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

sat. jan. 31

high sierra, gaslight @ new beverly theatre
basic instinct MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
bad day at black rock 4 PM @ getty center
patton oswalt @ largo
pat garrett and billy the kid @ getty center
lonely tunes of tehran @ ucla film archive
secret ceremony, deep end @ egyptian theatre
mad max, the road warrior, mad max beyond thunderdome @ aero theatre
a foreign affair @ lacma
berlin express 9:40 PM @ lacma
an evening with the prelinger archives @ silent movie theatre
lost in the desert 10 PM @ silent movie theatre

sun. feb. 1

trouble the water, up the yangtze @ new beverly theatre
one third of a nation 7 PM, cuore d'emigrante @ ucla film archive
calvin johnson, sam mcpheeters @ the smell
deleuze from a to z: n as in neurology 8:30 PM @ mandrake bar

mon. feb. 2

trouble the water, up the yangtze @ new beverly theatre
among the clouds @ ucla film archive

tue. feb. 3

trouble the water, up the yangtze @ new beverly theatre
ninotchka 1 PM @ lacma
the cocoa screenings: founding fathers of found footage films 8 PM @ silent movie theatre

wed. feb. 4

patti smith dream of life, the nomi song @ new beverly theatre
john o'keefe's adaptation of walt whitman's song of myself 7 PM, lowell blues: the words of jack kerouac, polis is this: charles olson and the persistence of place @ 7 dudley cinema
the soft pack @ the echo
when a man loves 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
aziz ansari @ largo

thu. feb. 5

patti smith dream of life, the nomi song @ new beverly theatre
frankenstein, the mummy @ aero theatre

fri. feb. 6

the fortune cookie, one two three @ new beverly theatre
the devils MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
berlin--schönhauser corner @ lacma
the second track 9 PM @ lacma
laura, vertigo @ silent movie theatre
the human condition: no greater love @ egyptian theatre
sons of the desert, it's a gift @ aero theatre
jon brion @ largo
mika miko @ echoplex
experimental quadruple threat 8 PM @ velaslavasay panorama
mia doi todd @ first fridays @ natural history museum

sat. feb. 7

the fortune cookie, one two three @ new beverly theatre
crime without passion, back door to heaven @ ucla film archive
lola @ lacma
east side story 9:30 PM @ lacma
the thin man 6:30 PM, after the thin man @ silent movie theatre
the human condition: the road to eternity @ egyptian theatre
the lions 2 PM FREE @ amoeba

sun. feb. 8

the decameron, arabian nights @ new beverly theatre
a light in the fog 7 PM @ ucla film archive
lovefilm 8 PM @ family books presents: an evening with mike mills @ silent movie theatre
the human condition: a soldier's prayer @ egyptian theatre

mon. feb. 9

the decameron, arabian nights @ new beverly theatre

tue. feb. 10

ebony ivory and jade, the muthers @ new beverly theatre
hans haacke @ redcat
cat power @ the avalon
thee cormans FREE @ club ding-a-ling

wed. feb. 11

harold and maude, electric dreams @ new beverly theatre
unforgiven @ ucla film archive
wild orchids 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
cat power @ the avalon

thu. feb. 12

harold and maude, electric dreams @ new beverly theatre
breaker morant @ ucla film archive
hepa-titus @ the smell
charlie haden: rambling boy 8:30 PM @ redcat
paul & oats @ taix

fri. feb. 13

the umbrellas of cherbourg, amelie @ new beverly theatre
se7en MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
the song of sparrows @ ucla film archive
katzelmacher @ lacma
even dwarfs started small 9:10 PM @ lacma
mad love 8 PM, el @ silent movie theatre
vampyres MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre
the soft pack @ the echo
jon brion @ largo
don caballero @ spaceland

sat. feb. 14

the umbrellas of cherbourg, amelie @ new beverly theatre
she's out of control MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
the third generation @ lacma
not reconciled 9:30 PM @ lacma
seventh heaven 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
from here to eternity, casablanca @ aero theatre
accent on youth, chasing yesterday @ starlight studio screenings
thurston moore, kim gordon @ dan graham MOCA members opening party @ MOCA grand

sun. feb. 15

2 blessed 2 b stressed @ silent movie theatre
the music tapes @ the echo
scicolone lazzaro loren 10:30 AM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
fellini's rome 11:30 AM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
it started in naples 2 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
an energy story 4 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
fellini satyricon 4:30 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
giovanna's father 7:15 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
kapo 9 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
pasquale rotondi's list 11 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

mon. feb. 16

foot village @ pehrspace
the truce 11 AM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
ciao professore 1 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
gela ancient and new 4:30 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
the bicycle thief 5 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
the second wedding night 8:30 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
strange fate 10:15 FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

tue. feb. 17

the english patient 10 AM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
a morning in august 1 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
incantato 2:30 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
camorra: a complex plot about women alleys and crimes 5 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
pa-ra-da 7:40 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
loot @ ucla james bridges theater

wed. feb. 18

the brothers bloom, dirty rotten scoundrels @ new beverly theatre
broken blossoms @ silent movie theatre
mose allison @ jazz bakery
tragedy of a ridiculous man 12:20 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
christmas present 2:20 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

thu. feb. 19

the brothers bloom, dirty rotten scoundrels @ new beverly theatre
on the waterfront, midnight cowboy @ egyptian theatre
some like it hot @ aero theatre
mose allison @ jazz bakery
we can do that 4:15 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
the postman (il postino) 6:15 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

fri. feb. 20

house of games, the spanish prisoner @ new beverly theatre
ghostbusters MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
yesterday girl @ lacma
the all-around reduced personality 9:10 PM @ lacma
deep end, that cold day in the park @ silent movie theatre
the velvet vampire MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre
thurston moore, dead machines @ the smell
okmoniks, jinxes, etc @ real boss hoss twist dance party @ mr t's bowl
jon brion @ largo
network, wall street @ egyptian theatre
mose allison @ jazz bakery
postcards from rome 5:50 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

sat. feb. 21

house of games, the spanish prisoner @ new beverly theatre
foxes MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
escape from east berlin @ lacma
funeral in berlin 9:15 PM @ lacma
another thin man 6:30 PM, shadow of the thin man @ silent movie theatre
mark & the escorts, the ambertones, baci galoopis, thee cormans, etc @ real boss hoss blow out @ van nuys elks lodge
invisible art visible artists 10 AM @ egyptian theatre
2001: a space odyssey (70mm) @ aero theatre
mose allison @ jazz bakery
ema & the ghosts @ alterknit lounge @ knitting factory
stranger than paradise @ studio 528
gela ancient and new 10 AM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
an energy story 11:20 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
2003: ten years without federico fellini NOON FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese
amarcord 1 PM FREE @ los angeles italia @ mann chinese

sun. feb. 22

the sting, the man who would be king @ new beverly theatre
neil hamburger @ spaceland

mon. feb. 23

the sting, the man who would be king @ new beverly theatre

tue. feb. 24

penitentiary 2, petey wheatstraw the devil's son-in-law @ new beverly theatre
lou donaldson quartet @ jazz bakery
ema & the ghosts @ silverlake lounge

wed. feb. 25

f for fake, 8 1/2 @ new beverly theatre
black on black FREE @ ucla james bridges theatre
the godless girl 8 PM @ silent movie theatre
2010, nineteen eighty-four @ aero theatre
lou donaldson quartet @ jazz bakery

thu. feb. 26

f for fake, 8 1/2 @ new beverly theatre
the caine mutiny, thirty seconds over tokyo @ aero theatre
abe vigoda @ the echo
lou donaldson quartet @ jazz bakery
girls @ silverlake lounge

fri. feb. 27

the lady eve, the adventures of baron munchausen @ new beverly theatre
nightwing MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
takahiro iimura: film poems 1960-70s @ ucla film archive
the story of adele h. 8 PM, remember my name @ silent movie theatre
daughters of darkness MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre
jon brion @ largo
the godfather @ aero theatre

sat. feb. 28

the lady eve, the adventures of baron munchausen @ new beverly theatre
bruce conner's explosive cinema: a tribute part i FREE @ ucla film archive
the thin man goes home 6:30 PM, song of the thin man @ silent movie theatre
the godfather part ii @ aero theatre
mi ami @ the smell
white woman, the devil and the deep @ starlight studio screenings

sun. mar. 1

the godfather part iii @ aero theatre
raymond pettibon (performance) 2 PM, mike watt & the secondmen @ santa monica museum of art

mon. mar. 2

bruce conner's explosive cinema: a tribute part ii 8:30 PM @ redcat

sat. mar. 7

ghastly ones, living sickness @ bordello
radar bros. @ largo

wed. mar. 11

new mastersounds @ the mint

thu. mar. 12

thee oh sees, bipolar bear @ the smell

fri. mar. 13

nosferatu MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
burning star core, john wiese, ezra buchla @ the smell

sat. mar. 14

smegma with john wiese @ the smell
dan auerbach @ el rey
smegma @ the smell
nocturne, crack-up @ starlight studio screenings

mon. mar. 23

mi ami @ pehrspace

thu. mar. 26

the mae shi, foot village, pre @ the smell

fri. mar. 27

louis ck @ wiltern

sat. mar. 28

bipolar bear @ the smell
shanghai express, the bitter tea of general yen @ starlight studio screenings
nels cline singers @ redcat

sun. mar. 29

neil hamburger @ spaceland

fri. apr. 3

dr. lonnie smith @ the mint

wed. apr. 8

amps for christ @ the smell

wed. apr. 15

black lips @ detroit bar

fri. apr. 17

foot village @ the smell

sat. apr. 25

the time machine (1960) 2 PM, 8PM @ alex theatre

sat. may 9

mika miko @ the smell


ACCENT ON YOUTH (1935-Paramount Pictures)
Wesley Ruggles comedy w/ Herbert Marshall, Sylvia Sidney, Philip Reed

Terry Gilliam revives the tall tales of the 17th century German adventurer. John Neville has the title role and little Sarah Polley is his brave assistant as he travels to the Moon and back to save a besieged city. With Eric Idle, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Jonathan Pryce, and Robin Williams as the King of the Moon.

