a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
mon. feb. 1 goodfellas 8 PM @ arclight pasadena dick tracy meets gruesome, the shadow (chapters 13-15) @ ucla film archive merry christmas mr. lawrence @ silent movie theater the man who fell to earth 10:45 PM @ silent movie theater the molochs, drinking flowers, adult books FREE (RSVP) @ echo rabid dogs (2015) 8 PM @ arena tue. feb. 2 rebecca 1 PM @ lacma the hellbenders (16mm) @ new beverly the man who fell to earth 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater rabid dogs (2015) 9:35 PM @ arena groundhog day FREE 6 PM @ santa monica library ocean park branch wed. feb. 3 the thing (1982) @ new beverly doctor zhivago 7 PM @ arclight hollywood after the sky falls FREE 8 PM @ veggie cloud i build the tower FREE 7 PM @ the loft @ liz's antique hardware rabid dogs (2015) 9:45 PM @ arena thu. feb. 4 godspeed you black emperor @ the cathedral sanctuary @ los angeles immanuel presbyterian ivan's childhood FREE 7 PM @ csun armer the thing (1982) @ new beverly the man who skied down everest @ silent movie theater the legend of drunken master @ laemmle noho 7 rabid dogs (2015) 10:30 PM @ arena i am ali FREE 4 PM @ la library echo park branch fri. feb. 5 godspeed you black emperor @ warner grand theatre (san pedro) branded to kill, youth of the beast @ ucla film archive mccabe & mrs. miller, the long goodbye @ egyptian the thing (1982) 6 PM @ new beverly the american dreamer, the last movie @ silent movie theater sicario (w/ q&a) 7 PM @ vidiots annex sat. feb. 6 tokyo drifter, fighting elegy @ ucla film archive corners, mystic braves, the creation factory, etc @ teragram el haru kuroi (MID) @ tropico de nopal the deer hunter @ egyptian the thing (1982) 6 PM @ new beverly the american dreamer 2:00 4:30 PM @ silent movie theater the executioner's song 7 PM @ silent movie theater badlands (9:00) @ pehrspace sun. feb. 7 chandu the magician 7 PM, chandu on the magic island @ ucla film archive stagecoach 6 PM @ new beverly l.a.x. FREE 8 PM @ veggie cloud white homeland commando FREE 7 PM @ 356 mission mon. feb. 8 kanto wanderer, the call of blood @ ucla film archive mad max: fury road, mad max 2: the road warrior (w/ q&a) @ aero stagecoach @ new beverly the american dreamer 5 PM @ silent movie theater pierrot le fou 10:15 PM @ silent movie theater punch-drunk love (35mm) @ arclight hollywood ted byrnes & garrett hickman, jake rosenzweig quartet @ pehrspace colleen green, mother merry go round, adult books FREE (RSVP) @ echo the early films of phill niblock @ filmforum @ lace tue. feb. 9 spellbound 1 PM @ lacma cartel land @ aero the great silence @ new beverly the american dreamer 4:15 PM @ silent movie theater pierrot le fou 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater wed. feb. 10 mustang (w/ q&a) @ aero mccabe & mrs. miller @ new beverly the princess bride @ arclight culver city the stunt man FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark a raisin in the sun FREE 3 PM @ santa monica library main branch pierrot le fou 10:15 PM @ silent movie theater spring takes time FREE 7 PM @ goethe-institut thu. feb. 11 andrei rublev FREE 7 PM @ csun armer the picture of dorian gray, the canterville ghost @ aero mccabe & mrs. miller @ new beverly built to spill @ echo dead meadow @ roxy william leavitt: behavior FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ laXart the squids @ harvard & stone la art book fair @ moca geffen fri. feb. 12 vertigo MIDNIGHT @ nuart gate of flesh, story of a prostitute @ ucla film archive blade runner (final cut) @ egyptian beauty and the beast, wings of desire @ aero mccabe & mrs. miller 6 PM @ new beverly inglourious basterds MIDNIGHT @ new beverly the mother and the whore @ silent movie theater built to spill @ echo dead meadow @ roxy city lights 8:15 PM @ old town music hall la art book fair @ moca geffen contraband FREE 8 PM @ hyperion tavern sat. feb. 13 tattooed life, carmen from kawachi @ ucla film archive the silence of the lambs 8 PM @ street food cinema @ million dollar theater eternal sunshine of the spotless mind 9 PM @ cinespia @ palace theater king kong (1933) @ egyptian annie hall, the purple rose of cairo @ aero mccabe & mrs. miller 6 PM @ new beverly the patsy (1928) 1 PM @ the silent treatment @ silent movie theater alien encounters from new tomorrowland 9 PM @ silent movie theater sex stains @ pehrspace built to spill @ echo mustang 8:10 PM @ arena seven men from now 1:30 PM, ride lonesome @ autry city lights 2:30 8:15 PM @ old town music hall thee oh sees, mind meld @ non plus ultra ken boothe @ los globos la art book fair @ moca geffen sun. feb. 14 peter pants @ smell harold and maude @ egyptian breakfast at tiffany's @ aero rio bravo 6 PM @ new beverly the thin man 1 PM @ silent movie theater love exposure @ silent movie theater mustang 6:30 PM @ arena pretty in pink 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ chinese 6, l.a. cinemark 18, north hollywood 8, citywalk stadium 19 city lights 2:30 PM @ old town music hall la art book