a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.

mon. jan. 4

key largo, the treasure of the sierra madre @ new beverly theatre

tue. jan. 5

bipolar bear @ l'keg gallery
paris blues FREE 1:30 PM @ skirball center
grand hotel 1 PM @ lacma
dead curse, aces go places iv @ grindhouse film fest @ new beverly theatre
44 inch chest FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges theater

wed. jan. 6

bipolar bear @ the smell
dunes @ synchronicity
lars and the real girl FREE 7 PM @ hammer museum
sherlock jr. FREE @ aero theatre
antichrist, hour of the wolf @ new beverly theatre

thu. jan. 7

youth in revolt (sneak preview) FREE 7 PM @ hammer museum
a woman's secret 8 PM, alice in the cities @ ladies' night @ silent movie theatre
the adventures of robin hood, robin and marian @ egyptian theatre
antichrist, hour of the wolf @ new beverly theatre

fri. jan. 8

sunset boulevard MIDNIGHT @ nuart
sonic youth, sic alps @ fox theater (pomona)
billy the kid, i shot jesse james @ ucla film archive
roger rivas & the bullets @ troubadour
dunes @ the smell
antichrist, hour of the wolf @ new beverly theatre
fever night MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

sat. jan. 9

sonic youth, sic alps @ wiltern
meho plaza 7 PM FREE @ origami vinyl
timonium @ pehrspace
the true story of jesse james, the left-handed gun @ ucla film archive
santa sangre MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

sun. jan. 10

neil hamburger presents a tribute to frank sinatra jr. 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
film editing: the invisible cut 7 PM, body heat @ ucla film archive
monsieur verdoux 3:35 8:00, a new leaf 6 PM @ new beverly theatre

mon. jan. 11

fish tank (preview screening) @ ucla film archive
the white ribbon @ egyptian theatre
monsieur verdoux, a new leaf @ new beverly theatre

tue. jan. 12

lust for life 1 PM @ lacma
enter the dragon 10 PM @ downtown independent
a prophet @ egyptian theatre
monsieur verdoux, a new leaf @ new beverly theatre

wed. jan. 13

steven severin's music to silents 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
dr. strangelove, the mouse that roared @ new beverly theatre
mary lynn rajskub @ largo
the meeting places @ spaceland
willi williams @ dub club @ echoplex

thu. jan. 14

blood of a poet (w/ live score) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
upsilon acrux @ bootleg theater
the baader meinhof complex @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian theatre
dr. strangelove, the mouse that roared @ new beverly theatre

fri. jan. 15

himalaya: where the wind dwells, time between dog and wolf @ ucla film archive
mississippi mermaid @ lacma
abe vigoda, dunes @ echo curio
bipolar bear, mayyors @ five stars bar
show people 8 PM @ orpheum
the baader meinhof complex @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian theatre
the maid @ aero theatre
nightmare alley, the swimmer @ new beverly theatre
irreversible MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

sat. jan. 16

mose allison @ largo
dave hillyard @ the rox
meho plaza @ pehrspace
billy the kid trapped 3 PM, jesse james at bay @ ucla film archive
with a girl of black soil @ ucla film archive
edan: echo party 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
pierrot le fou @ lacma
stavisky 9:40 PM @ lacma
the baader meinhof complex @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian theatre
crazy heart 8 PM, the big lebowski @ aero theatre
nightmare alley 3:25 7:30, the swimmer 5:35 9:40 @ new beverly theatre

sun. jan. 17

mose allison @ largo
my right to ravage myself 7 PM @ ucla film archive
8 1/2 @ egyptian theatre
starman, the fisher king @ aero theatre

tue. jan. 19

the night of the iguana 1 PM @ lacma
aziz ansari @ largo
joe sacco @ skylight books
city of the walking dead, night of the zombies @ grindhouse film fest @ new beverly theatre

wed. jan. 20

black lips @ detroit bar
cutter's way, thunderbolt & lightfoot @ aero theatre
amadeus: the director's cut 8 PM @ new beverly theatre

thu. jan. 21

gary panter (lecture) 7 PM @ hammer museum
the films of shana moulton 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
amadeus: the director's cut 8 PM @ new beverly theatre

fri. jan. 22

the wild bunch @ ucla film archive
jon brion @ largo
solaris (1972) @ lacma
raging bull @ egyptian theatre
double indemnity, the blue dahlia @ new beverly theatre

sat. jan. 23

the adventures of robin hood (1938) FREE 1 PM RSVP required @ getty center
black lips, nobunny @ el rey
ivan's childhood 5 PM @ lacma
stalker @ lacma
mi ami, foot village @ the smell
the godfather @ egyptian theatre
double indemnity 3:25 7:30, the blue dahlia 5:35 9:40 @ new beverly theatre

sun. jan. 24

knights of the round table FREE 1 PM RSVP required @ getty center
the bird who stops in the air 7 PM, wind echoing in my being @ ucla film archive
the searchers, stagecoach @ aero theatre
blazing saddles 3:35 7:30, cat ballou 5:30 9:25 @ new beverly theatre

mon. jan. 25

blazing saddles, cat ballou @ new beverly theatre
now you can do anything: the films of chris langdon 8:30 PM @ redcat

tue. jan. 26

the films of shana moulton 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
american splendor 7 PM, the confessions of robert crumb FREE @ hammer museum
pickpocket, diary of a country priest @ new beverly theatre

wed. jan. 27

the long riders @ ucla film archive
hollywood outlaws: clu gulager and damon packard @ egyptian theatre
pickpocket, diary of a country priest @ new beverly theatre

thu. jan. 28

a fistful of dollars, for a few dollars more @ egyptian theatre
dog day afternoon @ aero theatre
the taking of pelham one two three (1974) 7 PM, the hindenburg @ new beverly theatre

fri. jan. 29

the great northfield minnesota raid, pat garrett and billy the kid @ ucla film archive
the mirror @ lacma
nostalghia 9:30 PM @ lacma
pee wee's big adventure MIDNIGHT @ regency fairfax
the good the bad and the ugly @ egyptian theatre
monty python and the holy grail, monty python's the meaning of life @ aero theatre
amarcord, radio days @ new beverly theatre
the goonies MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sat. jan. 30

meeting andrei tarkovsky 5 PM FREE @ lacma
andrei rublev @ lacma
los angeles art deco architecture 4 PM @ egyptian theatre
once upon a time in the west @ egyptian theatre
silver bullet, an american werewolf in london, the howling @ aero theatre
julie doiron @ the echo
amarcord 3:15 7:30, radio days 5:40 9:55 @ new beverly theatre

sun. jan. 31

the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford 7 PM @ ucla film archive
once upon a time in america @ egyptian theatre
neil hamburger @ spaceland

fri. feb. 5

vivian girls @ detroit bar
one day in the life of andrei arsenevich @ lacma
the sacrifice 8:40 PM @ lacma

sat. feb. 6

nashville ramblers @ mind machine @ bordello
vivian girls, dunes @ the smell
thermals @ detroit bar
no one knows about persian cats @ ucla film archive
vincere (preview screening) @ lacma
running scared MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

wed. feb. 10

the exiles, killer of sheep @ new beverly theatre

thu. feb. 11

the exiles, killer of sheep @ new beverly theatre
thermals @ troubadour

fri. feb. 12

444-day face-off, countdown @ ucla film archive
moon duo @ synchronicity
the exiles, killer of sheep @ new beverly theatre
harold & maude MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sat. feb. 13

royce hall organ & silent film 2 PM @ ucla royce hall
psycho 2 PM, 8 PM @ alex theatre
letter to anna: the story of journalist politkovskaya's death @ ucla film archive
the exiles 4:10 7:30, killer of sheep 5:45 9:05 @ new beverly theatre
the last american virgin MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

mon. feb. 15

john cage: the revenge of the dead indians @ 7 dudley cinema

tue. feb. 16

magic kids, dunes @ the echo

sat. feb. 20

about elly @ ucla film archive

tue. feb. 23

penitentiary iii, disco godfather @ grindhouse film fest @ new beverly theatre

wed. feb. 24

the three burials of melquiades estrada @ ucla film archive

fri. feb. 26

antichrist MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sat. feb. 27

for the love of movies: the story of american film criticism @ ucla film archive
patton oswalt @ largo
videodrome MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre

mon. mar. 1

herostratus 8:30 PM @ redcat

fri. mar. 5

the clientele @ spaceland
the evil dead (uncut) MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sat. mar. 6

the clientele @ spaceland

fri. mar. 12

the big lebowski MIDNIGHT @ nuart
quasi @ spaceland


(2009, Iran) Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Asghar Farhadi (Beautiful City, shown in our 2005 edition) returns with this captivating drama, Iran’s entry to the 2010 Academy Awards.  When schoolteacher Elly is whisked away by friends on a pleasure trip to the Caspian Sea, their true agenda is revealed: to marry her off to the recently divorced Ahmad. The fib is the first of many in what soon becomes a mystery when Elly suddenly disappears. 
Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi. Cinematographer: Hossein Jafarian. Editor: Hayedeh Safarian. Cast: Taraneh Alidousti, Golshifteh Farahani, Mani Haghighi, Shahab Hosseini, Merila Zarei. Presented in Farsi dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, Color, 119 min. 