After The Thin Man
After the Thin Man finds the couple sucked into another odd caper while visiting Nora's hilariously aristocratic family on New Year's. Is cousin Thelma a crazed murderess? All family members are shuffled into the same room to find out... Dir. W. S. Van Dyke, 1936, 35mm, 113 min.

The All-Around Reduced Personality (Die allseitig reduzierte Persönlichkeit)
W. Germany/1977/b&w/98 min./16mm | Scr/dir: Helke Sander; w/ Helke Sander, Beate Kopp, Eva Gagel, Frank Burckner.
Sander’s autobiographical film about three days in the fractured life of a single mother and photojournalist with “her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds” is rich in images of the divided city.

A film which breathes freedom--a nostalgic, fantastic and funny reminiscence of growing up in Fellini's home town of Rimini--made, Fellini said, to finish with youth and tenderness. Against the comic background are sets of indelible characters and an omnipresent Fascist state. Amarcord breathlessly shifts between the melodramatic, the intimate and the burlesque in what is a deeply personal, shared vision. The images--a peacock flying through the snow, a child on his way to school who encounters cows that the early-morning fog has transformed into monsters--are like icons; unforgettable.

(2008, Iran) Directed by Rouhollah Hejazi
At a checkpoint on the Iran-Iraq border, 16-year-old Malek earns extra money pushing luggage for tourists and religious pilgrims. When he innocently woos a young woman who crosses frequently, Malek finds himself caught up in a criminal conspiracy spanning both countries. For this genre-bending teen romance-come-international thriller, director Hejazi won best debut feature at the Fajr Film Festival.
Producer: Saeeid Saadi. Screenplay: Mohammad Reza Gohari. Cinematographer: Farshad Mohammadi. Cast: Elnaz Shakerdoost, Younes Ghazali, Reza Mokhtari, Malek Seraj. Presented in Persian and Arabic dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 83 min.

In this film, Gillo Pontecorvo, one of the internationally most acclaimed directors, paints an exemplary portrait of Agip, a successful company constantly operating on the world scene.
The shots in this extraordinary documentary narrate a fascinating course, always set in different times and space, in environments and places which identify an extremely broad and border-free range of action.
A field as big as the world, in which men, cultures, and different experiences merge in the daily effort of “energy hunting”.
Agip - the film shows - goes wherever energy is, in the sea or in the earth, taking there its men and technologies, with a constant will to cooperate, which has always been one of the major reason for its success.  Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1984.

Another Thin Man
1939's entry in the "Thin Man" series adds an unexpected element to the misadventures of everyone's favorite lushes; new arrival Nicky Jr. joins Nick, Nora, and genius terrier Asta as they vacation in Long Island at the fabulous estate of high-society geezer/arms manufacturer Colonel Burr MacFay. When the Colonel turns up deader than a lobster in butter sauce, all suspect his blackmailer--but Nick and Nora swig their way to the truth, thanks to a well-stocked bar in the parlor. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke, 1939, 35mm, 103 min.

Arabian Nights
Pasolini's final film of his Trilogy of Life, Arabian Nights is a carnal comic tale following the adventures of a slave girl, Pelligrini, as she rises to power. "Rich, romantic and magnificent! Its graphic sex scenes, which have a dreamy kind of beauty to them, are erotic without being pornographic" (Vincent Canby).

(1939) Directed by William K. Howard
Part film noir, part French poetic realism, this low-budget and fatalistic but emotionally affecting account of a delinquent's criminal career (and the hard knocks of poverty) was renegade director Howard's bitter response to the strictures and conventions of the Hollywood studio system.
Screenplay: John Bright, Robert Tasker. Cinematographer: Hal Mohr. Editor: Jack Murray. Cast: Wallace Ford, Patricia Ellis, Aline MacMahon, Jimmy Lydon, Anita Magee. 35mm, 85 min.

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Directed by John Sturges.
The western genre can be a beautiful thing: at once it can be the setting for the hero, the bad guy, and the horse, or it can be a film which uses western signifiers and settings as allegory for the social circumstances of the day. Here Sturges brilliantly utilized western tropes—the one-armed stranger vs. the town of hostile ruffians—as an allegory for the blacklist blazing through 1950s Hollywood.

Berlin Express
USA/1948/b&w/86 min. | Scr: Harold Medford; dir: Jacques Tourneur; w/ Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon, Paul Lukas.
In this thinly veiled paean to Allied cooperation, an American officer teams up with a French secretary, a Russian lieutenant and a British officer to rescue a champion of the peace movement from the Nazis. The film is most notable for Lucien Ballard's stark cinematography of the ruins of Frankfurt.

Berlin—Schönhauser Corner (Berlin—Ecke Schönhauser)
GDR/1957/b&w/81min. | Scr: Gerhard Klein, Wolfgang Kohlhaase; dir: Gerhard Klein; w/ Ekkehard Schall, Ilse Pagé, Ernst-Georg Schwill.
This classic teen cult film, viewed with suspicion by cultural authorities, was instantly embraced by the East German public for its truthful portrayal of the political and economic divisions affecting the entire population. “The sensation of 1957…successfully combined aspects of Italian neorealism with Hollywood juvenile-delinquency flicks.”—J. Hoberman, Village Voice.

Perhaps the single most important and moving film of Italian neo-realism, The Bicycle Thief tells the deceptively simple story of an unemployed man finding work to paste up signs, work requiring a bicycle, which is then stolen. A landmark of cinema.

The Bitter Tea of General Yen
Frank Capra's film concerns an American missionary (Barbara Stanwyck) who is kidnapped by a powerful Chinese warlord and falls prey to his intoxicating spell. With Nils Asther, Toshia Mori and Walter Connolly. (1933-Columbia)

BLACK ON BLACK (KNXT, 7/18/1968)
Broadcast during the tension-filled summer of 1968, "Black on Black" gave African-American residents of South Central Los Angeles a chance to speak for themselves about their lives, without narrator, host, reporter, script or commercial interruption. One critic called the award-winning show, "the best documentary ever made on what it feels like to be black and live in the urban ghetto."
Preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive
In Person: Joe Saltzman, Dan Gingold, Dr. Darnell M. Hunt.
Please note: This screening will be held at the James Bridges Theater on the UCLA campus.
Executive Producer: Dan Gingold. Producer: Joe Saltzman. Cinematographer: Jack Leppart. Editor: Robert Heitmann. Beta-SP, 90 min.

The Blood Spattered Bride
The title alone made this Spanish entry into the '70s lesbian vampire craze an instant grindhouse favorite, but its beautiful, heady imagery and visceral nastiness established this one of the most brutal adaptations of J. Sheridan LeFanu's oft-filmed "Carmilla" (vampyro lesbo template extraordinaire). Susan, an unstable young bride, hallucinates rape attacks while her chauvinist husband is out of the hotel room. Ditching the lodging, the unhappy couple ends up at an ancestral home connected to the husband, and Susan has violent dreams involving a strange woman in white--Mircalla, who turns up in the bosomy flesh not long after. Repelled by her husband's macho demands, Susan falls under Mircalla's spell and embarks on a spree of bloody mayhem. Whether viewed as an audacious feminist parable or sick macho trash, it's overflowing with spurting gore and full frontal, and is a fascinating horror fantasy that moves at a speedy clip all the way to its queasy, unforgettable final shot.
Dir. Vicente Aranda, 1972, 35mm, 100 min.

(1980, Australia) Directed by Bruce Beresford
This classic of Australia cinema is fresh as ever with its searing depiction of soldiers caught up in the changing rules of "a new kind of war." Cinematographer Donald McAlpine, on his sixth outing with director Bruce Beresford, leaned on his background in documentary filmmaking to craft the natural lighting for the story of three Australian lieutenants charged with murdering prisoners during The Boer War.
In person: Donald McAlpine, ASC, ACS
Based on on the play by Kenneth G. Ross. Producer: Matt Carroll. Screenplay: Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, Bruce Beresford. Cinematographer: Donald McAlpine. Cast: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters, Bryan Brown. 35mm, approx. 107 min.

Broken Blossoms
D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms, aka The Yellow Man and the Girl, adapted from Thomas Burke's "The Chink and the Child"(!), kicks off its brutally strange tale by casting Richard Barthelmess as Chinese immigrant Cheng Huan, a missionary living in London's seediest district, whose hopes of spreading Buddhism are lost when he develops an opium addiction. Enter the always-astonishing Lillian Gish, a delicate sylph incapable of extracting herself from a home in which she is routinely beaten unconscious by her father, who's an amateur boxer and professional wretch. To say these lovers are star-crossed is a hysterical understatement--though the tragedy of their impossible love is acknowledged with surprising sensitivity by Griffith, who many claim offered this film to audiences as an apology for his frightening portrayal of racial intolerance in Birth of a Nation. Remarkably poetic intertitles complement the on-screen insanity.
Dir. D.W. Griffith, 1919, 35mm, 90 min.

