a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
tue. jan. 4 fantastic planet (w/ live score) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. jan. 5 polls @ silverlake lounge the golden bed 8 PM @ silent movie theatre vertigo 7 PM @ hammer thu. jan. 6 zongo junction @ the echo shanghai express, blonde venus @ new beverly all about eve, the man who came to dinner @ egyptian the town, gone baby gone @ aero playtime FREE 7 PM @ hammer fri. jan. 7 melvins @ the satellite little dragon @ first fridays @ natural history museum dogtooth 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre tucker & dale vs. evil MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre shanghai express, blonde venus @ new beverly in a lonely place, the treasure of sierra madre @ egyptian five easy pieces @ lacma play it as it lays 9:20 PM @ lacma media blitz @ unity church (LB) sat. jan. 8 the warriors @ devil's night drive-in little dragon @ echoplex dogtooth 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre duck soup, getting a ticket, cracked nuts @ ucla film archive easy rider 5 PM @ lacma zabriskie point @ lacma segments of orange OPENING @ family sun. jan. 9 dogtooth 1:30 PM @ silent movie theatre the mechanic 3:35 7:30 PM, hard times 5:35 9:30 PM @ new beverly many happy returns 7 PM, the fatal glass of beer, million dollar legs @ ucla film archive rr @ filmforum @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian dead meadow @ brookdale lodge (santa cruz) mon. jan. 10 dogtooth 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre the mechanic, hard times @ new beverly spaceballs 8 PM @ arclight hollywood tue. jan. 11 dogtooth 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre grindhouse film fest (films TBA) @ new beverly in a better world @ egyptian m. hulot's holiday FREE 1:30 PM @ skirball the edge @ aero the two mrs. carrolls 1 PM @ lacma wed. jan. 12 the general 8 PM @ silent movie theatre la font @ silverlake lounge finches, the dining dead @ the smell dogtooth 11 PM @ silent movie theatre blue collar, 2nd film TBA @ new beverly thu. jan. 13 dogtooth 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre white fence @ women harry and tonto @ lacma fri. jan. 14 her wild oat (w/ live organ accompaniment) @ orpheum melvins @ the satellite budos band @ el rey what happened was... @ silent movie theatre shaun of the dead, hot fuzz, scott pilgrim vs. the world @ new beverly white fence @ the smell rear window, dial m for murder @ egyptian radical light: landscape as expression @ ucla film archive thunderbolt and lightfoot 9:40 PM @ lacma what if esquimaux had no words for blue? an illustrated lecture 8 PM @ velaslavasay panorama sat. jan. 15 dead meadow @ the satellite the king of marvin gardens 7 PM, tattoo @ silent movie theatre shaun of the dead, hot fuzz, scott pilgrim vs. the world @ new beverly santa sangre, fando and lis @ egyptian electra glide in blue 5 PM @ lacma scarecrow @ lacma klute FREE 8 PM @ vidiots annex sun. jan. 16 smile 4 PM, silent running, diggstown @ silent movie theatre brazil, delicatessen @ new beverly el topo, the holy mountain @ egyptian here comes cookie 7 PM, diplomaniacs @ ucla film archive mon. jan. 17 screaming females @ echoplex brazil, delicatessen @ new beverly radical light: experimental film in beat-era san francisco 8:30 PM @ redcat tue. jan. 18 tobacco @ echoplex dirty harry, the super cops @ new beverly edge of the city 1 PM @ lacma wed. jan. 19 no joy @ the satellite the son of the sheik 8 PM @ silent movie theatre dirty harry, the super cops @ new beverly thu. jan. 20 abe vigoda @ autry museum american graffiti, animal house @ new beverly the leopard @ egyptian field note fables 8 PM @ echo park film center fri. jan. 21 melvins @ the satellite la font @ pehrspace nashville ramblers @ til-two club (SD) blood simple 8 PM @ silent movie theatre rubber MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre american graffiti, animal house @ new beverly 2001: a space odyssey (70mm) @ egyptian vertigo @ aero radical light: 1961-71 @ ucla film archive two lane blacktop @ lacma alice's restaurant 9:40 PM @ lacma enter the void (uncut) MIDNIGHT @ nuart ty segall @ alex's bar (LB) turrks @ the smell sat. jan. 22 green & wood @ three clubs nashville ramblers @ mind machine @ bordello the dining dead @ pehrspace josie and the pussycats @ cinefama pajama party iv @ silent movie theatre frenzy, dressed to kill @ new beverly run lola run MIDNIGHT @ new beverly le desert rouge FREE 8 PM @ vidiots annex the french connection, to live and die in l.a. @ aero monkey business, a nag in the bag, the heart of new york @ ucla film archive sun. jan. 23 frenzy, dressed to kill @ new beverly gentlemen prefer blondes, the seven year itch @ egyptian sorcerer, the exorcist @ aero radical light: small gauge @ echo park film center mon. jan. 24 the driver, duel @ new beverly barbara hammer: experimenting in life and art 8:30 PM @ redcat giant drag @ troubadour ghostbusters 8 PM @ arclight hollywood tue. jan. 25 the driver, duel @ new beverly the three musketeers (1948) 1 PM @ lacma wed. jan. 26 wild at heart, true romance @ new beverly agesandages @ satellite thu. jan. 27 ty segall @ echoplex earthless @ the echo a thousand clowns 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wild at heart, true romance @ new beverly knife in the water, macbeth @ egyptian the blow @ satellite fri. jan. 28 melvins @ the satellite el ten eleven @ the central crocodiles, tamaryn @ the echo an evening with udo kier (film TBA) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre the wanderers, the warriors @ new beverly chinatown, the tenant @ egyptian rebel without a cause, east of eden @ aero la femme infidele @ lacma the bridesmaid 9:20 PM @ lacma jon brion @ largo sat. jan. 29 deerhoof, nervous cop @ echoplex the wanderers, the warriors @ new beverly suburbia MIDNIGHT @ new beverly repulsion, rosemary's baby @ egyptian le beau serge 5 PM @ lacma la ceremonie @ lacma good night and good luck FREE 8 PM @ vidiots annex video art from the new china: an introduction 4 PM @ getty center seven intellectuals in a bamboo forest 7 PM @ getty center sun. jan. 30 metropolitan 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thunderbolt and lightfoot, miami blues @ new beverly cul-de-sac, the fearless vampire killers @ egyptian 50 million frenchmen 7 PM, gents without cents, who done it? @ ucla film archive mon. jan. 31 thunderbolt and lightfoot, miami blues @ new beverly tue. feb. 1 cartoon noir 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. feb. 2 mystery of the leaping fish 8 PM, his majesty the american @ silent movie theatre white fence @ the echo thu. feb. 3 the umbrellas of cherbourg 8 PM, amelie @ silent movie theatre fri. feb. 4 citizen ruth, spanking the monkey @ silent movie theatre abe vigoda @ first fridays @ natural history museum payback 7 PM @ ucla film archive les cousins @ lacma les bonnes femmes 9:35 PM @ lacma hausu MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. feb. 5 acts of violence 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre salve @ ucla film archive merci pour le chocolat 5 PM @ lacma this man must die @ lacma nels cline singers @ getty center kit @ dem passwords sun. feb. 6 cat power @ music box rachel fannan @ the smell mr. haji the movie actor 7 PM, the lor girl @ ucla film archive mon. feb. 7 rachel fannan @ the echo tue. feb. 8 deadly prey 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. feb. 9 the three musketeers (1921) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre she is gone so is her voice, the white meadows @ ucla film archive thu. feb. 10 boy meets girl 8 PM, (2nd film TBA) @ silent movie theatre fri. feb. 11 in the soup, living in oblivion @ silent movie theatre sat. feb. 12 let the right one in MIDNIGHT @ new beverly qaisar, molf-e gand @ ucla film archive sun. feb. 13 valentoons @ silent movie theatre grass: a nation's battle for life 7 PM, the lover's wind @ ucla film archive mon. feb. 14 casablanca @ silent movie theatre animating mayhem: collage and painted films by martha colburn 8:30 PM @ redcat wed. feb. 16 beach house @ music box robin hood (1922) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. feb. 17 beach house @ music box love in the afternoon 8 PM, jules and jim @ silent movie theatre fri. feb. 18 poison, clean shaven @ silent movie theatre dream home MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre dum dum girls @ the casbah (SD) sat. feb. 19 i am here....now 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre do you know mr. kiarostami?, close-up @ ucla film archive tinylittle @ the smell sun. feb. 20 gas food lodging, mi vida loca @ silent movie theatre man or astroman @ the echo tehran tehran 7 PM @ ucla film archive mon. feb. 21 gang of four @ music box body and mind: the primordial cinema of fred worden 8:30 PM @ redcat tue. feb. 22 godspeed you black emperor!, om @ fox theater pomona a day at the races 1 PM @ lacma wed. feb. 23 godspeed you black emperor! @ music box the black pirate 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. feb. 24 quasi @ troubadour best coast, wavves @ music box the mother and the whore 8 PM @ silent movie theatre fri. feb. 25 in the company of men, one false move @ silent movie theatre quasi @ echoplex the haunted, the unknown FREE @ ucla film archive sat. feb. 26 rat scratch fever 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre death, rtx, sic alps @ echoplex mon. feb. 28 the artist theater program: a group show of film and video work by visual artists 8:30 PM @ redcat fri. mar. 4 elephant 6 holiday surprise tour @ the satellite autolux @ echoplex sat. mar. 5 tinylittle @ the smell fri. mar. 18 the ex @ the satellite tue. mar. 22 strange boys, audacity @ the echo thu. mar. 24 strange boys, white fence @ eagle rock center for the arts WHAT IT IS: Acts Of Violence (director/writer/star Il Lim in person!) The premise could not be any more familiar: a man seeks revenge on those who attacked his wife. But those who caught Acts Of Violence at their local multiplex last summer know that it is anything but predictable. It's not enough for Flyn (writer/director/fight choreographer Il Lim) to hunt down the culprits -- he must also challenge them, one by one, to a fight! Sequences of genuine brutality are interspersed with oddball humor, moments of grace and very arid scenes of Lynchian domesticity between Flyn and wife (Leelee Sobieski). Besides, what other action film showcases its hero killing random gang members en route to buying toilet paper? Did we mention Ron Perlman’s strange turn as a priest with whom Flyn gets both marriage and religious counseling? This clearly the work of someone who has carefully studied the sensibilities of Van Damme, Seagal and the Cannon canon -- but it also happens to be the most off-kilter, singularly cracked revenge film of 2010! Il Lim will be here at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Il Lim, 2010, 35mm, 90 min. Alice's Restaurant 1968/color/111 min. | Scr: Venable Herndon, Arthur Penn; dir: Arthur Penn; w/ Arlo Guthrie, Patricia Quinn, James Broderick, Michael McClanathan Arthur Penn followed up the bloody, visceral Bonnie and Clyde by adapting Arlo Guthrie's eighteen-minute song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" into a tender and bittersweet portrait of lost hippie souls. Guthrie plays himself, a wandering troubadour who splits his time between coffee shop gigs, hospital visits to see his ailing father (Woody Guthrie) and trips to the free-wheeling commune run by Ray and Alice Brock at a deconsecrated church—"a place to be what we want to be." Expanding on Guthrie's original narrative, Penn adds characters—among them a tormented junkie who serves as a foil to the happy-go-lucky folk singer—and gives vibrant, comedic depictions of some its most memorable passages—a trip to the army center at 39 Whitehall Street where one gets "injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected" for the draft. With the specter of Vietnam looming over it, a burnished autumn-to-winter palette, and an astounding single-take final shot worthy of Antonioni at his peak, Alice's Restaurant is a triumph of low-key introspection. "Alice's Restaurant revisited many of the social-outsider themes of Bonnie and Clyde but in a low-key, gently skeptical, nonviolent manner…the film stands as one of Penn's most engaging works, a warm and deeply felt miniature."