(from IMDB)
Baldy and King Kong shuttle between New Zealand and Hong Kong to recover a hi-tech prism that can impart superhuman powers.  Dir. Ringo Lam, 1986, 86 min.

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, 1938, Warner Bros., 102 min. Dirs. Michael Curtiz and William Keighley. In what is commonly acknowledged as one of the most beautiful, spectacular early Technicolor films, swashbuckling Errol Flynn rescues lovely Olivia de Havilland from the evil clutches of Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone in a rousing adventure for the ages. 

Alice In The Cities
This German New Wave gem finds a roving reporter who reluctantly takes on the guardianship of Alice, a little girl who needs to be delivered to her grandmother -- a woman whose name and address she doesn't remember, and whose house can only be identified by a single photo of an unmarked front door. Yella Röttlander's stellar performance as the young girl whose journey's end is always one more step away is framed terrifically by Robby Mueller's B&W cinematography, and a moody score by Irmin Schmidt and Michael Karoli (half of Krautrock legends Can).
Dir. Wim Wenders, 1974, digital presentation, 110 min.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, 1981, Universal, 97 min. Dir. John Landis. A horror masterpiece by writer-director John Landis that is both funny and tragic. Two American college kids (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) are attacked by a werewolf while backpacking through Europe; the one who survives quickly realizes the horror is just beginning when the spirit of his dead friend appears and warns him that he too will soon be howling at the moon. Rick Baker's Oscar-winning make-up effects help shape one of the scariest movies ever made. 

Andrei Rublev
1966-69/b&w and color/205 min./Scope | Scr: Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Konchalovsky; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko
Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Tarkovsky's masterpiece is a sweeping tale of the tribulations of a medieval icon painter as he tries to reconcile his faith, his art, and the savage reality around him. Opening with an indelible balloon ride, a procession of jesters, pagans, monks, Tartars, and Boyars fill the Scope screen as wars rage, lawlessness reigns, and Rublev ascends from wandering vagabond to Church-commissioned artist. Tarkovsky's epic panorama is soulful in its mysticism and commanding in its formalism. "It's difficult to think of another film that attaches greater significance to the artist's role…The film provides an entire world…A 360-degree pan around a primitive stable conveys the wonder of creation. Such long, sinuous takes are like expressionist brush strokes."—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice. 

(2007) Directed by Andrew Dominik
Just as director Sam Fuller intimated a homoerotic tension between Jesse James and Robert Ford in I Shot Jesse James, so, too, does Andrew Dominik's classicist version portray the assassin as a man trapped in a l'amour fous. Without hope of redemption, Ford is forever chasing an erotic object born of his reading of dime novels. Soon the puppy dog demands attention. Brad Pitt's Jesse, meanwhile, somnambulistically, patiently waits for his friend to kill him. Dominik's version impresses in its grittiness and minimalism.
Warner Bros.. Based on the novel by Ron Hansen. Producer: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Ridley Scott, Jules Daly, David Valdes. Screenwriter: Andrew Dominik. Cinematographer: Roger Deakins. Editor: Dylan Tichenor, Curtiss Clayton. Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker, Sam Shepard, Paul Schneider, Jeremy Renner. 35mm, 160 min.

THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, 2008, Vitagraph Films, 155 min. Dir. Uli Edel. Following a sold-out weekend engagement in November and inclusion on John Waters' Artforum Top Ten Films of 2009 list, THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX is back on the big screen by popular request. Germany 1967: The children of the Nazi generation have grown up in the devastation their parents created. They vowed fascism would never rule again. In their fight for freedom they lost themselves in the cause and ignited a revolution around the world. In their fight for freedom, they lose themselves in the cause and ignite a revolution around the world. Meet the original faces of terrorism, the Baader Meinhof Group, in this Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated film. Starring Martina Gedeck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS), Moritz Bleibtreu, Joanna Wokalek (POPE JOAN, NORTH FACE), Bruno Ganz. Directed by Uli Edel (LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN). Produced by Bernd Eichinger (LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN and DOWNFALL). 

(1930) Directed by King Vidor
Part Western, part gangster film, part Vidorian melodrama, this film trucks no moral absolutes as Pat Garrett hunts down Billy the Kid for the murder of Boss Donovan’s henchman. True to the pre-Code era, light and shadow falls on all sides, the pas de deux between Johnny Mack Brown as Billy and Wallace Beery as Pat Garrett, a dance of death. As a visual stylist from the silent era, director King Vidor sets the Billy the Kid saga in a barren landscape of rocks and sand. Vidor spent two years on the production, shot in Grandeur 70mm “Reallife,” but released in 35mm to great acclaim.
MGM. Based on a novel by Walter Noble Burns. Screenplay: Wanda Tuchock, Lawrence Stallings. Cinematographer: Gordon Avil. Editor: Hugh Wynn. Cast: Johnny Mack Brown, Wallace Beery, Kay Johnson, Wyndham Standing, Karl Dane. 35mm, B/W, 95 min. 

(1942) Directed by Sherman Scott
Three killers, working for Boss Stanton of Mesa City, are robbing banks and terrorizing people, pretending to be Billy the Kid and his sidekicks. Billy the Kid, though, is on their trail and working to clear his name. Like many B Westerns from Republic or in this case PRC, the action is fast and furious for the Saturday matinee crowd. Buster Crabbe played Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers, before making 13 films as Billy the Kid.
Producers Releasing Corp.. Producer: Sigmund Neufeld. Screenplay: Joseph O'Donnell. Cinematographer: Jack Greenhalgh. Cast: Larry Buster Crabbe, Al St. Jones, Anne Jeffreys, Glenn Strange, Walter McGrail. 35mm Nitrate, B/W, 59 min. 

(1999, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
The title of Jean Soo-il's second feature evokes the boundaries that separate states of being between movement and stillness, representation and reality, life and death. At the film's center, a film professor struggles with a career and personal life that have come to a halt, stranded between the past and the future, his family and his lover, his last film project and his next. Like the two sides of Pusan's as yet unfinished Gwangan Bridge, which becomes a recurring metaphor in the film, Professor Kim (who reappears as a character in Time Between Dog and Wolf) remains disconnected from himself. The key to breaking out of this sorry state seems to be his childhood dreams of birds which he struggles to recreate on film. At one point, Kim's lover observes of a flock of birds taking wing, "it's amazing how they don't collide with one another." Jeon suffuses The Bird Who Stops in the Air with a sense of melancholy and loneliness as his characters struggle to make any kind of meaningful connection at all, with themselves and one another.
Producer: Jeon Soo-il, Jo In-suk. Screenplay: Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Hwang Chul-hyun, Kim Dae-seon. Cast: Seol Kyung-gu, Kim So-hee. 35mm, 106 min. 

Blood of a Poet
(world premiere of new live score by Steven Severin!)
"It is often said that Blood Of A Poet is a surrealist film. However, surrealism did not exist when I first thought of it." -- Jean Cocteau
For the first time ever, Severin will perform live his brand-new score for French master Jean Cocteau's debut 1930 film. As scandalous as Bunuel's L'Age D'Or upon its original release in the same year, Cocteau's heady mix of startling-for-its-time camera technique, voyeuristic lust and mindbending imagery straight from the subconsciousness serves as a kind of Rosetta stone both for the European avant garde and for the controlling images of Cocteau's cinema in general. The film's tableaux revolve around a young poet whose drawings instigate bizarre incidents: a statue comes to life, a mirror leads through to a corridor (later explored in Cocteau's Orpheus), a ritualistic suicide results in reincarnation. Cocteau provides no clear answers, and the film's pure enjoyment derives from trying to sort through the maze of fragmented pieces.

(1981) Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Lawrence Kasdan's directorial debut, Body Heat set the bar high for the wave of neo-noirs that followed with a blisteringly seductive style and a sharp script packed with bombshell surprises. Carol Littleton's editing plays a crucial role in the explosive mix, keeping the audience as off kilter as William Hurt's sap seduced by Kathleen Turner's femme fatale.
Warner Bros.. Producer: Fred T. Gallo. Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan. Cinematographer: Richard H. Kline. Editor: Carol Littleton. Cast: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson, J.A. Preston. 35mm, 113 min.
In Person: Bobbie O'Steen, Carol Littleton, A.C.E. 

