Kids Cinema and Folkways

Christian Scheider, known for his infectious enthusiasm and scholarly gravitas, will return this summer to two South Fork libraries with two series of thought-provoking discussions and screenings on a couple of unusual topics.

Beginning Wednesday, he will present “Precocious Cinema: Children’s Movies for Ultra-Serious Adults and Kids Alike” at the Amagansett Library from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The weekly series will continue through August.

At the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, he will examine the career of Alan Lomax, the musicologist who tirelessly traveled the country to mine its folk traditions, on Monday mornings from 10:15 to 11:30 from July 11 to Aug. 15.

The first film to be screened in the cinema series will be “The Brave Little Toaster,” an animated feature from 1987. It was directed by Jerry Rees with contributions from original members of Pixar Animation Studios. The plot centers on five old appliances and their quest to find their way from the dump back to their owner.

According to Mr. Scheider, each session will begin with an introduction, a screening, and then a “spirited, open philosophical colloquium” afterward. Other movies in the series include “Antz,” “Wall-E,” and “Spirited Away.” He will gear his discussion toward adults and the young simultaneously. Youthful experts, including Gigi Lama and Hawk Marder, will also take part.

The series “came out of my deeply held belief that in film history, some of the most subtle and sophisticated treatments of political and philosophic themes occur in children movies,” Mr. Scheider said, adding that children are often hipper to the subtexts in them.

The Lomax series, called “American Folk, Sight Unseen,” was derived from research Mr. Scheider accumulated for a screenplay he is writing about Lomax’s work and his “prescient ethical defense of cultural equity.” In trips to Appalachia and to the Mississippi Delta, he documented clog dancing and the music of legendary bluesmen such as Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and Reverend Gary Davis.

The sessions will include audio and video recordings of music and lectures as well as pieces from Mr. Scheider’s literary archive. He will discuss folk traditions and Lomax’s contributions to the tradition of academic inquiry and to artistic appreciation of the documentarian. The sessions will be about 75 minutes long and include group discussion. The Rogers Memorial Library encourages reservations for all of its programs.