The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

Influential maestro of found-footage, Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was often described as the father of MTV-style editing--his reply:"Don't blame me!" An artist of explosive intensity and enigmatic allure, Conner was legendary for his multivalent mastery of assemblage, drawing, collage and film. At once voluptuous and razor-edged, Conner's compact, cinematic bombs are an inspired mix of heartfelt meditation and tragicomic political satire.
"Bruce Conner's ecstatic films were at once salvage projects and assertions of individuality in an increasingly anonymous age. They are generally a blast--witty, exuberant, despairing, engaged, apocalyptic." --The New York Times
The Archive, REDCAT, and Los Angeles Film Forum team up in this memorial tribute encompassing Conner's major body of film work over the past 50 years. Longtime friend and co-conspirator Dennis Hopper will be on hand to introduce the programs, along with guest of honor, Jean Conner.
Admission to the Wilder program is free. Priority Seating available for Cineclub Members.
In person: Dennis Hopper, Jean Conner.
All films Directed/Edited/Photographed by Bruce Conner.

Bruce Conner's Explosive Cinema: A Tribute, Part II
Influential maestro of found footage Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was often described as the father of MTV-style editing. His reply: "Don't blame me!" An artist of explosive intensity and enigmatic allure, Conner displayed a legendary mastery of assemblage, drawing, collage and film. At once voluptuous and razor-edged, Conner's compact, cinematic bombs are an inspired mix of heartfelt meditation and tragicomic political satire. Surveying the filmmaker's work over a 50-year span, the program includes A Movie (1958, 12 min.), Marilyn Times Five (1973, 14 min.), Permian Strata (1969, 4 min.), Mea Culpa (1981, 4 min.), Looking for Mushrooms (1967, 3 min.), Looking for Mushrooms (1996 version, 15 min.), Report (1967, 13 min.), Television Assassination (1995, 14 min.), Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (1977, 5 min.), Valse Triste (1977, 5 min.) and Easter Morning (2008, 10 min., DV).
In person: Dennis Hopper, longtime Conner friend and co-conspirator, and guest of honor Jean Conner

THE CAINE MUTINY, 1954, Sony Repertory, 124 min. Dir. Edward Dmytryk. Van Johnson is part of a superb ensemble cast that includes Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer and Fred MacMurray in this classic adaptation of Herman Wouk's novel. Bogart is Captain Queeg, a paranoid authoritarian whose men (led by Johnson and MacMurray) stage a mutiny in the last days of WWII. Ferrer is the brilliant military lawyer who takes on the case once the ship returns to port. Lee Marvin is on hand as a crewman and E.G. Marshall is a withering prosecutor at the court-martial.

(from IMDB)
A film about mafia, drugs, intrigue and police. You can see it a rainy day. The performances have excellent level , but the story is weak. The end is surprising, like any good thriller.  Dir. Lina Wertmuller, 1986

Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy
A documentary by Reto Caduff
2009, 84 min., color and b/w
Long revered among the all-time great jazz bassists, Charlie Haden has gone on to make essential contributions to a wide spectrum of genres: avant-garde, small ensemble, big band, world music, folk and gospel. This new documentary from award-winning Swiss-born filmmaker Reto Caduff offers an absorbing chronicle of Haden's life and work--as instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, educator, political activist and family man. A member of Ornette Coleman's incomparable quartet in the 1960s, Haden has since led his own Quartet West and the larger Liberation Music Orchestra, collaborating along the way with jazz giants Carla Bley, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny and many others. The most recent album from the CalArts Jazz Program founder is the Grammy-nominated Rambling Boy, a collection that harkens back to Haden's early days playing Americana and bluegrass on his parents' radio show.
In person: Charlie Haden, Reto Caduff

George Nicholls Jr. drama w/ Anne Shirley, O. P Heggie

Late one Christmas Eve, five men gather around a table to play a few hands of poker. As the game presses on, their various psychologies are revealed along with a series of complex and overlapping intrigues. Although four of the players have conspired against the wealthy fifth (Carlo Delle Piane), their internal rivalries and resentments keep the con from being carried off smoothly, which makes for a wickedly entertaining game.

Ciao, Professore
This brilliant comedy details the outrageous clash between a strict, no-nonsense teacher and his class of rambunctious, street-smart children. Ultimately it's the teacher who ends up learning more about life from his charges than the other way round.

The Cocoa Screenings: Founding Fathers of Found Footage Films
The modern world is thoroughly converted to the validity of using "found" media as one's medium, from hip-hop sampling and teenagers on YouTube to art galleries and museums. But fifty years ago, this was not commonplace. The pioneers of perverting other people's intellectual property invented a whole new art form, recontextualizing through montage, creating new significance that lied dormant in otherwise neutral footage. In the bourgeoning days of Pop Art, these spiritual descendants of Duchamp and his readymades found a new language of cinema through creative theft. Besides, why hustle to raise the bread to buy raw film stock, or to go to deepest Africa, or to restage the Hindenburg explosion--when there's all this glorious discarded footage in the garbage bins behind the processing lab? For this calendar's "Cocoa Screening", we've programmed an assemblage of ground-breaking found footage films that'll tour you through some of the earliest artifacts of this now ubiqitous art form.

A respected art critic and historian believes that priceless works of art are being stolen, but everyone else believes he's insane. An exciting thriller starring Pat O'Brien and Claire Trevor. (1946-RKO-Radio) Irving Reis mystery w/ Pat O’Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall

(1934) Directed by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
A fierce New York defense lawyer (Rains) becomes entangled in his own bizarre romantic machinations after he concocts a scheme to dump his current flame, a Mexican nightclub singer, for a society woman. The first, and best, of Hecht and MacArthur's notorious series of Astoria productions, Crime Without Passion features stunning montage sequences by Slavko Vorkapich depicting mythical female"Furies" who attack wrong-doers.
Screenwriter: Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht. Cinematographer: Lee Garmes. Editor: Arthur Ellis. Cast: Claude Rains, Margo , Whitney Bourne, Stanley Ridges, Leslie Adams. 35mm, 72 min.

(a.k.a. Santa Lucia Luntana)
(1932) Directed by Harold Godsoe
Buffeted by the effects of gangsterism and jazz, a family confronts the consequences of their immigration to America. Cuore D'emigrante is notable in that it presents a different, rarely seen example of an ethnic or "race" film (in addition to Jewish and African-American productions), produced in Fort Lee, New Jersey for Italian-American audiences.
Producer: Angelo De Vito. Screenplay: Orazio Cammi. Cinematographer: Frank Zucker. Cast: Carlo Renard, Yolanda Carluccio, Rafaelo Bougini. Presented in Italian and English dialogue. 35mm, 59 min.

Daughters of Darkness
Surrealist Belgian director Harry Kumel conjures up a dark, magical brew spilling over with haunting imagery and chimeric plot twists. This kinky fairy tale revolves around ethereal vampiress Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad), whose world-weary persona resembles Marlene Dietrich after lingering in a sarcophagus a few years too many. Recently married Stefan (Dark Shadows’ John Karlen) and wife Valerie find themselves staying at a deserted, off-season hotel along with the traveling Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Seyrig) and her beautiful sapphic companion. Soon Bathory sets her sights on seducing Valerie away from her brutal, belt-whipping husband, who has more than a few nasty skeletons tucked away in his closet. Intoxicatingly erotic, haunting, creepy, and even hilarious, this ravishing mixture of art house elegance and blood-spraying horror is like no other; at the very least, you’ll never look at a glass punchbowl the same way again.
Dir. Harry Kumel, 1971, 35mm, 87 min.

The Decameron
The first part of Pasolini's "trilogy of life" (followed by The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights) is based on the ribald tales of Boccaccio, which deal with human sensuality and artistic creation. Pasolini has refashioned the 100 tales into a collection of 11 sketches that are at the same time erotic, political, humorous and autobiographical. Pasolini himself appears in the role of the painter Giotto.

DEEP END, 1971, Paramount, 88 min. One of the great lost films of the early 1970s, from Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, captures the sense of impending dread and spiritual breakdown at the end of the ‘60s like no other movie. John Moulder-Brown stars as an innocent teenage psychopath working in a public bathhouse who becomes obsessed with doe-eyed Jane Asher, with shocking results. Terrific score by krautrock great Can and British songwriter Cat Stevens. "Jerzy Skolimowski’s directorial career...began with this offbeat tale of obsessive, destructive love…haunting... An increasingly tense, dreamlike drama from an…uncompromising filmmaker." – Steven Puchalski, Shock Cinema NOT ON DVD. Rare! New 35mm Print!

THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP (1932-Paramount)
Marion Gering melodrama w/ Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton

Oliver Reed is Father Grandier, accused of sorcery by the half-mad nuns of the fortified city of Loudun; Vanessa Redgrave is Sister Jeanne of the Angels, whose own sexual obsession triggers the ferocious events that follow. Ken Russell's controversial masterpiece is based on Aldous Huxley's book. NOT ON DVD

East Side Story
France/W. Germany/1997/color/78 min. | Scr: Andrew Horn, Dana Ranga; dir: Dana Ranga
This entertaining documentary follows the socialist musical from the propagandistic folk operas of post revolutionary Soviet Union to the widescreen films of the sixties in which East German students sing the praises of communism while beach-blanket-bingoing at the Baltic Sea.

(from IMDB)
An American track team has just arrived in The Philippines for an international competition. Among the competitors are Ginger and Pam, nicknamed "Ivory" and "Ebony", who meet up with another friend, Jackie, nicknamed "Jade". After they arrive at their hotel, a gang of thugs kidnaps them, along with some other girls from the team. To get away, the trio are going to have to use all their fighting skills.

8 1/2
Fellini's great autobiographical masterpiece is an audacious account of a film director during the course of making a film, finding himself trapped by his fears and insecurities. Continually inventive, with the performance of a lifetime from Marcello Mastroianni as Guido, the director. Also starring Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, and Barbara Steele. "8 1/2 somehow coalesces for me, in many ways, the essence of cinema" (Terry Gilliam).

