a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
mon. jan. 9 tsotsi 7:30 PM @ aero theatre classe tous risques @ nuart theatre tue. jan. 10 focus on female directors 7:30 PM @ egyptian theatre the promise (mo gik) 7:30 PM @ aero theatre classe tous risques @ nuart theatre wed. jan. 11 helio sequence @ detroit bar classe tous risques @ nuart theatre thu. jan. 12 kung fu hustle 7:30 PM @ aero theatre classe tous risques @ nuart theatre manderlay 7:30 PM @ lacma special preview screening fri. jan. 13 helio sequence @ spaceland dead machines, john wiese, damion romero @ il corral ghostbusters MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ nuart theatre iron island 7:30 PM @ ucla film archive citizen kane, the lady from shanghai @ new beverly theatre psycho 7:30 PM, scream of fear @ egyptian theatre paradise now 7:30 PM @ aero theatre the birth of the american cartoon I: pioneers of animation 7:30 PM @ lacma sat. jan. 14 we are all fine 7:30 PM @ ucla film archive citizen kane, the lady from shanghai @ new beverly theatre nels cline, lavender diamond @ spaceland rear window 7:30 PM, body double @ egyptian theatre the birth of the american cartoon II: winsor mccay 7:30 PM @ lacma sun. jan. 15 the 39 steps, man hunt @ egyptian theatre mon. jan. 16 gentlemen callers FREE @ the echo tue. jan. 17 sunrise: a song of two humans 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. jan. 18 pulse, three... extremes @ new beverly theatre thu. jan. 19 pulse, three... extremes @ new beverly theatre shadow of a doubt 7:30 PM, shadow of the cat @ egyptian theatre it happened one night 7:30 PM @ aero theatre la: the changing urban landscape 8 PM @ echo park film center conversations with other women 7:30 PM FREE (MOCA members) @ MOCA pacific design center fri. jan. 20 american madness 7:30 PM @ ucla film archive me and you and everyone we know @ new beverly theatre moving spaces: production design and film opens @ ampas http://www.oscars.org/events/moving_spaces/index.html the birds 7:30 PM, phase iv @ egyptian theatre the lady eve 7:30 PM, the palm beach story @ aero theatre the aristocrats MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ nuart theatre mouchette 7:30 PM, 9:30 PM @ lacma the warlocks @ the echo nels cline @ il corral lauren and hardy festival 8:15 PM @ old town music hall, el segundo opening reception for "dark places, far off the beaten path" & "pierre bismuth: coming soon" 7-9 PM @ santa monica museum of art sat. jan. 21 the warlocks @ spaceland me and you and everyone we know @ new beverly theatre north by northwest 7:30 PM, the prize @ egyptian theatre harvey 7:30 PM, ninotchka @ aero theatre mouchette 7:30 PM, 9:30 PM @ lacma john meade's woman 7 PM @ the starlight studio lauren and hardy festival 2:30 PM, 8:15 PM @ old town music hall, el segundo sun. jan. 22 mr. sardonicus 7 PM, the man with nine lives @ ucla film archive giant drag @ troubadour the lady vanishes 7:30 PM, night train to munich @ egyptian theatre his girl friday 6 PM @ aero theatre lauren and hardy festival 2:30 PM @ old town music hall, el segundo mon. jan. 23 espers @ the echo the adventures of prince achmed 8 PM @ redcat theatre tue. jan. 24 the headless eyes, night of the zombies @ new beverly theatre espers @ UCLA wed. jan. 25 grizzly man, incident at loch ness @ new beverly theatre thu. jan. 26 grizzly man, incident at loch ness @ new beverly theatre dial m for murder 7:30 PM, the snorkel @ egyptian theatre fri. jan. 27 reattachment, portrait of a lady far away @ ucla film archive sunset blvd, ace in the hole @ new beverly theatre of montreal @ the echo william eggleston in the small world 7:30 PM @ egyptian theatre richard pryor live on the sunset strip MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ nuart theatre robinson crusoe 8:15 PM @ old town music hall, el segundo sat. jan. 28 strangers when we meet 7:30 PM, city of fear @ ucla film archive sunset blvd, ace in the hole @ new beverly theatre william eggleston in the small world 6 PM, 8 PM @ egyptian theatre another sky 7:30 PM @ lacma inside daisy clover 9:10 PM @ lacma robinson crusoe 2:30 PM, 8:15 PM @ old town music hall, el segundo sun. jan. 29 the burglar 7 PM, man on a string @ ucla film archive william eggleston in the small world 6 PM @ egyptian theatre reverence the films of owen land part 2 @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre tue. jan. 31 mose allison @ jazz bakery william eggleston in the small world 7:30 PM @ egyptian theatre WHAT IT IS: ACE IN THE HOLE (from IMDB) Charles Tatum, a down-on-his-luck reporter, takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. The job is pretty boring until he finds a man trapped in a mine. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by taking over and prolonging the rescue effort, and feeding stories to major newspapers. He creates a national media sensation and milks it for all it is worth. THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED Featuring Otociné Germany, 1926, 65 min., b/w tinted and toned, silent "A rapturous animated kaleidoscope." San Francisco Examiner The first full-length animated feature in movie history, Lotte Reiniger's Die Abenteur des Prinzen Achmed is a dazzling and sensuous rendering of fables from The Arabian Nights: Tales From a Thousand and One Nights made with silhouette cutouts set on illuminated glass backdrops. This historic film is accompanied by a live performance by the experimental music ensemble Otociné, which uses conventional instruments, objects and recorded material to create an unpredictable score. AMERICAN MADNESS (1932) Directed by Frank Capra At the height of the Depression, Capra took on this social drama depicting the devastating effects of rumor on the nation's financial institutions (and, by implication, the nation itself). Bank president Thomas Dickson (Walter Huston) lends money based on character and not collateral, leading the Union National Bank board of directors to demand his resignation and seek a merger. Meanwhile, a bank robbery starts an avalanche of rumors that leads to a run on the bank. To avert financial ruin, Dickson must restore the faith of bank depositors while dealing with a hostile board of directors, his unfaithful wife and a wrongly accused employee. Capra later acknowledged that this story was based on the lending policies of Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini. ANOTHER SKY "In France, Another Sky has achieved a cult following (and) was a favorite of Cinematheque Francaise founder Henri Langlois, who screened it for Luis Bunuel and the Cahiers critics. Lambert's study of repression and sexual obsession was shot entirely in Morocco, mostly in Marrakech, where Rose, a shy young governess, has come to work for Selena, a high-living expatriate. . . . Away from her Puritan homeland for the first time, Rose awakens to the sensuality of Morocco and falls in love with a boyish street dancer. . . . Rose's long and tragic journey into the Sahara in search of her vanished lover [is] absolutely shattering. Marked by an uncanny dream-like quality, Another Sky is enhanced by extensive use of authentic Moroccan folk music. The extraordinarily textured black-and-white cinematography is by the great Walter Lassally." ...Elliot Stein, The Village Voice THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN CARTOON I Pioneers of Animation (approx. 100 min.) Jim Healy, Curator of Programs at George Eastman House in Rochester, will introduce and present a unique program comprising the most inventive, entertaining and influential American cartoons from the silent era, each of which has been preserved and made available on new 35mm prints. The animators represented include such cinema legends as Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, Paul Terry, and Max and Dave Fleischer. The program encompasses many of the "firsts" in animation techniques: the inaugural use of the Rotoscope, the earliest color animation, and the original Felix the Cat cartoons. The prints are all unique to George Eastman House's collection, and in many cases, have not been seen since their original screenings. Films include: Domestic Difficulties (Bud Fisher, 1916); Weary Willies (Isadore Freleng/Walter Lantz, 1929); Trapped (Max Fleischer, 1921), a Koko the Klown short from the Out of the Inkwell series; Breath of a Nation (Gregory La Cava, 1919); Alice's Spanish Guitar (Walt Disney, 1926); Col. Heezaliar - Shipwrecked (Bray Studios); Abie Kabibble Outwitted His Rival (La Cava); A Ramble on Skates with Inky Dink; and these Felix the Cat adventures from Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer: Felix the Cat Trips Thru Toyland (1925); Felix the Cat Flirts with Fate (1926); Felix the Cat Gets Revenge (1922). THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN CARTOON II John Canemaker on Winsor McCay To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Little Nemo - the boy dreamer in Winsor McCay's groundbreaking 1905 comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland and his 1911 film adaptation - filmmaker, author and historian John Canemaker presents a special program devoted to McCay's comics. The lecture is illustrated with stunning images from Canemaker's newly expanded biography of the pioneering animator, followed by a screening of four of McCay's greatest films: Little Nemo in Slumberland (1911), How a Mosquito Operates (1912), Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), and The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918). Canemaker observes, "Little Nemo in Slumberland" was unlike any comic strip seen before or since, and for Winsor McCay it represented a major creative leap, one far grander in scope, imagination, color, design, and motion experimentation than any previous McCay comic strip or those of his peers." Note: Canemaker will autograph copies of Winsor McCay: His Life and Art (Harry N. Abrams, 2005) in the lobby of the Bing Theater beginning at 7 pm. BODY DOUBLE, 1984, Columbia (Sony), 114 min. Director Brian De Palma has always openly expressed his admiration for Hitchcock and has used various tropes common to the master in a number of his pictures. This is one of his most jawdropping, melding influences from REAR WINDOW and VERTIGO as well as giving a vigorous nod to the delirium of 1970s Italian giallo shockers. When a claustrophobic and cuckolded actor (Craig Wasson) finds himself suddenly homeless, he house-sits for a theater workshop acquaintance (Gregg Henry). But he finds himself going from the frying pan into the fire after witnessing the murder of a beautiful neighbor. To make matters worse, he falls for sweet, dysfunctional porn star, Holly Body (Melanie Griffith) who may have been tricked into doubling for the victim. THE BURGLAR (1957) Directed by Paul Wendkos This gritty crime film was released by Columbia near the tail end of the postwar noir cycle. Dan Duryea stars in the title role as a small-time crook leading