a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
thu. feb. 1 helmet @ troubadour mose allison @ jazz bakery american hardcore, the filth and the fury @ new beverly theatre experiment in terror, mister cory @ egyptian theatre on her majesty's secret service @ aero theatre fri. feb. 2 orpheus @ lacma eyes without a face 9:20 PM @ lacma mose allison @ jazz bakery the thief of baghdad 8:15 PM @ old town music hall thunderball, you only live twice @ aero theatre the hidden hand @ spaceland sat. feb. 3 sherlock jr. 5 PM, the scarecrow, the play house @ lacma celine and julie go bowling @ lacma mose allison @ jazz bakery woman of straw, the running man @ egyptian theatre the thief of baghdad 2:30 8:15 PM @ old town music hall dr. no, from russia with love @ aero theatre sun. feb. 4 mose allison @ jazz bakery 10:30 pm summer, mademoiselle @ egyptian theatre the thief of baghdad 2:30 PM @ old town music hall the blow @ the echo second straight super society of the spectacle sunday 3:45 PM @ telic mon. feb. 5 the last laugh 7 PM @ goethe institut tue. feb. 6 elliott caine quintet @ jazz bakery wed. feb. 7 forbidden zone, flesh gordon @ new beverly theatre taxi driver, joe @ aero theatre thu. feb. 8 forbidden zone, flesh gordon @ new beverly theatre night of the generals @ egyptian theatre jucifer @ the scene fri. feb. 9 stairway to heaven aka life and death @ lacma the tenant, rosemary's baby @ new beverly theatre wild at heart (x-rated version) MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre the apartment @ ucla film archive impulse 9 PM, son of godzilla @ c.i.a. sat. feb. 10 hatter's castle @ starlight studio the tenant, rosemary's baby @ new beverly theatre mirah, sharp ease @ troubadour some like it hot @ ucla film archive sun. feb. 11 goldfinger, from russia with love @ new beverly theatre mon. feb. 12 goldfinger, from russia with love @ new beverly theatre the celestial library: films of jeanne liotta 8 PM @ skirball center tue. feb. 13 the decks ran red 1 PM @ lacma goldfinger, from russia with love @ new beverly theatre open city, bad dudes @ the smell wed. feb. 14 charalambides @ the smell sabrina, ninotchka @ ucla film archive mike judge & don hertzfeldt animation show 6:30 9:30 @ ucla royce hall thu. feb. 15 mike judge & don hertzfeldt animation show 7:30 9:45 @ rialto theatre fri. feb. 16 point blank @ lacma blow-up 9:15 PM @ lacma band of outsiders, shoot the piano player @ new beverly theatre budos band @ boom boom room, SF sat. feb. 17 woman in the dunes @ lacma band of outsiders, shoot the piano player @ new beverly theatre budos band @ boom boom room, SF white heat 5 PM, the undercover man @ egyptian theatre mad dog coll 9 PM, murder inc @ egyptian theatre real boss hoss weekend @ mr. t's bowl sun. feb. 18 the long goodbye, california split @ new beverly theatre a foreign affair 3:10 PM @ ucla film archive rise and fall of legs diamond, riot in cell block 11 @ egyptian theatre hickey & boggs, 48 hrs @ aero theatre real boss hoss weekend @ mr. t's bowl mon. feb. 19 the long goodbye, california split @ new beverly theatre tue. feb. 20 black shampoo, the human tornado @ new beverly theatre wed. feb. 21 jonestown: the life and death of peoples temple, deliver us from evil @ new beverly theatre thu. feb. 22 jonestown: the life and death of peoples temple, deliver us from evil @ new beverly theatre phase iv @ skirball center fri. feb. 23 don't look now @ lacma persona 9:30 PM @ lacma the conformist, investigation of a citizen above suspicion @ new beverly theatre sat. feb. 24 crazy house @ starlight studio the conformist, investigation of a citizen above suspicion @ new beverly theatre l'amore, la macchina ammazzacattivi @ ucla film archive invisible art visible artists 10 AM @ egyptian theatre mia doi todd @ the smell tue. feb. 27 cabin in the sky 1 PM @ lacma nels cline @ the echo wed. feb. 28 the mirror, the sacrifice @ new beverly theatre french kicks, icebird @ troubadour the chicken, my dad is 100 years old, stromboli @ ucla film archive thu. mar. 1 the mirror, the sacrifice @ new beverly theatre fri. mar. 2 clinic @ troubadour play it again sam, modern romance @ new beverly theatre the pope @ the smell the godless girl, a kiss for cinderella @ ucla film archive ditty bops @ mccabe's sat. mar. 3 play it again sam, modern romance @ new beverly theatre sun. mar. 4 guy maddin short film sampler 7 PM, ministry of fear @ ucla film archive brightblack morning light @ mccabe's tue. mar. 6 goat glands carpet underlay and cinema sat backwards: a talk by guy maddin FREE @ ucla film archive fri. mar. 9 caught, on dangerous ground @ ucla film archive sat. mar. 10 street of chance @ starlight studio chuck dukowski sextet, saccharine trust @ mr. t's bowl tue. mar. 13 el perro del mar @ echo rec center studios wed. mar. 14 grizzly man 8:30 PM FREE @ ampas linwood dunn fri. mar. 16 el topo MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre sat. mar. 17 secrets, make way for tomorrow @ ucla film archive tue. mar. 20 the helio sequence @ the echo mar. 22 antibalas @ troubadour mar. 23 santa sangre MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre mar. 24 the lady has plans @ starlight studio mar. 30 dos @ the smell fri. apr. 6 the thermals @ the echo sat. apr. 7 the mad doctor of market street @ starlight studio fri. apr. 13 suspiria MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre sat. apr. 14 the ponys @ the echo fri. apr. 20 trans am @ troubadour sat. apr. 21 true to life @ starlight studios may 5 the hour before the dawn @ starlight studios fri may 18 melt banana @ troubadour sat. may 19 standing room only @ starlight studios may 26 echo curio @ mr. t's bowl fri. jun. 22 low @ troubadour sat. jun. 23 low @ troubadour fri. jun. 29 von trier's medea 8 PM @ getty villa sat. jun. 30 pasolini's medea 8 PM @ getty villa WHAT IT IS: A FOREIGN AFFAIR (1948, United States) Directed by Billy Wilder Congresswoman Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur) embarks on a fact-finding mission to American occupied Berlin (where director Billy Wilder himself lived prior to World War II). There the straight-laced politico finds more than she bargained for in a tangled web of romance and mystery involving a handsome GI (John Lund) and an ex-Nazi cabaret performer (Marlene Dietrich). Wilder's satire of American naivete v. European cynicism was shot on location in Berlin around the same time as GERMANY YEAR ZERO and even includes a brief, humorous homage to Rossellini's film. Producer: Charles Brackett. Screenwriter: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Richard L. Breen. Cinematographer: Charles B. Lang. Editor: Doane Harrison. Cast: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund, Millard Mitchell. 