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

fri. feb. 1

city streets, the miracle man @ ucla film archive
beyond the valley of the dolls 8 PM, up!, beneath the valley of the ultra vixens @ silent movie theatre
autolux, HEALTH @ el rey
zodiac, summer of sam @ new beverly theatre
blood simple, fargo @ egyptian theatre

sat. feb. 2

mulatu astatke @ sweets ballroom, oakland
imitation of life @ silent movie theatre
the world's greatest sinner 10:30 @ silent movie theatre
maid of salem 7 PM, the king steps out @ starlight studios
john cage's roaratorio 4 PM @ hammer museum
zodiac 2:50, summer of sam 5:50, zodiac 8:30 @ new beverly theatre
miller's crossing, barton fink @ egyptian theatre

sun. feb. 3

the spiritualist 1 PM @ silent movie theatre
happiness of the katakuris 9:30 PM, visitor q @ silent movie theatre
white rainbow @ mccabe's
beauty & the beast (1946) 3:40 7:30, orpheus 5:35 9:25 @ new beverly theatre
here is always somewhere else @ egyptian theatre
the floating world of pat o'neill part 1 @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre

mon. feb. 4

beauty & the beast (1946), orpheus @ new beverly theatre
han bennink 8 PM 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery

tue. feb. 5

the floating world of pat o'neill part 2 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
dead meadow @ echoplex
beauty & the beast (1946), orpheus @ new beverly theatre
blue cheer @ knitting factory

wed. feb. 6

dr. jeckyll & mr. hyde 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
three days of the condor @ aero theatre

thu. feb. 7

ornette: made in america 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
lilys @ the echo
chicago ten FREE 7 PM @ hammer museum

fri. feb. 8

bad timing 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
lorna 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre
pierrot le fou, TBA @ new beverly theatre
young mr. lincoln, prisoner of shark island @ egyptian theatre
bad dudes @ the smell
the golem (1920) 8:15 @ old town music hall

sat. feb. 9

portrait of jason @ silent movie theatre
no way to treat a lady 10:30 @ silent movie theatre
true romance @ angel city drive-in
pierrot le fou, TBA @ new beverly theatre
winter kills, executive action @ aero theatre
bipolar bear @ the smell
the golem (1920) 2:30 8:15 @ old town music hall

sun. feb. 10

the woman on pier 13 1 PM @ silent movie theatre
ichi the killer 9:30 PM, fudoh: the new generation @ silent movie theatre
michael hurley @ mccabe's
black lips @ detroit bar
the omega man 3:40 7:30, silent running 5:40 9:25 @ new beverly theatre
all the president's men, the parallax view @ aero theatre
imagine the sound @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre
the golem (1920) 2:30 @ old town music hall

mon. feb. 11

the omega man, silent running @ new beverly theatre

wed. feb. 13

andre williams @ spaceland
diary of the dead (sneak preview) @ egyptian theatre
mose allison 8:00 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery

thu. feb. 14

mose allison 8:00 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery
black lips @ el rey

fri. feb. 15

umbrellas of cherbourg 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
vixen 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre
thee cormans @ mr. t's bowl
the earrings of madame de..., letter from an unknown woman @ new beverly theatre
diary of the dead MIDNIGHT @ nuart
mose allison 8:00 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery
patton oswalt & friends @ largo

sat. feb. 16

i met him in paris 7 PM, high wide and handsome @ starlight studios
the okmoniks @ mr. t's bowl
the earrings of madame de... 3:40 7:30, letter from an unknown woman 5:45 9:35 @ new beverly theatre
night warning 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre
mose allison 8:00 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery

sun. feb. 17

murder by the clock 7 PM, the cheat @ ucla film archive
city across the river 1 PM @ silent movie theatre
modern times 4 PM @ silent movie theatre
zebraman 9:30 PM, the great yokai war @ silent movie theatre
wooden shjips @ mccabe's
rock'n'roll adventure kids @ mr. t's bowl
mose allison 8:00 9:30 PM @ jazz bakery
torso, pieces @ new beverly theatre

mon. feb. 18

torso, pieces @ new beverly theatre

tue. feb. 19

party girl 1 PM @ lacma
torso, pieces @ new beverly theatre

wed. feb. 20

mother's day, creepshow @ new beverly theatre
magic of marker 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema

thu. feb. 21

piano players rarely ever play together 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
mother's day, creepshow @ new beverly theatre
darker my love @ the echo

fri. feb. 22

street of chance, okay america! @ ucla film archive
supervixens 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre
shadows of forgotten ancestors @ lacma
andriesh 9:20 PM @ lacma
built to spill, meat puppets @ echoplex
crenshaw boulevard @ warner grand theatre
carrie, zapped! @ new beverly theatre
cult cinema club inauguration @ egyptian theatre
bad dudes @ the smell
liars, no age @ el rey
jon brion @ largo

sat. feb. 23

suture 6 PM, chameleon street @ silent movie theatre
communion 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre
ashik kerib @ lacma
the first lad 9 PM @ lacma
built to spill, meat puppets @ echoplex
carrie, zapped! @ new beverly theatre
invisible art visible artists 10 AM @ egyptian theatre
videodrome, the dead zone @ aero theatre
jon brion @ largo

sun. feb. 24

thieves highway 1 PM @ silent movie theatre

tue. feb. 26

helio sequence @ spaceland

wed. feb. 27

army of shadows @ ucla film archive
beau brummel 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
baby face, the bitter tea of general yen @ aero theatre
the blair witch project, cannibal holocaust @ new beverly theatre

thu. feb. 28

passing through 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
helio sequence @ detroit bar
snow angels (premiere) @ egyptian theatre
blair witch project, cannibal ferox @ new beverly
mae shi @ the echo

fri. feb. 29

faster pussycat kill! kill! 10:30 PM, motor psycho @ silent movie theatre
the color of pomegranates @ lacma
the legend of suram fortress 9:20 PM @ lacma
charles burns @ skylight books
cat power @ the wiltern
bachelor party, caddyshack @ new beverly
my own private idaho, drugstore cowboy @ aero theatre
the landlord @ skirball center
pirate songs & sea shanties @ machine gallery 

sat. mar. 1

mystery sea raider 7 PM, union pacific @ starlight studios
gravity art @ telic arts exchange
the loons @ satisfaction @ bordello
bachelor party, caddyshack @ new beverly
doctor zhivago @ egyptian theatre
paranoid park (preview screening) @ aero theatre
brenda holloway @ zen sushi
grimble grumble @ pehrspace 

sun. mar. 2

spectrum @ the echo
the parallax view 3:10 7:30, klute 5:15 9:35 @ new beverly
snow angels (preview screening) 7 PM @ ucla film archive
the damned @ egyptian theatre
shoot shoot shoot part one 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre
youth without youth, before the devil knows you're dead @ aero theatre
radar bros, etc @ spaceland
"l" as in literature of gilles deleuze from a to z @ mandrake
walk cheerfully 7 PM @ silent movie theatre 