(from IMDB)
TV news reporter Dean Miller waits at the airport for the arrival of a scientist that he is about to interview. There, an unmarked military plane makes an emergency landing. The plane doors open and dozens of zombies burst out stabbing and shooting military waiting outside. Miller tries to let the people know of this event, but General Murchison of Civil Defense will not allow it. Then, Miller tries to find his wife and escape from the blood-thirsty zombies that are all over the city.  Dir. Umberto Lenzi, 1980.

In this 1987 BBC commissioned documentary, Robert Crumb presents himself through a series of tongue-in-cheek scenes and interviews. The confessions include his loneliness, obsessions with women, bewilderment by fame, and his nervous breakdown in 1973. (1987, color, 60 min. WRITER: Robert Crumb)

CRAZY HEART, 2009, 112 min. Fox Searchlight, Dir. Scott Cooper. Jeff Bridges gives one of the best performances of his career as Bad Blake, a once-popular country musician who has been reduced to low-paying gigs in bowling alleys with teenage backup bands. When a young journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) tracks him down for an interview, Bad Blake embarks on a relationship fraught with risks on both sides. Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell provide support.  Discussion in between films with actor Jeff Bridges.

CUTTER'S WAY, 1981, MGM Repertory, 105 min. Dir. Ivan Passer. When Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) spots a guy dumping something in a garbage can on a rainy night, he doesn’t think much of it – until he learns that a murder took place in the same area. When Bone is placed at the scene and becomes a suspect, he and his friend Alex Cutter (John Heard) try to solve the crime, but find themselves awash in conspiracy theories and moral ambiguities.

The story of an ailing priest who believes he has failed. Pauline Kael said: "Diary of a Country Priest is one of the most profound emotional experiences in the history of the cinema."  Robert Bresson---France---1951---116 mins.

(from IMDB)
A retired cop becomes a DJ/celebrity at the Blueberry Hill disco-- he's the "Disco Godfather!" All is well until his nephew flips out on a strange new drug that's sweeping the streets, called "angel dust," or PCP. Disco Godfather vows "to personally come down on the suckers that's producing this shit!" He takes to the streets, slaps drug dealers and even exposes a crooked cop that is covering for the dealers. In between, he still finds time to manage the Blueberry Hill and perform. "Put a little slide in yo' glide," he pleads to the patrons, "Put some weight on it!"  Dir. J. Robert Wagoner, 1979, 93 mins.

Edan: Echo Party
(West Coast premiere!)
To celebrate the release of his latest album, "Echo Party", the MC/DJ known as Edan -- one of the masters of elevating the genre of hip-hop into sonic art -- will appear in-person for an epic DJ set, as well as to present the L.A. premiere of the film Echo Party, the half-hour found footage mashup companion piece to the album (directed by Cinefamily's own Mondo maharajah Tom Fitzgerald!) For the album, Edan was granted full access to the Traffic Entertainment Group's extensive back catalogue of old-school beats 'n breaks, and after layering them with his own instrumental work, "Echo Party" emerges as an astounding, obsessive pastiche of dance, rap and punk that utilizes everything from turntables to tape echo, glockenspiel to guitar, and Moog to kazoo. Tom's accompaning film is no less dizzy, mixing Bollywood, B-boys and a barrage of abstractions á la Brakhage into an addictive full-on psychedelic brainslayer that begs for repeat viewings. As a final capper to this explosive evening, legendary hip-hop photographer Ricky Powell (aka "the fourth Beastie Boy", author of "Public Access", "Frozade Moments" and "Oh Snap!") will present a personally curated slideshow spanning his entire career! 

8 1/2 (OTTO E MEZZO), 1963, Corinth Films, 144 min. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and arguably Fellini’s greatest masterpiece. 8-1/2 stars the great Marcello Mastroianni as a very Fellini-like director trying to escape the self-made chaos of his artistic and personal lives at an Italian health spa, where he’s pursued by jealous mistresses, demanding producers and surreal fantasies of his own past, present and future. Co-starring Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk and Barbara Steele. [BR/DMX Digital Cinema Presentation]

This 1961 American neorealist film records one long evening in the solemn lives of a group of Native Americans living in Los Angeles' Bunker Hill neighborhood. While in film school at USC, director Kent Mackenzie made a short film on this diverse, low-rent, long-gone part of L.A. This concrete character and inhabitants--exiles from Arizona--make up the cast of The Exiles. "...a near-heavenly vision of a near-hell that Mr. Mackenzie situated at the juncture of nonfiction and fiction. He tapped into the despair of this obscured world while also making room for the poetry and derelict beauty of its dilapidated buildings, neon signs, peeling walls and downcast faces" (The New York Times).  Kent Mackenzie---USA---1961---72 mins. 

(from IMDB)
Three young Satanists, Terry, Elliot, and Warren, perform an obscure ritual deep in the forest. Terry may or may not be dead after an accident freeing Warren's car from the mud. Elliot and Warren decide to follow a distant light in hopes of finding help. But the ritual has changed things. After witnessing unexplained bird explosions and unusual tree behavior, Elliot and Warren find themselves pursued by the most heinous of Satanic manifestations.  Dirs. Jordan Harris, Andrew Schrader, 2009, 85 mins.

Bobbie O'Steen, author of the new book The Invisible Cut, joins distinguished editor Carol Littleton, A.C.E., for this discussion of the art and craft of film editing. Projected frame grabs from Body Heat (1981) will illuminate Littleton's editorial choices on that film, and cover such broad-ranging topics as gendered perspectives, and the role of editing at a time of evolving production and storytelling paradigms. O'Steen will sign copies of The Invisible Cut beginning at 6 pm and following the discussion, Body Heat will be screened in full.
IN PERSON: Bobbie O'Steen and Carol Littleton, A.C.E.

The Films of Shana Moulton
"Sick with pastel plastics and cluttered with Enya-era New Agey home décor, Moulton's off-kilter chroma-keyed studio performances succeed at being both soul-cringingly creepy and living-room-rave exuberant, channeling the spirit of 1987 in ways even Shirley MacLaine could never have predicted." - Ed Halter, Village Voice
Rising art star Shana Moulton comes to the Cinefamily for an evening of her uninhibited, life-affirming and psychoactive video works, including the highly confessional Whispering Pines series. As her alter ego "Cynthia", Moulton plays a sad, mute young woman whose ongoing attempts at blissful enlightenment through a variety of New Age tokens and techniques (reflexology, sound medicine, self-help tomes and plug-in waterfalls) is matched by the heavy, neon-colored saturation of her banal domestic surroundings (exercise videos, reclining chairs, Bioré nose strips and Crystal Light drink.) Throughout the series, the viewer never knows whether or not Cynthia achieves salvation, but for her, the journey itself is the prize, rather than the outcome. Using charming lo-fi video effects, Moulton has found true, arresting psychedelia buried in the Bodhi Tree aesthetic, creating images that linger with you beyond casual viewing. But she also goes light-years beyond a mere ironic, detached view of the "New Age type," portraying Cynthia as a genuinely desperate yet optimistic heroine, resulting in profound works that warm the spirit more than a hundred healing dream-catching dolphins from outer space. Shana will be here to perfom next to, in front of and within her videos live on the Cinefamily stage!

(2009, United Kingdom) Directed by Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold's second feature has been generating rave reviews since it shared the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2009 for its brutally honest portrayal of a troubled young girl living in a British housing project. Katie Jarvis delivers a breakout performance as the fiery Mia, whose dreams of escape lead her to become romantically entangled with her mother's new boyfriend.
Producer: Kees Kasander, Nick Laws. Screenwriter: Andrea Arnold. Cinematographer: Robbie Ryan. Cast: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway. 35mm, 120 min. 

(2009) Directed by Gerald Peary
In this timely documentary, film critic Gerald Peary recounts the rich and storied history of film criticism in America, from Manny Farber's dazzling prose to the rise of Harry Knowles, as he makes the case for why film criticism still matters. Peary's interview subjects include Knowles, Elvis Mitchell, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Andrew Sarris, B. Ruby Rich, John Powers and Richard Corliss with clips featuring Farber, Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert.
Producer: Amy Geller. Screenwriter: Gerald Peary. Cinematographer: Craig Chivers, Nick Kurzon, Amy Geller, Edward Slattery. Editor: Sabrina Zanella-Foresi, Aleksandar Lekic. HDcam, 80 min.
IN PERSON:Gerald Peary, John Powers, Richard Schickel, Ella Taylor, Anne Thompson.