35mm, 116 min. THE APARTMENT This melancholy comic masterpiece, co-written with I.A.L. Diamond, won a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture, and represents Billy Wilder at the height of his powers. Jack Lemmon stars as C.C. Baxter, the beleaguered organization man who lends out his bachelor apartment to senior executives carrying on clandestine flings. In her breakout role, Shirley MacLaine plays the object of Baxter's affection, a whip-smart elevator girl stuck in a tumultuous affair of her own with married boss Fred MacMurray. A razor-sharp satire shot in bracing widescreen black-and-white, THE APARTMENT leavens its stinging send-up of corporate life and modern mores via Wilder's sincere, unsentimental sympathy for his creations, those well-meaning but fallible characters hopelessly caught up in the big city rat race. Producer: Billy Wilder. Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond. Cinematographer: Joseph LaShelle. Editor: Daniel Mandell. Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston. 35mm, 124 min. In person: Shirley MacLaine, Audrey L. Wilder, Curtis Hanson (moderator) BLACK SHAMPOO (from IMDB) John Daniels stars as Jonathan Knight, the owner of "Mr. Jonathans", the most successful hair salon for women on the Sunset Strip. Jonathan is tall, muscular, black and ballsy. His reputation as a lover has become so awesome that he is sought after almost as much in that capacity as in his expertise as a hair stylist. Everything is cool for Jonathan until he messes with the mob in an effort to protect his young, attractive receptionist from her former boss. Action explodes when the "lovin' machine" becomes the "killing machine". Jonathan, equipped with chain saw in hand, gets down on the vicious mob gang. Blow-Up (1966/color/111 min.) Scr: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, based on a story by Julio Cortázar; dir: Michelangelo Antonioni; w/ David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles. Based on a short story by the Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language film, set in Swinging London, was a deconstructed whodunit, a cause célèbre, and one of the most discussed films of its time. Ostensibly a day in the life of a successful, bored fashion photographer, it also involves a murder photographed by chance and then "erased": the photographs are stolen, the body has vanished. In this existential mystery, Antonioni shows only what the photographer himself sees, leaving it to the viewer to decide what really lies behind the image or within the protagonist's heart. With its spectacular set pieces (a visit to a deserted London park at night made eerie by the sound of rustling leaves and the tour de force sequence in which one photograph is progressively enlarged to reveal a hidden "truth"), Blow-Up is a film that rewards repeated viewings with new insights. CAUGHT (1949) Directed by Max Ophuls While the seething wrath that makes James Mason unsurpassingly sado-sexy in THE SEVENTH VEIL remains untapped by Max Ophuls in this, the British actor's American debut, terrifying co-star Robert Ryan more than makes up for it with an orgiastic spree of marital jealousy and paranoia in this speculative peek into what it might be like to be married to Howard Hughes, or someone just like him anyway. Young Barbara Bel Geddes is the lucky bride! Based on on the novel by Libbie Block. Producer: Wolfgang Reinhardt. Screenwriter: Arthur Laurents. Cinematographer: Lee Garmes. Editor: Robert Parrish. Cast: James Mason, Barbara Bel Gaddes, Robert Ryan. 35mm, 88 min. THE CELESTIAL LIBRARY: FILMS BY JEANNE LIOTTA Los Angeles premieres This ravishing program is an ode to the void, the stars in their courses, and the shifting earth below. New York avant-garde filmmaker and installation artist Jeanne Liotta is known for work -- both found and made -- that embraces the sensuousness of natural phenomena as much as the physical aspects of her chosen media. She is on hand for a selection of recent films and multiple projection pieces -- including the short Eclipse (2005, 3:30 min., 16mm), last seen at the Whitney Biennial. Using the otherworldly luminosity of Super 8 Kodachrome to great effect, this gem of a film beholds a lunar eclipse from a New York City rooftop. In Person Jeanne Liotta Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974/color/193 min.) Scr: Juliet Berto, Eduardo de Gregorio, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Jacques Rivette; dir: Jacques Rivette; w/ Juliet Berto, Bulle Ogier, Dominique Labourier, Marie-France Pisier, Barbet Schroeder. Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Jacques Rivette's lighthearted celebration of the world of the imagination centers on two women-Céline, a magician, and Julie, a librarian-who meet on a summer day in a Paris park. Instant friends and conspirators, they stumble into a mysterious house and a parallel reality in which a quartet of ghosts acts out a nineteenth-century play about two women in love with the same man. "The old house is like a deserted art cinema where the same faded old print is projected forever. But what happens there is also a creaky stage melodrama that needs to be endlessly rehearsed until the spell is broken," observed Jonathan Romney in The Guardian. "[And] that's only part of it: there's Céline's slapdash magic act as La Mandragore, Julie's manic song-and-dance debut as La Kamikaze, a dead-of-night library raid with roller skates and an extraordinary number of cats . . . Rivette's film is a three-hour tangle of dream, cloak-and-dagger intrigue, and seemingly haphazard comedy that leaves you exhilarated. THE CHICKEN (Siamo donne—Ingrid Bergman) (1952) Directed by Roberto Rossellini This tender and loving portrait of Ingrid Bergman by Rossellini finds the actress recounting a humorous anecdote involving the titular barnyard fowl. Producer: Alfredo Guarani. Screenwriter: Cesare Zavattini, Luigi Chiarini. Cinematographer: Otello Martelli. Editor: Jolanda Benvenuti. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Renzo Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini, Isotta Rossellini. 