Billie Jean King’s 1973 faceoff against Bobby Riggs, which became a cause célèbre in the women’s movement.
The movie – which opens today, Sept. 22 – is a taut, richly textured dramedy that not only recreates one of the 20th century’s greatest media circuses (an event witnessed by 90 million people worldwide) but captures the challenging individualism of tennis as it plays out on and off the court, along with the constraining gender expectations that existed then – and now. (For more on the Emma Stone-Steve Carell starrer, check out my review and essay on my blog
We were fortunate to be among those who previewed the film as part of The Picture House’s “Picnic in the Park” fundraiser in Pelham last Saturday, Sept. 16. Guests enjoyed a tennis-related raffle, a silent auction, a delicious box dinner from Great American BBQ and the musical stylings of DJ Gaspar Ramirez. In a last-minute prize entry, two couples bid $3,500 each to have their pictures taken at the New York Athletic Club with King, who won 39 Grand Slam titles and for whom the USTA National Tennis Center is named.
Our thanks to The Picture House and critic-in-residence Marshall Fine for a matchless night.
For more, visit thepicturehouse.org.
– Georgette Gouveia