his gang in the caper of a lifetime. Jayne Mansfield supplies sex appeal as the daughter of his dead mentor. Based on a novel by hard-boiled maverick (and nouvelle vague darling) David Goodis, THE BURGLAR is a taut, efficient piece of genre handiwork. In his directing debut Paul Wendkos makes superb use of real locations and sustains the fatalistic mood right through to a stylized funhouse climax reminiscent of Welles' THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947). CITY OF FEAR (1959) Directed by Irving Lerner When murderous prison inmate Vince (Vince Edwards) breaks out of San Quentin, he escapes with a canister of deadly radioactive cobalt powder that he has mistaken for heroin. Fleeing to Los Angeles, Vince unknowingly exposes several people to deadly doses of radiation, and the volatile nature of the material soon places the population of the entire city at risk. If they fail to capture Vince in time to prevent a nuclear disaster, the authorities risk mass hysteria by informing the public about the situation. Featuring seedy locations and a jazzy score by Jerry Goldsmith, this film is reminiscent of KISS ME DEADLY (1955) in presenting an apocalyptic-scale nuclear threat to the city of Los Angeles. CLASSE TOUS RISQUES Neo-realism meets film noir as two tough guys execute a broad daylight payroll heist on the streets of Milanthen begin a lightning-paced getaway via car, motorcycle, bus, speedboat and ambulance. But returning to France after nearly a decade abroad, one of them soon realizes theres a life beyond the underground milieu. Claude Sautet's masterpiece has been hailed by everyone from Jean-Pierre Melville to John Woo, but is virtually unseen in this country. Featuring a sterling cast and crew, including Lino Ventura (Elevator to the Gallows), Sandra Milo (8 1/2) and, in his first role after Godard's Breathless, Jean-Paul Belmondo. CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN (from IMDB) Starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart. At a New York City wedding reception two guests, seemingly strangers, become entangled in a sexually charged battle of wits. As the night carries on in a cigarette smoke haze, the nameless couples repartee deepens to reveal the passion of their two decades past love affair. Escaping the party for a hotel room, the two are soon gripped by their mutual past and the individual choices that have led them to the present. Unfolding entirely in split-screen, Director Hans Canosas feature debut is an unconventional and poignant love story. DIAL M FOR MURDER, 1954, Warner Bros., 105 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Suave, cold-blooded Ray Milland plots to murder his beautiful wife, Grace Kelly, and leaves the key to their apartment outside for his hired killer (Anthony Dawson.) But killer, Dawson, has a bit of trouble with a pair of scissors - to put it mildly - and a new Pandoras box of complications open up. Unfortunately, scheming Milland may still be able to pull off his plan that is, unless Kellys old-flame, Robert Cummings and unflappable Scotland Yard inspector, John Williams can determine what really happened that fateful night. Maestro Hitchock masterfully adapts Frederick Knotts famous, hit stage-play to the big screen (it was originally presented in 3-D). FOCUS ON FEMALE DIRECTORS This program celebrates the early work of todays most talented female directors and shines the spotlight on the next generation of talented filmmakers. A discussion will follow the screening with several of the directors, along with a raffle of deluxe "director kits" empowering members of the audience to join the filmmaking ranks. Book signing before the screening with authors Andrea Richards (Girl Director) and Kim Adelman (The Ultimate Filmmakers Guide to Short Films). Sofia Coppolas "Lick The Star" (14 min., USA, 1998) A clique of schoolgirls embark on a secret mission. Miranda Julys "The Amateurist" (14 min., USA, 1998). July stars as both a professional observer and the object of her study: an "amateur" woman. Niki Caros "Sure To Rise" (15 min., New Zealand, 1994) An unlikely relationship develops between a child-like beachcomber and a broken man she stumbles across in the sand. An official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Andrea Arnolds "Wasp" (22 min., UK, 2004). An evening out at the local pub with an old flame proves irresistible to a young single woman with four children. Academy Award Winner 2005. Martha Colburns "Cosmetic Surgery" (2005, 8 min). Cosmetic Emergency explores the idea of beauty through a collage of live action and lyrical animations. Afree-form take on the current trend of cosmetic obsession and the immortal quality of painting, the film searches for "whats on the inside". Topical news stories (such as the US military offering free cosmetic surgery) and musical film sequences are created with paint-on-glass animation, found footage and documentary techniques. The music was commissioned for the film. Selected musicians, including New Zealands Hip-Hop artist, "Coco Solid" and "Half Japanese" founder Jad Fair, wrote and recorded humorously cynical songs about the cosmetic craze. Also included is a rare appearance by the Dutch Ambassador of Cosmetic Surgery, Marijke Helwegen. Tamra Davis Kool Thing" (Music Video, Sonic Youth, 3 min) & "Its Funky Enough" (Music Video, DOC/NWA, 3 min). Gail Dennis "City Paradise" (6 min., UK, 2005). A Japanese girl arrives in London to learn English