Summer Nights, summer slights?

The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Nights film series is one of the most popular warm-weather attractions in the city — at least, one where those who want to attend often outnumber the room the IMA has to accommodate them.

This year’s schedule, announced yesterday, seems designed to keep the crowds up — while doing little to stretch the cinematic minds of its picnickers. Running June 6-Aug. 29, it mostly consists of risk-free fare such as “Grease,” “This is Spinal Tap,” “The Goonies,” “The Mummy” and “Ghostbusters.”

Yes, there are the classics: “Gilda,” “Dr. Strangelove” and “Strangers on a Train” also are in the mix. And there’s the interesting addition of the Indian cult film “Sholay.” But while the prospect of sipping white Russians while watching “The Big Lebowski” is appealing — and it will be fun to see the crowd at an outdoor midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” — I’m wondering if the IMA could have done more to offer at least a few films that have some artistic rather than overtly commercial intent.

Is there a middle ground of films that could keep up the crowds and also feel like they belong at an art museum?

Your thoughts? And suggestions?

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