fair @ moca geffen hollywood and ufos 7 PM @ machine mon. feb. 15 georgia, mrs. parker & the vicious circle @ aero rio bravo @ new beverly moonrise kingdom 8 PM @ arclight pasadena tue. feb. 16 strangers on a train 1 PM @ lacma charley-one-eye @ new beverly rain the color of blue with a little red in it @ silent movie theater roman holiday @ arclight hollywood harold and maude @ arclight sherman oaks do the right thing FREE 6:30 PM @ santa monica library montana branch the revenant (w/ q&a) @ aero la dolce vita @ laemmle monica wed. feb. 17 mysterious island @ ucla film archive embrace of the serpent FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark pretty in pink 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ chinese 6, l.a. cinemark 18, north hollywood 8, citywalk stadium 19 born in '45 FREE 7 PM @ goethe-institut thu. feb. 18 solaris (1972) FREE 7 PM @ csun armer the treasure of the sierra madre @ alex theater blow out, obsession @ egyptian the tin drum (directors cut) @ aero films of juanma calderon 8 PM @ epfc underworld: from hoboken to hollywood (discussion w/ kaz & ben schwartz) 7:30 PM @ skylight books hellzapoppin' FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges retro shorts: 16mm films from usc FREE 4 PM @ la library hollywood branch casablanca FREE 6 PM @ la library westwood branch return of the seacaucus seven @ an evening with john sayles @ silent movie theater jacques rivette: le veilleur FREE 8 PM @ veggie cloud fri. feb. 19 ghostbusters MIDNIGHT @ nuart chinatown FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc sinatra cold beat @ echoplex the forbidden room 9:35 PM @ arena american history x (w/ q&a) 8 PM @ beyond baroque brother from another planet, piranha @ silent movie theater embrace of the serpent (w/ q&a) 7 PM @ nuart sat. feb. 20 close encounters of the third kind, the sugarland express @ egyptian the journey of a surrealist, viridiana @ aero new works salon xxxi 8 PM @ epfc woody guthrie l.a.: 1937-1941 (discussion w/ darryl holter & william deverell) 7:30 PM @ skylight books the forbidden room 4:30 9:45 PM @ arena susan @ non plus ultra a raisin in the sun FREE 3 PM @ la library arroyo seco branch rococo jet & the invisible entities of opulence (MIDNIGHT) @ hm157 city of hope 2 PM @ master class with john sayles @ silent movie theater lianna 7 PM, baby it's you @ silent movie theater m. geddes gengras, bart davenport band @ el cid embrace of the serpent (w/ q&a) 7 PM @ nuart sun. feb. 21 pistol opera 7 PM, a tale of sorrow and sadness @ ucla film archive heaven's gate @ egyptian chaplin at mutual 5 PM @ aero straw dogs 6 PM @ new beverly sunset boulevard 2 PM @ silent movie theater the last picture show @ arclight hollywood ringo deathstarr @ echo the forbidden room 5:35 9:10 PM @ arena the festival of (in)appropriation #8 @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian the maltese falcon 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 embrace of the serpent (w/ q&a) 1:20 PM @ nuart mon. feb. 22 passport to darkness, eight hours of fear @ ucla film archive three films by jennifer reeder 8:30 PM @ redcat fast times at ridgemont high, single white female @ aero straw dogs @ new beverly adult books, billy changer FREE (RSVP) @ echo the forbidden room 9:35 PM @ arena the loving story FREE 5 PM @ la library venice branch mind meld @ the griffin moana @ laemmle playhouse, laemmle fine arts tue. feb. 23 suspicion 1 PM @ lacma boot hill @ new beverly who's afraid of virginia woolf? 7 PM @ laemmle royal 2016 oscar-nominated live action and animated shorts 7 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn 2016 oscar-nominated live action shorts 8 PM @ crest the forbidden room 10:15 PM @ arena wed. feb. 24 city of gold (w/ q&a) FREE @ hammer reservoir dogs @ new beverly eternal sunshine of the spotless mind @ arclight sherman oaks 2016 oscar-nominated animated shorts 8 PM @ crest the forbidden room 9:45 PM @ arena the maltese falcon 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 knight of cups FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark umberto @ honey trap thu. feb. 25 the mirror FREE 7 PM @ csun armer ashes and embers 8:30 PM @ redcat reservoir dogs @ new beverly dead pigeon on beethoven street @ lacma enter the dragon @ laemmle noho 7 2016 oscar-nominated documentary shorts 8 PM @ crest the forbidden room 8:45 PM @ arena el haru kuroi @ townhouse venice the salt of the earth: a documentary about sebastiao salgado FREE (RSVP) 7:15 PM @ aloud @ la central library rogue cop FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges fri. feb. 26 i love a mystery, the unknown @ ucla film archive 2016 oscar-nominated documentary shorts 7:00 10:00 PM @ egyptian reservoir dogs 6:30 PM @ new beverly krisha FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ silent movie theater the serpent and the rainbow MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater bouquet @ satellite jon brion @ largo parallel i-iv @ the frog mustang 9:55 PM @ arena sat. feb. 27 tyondai