—Dave Kehr, The New York Times. ANIMATING MAYHEM: COLLAGE AND PAINTED FILMS BY MARTHA COLBURN “Painting, collage, found footage, music and research slug it out frame-by-frame . . . The films resemble 24-frames-per-second tornados.” —Cinema Scope Martha Colburn’s handcrafted animations explode with an energy, concentration and a rapid-fire torrent of ideas that push the medium to its very edges. Colburn’s past works have savagely lampooned pop culture, consumerism, and middle-class attitudes to delirious fantasies, but her most recent films bring more tragic dimensions to bear by focusing on war and icons of American history. Always startling in her use of disparate techniques and free association, Colburn creates films unlike any other, and the screening spans 16 years of filmmaking with 16 films, including Dolls vs. Dictators (2010), Join the Freedom Force (2009), Myth Labs (2008), Triumph of the Wild (2008), Skelehellavision (2001), Spiders In Love: An Arachnogasmic Musical (2000), and Evil of Dracula (1997), among others. Her work has been shown at the Centre Pompidou, The Kitchen, the Whitney Museum, PS 1, MoMA, and numerous major international film festivals. In person: Martha Colburn THE ARTIST THEATER PROGRAM: A GROUP SHOW OF FILM AND VIDEO WORK BY VISUAL ARTISTS “In Adam Putman’s work, reflections, distortions and image manipulations take us far from the concrete world . . . seductive, forbidding and erotically charged.” —The New Yorker Film/video/installation artist Erika Vogt curates this group screening, inviting visual artists who make use of film and video to present their work within the context of a theatrical exhibition venue. In contradistinction to the conditions offered in traditional art spaces—such as the loop, indefinite time, and the itinerant and indeterminate audience—the program opens a dialogue between divergent communities of active makers that have historically overlapped. In doing so, it seeks to foster a heterogeneous debate about artistic concepts and practices, and to challenge some common assumptions, such as “Experimental filmmakers want to be marginal,” “Artists make a lot of money,” “Experimental filmmakers have a subject when they start and an end in mind,” “Artists blissfully ignore film history,” and “These works have no form!” The screening includes works by artists such as Math Bass, Shannon Ebner, Alice Konitz, Adam Putnam, Lucy Raven, among others, and by the activist group W.A.G.E (Working Artists and the Greater Economy). In person: Erika Vogt and Lucy Raven BARBARA HAMMER: EXPERIMENTING IN LIFE AND ART “Generations invites us to pause and actually feel the meaning of our relationships and legacies.” Sloan Lesbowitz, MIX Festival, NYC Barbara Hammer has made over 80 films in a career that spans 40 years, and is widely celebrated throughout the world as a pioneer of queer cinema. This screening presents the Los Angeles premieres of two of Hammer’s recent works: Generations (2010), made with Gina Carducci, a film about the ongoing tradition of personal filmmaking, the last days of Coney Island’s legendary Astroland, and the aging of the film medium itself; and A Horse Is Not A Metaphor (2009), with music by Meredith Monk, a richly textured filmic tapestry that reflects upon Hammer’s bout with cancer, her return to her experimental filmmaking roots, and her drive to change illness into recovery through travels and pilgrimages in New Mexico, Wyoming and Woodstock. Hammer’s book, HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life, was published last spring, and she was recently given a career retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art. In person: Barbara Hammer THE BLACK PIRATE This true swashbuckler classic from the silent era sees Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. posing as the Black Pirate in order to infiltrate a gang of bandits and reclaim his hijacked ship and save his love (Billie Dove). Dir. Albert Parker, 1926, 35mm, 94 min. BLOOD SIMPLE "I approach each job thinking it might be my last, so it had better be the best work possible." - M. Emmet Walsh “No movie featuring Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh can be altogether bad.” -- Roger Ebert on “the Walsh-Stanton rule” M. Emmet Walsh is the meaty comfort food of character actors, satisfying us in over 200 movie and television roles like a good slab of Texas steak -- peppery, salty, and deliciously unctuous to the extreme. Just casting him seems like such an act of good taste -- he’s played memorably oily, iconic parts in great films like Blade Runner, Straight Time, The Jerk, and of course, Blood Simple. His scheming squint, his blinking analytical stare, his smarmy grin, and quirky sense of humor are just a few of the traits that he can lend at will to improve any film. We’re amazed he has time to talk with us, what with the incredible streak of quality work he’s been up to these past decades, and we hope he schools us with just a squibble of his irasacble wit. After joining us for a conversation about his career, and a reel of some rarities and highlights, together we will watch: Blood Simple Our man M. Emmet sweats up the screen as the most crooked, creepy private eye ever to populate the Coen Brothers’ universe! The brothers’ classic dust-coated neo-noir tracks four seedy lowlifes as they backstab, shoot, screw, and bury each other in the Texas wastelands, and also features future Oscar-winner Frances McDormand as an adulterous wife trying to loosen the grip of scummy husband Dan Hedaya. The sparse story here takes a back seat to the Coens’ mindbending visual style, complete with tense, awe-inspiring camerawork from masterful DP Barry Sonnenfeld. Walsh outdoes even himself during Blood Simple’s unforgettable, nail-biting climax involving a loaded gun, two adjacent apartments, and some very fragile drywall. Come catch the performance that won M. Emmet the 1986 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead, and see where two decades’ worth of smart, stylish thrillers got their inspiration. Dirs. Joel & Ethan Coen, 1984, 35mm, 99 min. BODY AND MIND: THE PRIMORDIAL CINEMA OF FRED WORDEN “Worden drops depth-charges into the psyche. These are images not so much for the eyes but to pass through the eyes to spread havoc along nerve paths.” —Ken Jacobs During the past twenty years New York-based Fred Worden has redefined cinema with his film and digital works, creating concentrated and transcendent experiences for both body and mind. Worden describes his work as a “cinema of pure energy that bypasses the discursive mind and goes right at the body, in through the eyes, pulsing, to jigger directly the brain’s electro-chemical neural flows, seedbed of every single thought or feeling.” In her essay "The Cinema," Virgina Woolf asked, “Is there . . . some secret language which we feel and see but never speak, and, if so, could this be made visible to the eye?” Many filmmakers have approached this question and few have succeeded so powerfully as Worden. His films have been shown at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, the Centre Pompidou, Pacific Film Archive and dozens of film festivals throughout the world. Films include The Or Cloud (2001), Here Amongst the Persuaded (2004), 1859 (2008), Possessed (2010), and others. In person: Fred Worden Boy Meets Girl The definitive document of ‘80s underground French cinema, Boy Meets Girl was the exhilarating and tumultuously romantic debut by Leos Carax, a precocious and passionate 23-year-old cineaste soon to become his homeland’s leading bête noire and monstre sacré. Pairing the laconic, monochrome slapstick of Jim Jarmusch with a larger-than-life stylistic panache, Carax's experimental melodrama stars Denis Lavant as a compulsive loafer whose post-breakup meanderings through nocturnal Paris draw him into the orbit of depressive beauty Mireille, whom he meets at a surreal house party, among astronauts and actresses, while she hides on the verge of suicide in the bathroom. In sequences both absurdly comic and profoundly romantic, these two unstable outcasts share Alex's last moments of freedom together on the eve of his Army conscription. Culminating in a cataclysmic, violently poetic grand guignol finale, Boy Meets Girl is an essential page from the book of doomed French love; whether you're tracing backwards from Desplechin or forwards from Godard, no history of cinematic amour fou is complete without it. Dir. Leos Carax, 1984, 35mm, 100 min. The Bridesmaid 2004/color/111 min. | Scr: Claude Chabrol, Pierre Leccia; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Benoît Magimel, Laura Smet, Aurore Clément In a leafy seaside suburb, mama's boy Magimel leads a remarkably average life. A salesman of bathroom fixtures, he still lives at home with his cheerful mother and grown siblings. But when feral Smet (real-life daughter of Johnny Hallyday and Nathalie Baye) seduces him at his own sister's wedding, his world starts to tear at the seams. Elusive and capricious, Senta lives in the basement of a palatial manor she calls her "realm." Attraction leads to fascination as the couple's relationship heats up. But will Smet's demand that Magimel murder someone to prove his love for her put this fire out or fan its flames? Based on a Ruth Rendell novel, Chabrol's 51st feature is a sharp, captivating portrait of mad love. "Uses the extraordinary craft Chabrol has acquired over the decades to insinuate itself inside our psyches in unexpected and potent ways… Impeccably played by Smet…in the blink of an eye, she has drawn [Magimel] into a vortex of her own creation, a vortex so strong it pulls the audience into it and so fast it makes the head spin."—Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times Cartoon Noir Hardboiled animation for private dicks and their femme fatales! Cartoon historian Jerry Beck (CartoonBrew.com) hosts an evening of animated tough guys -- and by “guys” we mean Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird and Goofy -- in parodies of classic Film Noir, made during the golden age of the genre. Rare 35mm and 16mm film prints of some of the funniest (not to mention the most violent, and even sexy) animated cartoons ever made. Private eyes, plainclothes cops, hapless grifters and starving putty tats all figure into the murder and mayhem. Don’t miss this rare compilation of animation from out of the shadows! Citizen Ruth Of all the many talents to emerge from the ‘90s film scene, one of the funniest, warmest, most all-around excellent filmmakers is Alexander Payne. In an era of jazzy formality and post-modern referencing, his films harkened back the subtle craftsmanship of the classic masters of 50’s arthouse films or great novels. Defying easy genre classifications, his work is farcical yet moving, satirical yet humane, often with cutting-edge subject matter elucidated through classical storytelling. All of these qualities, including his manner of creating identification and empathy for the what ostensibly could be dislikable, or even reprehensible characters, is already at work in his first film, Citizen Ruth. A provocative ensemble comedy about abortion of all things, made at the height of the “family values” wars, the film gently mocks the entire zoo that populates both the pro-life and pro-choice sides of the debate, saving its best jabs for the holiest of holies -- the pregnant mother herself, played to the hilt by Laura Dern. Schedule permitting, Alexander Payne will be here at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Alexander Payne, 1996, 35mm, 102 min. CLOSE-UP (1990) Directed by Abbas Kiarostami Abbas Kiarostami documents a real-life case in which a blue-collar impostor pretending to be famed director Mohsen Makhmalbaf conned a family into believing they would star in his next film. Both the case and this film demonstrate Iranian’s profound love of cinema and the respect they have for their art-house film directors, such as Makhmalbaf and Kiarostami. The figure of the “famous director” looms large in this strange and touching tale, as the protagonist seems not to have been motivated by profit. Those involved in the original story re-enact their roles in this unique and moving documentary. Producer: Ali Reza Zarin. Screenwriter: Abbas Kiarostami. Cinematographer: Alireza Zarrindast. Cast: Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abolfazl Ahankhah. 35mm, 98 min. CRACKED NUTS (1931) Directed by Edward Cline Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey’s sixth feature outing with RKO in just two years find the boys enmeshed in the madcap politics of Eldorania. When each mistakenly believes he’s been anointed president, they vie for power—leading at one point to a “Who’s on first?”-style bit over the country’s map—while a cabal of Eldoranian politicians aim to snuff them both out. RKO. Producer: William LeBaron. Screenplay: Al Boasberg. Cinematographer: Nick Musuraca. Editor: Arthur Roberts. Cast: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, Edna May Oliver, Leni Stengel. 