(2008) Directed by Mohammad Shirvani
Mohammad Shirvani (7 Blind Women Filmmakers) recounts the spectacular taking of the United States Embassy after the ouster of the Shah and the 444-day "hostage crisis" that followed. With tremendous access and skill, Shirvani cagily interviews actual participants, including US embassy officials and Iranian students, to reconstruct key episodes and deconstruct contentious issues.
Producer: Mohammad Shirvani. Cinematographer: Hooman Behmanesh, Kambiz Karimi, Mahmoud Reza Sani, Mohammad Shirvani. Editor: Mohammad Shirvani. DVcam, 70 min. 

44 Inch Chest
Provocative, outrageously profane and surprisingly tender amidst an explosion of unbridled testosterone, 44 Inch Chest explores the masculine ego at its breaking point. Colin (Ray Winstone) is in agony, shattered by his wife’s infidelity. His friends respond by kidnapping his wife's French lover and holding him prisoner. A kangaroo court is held, the situation escalates, and Loverboy's life hangs in the balance as Colin wrestles with revenge, remorse, grief and self pity, all the while egged on by his motley crew of friends who just want him to get on with it so they can get down the pub.

Grand Hotel
1932/b&w/115 min. | Scr: William A. Drake; dir: Edmund Goulding; w/ Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore
Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandal and heartache. 

(1972) Directed by Philip Kaufman
Philip Kaufman's directorial debut focuses on the last, bungled robbery of the James-Younger gang, when Pinkerton agents and local law enforcement lay in wait for the outlaws. In this version, a gang on its last legs is led by Cole Younger, the rational brain behind the operation, while Jesse James is portrayed as a psychopath, religious fanatic and hypocrite. Cliff Robertson as Cole and Robert Duvall as Jesse outshine each other in their respective performances. Kaufmann's revisionist take on the story sees the gang as the last vestige of the agrarian pre-Civil War South, ground under foot by an industrialized North.
Universal Pictures. Screenplay: Philip Kaufman. Cinematographer: Bruce Surtees. Editor: Douglas Stewart. Cast: Cliff Robertson, Robert Duvall, Luke Askew, R.G. Armstrong, Dana Elcar. 35mm, 91 min. 

“The world of Herostratus is cold, stark metallic, expressed with an imagery as succinct and evocative as anything in Antonioni at his best.”
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
UK, 1967, 142 min., hdcam
Though Australian-born Don Levy taught and inspired generations of filmmakers and artists at CalArts in the 1970s and ’80s, his own underground masterpiece Herostratus remained largely out of public view. Now, more than 40 years after the psychedelic shock Levy delivered to a British film industry steeped in kitchensink realism, Herostratus is screening once more, thanks to a new restoration by the British Film Institute. In this coruscating work, Michael Gothard astonishes as the eponymous young poet who hires a pr firm to turn his planned suicide into a media spectacle. Bursting with psychological and aesthetic urgency, Herostratus proved as prescient about the failure of the ’60s counterculture as it was inspirational for the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Nicolas Roeg. “[S]een by virtually every filmmaker then working in the British film industry…. Herostratus must now certainly rank among the most influential of unknown films,” according to Amnon Buchbinder.

(2008, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
Choi Min-sik, star of Chan-wook Park's international cult hits Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), brings his simmering intensity to Jeon's Himalaya: The Place Wind Dwells as Choi, a South Korean businessman embarked on an unexpected journey of self-discovery. Separated by work from his own wife and child who are living in the United States, Choi must deliver the ashes of an illegal Nepalese worker killed in his brother's factory to the worker's wife and young son residing high in the Himalayas. Choi's physically grueling trek to their remote village prepares him for a quasi-spiritual experience—just as long as he remains silent about the reality that brought him there. Amid the film's elemental backdrop, Jeon strips the story down to its essentials opening up a powerful almost documentary sense of place that underscores the experience of globalization as a pervasive feeling of dislocation.
Producer: Kim Dong-joo, Jeon Soo-il. Screenplay: Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Kim Sung-tai. Cast: Choi Min-sik, Tsering Kipale Gurung, Tenjing Sherpa. Presented in Korean, English, and Nepali dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 95 min. 

Hollywood Outlaws: Clu Gulager and Damon Packard
"John and Norma Novak," 1977, ZxEAP no.1, 30 min. Dir. Clu Gulager. A dazzling, cross-dressing, violent and lavishly shot rock opera with an amazing score.
REFLECTIONS OF EVIL, 2002, Pookie Films, 115 min. Dir. Damon Packard. Bobby (Damon Packard) is a watch salesman, trapped in an endless cycle of frustration, terror and disappointment. A mind bending odyssey through the angry and paranoid streets of Los Angeles, this is the ultimate underground film. Part horror film, part autobiography, all Packard.
"A Day With the Boys," 1969, Universal, 18 min. Dir. Clu Gulager. A haunting and beautiful short, with no dialogue, following a pack of boys as they play on a summers afternoon. Lush cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs.
"Fucking Tulsa," 1992, Blackvale Films, 20 min. Dir. Clu Gulager. The WORLD PREMIERE of the Gulager family’s grand guignol, intended to be the cruelest film ever made. "I found the filmmaking tremendously powerful and exciting to witness, while being totally appalled and distressed..." - Jonathan Demme. Discussion between films with Clu Gulager, Damon Packard, John Gulager, Tom Gulager and Diane Ayala Goldner.

Max von Sydow portrays an artist living with his wife (Liv Ullmann) on a remote island, haunted by darkness, demons and his imagination, in this effective study of the creative process. Bergman brilliantly uses the eerie landscape to show von Sydow's descent into madness as he is haunted by images of the death of a child.  Ingmar Bergman---Sweden---1968---88 mins. 

THE HOWLING, 1981, Stuart Lisell, 91 min. TV anchorwoman Dee Wallace, traumatized after acting as bait for a Hollywood serial killer’s bloody demise, takes a sojourn in an Esalen-type retreat -- only to find the entire New Age community is made up of werewolves! Directed with tremendous energy and black humor by genre specialist Joe Dante (and co-written by indie film godfather John Sayles), this tongue-in-cheek chiller features a Who’s Who of great genre character actors.

Gaspar Noe's disturbing thriller shocked festival crowds with its extended rape scene and graphic violence, prompting some audience members to leave the theater or faint. But those who made it to the end experienced an intense, brutal and emotional ride. Monica Bellucci (Tears of the Sun) and Vincent Cassell (Elizabeth) star as a couple who experience an absolutely horrific night together. Opening with the final scene and moving backward, Noe tells the story in reverse chronological order, revealing every atrocity through unflinching, drawn out single shots. "Amazing! A rapt, cinematic force" (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly). Gaspar Noe---France---2002---99 mins. 

(1949) Directed by Samuel Fuller
The hero of Sam Fuller's film is "that dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard." In his directorial debut, Fuller stages the narrative as a psychological melodrama of unrequited love: Bob Ford kills Jesse to earn enough money to pay for his marriage to Cynthia, but Ford really loves Jesse, while Cynthia loves someone else. Fuller, ever the newspaper man, comments on the publicity machine that created the myth of Jesse James in a minstrel ballad and when Ford recreates the murder on stage. Critics called it the first adult western.
Producer: Carl K. Hittleman. Screenplay: Samuel Fuller, Ernest Miller. Editor: Paul Landres. Cast: Preston Foster, John Ireland, Reed Hadley. 35mm, B/W, 81 min. 

Ivan's Childhood
1962/b&w/95 min. | Scr: Vladimir Bogomolov, Mikhail Papava; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Nikolai Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov
Tarkovsky's debut feature is a poetic journey through one boy's harrowing youth on the frontlines of World War II as a Russian military scout. As his missions become increasingly dangerous, his superiors decide Ivan must be removed from the front. But he resists and convinces his commanding officers to allow him to carry out one last expedition. Trudging through landscapes devastated by war—colossal birch forests and swampy no-man's-land—Ivan slips into shimmering dreams of some parallel childhood of intact serenity. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.

(1941) Directed by Joseph Kane
Jesse James is framed for crimes he did not commit by a look-alike, Clint Burns, hired by crooked elements. Taking both roles allowed the singing cowboy, Roy Rogers, to play bad guy and good guy, although nothing in the plot is actually related to historical truth. A sanitized "B" picture version of the James legend, Rogers impersonates Robin Hood, robbing trains to help poor homesteaders keep their land from predatory mortgage lenders. Don't look for an auteur here, just plenty of action.
Republic Pictures. Screenplay: James R. Webb. Cinematographer: William Nobles. Editor: Tony Martinelli. Cast: Roy Rogers, Sally Payne, George "Gaby" Hayes, Pierre Watkin, Hal Taliaferro. 16mm, B/W, 53 min. 