mon. mar. 3

the parallax view, klute @ new beverly
luis trenker: the emperor of california 7 PM @ goethe-institut LA 

tue. mar. 4

the mountain goats @ troubadour
the parallax view, klute @ new beverly theatre

wed. mar. 5

the mountain goats @ troubadour
bipolar bear @ the smell
charles bukowski films 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema

thu. mar. 6

bad dudes @ the smell

fri. mar. 7

the house that screamed MIDNIGHT @ nuart
mt. eerie @ the smell

sat. mar. 8

mae shi, old time relijun @ the smell
gris gris (last show?) @ ghost-town gallery, oakland

sun. mar. 9

xnobbqx @ the smell

tue. mar. 11

grindhouse film fest titles TBA @ new beverly theatre
atlas sound, valet, white rainbow @ the echo 

thu. mar. 13

mike watt & the missingmen @ safari sam's

sun. mar. 16

boredoms @ the fonda

fri. mar. 21

mae shi, rtx, bad dudes, foot village @ knitting factory

mon. mar. 24

bad dudes @ pehrspace

tue. mar. 25

grindhouse film fest titles TBA @ new beverly theatre

wed. mar. 26

diva, let's get lost @ new beverly theatre

thu. mar. 27

diva, let's get lost @ new beverly theatre

fri. mar. 28

diva, let's get lost @ new beverly theatre

sat. mar. 29

the funhouse MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
hold that blonde 7 PM @ starlight studios

sun. mar. 30

john wiese @ the smell

tue. apr. 1

black keys, jay reatard @ wiltern

wed. apr. 2

jucifer @ knitting factory

thu. apr. 3

network, the hospital @ new beverly theatre

fri. apr. 4

network, the hospital @ new beverly theatre
cannibal holocaust MIDNIGHT @ nuart
languis @ pehrspace

sat. apr. 5

network 3:05 7:30, the hospital 5:25 9:50 @ new beverly theatre

fri. apr. 11

the adventures of buckaroo banzai MIDNIGHT @ nuart

wed. apr. 16

blues & jazz voices 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema

sun. apr. 20

HEALTH, foot village @ the smell


1954/color/63 min. | Scr/dir: Sergei Paradjanov and Yakov Bazelian; w/ Kostja Russu, Nikolai Schaschik | Not available on DVD
With only his enchanted flute, a shepherd boy battles a mystical demon in this earliest surviving Paradjanov feature, an expanded version of his thesis film, which clearly foreshadows the wonder and magic of his later works.

(1969, France) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Director Jean-Pierre Melville (LE SAMOURAI, BOB LE FLAMBEUR) spent 25 years bringing Joseph Kessel's saga of the French Resistance to the screen only to see his screen adaptation dismissed by French critics as a "Gaulist" tract on its initial release in 1969. Since then, ARMY OF SHADOWS has emerged as a modern masterpiece of style and suspense, as well as the crowning achievement of Melville's career.
In Person: Roger Deakins & Curtis Hanson
Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel. Producer: Jacques Dorfmann. Screenwriter: Jean-Pierre Melville. Cinematographer: Pierre Lhomme. Editor: Françoise Bonnot. Cast: Lino Ventura, Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Mann. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 140 min.

Ashik Kerib
1988/color/78 min. | Scr: Gia Badridze; dir: Sergei Paradjanov, Dodo Abashidze; w/ Yuri Mgoyan, Sofiko Chiaureli
Pardadjanov's last film is as vibrant and radiantly expressive as his earlier masterpieces. A Turkish minstrel makes his way across Armenia over 1,000 days to win his beloved.

BABY FACE, 1933, Warner Bros, 76 min. In one of the last gasps of pre-code Hollywood, Barbara Stanwyck plays a prostitute who moves to the big city and uses her skills to climb the corporate ladder. Sharp dialogue (with a story credited to a young Darryl F. Zanuck) and a pervasive atmosphere of sordid eroticism mark this classic of early sound cinema. Look for a then unknown John Wayne in a bit part.

Bad Timing
Most stories of doomed, obsessive love are quick to soften the sting using some familiar salve-- by depicting the romance of solitude, the sparkling rapport that precedes vicious accusations, the unmistakable rush that accompanies each luscious protraction of desire. Bad Timing does away with these tactics in favor of a more... unsparing approach. The result is the closest thing to a two-hour hatefuck you'll find this side of your last bad weekend. Hits by the likes of Tom Waits and The Who rock the film's soundtrack and heighten the tense rhythm that grounds memorable turns by Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, and Harvey Keitel. Nicolas Roeg's fragmented approach to narrative served him well in Don't Look Now, but it takes on far more disturbing dimensions in Bad Timing, a film which doesn't spare the mutual-immolation of its leads for one moment, and which culminates in a searing final act that takes a wrecking ball to your every remaining sense of sentiment or romance. Great date movie.
Dir: Nicholas Roeg, 1980, 35mm, 123 min.

Beau Brummel
In the titular role, Barrymore's abilities as an actor took precedence over his good looks, though both were used to great effect in Beau Brummel, which was based loosely on the life of the famously doomed Regency dandy. A perfect vehicle for his noted emotional range, the film follows its hero's vengeful plan to manipulate London society after losing his one true love (18-year-old Mary Astor, here paired with Barrymore for the first time, both on-screen and off). His treacherous intentions are aided by a colorful cluster of royal cohorts, including the Prince of Wales, a loyal manservant named Mortimer, and the Duchess of York. Barrymore's prolonged gazes and fleeting expressions breathe life into what might have otherwise been a typical melodrama.
Dir: Harry Beaumont, 1924, 75 min.

THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN, 1933, Sony Repertory, 88 min. One of Frank Capra’s greatest films, this complex love story between an American missionary (Barbara Stanwyck) and her Chinese captor (Nils Asther) is a haunting masterpiece. Subtle and deeply mysterious, it presents Stanwyck at her best and Capra at his most provocative, with an interracial romance that is both moving and challenging.

BLUES & JAZZ VOICES - Rare perfomance films of Bessie Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Billie Holiday, Louis Jordan, Big Mama Thornton, Son House, Anita O'Day, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald and Fats Waller. Testify to the lasting power of America's music backbone.

Chameleon Street @ 8:00pm
“If Wendell B. Harris is not encouraged to work, American cinema is dead.''—film critic Armond White
Almost twenty years ago, a Sundance jury headed by Armond White and director Steven Soderbergh awarded its Grand Prize to this audacious debut by writer/director/star Wendell B. Harris. And although American cinema is still very much alive, Harris — whose sonorous voice and personal style bears a striking resemblance to Orson Welles—has fallen silent. A bona-fide original, Harris’ funny, dark character study is based on the true story of Douglas Street, the legendary Detroit con man who successfully impersonated, among other bogus personas, a civil rights lawyer, a French foreign exchange student, a Time Magazine reporter and a surgeon. Street’s actions are motivated both by financial need and by the high-wire thrill he gets from being able to manipulate and intuit the perceptions of his (mostly white) marks. Harris was born to play this part; you won’t be able to take your eyes off of him. It’s nearly criminal that he’s only been onscreen twice (both cameos) since this remarkable film. Shot in Detroit by Roger & Me cinematographer Daniel Noga, Chameleon Street remains one of the most subversive and idiosyncratic products of American independent cinema.
Dir: Wendell B. Harris, 1989, 35mm, 105 min.