35mm, B/W, 65 min. Deadly Prey It's hard to describe a movie like this without putting on denim short-shorts, oiling yourself up, and serving everyone within a mile radius a knuckle sandwich. Deadly Prey is so hilariously manly, so bonafide badass, so chock-full of fists that we had to punch ourselves to be sure it wasn't a dream. At a remote training camp (that looks a lot like twenty minutes north of L.A.), a rogue colonel lets his mercenary soldiers kidnap civilian dorks, release them in the wild, and hunt them down for sport. Everything goes great until they nab mulleted everyman Mike Danton -- the best damn soldier ever trained by Hogan himself! Up against an army of hundreds, Danton must creatively kill every last one of 'em if he wants to get out alive. It all gets more and more insane as it all unfolds, including one of the most memorable murders in cinema history that involves a man being beaten to death with his own severed arm!!! This silly, silly movie -- it's the Casablanca of punching! Before the feature, it’s time for another round of Found Crap, hosted and curated by Rob Schrab (behind-the-scenes wizard of “The Sarah Silverman Program”) and Dan Harmon (co-creator of NBC’s “Community”)! Deadly Prey Dir. David A. Prior, 1987, video presentation, 88 min. DIGGSTOWN (from IMDB) Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a boxer that will knock out 10 Diggstown men, in a boxing ring, within 24 hours. "Honey" Roy Palmer is that man - although at 48, many say he is too old. A sub plot is thrown in about Charles Macum Diggs - the heavyweight champion that gave the town its name - and who is now confined to a wheel-chair. Dir. Michael Ritchie, 1992, 98 min. DIPLOMANIACS (1933) Directed by William A. Seiter When an Indian tribe recruits Wheeler and Woolsey to plea for world peace at a conference in Geneva, the duo are targeted by an evil arms manufacturer and his agents—including Hugh Herbert as a Chinese spy. A quasi-political satire, Diplomaniacs demolishes Hollywood linearity with a dizzying disregard for plot while rife with the racial caricatures and ethnic humor that flourished on vaudeville circuits. RKO. Screenplay: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Henry Myers. Cinematographer: Edward Cronjager. Editor: William Hamilton. Cast: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Marjorie White, Louis Calhern. 35mm, B/W, 63 min. Dogtooth Combining the gripping, unpredictable tension of a prime Polanski thriller, the perfectly-executed production design of a Wes Anderson contraption and the dangerous freaky-deakiness of a David Lynch nightmare, Dogtooth is easily one of the most unique filmic creations of the last few years, spinning forth from the dark imagination of new Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Topping critics’ lists as one of the best films of 2010, Cinefamily is proud to bring a full week-long of one of the coolest films you’ll see in 2011! On par with Antichrist and Enter The Void for sheer audacity, this hyper-stylized, intoxicating mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy is the story of three teenagers perpetually confined to their parents’ isolated country estate, and kept under strict rule and regimen -- an inscrutable scenario suggesting a warped experiment in social conditioning. Terrorized into submission by their father, the children spend their days devising their own games and learning an invented vocabulary (a salt shaker is a “telephone,” an armchair is “the sea”) — until a trusted outsider brought in to satisfy the son’s libidinal urges starts offering forbidden VHS tapes(!) as a key to the outside world. Fully utilizing every last inch of onscreen space, Lanthimos paints the blackest of portraits here using austere, antiseptic visuals, and elicits total warped commitment from his entire cast, resulting in an indelible immersive experience into a claustrophobic emotional netherworld never before seen. Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009, 35mm, 94 min. DO YOU KNOW MR. KIAROSTAMI? (1998) Directed by Reza Haeri With humor and precision, the filmmaker tries to gauge the sentiments of ordinary people on the streets of Tehran about the famed director Abbas Kiarostami. DV, 30 min. Dream Home The brand-new frightshow Dream Home leaps upon a serious issue, and grinds it in a delicious way: buying an apartment in majorly overcrowded Hong Kong ain’t cheap or easy, and when a young, upwardly mobile woman is denied ownership of her dream pad in a oceanfront high rise, she does what any of us would do -- she offs its tenants in an orgiastic bloodbath! Thankfully, director Ho-Cheung Pang keeps the social commentary to a minimum and concentrates on what really matters: gonzo gore, bouncing boobs and heaping fistfuls of crazy, over-the-top kills. That rare gem that gives you the genre standards you crave while still managing to be fresh, imaginative and wildly entertaining, Dream Home is a dream for fans of Asian genre cinema and horror fans alike. Don’t miss your chance to sign the lease -- IN BLOOD! Dir. Ho-Cheung Pang, 2010, 96 min. DUCK SOUP (1933) Directed by Leo McCarey The Marx Brothers deliver an absurdist send-up of politics, patriotism and modern warfare in their inimitable anarchic style. Groucho stars as Rufus T. Firefly, recently installed leader of fledgling continental nation Freedonia. Chico and Harpo play a couple of peanut salesmen enlisted by a neighboring country to spy on the ludicrous new dictator. Paramount. Screenplay: Bert Kalmer, Harry Ruby. Cinematographer: Henry Sharp. Editor: LeRoy Stone. Cast: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont. 35mm, 68 min. DUEL This white-knuckle, made-for-television suspense thriller was the film that really put Steven Spielberg on the map, setting the stage for the most commercially successful and influential career of contemporary American cinema. Dennis Weaver is a traveling businessman who provokes the wrath of a nameless, faceless driver of a diesel truck in the American Southwest. A wild, nerve-crunching ride. The script is by Richard Matheson. Steven Spielberg---USA---1971---90 mins. THE EDGE (KRAY), 2010, 124 min. Dir. Aleksei Uchitel. In the post-WWII Siberian wilderness, Russian veteran and train aficionado Ignat (Vladimir Mashkov) is stationed at labor camp Kray among Russians sentenced as traitors under Stalin’s rule for conspiring with Germans in battle. On a mission to recover an abandoned train on an island across the river, he meets Elsa, a young German girl living for years in seclusion. With the challenge of building a bridge back to camp the only option, Ignat gradually drops his guard and develops a relationship with the girl, despite strong national prejudice. With stunning cinematography by Yuri Klimenko, featuring a memorable train race through the barren, snowy woods. In Russian and German with English subtitles. Introduction by director Aleksei Uchitel. Edge of the City 1957/b&w/85 min. | Scr: Robert Alan Aurthur; dir: Martin Ritt; w/ John Cassavetes, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Jack Warden. An army deserter and a black dock worker join forces against a corrupt union official. Electra Glide in Blue 1973/color/114 min./Panavision | Scr: Robert Boris; dir: James William Guercio; Robert Blake, Mitch Ryan, Billy Green Bush On the immense parched stretches of Arizona desert, Monument Valley hovering just a few miles over the Utah border, highways are patrolled by a band of motorcycle policemen. Short in stature but big in personality, Robert Blake stands out among them. Rule-abiding, moral, even charming, he just wants a promotion to homicide so he can ditch his cop uniform, get "four wheels under me, not just two" and gain some respect. When he stumbles upon the mysterious death of an old hermit, he thinks he's found the case which may change his fortunes. The only feature film directed by James William Guercio—a producer who worked on albums by Moondog, Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago (several of whose members cameo in the film)—Electra Glide in Blue is a fascinating counterpoint to Easy Rider. From its image of Blake's target practice with a poster of Hopper and Fonda to its fateful conclusion, complete with an expansive single-take zoom-out, Electra Glide in Blue astutely echoes the 69 chopper classic. Charismatic and understated, Blake went on to land the lead role in the hit television program Baretta thanks to this lead performance. Billy "Green" Bush amps up the loose-cannon energy of his Five Easy Pieces supporting role to exuberant heights as Zapper, Blake's sidekick, whose eccentricity is matched only by Elisha Cook, Jr.'s fried, nuthouse-bound Willie. Though premiered at Cannes and boasting superlative Panavision compositions by Conrad Hall, Electra Glide in Blue was a critical and commercial flop at the time of its US release. Since then, the film has become a cult object, championed by individualistic filmmakers—Gus Van Sant and Vincent Gallo among them—and considered among the greatest of road movies by French film critics. "Thanks to Conrad Hall's cinematography and a tough, sad performance from Robert Blake, it holds up curiously well against the test of time."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times. Fantastic Planet (w/ live score by Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound!) One of the few true psychedelic animated features, the legendary 1973 film Fantastic Planet is a perfect storm of a relic -- the product of French experimental animation team Roland Topor and René Laloux, five years of painstaking production at Jiri Trnka's famed Czech animation studio, and one of the great mesmerizing, ethereal prog-rock film scores (by Alain Goraguer, famed sideman of Serge Gainsbourg and Boris Vian). This tale of clashes between diminutive, enslaved humans (the Oms) and giant, intelligent beings (the Traags) is director Laloux’s condemnation of the Soviets’ occupation of the Czech Republic, beautifully veiled under the hypnotic artistry of resoundingly weird, erotically charged images that exist practically as frame-by-frame paintings in feature form. Often remembered as much for its wah-wah-heavy psych-funk as it is for its indelible alien vistas, Fantastic Planet is presented tonight by the Cinefamily as a live aural experience, with L.A.-based outfit Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound lovingly recreating Goraguer’s timbres and textures with startling dimension. FIELD NOTE FABLES: FILMS BY AMANDA MOVLAI An evening of experimental shorts by Amanda Frances Movlai. A visit to places we have been in our memory, a feeling we have had in our quaint reflection, an old season we keep ideal, and a new season realized through the images we move through. A film of enchanted friendship, a film about the fastest man in the world, and a strange winter. The films are shot on a variety of film stocks including 16mm and Super 8 Kodachrome, Ektachrome, and Tri-X. There will be a soundtrack performed live by local musicians. FILMMAKER AMANDA MOVLAI IN ATTENDANCE! 50 MILLION FRENCHMEN (1930) Directed by Lloyd Bacon Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, later of Helzapoppin’ (1941) infamy, star in their second Hollywood feature as two American detectives in Paris hired by an ex-pat to enforce the rules of a $50,000 bet he’s made with another rich playboy over a girl. William Gaxton plays the mark who leads them all over Paris until the film’s insane car chase finale. Warner Bros.. Based on the play by Herbert Fields, E. Ray Goetz and Cole Porter. Screenplay: Joseph Jackson, Eddie Welch. Cinematographer: Dev Jennings. Cast: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, William Gaxton, Helen Broderick, John Halliday. 35mm, B/W, 68 min. THE GOLDEN BED Cecil B. DeMille's "The Golden Bed" Cecil B. “The World’s Greatest Showman” DeMille’s sweeping epics and boundless visions established him as one of the first filmmaker “brand names”, but few know of his innate sense of rhythm for melodramas -- and The Golden Bed is among the juiciest he ever directed! Decadent, sumptuous and naughty, it’s a wicked tale of love triangles and quadrangles, as a rich girl and a poor boy grow up into adults whose fortunes switch roles. As Flora longs for the glamorous high life once again, she steals candy magnate Admah away from her sister, and to satisfy her uncontrollable thirst for wealth, schemes to bleed him dry. DeMille spared no expense to create a staggering level of onscreen opulence, culminating in the film’s famous extended “Candy Ball”, in which all the ladies’ costumes (designed by Edith Head) are adorned with real candy -- morsels which the sequence’s many suitors take great pleasure in nibbling on! Presented in a restored, beautifully tinted 35mm print from the George Eastman House, The Golden Bed is the scandalous soap of the season! Author/historian Bob Birchard (“Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood”) will be here to present opening remarks on the life and works of Cecil B. DeMille before the show! Dir. Cecil B. DeMille, 1925, 35mm, 90 min. (Archival 35mm print courtest of George Eastman House) HARD TIMES Walter Hill made his directorial debut with this fine film of violence and raw, human emotion. Set during the Depression, it follows a bare knuckles street fighter (Charles Bronson) in New Orleans, being "managed" by a colorful promoter (James Coburn). An elemental story that rises to unexpected dramatic heights, thanks largely to Hill's superior craftsmanship. directed by Walter Hill; screenplay by Walter Hill, Bryan Gindoff and Bruce Henstell; starring Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Jill Ireland, Strother Martin, Bruce Glover, Margaret Blye. USA---1975---97 mins. Harry and Tonto Thursday, January 13 | 7:30 pm The Golden Age of Road Movies 1974/color/115 min. | Scr: Paul Mazursky, Josh