and discovers a hidden, underground city. Wondrous, beautiful combination of Live-action, computer and hand-drawn animation. Music by Joanna Newsome. L.A. Premiere! Christina Becks "So Hot For You" (6 Min., USA, 2005). Modern day Los Angeles is the setting for this newly divorced womans journey into her new life in which director Beck stars. Emily Dells "B-Girl" (12 min., USA, 2004). A glimpse into the world of a young female breakdancer who is an outsider in this all-male world. GRIZZLY MAN (from IMDB) A docudrama that centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell. He periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears. He was killed, along with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, by a rogue bear in October 2003. The films explores their compassionate lives as they found solace among these endangered animals. HARVEY, 1950, Universal, 104 min. Dir. Henry Koster. Easily the greatest movie ever made starring a 63" invisible rabbit. Jimmy Stewart gives his own favorite performance as Elwood P. Dowd, a perfectly nice guy whose best pal nobody can see, leading his sister (Oscar-winner Josephine Hull) to try to get him committed. A warm, wonderful and truly ageless comedy. Based on Mary Chases play (in which Stewart had already starred), and featuring Cecil Kellaway, Wallace Ford, and in his film debut, Jesse White. THE HEADLESS EYES (from IMDB) Poor artist gets eye gouged out while committing a robbery. When his eye heals, he goes on a killing spree and cuts out women's eyes with a spoon. HIS GIRL FRIDAY, 1940, Columbia (Sony), 92 min. Dir. Howard Hawks. For decades considered the fastest comedy ever made, this frenzied remake of Hecht and MacArthurs THE FRONT PAGE switches ace newsman Hildy Johnson to a woman (Rosalind Russell at her peak), while Cary Grant does a complete 180 from BABY as cynical editor Walter Burns. If you were teaching film comedy, this would be Lesson #1. The unparalleled cast includes Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, Ernest Truex, Roscoe Karns, Cliff Edwards, John Qualen, Billy Gilbert and tons more. INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS (from IMDB) This documentary is a study of the "Loch Ness" phenomenon, one aimed at taking Herzog's incisive wit and great eye to the people involved with the history of the subject. OK, straight forward enough. But when a series of events begin to cripple the production, Herzog and his merry band are ultimately drawn into a situation even murkier than the depths of the lake they're studying... INSIDE DAISY CLOVER Lambert's portrait of a manic 1930s tomboy whose meteoric rise to stardom encompasses marriage to a bisexual actor, a nervous breakdown in a sound recording booth, and a suicide attempt is considered by critics to be one of the best novels ever written about Hollywood. According to Lambert, former child star Wood was "everyone's first choice" as Daisy. Lambert wrote that the script echoed many of Wood's personal experiences -- her failed first marriage to Robert Wagner, her stagestruck Russian mother -- and how the actress, at their first meeting -- made a very accurate, very personal comment on the script: "At every important moment of Daisy's life, she's alone. No one to turn to, no one she can really trust." Despite or because of Lambert and Wood's best efforts to turn a book about unconventional people into an unconventional movie, a nervous Warner Bros. removed Daisy's voice-over, cut a musical number, and sheared 26 minutes off the release prints, all to little effect: although the film received three Oscar nominations, it flopped. IRON ISLAND (Jazireh Ahani) Mohammad Rasoulof's extraordinary new film focuses on a community of impoverished families living aboard an abandoned ship anchored in the Persian Gulf. A harsh disciplinarian, the gruff and resourceful Captain Nemat (played by veteran actor Ali Nasirian) rules the community with an iron fist. Meanwhile his young assistant Ahmad (Hossein Farzi-Zadeh from last year's BEAUTIFUL CITY) falls for a young girl whose brutish father keeps a watchful eye on her. This richly textured film combines powerful images, vibrant characters and masterful performances to create a remarkable film, only the second feature from this talented new director. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, 1934, Columbia (Sony), 105 min. Dir. Frank Capra. The first film to win all five major Oscars (like a comedy could ever pull that off today) remains a jewel of timing and charm, as runaway bride Claudette Colbert finds herself saddled with pushy reporter Clark Gable, who smells the story of his career. The legendary hitchhiking and "Walls of Jericho" scenes are only the tip of this matchless comic tour de force. Screenplay by Robert Riskin; with Walter Connolly, Alan Hale and Roscoe Karns. JOHN MEADES WOMAN (1937 Para.) Richard Wallace drama w/ Edward Arnold, Francine Larrimore. Reservations are required. KUNG FU HUSTLE, 2004, Sony Classics, 95 min. Wunderkind Stephen Chow not only directs this brilliantly comic, martial arts tour de force, but also performs as an amusingly arrogant wannabe thug attempting to join the evil "Axe Gang" in 1940s Shanghai. What he doesnt count on is inadvertently starting an all-out war between the gang and the downtrodden members of a poor housing community, a number of whom are hiding nearly superhuman martial arts prowess! Discussion following with director (or director to introduce