Luis Buñuel's clinically precise study of an older gentleman's dizzying descent into sexual paranoia. As the film's May-December romance dissolves over the husband's hallucinations of his wife's infidelity, Buñuel provides an endless wicked undercurrent of satiric jabs at machismo and Catholic repression. One of Buñuel's most perverse explorations of perversity. Dir. Luis Bunuel, 1953, digital presentation, 90 min.

The story of a young man who falls in love with his beautiful upstairs neighbor. The only problem is that his computer shares his taste in women, and will do anything to have her to "himself."

Escape from East Berlin
USA/1962/b&w/94 min. | Scr: Gabrielle Upton, Peter Berneis, Millard Lampell; dir: Robert Siodmak; w/ Don Murray, Christine Kaufmann.
Directed by Hollywood film noir master Siodmak (The Killers, The Spiral Staircase) who returned to his native Germany in the mid-fifties, Escape was inspired by a true story about twenty-nine East Germans who fled Communist rule by tunneling under the Berlin Wall. With its emphasis on suspense over politics and its topical setting, the film was a success with US audiences.

Even Dwarfs Started Small (Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen)
W. Germany/1970/b&w/96 min. /16mm | Scr/dir: Werner Herzog; w/ Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig.
In Herzog’s shocking allegory, cast entirely with dwarves and midgets and shot on the tropical island of Lanzarote, the inmates of a correctional institute revolt. “The anarchist uprising is a beautiful negation of bourgeois values, sometimes savage, but usually compassionate and amusing.”—Time Out.

An Evening With The Prelinger Archives
Beginning in the 1980s traveling around the U.S. in a van and visiting local schools, public libraries and private collectors, archivist Rick Prelinger accumulated perhaps the country’s largest collection of “ephemeral” works – industrial and sponsored films, home movies, educational films and commercials, and more. Over the years his Prelinger Archives has amassed a cult following, part of which is due to the magnetic personality of Prelinger himself, who finds ways to contextualize the films in his collection that are evocative and inspiring. Tonight we offer one such evocative presentation from Prelinger, who will discuss the life and work of Jamison “Jam” Handy, who produced almost 7,000 sponsored industrial and commercial films during his lifetime, including the “Roads to Romance” series promoting tourism by car, the “American Look” series on 1950s design and architecture, and many more. Select Jam Handy films from the archive will be screened after the presentation.

Los Angeles filmmaker Kate Dollenmayer will present her projected and hand-cranked film loop installation based on Oskar Fischinger's "Walking From Munich to Berlin" with a live acoustic score by local percussionist and multimedia composer Ross Karre. Visiting Chicago animator Jodie Mack will screen a selection of tiny and medium experimental animations, including "Yard Work is Hard Work," a musical made with cut-outs. Los Angeles-based drummer Corey Fogel will then join forces with Mack for a series of live experiments in film accompanied by improvised live score.

Fellini Satyricon
Federico Fellini freely adapts the work of Petronius Arbiter in this sexual odyssey through ancient Rome. With an emphasis on spectacle and the grotesque, we follow two young Romans in their pursuit of pleasure and personal survival. With Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Capucine and Luigi Montefiori as the Minotaur. "Fellini's characteristic delirium is in fact anchored in a precise, psychological's among his most considerable achievements" (Tony Rayns, Time Out Film Guide).

Fellini's Roma
"A story of a city," to quote Fellini. In Roma, Fellini strings together a series of images of Rome, and through his eyes this special city becomes a living, breathing organism. Roma is quite possibly Fellini's most avowedly autobiographical film to date--a loving document of his own personal encounter with Rome. Starring Fiona Florence, Britta Barnes, Pia de Doses, Marne Maitland and Peter Gonzales as Fellini at 18.

Orson Welles's "magnificent confidence game, a trick, a seduction and a magic act: a buoyant film about forgery and fakery which, beneath our astonished gaze, explodes into wonderment and guilt" (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune). Welles's theme of forgery in art focuses on the forger, Elmyr de Hory, as well as Clifford Irving, de Hory's biographer, Howard Hughes, Pablo Picasso and Welles himself. "Alternately superficial and profound, hollow and moving, simple and complex, this film also enlists the services of Oja Kodar, Welles's principal collaborator after the late 60s, as actor, erotic spectacle and co-writer" (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).

A Foreign Affair
USA/1948/b&w/116 min. | Scr: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Richard L. Breen; dir: Billy Wilder; w/ Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur, John Lund.
This sardonic comedy about postwar profiteering in Berlin pits a prim congresswoman (Arthur) against a ravishing and pragmatic ex-Nazi chanteuse, a role that Dietrich, the recent recipient of the US Medal of Honor, was reluctant to accept. The finished film, Wilder’s most controversial, was banned in Germany by the Defense Department until 1977 when it premiered to great acclaim.

Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie (from legendary '70s all-girl punk band, The Runaways), Marilyn Kagan and Kandice Stroh star as four troubled teens coping with divorce, drugs and alcohol abuse in L.A.'s fast lane. With Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman and Randy Quaid.

The Fortune Cookie
When TV cameraman Jack Lemmon is knocked down at a football game, his shyster lawyer advises him to get all he can out of the fortuitous injury. Walter Matthau won an Oscar for his performance as the conniving legal counsel. With Ron Rich, Cliff Osmond, Judi West and Lurene Tuttle. Biting script by A.L. Diamond and the director.

Funeral in Berlin
UK/1966/color/102 min./Panavision | Scr: Evan Jones; dir: Guy Hamilton; w/ Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka.
In this sequel to The Ipcress File, bespectacled antihero Harry Palmer travels to Berlin to oversee the defection of a Soviet intelligence officer. As the double crosses pile up, Goldfinger director Hamilton keeps Caine hopping through such Berlin landmarks as the Kurfürstendamm, the Europa-Centre, the Tiergarten, Kreuzberg, and Checkpoint Charlie.

With a title that's anything but deceptive, Future-Kill is overflowing with low-budget sci-fi violence. Edwin Neal and Marilyn Burns of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre star as nuke-protesting mutant punks. Burns plays a benevolent freak, and Neal an evil, ironclad, mohawked killer (think Robocop meets Wez from Road Warrior) poetically named Splatter. When prankster frat boys enter the big city in which the mutant activists dwell, the frats are framed for a mutant's murder. The actual killer, Splatter, goes on a murderous rampage in order to kill the Greek brothers before his mutant-on-mutant crime is discovered. Though the story is actually much crazier than can be described, rest assured that prostitutes get killed, someone is tarred-and-feathered, and there's fire.

Ingrid Bergman won her first Oscar for her stunning role as a susceptible young woman who marries the suave, romantic Charles Boyer, never suspecting he is involved in a murderous scandal in Cukor's electrifying mystery drama.

The oil discovered in Sicily by Agip, induced Eni, in keeping with the policies of intervention in the south, to construct a large petrochemical plant in Gela.
These were the years of that impressive migration from the South of the country to the large cities of the North, which caused a deep economic and cultural transformation never before experienced in Italy. Alongside extraordinary economic results, this process produced unavoidable contradictions in the new social set-up.
This climate can be felt in the documentary. A strong, constant inspiration, - in the commentary by Leonardo Sciascia - allows the director to describe the construction of the plant, presenting, with great sensitivity, the theme of necessary industrial development versus the strong values of a culture which does not want to lose its roots.  Dir. Giuseppe Ferrara, 1964. 

Giovanna's Father is another drama set in Pupi Avati's native Bologna during World War II. Once again, it centers on a dysfunctional family. But whereas The Second Wedding Night was unable to find any depth beyond its three uneven central performances, Avati's latest has a beating heart, and as the title suggests, that heart lies in Silvio Orlando's moving portrayal of a loving father, an effort for which he received the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival.

The Godless Girl
Restored 35mm print couresty of UCLA Film And Television Archive
Plagued by electrocutions, fires that resulted in several burn victims and exhaustion-fueled near-drownings, the production of Cecil B. DeMille's final silent film was nearly as fraught with catastrophe as the story it tells. The chaos kicks off with a rivalry between high school clubs--an Atheist society that swears its allegiance on a monkey head (evolution, get it?), and a Christian group that takes its Bible-thumping literally, by pummeling the Athiests into a pulp. When their confrontations lead to a student's death, all are hauled off to juvie (in cute his' and hers' prisons that conveniently neighbor each other), where their brutal torture at the hands of countless sadists forces the groups' leaders, Judy and Bob, to work together--prepare to drop your jaws when crosses get burned into their hands as they touch through an electric fence! The Godless Girl is remembered for its fever pitch, but it's also notable for the fervent fan mail Lina Basquette's performance elicited from Adolf Hitler.
Dir. Cecil B. Demille, 1929, 35mm, 128 min.

Humphrey Bogart stars as Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, a kindhearted gangster from Indiana who runs into serious trouble in the scenic mountains of Northern California. With Ida Lupino, Arthur Kennedy, Henry Hull, Barton MacLane, Cornel Wilde and Joan Leslie as the young woman with the clubfoot. Script by John Huston and W.R. Burnett, based on Burnett's novel.

David Mamet's acclaimed first feature film, starring Lindsay Crouse as a famed psychiatrist/author whose work draws her into the dangerous but provocative world of a smooth-talking con man (Joe Mantegna), from which there is no escape. Mamet's flair for streetwise yet poetic dialogue is very much in evidence in this memorable drama of tricks that always outdo the truth.