Greenfeld; dir: Paul Mazursky; w/ Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, Josh Mostel, Melanie Mayron In this excellent example of what Mazursky terms "serious comedy", Harry, a feisty 72 year-old widower who has been evicted from his New York apartment, embarks on a cross-country journey with his beloved tomcat Tonto-ostensibly to visit his far flung, self-centered children, but in reality to discover the strange and wonderful new world of the American road. Whether travelling by bus, car, or thumb, Harry is a man blessed with a gentle humor and a philosophical acceptance of the way people can be; and his journey toward the Pacific coast, is marked by encounters with a variety of eccentric and colorful strangers. Thanks to an empathetic, Oscar-winning performance by veteran comic Art Carney, Harry comes across as a "domesticated Zorba, with an unquenchable thirst for life in a world of social drinkers (and) of all Mazursky's heroes, the only one who isn't a tortured, middle-aged, vaguely Jewish, love-craving, sex-crazed lawyer or filmmaker. As Harry keeps moving west with his informal caravan of runaway youths, health-food peddlers, hundred-dollar whores, it becomes clear that Harry and Tonto is a road picture: the road to an accessible Utopia, which is the one Mazursky has been traveling in each of his films. Each Mazursky film ends in an image of escape, either from Chayefskian reality (Alice B. Toklas) or into Fellini fantasy: the climactic camaraderie of 8 1/2 in Bob & Carol and Alex in Wonderland; the recognition of the sea as rejuvenating life force in Blume in Love and Harry and Tonto. And as a director, Mazursky allows plenty of room in which his own stock company of Beautiful People can wander. In this relaxed atmosphere, Mazursky's actors are freer to put themselves into their characters, to collaborate in setting the film's tempo, to see their director as a fellow adventurer instead of a dictator. You might call it 'encounter filmmaking.' Whatever the mood may be on the set, it has helped Mazursky draw from Robert Culp, Dyan Cannon, Ellen Burstyn, George Segal, Kris Kristofferson, Marsha Mason, Art Carney, and Chief Dan George their finest movie performances."—Richard Corliss, Film Comment In person: Paul Mazursky THE HAUNTED (a.k.a. The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre) (1965) Directed by Joseph Stefano Martin Landau stars as a Los Angeles-based architect-cum-paranormal investigator who specializes in assessing and exorcising old homes. Stefano here weaves together vengeance, hallucinogens and a “bleeding ghost” in a gothic telefilm that was deemed too frightening to air by network executives. Stefano's only directorial effort, this extremely rare pilot never aired in the U.S. Producer: Joseph Stefano. Screenplay: Joseph Stefano. Cinematographer: William A. Fraker, Conrad Hall. Editor: Anthony DiMarco. Cast: Martin Landau, Judith Anderson, Diane Baker, Nellie Burt, Tom Simcox. 16mm, b/w, 52 min. THE HEART OF NEW YORK (1932) Directed by Mervyn LeRoy Adapted from the stage show Mendel Inc., The Heart of New York stars Joe Smith and Charles Dale as Shtrudel and Schnaps a pair of aspiring businessmen on New York’s Lower East Side. Of course, the only business they seem to involve themselves in is the affairs Mendel, a daydreamer who neglects his family’s welfare to work on his great invention—an automatic dishwasher. Warner Bros.. Based on a play by David Freeman. Screenplay: Arthur Caesar, Houston Branch. Cinematographer: James Van Trees. Editor: Terry Morse. Cast: Joe Smith, Charles Dale, George Sidney, Aline MacMahon. 16mm, B/W, 78 min. HERE COMES COOKIE (1935) Directed by Norman McLeod To prove to his daughter that her fiance is only after his money, millionaire Harrison Allen signs over his entire fortune to his other daughter, Gracie, played by Gracie Allen. In no time at all, Gracie transforms her father’s well-laid plan into a blank check for mayhem, opening their posh Park Avenue home to down-on-their-luck vaudevillians. Paramount. Producer: William LeBaron. Screenplay: Don Hartman. Cinematographer: Gilbert Warrenton. Editor: Richard Currier. Cast: George Burns, Gracie Allen, George Barbier, Betty Furness. 35mm, B/W, 65 min. His Majesty The American Silent superstar Douglas Fairbanks’ greatest asset was his boundless energy, his ability to bounce off the walls with an unlimited supply of daring-do -- and the frothy 1919 romantic comedy/actioner His Majesty The American is one of the greatest showcases of this charismatic gift! Setting the stage for his slate of famous swashbuckling pictures to come in the ‘20s, His Majesty finds Fairbanks as an independently wealthy and bored young man in Manhattan; after putting in time as an amateur firefighter for kicks and heading off to Mexico to upstage Pancho Villa(!), he travels to a fictional European kingdom with an amazingly manic exuberance to single-handedly restore order to a riot-ridden landscape. The first feature produced under the United Artists banner (a company jointly formed by titans Fairbanks, Chaplin, Pickford and Griffith), His Majesty is one of the most rip-roaring romps ever created for our beloved “fire-eating, speed-loving, space- annihilating, excitement-hunting thrillhound!” Dir. Joseph Henabery, 1919, 16mm. (Archival 16mm print courtesy of The Douris Corporation) I Am Here....Now (director/writer/star Neil Breen in person!) Official semi-finalist at the Moondance Film Festival! Many of Cinefamily’s HFS connisseurers have crashed up on the rocks trying to describe Las Vegas real estate agent cum visionary independent filmmaker Neil Breen. Inevitably, words and high-concept references fail, and one is reducing to just pressing a copy of actor/director/writer/producer/caterer Breen’s first feature Double Down into the confused hands of a future Breen-iac. The only way to understand Breen’s work is to just see it. Here...now...he’s graced us with another full-length excursion into his completely unique universe. This time around, Breen plays a messianic alien Being angered at the greed and corruption of the human species, particularly our lack of renewable energy and environmental consciousness -- oh, and business-man crucifixions and time-stopped gang wars..and...well, as Neil put it himself, “This thought-provoking supernatural film is filled with surprising mystical metaphors, exciting twists....and a stunning dramatic conclusion.” Come join The Man Who Four-Walled The Earth for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Neil Breen, 2010, digital presentation, 87 min. IN A BETTER WORLD, 2010, 119 min. Anton (Mikael Persbrandt, 2012’s THE HOBBIT), a doctor who tends to abused pregnant women in an African refugee camp, commutes from his home in quiet Denmark. When his older son Elias is defended from bullying by classmate Christian, Elias is exposed to ideas of violence and vengeance from which his pacifist father has always sheltered him. The boys quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. A proponent of Dogme 95, director Susanne Bier (THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE) employs verite technique to evoke strong emotion, resulting in "a gripping meditation on the choices between pacificism and violence that are faced in so-called civilized society as well as extreme Third World situations." – Mike Goodridge, Screen International In Danish with English subtitles. In The Soup At the height of the indie boom, Alexander Rockwell won the Grand Jury prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival with this fantastic deadpan farce about the foibles and struggles of an aspiring filmmaker. Making ridiculously good use of indie poster boy Steve Buscemi as the young NY wannabee auteur and old-school Cassavetes favorite Seymour Cassel as the charismatic shyster/criminal who promises to finance Buscemi’s unfilmable behemoth dream project. Buscemi and Cassel are an absolute delight as the befuddled youngster and the “wise” scoundrel, whose magnetic comic chemistry cries out for future re-pairings -- and right down to the bit parts, everyone performs at the peak of their craft, with juicy roles also going to Sam Rockwell, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Bracco, Debi Mazar, and in one scene-stealing bit, Jim Jarmusch and Carol Kane offering Buscemi a demeaning stint for a bit of quick cash. Lively fun and a potent time capsule, In The Soup wonderfully captures a bohemian New York and a view of independent cinema soon to be replaced by a soulless doppelganger. Alexandre Rockwell wil be here at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Alexandre Rockwell, 1992, 35mm, 93 min. THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS “I've played more psychotics and freaks and dopers than anyone.” -- Bruce Dern Specializing in villains and heavies, but bringing to them the sensitivity and complexity that makes them truly memorable, Dern has been the premier psychotic-neurotic of the past forty years. First burning his way into our consciousness as the man who shot John Wayne (The Cowboys, 1972), he was quickly typecast in a way that belied his considerable acting skill. His close friend Jack Nicholson called him the best of the new breed of actors to emerge in the 1970s, and the force of his performances truly show the power that a supporting character or villain can have. “Dernsie” is also an inveterate storyteller of Hollywood lore; his fascinating memoir “Things I’ve Said, But Probably Shouldn’t Have” is made up of 88 hours of juicy stream-of-consciousness and interview hours. Tonight, we look forward to touring through those memories with him, as we showcase clips from his career, and discuss everything: his formative days at the Actors Studio, his gobs of ‘60s TV work, his formative film work at AIP, and his collaborations with some of the great creative film minds (Hitchcock, Rafelson, Ashby)! Our discussion will be followed with a screening of the seminal ‘70s classic (and one of Dern’s best dramatic performances) The King of Marvin Gardens. Dir. Bob Rafelson, 1972, 35mm, 103 min. La cérémonie 1995/color/112 min. | Scr: Claude Chabrol, Caroline Eliacheff; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Jacqueline Bisset, Virginie Ledoyen Adapted from a novel by Ruth Rendel loosely inspired by the famous 1930s Papin case in which a pair of incestuous sisters/maids murdered their mistress and her daughter, La cérémonie is a harrowing study of evil played out against the verdant landscape of Brittany. Into the tranquil country château of the upper middle class Lelievre family—George, a successful industrialist, his gracious wife (Bisset) and their well-mannered children—comes Sophie (Bonnaire) the new live-in maid who goes to great lengths to conceal her illiteracy from her employers who in turn are puzzled by Sophie's eccentric and evasive behavior. Isolated by her shameful secret and caught in a web of lies, Sophie falls under the spell of the local post mistress Jeanne (Huppert) mean-spirited gossip who harbors a pathological hatred toward the Lelievres, especially George. It is only a matter of time before the chemistry between these two misfits proves to be incendiary. Elegant, haunting, tragic—and graced with pitch-perfect performances by its three female stars—La cérémonie is "more psychological thriller than policier, more class thriller than psychological thriller, and etched with a Buñuelian dry humor. 'I have heard rich industrialists saying that class warfare is over,' Chabrol has remarked, 'but it's really not up to them.'"—Judy Bloch, Pacific Film Archives. In person: Jacqueline Bisset La femme infidèle 1969/color/98 min. | Scr/dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Maurice Ronet Combining suspense with satire, Chabrol tells the simple story of a prosperous insurance broker who, on learning that his stay-at-home wife has a secret lover, confronts the man in his Paris apartment and in a sudden rage bludgeons him to death. Working with two of his greatest collaborators—cinematographer Jean Rabier and the actress Stéphane Audran, his wife from 1964 to 1980—Chabrol moves beyond the melodrama to examine with precision and insight the unspoken rituals of married life and the balance of power between spouses who gradually come to understand that they co-habit as strangers. Cast as cool, immoral Hélène, the elegant, fine-boned Audran came to epitomize the French bourgeois woman that would reappear in various guises (and be played by various actresses) in many of Chabrol's subsequent films. "In La femme infidèle Chabrol displays an irresistible logic and an ironic humor that never gets in the way of the horrific implications of the story… What could have been just another thriller becomes much more than that. It is also a passionate love story, with a pervading sense of the quirkiness of fate."