braxton (8:30) @ redcat the sleeping beast within, smashing the o-line @ ucla film archive 2016 oscar-nominated live action shorts 7 PM @ egyptian fatty and mabel at keystone @ spielberg @ egyptian 2016 oscar-nominated animated shorts 9:30 PM @ egyptian twentieth century, the odd couple @ aero reservoir dogs 6:30 PM @ new beverly secret sixteen 8 PM @ epfc kids in the hall: brain candy FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark le revelateur (w/ live score by mary lattimore & jeff zeigler) FREE (RSVP) @ getty center mary lynn rajskub @ improv mummies @ elbo room (SF) embrace of the serpent (w/ q&a) 4:25 PM @ landmark mustang 3 PM @ arena sun. feb. 28 the wild bunch 6 PM @ new beverly the bad and the beautiful 2 PM @ silent movie theater colleen green, upset, post-life, etc @ smell mon. feb. 29 the wild bunch 7 PM @ new beverly slavery by another name FREE 5 PM @ la library venice branch walter @ resident mustang @ arena tue. mar. 1 only angels have wings 1 PM @ lacma nashville 7:45 PM @ arclight hollywood knight of cups (w/ q&a) 8 PM @ ace hotel theatre the molochs FREE @ little joy cut-throats nine @ new beverly wed. mar. 2 mccabe and mrs. miller @ laemmle fine arts thu. mar. 3 shark toys @ echo stalker FREE 7 PM @ csun armer goodfellas @ laemmle noho 7 mickey one FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges upset FREE @ harvard & stone fri. mar. 4 sands of the kalahari @ ucla film archive the lost world (1925) 8:15 PM @ old town music hall mad max: fury road MIDNIGHT @ nuart angelo de augustine @ pehrspace sat. mar. 5 punch-drunk love (w/ live score) @ ace hotel the killing fields of dr. haing s. ngor FREE @ ucla film archive heron oblivion @ resident the lost world (1925) 2:30 8:15 PM @ old town music hall island of lost souls (1933) 7:45 PM, the black cat (1934) @ starlight studio who framed roger rabbit? @ cinespia @ palace theatre globelamp @ hi hat the rosalyns @ 5 star bar sun. mar. 6 ziguernerweisen 7 PM @ ucla film archive no age, l.a. witch, etc. @ los angeles is berning @ smell in a lonely place 2 PM @ silent movie theater heron oblivion @ 'til two club (SD) double feature! 7 PM @ machine mon. mar. 7 kagero-za @ ucla film archive tue. mar. 8 the molochs, mother merry go round FREE @ little joy wed. mar. 9 cage/cunningham FREE @ hammer thu. mar. 10 nostalghia FREE 7 PM @ csun armer miller's crossing @ laemmle noho 7 carrie mae weems: coming up for air 7 PM @ filmforum @ moca grand fri. mar. 11 sorry wrong number, the phantom of crestwood @ ucla film archive mind meld, rearranged face @ smell the adventures of sherlock holmes (1939) 8:15 PM @ old town music hall under the skin MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. mar. 12 yumeji @ ucla film archive where the chocolate mountains 8:30 PM @ redcat the adventures of sherlock holmes (1939) 2:30 8:15 PM @ old town music hall the squids FREE @ lot 1 sun. mar. 13 capone cries a lot 3 PM @ ucla film archive the big knife 2 PM @ silent movie theater the adventures of sherlock holmes (1939) 2:30 PM @ old town music hall tue. mar. 15 fred & toody @ bootleg the molochs, the creation factory FREE @ little joy wed. mar. 16 the hustler @ laemmle royal thu. mar. 17 the sacrifice FREE 7 PM @ csun armer city of god @ laemmle noho 7 fri. mar. 18 crashout, jet storm @ ucla film archive safety last 8:15 PM @ old town music hall sat. mar. 19 fire @ ucla film archive safety last 2:30 8:15 PM @ old town music hall viva villa! 7:45 PM @ starlight studio born in flames NOON, golden chain FREE (RSVP) @ grrrls on film @ lmu mayer the decline of western civilization 2:30 PM, i don't know FREE (RSVP) @ grrrls on film @ lmu mayer in search of margo-go 5 PM FREE (RSVP) @ grrrls on film @ lmu mayer sun. mar. 20 calling dr. death 7 PM, the frozen ghost @ ucla film archive mulholland drive 2 PM @ silent movie theater neil hamburger @ satellite lost grrrls: riot grrrl in los angeles NOON, grrrl love and revolution: riot grrrl nyc FREE (RSVP) @ grrrls on film @ lmu mayer mon. mar. 21 bewitched, crime doctor's man hunt @ ucla film archive tue. mar. 22 gilda 1 PM @ lacma the molochs FREE @ little joy wed. mar. 23 faust @ union thu. mar. 24 scarface (1983) @ laemmle noho 7 fri. mar. 25 jon brion @ largo the fifth element MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. mar. 26 tempest (1928), the bat (1926) @ ucla film archive tue. mar. 29 lady from shanghai 1 PM @ lacma the molochs FREE @ little joy wed. mar. 30 bauhaus in america FREE @ hammer cate le bon @ masonic lodge @ hollywood forever thu. mar. 31 failure as a generative process: expanded cinema experiments of stan vanderbeek FREE @ hammer the godfather part ii @ laemmle noho 7 fri. apr. 1 cool ghouls @ echo sat. apr. 2 cool ghouls @ hi hat sun. apr. 3 post-life @ bootleg mon. apr. 4 chantal akerman: portraits of the artist as a young girl 8:30 PM @ redcat thu. apr. 7 the tree of life FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. apr. 8 inherent vice MIDNIGHT @ nuart triptides @ hi hat tue. apr. 12 everything we do is music: music from black mountain college FREE @ hammer wed. apr. 13 edwin parker FREE @ hammer thu. apr. 14 antichrist FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. apr. 15 midnight cowboy MIDNIGHT @ nuart noir fest begins mon. apr. 18 radical intimacies: the 8mm cinema of saul levine 8:30 PM @ redcat noir fest tue. apr. 19 cage tudor and the visual language of indeterminacy (lecture & performance) FREE @ hammer noir fest thu. apr. 21 uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives FREE 7 PM @ csun armer ex hex @ echo upset, post life @ hi hat noir fest fri. apr. 22 the thing MIDNIGHT @ nuart noir fest sun. apr. 24 on the waterfront 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 noir fest ends mon. apr. 25 textures of life: film and the art of tacita dean 8:30 PM @ redcat wed. apr. 27 on the waterfront 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 thu. apr. 28 meek's cutoff FREE 7 PM @ csun armer the 7th voyage of sinbad @ alex theatre mon. may 2 fantasia of color in early cinema 8:30 PM @ redcat thu. may 5 the turin horse FREE 7 PM @ csun armer bleached @ teragram fri. may 6 sunn0))) @ regent sat. may 7 terry riley & george brooks (7:30) @ lacma melvins, napalm death, melt banana @ troubadour sun. may 8 melvins, napalm death, melt banana @ troubadour thu. may 12 leviathan (2014) FREE 7 PM @ csun armer fri. may 13 charles bradly @ ace hotel sun. may 15 ferris bueller's day off 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 wed. may 18 ferris bueller's day off 2:00 7:00 PM @ fathom events @ l.a. cinemark 18, burbank 16, north hollywood 8 thu. may 19 the sonics, the woggles, barrence whitfield & the savages @ regent fri. may 20 mind meld @ teragram WHAT IT IS: AFTER THE SKY FALLS This movie is made by three skiers—Chris Benchetler, Pep Fujas, and Eric Pollard—who live in Mammoth and Tahoe. They call themselves Nimbus. Two years in the making, After the Sky Falls is not an epic portrayal of skiing, but rather an attempt to relate to and inspire everyday skiers. The film is not a dramatic narrative piece, nor an energy drink commercial. It's not meant to make the skiers in the film into heroes. It is simply a film that documents the Nimbus crew's approach to the sport and their focus on fun and creativity. Dir: Eric Pollard, 2015, 30 min. Presented and with a talk by Benjamin Weissman and Catherine Taft. ALIEN ENCOUNTERS FROM NEW TOMORROWLAND In 1995, Disney Television aired a most intriguing television special, in tandem with the launch of a new ride (“ExtraTERRORestrial”) at Disney World, Florida. A lost UFO documentary, hosted by Robert Urich and with an appearance from Disney CEO Michael Eisner, this rarely-seen documentary is notable for its serious treatment of the subject of ufos and alien abductions. Broadcast only once in five cities, without any advance publicity, the film promptly disappeared. Why? Come find out and hear from the director of this fascinatingly anomalous film, Andrew Thomas. Introduced by researcher and Sonoma Film Festival programmer “UFO Jim” Ledwith, who will also conduct a Q&A with director Andrew Thomas! Dir. Andrew Thomas, 1995, Digital Presentation, 60 min. THE AMERICAN DREAMER The wild, unexpected success of Easy Rider ushered in what is now seen as one of the most significant turning points in film history, making pathologically rebellious Dennis Hopper an unlikely King Of Hollywood for a day. Incredibly, that day was filmed—and not just filmed, but captured by two innovative and inventive filmmakers. Co-directed by L.M. Kit Carson and Lawrence Schiller, The American Dreamer is many things: an insightful document of a complex artist in the midst of his creative process, a self-reflective exploration and explosion of verite filmmaking tropes, and a playful and entertaining snapshot of the private life of one of Hollywood’s most eccentric stars at the peak of his newly found fame. Hopper boldly allowed access to his crazy life in all its aspects: firing his rifles off in the desert, editing The Last Movie, stripping naked and walking through downtown Taos, New Mexico, pontificating about art and life, and holding forth guru-like to a room full of naked women. Fortuitously timed, fantastically made, and virtually unseen, The American Dreamer is the great ‘70s film doc you always wished existed, presented here in its new restoration. Dirs. L.M. Kit Carson & Lawrence Schiller, 1971, Blu-ray, 90 min. ASHES AND EMBERS (1982) A disillusioned veteran of the Vietnam War attempts to come to terms with his past and his current place as a black man in America. This little seen screen gem will serve as entry into a candid post-film dialogue about nationalism, liberty, and race relations. Engaging the audience in this conversation is a high-profile quorum of actors, musicians, and scholars, plus filmmaker and ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay. Baby It’s You John Sayles just can’t help himself. Even in the proto-typical story of good-girl-dates-bad-boy, Sayles finds brilliant ways to