CHARLES BUKOWSKI FILMS - Ultra rare screening of Hank films. "He shocks the literary establishment with his aliterary style and his blunt language, his eagerness to 'make it new,' as Ezra Pound would say. He brings the American language alive on the page, the way it is spoken by the average American, and thereby delights readers who have long been disenchanted by literature's antiseptic content and alienating austerity." -Jay Dougherty. Plus 7pm preshow Hank readings by S.A. Griffin & others.

(1931) Directed by George Abbott
The inimitable Tallulah Bankhead plays a thrill-seeking housewife who gambles away $10,000 (at the height of the Depression), pinching it from her local charity only to lose it in a shaky market deal. Her actions leave her desperate and open to the lascivious charms of a local art collector who gives her the dough, but expects a pound of flesh in return.
Paramount. Screenplay: Harry Hervey, Hector Turnbull. Cinematographer: George J. Folsey. Editor: Emma Hill. Cast: Tallulah Bankhead, Harvey Stephens, Irving Pichel, Jay Fassett. 35mm, 70 min.

Chicago 10 (2007) features archival footage, animation, and music to look back at the eight anti-war protesters who were put on trial following the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Written and directed by Brett Morgen. Running time: 103 minutes.

City Across The River
This rarely-screened sleeper about juvenile delinquents in New York City has a packed cast: Stephen McNally, Thelma Ritter, Jeff Corey, Mickey Knox, and a twenty–five year old Tony Curtis in his feature debut. A free interpretation of Irving Shulman’s novel, The Amboy Dukes, about a teen gang whose “code of the streets” may be the most dangerous thing in their lives. The Blacklist connection: Corey and Knox were subsequently blacklisted with Corey becoming one of the most renowned acting teachers in Hollywood and Knox, relocating to Italy to craft a glorious career as one of the most well-respected dialogue directors in the business.
Actor Mickey Knox will be in attendance for a Q & A.
Dir: Maxwell Shane, 1949, 35mm, 91 min

(1931) Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Based on a story by Dashiell Hammett, this gritty prohibition crime drama features a young Gary Cooper as "The Kid," a former sharpshooter for the circus. He and his lover Nan (Sylvia Sidney) are catapulted into a violent underworld of murder, mayhem and booze when they cross her stepfather's gang of bootlegging mobsters.
Paramount. Producer: E. Lloyd Sheldon. Screenplay: Oliver H.P. Garrett. Cinematographer: Lee Garmes. Cast: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William "Stage" Boyd. 35mm, 80 min.

The Color of Pomegranates
1969/color/88 min. | Scr/dir: Sergei Paradjanov; w/ Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alexanian
Paradjanov pays tribute to the life of 17th century troubadour Sayat Nova in this film that was long suppressed by Soviet authorities but has since been considered Paradjanov's crowning achievement. "An extraordinarily beautiful film…any one of its linked tableaux is a startling combination of Byzantine flatness, Quattrocento beatifics and Islamic symmetry." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

If there were a character actor Hall of Fame, with portraits of Peter Lorre and Edward G. Robinson, Christopher Walken's skeletal, snake-eyed countenance would definitely be up there as one of the all-time greats. His performances are so idiosyncratic and unforgettable they have spawned a genera-tion of wannabe impersonators. But he's not just unique–Walken is one of the most dependably, methodically committed per-formers in American cinema, and no film puts his dedication to the test so much as Communion, Whitley Streiber’s seminal account of alien abduction. No, Walken doesn’t play the alien–he plays a thinly-veiled version of Streiber, who undergoes an abduction while on a family vacation and struggles to come to terms with his experience. Perhaps the single most influ-ential text on alien visitation–among those who believe in it, anyway–Communion is perhaps best enjoyed by the skeptic as the great Walken twitchfest–a performance so mannered and eccentric, Streiber himself was offended by it.
Director Philippe Mora will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Dir. Philippe Mora, 1989, 35mm, 107 min.

Crenshaw Boulevard (2008)
A small film crew spent ten weeks roaming 24-mile long Crenshaw Boulevard chasing stories of the human experience. When finished, they had Crenshaw Boulevard, a documentary film revealing eleven broadly ranged, uplifting stories: from the pursuit of filling basic needs, to seeking to see the far ends of our universe, to building a wildly successful helicopter business, to being a part of the West Coast’s premiere African-American cultural center. These stories and so many more reside along Crenshaw Boulevard

Join us tonight for these inaugural screenings of The American Cinematheque’s Cult Cinema Club -- once-a-month double bills in our Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. These cult films are almost impossible to see! We’ll be screening all movies on DVD, and the titles will usually not be revealed beforehand. We’ll describe the films, sometimes giving director and actor credits, in our monthly print calendar schedules and on our website. The majority of films we’ll be screening will be genre pictures -- horror, crime, martial arts and spy thrillers, spaghetti westerns and even quirky (but never boring!) arthouse films, mostly hailing from Europe and sometimes from Asia. Keep an eye out for these transgressive gems, at the Egyptian! Our initial offerings are two offbeat, Italian giallo rarities, both with the word "DEATH" in their titles, with such stars as Jean-Luis Trintignant, Robert Hoffmann and Susan Scott. Neither film is available on DVD in the United States. Both are dubbed in English.

DIARY OF THE DEAD, 2007, The Weinstein Company, 95 min. Shot over a short 23 day schedule, director George Romero bleeds new life into the DEAD franchise with this unnervingly realistic recreation of events, depicted as they unfold. Student filmmakers shooting their own horror movie are caught in the middle of the zombie invasion and turn their cameras on the reanimated corpses, documenting the sudden dire calamity that threatens to destroy civilization as we know it. A cast of unknowns adds to the realism. With Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Lalonde. "…one of the most daring, hypnotic and absolutely vital horror films of the past decade… Outlandish, expressionistic and absolutely, disorientingly alive, DIARY OF THE DEAD is the movie that Romero’s legion of cultists—this critic included—have been screaming for: a fascinating, almost art-house railing against a mad, mad world." – Chris Alexander, Fangoria Discussion following with director George Romero.

(1981 -- 1 hr. 57 min.)
Atmospheric thriller about a young postal delivery boy, his obsession with an opera diva, the bootleg tapes he makes of her performances, and the evil hoods who chase him down, thinking he has a tape that implicates them in a crime.

Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde
Though Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale has seen countless incarnations, Barrymore's version is accepted as unmatched, nearly a century after its release. No surprise that history's consummate split-personality archetype would be so expertly manifested by a man famously torn between his overwhelming successes and the carnal proclivities that would eventually kill him. Impressively creepy prosthetics enhance the unsettling performance, and Barrymore's convulsive scenery-chewing is at its most potent during Jeckyll's grotesque transformations-- they're masterful slices of silent cinema that fortunately forego subtlety in favor of atomic theatrics. Nita Naldi, then known as the female Valentino, makes a notable appearance as a dance-hall temptress whose delicious wardrobe malfunctions still have the power to summon the Hyde in us all.
Dir: John S. Robertson, 1920, 35mm

THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE, 1953, Janus Films, 105 min. "Director Max Ophuls' THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE... is a romantic tragedy at its most sublime, in which the beautiful wife (Danielle Darrieux) of a rich, titled general (Charles Boyer) falls in love with a handsome, equally aristocratic Italian diplomat (Vittorio De Sica) amidst the most opulent Belle Epoque settings. A pair of diamond earrings triggers a chain of events that set a deceptively light tone for the 1953 film." – Kevin Thomas. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

EXECUTIVE ACTION, 1973, Warner Bros., 91 min. Years before Oliver Stone’s JFK, director David Miller (LONELY ARE THE BRAVE) pulled off one of the most shocking casting coups of the early 1970s: Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan as two rich Texas men on a commission of right-wing corporate honchos who are revealed to be the real force behind the JFK assassination. Alarmed at civil rights progress, Kennedy’s commitment to the nuclear test-ban treaty and his wavering on Viet Nam, they plot the President’s demise with a coldly detached precision. The screenplay was penned by previously blacklisted Dalton Trumbo. With Will Geer, John Anderson. Discussion in between films with WINTER KILLS director William Richert, art director Norman Newberry, production designer Bob Boyle and other guests to be announced.

The First Lad
1958/color/86 min. | Scr/dir: Sergei Paradjanov | Not available on DVD
In this early Paradjanov feature, the soccer rivalry between two collective farms in rural Ukraine is complicated by the romance of a Komsomol secretary and a hooligan villager. "Frank Tashlin let loose on the Steppes." - Bruce Posner, Harvard Film Archive.

Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
A man with very simple tastes and habits meets with growing exasperation from his more sophisticated wife. She treats him with increasing disrespect, and nearly has an affair, but something changes her attitude and she returns to him with an appreciation for his simplicity and reliability.

The Floating World of Pat O’Neill
Pat O’Neill is Los Angeles’s true avant-garde master, creating beautiful, moody films with floating mattes, variable film speeds, ghostly layering, wry wit, and masterful soundtracks, all working together to form a fractured almost-narrative, a reflection on the lost spaces and times of our city. Among the films that we will see tonight is his latest, Horizontal Boundaries, which O’Neill has stated might be his last film.
“’In O’Neill’s films, boundaries fade; narratives collapse, and layers of images draw the viewer simultaneously towards and away from linear meaning.’ Since the early 1960s, eminent Los Angeles based artist and filmmaker Pat O’Neill has combined a mastery of optical effects with found footage, experimental montage and compositing techniques to create seamless streams of moving images.”

Fudoh: The New Generation
Widely regarded as his first crossover hit, this Yakuza revenge/high school melodrama was made for video but landed in less reputable theatres throughout Japan. Riki Fudoh (Shosuke Tanihara) is a high school student by day and Yakuza boss by night. Out to avenge his brother’s murder, Riki starts a war with the adult world mafia—with his father as the ultimate target. His rag tag team of young enforcers, includes handgun-toting tots and a comely young teen who shoots deadly blowdarts from her vagina. When the mob sends a tough fixer named Nohma (Riki Takeuchi) to snuff Riki out, the conflict gets lethal. Fudoh is bloody, surreal and booby-trapped with moments of perverse comedy. An audacious, adrenalized genre film about Oedipal rage, backed up with lots of ammo.
Dir: Takashi Miike, 1996, 35mm, 98 min.

Two young couples on a double date go to a mysterious carnival. As a prank they decide to spend the night in the funhouse. When they witness a brutal murder, they suddenly find themselves in horrific danger.

The Great Yokai War
Based on the Yokai Monster movie series from the late '60s (which were in turn based on the goblins of traditional Japanese folklore), this is a Miike film, you know…for kids! In this eco-fable, an evil demon plots to take over the world by capturing nature sprits and transforming them into smoke-belching industrial beasts for his mechanized army. The only thing opposing him is a ten-year old boy (who may be the fabled Kirin Rider) and a ragtag band of bizarre creatures, like the duckbilled, turtle-shelled kappa and the serpentine-necked ghost woman. Along with flashy special effects, amazing costumes, and an especially yummy Chiaki Kuriyama (from Battle Royale and Kill Bill Vol. 1), this is every bit a Miike picture, with his surreal wit serving an unsubtle but rousing kidflick.
Dir: Takashi Miike, 2005, 35mm, 124 min.

Happiness of the Katakuris
After a Jan Svankmajer-style opening involving a cupid-like homunculus, an evil teddy bear, and a hungry crow, we meet four generations of the Katakuris: husband and wife, their criminal son and divorcee daughter, her little girl, and the wife's father. In response to Japan's economic decline, the Katakuris have reinvented themselves as innkeepers at an out-of-the-way hotel. Sadly, their guests have a tendency to die from suicide and fatal accident, and the family has to bury the bodies to avoid the bad press. Meanwhile, the daughter of the family is being wooed by a con artist who claims to be either the offspring of royalty or a foreign spy. To make matters worse, an escaped murderer is on the loose, and the nearby volcano is rumbling ominously. Miike’s whatzit is the best family-musical-comedy-with-zombies-and-claymation-sequences ever made.
Dir: Takashi Miike, 2001, 35mm, 113 min.

HERE IS ALWAYS SOMEWHERE ELSE, 2007, American Scenes/VPRO Television, 70 min. A superb documentary about the life and work of Dutch/Californian artist Bas Jan Ader, who in 1975 disappearred under mysterious circumstances at sea in the smallest boat to ever attempt an Atlantic crossing. As seen through the eyes of his fellow emigrant filmmaker Rene Daalder, the picture becomes a sweeping overview of the contemporary art world as well as an epic saga of the transformative powers of the ocean. Featuring artists Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Marcel Broodthaers, Ger van Elk, Charles Ray, Chris Burden, Fiona Tan, Pipilotti Rist and many others. Made in association with VPRO Television in Amsterdam and Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam. Preceded by: various film shorts by Bas Jan Ader. Discussion following film with director Rene Daalder.

The Hospital
Paddy Chayefsky wrote this biting black comedy about a modern mega-hospital that strangles its patients--and doctors--in red tape. George C. Scott stars in a ferocious, Oscar-nominated performance.