—Derek Malcolm, The Guardian. Le beau Serge 1958/b&w/98 min. | Scr/dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Bernadette Lafont Made a year before Breathless and The 400 Blows and financed by an inheritance, Chabrol's first feature, is a tale of salvation and damnation shot on location in Sardent, the remote town in central France where Chabrol was raised. The archetypal plot—a template for many Chabrol films to come—concerns the troubled bond between two men who are divided by education and class: Charles, who returns to his hometown from Paris after a ten-year absence to recuperate from a grave illness; and Serge, the childhood friend who stayed behind, married a woman he abuses, and became the local drunk. Appalled by the poverty and ignorance of the local inhabitants who remain rooted in their peasant past, Charles sets out to rescue Serge but, in a truly Chabrolian twist, discovers that it is really himself he is trying to save. "Chabrol made his first film in a raw, unadorned style, using real locations, a handful of professional actors and a multitude of non-professionals. Working with renowned cinematographer Henri Decaë (Bob le flambeur, Purple Noon) he succeeded in capturing the detestable conditions of a particular backwater of regional France: the squalor; the quite unbelievably casual attitude toward such imponderables as incest; the occluded horizons… One has the definite feeling that Chabrol actually cares for the people in his film, as much as he detests the village in which so many of them seem to be trapped."—Dan Harper, Senses of Cinema. THE LEOPARD (IL GATTOPARDO), 1963, 20th Century Fox, 185 min. Adapting Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s literary masterwork, director Luchino Visconti focuses on philosophical, melancholic Prince Salina (Burt Lancaster), a Sicilian nobleman well aware of the inevitability of the violent Garibaldi-led upheavals then occurring in his country. He is determined to see his family survive, in whatever form, and he watches approvingly as his nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon) becomes engaged to the smolderingly beautiful and sweet-natured Angelica (Claudia Cardinale), the daughter of a wealthy, wily merchant. With a sublime score by the incomparable Nino Rota. If you have never seen it on the big screen, now is your chance! "…One of Visconti's achievements is to make that rare thing, a great film of a great book…The cinema at its best can give us the illusion of living another life, and that's what happens here…miraculous and emotionally devastating…" – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times. New 35mm Print! In Italian with English subtitles. Les bonnes femmes 1960/b&w/100 min. | Scr: Paul Gégauff, Claude Chabrol; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Bernadette Lafont, Stephane Audran, Lucile Saint-Simon, Clotilde Joano. Claude Berri Four young Parisian women who work in an electric appliance store and are bored with their humdrum working day, seek glamour, happiness, and love during their free evenings. "One of the landmarks of the nouvelle vague, Les bonnes femmes—which takes place mostly at night in Paris's streets and clubs—turns a pitiless eye on male-female relationships in an increasingly fractured world. The 'good women' of the title pursue a variety of ultimately unsatisfying, and in one case lethal, dreams. Free spirit Jane (Lafont) gets involved with a boorish married businessman, while Ginette (Audran). who hopes to become a great singer, spends her time impersonating a tacky Italian street chanteuse in a seedy club. Rita (Saint-Simon) masochistically accepts the put-downs of her pompous bourgeois boyfriend, who allows her to be degraded by his parents; but her friend Jacqueline (Joano) the innocent romantic rejects a 'good man' in favor of an ominous biker…The film fleshes out this creepy world of used and user with a gallery of mostly male grotesques who function less as 'real' people than as embodiments of the women's barely sublimated fears and delusions. Chabrol's camera records these events with an impersonality that makes them all the more real and disturbing, and his treatment of the characters as giddy children on the edge of a precipice gives the film a gravitas that will keep it fresh in the viewer's mind."—Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal. Les cousins 1959/b&w/112 min. | Scr: Claude Chabrol, Paul Gégauff; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Stéphane Audran Les cousins is the story of the country mouse and the city rat: Charles (Blain), a wholesome, virginal country lad, comes to Paris to live with his sophisticated city cousin, Paul (Brialy) who pursues a debauched student life in the Latin Quarter. As in Le beau Serge, their relationship becomes a power struggle between between two opposing moralities, a theme re-enforced by Chabrol's use of the actors from his previous film. Pauline Kael, one of the few American critics to appreciate the film and its moral ambiguities, noted that Chabrol who "particularly admires Strangers on a Train… suggests a peculiar role-transference between two men and deals with a particularly corrupt social climate of extreme wealth and extreme perversity." "While his New Wave peers made films that were intrinsically romantic (Truffaut), classically analytical (Rohmer) or self-consciously modernist (Godard, Rivette, Resnais, Varda), Chabrol's were a combination of social derision and black humor-an almost 'scientific' examination of characters whom he was not afraid to make unsympathetic. The critical jury is still out about whether the cynicism of the Parisian cousin in Les cousins is just the nature of the character or the position of the film-maker, or whether the vacuousness of the women in Les bonnes femmes should be seen as sociological observation or misogynist portrayal. What is undeniable in each of these films, though, is the novelty and freshness of Chabrol's study of his chosen milieu of disaffected youth."—Ginette Vincendeau, Sight and Sound THE LOR GIRL (1933) Directed by Ardeshir Irani The first Iranian talking picture, shot in India with an Indian cast trained to act as Iranians, The Lor Girl tells the story of Golonar (“Pomegranate Blossom”), who dances in tea-houses and inns on the Lorestan-Khuzistan road, heroically surviving on her own in the world. The film captured the public imagination and was shown simultaneously in two theaters in Tehran for nearly seven months. . Sepenta went on to direct four more Persian talkies in India for the Iranian market. Producer: Ardeshir Irani, Abdohossein Sepenta. Screenwriter: Abdohossein Sepenta. Cinematographer: Rostam Irani. Cast: Sohrab Poori, Roohangiz Sami-Nejad, Abdohossein Sepenta. 35mm, B/W, 90 min. Love In The Afternoon “In its way, just about perfect.” -- Pauline Kael Love in the Afternoon, aka Chloe in the Afternoon, the last of Eric Rohmer’s six “Moral Tales”, is a film of sublime beauty. It is beautiful literally, in cinematographer Nestor Alemendros’s gorgeous natural lighting of the hustling, bustling afternoons of Paris, and the parade of alluring gamines that are keenly observed in all their attractive particulars of personality and personal grace; a parade led by that lead temptress Chloe herself, incarnated by French supermodel, mod club-girl, and real-life lover of men from Brian Jones Jones to Jack Nicholson -- the insouciant and unstoppable Zouzou. It is beautiful cinematically: in its invisibly perfect editing rhythms; in its thoughtful framings, details and visual motifs; and in its justly famous natural dialogue that is at once thoughtful, evealing, deceptive, and most of all, believable. And it is even beautiful in its spirit. For Rohmer, in making a film about the real struggles of monogamy and fidelity, the decisions that matter, the trials we all submit to, and the underlying emotional heft of our relationships, has made a triumphantly moving film about real lasting love that, in its own way, is more supremely romantic than a hundred Love Affairs, or a thousand Brief Encounters. Dir. Eric Rohmer, 1972, 35mm, 97 min. THE LOVERS’ WIND (1978, France) Directed by Albert Lamorisse Commissioned by the pre-revolutionary government of Iran, this film was entrusted to famed French director Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon) who fashioned it as a valentine to a magnificent ancient land, featuring flyover shots of breathtaking natural wonders and architectural patterns—all from the point of view of the various winds that inhabit the land. Lamorisse tragically died in a helicopter crash over the Karaj Dam in the late 1970s while filming scenes demanded by the Shah (privileging modern urban and industrial sites), and the film was not finished and released until 1978… in the last days before the Islamic revolution. Producer: Albert Lamorisse. Cinematographer: Guy Tabary. Editor: Denise de Casablanca, Claude Lamorisse. DV, 71 min. MACBETH, 1971, Sony Repertory, 140 min. After several months of deep depression and grieving over the murder of wife Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski stunned audiences with his dread-inducing cinematic rendition of the Shakespeare play. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis star as the ill-fated Macbeths in this vividly atmospheric, hyperbolically violent classic. With Martin Shaw as Banquo. MANY HAPPY RETURNS (1934) Directed by Norman McLeod After Gracie (Allen) tries to convert his department store into a combination bird sanctuary and radio station, her furious father marries her off to his accountant, George (Burns), promising him cash to take her as far away from New York as he can. Naturally, Burns and Allen end up in Hollywood where Gracie unleashes her inimitable brand of chaos on the movie colony. Paramount. Producer: William LeBaron. Screenplay: J.P. McEvoy. Cinematographer: Henry Sharp. Editor: Richard Currier. Cast: George Burns, Gracie Allen, George Barbier, Joan Marsh, Guy Lombardo. 35mm, B/W, 65 min. THE MECHANIC One of Charles Bronson's better '70s tough-guy films casts him as a mob hit-man ready to step down from his dirty profession. Jan-Michael Vincent is the young apprentice learning his deadly trade from the master. "A hymn to technological violence, efficiently and convincingly made" (George Melly, The Observer). With Jill Ireland and Keenan Wynn. directed by Michael Winner; screenplay by Lewis John Carlino; starring Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland. USA---1972---99 mins. Merci pour le chocolat 2000/color/99 min. | Scr: Claude Chabrol, Caroline Eliacheff; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, Anna Mouglalis The fascinating actress Isabelle Huppert, who embodies the kind of barely concealed perversity Hitchcock salivated over, is the couture-attired, hard nut inside this creamy cinematic confection that focuses on a Lausanne couple—André (Dutronc), a concert pianist whose first wife died in a mysterious auto accident, and Mika (Huppert) the imperious, scheming heiress of a Swiss chocolate empire. When beautiful young Jeanne, who may or may not be André's daughter, enters the home, tensions mount and alliances shift; yet each evening, the implacable Mika goes on serving hot chocolate made with her "special" recipe. Tracking through the elegant rooms to the strains of Rachmaninoff and Debussy—"smooth as a ride in a DS Citroën" writes Guardian critic Peter Lennon—Chabrol catches his characters in private moments, peeling back the layers of duplicity that cloak this well-heeled family. As this impeccably directed film draws to a close the camera slowly circles Huppert as she reclines with an impassive expression on her face: it is one of the most memorable culminating images in Chabrol's entire oeuvre. "Chabrol has always enjoyed puncturing the balloon of bourgeois complacency… and working from a 1948 recipe by a sometime scriptwriter for 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', Chabrol knocks off a witty, psychological confection-more gothic than noir-with tasty Isabelle Huppert at its center. Self-contained, enigmatic, illuminated from within, Huppert banks a performance that pays dividends throughout the film."