screening). THE LADY EVE, 1941, Paramount (Universal), 97 min. Dir. Preston Sturges. Henry Fonda is dim-witted ale heir "Hopsy" Pike ("Snakes are my life."); Barbara Stanwyck is Eve, cardsharp and con artist par excellence. Can this relationship work? Savage but never mean-spirited, this is Sturges at his best, blending violent slapstick, zesty dialogue and genuine romance into a peerless masterwork. With Charles Coburn, William Demarest, Eugene Pallette and Eric Blore. THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (from IMDB) Orson Welles co-stars with his then wife, the profoundly gorgeous Rita Hayworth, as Mike O'Hara, an Irish worker who can and does get angry at the right people. Hayworth is Mrs. Bannister, married to Mr. Bannister (Everett Sloane, who played Mr. Bernstein in Citizen Kane), who is accompanied by a friend Mr. Grisby (Glenn Anders, who has great control in his eyes). They want to go sailing on their yacht and take O'Hara along for the ride, and at first he's reluctant, but agrees since he's falling for the married Mrs. As their journey unfolds, O'Hara finds that Bannister and Grisby are not pleasant to be around, and more so with Grisby, who at first seems out of his gourd. Yet as the plot unfolds, O'Hara is drawn into a scam that Grisby is planning for insurance money... THE LADY VANISHES, 1939, Sony Repertory, 97 min. "Spies! Playing the game of love - and sudden death!" Ravishing British beauty Margaret Lockwood finds no one will believe her when she claims a sweet old lady has mysteriously disappeared from a moving train in fact, no one believes the old woman exists at all Flawless suspense and nimble comedy co-mingle in this classic example of Alfred Hitchcocks earlier British period. Watch for Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as two cricket-obsessed fellow passengers their pairing here was so successful, they co-starred in a further ten films playing essentially the same characters! Co-starring Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas. LA: THE CHANGING URBAN LANDSCAPE Join us for an evening of films that examine class, gentrification and urban renewal. Guest curator Thy Nguyen presents her new film Chung King Road along with other films that examine the changing urban landscape of Los Angeles. MANDERLAY (2005/color/139 min.) Scr/dir: Lars von Trier; w/Bryce Dallas Howard, Isaach De Bankolé, Willem Dafoe, Danny Glover, Lauren Bacall Inspired by the preface to Pauline Réages Histoire dO, the second film in Danish director Lars von Trier's USA trilogy takes off precisely where Dogville ended. Grace (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard) has crossed the United States and ends up outside the Alabama plantation of Manderlay. Run by an ailing matriarch (Lauren Bacall), the place seems to exist outside of ordinary time. The scenery consists of a stage and a painted floor with very few props. But Manderlay is anomalous for another reason: slavery still exists. Despite her father's protests, Grace sets about righting what she perceives to be a grievous wrongshe teaches the slaves (portrayed by Danny Glover and Isaach De Bankolé) how to live as free men. On its surface, Manderlay analyzes the psychological bondage of slavery and how hard it is to break those chains. But on another level, von Trier has fashioned a clever allegory about American imperialism and nation building. Grace is a self-righteous, didactic bringer of freedom to the "less fortunate" who presumes to know what's best for the slaves . . . until the tables are eventually turned. MAN HUNT, 1941, 20th Century Fox, 105 min. There was mutual respect but also an unspoken rivalry between Hitchcock and German expatriate director, Fritz Lang, and this excellent WWII-era nailbiter is just one of the many reasons why. Walter Pidgeon is Captain Thorndyke, a renowned big-game hunter stalking the most dangerous prey of all: psychotic dictator, Adolf Hitler! Co-starring George Sanders as the Nazi bigwig who has Thorndyke in his sights and Joan Bennett as a hapless Cockney street girl. NOT ON VIDEO! MAN ON A STRING (1960) Directed by André de Toth Versatile genre veteran André De Toth directed this suspenseful Red Scare espionage drama "based in part" (as the credits put it) on the true story of real-life double-agent Boris Morros. Ernest Borgnine stars as the Russian-born Hollywood producer coerced into spying for the KGB. At the height of Cold War paranoia, he roams the world ostensibly working for the Soviets while actually relaying vital intelligence back to US authorities. Shot on far-flung locales in the swiftly-paced, semi-documentary style pioneered by producer Louis de Rochemont, MAN ON A STRING makes for "a crackling good thriller" (New York Times) in spite of its often risible anti-Communist rhetoric. THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES (1940) Directed by Nick Grindé In the late 1930s, Boris Karloff portrayed a series of mad scientists obsessed with medical technologies that were ahead of their time (like the artificial heart in THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG ), and some that have remained so (mind transplants in THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND ). Here, Dr. Tim Mason (Roger Pryor) experiments with cryogenics based on theories proposed by the long-missing Dr. Kravaal (Boris Karloff). On a search, Tim and his nurse Judith (Jo Ann Sayers) stumble across Kravaal's frozen body and successfully revive him. Kravaal's enemies have also been frozen, however, and become the unwitting subjects of his experiments with cryogenics. ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (from IMDB) 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' is a poetic and penetrating observation of how people struggle to connect with one another in an isolating and contemporary world. Christine Jesperson is a lonely artist and "Eldercab" driver who uses her fantastical artistic visions to draw her aspirations and objects of desire closer to her. Richard Swersey (John Hawkes), a newly single shoe salesman and father of two boys, is prepared for amazing things to happen. But when he meets the captivating Christine, he panics. Life is not so oblique for Richard's seven-year-old Robby, who is having a risqué Internet romance with a stranger, and his fourteen-year-old brother Peter who becomes the guinea pig for neighborhood girls -- practicing for their future of romance and marriage. MR. SARDONICUS (1961) Directed by William Castle B-movie maestro William Castle concocted this moody gothic melodrama during his prolific run making scare-filled cheapies for Columbia. Ronald Lewis plays a brilliant doctor summoned by his old flame (Audrey Dalton) to the creepy middle-European castle of masked madman Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe). A neglected gem of the low-budget horror field, MR. SARDONICUS also features top-billed Oscar Homolka memorably masticating scenery as the sadistic servant Krull. Famed for outrageous promotional schemes, Castle devised one of his patented in-theater gimmicks for the picture's release, distributing faux-participatory "Punishment Polls" glow-in-the-dark thumbs-up or -down cardsand inviting audiences to "vote" on the ultimate fate of the eponymous villain. MOUCHETTE (from IMDB) Mouchette is a young teenager living in the tough country. Her mother is going to die, and her father does not take care of her. Mouchette does not manage to express her rebellion against the humiliations she undergoes. One night, in the wood, she meets Arsene. Arsene is the poacher of the village. He thinks he has just killed Mathieu, the rural policeman. He tries to use Mouchette to build an alibi. NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (from IMDB) A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle who are fighting flesh-eating zombies. NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH, 1940, 20th Century Fox, 90 min. Director Carol Reed (THE THIRD MAN, ODD MAN OUT) was no stranger to superb, edge-of-your-seat entertainments, and he supplies all the elements here in one of his earliest, comparatively lesser known outings. British agent, Rex Harrison, tries to spirit a refugee Czech scientist back to England after the Nazis kidnap him as well as his newly-arrived daughter (Margaret Lockwood). With Paul Henried, Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford. NINOTCHKA, 1939, MGM (Warners), 110 min. Dir. Ernst Lubitsch. "Garbo Laughs!" screamed the ads, and so will you, as a stuffy Russian commissar (Greta Garbo) assigned to Paris matches wits with bon vivant Melvyn Douglas. She never had a chance. The second and last time Billy Wilder worked with his idol; his script (with Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch) is inspired, and The Lubitsch Touch is in full force. With Ina Claire, Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart andno kiddingBela Lugosi! THE PALM BEACH STORY, 1942, Paramount (Universal), 88 min. Dir. Preston Sturges. Though Claudette Colbert still loves failed-architect hubby Joel McCrea, she nonetheless leaves him for greener pastures. Enter Rudy Vallee as a mild-mannered zillionaire and Mary Astor as his nympho sister and, well, the possibilities are just endless. Another hysterical Sturges classic, highlighted by the all-star Ale & Quail Club and the unforgettable Wienie King! PARADISE NOW, 2005, Warner Independent Pictures, 90 min. Director Hany Abu-Assads harrowing film follows two Palestinian childhood friends who have been recruited for a strike on Tel Aviv and focuses on their last days together. When they are intercepted at the Israeli border and separated from their handlers, a young woman who discovers their plan causes them to reconsider their actions. Starring Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal. Director Hany Abu-Assad will appear at the screening. PHASE IV, 1974, Paramount, 86 min. Pantheon titles designer Saul Bass created stunningly imaginative, opening title credits for legions of great filmmakers (Scorsese, Preminger, as well as Hitchcock and many others). His sole movie as a director is this visually hypnotic saga of two isolated, research scientists (Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy) suddenly confronted with a horde of normal-sized, but super-intelligent ants fixed on integrating the human species into their burgeoning colony. With Lynne Frederick. NOT ON VIDEO! PORTRAIT OF A LADY FAR AWAY (Sima-ye Zani Dar Doordast) Haunting, romantic and enigmatic, PORTRAIT OF A LADY FAR AWAY eschews the naturalism of much recent Iranian cinema for a dreamlike poetry that recalls Sadegh Hedayat's classic novel THE BLIND OWL. When a divorced, jaded architect (Homayoun Ershadi of A TASTE OF CHERRY) discovers a suicidal message on his answering machine from an unknown woman, the intoxicating sound of her voice leads him on an all-night odyssey through Tehran with another