JOHN CAGE: THE REVENGE OF THE DEAD INDIANS ('93, 130m) at 7:30pm - Henning Lohner's beautiful "composed" tribute to American composer John Cage. Assembled using the same methodology of chance operation that Cage worked into his own aleatoric compositions, Revenge slices and dices the testimonials of a diverse cast of fans — including Frank Zappa, Noam Chomsky, Yoko Ono, Matt Groening, Merce Cunningham, Frank Gehry, Ellsworth Kelly, and Richard Serra — as well as interviews Lohner conducted with Cage late in his life. The gorgeous result is an unexpected and fascinating combination of intellectual buzzing fragments that couldn't be more fitting for a man who once said, "As far as consistency of thought goes, I prefer inconsistency." 6pm preshow with MAP merging live improvised music and avant-garde film.

Now recognized as a landmark independent filmmaker, Charles Burnett shot his first feature in South Los Angeles in the early 1970s. KILLER OF SHEEP is a stunning example of American urban neo-realism at its best, depicting life in an impoverished neighborhood. The film centers around Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), whose brutal job in a Watts slaughterhouse can barely sustain his household. Amid the daily struggle against penury, powerlessness and lack of opportunity, the family experiences moments of relishing beauty and hope.
35mm, 83 min. 

Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner and Mel Ferrer star as King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot in MGM's first production done in Cinemascope. A lavish telling of the King Arthur legend shot on location in England.  Richard Thorpe---USA---1953---117 mins.

(1958) Directed by Arthur Penn
After his boss, the rancher Tunstall, is murdered, Billy the Kid (Paul Newman) vows revenge. The Kid's roots as a tough New York adolescent, uneducated, confused, and neurotic, are highlighted in Arthur Penn's version of the myth; his film debut. Based on a teleplay by Gore Vidal, Penn's version of the myth, more than previous iterations, emphasizes the youth and innocence of the outlaw and his young companions, who nevertheless go on a murderous rampage to avenger their cattle rancher boss. Certainly, this is one of the films that also established the Newman film persona.
Warner Bros.. Producer: Fred Coe. Screenplay: Gore Vidal, Leslie Stevens. Cinematographer: J. Peverell Marley. Editor: Folmar Blangsted. Cast: Paul Newman, John Dehner, Lita Milan, Hurd Hatfield. 35mm, 102 min.  

(2008, Switzerland) Directed by Eric Bergkraut
Much of the world learned of Russian journalist Ann Politkovskaya when she was shot dead at home, in a still-unsolved murder. But she was well-known in Russia as a relentless critic of the government's Chechnya policy, and had anticipated such a death. Interviews, reminiscences and scenes of precarious public demonstrations in Anna's memory, all underline her convictions and the precarious position of the press in modern Russia.
A panel discussion will follow the screening, examining the risks journalists confront worldwide. Please check back for updates on in-person guests for this program.
Cinematographer: Laurent Stoop. Editor: Vendula Roudnicka. Presented in English and Russian dialogue with English subtitles. DVcam, 83 min. 

(1980) Directed by Walter Hill
This version covers all the Jesse James terrain from Quantrill's Raiders to Northfield, presented in episodic form. Always on the move, family ritual creates the only permanence for those on the run and their loved ones. Three sets of acting brothers play the Younger, James, and Miller brothers, a neat trick that invites sympathy for these romanticized outlaws. Walter Hill, who wrote Peckinpah's Getaway, creates an elegiac, revisionist Western not only in the style of the master, but actually quoting him.
United Artists. Producer: Tim Zinnemann. Screenplay: Bill Bryden, Steven Smith. Cinematographer: Ric Waite. Cast: David Carradine, Stacy Keach, Dennis Quaid, Keith Carradine, James Keach. 35mm, 99 min. 

Los Angeles Art Deco Architecture
Co-presented with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles
Lecture: Between 1920 and 1940 the population of Los Angeles grew by more than 1 million. To meet the needs of this explosive growth, the architects of the day were called on to build a vast number of structures, most of them in the prevailing art deco style. More a style of decoration than a type of architecture per se, art deco developed its own unique look as it blossomed in L.A. Palm fronds, grape clusters, sunbursts, and ocean waves, all symbols of the California arcadia, adorn the buildings of Los Angeles. The lecture will include a synopsis of the metamorphosis of architectural style into what we now call Art Deco; plus a virtual tour of a dozen buildings in the Historic Core including the William Fox, Eastern Columbia, Title Guarantee & Trust and Oviatt Buildings, as well as works by architects Parkinson & Parkinson, Styles O. Clements and Claude Beelman. Lecture by Jeffrey Bissiri A.I.A., architect, member of the ADSLA preservation committee.

Lust for Life
1956/color/122 min./Scope | Scr: Norman Corwin; dir: Vincente Minnelli; w/ Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown
Passionate biography of painter Vincent Van Gogh, whose genius drove him mad. 

THE MAID, 2009, (La Nana) (Chile), 95 min; Forastero; Elephant Eye Films, Dir. Sebastian Silva. The recipient of the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, The Maid follows the crafty hijinks of Raquel (Catalina Saavedra), a loyal servant to the same family for 23 years. Raquel feels an intimacy with her employers, as if she has become an honorary member of the family. When additional help is hired to ease the strain of Raquel's duties, she feels bitterly dethroned and tries to sabotage the new employees with juvenile-- and hilarious-- antics. Robert Abele of the Chicago Tribune writes, "Saavedra's increasingly desperate measures to protect her turf are at once startling, funny and weirdly poignant, as is the film itself." Sebastian Silva to introduce the screening (subject to availability).

Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky
2008/color/90 min./digibeta | Scr/dir: Dmitry Trakovsky
This documentary investigates Tarkovsky's legacy through encounters with those who collaborated with him. It journeys from Los Angeles to rural Russia—with stops in Florence, for some candid memories of the great filmmaker by his son, and in Stockholm, where Bergman-regular Erland Josephson reminisces about appearing in The Sacrifice, Tarkovsky's final film—and eventually lands in the forgotten city of Yurevets, where Tarkovsky spent parts of his childhood, including the years during World War II. The film offers a touching, highly personal, and provocative record of the lingering effects of Tarkovsky on an extraordinary range of individuals.

The Mirror
1974/color/108 min. | Scr: Andrei Tarkovsky, Aleksandr Misharin; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Larisa Tarkovskaya, Alla Demidova, Anatoli Solonitsyn
In his most autobiographical feature, Tarkovsky weaves an entrancing tapestry composed of newsreels, poetry (his father's), Brueghelian compositions, lucid memories, and a haunting levitation. Mixing film stocks and moods, The Mirror is poignant in its nostalgia for an idyllic rural upbringing and bittersweet in its reminiscences of an absent father and the hardships of war. "A revelation to me… the images from this Tarkovsky film seemed to me to have come from another planet."—Lars von Trier.

Mississippi Mermaid
1969/color/123 min./Scope | Scr/dir: François Truffaut; w/ Jean-Paul Belmondo, Catherine Deneuve
In his book on Hitchcock, Truffaut comments that "Vertigo unfolds at a deliberate pace, with a contemplative rhythm that contrasts sharply with Hitchcock's other films." Mississippi Mermaid applies an equally dreamlike style to the tale of a wealthy plantation owner on the French Island of Réunion (Belmondo) who becomes so obsessed with his ravishing mail order bride (Deneuve) that he accepts her every duplicity, including his own murder. "So full of lovely, complex things—of unannounced emotions, of ideas, of the memories of other movies (Truffaut's, as well as of those of two of his father figures, Renoir and Hitchcock)—that it defies easy definition and blithely triumphs over what initially appears to be structural schizophrenia. It is the creation of a superior moviemaker who works eccentrically in the classical tradition."—Vincent Canby, The New York Times.
New 35mm print.

Henri Verdoux is the bank teller who marries and subsequently murders wealthy women in order to support his own wife and child. Chaplin's dark comedy was a commercial failure, rejected by a popular audience not ready to see the "Little Tramp" take on the role of a suave serial killer. Yet it may be the best film from the latter part of Chaplin's career. Wickedly witty, especially the scenes involving Martha Raye as an intended victim who comically evades her new husband's lethal traps.  Charles Chaplin---USA---1947---124 mins. 

An inventive satire about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick and its mischievous duchess (Peter Sellers) who boldly declares war against America to boost its economy. Anticipating Dr. Strangelove, Sellers also appears as the prime minister and war minister. With Jean Seberg. Jack Arnold---Great Britain---1959---90 mins.