—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice. Metropolitan (20th Anniversary screening, w/ director Whit Stillman in person!) Always wanted to be a part of the upper crust Manhattan socialite set, celebrating the wintery deb season in insouciant style? No problem. Or does the thoughtless indolence and self-regard of inherited wealth make you want to bust out a guillotine? That’s no problem either. You get to have it both ways with Whit Stillman’s fantastically erudite and merry debut, the success of which helped to spark the American indie boom of the ‘90s! Tom, the hero of Metropolitan, is a committed socialist whom Stillman deftly brings together with a young group of upwardly mobiles in the ritualized throes of nightly drawing-room parties. As Tom charms his way into their evenings spent discussing religion, sex, literature and philosophy, Stillman perfectly captures the psychic geography of the season, the emotional storms in fine china teacups and the unapologetic nostalgia for a bygone sense of civilization and respect for quality. Rightly nominated for an Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and featuring a breakout performance by angsty indie film icon Chris Eigeman, Metropolitan has achieved timeless status, its high-spirited wit never faltering. Whit Stillman will be here at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Whit Stillman, 1990, 35mm, 98 min. (35mm print courtest of the Sundance Collection at the UCLA Film And Television Archive) MIAMI BLUES Two years before Quentin Tarantino burst on the scene with Reservoir Dogs, this colorful action-comedy tweaked crime movie conventions in some similar ways to far less acclaim. Alec Baldwin, Fred Ward and Jennifer Jason Leigh have never been better than in this witty and violent adaptation of a Charles Willeford novel about a sociopath who steals a detective's gun and badge and begins a crime spree posing as a cop. "People like myself who often despair of finding a cop-and-crime movie that isn't encrusted in cliches should take to this wonderful sleeper" (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader). Jonathan Demme was one of the film's producers. George Armitage---USA---1990---96 mins. MILLION DOLLAR LEGS (1932) Directed by Edward Cline W.C. Fields rules the country of Klopstokia with an iron fist or rather an iron forearm, as the president is determined by arm wrestling the incumbent. With his country strapped for cash, Fields’ president follows the advice of brush salesman Jack Oakie and enters Klopstokia in the Olympics, a variety sporting event perfectly in keeping with talents of the vaudevillians in the cast. Paramount. Screenplay: Henry Myers, Nick Barrows. Cinematographer: Arthur Todd. Cast: Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, Andy Clyde, Lyda Roberti. 35mm, B/W, 64 min. MR. HAJI, THE MOVIE ACTOR (1932) Directed by Avanes Ohanian Traditional Mr. Haji objects to the cinema on moral grounds. But when his daughter, her fiance, and Haji’s manservant conspire with a film director to secretly make a film with Haji as the subject, movie star Haji’s resolve is sorely tested in the last analysis. This rare cinematic jewel is a delight to watch both as a historical work that represents the old Tehran in the throes of modernization and as a prescient work of art that defines the inherent tensions between modernity and tradition still at work in the Iranian society and cinema of today. Live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla. Producer: Avanes Ohanian. Screenwriter: Avanes Ohanian. Cinematographer: Ebrahim Moradi, Paolo Potemkin. Cast: Habiollah Morad, Asia Qostanian, Abbasqoli Edalatpur. Digital Projection, silent, B/W, 100 min. MONKEY BUSINESS (1931) Directed by Norman Z. McLeod The first Marx Brothers film written for the screen was based on two of their earlier vaudeville routines and features the boys as stowaways on a New York-bound ship who are pressed into the service of gangsters on board. The skits, songs, gags and quips, come fast and furious, including a scene in which each Marx brother poses as Maurice Chevalier to pass customs. Paramount. Screenplay: S. J. Perelman, Will B. Johnstone. Cinematographer: Arthur L. Todd. Cast: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Rockliffe Fellowes. 35mm, 77 min. The Mother And The Whore One of the greatest films of the French New Wave was actually made years after the movement’s “golden years” -- in 1973 by Jean Eustache, a figure on the fringes of the Cahiers group. One of only two narrative features Eustache left behind before his suicide in 1981, The Mother And The Whore is a stone cold masterpiece, and the epitome of a certain kind of French cinema: an epic four hours of young Parisians sitting in cafes or in bed, smoking, listening to records, talking about sex and relationships, all filmed in B&W (of course). Nouvelle vague icon Jean-Pierre Léaud plays opposite doe-eyed and lost Françoise Lebrun and gorgeous, knowing Bernadette Lafont in an emotionally scarring, unmoored post-May ‘68 love triangle, flanked by a panoply of Eusatche’s deep cinematic references; all three are brilliantly committed to their roles, and Eustache directs with supremely assured discretion. The literate, naturalistic dialogue was rigorously scripted from real-life conversations, and the ménage à trois drawn from Eustache's own relationships with Lebrun and his girlfriend -- who tragically committed suicide upon on seeing a rough cut. Totally absorbing, totally affecting and totally unmissable. A major film experience. Dir. Jean Eustache, 1973, 35mm, 217 min. MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH Showing before the feature is Fairbanks’ notorious 1916 drug comedy/detective spoof The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish -- and author/historian Jeffrey Vance will provide opening remarks on Fairbanks’ wild ‘n woolly career! Dirs. Christy Cabanne & John Emerson, 1916, 35mm, 25 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of The Douris Corporation) ONE FALSE MOVE A small masterpiece, this B-movie thriller features wonderful performances by Bill Paxton and Cynda Williams. A trio of criminals stage a grotesque gangland murder and travel to Arkansas, unaware the local sheriff and two L.A. cops await them. The two principal characters confront their pasts. With Michael Beach, Earl Beach, Jim Metzler and Billy Bob Thornton. Carl Franklin---USA---1991---103 mins. PAYBACK (2010) Directed by Tahmineh Milani Recently released from prison, Ziba, Maryam, Leila and Sara embark on a new life mission: to get revenge against all men for ruining their lives. Feigning streetwalking as a lure, they kidnap a number of womanizers and hypocrites, deriding them and taking their money. But they also discover a more complicated picture of the battle between the sexes than they originally expected. Producer: Mohammad Nikbin. Screenwriter: Tahmineh Milani. Cinematographer: Alireza Zarrindast. Cast: Ladan Mostofi, Mahnaz Afshar, Elsa Firouz Azar. 35mm, 103 min. Poison Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) first exploded onto the post-Soderbergh ‘90s Sundance landscape with this controversial debut feature, a dizzying, perverse mix of kitschy drive-in fare, docudrama and lyrical poeticism. Sprinkled with quotes and situations from the literature of writer/thief/convict Jean Genet, and with a dose of vivid queer sexuality, Poison posits a triptych of stories relentlessly intercut with each other to produce an escalating sense of unease: a procedural pseudo-doc in which family and friends discuss a disappeared magical, murderous child; a ‘50s sci-fi parody featuring a mad doctor who chemically isolates the human sex drive; and, the aching tale of an inveterate thief whose prison life is disrupted by the object of his affection from their old reformatory days. Elegantly assembled and often disturbing, operating through dense subliminal suggestions that take hold long after the closing credits roll, Poison both nabbed the 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and ignited a firestorm of debate when its partial funding by the NEA became a target of the religious right. Come luxuriate in Poison’s visual fantasia, presented in a brand-new 20th anniversary 35mm print! Dir. Todd Haynes, 1991, 35mm, 85 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the Sundance Collection at the UCLA Film And Television Archive) QAISAR (Caesar) (1969) Directed by Masud Kimiai Fati, sister of neighborhood tough guys Farman and Qaisar, is raped and impregnated by a rival tough. She commits suicide from shame. When Farman takes on the culprits, he is knifed to death, causing Qaisar to go on a tragic revenge spree. A seminal and popular film that was compared with Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, it ignited the Iranian New Film movement before the revolution. Producer: Abbas Shabaviz. Screenwriter: Masud Kimiai. Cinematographer: Maziar Partow. Cast: Behrouz Vossoughi, Naser Malekmotii, Bahman Mofid. 35mm, B/W, 105 min. RADICAL LIGHT: EXPERIMENTAL FILM IN BEAT-ERA SAN FRANCISCO “In Radical Light, San Francisco’s deep countercultural roots reemerge as an unbroken antitradition stretching from the postwar proto-Beats to the identitarian activists and small-gauge geeks at century’s end.” —Artforum Radical Light: Alternative Film And Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000 is a rich compendium of essays, reminiscences and striking visuals that attests to the vital experimental film and video scene that has existed in the Bay Area. This companion screening focuses on landmark films from 1949–1959, including Christopher Maclaine’s apocalyptic Beat comic-tragedy The End, Sidney Peterson’s wittily caustic tale of murder and incest The Lead Shoes, Jane Belson Conger Shimane’s playful image and sound arrangement Odds and Ends, Bruce Conner’s pioneering found-footage A Movie, and films by Hy Hirsh and Patricia Marx. In person: Co-editors Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, with book signing. RADICAL LIGHT: LANDSCAPE AS EXPRESSION San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area offer an astonishing landscape that combines shifting and surprising natural visual qualities with a teeming urban culture. Tonight’s program explores and reflects the wonder and cinematic character of this urban landscape featuring works by Dion Vigne, Michael Glawogger, Ernie Gehr, Lawrence Jordan, Bruce Baillie, Scott Stark, and Lynn Marie Kirby. SELECTED SHORTS Various formats, approx. TRT: 93 min. In person: Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz, Steve Seid RADICAL LIGHT: 1961-71 Avant-garde and experimental film flourished during the sixties in the Bay Area, and scores of filmmakers relished freedom of expression with often brazenly anti-establishment and always joyfully self-expressive works. This program is a journey through these revelatory and rebellious years with works by Robert Nelson, Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley, Lawrence Jordan, Alice Anne Parker Severson, Bruce Baillie and Lenny Lipton. SELECTED SHORTS Various formats, approx. TRT: 87 min. IN PERSON: Steve Anker RADICAL LIGHT: SMALL GAUGE In conjunction with the release of Radical Light: Alternative Film And Video In The San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, edited by Steve Anker, Co-Curator of Film at REDCAT, and Bay area curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, Filmforum presents this show of work, curated by Steve Anker, of super 8 and regular 8mm films made in the Bay Area. Even though regular 8mm and later super-8mm were designed as amateur home mediums during the middle decades of the last century, artists using these small-scale tools increasingly appreciated the intimacy of the screening situations and the low-key and fragile qualities of the image and spontaneity that 8mm filming allowed. This program showcases a wide range of ways that San Francisco based moving image artists consciously worked with the small-scale nature of 8mm, using home distributed found footage, working with daily ‘home movie’ subjects to create expressive and direct diaries and cinematic reveries, or using the nature of these tools for formal exploration. Filmmakers include Bruce Conner, Scott Stark, Janis Crystal Lipzin, silt, Julie Murray, Bob Branaman, Nathaniel Dorsky and others. The book is a rich compendium of essays, reminiscences and striking visuals that attests to the vital and varied experimental film and video scene that has existed in the Bay Area for more than half a century. CURATOR STEVE ANKER IN ATTENDANCE! Rat Scratch Fever (World Premiere, director Jeff Leroy & cast in person!) “This is just so stupendously silly and whacked.” - Andrew Mack, Twitch.com Jeff Leroy's schlock masterpiece Rat Scratch Fever is one the greatest feats of cinematic ingenuity thus far this century. Made on a budget of cheeseburgers and good intentions, this phantasmagoria of puppets, miniature sets, greenscreens and live Food Of The Gods-style enlarged rodents rat-chets the Dark Star homemade aesthetic to a new glorious extreme, reaching beyond sci-fi and horror conventions to become something truly transcendent, psychedelic and wow-inducing -- and that barely rat-scratches the surface of this madcap ride! A veteran in the world of low-budget horror and softcore skin flicks, Leroy throws everything in his resourceful arsenal (and garage) at the screen for this staggering entertaining tale of astronauts that bring back humungoid mutant rats to a Los Angeles just waiting to be demolished by their feverish claws -- resulting in a mash-up of alien invasion, animal disaster and mega-action that boggles the mind, hammers the senses and fulfills all expectations. Leroy’s incredible trailer has been circulating geek blogs since 2009 -- and we can assure you the final product is every bit as mind-shatteringly inventive and crazed as you want it to be. Schedules permitting, Jeff Leroy and members of the cast will be here in person at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Jeff Leroy, 2010, digital presentation, 90 min. ROBIN HOOD In his The Parade's Gone By, film critic Kevin Brownlow says, "Robin Hood, if not the most flamboyant of