foreground class in the narrative. When a Sinatra-loving delinquent (Vincent Spano) falls for Jill Rosen, an upper-middle-class girl (beautifully rendered by Rosanna Arquette), there are certain paths that can’t be escaped. He’s gonna sleep around, she’s gonna go to a good college, this is just who they are. Sayles beautifully weaves a classic tale of unimpeachable difference, turning each scene back on the last, right through the finale, never losing sight of the everyday effects of social status. Imparting unexpected depth to a familiar story, his unique voice as a visual stylist and as a writer loses none of its luster in his first studio-funded effort. Dir John Sayles, 1983, 35mm, 105 min. JOHN SAYLES IN PERSON. The Bat (1926) Credited with "settings" in this moody crime thriller about the eponymous master criminal "The Bat," William Cameron Menzies indeed set the pulpy mystery story, familiar as a popular play, against a visually arresting world that could only be achieved in cinema. Depicting a mansion of soaring, vaulted spaces sheathed in darkness, and nighttime cityscapes viewed from vertiginous rooftops, Menzies lent the film brooding atmosphere and stimulating graphic interest. 35mm, b/w, 86 min. Director: Roland West. Based on the play The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood. With: André de Beranger, Charles W. Herzinger, Emilly Fitzroy, Louise Fazenda, Arthur Houseman. Bauhaus in America This must-see documentary chronicles the impact of the Bauhaus on American architecture and design. Notable Bauhaus émigrés include the artists Anni and Josef Albers, two influential faculty at Black Mountain College. (1995, dir. Judith Pearlman, 86 min.) Bewitched (1945) Mild-mannered, newly engaged Joan (Phyllis Thaxter) is hiding a terrible secret from her fiancé: a tormenting, depraved inner voice struggling to take over. Joan’s attempt to live a normal life and thwart the homicidal impulses of “Karen” unleashes a deadly drive for vengeance. Famed radio writer Arch Oboler directs the adaptation of his gripping psychological thriller. 16mm, b/w, 65 min. Director: Arch Oboler. BOOT HILL Victims of oppressive town boss Honey are offered help by an unusual alliance of gunmen and circus performers. Also known as TRINITY RIDES AGAIN, this is the last in a triology of westerns featuring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, after GOD FORGIVES...I DON'T, and ACE HIGH. Dir. Giuseppe Colizzi, 1969, 97 mins. BORN IN '45 Al (Rolf Römer), an auto mechanic and motorcycle freak, and his wife Li (Monika Hildebrand), a nurse, live in a tiny room in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district. Although the young couple has only been married for two years, they have already run out of things to say to each other, and are on the brink of divorce. For Al, it seems as though the walls of their room are a reflection of his daily struggle: he feels cramped, shut-in, and lacks the freedom to fully pursue his interests and hobbies. In desperate need of fresh air and a change of scenery, Al takes a few days off of work and strolls through the city, visiting friends, meeting new people, and simply seeing where he ends up. Regarded as DEFA’s closest counterpart to the early films of Jean-Luc Godard, Böttcher’s film film grasps the life of 20-year-olds with social and regional exactness and translates it into a universal language. Officially criticized for its characters and surroundings that reflected more of a capitalist than a socialist view of life, the film was banned in 1966 and Böttcher never returned to feature filmmaking. Dir.: Jürgen Böttcher, GDR, 1965, 93 min., digital. German with English subtitles. Branded to Kill (Japan, 1967) (Koroshi no Rakuin) This fractured film noir is the final provocation that got director Seijun Suzuki fired from Nikkatsu Studios, simultaneously making him a counterculture hero and putting him out of work for a decade. An anarchic send-up of B-movie clichés, it stars Jo Shishido as an assassin who gets turned on by the smell of cooking rice, and whose failed attempt to kill a victim (a butterfly lands on his gun) turns him into a target himself. Perhaps Suzuki’s most famous film, it has been cited as an influence by filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Park Chan-wook and John Woo, as well as the composer John Zorn, who called it, “a cinematic masterpiece that transcends its genre.” DCP, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 91 min. Cage/Cunningham Elliot Caplan’s documentary chronicles the 50-year collaboration between two of the country’s most influential artists, the choreographer Merce Cunningham and the composer John Cage, examining their integration of Buddhism into their work and their lives together. (1991, dir. Elliot Caplan, 100 min.) Calling Dr. Death (1943) Foregoing the trademark creaking door opening of radio’s Inner Sanctum Mysteries in favor of a floating head attesting that “Yes—even you, without knowing, can commit murder!” the psychological terror of the Inner Sanctum carries over to Universal’s film adaptation, in which neurologist Mark Steele (Lon Chaney Jr.), after blacking out, finds his adulterous wife murdered and himself the prime suspect. 