(2003, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
English-speaking audiences might feel a bit led astray by the suggestiveness of the English title for Jeon's big screen adaptation of respected South Korean author Kim Young-ha's first novel, better translated for its English-language publication as My Right to Destroy Myself. While a distinctly erotic undercurrent runs just beneath the film's sleek surfaces, its interwoven stories revolve around an aspiring novelist whose day job involves helping people execute the perfect suicide. "S," as he's known, describes himself as a "suicide designer." Part therapist, part Svengali, he advises his clients not only on the best methods but also the most appropriate aesthetic touches for their own personalized final exit. A troubled hostess, a successful performance artist and the pair of brothers they're involved with, each find their lives drawn into S's seductive orbit by promises of something better than a life with dignity: a death with style. In adapting Kim's novel, which has been compared to the work of Milan Kundera, Bret Easton Ellis and Haruki Murakami, Jeon expands his own themes of loneliness and isolation within South Korea's increasingly consumerist society.
Based on the novel by Kim Young-ha. Producer: Regis Ghezelbash. Screenplay: Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Kim Sung-tai. Editor: Seo Yong-duk. Cast: Jung Bo-suk, Lee Soo-a, Choo Sang-mi, Jang Hyun-sung, Kim Young-min. 35mm, 93 min. 

(from IMDB)
Playboy Henry Graham squanders his wealth and must seek out a new source to maintain his idle rich lifestyle. The easy alternative to work is to find a rich woman, marry her, and murder her. Klutzy, nerdy Henrietta Lowell is the ideal candidate. But in dealing with his klutzy, nerdy, trusting new wife, a botanist, and her ill-managed estate, Henry unwittingly begins to assume some sense of responsibility...  Dir. Elaine May, 1971, 102 min.

Following a continuous string of roles as a dashing romantic, Tyrone Power veered sharply into lurid and disturbing terrain with this tale about an avaricious carnie barker. Although he sets out to con millionaires out of their fortunes, Power's character realizes that he's no better than "The Geek"--a deranged sideshow figure who bites the heads off live chickens. Pushed to the brink of creepiness by director Edmund Goulding, this overlooked gem is "a one-of-a-kind experience--dark, bleak, twisted carnival noir" Edmund Goulding---USA---1947---111 mins.

The Night of the Iguana
1964/b&w/125 min. | Scr: Anthony Veiller, John Huston; dir: John Huston; w/ Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon
A defrocked priest surrenders to the sins of the flesh in a Mexican hotel. 

(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.  Dir. Bruno Mattei, 1980, 101 mins.

(2009) Directed by Bahman Ghobadi
Bahman Ghobadi (Turtles Can Fly) offers a glimpse of can-do determination. Faced with prohibitions against rock music, bandmates Negar and Ashkan plot to leave Iran for England to make music their way. Their deliberate progress toward this elusive goal takes them through the underground rock scene in a brisk, often comical look, at a side of Iranian life seldom seen on film.
Producer: Bahman Ghobadi. Screenplay: Bahman Ghobadi, Hossein M. Abkenar, Roxana Saberi. Cinematographer: Turaj Asiani. Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari. Cast: Negar Shaghaghi, Askan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad. 35mm, 101 min. 

1984/color/126 min. | Scr: Andrei Tarkovsky, Tonino Guerra; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Oleg Yankovsky, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano
Tarkovsky's first production outside the USSR takes him to the majestic Italian countryside where a Soviet musicologist retraces the footsteps of an eighteenth-century expatriated Russian composer. Traversing the rustic Tuscan scenery with a translator of Pre-Raphaelite radiance and unfettered sensuality, he longs for his native country and battles temptation. Infused with sumptuous visions of sublime surreality, Tarkovsky's film concludes with one of his most astounding images. Co-scripted by Tonino Guerra, Antonioni's longtime scenarist, the film won three awards at Cannes. "The most extraordinary film by a Soviet working abroad in the fifty years since Sergei Eisenstein's Que Viva Mexico."—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice.

Now, You Can Do Anything: The Films of Chris Langdon
“Chris Langdon is the first punk filmmaker and the most important unknown filmmaker in the history of the Los Angeles avant-garde.” Thom Andersen
The exuberant, irreverent and surprising films of Chris Langdon make a welcome return to the screen after many years out of circulation. Produced between 1972 and ’76, the signature filmwork of the onetime protégée of Robert Nelson, John Baldessari and Pat O’Neill is often a brash and funny mix of the so-called high and low. One short film uses a bondage setup as metaphor in a critique of structuralism, while a satirical portrait of Picasso unpacks the questionable authority of moving images and another experimental short, made with Fred Worden, subtly deconstructs the image of a palm tree. Never ponderous or abstruse or coy, Langdon’s films are direct, formally unique, and full of intuitive flair and wild humor; they delight in provoking and challenging not only modes of artmaking but our reception of art and its purported messages.
The filmmaker is attending in person.

One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich
2000/color/55 min./beta | Scr/dir: Chris Marker
Through film clips, journal entries, and personal musings, renowned French filmmaker Chris Marker pays homage to his friend and colleague Andrei Tarkovsky. Through close readings of Tarkovsky's films—including rare scenes from his student film (an adaptation of Hemingway's The Killers) and a practically unknown production of Boris Godunov—Marker draws parallels between Tarkovsky's tumultuous life and his films. Personal anecdotes from Tarkovsky's writings—from his prophetic meeting with Boris Pasternak (author of Dr. Zhivago) to an encounter with the KGB on the streets of Paris (he thought they were coming to kill him)—pepper the film. With behind-the-scenes footage of Tarkovsky obsessively commanding his entire crew for his final film, The Sacrifice, and candid moments of the director with his friends and family, bedridden but still editing the film, One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich is a personal and loving portrait of the monumental filmmaker. "The best single piece of Tarkovsky criticism I know of, clarifying the overall coherence of [Tarkovsky's] oeuvre while leaving all the mysteries of his films intact."—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.

Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier star as American musicians living in Paris who fall for a pair of American tourists (Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll). Set against the Parisian demimonde of jazz, the love story touches upon sex, drugs, and race, which made it a controversial film in its day. Featuring a memorable performance by Louis Armstrong and an Academy Award-nominated score by Duke Ellington. Directed by Martin Ritt. (1961, 99 min. No MPAA rating.) 

(1973) Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Former riding buddies, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid are now on opposite sides of the law. Garrett works for their former nemesis, Chisum, hoping to earn something for his retirement. The Kid is a folk hero, when not on the run. Shot in the warm red glows of Technicolor, Peckinpah's Western is nothing, if not elegiac, filled with nostalgia for a West which perhaps never existed, and a deep friendship that ends in betrayal. It's James Coburn's Garret who is the more interesting character, while Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan's mimic caricatures. Ruthlessly deformed by MGM in its initial release, the film has since been restored to Peckinpah's director's cut.
MGM. Producer: Gordon Carroll. Screenplay: Rudy Wurlitzer. Cinematographer: John Coquillon. Cast: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado, Bob Dylan. 35mm, 122 min. 

(from IMDB)
A man is framed for murder and sent to prison. He is beaten and tortured, then forced to fight the prison's worst killer, a martial-arts fighting midget called Thud.  Dir. Jamaa Fanaka, 1987, 91 mins.

Robert Bresson's masterpiece is a magnificent drama about a thief, his techniques, motives and secret existence. Loosely based on Crime and Punishment, it tells the compelling story of an insignificant man who drifts into crime. "One of the four or five great dates in the history of cinema! A film with deep inspiration, free, instinctive, burning, bewildering" (Louis Malle).  Robert Bresson---France---1959---75 mins.

Pierrot le fou
1965/color/110 min./Scope | Scr/dir: Jean-Luc Godard; w/ Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina
After abandoning his wife at a Parisian party, whose other guests include Sam Fuller playing himself, bored Belmondo flees his bourgeois existence with his children's babysitter (Karina). On the lam in the sun-soaked south of France, this "last romantic couple," per Godard, battles gunrunners, gas station attendants, and American tourists, all the while spontaneously bursting into snippets of songs, enigmatic quotations, or oddball impersonations. A major turning point in Godard's cinema, Pierrot le fou is "a grand summation of everything he'd achieved since Breathless… [it] radiates joy of cinema," per J. Hoberman in The Village Voice.

A PROPHET, 2009, (Un Prophete) (France), Sony Pictures Classics, 155 min. Dir. Jacques Audiard. Stunning audiences at the 2009 Cannes, Toronto, and Telluride film festivals, A Prophet tells the story of 19-year-old Malik, a young man who has just been sentenced to six years in prison. Initially less hardened than his fellow inmates, Malik is cornered by the prison's members of a Corsican gang and pressured to complete "missions" that ultimately solidify his stature as a skilled gangster. Yet while rising through the ranks of the gang, Malik makes plans of his own. Justin Cheng of Variety writes that A Prophet is "a tough, absorbingly intricate account of a young French-Arab thug's improbable education behind bars." 