Fairbanks' swashbuckling, is certainly the most awe-inspiring. Its center piece is an enormous castle, said to be the largest set ever constructed in Hollywood. Purely on the level of art direction, Robin Hood is an unsurpassed and unsurpassable achievement." This full, almost three-hour version is the most complete available. Dir. Allan Dwan, 1922, 35mm, 127 min. RR Los Angeles Premiere! James Benning in person! Chosen as one of the best movies of its year, and its decade, RR, by James Benning finally screens in Los Angeles. Filmforum begins its 2011 programming with this brilliant film, merging observation and motion, present-day commerce and the historical growth of America, in Benning's inimitable style. James Benning will join us in person, and we hope you will as well for the start of Filmforum's 36th year. "Avant-garde? Documentary? Landscape study? At this point, it's better simply to call him one of America's greatest contemporary filmmakers, hands-down. RR, Benning's 2007 feature-length study of American railroads, is one of his finest achievements to date." – Michael Sicinski "Benning is easily one of the ten best visual thinkers working today, period. There's not a single redundant frame in the entire film: every shot finds a different angle/distance/composition. Sometimes scale is majestic; sometimes the train rushes up close in an epileptic blur of flashing colors; sometimes two trains overlap with such interlocking precision that, as ludicrous as it sounds, it's a Mamet-level shock." – Vadim Rizov, Slant Magazine #66 in Film Comment's Best Films of 2000-2009 RR (2007, 16mm, color, 115 min., sound) Benning's last 16mm film, consisting of 43 static shots of trains crossing through the frame, in locations throughout the United States. The shot duration is determined by the time it takes the train to pass through the frame. Rubber “For those who thrive on the willfully absurd, Dupieux's creation will be an instant hit.” -- Todd Brown, Twitch.com One of our favorite horror sub-genre traditions: the murderous inanimate object. Evil tree -- check (The Guardian); evil bed -- check (Death Bed), evil car -- double check (Duel & Christine); and now, evil car tire! French director Quentin Dupieux, best known stateside under his electronic music-making moniker Mr. Oizo, delivers an ominous, heady mixture of exploding heads, deadpan comedy and immaculately executed cinematography, as “Robert” (a seemingly ordinary discarded car tire) develops sentience, roams the Southwest deserts, and learns to telekinetically blow up anything in its path that it can’t squash by rolling over -- all while a Greek chorus of onlookers watch the film-within-the-film that actually is the film! Rubber is devious late-night fun, full of irony and allusions -- not so much a horror movie, but a movie about horror movies that celebrates the inherently absurd and surreal notion of movie conventions. It’s as if Godard actually made a B-movie, rather than referencing them. Dir. Quentin Dupieux, 2010, 35mm, 85 min. SALVE (2010) Directed by Alireza Davoodnejad Elderly Aziz is weighed down with concern for her drug-addicted granddaughter Maryam, but supportively tries to understand the young woman’s addiction and protect her from the worst excesses of her sad life. The eighteenth feature by Alireza Davoodnejad (who began his career as a screenwriter in Tehran at age seventeen), Salve is a poignant picture of both the distance, and the connections, between generations. Producer: Alireza Davoodnejad. Screenwriter: Alireza Davoodnejad. Cinematographer: Reza Sheikhi. Editor: Masoumeh Shah Nazari. Cast: Alireza Davoodnejad, Ehteram Habibian, Tanaz Tabatabaei. 35mm, 95 min. Scarecrow Saturday, January 15 | 7:30 pm The Golden Age of Road Movies 1973/color/112 min./Scope | Scr: Garry Michael White; dir: Jerry Schatzberg; w/ Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Dorothy Tristan Among the adventurous and talented artists who helped shape the Seventies renaissance of American cinema, Jerry Schatzberg (b.1927) is strangely underappreciated today. Best known as a fashion photographer for Vogue and Glamour, he was also the eye behind countless iconic portraits of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Catherine Deneuve, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan. Less recognized is the major contribution to New Hollywood made by Schatzberg's equally influential feature films, especially by his first three works—Puzzle of a Downfall Child, The Panic in Needle Park and Scarecrow—all of which were intimate, remarkably intense character studies that reflect the era's affinity for personal, prismatic stories. In Scarecrow, Schatzberg's Depression era-evoking hobo movie that won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival but was largely ignored stateside, Hackman and Pacino play odd couple Max, a big-talking ex-con, and Lion, a goofy ex-seaman ten years younger, who meet by chance and embark on an odyssey to Pittsburgh where they plan open a car wash. Returning once again to wounded, marginalized drifters floating on the ragged edge of society, and working with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond—who along with fellow Hungarian László Kovács virtually invented the "look" of 70s cinema—Schatzberg transforms the tumbleweed world of back roads, roadside bars and diners into a poetic backdrop for his tale of male friendship. "Scarecrow works beautifully as an extended actor's duet, but the other major force at play is cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, who lends the film a radiant twilight beauty. Seldom do America's open roads look as beautiful as when seen through Zsigmond's lens."—Nathan Rabin, The Onion AV Club In person: Vilmos Zsigmond SEVEN INTELLECTUALS IN A BAMBOO FOREST Video Art from the New China: Yang Fudong's Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest Trained as a painter, but self-taught in photography and filmmaking, Yang Fudong has become one of the foremost photographers and film artists to emerge from China in recent years. This program features a rare screening of the first and last installments of Yang Fudongs five-part film project, Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003–7). Originally shot on lush 35 mm as a philosophical meditation on contemporary life, the video revisits the legend of the Seven Sages—a group Daoist intellectuals from ancient China who fled sociopolitical chaos to live in a forest, untroubled by worldly matters, and practice qingtan (pure conversation)—and resituates them in the twentieth century. Silent Running Silent Running presents a wonderfully weird, quietly heroic, and oddly tender role for Bruce: a pro-tree eco-terrorist space hippie undergoing interplantery cabin fever. Told to blow up the last remaining trees in the universe, he instead kills his fellow astronauts, and makes it his mission to tend his own personal Garden of Eden with the help of his three robot helpers Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Directed by young genius SFX artist Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey), Silent Running is the sci-fi flick for nature lovers who want to listen to Joan Baez singing hauntingly beautiful songs over and over again, whilst watching trees drift through Saturn’s rings in what appears to be a stunning handcrafted model space station aggressively mating with a hip, light’n’airy ‘70s condo. The music, the effects, and Dern’s strange, yet earnest performance will send you Across the Universe with joy. Smoke trees if you got ‘em. Dir. Douglas Trumbull, 1972, 35mm, 89 min. SMILE As small town booster Big Bob Freelander, Dern gives one of his most gentle, rewarding turns in one of the perennial-yet-underseen ‘70s favorites from the last golden age of American filmic satire. In this Altman-like probe into the small town beauty contest scene, Dern is (of course!) the energetic RV salesman who finds his true calling in promoting a teen pageant that involves a wild assortment of Waiting For Guffman-like colorful characters. In a heartrending turn over the course of the pageant’s chaotic careening to a close, Dern’s big optimist slowly “begins to lose that smile that, until now, he had been convinced was making America great.” (Vincent Canby, New York Times) Director Michael Ritchie, who’d previously dug deep into the all-American pastimes of sports (Downhill Racer) and politics (The Candidate), strikes a sweet balance between irony and warmth, wisely giving us a rainbow of characters we can routinely identify with -- the key difference between sharp, successful satire and forgettable caricature-laden trifles. Bruce Dern will be here in-person to share stories from his epic career, and for a Q&A in-between the films! Dir. Michael Ritchite, 1975, 35mm, 117 min. The Son of the Sheik Valentino's deviation from his established persona resulted in the wildly successful character “The Sheik”, under the guise of which the Latin Lover traded in his tango shoes for the flowing robes of the fiery, tempestuous Ahmed. This sequel to the original 1921 film The Sheik finds Valentino gallivanting through more desert disasters and delicious dilemmas, all played with the dangerous elegance that was Rudy’s stock in trade. Here, in addition to Ahmed, he also plays Ahmed Jr. (thanks to some strange double-exposures), who becomes enamored with a true spitfire: a beautiful dancer played by silent star Vilma Bánky. Tempered by gentle humor and wonderful spectacle, the film is most often noted for its artful cinematography, which managed to capture Valentino's final performance with richness and depth. Dir. George Fitzmaurice, 1926, 35mm, 68 min. SORCERER, 1977, Paramount, 122 min. Friedkin’s most visually awesome film follows small-time crook Roy Scheider from Brooklyn to the sweltering South American jungles, where he lands a job hauling nitroglycerine with hard-luck losers Bruno Cremer and Francisco Rabal. Rather than simply remake Henri-Georges Clouzot’s famed WAGES OF FEAR, Friedkin re-imagined the story as a cosmic vision of man vs. nature, climaxing in the mind-bending image of Scheider and crew literally pushing a loaded truck across a spindly rope bridge. Discussion between films with director William Friedkin. THE SUPER COPS (from IMDB) Dave and Rob, fresh from the Police Academy, enrage their captain because they want to do more than controlling the traffic. As penalty they are sent to Brooklyn. However they don't give up, but develop their own methods to fight against dealers, criminals and corrupt colleagues. directed by Gordon Parks; starring Ron Leibman, David Selby, Sheila Frazier, Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer, Joseph Sirola. Dir. Gordon Parks, 1974, 90 mins. Tattoo Bruce Dern gets his freak on like never before in one of the kinkiest, most notorious American films of the ‘80s! Unjustly buried by time and still not available on DVD, this sordid, wickedly compelling boiler (written by Joyce Buñuel, daughter-in-law of Luis!) follows the gripping obsession of an ex-military chump and Jersey tattoo artist who’s hired to design temporary tats for a photo shoot, and becomes desperately infatuated with leaving his permanent mark on one of the models (Maud Adams). Tattoo whipped the tabloids into a frenzy in ‘81 when Dern claimed his sex scenes with Adams were all for real -- and, who knows, it just might be true, as his dedication to the part is evident in every frame. Playing it to the sinewy, wide-eyed hilt, this is a Dern performance to savor, as his portrayal of the unhinged sleazoid subtly gets more and more juiced over the course of the film, until he’s radiating enough tightly-wound electric zazz to power all of Pittsburgh for a month! Dir. Bob Brooks, 1981, 35mm, 103 min. TEHRAN TEHRAN (2010) Directed by Dariush Mehrjui and Mehdi Karampour This anthology film in two parts opens with “The Days of Acquaintance,” directed by Dariush Mehrjui, in which an ordinary family takes a zany, whirlwind tour of Tehran’s famous sites to pass the time after their house caves in. In director Mehdi Karampour’s “The Last String”, members of a rock group struggle amongst themselves to find a way forward after their upcoming public performance is cancelled by government authorities. Producer: M.A. Hossein-Nejad. Screenwriter: Vahide Mohammadafar, Mehdi Karampour, Khosro Naquibi. Cast: Reza Yazdani, Raana Azadivar, Borzou Arjomand, Katayoun Amir Ebrahimi, Pantea Bahram, Rahman Hosseini. 