stranger, a beautiful actress who claims to be the first woman's friend. Richly burnished cinematography reveals an unfamiliar Tehran of midnight performance art gatherings, deserted theaters, and fortune telling parlors, while the architect begins to suspect that a third woman from his past may be orchestrating the whole pursuit. THE PRIZE, 1963, MGM (Warners), 133 min. Mark Robson (who started out helming atmospheric thrillers for Val Lewton in the 1940s) directs Paul Newman as a cynical, hard drinking Nobel Prize winner for literature who believes the Prizewinner for physics (Edward G. Robinson) has been kidnapped by the Communists. No one, including beautiful Elke Sommer who has been assigned to handle Newman, believes his story at least at first. Frequent Hitchcock collaborator, writer Ernest Lehman adapted the Irving Wallace novel into a rollicking stew of tongue-in-cheek intrigue and suspense. THE PROMISE (MO GIK), 2005, Moonstone Entertainment and China Film Group., 102 min. Director Chen Kaige (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE) delivers a stirring martial arts fantasy in the tradition of HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, drawing on the acting talents of Japanese leading man, Hiroyuki Sanada, Korean Jang Dong-Kun and Chinese Cecilia Cheung and Nicholas Tse. A cursed Princess (Cheung) gathers strength from the love of the slave (Dong-Kun) of an esteemed general (Sanada) and must brave the perils of an evil duke (Tse). Director Chen Kaige will appear at the screening. PULSE (from IMDB) After one of their friends commits suicide, strange things begin happening to a group of young Tokyo residents. One of them sees visions of his dead friend in the shadows on the wall, while another's computer keeps showing strange, ghostly images. Is their friend trying to contact them from beyond the grave, or is there something much more sinister going on? REATTACHMENT Director Saeed Nouri pays tribute to the early films of Jean-Luc Godard in this wry study of the complicated relationship between a young man and woman. REVERENCE: THE FILMS OF OWEN LAND, PART 2 "The Film that Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter" -- An illustrator is drawing figures that resemble Tibetan deities. He can't believe his eyes when they appear to come to life and dance on the paper, taking on qualities we might associate with Disney characters. They appear trapped between 2D and 3D space, an eerie limbo which is amplified by the sinister loop of the soundtrack. (USA, 1968, B&W, sound, 16mm, 9 min.) "Diploteratology" -- A revision of BARDO FOLLIES, subtitled "the study newly formed monstrosities". Its images represent visual phenomena seen during a passage into the afterlife, but also evoke the cellular structure of the filmstrip, and of our own bodies. "The suggestion is that death (destruction of the original image) is not an end but merely the next stage." (USA, 1967-78, Colour, silent, 16mm, 7 min.) "No Sir, Orison!" -- After singing a vivacious song of love in the aisle of a supermarket, the performer kneels down to ask forgiveness for those involved in the commercial food industry, which substitutes natural produce with non-nutritious commodities.. Orison means prayer. The title of the film (a palindrome) is the answer to a question. ( USA, 1975, Colour, sound, 16mm, 3 min.) "Wide Angle Saxon" -- An interpretation of The Confessions of Saint Augustine, featuring an ordinary middle-aged man who undergoes a conversion experience whilst watching an experimental film. The film is by Al Rutcurts (think about it) and Earl is so bored that his mind starts to wander. He realises that his possessions may be a barrier between himself and God and determines to something about it. (USA, 1975, Colour, sound, 16mm, 22 min.) "Thank You Jesus for the Eternal Present" -- A rapturous audio-visual mix that "deliberately seeks a hidden order in randomness." The film combines the face of a woman in ecstatic, contemplative prayer with shots of an animal rights activist, and a scantily clad model advertising Russian cars at the International Auto Show, New York. (USA, 1973, B&W/Colour, sound, 16mm, 6 min.) "A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, California" -- A radical Christian group's lecture tour of US colleges was filmed in the cinema verité tradition, with hand held camera, sync and wild sound. To avoid making a conventional documentary, the filmmaker created a dynamic collage by stroboscopically editing together pairs of scenes using a rapid rhythm of three-frame units. ( USA, 1974, Colour, sound, 16mm, 12 min.) "New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops" -- The IQ test soundtrack is re-used in an entirely new work that is concerned more with the effects on the examinee, who enters a Chinese box of impossible perspectives in a hyper-realistic living room. He briefly escapes the oppressive environment of the test but passes into the imagination of the filmmaker, where he encounters images from previous films. (USA, 1976, Colour, sound, 16mm, 10 min.) SCREAM OF FEAR, 1961, Columbia (Sony), 81 min. Director Seth Holts first Hammer Studios effort tracks wheelchair-bound Penny (Susan Strasberg) who returns to her familys French Riviera estate after her mothers untimely death. Shes surprised to find she already has a stepmother (Ann Todd) and that her father is supposedly away on business. But all is not as it seems. Handsome chauffeur, Bob (Ronald Lewis) and