THE HUMAN CONDITION – NO GREATER LOVE (NINGEN NO JOKEN I), 1959, Janus Films, 205 min. In real life, director Masaki Kobayashi (KWAIDAN) served in the Japanese Imperial Army but continually refused promotion, remaining a private throughout the duration of WWII as a way of protest. In this first installment of what is probably Kobayashi’s most outstanding achievement as a filmmaker, Tatsuya Nakadai portrays a newlywed pacifist who is sent with his wife (Michiyo Aratama) to Manchuria to put into practice his theories for improving conditions at labor camps. But optimistic Nakadai is slowly undermined not just by his civilian superiors’ complacency but also the brutal inhumanity of the military police overseers. The opening salvo of one of the great cinematic sagas of the 20th century, a classic that stands alongside Rossellini’s OPEN CITY, Kurosawa’s IKIRU and Kazan’s ON THE WATERFRONT as a social document defining personal courage. "…a richly rewarding visual and human experience in all its bleakness…Nakadai's performance as a man of Christlike forbearance, who travels to the edge of human endurance in a doomed and lonely struggle against an evil society, is both moving and charismatic." – Andrew O’Hehir,

THE HUMAN CONDITION – THE ROAD TO ETERNITY (NINGEN NO JOKEN II), 1959, Janus Films, 181 min. Dir. Masaki Kobayashi. At the end of the first installment, Tatsuya Nakadai’s attempt to work good in an evil system fails when everything the system represents conspires against him. In the second film, Nakadai is drafted and sent into a barbaric regimen of training as a punishment for his refusal to give up his humanist principles. The Soviet Union declares war on Japan, and its galvanized army floods into Manchuria. Enduring the horrors of the battlefield as well as abuse from many of his fellow soldiers for his pacifist reputation, Nakadai tries his best to stay in touch with his long-suffering wife (Michiyo Aratama). "THE HUMAN CONDITION was made at around the same time as Satyajit Ray’s APU trilogy and Luchino Visconti’s ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS, and like them it is a work of large-scale realism grounded in a thorough but undogmatic left-wing political sensibility…amazingly powerful in its emotional sweep and the depth of its historical insight." – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

THE HUMAN CONDITION – A SOLDIER’S PRAYER (NINGEN NO JOKEN III), 1961, Janus Films, 190 min. Dir. Masaki Kobayashi. As the Soviets overrun the disintegrating Japanese war machine, Tatsuya Nakadai and a comrade (Yusuke Kawazu) are overlooked. They try to make their way south, encountering a striking variety of refugees along the way. But Nakadai is eventually taken prisoner and shipped off to a Siberian P.O.W. camp. Upon arrival, he finds the most viciously unrepentant of the Japanese soldiers have been made trustees by their Soviet masters while the majority of the detainees are being systematically starved. At last, barely alive Nakadai escapes into a hellish frozen wasteland – but does ultimate salvation or oblivion await him? "Kobayashi views his characters with tremendous compassion and a grand, overall sense of historical irony…By the unutterably tragic conclusion of Part III, in which the story of one man's inevitable destruction seems to embody the demolition of all the 20th century's most noble dreams, I was profoundly grateful…to have stuck with THE HUMAN CONDITION to the end." – Andrew O’Hehir,

Alternately titled Il Cuore Altrove, Pupi Avati's humanistic drama stars Neri Marcore as a middle-aged schoolteacher in 1920s Italy, whose womanizing ways cause friction with his devoutly Catholic parents. Fleeing to Bologna, the shy teacher falls in love with a beautiful blind girl (Vanessa Incontrada) whose affluent family isn't sure how they feel about the timid pedagogue. Winner of an Italian Academy Award for Best Director. With Giancarlo Giannini and Nino D'Angelo.

IT’S A GIFT, 1934, Universal, 73 min. Dir. Norman Z. McLeod. Considered by some to be The Great Man’s greatest film, this short, sweet W.C. Fields vehicle is little more than a series of zany sketches loosely tied to his desire to move to California and grow oranges. Includes the legendary "Mr. Muckle" and "Carl LaFong" scenes, as well as the hanging mirror and sleeping porch routines. Jean Rouverol, who co-wrote THE FIRST TIME, plays Fields’ daughter.

It Started in Naples
Clark Gable travels to Italy to bring home his recently orphaned nephew and runs up against the boy's fiery guardian, Sophia Loren. Mama mia, What fun!

JOHN O'KEEFE'S ADAPTATION OF WALT WHITMAN's SONG OF MYSELF ('07, 49m) at 7pm - All too often, filmed theatrical performances are as flat as the screens upon which they are projected. Not so with John O’Keefe’s phenomenal adaptation of Walt Whitman’s lovingly radical and radically loving poem from 1855. A quintet of camera operato rs (including the director, William Farley), don’t merely film one of the most gifted solo performers in the world, they accompany O’Keefe as he celebrates every moment and beat of the poem just as Whitman celebrated every moment and beat of his life. John O’Keefe goes beyond a recitation or interpretation of the poem; he inhabits it.

Gillo Pontecorvo (Battle of Algiers) directed this moving study of hope and humiliation in Nazi concentration camps. A Jewish family living in Paris during WWII is arrested by the Nazis and shipped to a labor camp where their ordeal begins. "Stark and terrifying" (Time).

W. Germany/1969/b&w/88 min. | Scr/dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; w/ Fassbinder, Harry Baer, Irm Hermann, Hanna Schygulla.
In this early film based on his own Brechtian play, a Greek guest worker (Fassbinder) living in a Munich suburb provokes the xenophobia and violence of his brutish neighbors when he begins dating a local girl.

Barbara Stanwyck is the cardsharp, Henry Fonda the millionaire scientist who knows more about snakes than about women. Stanwyck and her father hatch a plan to scheme the naive Fonda out of a bundle, but love complicates the matter. "A frivolous masterpiece...full of classic moments and classic lines; it represents the dizzy high point of Sturges' comedy writing" (Pauline Kael).

What links Otto Preminger's Laura and Hitchcock's Vertigo is their detective heroes, each falling madly in love with temptresses from beyond the grave. The heroine of Laura (played by Gene Tierney) is a murder victim whose phantom--embodied in her portrait and possession, like the title character in Hitchcock's Rebecca--bewitches the cop trying to solve the case (Dana Andrews). Dir. Otto Preminger, 1944, 35mm, 88 min.

(Cheraghi dar meh)
(2008, Iran) Directed by Panahbarkhoda Rezaee
In a mountain village, Rana cares for her ailing father while waiting against hope for the return of her husband who disappeared years before in the Iran-Iraq War. When a local bachelor proposes marriage, Rana must finally confront the depth of her grief. Marked by stunning compositions of fog-shrouded rural landscapes and a meditative pace, A Light in the Fog is a poetic exploration of solitude and loss.
Producer: Mahmoud Fallah. Screenplay: Hossein Saberi. Cinematographer: Ali Muhammad Ghasemi. Editor: Panahbarkhoda Rezaee. Cast: Parivash Nazariyeh, Massoud Heshmat, Behrouz Jalili. 35mm, 75 min.

W. Germany/1981/color/113 min. | Scr: Pea Fröhlich, Peter Märthesheimer, Rainer Werner Fassbinder; dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; w/ Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl.
In this stylish and cynical look at Germany’s much lauded “economic miracle,” Sukowa gives a brilliant performance as a blonde, social-climbing whore and cabaret performer who seduces the idealistic and newly appointed building commissioner (Mueller-Stahl) of a provincial city circa 1955. Made shortly before Fassbinder’s death, this loose homage to Josef Von Sternberg’s classic The Blue Angel is a diabolic tribute to capitalism. “Here is the work of a major filmmaker in midcareer, at the peak of his form, refining his methods and chancing new ones in the ebullient manner of someone who has decades of work ahead of him.”—Vincent Canby, The New York Times.

(Taraneh Tanhaiye Tehran)
(2008, Iran/France) Directed by Saman Salour
This bittersweet comedy centers on a mismatched pair of cousins, the combative Hamid and his cousin Behrooz, a nerve-shattered war vet, who eke out a living installing illegal satellite dishes in Tehran. Director Saman Salour strikes a perfect balance between the poignant and the absurd as Hamid and Behrooz bring the world via satellite to their wealthy customers and find their own dreams forever out of reach.
Producer: Saman Salour. Screenwriter: Saman Salour. Camera: Touraj Aslani. Cast: Behrouz Jalili, Hamid Habibifar, Mojtaba Bitarafan, Mohammad Fassihi, Maryam Sabaghian. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. DigiBeta, 75 min.

It has been said about some documentaries that they would seem
unbelievable were they not actually true. Loot is just such a film.
Like his father before him, Lance Larson is a treasure hunter. His
current prospects are two World War II veterans who buried treasure
after the war, one in Austria and the other in the Philippines.
Despite the tremendous odds that stand against him, Larson is
determined to find the elusive riches. . But what begins as a fool's
errand slowly becomes a journey all three men were destined to take in
this quietly devastating documentary.
Q & A with the filmmaker.

Lost In The Desert
Lost in the Desert (aka Dirkie) is a South African kids' movie sadistic to the point of absurdity, submitting its lone boy protagonist, poor eight-year old Dirkie, to a cavalcade of traumas and tribulations punishing in their accumulation, and positively Christ-like in their extremity. This movie is either the bleakest of godless nightmares, or the blackest, most hilarious comedy made ever concocted--and made for children, no less. Mel Gibson would flinch at what happens to this kid. And, unbelievably, the film was directed by the wee actor's dad. Stranded in the Kalahari without water, Dirkie biblically wanders the desert with his pet terrier where he is harassed by hyenas, repeatedly injured, sleep-deprived, psychologically tortured, and finally left passed out and half-buried in the sand looking like an image from an Arrabal film. Disturbing and relentless right up to its oblique, ambigous and haunting last shot...and, oh, those dead puppies in the sand...dead puppies in the sand...
Dir. Jamie Uys, 1970, 35mm, 90 min.