35mm, b/w, 63 min. Director: Reginald LeBorg. The Call of Blood (Japan, 1964) (Oretachi no chi ga Yurusanai) Though director Seijun Suzuki created it in the midst of his stylistic breakthrough, The Call of Blood (1964) has never received the same amount of attention as other films he made around the same time. Nikkatsu icons Hideki Takahashi and Akira Kobayashi star as brothers—one a gangster, the other an ad man—who unite to avenge their yakuza father’s death 18 years before. The film features a bold use of color; an absurdist concluding gunfight; and, in one memorable scene, an impressively illogical use of rear projection, as the brothers argue in a car while ocean waves rage around them. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 97 min. Based on a novel by Kenro Matsuura Capone Cries a Lot (Japan, 1985) (Kapone oi ni naku) In this surreal comic confection, a traditional naniwa-bushi singer moves to Prohibition-era San Francisco. He goes in search of Al Capone, whom he mistakenly believes is president, hoping to impress the gangster with his singing and popularize the art form in the States. Filmed mostly in an abandoned amusement park in Japan, director Seijun Suzuki’s vision of 1920s America is an anarchic collage of pop culture images, from cowboys to Charlie Chaplin. One reason Capone is so rarely seen is that it reflects the racial attitudes of the time in which it is set by including, for example, a minstrel band in blackface. Such discomfiting images are balanced by scenes featuring an actual African American jazz ensemble that joins the film’s hero in jam sessions mixing blues, jazz and naniwa-bushi. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 128 min. Based on a novel by Sueyuki Kajiyama. Carmen from Kawachi (Japan, 1966) (Kawachi Karumen) A 1960s riff on the opera Carmen (including a rock version of its famous aria “Habanero”), this picaresque tale sends its heroine from the countryside to Osaka and Tokyo in search of success as a singer. Her journey is fraught with exploitation and abuse at the hands of nefarious men—until Carmen seeks revenge. Mixing comedy, biting social commentary and director Seijun Suzuki’s customarily outrageous stylistic flourishes, this fast-paced gem is an overlooked classic from his creative late period at Nikkatsu Studios. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 89 min. Based on a novel by Toko Kon. CARTEL LAND 2015, The Orchard, 100 min, USA/Mexico, Dir: Matthew Heineman This Best Documentary Oscar nominee examines the destructive impact of Mexico’s violent drug cartels from both sides of the border. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, small-town physician Dr. Jose Mireles leads a citizen uprising against the ruthless Knights Templar cartel, while in Arizona, American veteran Tim “Nailer” Foley heads a small paramilitary group defending the Altar Valley from cocaine traffickers. Executive produced by Kathryn Bigelow and shot with unprecedented access to these modern-day vigilante groups, this is a riveting look at law and order eroding close to home. In English and Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Discussion following with director Matthew Heineman. Chandu on the Magic Island (1934) A cult of cat worshippers lure the Egyptian princess Nadji to the faraway island of Lemuria, where they intend to sacrifice her in a ceremony to resurrect their leader. Chandu (this time played by Bela Lugosi), races to her rescue, pitting his yogic powers against the black magic of the cult’s high priest in a dramatic supernatural duel. 16mm, b/w, 67 min. Director: Ray Taylor. Based on the radio series created by Harry A. Earnshaw, Vera M. Oldham and R. R. Morgan. Chandu the Magician (1932) Public interest in magic, hypnotism and mysticism coalesced in the radio-original character of Frank Chandler, alias Chandu the Magician, an American with mind control and invisibility powers learned from a Hindu yogi. Translating extravagant audio storylines with special effects and exotic sets, Chandu is rife with occult tricks, deadly traps and sinister laboratories as its title mystic battles megalomaniac, death ray–wielding Roxor (Bela Lugosi). 