Filmforum commences an intermittent series of documentaries focusing on avant-garde and free jazz, in part connected with the series of jazz films being presented at the Silent Movie Theatre. Tonight, back at our normal location at the Egyptian Theater, we present the Los Angeles appearance of the new revival of Ron Mann’s vital film Imagine the Sound (1981/2007), about free jazz from 1981. A marvelous film for jazz fans and documentary fans, it digs deep into the side of improvised music not yet touched by Ken Burns and Wynton Marsalis.

Imitation of Life
This heartrending social melodrama was the glorious finale of Douglas Sirk’s Hollywood career. An emotionally gripping and intellectually rigorous examination of role-playing on both sides of the race barrier, Imitation of Life tells the dual stories of Lora Meredith, an ambitious stage actress and Annie, a black woman and fellow single mother, who she employs as her live-in maid. As Lora surrenders to her own stardom, her family relationships crumble. Her daughter competes for the attention of Lora’s new boyfriend. Annie's light-skinned daughter, tantalized by the image of white luxury, rejects her mother and her identity to "pass" as a white woman. With a powerful sense of irony, Sirk juxtaposes these two stories, contrasting Lora’s shallow emotional conflicts with Annie’s much deeper personal crisis. Sirk pairs a deep understanding of the power of melodrama with his unparalleled mastery of performance, camera, and mise-en-scene to reveal the naked wounds of American society.
Dir: Douglas Sirk, 1959, 35mm, 125 min.

Presented by the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E)
You saw their names in the opening credits. Then you saw their names in Variety. Now discover how they went from dailies to Oscar-nominated films. An open discussion with all of this year's Oscar-nominated editors: "The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Christopher Rouse; "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathe Renn): Juliette Welfling; "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy; "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes; "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor. Free Admission. Tickets available on day of seminar only at box office. No online ticketing. Doors open at 9:00 AM.

John Cage's Roaratorio
A Verbivocovisual Celebration of James Joyce's Birthday
An afternoon program celebrating James Joyce and his influence on the pioneering artist and musician John Cage. Cage composed his Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake based on the confounding Joyce classic. The program features John Snyder reading from Finnegans Wake; a rare video recording of John Cage's performance; a short piano recital by Dolores Stevens; and a discussion with noted scholars Marjorie Perloff and Robert Winter.

The Legend of Suram Fortress
1985/color/89 min. | Scr: Vaja Gigashvili; dir: Sergei Paradjanov and Dodo Abashidze; w/ Dodo Abashidze
Paradjanov's first film after his years in prison is a retelling of Georgia's national fable about a formidable castle whose walls continuously crumble until a fortune-teller reveals its secret. "Paradjanov's most sumptuous production…at once overplotted and oblique, Christian and pagan, archaic and postmodern." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

(Bruce Weber, USA, 1988, 35mm, 119 min)
In the 1950s, Chet Baker's jazz trumpeting, edgy, intimate crooning and pretty boy good looks epitomized West Coast "cool." When famed photographer Bruce Weber caught up with him three decades later, time and drug addiction had ravaged his life and angelic beauty with deep valleys and crevasses. LET'S GET LOST artfully intercuts gorgeous black and white footage of the gaunt latter-day Baker, with images of the young jazz trumpeter in iconic 1950s early television and film appearances and photographs by William Claxton. Shot by Weber and cinematographer Jeff Preiss during what would turn out to be Baker's final year, the film also includes interviews with friends, family, lovers and associates. This transfixing, bittersweet portrait of the jazz legend won the Critics' Prize at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

“A perfect film” (David Thomson), LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN has gone from cult status to being voted one of the fifty greatest films in the history of cinema (in a Time Out critics' poll). Many rank it with the best of Mizoguchi and Murnau. A fatalistic romantic tragedy set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, LETTER stars Joan Fontaine as a young woman who maintains her yearning devotion to a dissolute concert pianist from afar, and finds that he does not recognize her many years after their first encounter. Sacrificing herself to the pursuit of this debased unattainable, the “unknown woman”is viewed by Ophüls with both compassion and detachment; her constancy is at once exalting and ruinous. Rarely did “Max and his tracks” achieve such visual splendour. “Almost certainly Ophüls' greatest American film . . . Ophüls at his best”(James Monaco). “A well-nigh perfect experience for the cineaste . . . A visual triumph . . . A film possessed of grace both in the spiritual and stylistic sense, LETTER is a masterpiece made by a man who made more than several” (Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times).

MAGIC OF MARKER - One of the most influential, radical sci-fi films ever made and a mind-bending free-form travelogue by visionary Chris Marker. "A handbook of the infinite ways in which it is possible to experience the world" -NY Times. Plus 7pm video preshow: insightful interview with Jean-Pierre Gorin, and the influence of Hitchcock's Vertigo on Marker.

(1932) Directed by Norman McLeod
This pre-Code oddity stars Sylvia Sidney and Chester Morris as a pair of con artists who stumble across an elderly faith healer while on the lam. With the help of their pals, a contortionist and a pickpocket, they concoct a plan to exploit the old man and his unique powers for all they're worth.
Paramount. Based on the novel by Frank L. Packard and Robert H. Davis, as well as the play by George M. Cohan. Screenplay: Waldemar Young, Samuel Hoffenstein. Cinematographer: David Abel. Cast: Sylvia Sidney, Chester Morris, Robert Coogan, John Wray, Boris Karloff. 35mm, 87 min.

(1931) Directed by Edward Sloman
Draped in skin-clinging satin, star Lilyan Tashman delivers a fiendishly demented turn as the impatient niece of a wealthy matriarch who dupes her lover into a plot to get her inheritance early. A string of murders, a horn-alarmed crypt and Tashman's brutish embrace of the matriarch's mentally feeble son help make this an overlooked camp classic ripe for rediscovery.
Paramount. Screenplay: Henry Myers. Cinematographer: Karl Struss. Cast: William Boyd, Lilyan Tashman, Irving Pichel, Regis Toomey. 35mm, 74 min.

Night Warning
also known as
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker
There’s no one quite like Susan Tyrrell. Pauline Kael referred to her as “an entire school of acting”, and Rex Reed said “she has a body like an unmade bed”. Elfin, tawdry, foul-mouthed, and consummately theatrical, she has highlighted some sixty films in thirty years, a signifier of the weird in movies like Tapeheads, Forbidden Zone, Andy Warhol’s Bad, and Big-Top Pee-Wee. In Night Warning, Tyrrell creates a rag-ing character that is impossible to ignore, and yet is strangely still loveable in her very misguided intentions. When lonely Cheryl sees that her only source of happi-ness, her nephew Billy (Jimmy McNichol), is about to grow up and leave for college, it sets about a series of increasingly deranged acts that result in murder and worse. Her mania is matched by Bo Svenson as a ho-mophobic detective willing to ignore or manipulate evidence to prove his assertion that Billy is a gay psychopath, thus insuring him a future job in the Bush administra-tion. Also starring comedienne Julia Duffy and a young Bill Paxton. Jan De Bont worked for one week uncredited on a de-capitation scene–we won't tell you whose.
Susan Tyrrell and writer/producer Stephen Breimer will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Dir. William Asher, 1983, 35mm, 96 min.