16mm, 17 min. DELIVER US FROM EVIL (from IMDB) Moving from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, Father Oliver O'Grady quickly won each congregation's trust and respect. Unbeknownst to them, O'Grady was a dangerously active pedophile that Church hierarchy, aware of his predilection, had harbored for over 30 years, allowing him to abuse countless children. Juxtaposing an extended, deeply unsettling interview with O'Grady himself with the tragic stories of his victims, filmmaker Amy Berg bravely exposes the deep corruption of the Catholic Church and the troubled mind of the man they sheltered. Don't Look Now (1973/color/110 min.) Scr: Allan Scott, Chris Bryant, based on the story by Daphne du Maurier; dir: Nicolas Roeg; w/ Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie. Grieving for their young daughter who has drowned on their farm in Britain, John and Laura Baxter travel to Venice. John, an architect, has been hired to restore an old church there, and it is in this city built on water that he and Laura begin to catch glimpses of their dead child wearing a red raincoat. From this simple premise, Nicolas Roeg created one of the great modern horror films, a tale told in images that merge past, present, and future and weave an indelible atmosphere "of dread, grief, and apprehension," as critic Roger Ebert noted. "Venice, that haunted city, has never been more melancholy than in Don't Look Now. It is like a vast necropolis, its stones damp and crumbling, its canals alive with rats . . . and the streets, bridges, canals, dead ends, and wrong turns fold in upon themselves. Walking in Venice, especially on a foggy winter night, is like walking in a dream." EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, 1962, Sony Repertory, 123 min. Lee Remick is a bank teller whose teenage sister (Stephanie Powers) is kidnapped by creepy, asthmatic Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon on TV’s "The Wild, Wild West"), a sociopathic crook brewing an extortion plot. Glenn Ford is the no-nonsense FBI agent who steps in after a terrified Remick contacts the agency. Director Blake Edwards’ skill at creating dark atmosphere and nailbiting suspense (honed on "Peter Gunn," the TV show he created) presaged his later seemingly contradictory focus on effervescent comedy. After BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and THE PINK PANTHER (both also coincidentally Edwards’ films), composer Henry Mancini graces us with his most memorable (and sinister) score. FORBIDDEN ZONE (from IMDB) A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the Hercules family and friend Squeezit Henderson to rescue her. GOAT GLANDS, CARPET UNDERLAY AND CINEMA SAT BACKWARDS: A TALK BY GUY MADDIN Maddin will delve into the inner workings of his psyche and may even reveal the secret contents of the Mammalopedia, the source of ALL in his childhood home; or show clips of and recreate his pistol-whipping at the hands of a chimp on his fourth birthday. THE GODLESS GIRL (1929) Directed by Cecil B. DeMille One of the strangest movies ever made by eternally un-ironic über-bombast DeMille! Shot just a few years after the Scopes Monkey Trial, the film opens on a sexually charged college campus war pitting cute co-ed atheists against an angry mob of Christian believers. Some collateral damage lands the two main religious adversaries, played with the electrifying lust we've come to demand of DeMille, in a bizarre reform school where girls and boys toil out their sentences segregated flimsily by a tantalizing, see-through fence! Producer: Cecil B. DeMille. Titles: Jeanie Macpherson, Beulah Marie Dix. Cinematographer: Peverell Marley. Editor: Anne Bauchens. Cast: Lina Basquette, Marie Prevost, George Duryea, Noah Beery. 35mm, 100 min. A GUY MADDIN SHORT FILM SAMPLER This program features a number of Maddin's own exquisite short films, including new and rarely seen work. Full program information and a list of films will be available at the theater and at www.cinema.ucla.edu. Various formats, 90 min. HICKEY AND BOGGS, 1972, MGM Repertory, 111 min. Dir. Robert Culp. An uncompromisingly realistic detective noir with two world-weary private eyes -- Robert Culp and Bill Cosby (already veterans of the great buddy, secret agent TV show, "I Spy") – whose search for a missing girl opens a Pandora’s box of death and destruction in smoggy, sunbaked Los Angeles. Sharp, sardonic dialogue peppers Walter Hill’s violent screenplay, and there’s some amazing footage on display of a bygone City of The Angels. Look for young Michael Moriarty and James Woods as particularly slimey villains. THE HUMAN TORNADO (from IMDB) One of several Rudy Ray Moore films, THE HUMAN TORNADO is part of the on-going adventures of Dolemite: a signifying' super-hero. Dolemite comes to the rescue of Queen Bee, whose primarily black Nightclub is threatened by White Mafia types. INVISIBLE ART, VISIBLE ARTISTS Co-presented by American Cinema Editors (A.C.E). An open discussion with all of this year's Oscar-nominated film editors. (www.ace-filmeditors.org) JOE, 1970, MGM Repertory, 107 min. Dir. John G. Avildsen (ROCKY). A low-budget indie film shot over a month-and-a-half in the winter of 1970, JOE was penned by Norman Wexler - a middle-aged, ivy league-educated ad-copywriter with a drawer full of unproduced plays. The film traces the adversarial relationship between a white-collar father (Dennis Patrick) and his hippie daughter (a debuting Susan Sarandon). After a pharmaceutical binge, she lands in the ER, and dad heads to downtown Manhattan to gather her belongings but instead stumbles into a confrontation with her grungy partner (Patrick McDermont). Appropriately traumatized patriarch Patrick then winds up at a bar where he befriends working-class Joe (Peter Boyle), who is a fount of caustic barbs against the counter-culture. The pair bond and set out on an odyssey that concludes in nightmarish carnage at a rural commune. Re-editing the film around Boyle's performance and even releasing a soundtrack album devoted to his diatribes, original distributors Cannon not only made JOE box-office gold, but Boyle himself became an icon. Upon its release, the film was screened around the clock in some New York theaters, often with audience members shouting back at the screen, as Joe became both laughable enemy and virtuous hero. A KISS FOR CINDERELLA (1926) Directed by Herbert Brenon Written by J.M. Barrie, directed by Herbert Brenon and starring the tirelessly puckish pantomimist Betty Bronson – the same trio that brought the masterpiece PETER PAN to the screen the previous year – this follow-up is positively loaded with charm. Barrie here takes the old fairy tale and meta-narrates it, switching its setting to a London household – no wicked stepfolk this time – during the Great War. Bronson is a frail servant beleaguered by a Cinderella complex, an illness that enables all sorts of Neverland melancholy to permeate the proceedings. Based on the play by J. M. Barrie. Scenario: Willis Goldbeck, Townsend Martin. Adaptation: Esther Ralston. Cinematographer: J. Roy Hunt. Cast: Betty Bronson, Tom Moore. 