35mm, 101 min. This Man Must Die 1969/color/110 min. | Scr: Claude Chabrol, Paul Gégauff; dir: Claude Chabrol; w/ Michel Duchaussoy, Caroline Cellier Jean Yanne, Anouk Ferjac This seminal film from Chabrol's middle period, adapted by Paul Gégauff from a novel by Nicholas Blake, pseudonym of the poet Cecil Day-Lewis (Britain's Poet Laureate and father of Daniel Day-Lewis) tells of a widowed father's implacable pursuit of the hit-and-run driver who killed his young son on the deserted main street of a Breton village. His investigation leads to an affair with television actress who introduces him to the culprit—her brother-in-law Paul, the owner of an auto repair shop, and a brutish monster that everyone including his own son would like to see dead. As the "beast," Jean Yanne, a former radio comedian making his first film, gives an idiomatic performance, as hateful as any monster in Chabrol's zoo yet perversely charming."In the Chabrolian world revenge is never simple, or without its own interdependencies and moral ambiguities… and in its preoccupations, its surprises, its dislocations, its glorious excesses and the precise disclosures of its camera, This Man Must Die resembles earlier Chabrol. There are the usual great eating sequences, the usual unequaled ability visually to orchestrate a range of behavior among several people in any given scene, and the usual superb capacity to implicate an entire countryside in the movements of his drama. This alone places Chabrol among the best directors of thrillers, and in This Man Must Die the sea and the Atlantic coast of France collaborate in a quest that is also an expression of universal doom."—Roger Greenspun, The New York Times A Thousand Clowns (co-star Barry Gordon in person!) In one of his most memorable and beloved turns, Jason Robards stars in this ‘60s NYC non-conformist classic as quick-witted Murray, a former television writer who’s chosen to drop out of conventional society, and who struggles to come to terms with growing up -- something he must do if he wants to stop the Child Welfare Board from taking away his adopted son Nick (played by a precociously talented Barry Gordon.) This lost comedy jewel, written by legendary playwright Herb Gardner, is a treasure trove of buoyant performances from not only Robards and Gordon, but also Gene Saks as a howlingly inept kids’ TV clown host, Martin Balsam (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role) as Robards' put-upon brother, and quirky Barbara Harris as the social case worker who falls for Robards’ charming devil-may-care layabout. Join Jesse Thorn, host of public radio’s "The Sound Of Young America", as he presents his all-time favorite film, followed by an on-stage Q&A with Barry Gordon (now a radio talk show host himself!) Dir. Fred Coe, 1965, 118 min. THE THREE MUSKETEERS An early silent version of the famous novel starring Douglas Fairbanks with Leon Barry, Marguerite de la Motte, George Siegmann, and Adolphe Menjou. A swashbuckling good time. Dir. Fred Niblo, 1921, 35mm, 120 min. The Three Musketeers 1948/color/127 min. | Scr: Robert Ardrey; dir: George Sidney; w/ Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Angela Lansbury, Frank Morgan, Vincent Price Athletic adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic adventure about the king's musketeers and their mission to protect France. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot 1974/color/115 min./Panavision | Scr/dir: Michael Cimino; w/ Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy, Geoffrey Lewis, Gary Busey In Thunderbolt and Lightfoot—an overlooked road movie that segues into a comic buddy film and ends with a heist—two modern day outlaws come together to restage a robbery that had failed four year earlier. Produced by Eastwood and directed by Cimino, co-author of Eastwood's Dirty Harry sequel Magnum Force, the film pairs a relaxed Eastwood—playing a bank robber with a flair for explosives who is on the run from his former partners in crime—with handsome, young Jeff Bridges as a brash drifter whose energy and exuberance give the veteran a new outlook on life. As this odd couple variously drives, hitch hikes and walks through Utah and Montana, their journey encompasses car chases, guns, girls, beer, fistfights, guys in drag, and yes, a trunkfull of rabbits... all of which test and deepen their friendship. Boasting some stunning action sequences and a tone that is intentionally light and leisurely, Cimino's first feature is also distinguished by its veiled commentary on the aimlessness of America's post-Vietnam generation and a surprisingly poignant ending. TO LIVE & DIE IN L.A., 1985, MGM Repertory, 116 min. Director William Friedkin's startling, exhilarating thriller stars William Petersen as a hot-shot Federal agent out to bust ruthless counterfeiter Willem Dafoe (in a revelatory, tour-de-force performance). Along the way, they collide with John Turturro as a drug mule addicted to Pepto Bismol and Dean Stockwell as Dafoe's morally ambivalent mouthpiece. As dynamic and unnerving as THE FRENCH CONNECTION a decade earlier, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. is Friedkin at his very best - a turbo-charged ride through an imploding, morally-corrupt American landscape. Discussion between films with director William Friedkin. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (director Eli Craig in person!) Chainsaws! Skinny dippin'! Brewskis! Woodchipper massacres and weedwhacker hackings! Who's ready to party? Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is the new comedy-of-errors gorefest that's lovingly caught between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and an episode of "Three’s Company." This feisty farce, full of delightful misunderstandings and spraying jets of viscera, throws five douchey frat dudes, three hot babes, one fat sherriff and two sweet-natured but unlucky good ol' boy bumpkins (that would be Tucker and Dale, who have the misfortune to continually be mistaken for hickoid psycho killers) into a backwoods melting pot, boiling over with ever-escalating gore effects and wall-to-wall yuks. This was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, and for good reason: T&D is a consistently funny and entertaining piece of work, and is that rarefied treat: a horror comedy set apart from most every other made in the last decade in its dedication to doing everything right. It's funny, it's smart -- and it's a joy to watch. Schedule permitting, director Eli Craig will be here for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Eli Craig, 2010, HDCAM, 94 min. Two Lane Blacktop 1971/color/102 min./Scope | Scr: Rudolph Wurlitzer, Will Corry; dir: Monte Hellman; w/ James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird Man and machine are one in this spellbinding road epic from Nicholson cohort Monte Hellman and cult novelist Rudolph Wurlitzer. A pair of West Coast gear-heads—James Taylor and Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson, in their only acting roles—hit the interstate with neither a map nor much money. Gas, food and lodging are paid for with winnings from pick-up drag races along the way. At a curbside diner, a bohemian waif (Laurie Bird) winds up in the back seat of their customized '55 Chevy. Behind the wheel of a revved-up GTO with a wet bar in the trunk and a new yarn for every hitchhiker he picks up, Warren Oates becomes both foe and friend to the trio when Taylor challenges him to a cross-country race with a formidable kitty: ownership of the loser's car. From its wordless verite opening at a Los Angles speedway to its enigmatic final shot, Two Lane Blacktop is a tone poem set to a carburetor's growl. A screenwriter for Sam Peckinpah, Alex Cox and Jim McBride, Wurlitzer also co-directed the late-80s neo-road movie Candy Mountain with photographer Robert Frank. A trailblazing filmmaker, Hellman began working with Roger Corman in the 60s and directed Nicholson in several of his early films. His latest feature, Road to Nowhere, world-premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. "The purest American road movie ever… it's like a drive-in movie directed by a French new-wave director."—Richard Linklater. In person: Monte Hellman The Two Mrs. Carrolls 1947/b&w/100 min.| Scr: Thomas Job; dir: Peter Godfrey; w/ Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck. A woman slowly discovers that her artist husband may be a deranged killer. THE UNKNOWN (1964) Directed by Gerd Oswald With nods to Psycho and Clouzot’s Diabolique, The Unknown unleashes sadism and madness when a wealthy playboy lures two unsuspecting women into a house of horrors. With its nightmarish tone and art-film cinematography, The Unknown pilot was considered too off-beat by ABC and was retooled as an episode of Outer Limits. The original pilot is being screened tonight from a rare 35mm print. Producer: Joseph Stefano. Screenplay: Joseph Stefano. Cinematographer: Conrad Hall. Editor: Anthony DiMarco. Cast: Vera Miles, Barbara Rush, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Scott Marlowe, David McCallum. 35mm, B/W, 45 min. IN PERSON: Marilyn Stefano Valentoons! In the egalitarian cartoon world, marriage is not exclusively for one man and one woman. It can be between two mice, two wabbits -- even a skunk and a pussycat! Animation historian Jerry Beck (CartoonBrew.com) opens the film vault and presents a collection of love-obsessed cartoon classics starring all your favorites, from the sex-starved Pepe LePew to Tex Avery’s luscious Red Riding Hood. As usual, the program features rare 35mm and 16mm Technicolor film prints, as well as cartoons suitable for cartoon lovers of all ages! Bring a date -- and don’t be late! Video Art from the New China: An Introduction Delve into the breadth and formal diversity of video work produced in China in the last two decades. This program is a collection of performance, documentary, and fiction, featuring videos by multidisciplinary artists across China, from those working in urban epicenters of sprawling Beijing and glittery Shanghai to the quietly buzzing Guangzhou further south. Works by video and performance-art pioneers Zhang Peili and Zhang Huan, recent projects by Yang Zhenzhong and Wang Qingsong, and pieces from the next generation, such as Cao Fei and Sun Xun, are highlighted. The program concludes with a Q&A with photographer Wang Qingsong, whose work is featured in the exhibition Photography from the New China. THE WANDERERS Based on a novel by Richard Price, Philip Kaufman's memorable feature alternates between realism and more impressionistic flourishes. The setting is the Bronx in 1963, as an Italian-American teenaged gang called The Wanderers fights with their rivals, including the nasty Fordham Baldies. Great period soundtrack. "...plays like the urban flip-side of American Graffiti" (Paul Taylor, Time Out Film Guide). directed by Philip Kaufman; screenplay by Rose Kaufman & Philip Kaufman; starring Ken Wahl, John Friedrich, Karen Allen, Toni Kalem, Alan Rosenberg. USA---1979---117 mins. WHAT HAPPENED WAS... There’s an unsettling contradiction between Tom Noonan’s soft-spoken, articulate and intelligent qualities, and his imposing 6’6” frame -- it creates a sense of lurking danger that’s made him the perfect frightening villain in many films. This is clearly a man with great capacities, and audiences can feel it; this underlying seriousness reflects in his whole career. While best known for his consistently excellent work playing “heavies” in TV and film roles (“The X Files”, The Last Action Hero, RoboCop 2 and, of course, Manhunter), horror and sci-fi fans might be unfamiliar that the single intelligence that created these characters is also that of a critically lauded independent film director, an Obie-winning playwright and a graduate of Yale Drama School whose performances have made him as much of a stalwart of the independent film scene (Synechdoche, NY and Mystery Train) as he is in the world of genre cinema. Mr. Noonan, a fine conversationalist and teacher, will join us for an in-depth discussion of his career, following a screening of his 1994 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning directorial debut, What Happened Was..., a bleakly funny and raw portrait of two lonely, frightened adults that is likely the most nuanced “first date” ever performed on celluloid. Dir. Tom Noonan, 1994, 35mm, 91 min. THE WHITE MEADOWS (2010) Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof This enigmatic feature tells the story of Rahmat, an elderly man who collects the tears of souls in pain. Traveling by boat to scenes of sorrow through a seascape dotted with salty white islands and cliffs, he encounters a woman consigned to the sea for rejecting an unwanted marriage, an artist punished for his choice of colors and other unfortunates. An allegory of persecution, Rasoulof’s elegant feature is both timely and timeless. Producer: Mohammad Rasoulof. Screenwriter: Mohammad Rasoulof. Cinematographer: Ebrahim Ghafouri. Editor: Jafar Panahi. Cast: Hasan Pourshirazi, Younes Ghazali, Mohammad Rabbani. DigiBeta, 93 min. WHO DONE IT? (1944) Directed by Erle C. Kenton In what some consider their best picture (and their first with no musical numbers), Abbott and Costello play a couple of soda jerks who want to be radio writers--and when the network president is murdered, they decide to solve the crime themselves! A terrific supporting cast and great ad-libbing by Lou (plus the classic "Alexander 2222" routine) help make this a complete delight. Universal Pictures. Producer: Alex Gottlieb. Screenplay: Stanley Roberts. Cinematographer: Charles Van Enger. Cast: Edmund Joseph, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Patric Knowles, Louise Allbritton. 35mm, B/W, 75 min.