No Way To Treat a Lady
If you ever wished Rod Steiger could play every character in a movie, this totally bon-kers 1968 cat-and-mouse caper might be the closest you’ll ever get. One of the great post-Oscar follies, Steiger followed up In the Heat of the Night with a concentrated blast of silliness so feverish we should serve chicken soup on draft at the concession stand. George Segal, doing his best not to laugh, plays an addled detective on the trail of Christopher Gill (Steiger), a master-of-disaster-of-disguise murderer, who gains the trust of his victims by pretending to be, among other things, a gay hairdresser, a German plumber, and a Catholic priest. Gill is your typical thrill-killer, except his ultimate rush is to torture the police with excruciating impersonations, including a W.C. Fields so hackneyed it’s hard to be-lieve Steiger would later be allowed to play the rummy comedian in a TV movie. Toss in Lee Remick as the only scenery Rod Steiger doesn’t chew, and you’ve got No Way to Treat A Lady.
Dir. Jack Smight, 1968, 35mm, 108 min.

(1932) Directed by Tay Garnett
Lew Ayres stars as Larry Wayne, a shameless and feared gossip columnist whose radio show and column lay ruin to reputations daily. When he's called upon by his boss to cover a kidnapping, Larry gets more than he bargained for as his adventures lead him from drug smugglers to the mafia and ultimately the White House.
Universal. Producer: Carl Laemmle, Jr.. Screenplay: Scott Pembroke, William Anthony McGuire. Cinematographer: Arthur Miller. Editor: Ted Kent. Cast: Lew Ayres, Maureen O’Sullivan, Louis Calhern, Edward Arnold. 35mm, 78 min.

Ornette: Made in America
Shirley Clarke cemented her place as one of the key figures of the American independent film movement with her films The Connection (1961) and The Cool World (1963), both of which had strong jazz elements. Before retiring from filmmaking in the '80s, Clarke returned to the jazz scene for her final work, making this brilliant documentary on the decades-spanning career of multi-instrumentalist Ornette Coleman, a towering yet humble figure whose "free jazz" innovations rocked the world upon the release of his album "The Shape Of Jazz To Come" in 1959. Highlights include Coleman's homecoming performance of his "Skies Of America" symphony in Fort Worth, Texas (a town whose segregated past Coleman longed to escape as a child), and footage of Coleman's fusion group Prime Time overlayed with 8-bit video game effects!
Dir: Shirley Clarke, 1985, 35mm, 85 min.

ORPHEUS, 1949, Janus Films, 109 min. In the myth of Orpheus, the unlucky poet is
forbidden to gaze upon his beloved Eurydice lest she be banished to the underworld.
Jean Cocteau's version makes brilliant use of 1940’s Paris—the beatnik cafes of the
Left Bank, bombed-out buildings from World War II, cryptic radio signals, and leather-
clad motorcyclists—to convey the fractious literary world of the poet and the fearsome
"Zone" he must navigate in pursuit of his lost love. Among the film’s most startling
effects is Orphee's passage through the mirror that separates life from death. With
Jean Marais, Maria Casares, Francois Perier, Juliette Greco. "ORPHEE is one of the
triumphant examples of the use of film to intensify and extend fantasy."—Francis

Party Girl
1958/color/CinemasScope/99 min. | Scr: George Wells; dir: Nicholas Ray; w/ Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb | Not available on DVD
A showgirl and a crooked lawyer try to break with a powerful mob boss. "There are torrents of inventivness. Every sequence is a cascade of ideas." - Cahiers du cinéma

Passing Through
Lauded by critics as the best jazz film ever made, Passing Through is a vivid and lyrical meditation on the indelible role of music in the struggle for civil rights. With the vital spontaneity and aesthetic consideration of a masterful jazz composition, the film follows Warmack, a promising young musician, on a spiritual quest toward inspiration and cultural excavation. Warmack's relationship with his grandfather is the heart of Passing Through-- Poppa Harris, a musician himself, provides Warmack with the sort of guidance that leads the film's central journey to its poignant, essential message. Director Larry Clark never released this film commercially-- in his words, it was made for the revolution. Upon its reemergence, Passing Through’s remarkable rarity and quality prompted several festivals to screen it as a special event, including Locarno and Cannes, and its inclusion in this series is a truly exciting chance for us to bring you as close to a lost classic as you’ll find in the film world.
Presented by Arthur Magazine.
Dir: Larry Clark, 1977, 35mm, 105 min.

Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together
Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together is a portrait of three great New Orleans pianists and how they influenced one another's music. The three keyboard artists – Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint -- are featured playing together for the first time in a rehearsal for a joint concert. The rehearsal turned out to be the only time the three ever played together, because Professor Longhair died two days before the scheduled performance. The video documentary takes viewers through the very personal and sacred New Orleans tradition of a jazz wake and funeral procession for Professor Longhair, which was taped at the encouragement of his widow, Alice. Also included is the previously planned concert with Toussaint and Washington, who turned the event into a tribute to Fess.
Dir: Stevenson Palfi, 1982, Video, 76 min.

Asked once why there was so much blood in Pierrot le Fou, French master Jean-Luc Godard replied, "That's not blood, that's red." A work of giddy, glorious spontaneity and self-reflexivity, Pierrot le Fou is one of the quintessential achievements of the influential director's most fertile period. It's also something of a Godard compendium, referring back to earlier Godard films (the ironic gangster cool of 'Breathless' and 'Bande à part') and anticipating future ones (the dazzling social analysis, the apocalyptic visions, of 'Two or Three Things I Know About Her' and 'Weekend'). After Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a jaded Parisian TV executive, abandons his wife and child for Marianne (Anna Karina), the family baby-sitter, the two lovers set out on a picaresque, Bonnie-and-Clyde-like trek to the south of France. Godard described Pierrot le Fou as "the story of the last romantic couple." The film abounds in explosive primary colours, Brechtian asides to the camera, abrupt shifts in tone and mood, and a characteristic catalogue of references: art, literature, advertising, politics. As always in Godard, American culture and American cinema figure prominently. At one point, Ferdinand and Marianne offer a two-person re-enactment of the Vietnam War. At another, filmmaker Sam Fuller, in a famous cameo, defines cinema as "a battleground — love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word: emotion." In fact, Pierrot ranks as one of the most uncommonly emotional works in the Godard canon: a tragic exploration of the transience of love — inspired, perhaps, by the impending break-up of Godard's marriage to Karina. Color, 35mm, in French with English subtitles. 110 mins.

PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND, 1936, 20th Century Fox, 96 min. On the dark and stormy night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Dr. Samuel Mudd (Warner Baxter) set the broken leg of a man passing through his rural Maryland neighborhood. Unbeknownst to Mudd, his patient was the assassin, John Wilkes Booth. After Booth’s capture, innocent Dr. Mudd was tried and convicted with seven others as co-conspirators. Three went to the gallows, and the other five – Mudd amongst them – was sentenced to life in the infamous Shark Island prison colony in the Gulf of Mexico. Gloria Stuart (TITANIC) is Mudd’s longsuffering, courageous wife who goes to great lengths to reverse the trend of negative public opinion. John Carradine assays perhaps his most unforgettable early role as Mudd’s cruel jailer, and Harry Carey is the warden who finds he must put his trust in Mudd. One of John Ford’s least-known films is also one of his finest. The director elicits an excellent performance from the underrated Baxter, putting him through his paces – Mudd’s attempted escape in shark-infested waters and his ministering to abused prisoners and cruel guards alike during a yellow fever epidemic are especially memorable. "Warner Baxter as Dr Samuel A. Mudd, 'America's Jean Valjean' of the post-Civil War hysteria, turns in a capital performance as the titular prisoner of 'America's Devil's Island'." -- Variety

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
1965/color/100 min. | Scr: Ivan Chendej; dir: Sergei Paradjanov; w/ Ivan Mikolajchuk, Tatyana Bestayeva
A student of the preeminent Soviet montage theorist Lev Kuleshov and director Alexander Dovshenko, Paradjanov came to international prominence with this rhapsodic tale of doomed romance. "The most plastic-fantastic of Soviet new-wave movies… ethnographic cinema run wild. This is a folk ballad-a tale of blood feuds, sorcery, and star-crossed love-that's not so much lyric as lysergic." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

SILENT RUNNING, 1971, Universal, 89 min. Haunting, metaphysical sci-fi film starring Bruce Dern as an astronaut charged with maintaining a huge terrarium/space station with the help of three marvelously human robots named Huey, Dewey and Louie. Directed by visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND), this showed pre-STAR WARS American sci-fi at its most thoughtful.

SNOW ANGELS, 2007, Warner Independent Pictures, 106 min. David Gordon Green’s latest piece of bravura, virtuoso cinema is framed by the sound of two gunshots, this is the haunting story of two broken families and two romantic relationships, one just beginning and one nearing its end. Michael Angarano plays Arthur, a teenager experiencing both his parents’ separation and his first romance with Lila (JUNO’s Olivia Thirlby), while Sam Rockwell’s Glenn is a hard-drinking Evangelical trying to get back into the life of his estranged wife Annie, played by Kate Beckinsale with surprising vulnerability. Supporting cast that includes Griffin Dunne, Jeannetta Arnette, Amy Sedaris, Nicky Katt and Tom Noonan. "The multiple storylines weave together seamlessly to create a tapestry of emotion that stays with the viewer long after the screening." - Ain't It Cool News "Emotionally harrowing and gentle by turns, this well-acted winter's tale is a more narrative-driven experience than Green's more lyrical Sundance entries… the beautiful outdoor photography extends Green's fascination with nature as a realm of beauty and danger, a place where men, women and children alike experience their final reckonings." – Justin Chang, Variety. Director David Gordon Green and other guests (TBA) to introduce the screening.

The Spiritualist
Also known as “The Amazing Dr. X”, The Spiritualist is one of the slickest films ever produced under the banner of that independent antecedent of United Artists, Eagle Lion Studios. When bereft widow Lynn Bari starts hearing her late husband’s calling out to her at night, she consults psychic Turhan Bey who promptly arranges a séance to link Bari up with the spirit of her dead husband! This amazing film plays like a cross between a Val Lewton fantasy-horror and a classic noir. Beautifully moody visuals by ace noir lenser John Alton complement a superbly crafted film by German director Bernard Vorhaus who soon quit making movies due to the Blacklist.
Dir: Bernard Vorhaus, 1948, 35mm, 78 min.

(1930) Directed by John Cromwell
This snappy and cynical drama stars William Powell as John Marsden, a powerful Manhattan gambler who must save his less savvy younger brother from following in his footsteps and living a life of misery and debt. When his brother enters a high-stakes poker game, John cheats to put him off gambling, but his decision has unforeseen, irrevocable consequences.
Paramount. Producer: David O. Selznick. Story: Oliver H.P. Garrett. Screenplay: Lenore J. Coffee, Howard Estabrook. Cinematographer: Charles Lang. Editor: Otto Levering. Cast: William Powell, Jean Arthur, Kay Francis, Regis Toomey. 35mm, 75 min.

Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s low-budget debut is a cerebral, mordantly funny neo-noir about amnesia, psychoanalysis and mistaken identity. Dennis Haysbert is Clay, a working class stiff summoned by his half-brother, a rich crook named Vincent (Michael Harris) for a reunion in Phoenix. Vincent, wishing to fake his own death, notices their striking physical resemblance and attempts to stage a car accident with Clay in the driver’s seat. Surviving the wreck, though stricken with amnesia and mistaken for his wealthy brother, Clay is nursed back to health and ushered into a life of wealth and privilege. There’s just one catch: Haysbert is black and Harris is white, but none of the characters in the film seems to notice the difference. This inspired casting decision places the thorny subject of race in the audience’s lap, casting the film’s examination of identity and social climbing in a new and more troubling light. Suture is a mind-tickling, stylish little thriller that also functions as a remarkable thought experiment for viewers of all races.
Dirs: Scott McGehee & David Siegel, 1993, 35mm, 96 min.

Thieves Highway
Jules Dassin’s last film in America before being blacklisted was this under-the-radar masterpiece. Thieves’ Highway is textured indictment of capitalistic injustice based on A.I. “Buzz” Bezzerides’ novel, “Thieves Market” (Bezzerides wrote classic noir scripts for Kiss Me Deadly and On Deadly Ground). Perpetual noir protagonist Richard Conte stars as a Central Valley trucker who squares off against a treacherous produce wholesaler played by Lee J. Cobb. Not only a great noir, full of claustrophrobic framings and dark fates, Thieves’ Highway is a rip-roaring trucker movie full of hairpin turns, hurtling rigs, and roadside pit stops. Also starring Valentina Cortesa, Jack Oakie, Millard Mitchell and Joe Pevney, this overlooked noir classic was filmed on location in San Francisco’s old Produce Market at the Embarcadero.
Dir: Jules Dassin, 1949, 35mm, 94 min.

“One of the manifest miracles of the cinema” ( The New Yorker ), TOKYO STORY has regularly placed on the Top Ten list of most polls, along with RULES OF THE GAME, THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, and CITIZEN KANE. It should be seen at least once, if not once a year. An elderly couple journeys to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude, and self-absorption. The traditional tatami-and-tea domesticity fairly crackles with vexation and discontent; only the placid daughter-in-law (Setsuko Hara, summoning up a life of disappointment) shows any kindness to the old people. When they are packed off to a resort by their impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality. “One of the greatest of all Japanese motion pictures. Ozu's style, now completely refined, utterly economical, creates a film which is unforgettable because it is so right, so true, and because it demands so much from an audience” (Donald Richie).