Once a month The Cinefamily will host "Family Sundays", where our good friends at Family Bookstore (just down the road!) will bring in their favorite people--artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, comedians, or generally inspiring folk--to curate and introduce a night of films. First, they'll show lesser-seen short films that they've made, or that have been made about them--or that they just like. Afterwards, they'll show a feature that has personally influenced them, and finally they'll explain it all and take your questions too. This Sunday, Family brings us artist/designer/filmaker Mike Mills, who's directed music videos for Sonic Youth, Yoko Ono, Beastie Boys, Blonde Redhead and Ol' Dirty Bastard, as well as the film Thumbsucker, and the documentaries Does Your Soul Have a Cold? and Deformer (about artist/skater Ed Templeton). Medium is less important to Mills' work than an encompassing vision that permeates all his diverse projects. Whether it's a television commercial, a watercolor painting, or a fabric design, everything Mills concocts is suffused by his current emotional and spiritual disposition. He has chosen to show and share his thoughts about István Szabó's Lovefilm, a lesser-known 1970 masterpiece from the Czech New Wave.
Lovefilm Dir. István Szabó, 1970, digital presentation, 123 min.
This early film from Istvan Szabo (Mephisto, Colonel Redl, Sunshine) follows two childhood sweethearts who are inseparable until the Nazi's invasion of Hungary. They reunite, only to be separated again in the mid-fifties when one lover rejects Communist rule and emigrates to France while the other remains in Budapest. Keeping in touch through letters, they finally meet again and must decide if their lives will remain united or apart. "A gentle but telling film about human experience and the vagaries of love" (Gene Moskowitz, Variety).

LOWELL BLUES: THE WORDS OF JACK KEROUAC ('05, 25m) at 8pm - Henry Ferrini fuses visual history, language and jazz to illuminate Kerouac's childhood holy land. With Johnny Depp, David Amram, Robert Creeley, and Lee Konitz. The film interprets how place activates t he writer's imagination, and how the writer's art reshapes his city with reverence and respect.

Mad Love
Peter Lorre revived his signature "M look", the visage of a bug-eyed mini-demon, for Mad Love, a remake of the silent classic The Hands of Orlac. Dr. Gogol (Lorre) is a creepy little man possessed by the image of his favorite theater actress. When she enlists his surgeon skills after her husband loses his hands, Lorre, in convoluted and love-blinded fashion, decides he'll have a better chance with her if he grafts a dead killer's digits onto the man. In addition to Lorre's legendary performance, Mad Love is cited as having a direct visual influence on Citizen Kane. Dir. Karl Freund, 1935, 35mm 68 min.

Grand telling of the Rudyard Kipling classic adventure story of two soldiers of fortune in 19th century India, who set out to conquer lands and make themselves king. Sean Connery and Michael Caine are brilliantly cast.

Based on a true story, Bogdanovich's account of a courageous teenager (Eric Stoltz) who suffers from a rare disease that enlarged and disfigured his head, and who searches for love and tries to get his mother (Cher) off drugs. Also stars Sam Elliott.

Set in a desolate South American jungle, Jayne Kennedy is the mistress of a corrupt warden, who orchestrates a daring liberation of women prisoners to escape the harsh living conditions.

(from IMDB)
In this adaptation of the Martin Cruz Smith novel (co-scripted by Smith himself), Nick Mancuso plays Youngman Duran, a policeman with the Maskai tribe in New Mexico, who has more than one problem to contend with. Not only does he have to butt heads with Walker Chee (Stephen Macht), who represents progress and new ways of thinking, but animals and soon people are succumbing to mysterious animal attacks. The culprits are vampire bats, and a Van Helsing of sorts, Phillip Paine (David Warner, contributing a little class) arrives to help save the day. Apparently, exterminating this species (you'd think that would get him in trouble with environmentalists) is his life's work!
This had to have been an odd choice of material for veteran director / former Academy president Arthur Hiller, known more for mainstream comedies and dramas like "Love Story". It doesn't offer much in the horror department, however; only an excellent bat attack set piece where one person is run over by a car and another set on fire is truly harrowing and nasty. It's really more of a social drama, as a modern day (well modern circa 1979) Indian comes to terms with the clash between ages-old superstition and progress. Durans' scenes with Chee really drive this point home, and Mancuso does a good job of creating a conflicted character.
As one might expect from a movie in such a setting, there are some eye-popping vistas to enjoy, capably photographed by Charles Rosher, Jr. Henry Mancini also contributes heavily with a typically fine music score. The special effects by Carlo Rambaldi aren't too shabby, either.

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, 1984, MGM Repertory, 113 min. John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton are lovers trapped in an oppressive police state who heroically fight against the all-powerful "Big Brother." Director Michael Radford's (IL POSTINO) adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel perfectly captures the book's deep sense of unease, and Richard Burton gives a great late career performance as an evil but human government official. Discussion in between films with 2010 visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund.

1939/b&w/111 min.| Scr: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Walter Reisch; dir: Ernst Lubitsch; w/ Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi.
A coldhearted Soviet agent is warmed up by a trip to Paris and a night of love.

A tough homicide detective (George Raft) is convinced that the death of a composer was not suicide, but murder. His prime suspects: ten beautiful women. With Lynn Bari. (1946-RKO) Edward L. Marin detective film w/ George Raft, Lynn Bari

The Nomi Song
One of popular music's most distinctive pioneers, Klaus Nomi (nee Klaus Sperber) was a German-born opera singer who moved to New York City in the mid-1970's and established himself as a pop icon by the 1980's. Blending cabaret with opera, disco, and other styles, Nomi forged a truly distinctive look and sound that captured the imagination of the Manhattan club scene. Andrew Horn's film chronicles Nomi's eventful life, following the singer from his unlikely beginnings through to his New-Wave heyday and tragic struggle with AIDS. In so doing, Horn "uses his subject to revisit the euphoria of artistic and musical culture at a crossroads, and in the process brings it, briefly and poignantly, back to life again" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Not Reconciled (Nicht Versöhnt oder Es hilft nur Gewalt wo Gewalt herrscht)
W. Germany/1965/b&w/55 min. | Scr: Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet; dir: Jean-Marie Straub; w/ Heinrich Hargesheimer, Carlheinz Hargesheimer, Martha Staendner, Ulrich von Thüna.
A former assistant to Bresson, Renoir and Rivette, Straub presents a stark and rigorously compressed adaptation of Heinrich Boll’s Billiards at Half Past Noon. The lives of three generations of the Fähmel family, from the turn of the century through Nazi Germany to the mid-1960s, are intertwined in this influential and austere debut feature. “Straub and Huillet make the layers of history live in the present tense, which they judge severely. The tamped-down acting and the spare, tense visual rhetoric suggest a state of moral crisis as well as the response—as much in style as in substance—that it demands.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker.

(1939) Directed by Dudley Murphy
Adapted from the Federal Theatre Project's long-running "Living Newspaper" production, One Third of a Nation was the first WPA property sold to a Hollywood studio. Featuring Sylvia Sidney and a very young Sidney Lumet as slum-dwellers living in a wretched tenement, this courageous independent film struggles with a solution to the urban housing mess.
Based on the play by Arthur Arent. Screenplay: Oliver H.P. Garrett, Dudley Murphy. Cinematographer: William Miller. Cast: Sylvia Sidney, Leif Erickson, Sidney Lumet, Muriel Hutchison. 35mm, 75 min.

One, Two, Three
James Cagney plays a Coca Cola executive stationed in West Berlin who finds himself in trouble when his boss's daughter marries a fierce young Communist. It's rowdy entertainment co-scripted and directed by Billy Wilder.

(from IMDB)
When director Marco Pontecorvo, son of the more famous Gillo Pontecorvo, presented this film at numerous festivals (starting with Venice), he revealed that it took nearly seven years to make the movie because of funding issues, but also due to his day job as a cinematographer (his most notable effort is a few episodes of the HBO show Rome). Nevertheless, he refused to give up, much like the protagonist of Pa-ra-da, a moving true story of kindness prevailing against all odds.
The title derives from an organization that takes care of street kids in Romania. Actually, the organization didn't exist during the time-span covered in the film, but the seeds of its genesis can be seen very clearly in the efforts of Miloud (Jalil Lespert), clown of French origin, and his friends. What the young man discovers in Bucarest is a shocking reality: thirteen-year old boys and girls who steal, do drugs, live in the sewers and even have to deal with the occasional abortion or two. It's a grim situation, and Miloud, ever the optimist, vows to do everything in his power to make sure those children can have a better future.

Pasquale Rotondi was a solitary hero, a “rescuer of the Beauty”, a Schindler of art masterpieces. Near the end of WWII he hid about 10,000 paintings in Central Italy, preventing German troops from plundering them.  Director : Giuseppe Saponara.  61 min.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). Directed by Sam Peckinpah.
Fifty years after John Ford initially celebrated the birth of the west, Sam Peckinpah, a true lover of the west and the western, elegizes it here. Progress in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid equals the dehumanizing take over of wilderness and the end of the way of life inherent to the western. As James Coburn as Pat Garrett claims, "This country's getting old and I'm getting old with it." Not, however, without a fight.

Patti Smith: Dream of Life
More than a decade in the making, this striking portrait of boundary-pushing rocker Patti Smith features (almost too) personal interviews with the artist, who recalls her early days in New York and her current status as elder stateswoman of punk rock. Her politics, poetry, and songs are joined by vintage performance clips, rare photos, and her own narration. Winner of a Cinematography Award and Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Drama about a falsely accused man, "Too Sweet" (Leon Isaac Kennedy), who returns to prison, where he survives the harsh conditions through his prowess as a boxer. With Mr. T. (in his first screen role), Glynn Turman, Ernie Hudson and Malik Carter.

An African-American folktale is retold by "Dolemite" himself, Rudy Ray Moore. The story is that of a man so useless that he cuts a deal with Satan himself--he has to marry the devil's ugly daughter.