16mm, silent, 105 min. In person: Guy Maddin Live musical accompaniment for the second feature by Michael Mortilla LA MACCHINA AMMAZZACATTIVI (1948) Directed by Roberto Rossellini Despite Rossellini's reputation as an arch-realist, this film constitutes a rare turn for the director: comic fantasist. When an idealistic photographer discovers that his camera has the power to petrify its subjects, he vows to use it to rid his village of evildoers. To the misfortune of his neighbors, rich and poor alike, the magical vigilante begins to notice a bit of the sinister in everyone. Based on a story by Eduardo de Filippo and Fabrizio Sarazani. Producer: Roberto Rossellini, Luigi Rovere, Rudolph Somsen. Screenwriter: Sergio Amidei, Giancarlo Vigorelli, Franco Brusati, Liana Ferri, Roberto Rossellini. Cinematographer: Tino Santoni. Editor: Jolanda Benvenuti. Cast: Gennaro Pisano, Giovanni Amato, Marilyn Buferd. 16mm, 83 min. L'AMORE (1947) Directed by Roberto Rossellini This film, actually a compilation of two short features, marked a decisive break with the pseudo-documentary aspects of Rossellini's "war trilogy." Anna Magnani the leads in both of parts of the film, first as an anguished woman on the telephone in an adaptation of Cocteau's one-woman tour de force The Human Voice. The second part proved controversial, with Magnani as a peasant woman who, after being impregnated by a vagrant (played by Federico Fellini), believes she will give birth to the messiah. Producer: Roberto Rossellini. Screenwriter: Roberto Rossellini. Cinematographer: Robert Julliard. Editor: Eraldo Da Roma. Cast: Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini. 35mm, 79 min. THE LAST LAUGH Dir. F.W. Murnau, 1924, 91 min, b/w, Engl. intertitles, soundtrack The crowning achievement of the German expressionist movement and one of the most notable artworks to arise from the Weimar Republic. Emil Jannings stars in the bleak fable of an aging doorman whose happiness crumbles when he is relieved of the duties and uniform which had for years been the foundation of his identity and confidence. MAD DOG COLL, 1961, Sony Repertory, 86 min. "His Own Raging Story... A Maniac With A Machine Gun!" Director Burt Balaban’s follow-up to MURDER, INC. was this intense, low-budget film bio of Vincent ‘Mad Dog’ Coll, the brutal, maverick mobster who went up against not only the New York City police department but also rival gangster, Dutch Schultz. John Davis Chandler is perfectly cast as the young tough who rises from abused neighborhood misfit to burgeonng psychopath. Although Coll has an ex-stripper moll, Clio (Kay Doubleday), he nevertheless finds himself slowly drawn to sensitive music student, Elizabeth (Brooke Hayward). But Coll’s taste for killing gradually drags him down into full-blown psychosis, and he goes on the run from both the law (including Telly Savalas as a no-nonsense cop) and Schultz’s gang. Jerry Orbach (TV’s "Law And Order") is Joe, Coll’s last remaining friend, and Vincent Gardenia makes a great Dutch Schultz. NOT ON DVD. MADEMOISELLE, 1966, MGM Repertory, 103 min. Dir. Tony Richardson. Jeanne Moreau is stupendous as a provincial schoolteacher in the French countryside, secretly lashing out from her stifling cocoon of sexual repression. She drags earthy farmer Ettore Manni and his son (Keith Skinner) down with her into a whirlpool of humiliating degradation. When Manni finally decides to leave the village, the floodgates literally open, Moreau’s persona exploding in a swath of destruction aimed at implicating Manni. Writer Marguerite Duras penned the screenplay, adapted from a story by Jean Genet (The Thief’s Journal; Our Lady Of The Flowers). Many critics squirmed uncomfortably at the poisonously perverse and seemingly nihilistic subject matter. Yet the film has steadily grown in stature over the years, and is now seen in many quarters as a neglected masterpiece. In French, with English subtitles. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937) Directed by Leo McCarey Comedic sophisticate McCarey turns his delighted attention to the subject of ageing parents and what becomes of them, metaphorically and literally—a subject that becomes so poignant in his hands one hardly knows what to do with the sadness pouring out from the screen. The film might have been a flop, but it's a masterful mixture of light humor and grim inexorability—a singular cocktail! Beulah Bondi, luckily blessed with a face that enabled her to play elderly roles for close to fifty years, is the mother at the end of the line. Paramount. Based on the novel by Josephine Lawrence and the play by Helen Leary, Noah Leary. Producer: Adolph Zukor. Screenwriter: Viña Delmar. Cinematographer: William C. Mellor. Editor: LeRoy Stone. Cast: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi. 35mm, 92 min. MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) Directed by Fritz Lang Lang piles more tropes, visual mischief and his own steel-cold brand of surrealism into this adaptation of Graham Greene's novel than he does in any other film he made in America. By trading some of his meanness—typical, say, of THE BIG HEAT—for a little playfulness, Lang suddenly finds himself sitting plump next to Hitchcock as the era's co-titans of the thriller. I hope the director gave a crate of champagne to eely heavy Dan Duryea for delivering yet another unbelievably oily performance! Paramount. Based on the novel by Graham Greene. Producer: Buddy G. DeSylva, Seton I. Miller. Cinematographer: Henry Sharp. Editor: Archie F. Marshek. Cast: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Dan Duryea. 