sinister Dr. Gerrard (Christopher Lee) enter the mix, and someone seems bent on driving Penny over the edge into madness or, worse, death! An altogether satisfying thriller with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. SHADOW OF THE CAT, 1961, Universal, 79 min. Heres an ultra-rare screening of the best Hammer studios film thats not quite a Hammer film -- although 90% of the credits reveal a Hammer cast and crew, including underrated director John Gilling (THE REPTILE). In turn of the 20th century rural England, Barbara Shelley (FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH) returns to her aunts mansion after the womans suspicious death, only to find a household of homicidal relatives and servants (including uncle Andre Morell), intent on making sure she never sees her inheritance. Oh, yes, the old womans cat may have its own axe to grind as well! An extremely atmospheric suspense film with a most appropriate score by Mikis Theodorakis (several years before he did ZORBA THE GREEK!). NOT ON VIDEO! THE SNORKEL, 1958, Columbia (Sony), 74 min. Guy Green (A PATCH OF BLUE) directs this virtually unknown, but excellent, suspense thriller produced by Hammer Studios. After his wifes apparent suicide, debonair, sinister Peter Van Eyck (THE WAGES OF FEAR) tries to pull the wool over the eyes of his returning-from-school, teen stepdaughter (Mandy Miller). When his subterfuge fails, Miller suddenly finds herself slotted for the same fate as Mom. Betta St. John (HORROR HOTEL) is lovely and appropriately protective as Millers unsuspecting governess. Once again, the plot hinges on the mystery of a locked room and the seeming impossibility of entry from outside. Hint it has something to do with the title device! NOT ON VIDEO! STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET (1960) Directed by Richard Quine Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak embark on a passionate extramarital affair in this stinging anatomy of '50s-style suburban dissatisfaction. Suffocated by their respective spouses, Douglas and Novak become lovers in a desperate bid to defy convention and break free from their stultifying lives. Walter Matthau co-stars as a nasty neighbor with a particularly cynical take on modern infidelity. Directed by the talented Richard Quine to resemble Sirk-meets-Cheever, STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET belongs to that melancholy brand of postwar Hollywood melodrama openly critical of the new American affluence. SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS (from IMDB) An attractive woman from the city, on vacation, stays in a small farming community and dazzles a young married farmer. The wicked woman suggests that the man's deceptively dowdy-looking wife might "accidentally" drown. Can he, will he go through with it? The scene changes; in unexpected company, the man gets a kaleidoscopic taste of what the actual city is like. The dramatic climax comes in a fearsome storm and its aftermath... with Live Musical Accompaniment THREE... EXTREMES (from IMDB) An Asian cross-cultural trilogy of horror films from accomplished indie directors. TSOTSI, 2005, Miramax, 94 min. Director Gavin Hoods blistering account of a tumultuous six days in the life of Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae), a young gang leader in Johannesburg, who undergoes a surprising change after being involved in the shooting death of a young mother. With an exhilirating catalogue of Kwaito dance hall music on the soundtrack, TSOTSI pulsates with a vibrant, violent energy. Adapted from a novel by Athol Fugard (Boesman And Lena), it compares favorably to Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lunds CITY OF GOD. Discussion following with director (or director to introduce screening). WE ARE ALL FINE (Ma Hameh Khoubim) Director Mirbagheri seems to have taken a cue from American independents in this tale of a dysfunctional middle-class family whose private animosities explode when a video camera comes into their midst. Oldest son Jamshid has been abroad for six years, leaving his parents, siblings, wife and young daughter adrift. When Jamshid sends word that he would like his family to prepare a video tape for him, their initial attempts at cheer soon devolve into bitter arguments and secret confessions. Dexterous cutting between video and 35mm as well as a powerful ensemble cast fuel this moving exploration of the consequences of emigration for the people left behind. WILLIAM EGGLESTON IN THE SMALL WORLD, 2005, Palm Pictures, 87 min. Dir. Michael Almereyda. In 1976, William Eggleston's hallucinatory, Faulknerian images were featured in the Museum of Modern Art's first one-man exhibition of color photographs. He has been called "the beginning of modern color photography" (John Szarkowski, MoMA) and "one of the most significant figures in contemporary photography" (Charles Hagen, NY Times). It is rare for an artist of such stature to allow himself to be shown as unguardedly as Eggleston does in Michael Almereyda's intimate portrait. The filmmaker tracks the photographer on trips to Kentucky, Los Angeles and New York, but gives particular attention to downtime in Memphis, Eggleston's home base. The film shows a deep connection between Eggleston's enigmatic personality and his groundbreaking work, and also reveals his parallel commitments as a musician, draftsman and videographer. Eggleston, age 65, has become an icon and inspiration to artists worldwide.