POLIS IS THIS - Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place20('07, 57m) at 8:30pm -Ferrini tells the story of Olson, a colossus of American letters. Polis Is This surpasses the challenge of containing this giant and his ideas in cinematic form while simultaneously expanding our awareness of how much the universal is contained in the local. For Olson, the local was Gloucester, Massachusetts, the polis (a body of citizens in a particular place) which shaped his life and poetry. Beyond a generous amount of Olson footage, striding his 6’8" corpus about his polis o r engaging in the teacher’s art, we also meet the polis of this film: the artists – Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Dianne DaPrima, Pete Seeger, Ed Sanders, John Sinclair, Anne Waldman – and the locals who knew him. Hosted, after an Olsonesque fashion, by John Malkovich.

A man wearing shorts leaves his house to go jogging with his dog. All around him, Rome struggles awake at dawn. A lengthy marathon from St. Peter's to the Appian Way, a single shot crammed with centuries of history, freak encounters, and a wacky, vivid sincerity: the longest tracking shot in the history of film (complete with all the honours from the Guinness Book of World Records).
Based on a long-held idea, which necessitated months of training in the fervent hope it could actually be done, Base's film is an anomalous work, the fruit of a challenge that is both physical and mental, handled with a maniacal technical precision.
Midway between a personal diary and a surreal monologue, the film sees Base's friends such as Ornella Muti, Elena Bouryka and Pietro Mennea, taking turns to join the race, making this crazy dash even more alienating.

Remember My Name
A truly forgotten '70s gem, Alan Rudolph's Rememeber My Name, in which terror takes the unlikely form of tiny Geraldine Chaplin. Her performance as an ex-convict single-mindedly pursuing Anthony Perkins is chilling and unforgettable, and memorable supporting performances along with Rudolph's haze of odd details and defocused style keep the action unpredictable and disturbing. Held up from home video release 'cause of music clearances (the film features a great original soundtrack by Alberta Hunter), this Altmanesque thriller is rarely screened, and not to be missed! Dir. Alan Rudolph, 1978, 35mm, 94 min.

A successful career acting alongside great international actors won her two Oscars and many international awards: this is the career path of a beautiful girl from a provincial town that rose to international fame.  Documentary on Sofia Loren by Vincenzo Mollica

The Second Track (Das Zweite Gleis)
GDR/1962/b&w/80 min. | Scr: Günter Kunert, Joachim Kunert; dir: Joachim Kunert; w/ Albert Hetterle, Annekathrin Bürger, Horst Jonischkan.
This noirish thriller about a guilt-ridden security guard who fails to report the culprit in a railway robbery is the only East German film to deal with the sensitive subject of former Nazis leading normal lives in the GDR.

Giordano gets a chance to relive his adolescent infatuation with his sister-in-law Lilliana, when she returns to the family estate in the South as a war-widow. Greatly pushed by both the poverty of the immediate post-war period and her sly son Nino, who harbours expensive filmmaking dreams, she accepts to see if there is any love left in her for Giordano, whose estate has enough to eat for everyone.

SECRET CEREMONY, 1968, Universal, 109 min. Director Joseph Losey’s bizarre psychological suspenser features Mia Farrow as a disturbed, orphaned young woman and Elizabeth Taylor as the prostitute who pretends to be her mother. At first, the two find only a superficial resemblance to lost loved ones (as Farrow also looks like Taylor’s daughter), but gradually the pair assume their roles for real. However, when Robert Mitchum as Farrow’s stepfather is stirred into the brew, things get considerably stranger. Everyday habits and household items gradually assume a ritual significance, and Taylor and Farrow’s weird relationship lurches toward a frightening and uncertain future. A creepy modern Gothic, impeccably fine-tuned by director Losey’s customary attention to character detail. With Peggy Ashcroft and Pamela Brown. "…makes for a memorable film." – Time Out Film Guide; "Joseph Losey's best film in years…" – Renata Adler, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

Seventh Heaven
Archival 35mm print courtesy of Fox
"This exquisite tale of mystical romance stresses the redemptive side of couplehood so persuasively that otherworldly connotations, like the strong ray of light that literally shines down on them after their various trials, seem only fair and natural." - Dan Callahan, Slant
We agonized over what to show on Valentine's Day, and can say with certainty that all romantics will understand why we chose Seventh Heaven. The inspired casting of Janet Gaynor made for a landmark film with Murnau's Sunrise, but her appearance opposite Charles Farrell in Frank Borzage's Seventh Heaven resulted, without question, in one of the defining romantic films. Its enrapturing love story follows two Parisians thrown together by maudlin circumstances. With a perfect balance of intensity and tenderness, the film produces something miraculous--a story that beautifully affirms the overpowering nature of love, without a hint of irony, apology, or restraint. To round out the evening, we will also present a short film program of love-themed silent comedies Come spend a romantic evening with the Cinefamily--a beautiful old art deco theatre, cupcakes, a short program of silent comedies, and live musical accompaniment to a silent romantic masterpiece.
Dir. Frank Borzage, 1927, 35mm, 110 min.

Shadow of the Thin Man
1941's Shadow of the Thin Man follows the couple's trip to the local race track, where plans for a leisurely afternoon are interrupted when a corrupt jockey is shot dead in the locker room. A bit of snooping and a lot of sparkling banter later, the Charles' find themselves knee-deep in an investigation of an organized crime ring--and their riskiest, strangest case yet. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke, 1941, 35mm, 97 min.

Shanghai Express
Josef von Sternberg's spellbinding melodrama about a group of passengers on an express train from Peking to Shanghai who are hijacked by a Chinese warlord. The prostitute "Chinese Lily" (Marlene Dietrich) and the British officer (Clive Brook) she once abandoned are thrown together. "From the hypnotic chiaroscuro photography, the incredibly exotic costumes and the lavish production design, von Sternberg created a mythological China where 'dead space' is virtually absent" (David Cook). With Warner Oland, Anna May Wong and Eugene Pallette. (1932-Paramount)

She's Out of Control
Tony Danza stars as the dad of teenage girl gone from ugly duckling to foxy knockout. Will he be able to protect his daughter from an endless barrage of punkers and preppies?

(Avaz-e gonjeshk-ha)
(2008) Directed by Majid Majidi
After Karim loses his job as an ostrich farmer, a twist of fate finds him making more money as a taxi driver in the big city. What, at first, appears like blessing becomes something considerably more ambiguous, however, as this once simple, loving family man becomes obsessed with acquiring material things. Master director Majid Majidi tells this allegorical tale with subtlety, humor and effortless grace.
Screenplay: Majid Majidi, Mehran Kashani. Cinematographer: Tooraj Mansoouri. Cast: Reza Naji, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan. 35mm, 96 min.

Song of the Thin Man
1947's Song of the Thin Man finds Nick and Nora attending a jazzy charity benefit aboard a gambling ship, which quickly becomes thorny when a much-reviled bandleader turns up stiff. Luckily, inexplicable corpses never keep the couple from celebrating their numerous vices--the series ends, as expected, on a glorious, glamorous note. Appearances by a great supporting cast including Keenan Wynn, Jayne Meadows, Gloria Grahame and a very, very young Dean Stockwell also keep things extra-zippy! Dir. Edward Buzzell, 1947, 35mm, 86 min.

SONS OF THE DESERT, 1933, Hal Roach (Hallmark Entertainment), 68 min. Dir. William A. Seiter. In what many fans consider their best feature, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy want to sneak off to their annual lodge convention, but the wives are having none of it. A wonderful farce with a deep layer of truth that lifts it above other, more "respectable" marital comedies. With Mae Busch, Dorothy Christy and a hilarious Charley Chase as an obnoxious drunk; see if you can spot a young Bob Cummings in the crowd.

The Story of Adele H.
First, we have Truffaut's The Story of Adele H., based on the true-life diaries of Victor Hugo's schizophrenic daughter, and her mad international pursuit of a handsome army lietenant. Isabelle Adjani's heart-arresting beauty only makes the insane focus with which Adele chases her idée fixe around the globe all the more unnerving, and Nestor Alemendros' gorgeous, natural cinematography also contributes to one of Truffaut's most underrated masterpieces. Dir. Francois Truffaut, 1975, 35mm, 96 min.

Genoa, 1963. Three men - a French bootlegger, an indolent pimp and a Sardinian shepherd - decide to risk everything on a hit that will change their lives. They succeed, but the shepherd fakes his death, by killing his twin brother, and takes off with his girlfriend and the money. Racked with remorse, he hands the cash over to a priest he meets on a train. However, fate has a bad joke left to play on him.

Takahiko Iimura started making films in Tokyo in 1960 after reading reports from abroad about the then exploding Underground Film movement in the United States. (It would be years before Iimura actually saw many of the films that first inspired him.) From these relatively isolated beginnings, Iimura has become one of the most influential and important experimental filmmakers of our time.
His body of work encompasses a wide-ranging aesthetic, from poetic cinema early on to more conceptual investigations in the 1970s, as he has pursued a sustained, multi-faceted exploration of light, space, time, nature and technology.
The Archive is pleased to present this evening's show as part of a ten-day multi-venue Iimura retrospective, organized by Adam Hyman of Los Angeles Filmforum.
In person: Takahiko Iimura.

That Cold Day In The Park
In Robert Altman's That Cold Day In The Park, Michael Burns is a silent homeless boy in New York City taken in by lonely, repressed, manipulative older rich woman played by Sandy Dennis, in a performance that brings out the creepy in her her frail cracked persona. This excellent little thriller is pre-M*A*S*H Robert Altman, and is arguably the first film of his in which his trademark style really emerges complete with overlapping improvised dialogue, as well as zoomerific cinematography (provided here by Laslo Kovacs). Dir. Robert Altman, 1969, 35mm, 113 min.