35mm, 86 min. In person: Guy Maddin THE MIRROR (from IMDB) The director mixes flashbacks, historical footage and original poetry to illustrate the reminiscences of a dying man about his childhood during World War II, adolescence, and a painful divorce in his family. The story interweaves reflections about Russian history and society. MISTER CORY, 1957, Universal, 92 min. Perhaps director Blake Edwards’ most underrated film, this sleeper finds tough slum rat, Cory (Tony Curtis) getting a job as a busboy at an upscale Wisconsin resort. But it’s just the first rung of the ladder for climber, Cory, who will soon end up as a prime mover and shaker in Chicago, manager of one of the city’s classiest gambling houses. The color cinematography belies the saga’s noirish roots, but Edwards is true to his material with a consistently realistic tone and a razor sharp ending. The supporting cast of Martha Hyer, Charles Bickford, Kathryn Grant and Henry Daniell are all fine as is Curtis in one of his best (and least known) performances. NOT ON DVD. Discussion in between films with actress Stefanie Powers (EXPERIMENT IN TERROR). MODERN ROMANCE (from IMDB) Robert Cole, a film editor, is constantly breaking up with and reconciling with long-suffering girl friend Mary Harvard, who works at a bank. He is irrationally jealous and self-centered, while Mary has been too willing to let him get away with his disruptive antics. Can they learn to live with each other? Can they learn to live without each other? The movie also provides insight into film editing as Robert and co-worker Jay work on their current project, a cheesy sci-fi movie. MURDER, INC., 1960, 20th Century Fox, 103 min. Dir. Burt Balaban and Stuart Rosenberg. Peter Falk is unforgettable as Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, a gangland hitman for fussy, milk-drinking boss, Louis ‘Lepke’ Buchalter (David J. Stewart) during the explosion of Big Apple gangsterism in the early 1930’s. Nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor, this was one of the roles that really put Falk on the map as an actor to watch. Stuart Whitman is a struggling musician married to dancer May Britt, a decent couple intimidated and forced into collusion with the most unsavory characters of the New York underworld. Co-starring Simon Oakland, Henry Morgan. MY DAD IS 100 YEARS OLD (2005, Canada) Directed by Guy Maddin An imaginative love letter to Roberto Rossellini from daughter Isabella, who plays all the parts. Producer: Jody Shapiro. Screenwriter: Isabella Rossellini. Cinematographer: Len Peterson. Editor: John Gurdebeke. Cast: Isabella Rossellini. 35mm, 17 min. NIGHT OF THE GENERALS, 1967, Sony Repertory, 148 min. An epic murder mystery set in the depths of the Third Reich during the worst days of WWII. Peter O’Toole is alarmingly spot-on as the fastidiously uptight general who is a closet psychopath in the bedroom (he murders prostitutes) as well as on the battlefield. Omar Sharif is the comparatively moral colonel trying to amass evidence against him with the help of French police inspector Philippe Noiret. Corporal Tom Courtenay and paramour Joanna Pettet are the innocent couple caught up in the nightmare. To complicate matters, three other generals (Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray, Harry Andrews) are conspiring to assassinate Hitler. Director Anatole Litvak (SORRY, WRONG NUMBER; THE SNAKE PIT) directed this engrossing psychological study and atmospheric suspenser, a film criminally underrated on its initial release. NOT ON DVD. NINOTCHKA Directed by Ernst Lubitsch A tribute to love, revolution and the geopolitical power of frivolous hats, NINOTCHKA stars Greta Garbo in her first comedy—"Garbo Laughs!" was the movie's tag line—as a stern Soviet commissar sent to decadent Paris to expedite the sale of jewels confiscated by the Communists. Melvyn Douglas plays capitalism personified as a suave gigolo who tries to seduce her. While director Ernst Lubitsch provides the sublime sheen, the film's pointed humor comes from Billy Wilder (who worked on the script with his longtime writing partner, Charles Brackett, as well as Walter Reisch). The combination blends romance and satire into irresistible comedy. Producer: Ernst Lubitsch. Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch. Cinematographer: William Daniels. Editor: Gene Ruggiero. Cast: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Sig Ruman. 35mm, a story by Melchoir Lengye, 110 min. ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1952) Directed by Nicholas Ray Has there ever been a face—rugged and manfully handsome yet fragile with inner agonies promising to explode into volcanic rage—like Robert Ryan's? Nick Ray harnesses the violent force of this face in a story about out-of-control cop Ryan, who is sent to cool off in a snowy outpost—the first snow noir?—and there meets up with a pair of out-of-control adversaries: a child-killer and the child's father. Ward Bond, in this latter role, has never been more precipitous or more startling—his grief and stupidity as powerful and natural as a mountain cataract. Into all this steps the serenely blind farm girl Ida Lupino. RKO. Based on the novel by Gerald Butler. Producer: Sid Rogell, John Houseman. Screenwriter: A. I. Bezzerides. Cinematographer: George E. Diskant. Editor: Roland Gross. Cast: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan. 35mm, 82 min. In person: Guy Maddin (schedule permitting) Orphée (Orpheus) (1950/b&w/95 min.) Scr/dir: Jean Cocteau; w/ Jean Marais, María Casares, Edouard Dermit, Marie Déa, Juliet Gréco. Jean Cocteau transposed the myth of Orpheus-in which the singer/poet travels to the underworld to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice-to 1950s Paris and its bohemian cafés. Using simple but astonishing effects (Orpheus passes through a mirror to reach the dark side), Cocteau created a film that he described as "a thriller which draws on myth from one side and the supernatural from the other." Critic Pauline Kael described it as a "masterpiece of magical filmmaking . . . as inventive and enigmatic as a dream. Jean Marais is ideal as the successful, popular poet who is envied and despised by the younger poets; his conflicts, his desire to renew himself are the substance of the film . . . Dark, troubled, passionate María Casares is his Death: attended by her hooded motorcyclists, she is mystery incarnate." Persona (1966/b&w/83 min.) Scr/dir: Ingmar Bergman; w/ Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson. Emerging