Woody Allen's wonderful period comedy returning to the nostalgia of the days of radio, mixing humor with pathos in one the filmmaker's most accomplished features. "It's a kaleidoscope of dozens of characters, settings and scenes--the most elaborate production Allen has ever made--and it's inexhaustible, spinning out one delight after another" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). Starring Mia Farrow, Julie Kavner, Dianne Wiest, Wallace Shawn, Seth Green, Josh Mostel, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, etc. Woody Allen---USA---1987---89 mins. 

ROBIN AND MARIAN, 1976, Sony Repertory, 106 min. Dir. Richard Lester. Robin Hood (Sean Connery) returns to Sherwood Forest after years away and reunites with the love of his life, Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn); unfortunately, he also must face his old enemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham, one last time. With acting powerhouses Nicol Williamson (EXCALIBUR), Ian Holm (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), and Richard Harris.

Audiences of all ages are transported back to Hollywood’s silent film heyday of the 1920s during this always-popular event. This year, German organist Otto Krämer accompanies a selection of short comedies from Laurel and Hardy and other masters of the form. Krämer is renowned for his skills at improvisation – he once created a spontaneous symphony – and incorporation of new sounds into old musical forms. So get ready for a movie experience that looks vintage, but sounds fresh.

Director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) nods to Brian De Palma, Walter Hill, and Sam Peckinpah in the closing credits of this ultra-violent mob thriller, which gives some indication of its hyperstylized, blood-drenched visuals. Paul Walker stars as Joey Gazelle, a low-level Mafia grunt who's given the opportunity rise through the ranks if he can dispose of a pistol that goes missing after a hit on two cops. When the gun switches hands and is used against an affiliate of the Russian mob, Gazelle finds himself caught in an impossible jam. "Makes Kill Bill look like Sesame Street"  Wayne Kramer---USA---2006---122 mins. 

The Sacrifice
1986/color/145 min. | Scr/dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall
As a Swedish family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch—Bergman fixture Erland Josephson—on their windswept Baltic island, the celebratory moods dissipates as news of World War III's outbreak blares from a television screen. With his arresting palette of luminous grays washing over the austere landscape—shot by another Bergman regular, cinematographer Sven Nykvist—Tarkovsky conveys a family's psychological devastation and Josephson's Faustian pact in order to save his loved ones. Tarkovsky's final film, made as he was dying of cancer, is a profoundly moving account of redemption whose final movement offers a virtuoso long take of intricately choreographed splendor. "To see The Sacrifice after a junk-food diet of Hollywood movies is like ducking out of a carnival to visit a medieval crypt. You are pulled out of time and into a sacred stillness. The images, handsomely sculpted, address themes of life and death and life after death… Compared with The Sacrifice's art, the formal sophistication of even the best Hollywood movies seems superficially applied, like press-on nails and a styling gel…It is not surprising that at the twilight of his life, this introspective artist should imagine the last flash of the last night of everybody's life—the end of the world—on film."—Richard Corliss, Time. 

A startling vision of passion and obsession from the creator of El Topo. Guy Stockwell stars as Orgo, a sadistic circus master who brutally disfigures his wife after she catches him with another woman. Witness to the horror is their young son, Fenix. Traumatized, he is committed to an asylum. Freed by his armless mother twelve years later, they forge an unholy alliance. He "gives" her his arms, she takes control of his mind. Together they feed a mounting obsession of desire and revenge. Directed and co-written by Alejandro   Jodorowsky, Santa Sangre is a film of bold and bizarre images, delicately balanced between the theater of the absurd and a circus of horrors.  Alejandro Jodorowsky---Mexico/Italy---1990---117 mins. 

THE SEARCHERS, 1956, Warner Bros., 119 min. Dir. John Ford. John Wayne gives the performance of his career as Ethan Edwards, a deeply troubled Civil War veteran who heads off in search of his kidnapped niece (Natalie Wood) and becomes more obsessive and irrational as his journey progresses. Through Wayne's character, Ford explores the contradictions and dark side of the American frontier.

SHERLOCK JR., 1924, 45 min. Buster Keaton’s sublime comedy about reality and illusion, where projectionist Buster literally dreams himself into the detective movie he’s screening!

SILVER BULLET, 1985, Paramount, 95 min. Dir. Daniel Attias. In this adaptation of Stephen King's CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF, Corey Haim plays a young man in a wheelchair convinced that there's a werewolf stalking the citizens of his town. Enlisting the aid of his alcoholic uncle (Gary Busey) and older sister (Megan Follows), Haim takes on the beast.

1972/color/165 min./Scope | Scr: Andrei Tarkovsky, Fridrikh Gorenshtein; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet, Donatas Banionis, Anatoli Solonitsin
Ground control has been receiving strange transmissions from the three remaining residents of a space station orbiting the molten planet Solaris. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to investigate, he experiences the hallucinatory phenomena that afflict the crew and becomes enthralled with a ghostly presence that appears to be his deceased wife. Often described as the Soviet answer to 2001, Tarkovsky's first science fiction film was awarded a Special Jury Grand Prize at Cannes and was improbably remade by Steven Soderbergh in 2002 with George Clooney playing Kelvin. "A thoughtful, deep, sensitive movie that uses the freedom of science fiction to examine human nature."—Roger Ebert.

STAGECOACH, 1939, Warner Bros., 96 min. Dir. John Ford. A stagecoach full of involving characters, superbly drawn and played, travels through dangerous Indian territory. After a decade in movies, John Wayne became a star once and for all as the Ringo Kid, gallantly defending vulnerable shady lady Claire Trevor, while Thomas Mitchell's drunken doctor won him an Oscar.

1979/color/161 min. | Scr: Arkadi Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky; dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; w/ Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsin
There exists a treacherous expanse of Russian wilderness known only as "the Zone," where the laws of nature appear to have been altered by mysterious cosmic forces. Entry is harshly restricted by the government; few who enter "the Zone" ever return. On the outskirts of this region, the Stalker resides. For a price, he guides a pair of disaffected intellectuals -a scientist and a writer- through the mystical terrain and into one of cinema's most enigmatic and resonant voyages.  "It's not enough to say that Stalker is a great film—it is the reason cinema was invented."—Geoff Dyer, The Guardian. 

1974/color/115 min. | Scr: Jorge Semprún; dir: Alain Resnais; w/ Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, François Périer, Anny Duperey, Claude Rich, Michael Lonsdale
Resnais returned from a long hiatus with this voluptuous film based on the real story of Serge Alexandre Stavisky, a small-time swindler whose big connections elevated him to the level of international financier, and whose downfall caused a major political scandal that almost undid the French government in 1933. Set in the seaside resort of Biarritz and boasting elegant art deco sets and a Sondheim score, Resnais's Stavisky is no mere biography but an opulently staged and delicately constructed meditation on the fragility of time. 

Steven Severin's "Music To Silents"
"From the symmetry of forms as two women play against mirrors in 'In Loop,' to the sexual and violent tones of 'The Bad Dropper' and 'Third Bride' –- what really caught my eye was 'Mercury Gash.' Accompanied by flanger-style effects, the imagery was nothing short of Dionysian. A frenzied, orgiastic experience, as images of surreal sexual positions shuttled by, the music losing itself in passion." -- Slowdive Music
In his Los Angeles live solo debut, Steven Severin (founding member and longtime bassist for Siouxsie And The Banshees) comes to the Cinefamily for two successive Wednesdays of intense, compelling, moody and sensuous live scores to rare silent and experimental films! This first evening is based upon trance-inducing tracks from his 2009 solo album "Music For Silents". The centerpiece of the evening is his new score for Germaine Dulac's The Seashell and The Clergyman (1928), considered to be one of the very first surrealist films. A collaboration between Dulac and the infamous French playwright Antonin Artaud (who was reportedly infuriated by the final product), the film tells of an amorous priest, and the object of his desire whom he never can grasp. Severin's sparkling piano lines, played backwards and forwards, collide headfirst with subtle synthwork to shattering effect.

Based on the short story by John Cheever, with Burt Lancaster as the middle-aged swimmer who hops from pool to pool on his way home during an afternoon and evokes the past at each pool.  Frank Perry---USA---1968---94 mins.

(2005, France/United States) Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
In his directorial debut, Tommy Lee Jones casts the borderland between America and Mexico as the rugged backdrop for the story of Texas rancher (Jones) who defies the law and the land to keep a promise to a friend. Scripted by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), this tale of violence and redemption gets a powerful lift from cinematographer Chris Menges who's insightful lighting underscores the blurred boundaries between good and evil in human nature.
Europa Corp.. Producer: Michael Fitzgerald, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Luc Besson, Tommy Lee Jones. Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga. Cinematographer: Chris Menges. Editor: Roberto Silvi. Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Julio César Cedillo, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones. 35mm, 120 min.
IN PERSON: Chris Menges, BSC, ASC.

THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT, 1974, MGM Repertory, 114 min. Dir. Michael Cimino. An offbeat heist film/modern-day western, with pro thief Clint Eastwood trying to elude his murderous ex-partners (George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis) with aid from gentle-souled drifter Jeff Bridges, who earned his second Oscar nomination. Writer-director Michael Cimino’s first film, THUNDERBOLT constantly surprises with ingenious plot twists, character-driven humor and a wistful sweetness that is all too rare in action films. 

(2005, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
Everyone is searching for something or someone in Jeon's powerfully muted exploration of the social, economic and national divisions that mark contemporary South Korea and its history. Film director Kim (a character who previously appeared in Jeon's second feature The Bird Who Stops in the Air, played here by An Kil-kang) takes time off from a long foundering film project to visit his cousin and aunt in his northern hometown and to accompany them on a journey across the border to visit a long-lost family member. When North Korean officials suddenly cancel the reunion, Kim lingers in town, attracted to a woman who's also looking for a missing family member. The film's spare dialogue and ambiguous encounters—not to mention copious scenes of drunkenness—recall the work of Hong Sang-soo. But Jeon pushes Kim well beyond the middle-class environs where Hong's urbanites play out their personal dramas into starkly drawn, social realist terrain where place and politics come to the fore.
Producer: Cho In-sook. Screenplay: Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Jung Sung-wook. Editor: Le Dong-wook. Cast: Kim Sung-jai, An Kil-kang. 35mm, 110 min. 

(1957) Directed by Nicholas Ray
A familiar narrative begins with the disastrous Northfield bank raid, then flashes back to Jesse's war experience with Quantrill's raiders, his career as a bandit in the James-Younger gang, and his retirement. Although the film uses footage from Fox's previous 1939 version, Nick Ray is interested in demythologizing Jesse James. He casts Wagner as a relative colorless character, giving Hunter as Cole the more interesting role. Ray was unhappy with the flashback structure imposed by producers, instead of a freer association of space and time he preferred.
Twentieth Century Fox. Producer: Herbert B. Swope Jr.. Screenplay: Nunnally Johnson, Walter Newman. Cinematographer: Joe MacDonald. Editor: Robert Simpson. Cast: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Hope Lange, Agnes Moorehead, Alan Hale Jr.. 35mm, 92 min.

2009/color/128 min. | Scr/dir: Marco Bellocchio; w/ Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi. | Screening courtesy of IFC Films.
One of Italy's most highly regarded directors, Bellocchio was dubbed a master of "baroque" filmmaking in the mid-sixties with his first feature Fists in the Pocket, a corrosive portrait of a dysfunctional upper class family whose crazed, epileptic teenage son plots the death of his mother and brother. Though he directed thirty films during the next four decades, only a handful made it onto American screens, among them: China is Near, a stinging political satire that predicts the student revolutions of '68; The Devil in the Flesh, a sexually explicit adaptation of the Stendahl novel updated to 1980s Italy; and Good Morning, Night, a stark depiction of the 1978 kidnapping of Prime Minister Aldo Moro as seen through the eyes of a young female terrorist. His newest film Vincere ("To Win") was hailed as a masterpiece and a return to form following its premiere at the 2009 Cannes Festival. By bringing to light the horrifying—and little-known—story of Ida Dalser, the young Mussolini's first "wife," who is thrown into an asylum by Black Shirts when she demands official recognition for herself and their son, Bellocchio takes the audience on a descent into the black hole of fascism. With its striking style that combines newsreels, silent films, and expressionistic graphics, and highlighted by a harrowing performance by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, the film brilliantly evokes the madness that gripped Italy under "Il Duce."

THE WHITE RIBBON, 2009, (Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) (Germany), Sony Pictures Classics, 144 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. In a village in Protestant northern Germany on the eve of World War I, a series of mysterious crimes sets off a firestorm of gossip and suspicion and exposes local secrets. As trust erodes among the townspeople, it becomes harder and harder to determine who is behind the strange incidents. In German with English subtitles. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

(1969) Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Tonight's guest, Kathryn Bigelow, is one of Hollywood's most innovative and iconoclastic filmmakers. Bigelow's most recent film, The Hurt Locker, was one of the most critically-acclaimed American films of 2009, topping a career of genre-bending, expectation-defying works including Near Dark (1985), Point Break (1991) and Strange Days (1995). Bigelow has selected Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969) for the evening. 
The influence of Sam Peckinpah's elegiac and ornery masterpiece is impossible to reckon. When Pike Bishop and his gang chose to blast their way into hell instead of walk off into the sunset, Peckinpah, along with cinematographer Lucien Ballard, editor Louis Lombardo and an astonishing cast, inaugurated a new aesthetic of cinematic violence that demolished Hollywood's romantic vision of the Old West even as it revitalized the Western genre.
Warner Bros.. Producer: Phil Feldman. Screenplay: Sam Peckinpah, Walon Green. Cinematographer: Lucien Ballard. Editor: Louis Lombardo. Cast: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates. 35mm, 145 min.
IN PERSON: Kathryn Bigelow, Curtis Hanson

(1997, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
Jeon's debut feature plays as a three-part philosophical and allegorical meditation on the nature of time. The triptych structure presents the stages of a man's life, from childhood to adulthood to old age, with each section interconnected but also standing on its own. (Indeed, the middle section,"The Young: Wind Echoing in My Being," shot in black and white, premiered as a 40-minute short in the "Un Certain Regard" section of the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.) In addition to Jeon's exploration of time as both an abstract and concrete experience, many of the themes and motifs that come to the fore in his later films appear here in a free floating, gestational form across the three sections—loneliness and memory; art as a means of self-exploration and discovery; and the symbolic resonance of Sokcho, his hometown near the border with North Korea.
Producer: Jeon Soo-il. Screenplay: Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Hwang Chul-hyun. Editor: Park Gok Ji. Cast: Lee Choong-in, Cho Jae-hyun, You Soon-chul. 35mm, 103 min. 

(2007, South Korea) Directed by Jeon Soo-il
Two recent, well-received films from South Korea, So Young-kim's Treeless Mountain (2008) and Ounie Lecomte's A Brand New Life (2009), feature stories about children who have been abandoned or put up for adoption by parents wracked by personal and financial troubles. In With a Girl of Black Soil, director Jeon zeroes in on the equally poignant trials of a child who remains with her family as it collapses around her. Years after her mother left, 8-year-old Young-lim must watch as her father retreats into an alcoholic oblivion after a case of black lung costs him his job as a coal miner. As the responsibility for caring for her dad, elderly grandfather and her developmentally-disabled younger brother increasingly falls to her, Young-lim struggles with decisions beyond her years. Shooting in the rugged, mountainous Kangwon province, Jeon firmly fixes Young-lim and her father in their social context while avoiding heavy-handed appeals for sympathy. As Young-lim, Yu Yun-mi delivers a heartbreaking turn that The Hollywood Reporter declared, "emphatically deserves a place in the pantheon of great child performances."
Producer: Jo In-sook. Screenplay: Jung Soon-yeoung, Jeon Soo-il. Cinematographer: Kim Sung-tai. Editor: Seo Yong-duk. Cast: Ryu Yeon-mi, Jo Young-jin, Park Hyung-woo. 35mm, 89 min.
IN PERSON: Jeon Soo-il

Folk troubador Bonnie 'Prince' Billy will be here in-person at the Cinefamily to present a hand-picked double feature of films that explore the wonder and the mystery of the fairer sex. Even diehard music fans out there might not be aware of Billy's intense love of cinema, and we welcome the opportunity to let the man give us two of his favorites!
The evening opens with Nicholas Ray's soapy noir A Woman's Secret (1949), starring the ravishing Maureen O'Hara as a singing teacher blamed for the shooting of her smarmy protégé (Gloria Grahame), "a trollop-minded chirp she has coached into the bigtime." (Variety) Scripted by Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane), the film is a chance for Ray to take what could have been an average "woman's picture" and tweak it to suit his slightly perverse sensibilities.
Dir. Nicholas Ray, 1949, 35mm, 84 min.

Youth in Revolt
A huge hit at both the Toronto International Film Festival and LA's AFI Fest, Youth in Revolt is a coming-of-age comedy that puts a fresh and outrageous stamp on a tale of adolescent obsession and rebellion. Starring Michael Cera (also of the Oscar-winning film Juno and Superbad) and based on the acclaimed novel by C. D. Payne, Youth in Revolt is the story of Nick Twisp–a unique, but affable teen with a taste for the finer things in life like Sinatra and Fellini–who falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful, free-spirited Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) while on a family vacation.
In person discussion with the film's star Michael Cera and director Miguel Arteta following the screening.
(2009, 90 min., Dir: Miguel Arteta)