16mm, b/w, 75 min. Director: Marcel Varnel, William C. Menzies. Based on the radio series created by Harry A. Earnshaw, Vera M. Oldham and R.R. Morgan. Cinematographer: James Howe. CHANTAL AKERMAN: PORTRAITS OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG GIRL Presented as part of the citywide retrospective in memory of the late Chantal Akerman, this trio of rarely screened films focuses on the cinema icon’s whimsical, humorous and achingly intimate view of youthful femininity. Saute ma ville (1968) introduces Akerman, then only 18, as a female Charlie Chaplin who cheerily mistreats the appliances in her tiny kitchen before committing an act of radical rebellion. In I Am Hungry, I Am Cold (1984), a pair of runaways scamper across Paris, practice kissing, sing for their supper, and nonchalantly cast aside desiring men. The third, longer work, Portrait of a Young Girl from the Late Sixties in Brussels (1993), follows Akerman’s teen double as she sublimates a secret crush for her heterosexual classmate into a surprise gift, conveying the generous violence of female desire. Chaplin at Mutual 100 years ago this month, Charlie Chaplin became the highest paid entertainer in the world when he signed with the Mutual Film Corporation; the dozen shorts he produced for them include some of the funniest and most brilliant sequences of his career. With live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. 110 min. Screening format: DCP. Program includes: * “The Immigrant” (1917, 22 min.) The Tramp sails to America and falls in love with Edna Purviance in Chaplin’s favorite two-reel comedy. * “The Cure” (1917, 31 min.) Chaplin plays a drunkard who inebriates an entire health spa. * “The Rink” (1916, 24 min.) Chaplin proves a clumsy waiter but a graceful skater in this slapstick-filled short. * “The Adventurer” (1917, 31 min.) The final film under his Mutual contract stars Chaplin as an escaped convict. CHARLEY-ONE-EYE A black, Union Army deserter and his crippled American Indian hostage form a strained partnership in the interests of surviving the advancing threats of a racist bounty hunter and neighboring bandits. Dir. Don Chaffey, 1973, 96 mins. CITY OF GOLD Some restaurant critics get ink traversing the globe; Jonathan Gold forged a more challenging route: the San Gabriel Valley hole-in-the-wall, a dull strip mall closer to home, a food truck that presaged the fad. Gold teases Angelenos’ tongues by mining culinary greatness in offbeat locales as he serves up vats of knowledge on global cuisine. City of Gold captures the process that won Gold the Pulitzer Prize. (2015, dir. Laura Gabbert, 96 min.) A Q&A with Jonathan Gold follows the screening. CITY OF HOPE John Sayles—the Godfather of Bootstrap Cinema, the original DIY filmmaker—was at the forefront of the modern independent cinema movement, when in 1979 with only $40,000 he made Return of the Secaucus Seven. A screenwriter, director, actor, editor, and producer, Sayles does it all—even a few soundtracks. If he is not making a film, then he is writing novels. If he is not writing novels, then he is writing short stories. John has stories to tell. In this Master Class presented in partnership with the Writers Guild Foundation, he will share some of those stories and will inspire you to get out there and share your own. After the discussion, we invite you to stay for a screening of John’s digitally remastered classic City of Hope. CITY OF HOPE: Welcome to John Sayles’ America. In this sprawling, kaleidoscopic view of an American city, City of Hope interweaves multiple narratives to examine political corruption, institutional failure, urban development, police brutality, and the ever-widening racial and economic divide of its inhabitants. Roger Ebert compared the film to Slacker, pointing out the shared affinity for weaving characters and places together, an observant camera straying across different conversations within the same scene, making us the eavesdropper on the urban landscape. The city, then, becomes the connecting tissue; it’s a living, breathing thing; it pulsates and it consumes. It’s about people’s complaisance to the institutions they serve. Yet, this is also a film about the individual. While initially dismissed by some critics as hopeless, Sayles has since noted that “the movie is pessimistic, but it’s not cynical.” This is an angry film that asks hard questions without providing easy answers; a film about compassion, hope and the small possibility of reform that exists within a rigged system. Dir John Sayles, 1991, DCP, 129 min. General Admission Tickets include entry to the Master Class & film, VIP tickets include reserved couch seating and entry to a private reception with John Sayles prior to the program, at 1:15pm CONTRABAND Cigarette smugglers in Naples run into problems with cocaine operations being set up by a rival smuggler. Dir. Lucio Fulci, 1980, 97 mins. Crashout (1955) Before leaving the U.S. for his period of exile, director Cy Endfield sold a screenplay to producer Hal E. Chester, which became this feature about a prison breakout and its disastrous aftermath. Blacklisted, Endfield received no screen credit, though Crashout (1955) remains a fascinating part of his legacy, including such emblematic markers as a scene of card tricks (Endfield was an expert magician) and the presence of a character named "Cy Endaby." 35mm, b/w, 91 min. Director: Lewis R. Foster. Crime Doctor's Man Hunt (1946) Former criminal Robert Ordway (Warner Baxter), reformed after an amnesiac blow to the head and now a renowned criminal psychologist, investigates the murder of a veteran experiencing fugue states, as the young man’s worried fiancée looks on. Directed by William Castle from a script by Leigh Brackett, appearances are deceiving in this entry in Columbia’s prolific Crime Doctor mystery series. 