from a serious illness, the great Ingmar Bergman created a film that ranks among the simplest and most enigmatic ever made. An actress who mysteriously ceases speaking is put in the care of a nurse who responds to the silence of her inscrutable patient with a stream of compulsive talk, by turns confessional, self-pitying, aggressive, and cruel. Are we watching two similar-looking Swedish women or two faces of one woman? Bergman attempts nothing less than to deconstruct the self, to go through the mirror and behind the mask-the persona-to pose fundamental questions about reality, the image, performance, and cinema itself. With its outstanding performances, intense probing close-ups, white-on-white decor, and film-within-a-film stylistics (at a moment of high emotion the celluloid appears to burn from the center outward), Persona is an aesthetic triumph and an enduring masterpiece. PHASE IV Rare screening! This eerie and wondrously shot tale about super-intelligent ants marked the feature-film directorial debut of Saul Bass. In the film, desert ants wage war on an isolated town. It is up to two scientists and a girl whose entire family was destroyed by the killer insects to obliterate them. What follows is not so much science fiction as it is science fact thrust one step forward. Be sure to catch this magnificent cult favorite, which is not available on DVD, in 35 mm on the big screen. Directed by Saul Bass, starring Nigel Davenport and Michael Murphy. (1974, 91 min. Rated PG.) PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (from IMDB) A mild mannered film critic is dumped by his wife and his ego is crushed. His hero persona is the tough guy played by Humphrey Bogart in many of his movies and the apparition of Bogart begins showing up to give him advice. With the encouragement of his two married friends, he actually tries dating again, with less than satisfactory results, until he relaxes. Point Blank (1967/color/92 min./Panavision) Scr: Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, Rafe Newhouse, based on a novel by Richard Stark; dir: John Boorman; w/ Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Vernon. One of the most violent and influential gangster films of the 1960s, Point Blank follows Lee Marvin as Walker, an implacable force who will stop at nothing to find his gangster friend Reese and Reese's lover, Chris (Walker's wife), who stole his money and left him for dead in a cell at Alcatraz. A nihilistic nightmare fashioned out of surreal fragments, the film owes a stylistic debt to Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard, but its vision of the modern city as an alienating jungle and the criminal organization as a faceless corporation run on credit cards is distinctly American. Critic David Thomson called the film a masterpiece. "The actual and the imaginary are perfectly joined in Point Blank," he wrote. "For it is not only an account of Marvin's remorseless and romantic hacking away at the syndicate, but his dream in the instant that he dies." RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11, 1954, Republic (Paramount), 80 min. Enterprising indie producer, Walter Wanger (YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS) had just been released from prison after serving a short term for shooting the man he believed was carrying on with his wife. Horrified at the conditions he experienced in stir, he recruited director Don Siegel (BABY FACE NELSON, DIRTY HARRY) to help tell the story of what it was like inside. An extremely down-and-dirty, realistic look at penitentiary life and a riot fomented by mistreatment of inmates. The entire cast is superb, including Neville Brand as the comparatively moral convict leader, Leo Gordon (an ex-con himself) as a brutal psychopath and Emile Meyer as the warden. Uncompromising and unflinching, especially for the time period. NOT ON DVD. RISE AND FALL OF LEGS DIAMOND, 1960, Warner Bros., 101 min. Director Budd Boetticher (SEVEN MEN FROM NOW) helmed this fast-moving, unsentimental look at notorious thief and mobster, Jack ‘Legs’ Diamond. Underrated Ray Danton is phenomenal in the lead role. It is one of Hollywood’s unsolved mysteries why Danton only went on to TV guest star shots and roles in European spy films in the 1960’s instead of major stardom. A year later he played Diamond again, this time in support of Vic Morrow as Dutch Schultz in PORTRAIT OF A MOBSTER (sadly unavailable for screening). Warren Oates is perfect as Diamond’s sickly brother and initial partner in crime, with Karen Steele, Elaine Stewart and Dyan Cannon (in her first big role) as the women in Diamond’s life. Chock-full of memorable bits, including Diamond setting fire to a woman’s dress during a dance marathon. Director Boetticher paints an absorbing portrait of a charming sociopath who will sacrifice anything (and anyone) to get what he wants. "… this ferocious gangster biopic indulges in none of the nostalgia for the Depression or glamorization of its anti-heroes…As incarnated by Danton, Diamond is a bundle of pure, destructive energy…With superb noir photography from Lucien Ballard… the film mirrors the speed, intelligence, and amoral cunning of its hell-bent mobster." – Time Out (UK) NOT ON DVD. THE RUNNING MAN, 1963, Sony Repertory, 103 min. This slowly building psychological suspense film undeservedly fell through the cracks. Director Carol Reed (THE THIRD MAN) concentrates almost exclusively on his characters here (à la Patricia Highsmith, who seems an obvious influence), refusing to resort to the usual thriller cliches. Independent pilot Laurence Harvey, embittered by the treatment from his insurance company, fakes his own death to bilk them out of a small fortune. In-love, Lee Remick soon follows her "dead" husband - with his now bleached blond hair - to Spain where the couple hope to start a new life. But suddenly insurance man Alan Bates (whom Remick had met after the funeral) shows up. Is he wise to their scheme or is it a coincidence? Is he really, as he says, just on holiday (and a guy who may be falling in-love with the "grieving widow")? Reed expertly focuses on the uncomfortable dynamic that gradually evolves amongst the three, and we witness their strange, ever-more circuitous conversations, everyone saying more by what they are not saying. Gorgeously photographed in color on Spanish locations by Robert Krasker. NOT ON DVD. SABRINA Directed by Billy Wilder Audrey Hepburn followed up her Oscar-winning role in ROMAN HOLIDAY with another iconic performance in SABRINA, Billy Wilder's heartfelt update of the classic Cinderella story. Hepburn plays a poor chauffeur's daughter pining for William Holden, the handsome younger son of the wealthy household where her father is employed. After a year in Paris, she returns newly glamorized and determined to make her romantic dream come true, despite the opposition of Humphrey Bogart as Holden's all-business older brother. Wilder handles this modern fairy tale, based on the play by Samuel Taylor, with a light touch and genuine tenderness, making SABRINA a film that ultimately affirms the transformative power of true love. Based on the play Sabrina Fair by S. Taylor. Producer: Billy Wilder. Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, Samuel Taylor, Ernest Lehman. Cinematographer: Charles Lang, Jr.. Editor: Arthur Schmidt. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Martha Hyer. 35mm, 113 min. THE SACRIFICE (from IMDB) Alexander, a journalist and former actor and philosopher, tells his little son how worried he is about the lack of spirituality of modern mankind. In the night of his birthday, the third world war breaks out. In his despair Alexander turns himself in a prayer to God, offering him everything to have the war not happened at all. SECOND STRAIGHT SUPER SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE SUNDAY This is our second annual simultaneous screening of "Society of the Spectacle" (1973) & the Super Bowl (live). There will be a halftime show with Anna Oxygen, and videos from Heather Bursch ("The Singer Not the Song") and Javier Morales & John Michael Boling ("The Church of the Future"). French fare and American snacks will be available all day. Heather Bursch's three-channel video installation, "The Singer Not the Song," will be exhibited from February 4 until February 25. SECRETS (1933) Directed by Frank Borzage Borzage's films always play themselves out in what Martin Scorsese describes aptly as "lovers' time," with much leisurely poring over the details that engorge a romance's most precious formative moments. Here, though, something different is afoot. When you see forty-year-old Mary Pickford colting around as an apparent teen, and perennially snow-topped C. Aubrey Smith sporting great gobs of hair dye, you smell saga, but Borzage the master of melodrama has many tricks and tones up his sleeve, and I defy anyone to guess exactly where this film is going! Based on the play by Rudolph Besier, May Edington. Producer: Mary Pickford. Screenwriter: Frances Marion. Cinematographer: Ray June. Editor: Hugh Bennett. Cast: Mary Pickford, Leslie Howard, C. Aubrey Smith. 35mm, 85 min. Sherlock Jr., The Scarecrow, The Play House Sherlock Jr. (1924/b&w/45 min.) Scr: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, Joe Mitchell; The Scarecrow (1920/b&w/20 min.) Scr: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline; The Play House (1921/b&w/20 min.) Scr: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton; all b&w, silent w/ recorded music; dir: Buster Keaton. In Sherlock Jr., Buster Keaton's most surreal and conceptually audacious film, Keaton is a projectionist who aspires to become a great detective. Falsely accused of stealing his boss's watch, he dreams that he enters the movie he is projecting, solves the crime, and wins the boss's daughter. In The Scarecrow, nothing is what it seems: a Victrola turns into a stove and tennis racquets double as snowshoes. In The Play House, nine Keatons strut their stuff in a minstrel show. SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (from IMDB) Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, Momo and Ernest. We will discover that Charlie's real name is Edouard Saroyan, once a virtuose who gives up after his wife's suicide. Charlie now has to deal wih Chico, Ernest, Momo, Fido (his youngest brother who lives with him), and Lena... SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Directed by Billy Wilder A hilarious smorgasbord of madcap subversion, SOME LIKE IT HOT spoofs everything from gangster movies to modern-day gender roles. This cross-dressing screwball burlesque stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as musicians on the run from the mob who don dresses and join an all-girl band on its way to Florida. Decked out in drag, both men face romantic complications, as Curtis concocts yets another identity—a dead-on Cary Grant impression!—to seduce cheerful chanteuse Marilyn Monroe, while a befrocked Lemmon finds himself pursued by irrepressible tycoon Joe E. Brown. Bold, brazen, and popping with indelible dialogue, Wilder's comedic tour de force was recently voted no less than the funniest film of all time by the AFI. Producer: Billy Wilder. Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond. Cinematographer: Charles Lang, Jr.. Editor: Arthur Schmidt. Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft. 35mm, 122 min. Stairway to Heaven aka A Matter of Life and Death (1946/color/104 min.) Scr/dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; w/ David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Richard Attenborough. "RAF pilot [David] Niven bales out of his blazing plane without a chute and survives; but-at least in his tormented mind-he was due to die, and a heavenly messenger comes down to earth to collect him. A celestial tribunal ensues to judge his case while, back on earth, doctors are fighting for his life. What makes the film so very remarkable is the assurance of [Michael] Powell's direction, which manages to make heaven at least as convincing as earth. (The celestial scenes are in monochrome, the terrestrial ones in color.) Made at the instigation of the [British] Ministry of Information, who wanted propaganda stressing the need for goodwill between Britain and America, it emerges as an outrageous fantasy full of wit, beautiful sets, and perfectly judged performances."—Time Out STROMBOLI (Stromboli terra di Dio) (1949) Directed by Roberto Rossellini Karin (Ingrid Bergman), a Lithuanian woman recently freed from an Italian internment camp, frets that her spirit is being crushed by her unrefined, fisherman husband (Mario Vitale) and his conservative neighbors. The film is the first of the great Rossellini-Bergman collaborations, but it has mostly been seen in this country in a drastically shortened version that the filmmaker called "proof of Hollywood's brutality". We will be presenting the original, uncut version. Producer: Roberto Rossellini. Screenwriter: Sergio Amidei, Gian Paolo Callegari, Renzo Cesana, Art Cohn. Cinematographer: Otello Martelli. Editor: Jolanda Benvenuti, Roland Gross. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale, Renzo Cesana, Mario Sponza. 35mm, 105 min. 10:30 PM SUMMER,1966, MGM Repertory, 85 min. Director Jules Dassin (NIGHT AND THE CITY; RIFIFFI) helmed this mesmerizing existential drama written by Marguerite Duras, a melding of amor fou, fugitive-on-the-run melodrama and the tormented inner life of its main protagonist. Middle-aged married couple Melina Mercouri and Peter Finch and young friend Romy Schneider, driving cross-country in Spain, form a potentially explosive love triangle. A fierce rainstorm strands them overnight at a crowded hotel in a small village, and while they are there, the police begin an intense search for a man who has killed his unfaithful lover. Alcoholic Mercouri, obviously loved by spouse Finch, is, by nature, a melancholic, self-destructive person. Her drinking spurs her feelings of inadequacy as she witnesses Finch and Schneider’s obvious chemistry together. By chance, she runs into the fugitive, and spontaneously helps the despairing man make his escape into the lonely countryside. This deeply felt character study is one of Dassin’s finest later films. Charismatic Mercouri gives one of her greatest performances, and Finch and Schneider are likewise standouts. NOT ON DVD. THE UNDERCOVER MAN, 1949, Sony Repertory, 85 min. Although it is based on the Treasury Department’s successful efforts to finally bring down Chicago gang kingpin, Al Capone, convicting him in 1931 of tax evasion, director Joseph Lewis (GUN CRAZY, THE BIG COMBO) sets his story in a seemingly unspecified time and the head mobster is referred to only as The Big Man. Treasury agent, Glenn Ford, much to wife Nina Foch’s chagrin, goes undercover on one of his most dangerous assignments with partners James Whitmore and David Wolfe. Since Chicago gangland’s rampage of extortion and murder has gone unchecked by conventional law enforcement efforts, Ford and his cohorts attempt to go through the back door, following a trail of dummy corporations and falsified financial records to build their case. WHITE HEAT, 1949, Warner Bros. 114 min. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Incredible direction by Raoul Walsh makes this, flat-out, one of the most electrifying crime thrillers ever made. Mama's boy Cody Jarrett is the quintessential James Cagney performance, an invigorating example of a star's titanic personality merging with the fiction to create an unforgettable character. Even when Cagney’s portrayal is seen now in the wake of Pacino’s Tony Montana, it still remains perhaps the most chillingly convincing profile of an outlaw sociopath ever to come out of Hollywood. The stellar supporting cast includes Virginia Mayo as Cody’s two-timing moll, Edmond O'Brien as Fallon, the undercover G-man, Steve Cochran as Cody’s dapper rival within the gang, and Margaret Wycherly as "Ma." If you've never seen the explosive climax on the big screen, here's your chance! Woman in the Dunes (1964/b&w/147 min.) Scr: Kôbô Abe, based on his novel; dir: Hiroshi Teshigahara; w/ Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida. An entomologist searches the dunes for a rare beetle that will bring him fame but finds himself instead imprisoned in a sand pit with its sole occupant, a woman with whom he must labor shoveling sand or perish. "Are you shoveling to survive, or surviving to shovel?" the man asks the woman. Adapted by Kôbô Abe from his own novel, this parable about a man reduced to the status of an insect while retaining all of his human needs is an existential horror film that brings to mind Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" (1916), the myth of Sisyphus, and the claustrophobic hotel room-hell of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit (1947). "There is a strong erotic undercurrent, beginning with the woman displaying her sleeping form, and continuing through hostility, struggle, and bondage," critic Roger Ebert wrote. "In this pit, life is reduced to work, sleep, food, and sex." Los Angeles premiere of the director's cut; new print courtesy of Janus Films. WOMAN OF STRAW, 1964, MGM Repertory, 122 min. Basil Dearden (THE BLUE LAMP; LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN) directed this crisp and atmospheric suspense thriller with Gina Lollobrigida as a private nurse for despicably mean, invalid tycoon Ralph Richardson. Sean Connery is flawless as Richardson’s sexy, conniving nephew who seduces Lollobrigida. When Richardson is murdered and Lollobrigida framed, is it Connery’s doing? Or someone else? Alexander Knox is the dogged police inspector and Johnny Sekka the butler who may hold the key to the mystery. Although Connery was still doing the Bond films at this point, he gets to stretch a bit here, playing a much more complex character. The velvety black-and-white cinematography was by the great Otto Heller. NOT ON DVD. Les Yeux sans visage (Eyes without a Face) (1960/b&w/88 min.) Scr: Pierre Boileau, Pierre Gascar, Thomas Narcejac, Claude Sautet, based on the novel by Jean Redon; dir: Georges Franju; w/ Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob. Jean Cocteau, whose novel Thomas l'imposteur (1923) had also been filmed by Georges Franju, said of the face-lifting scene in Les Yeux sans visage that "it takes us implacably to the end of what our nerves can bear." The premise is lurid: a mad doctor attempts to restore his daughter's mutilated face with skin obtained from young women that he has had abducted and imprisoned in a remote château. But the execution is poetic and dreamlike, enriched by free-floating allusions to then-recent European history, such as Nazi scientific experiments and Orphée's leather-clad messengers of death. As Kenneth Turan noted in the Los Angeles Times, "Eyes is a series of images that burn themselves into your subconscious. Every visual is carefully thought out and brilliantly composed for effect, creating a world that is simultaneously real and surreal. With its ability to go deeply into our fears, this is a motion picture that captures the texture of nightmare as convincingly as it's ever been done on film."