Umbrellas of Cherbourg
"People only die of love in movies.” —Madame Emery in Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Heartbreaking and lovely, drenching drab realities in a multi-colored shower of visual design, Umbrellas of Cherbourg is both a wondrous fantasy and a sadly realistic love tragedy. It is a sublime contradiction. Director Jacques Demy takes a prosaic story about the thwarted and unfortunate love between a car mechanic and an umbrella shopgirl, constructed out of everyday utterances and depressingly believable life-changing decisions, and then sets it all to song; he takes the real locations of provincial Cherbourg, and literally repaints them to be as saturated as the film’s costumes and props. It is an amazingly confident formal coup that works to devastating emotional effect. Umbrellas of Cherbourg is beautiful in more ways than can be counted: Michel Legrand’s justly famous music, Deneuve’s youthful angelic countenance, and a romance so poignant that, like all true love, it lingers long after its final luminous image.
Dir: Jacques Demy, 1964, 35mm, 91 min.

Visitor Q
"Have you ever done it with your dad? Have you ever hit your mom? Have you ever been hit on the head?" With these three questions (and the illustrative scenes that follow each one), Miike turns his blackly satirical lens on the modern Japanese family. Father (Kenichi Endo) is a television journalist doing a video piece on Japanese youth, which leads to the aforementioned incest, made easier by the fact that his daughter (Fujiko) is a prostitute. The mother (Shungiko Uchida) is also a whore, turning tricks to buy heroin to numb the pain of the beatings she gets from her son (Jun Muto), who is bullied by his peers and takes out his frustrations on her. Into this dysfunction comes the unnamed visitor (Kazushi Watanabe), bringing with him lactation, necrophilia, and a brick (in answer to the third question) as a means to pull the family together again. Visitor Q is Miike at his funniest and most provocative, ending with one of the most iconic and oddly optimistic images in his filmography.
Dir: Takashi Miike, 2001, Digital Video, 84 min.

WINTER KILLS, 1979, Avco-Embassy (Canal+), 97 min. Director William Richert fashions a fierce lampoon of events surrounding the JFK assassination from Richard Condon’s (MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE; PRIZZI’S HONOR) already bitingly satirical novel. Jeff Bridges, idealistic brother of a slain president, has his life turned topsy-turvy when he’s handed newly-uncovered evidence of a conspiracy. With John Huston as the amoral robber-baron patriarch and a totally tweaked Anthony Perkins as the certifiably loony Head of National Security.

The Woman on Pier 13
This trashy piece of Red Scare hysteria is one of the strangest noirs you’ll ever see. The Woman on Pier 13 offers Howard Hughes’ bizarre perspective of the so-called Red Threat, portraying domestic Communists as well-organized waterfront gangsters in San Francisco! Will ex-fellow traveler Brad Collins (Robert Ryan) succumb to Party blackmail to protect both his new bride (Laraine Day) and business success? Will Ryan’s former lover (the wonderfully tawdry Janice Carter) entrap Collins’ brother (John Agar)? Fascinating, the absurd premise effortlessly translates into the language and style of classic Film noir. This breakneck noir suspenser features stellar performances including Thomas Gomez as the sinister CP boss along with a murderous William Talman in his screen debut.
Dir: Robert Stevenson, 1943, 35mm, 73 min.

The World's Greatest Sinner
"Timothy Carey just couldn't do the same thing twice, either deliberately or unconsciously”–Stanley Kubrick
Character actor Timothy Carey’s perfor-mances are too odd and amazing to fit per-fectly into any cinematic universe but his own; even when working with geniuses like Kubrick and Cassavetes (The Killing, Min-nie And Moskowitz), his trademark sleepy-gazed gaze seems to turn ever inward, into his own dimension. He becomes his own planet, a free-floating cellular satellite with its own rules of psychology and be-havior. He is the ultimate actor as auteur, but with few leading roles there have been few chances to fully explore his fathomless depths for more than a stolen scene or two. But luckily for us, by writing, directing, and producing the cult classic The World’s Greatest Sinner, Carey created a whole film as wonderfully warped as his own perfor-mances. Narrated by a snake, The World’s Greatest Sinner is a touchstone film of American Surrealism, telling the tale of a bored insurance salesman turned hip-gyrating rockabilly preacher who renames himself “God”, seduces old ladies, and starts a political party called “The Eternal Man”. Made in 1962–with music by youthfulphenom Frank Zappa–this film insightful-ly anticipated the connection between rock & roll and religious idolatry, making it not just bizarre, but brilliant. A must-see.
Dir. Timothy Carey, 1962, Digibeta, 82 min.

YOUNG MR. LINCOLN, 1939, 20th Century Fox, 100 min. Director John Ford and actor Henry Fonda’s first collaboration produced this poignant, fascinating chronicle of Abraham Lincoln’s early life. The emphasis is on the simple joys and hardships that shaped the president-to-be’s youthful years, events that molded a shy, country lawyer into one of the most distinguished of American leaders. We follow Lincoln as he clerks in a general store, studies law from second-hand books and endures heartbreak as his first love, Ann Rutledge (Pauline Moore), dies a tragic, premature death. Ford culminates his story as savvy Lincoln skillfully defends two brothers (Richard Cromwell, Eddie Quillan) wrongfully accused of murder. Marjorie Weaver plays future first lady, Mary Todd. With Alice Brady, Donald Meek and Ward Bond.

(from IMDB)
Scott Baio and Willie Aames team up in this outrageous comedy about a high school whiz kid who accidentally gains telekinetic powers. Barney (Scott Baio) uses his newly acquired talent to gain control over bullies, win baseball games, roulette, and of course, to win the affections of beautiful girls--including gorgeous Heather Thomas! There's trouble, though, when Barney's parents discover his powers and decide that he may need to be exorcised of evil spirits.

Lowly teacher Ichikawa (Miike regular Sho Aikawa), ignored by his children and cuckolded by his wife, has one secret joy: putting on his homemade superhero costume and patrolling the city at night. His masked alter ego is based on "Zebraman", a Power Rangers-style TV show from his youth that was canceled after a handful of episodes were aired. What he doesn't know is that the series was intended to be a warning to the world of a real alien invasion. When green slime monsters begin killing people on the school grounds, Ichikawa has to man up and become the hero he always longed to be. With loving recreations of old kaiju shows, fantasies about defeating a crab monster via the aid of Zebra Nurse, and scenes demonstrating the difficulty of practical superheroing, this is one of Miike's funniest films. Plus, zebra-striped Pegasus vs. giant alien amoeba. How can you resist?
Dir: Takashi Miike, 2004, 35mm, 115 min.