The Thin Man
The first boozy installment in the "Thin Man" series introduced the film world to retired detective Nick Charles, jostled back into a career in crime-solving by the disappearance of a close friend suspected of murder. With a martini always in hand and lovely, sharp-tongued socialite wife Nora always at his side, Nick stumbles with alarming wit and charisma from clue to clue. The big reveal of the true culprit unfolds in a stirring, convention-establishing dinner-party scene, in which all the suspects are present. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke, 1934, 35mm, 93 min.

The Thin Man Goes Home
Stolen paintings, long-range Japanese rifles, and a village idiot named Crazy Mary all play a part in The Thin Man Goes Home, in which Nora attempts to get her pompous father-in-law to reconcile with his son's nutty career. Before Nora can wonder aloud how fortunate it would be for disapproving Dad to witness Nick solving a crime, a local painter is offed at their front door. Suspects pile up as the body count grows-- though the mystery's a convoluted one, this story belongs to the entire Charles family, depicted here with rich detail for the first time. Dir. Richard Thorpe, 1944, 35mm, 100 min.

The Third Generation (Die Dritte Generation)
W. Germany/1979/color/105 min. | Scr/dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; w/ Margit Carstensen, Eddie Constantine, Hannah Schygulla, Udo Kier, Bulle Ogier.
A group of deluded and manipulated losers hole up in a house to plot the overthrow of the state. “A cruel and sometimes very funny comedy about terrorism… and one of the richest looking and sounding films I’ve ever experienced.”—Vincent Canby, The New York Times.

THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO, 1944, Warner Bros., 138 min. Dir. Mervyn LeRoy. Captain Ted Lawson's memoir of the American military's plans for retaliation after Pearl Harbor forms the basis for this sincere and exciting wartime action film. Van Johnson plays Lawson and Spencer Tracy plays James Doolittle, the leader of the dangerous mission; also on board the bomber is Robert Mitchum.

The Time Machine (1960)
H.G. Wells' classic novel was adapted in this enduringly popular film directed by George Pal. Rod Taylor is the time traveler who guns his machine into the distant future only to find a civilization enslaved by subterranean mutants. The Oscar winning special effects and finely detailed set design make this film a joy to view. Also starring Yvette Mimieux and Alan Young.

Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man
The seriocomic tale of a sudden kidnapping that jolts a family into togetherness. Ugo Tognazzi portrays the rich Parma dairy farmer forced to sell his possessions to meet the ransom demanded by the terrorist gang holding his son. Bertolucci examines the siege mentality of Italy's leftist brigades and strips the mask off family dynamics hidden behind webs of deceit. "The best Bertolucci movie in a long time. The best treatment of the generation gap between a father and son that I have yet seen" (Andrew Sarris).

Hurricane Katrina may have driven off a large segment of New Orleans’ African-American population, the providers of much of the city’s character. But in one sense the deadly storm was a uniter, not a divider: Only three years ago, the devil wind brought together much of the country in contempt of the Bush administration’s loose definition of humanitarian aid. Fresh as a slap, the outrage of Katrina’s mishandling comes flooding back in Trouble the Water, a documentary account so starkly surreal that at times it seems wrought from another century’s folklore.
Winner of the documentary Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Trouble the Water bears roughly the same relation to Spike Lee’s kaleidoscopic When the Levees Broke that a talking-blues dispatch has to a David McCullough history. The topic may be the same, but the scope is personal rather than monumental. Yet, by following a husband and wife from New Orleans’ stricken Ninth Ward through the flood and its aftermath — most memorably in their own camcorder footage — the movie becomes an eyewitness epic of history in miniature.

The Truce
From the celebrated director of Hands over the City and The Mattei Affair comes this adaptation of The Reawakening, Italian author Primo Levi's autobiographical book about his release from Auschwitz and his struggle to regain his love of life. John Turturro plays the author in this reflective, serious feature. "Turturro gives what may be the screen performance of his career" (Stephen Holden, The New York Times). Winner of four David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

2 Blessed 2 B Stressed
Pittsburgh artist Jacob Ciocci, one of the three primary members of the East Coast art collective Paper Rad, will present at the Cinefamily a new twenty-minute mix of original videos and animations. Jacob's work is concerned with the relationships between popular culture, technology and notions of transcendence, all mixed inside a frenzied cartoon universe that is simultaneously celebratory and critical. Jacob will also be performing "I Let My Nightmares Go" which uses a video projector and live dance moves to grapple with mental demons, Web 2.0, G.O.D., 21st-century breakdown, real lies and fake truths, cartoon violence, and awareness bracelets. In addition, San Diego-based electro-sci-fi-metal act Fortress of Amplitude will perform.

Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this stunning Canadian documentary uses the massive Three Gorges Dam project on China's Yangtze River as a means to explain the rapid cultural and economic changes the country is undergoing. Filmmaker Yung Chang returns to the homeland of his grandfather, taking a luxury cruise up the Yangtze to observe as industry and "progress" engulf the landscape and its history.

The most savage girl-on-girl vampire movie ever, Vampyres usually gets tagged as British horror even though it was directed by José Larraz, the mad Spaniard who stunned '70s audiences with potent visions of carnal violence like The Coming Of Sin and Black Candles. Two incredibly sexy women living in a remote English estate (later used in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Frank-N-Furter’s castle) drain their victims’ blood after bouts of wild sex and leave the bodies in staged car accidents, but when one insatiable man comes their way along with a nearby couple camping out in an RV, the stakes get considerably higher. Packed with a ridiculous amount of nudity and blood as well as a strong poetic streak and a purposefully baffling framing story, this sinfully entertaining cult classic drips with dank, dingy English atmosphere and just keeps getting better with age.
Dir. José Ramón Larraz, 1974, 35mm, 87 min.

The Velvet Vampire
Dune buggies, rattlesnakes and hippies aren’t common staples of your average vampire movie, but then again, there’s never been anything before or since like this outrageous desert paean to bloodsucking and partner-swapping. Incredibly, this arty answer to Hammer’s same-sex fang flicks was one of the earlier releases from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, who ruled ‘70s drive-ins. Michael Blodgett (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls' Lance Rocke, R.I.P.) is caught between his vapid, vanilla girlfriend (Sherry Miles) and the smokin’ hot exhibitionist/art gallery devotee Diane (Celeste Yarnall), but soon it looks like he might be out of the picture once the two ladies develop eyes for each other. Directed by fascinating Corman protegee Stephanie Rothman and laced with a psych music score, this endearing, rare cult item remains best experienced on the big screen in all its gaudy, color-coded glory.
Dir. Stephanie Rothman, 1971, 35mm, 80 min.

In Vertigo, a private eye (James Stewart) falls in love with a woman (Kim Novak) who may be possessed by the soul of a dead woman. When his love object dies, he can't let go. Slick suspense plotting is the pretext for spinning a visual spell: ravishing, dreamlike color photography in Vertigo, and a glittering version of '40s noir in Laura. Bernard Herrman's matchless score for the Hitchcock and David Raskin's hit theme song for the Preminger add their own ineffable perfumes. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, 35mm, 128 min.

Nello, a Milanese businessman who has lost his job, finds himself managing a cooperative of former mental patients, relocated after the Italian state closed the country's psychiatric hospitals under the Basaglia law. A strong believer in the dignity of work, Nello encourages every cooperative member to learn a trade in order to free themselves from their dependence on charity handouts, inventing a role for each of them that is amazingly adapted to their abilities.  Dir. Giulio Manfredonia, 2008.

When A Man Loves
Restored 35mm print courtesy of UCLA Film And Television Archive
John Barrymore's nuanced performance can't quell this French period drama's epic intensity: priests are defrocked, identities are disguised, monarchs are corrupted, and delicate maidens are sold into horrifying marriages--and that's just the tip of the flaming iceberg. Chivalry might very well be dead, but Barrymore takes a defibrillator to it in his turn as Fabien des Grieux, a divinity-student-turned-fake-courtesan-gambler bent on rescuing beautiful young Manon (Dolores Costello) from an endless coterie of unsavory clutches. Murder, imprisonment, thunderstorms, sword fights, convict boat mutinies, puppets, monkeys--lucky for us, this film spares no punches in its portrayal of 18th-century French intrigue and heroic histrionics. If this is what happens when a man loves...
Dir. Alan Crosland, 1927, 35mm, 111 min.

WHITE WOMAN (1933-Paramount)
Stuart Walker melodrama w/ Carole Lombard, Charles Laughton, Charles Bickford

Wild Orchids
A luminous, alluring young Greta Garbo (draped in incredible wardrobe by legendary Hollywood costumer Adrian) is torn between the love of a tiger hunter and the lusty advances of a dangerous Javanese prince in 1929's Wild Orchids, a film which managed to give even silent-era audiences more than they bargained for in the way of steamy melodrama. The love triangle at the center of this tumultuous narrative builds in suspense as its main characters journey further into the sweltering heart of its exotic locale. Practically flung from lover to lover, Garbo's stamina is nearly as impressive as her performance--her glamorous turn lights up the film's many larger-than-life setpieces. The resulting romantic catastrophes, and an edgy-for-its-time nightmare sequence featuring Garbo in the hands of a domineering lover, mirror the complex rivalries of Hemingway's most twisted short stories.
Dir. Sidney Franklin, 1929, 35mm, 100 min.

Yesterday Girl (Abschied von Gestern)
W. Germany/1966/b&w/88 min./16mm | Scr/dir: Alexander Kluge; w/ Alexandra Kluge, Gunther Mack, Hans Bramme.
Anita G., a penniless young refugee from the East (played by Kluge’s sister), wanders through the alien landscape of the “economic miracle” committing petty crimes. As Anita encounters judges, social workers, and bureaucrats, Kluge makes it clear that she's a product of a history that Germany wants to forget.