16mm, b/w, 61 min. Based on the radio series created by Max Marcin. Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street Hot on the trail of a scandalous photo of a U.S. senator with an unknown blonde, an American detective in Bonn is gunned down in Beethoven Street. His partner arrives in Germany to pick up the chase, but the Yankee gumshoe might be in over his head, in Samuel Fuller’s inventive romp through a high-stakes game of global extortion. 1972, 123 min, color, DCP. Written by Samuel Fuller; directed by Samuel Fuller; with Christa Lang, Glenn Corbett, Anton Diffring, Eric P. Caspar, and Sieghardt Rupp. Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947) When escaped convict Gruesome (Boris Karloff) perpetrates a brazen bank heist using incapacitating nerve gas, ridding the city of his menace is a job for square-jawed detective Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd). Colorful villains and familiar sidekicks bring author Chester Gould's sensibilities to this crime caper, the penultimate film adaptation for the detective of long-running comic and radio fame. 16mm, b/w, 65 min. Director: John Rawlins. THE EARLY FILMS OF PHILL NIBLOCK As part of a series of West Coast events featuring the work of legendary experimental composer and intermedia artist Phill Niblock, Filmforum is pleased to present an evening of his early cinematic endeavors. All the films in this program were originally shot on 16mm in the late 1960s and early1970s, and thus predate the corpus of films for which Niblock is most renowned, The Movement of People Working, a monumental series of 16mm works developed over the course of twenty-five years beginning in the mid-1970s. Here, then, is a portrait of the minimalist composer we know today as the avant-garde filmmaker he was from the very start. In the earliest of these cinematic experiments, Niblock’s ties to the New York avant-garde are amply on display: Morning, Raoul, and Dog Track each suggests a productive conversation with the likes of Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow, and Yvonne Rainer. Yet no less prominent are the origins of Niblock’s sui generis amalgamation of both structuralist and diaristic impulses with a composer’s sense of rhythm and pattern and a painterly preoccupation with texture. In T H I R, these currents converge with the architectural approach to sound that would soon become Niblock’s signature as a creator of densely layered, microtonal sonic environments. Together, the four works presented here bear witness to a singular artistic vision, a virtuoso of the moving image who seems to have emerged fully formed from the creative womb, already a master of the instruments of his powerful craft. Phill Niblock in person! Edwin Parker The British artist Tacita Dean directed this film on painter and Black Mountain College student Cy Twombly and titled it with the latter’s given name, an act that “implies intimacy, an encounter with the man behind the myth” (Guardian). Following the screening, David Breslin, chief curator at the Menil Drawing Institute, offers insights on Black Mountain College’s pivotal interconnection with the New York art scenes of the 1950s and 1960s. (2011, dir. Tacita Dean, color, 29 min.) Eight Hours of Fear (Japan, 1957) (Hachijikan no kyôfu) When their train is trapped by a landslide, passengers—including a murderer escorted by police officers—pile into a bus to proceed through the rugged countryside. Meanwhile, two bank robbers are loose in the vicinity. As the travellers’ journey continues, the danger mounts and tempers begin to fray. Bizarre camera movements and compositions provide a glimpse of the experimentation that took over in director Seijun Suzuki’s later films, but Eight Hours of Fear (1957) stands on its own as a gripping, eccentric adventure yarn. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 77 min. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, the third feature by Ciro Guerra. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, Serpent centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real - life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch - Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. Running time: 125 minutes. In Spanish and Amazonian languages, with English subtitles. THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG Arguably Lawrence Schiller’s most notable achievement, The Executioner’s Song followed the publication of the Norman Mailer-authored book of the same name, a project conceived of and reported by Schiller, who contracted Mailer to write the story—an arrangement notable in and of itself—of the execution of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah in 1977. The 1072-page “true life novel” charted the course of Gilmore’s execution—famed not only for it’s rarity but also the fact that Gilmore himself lobbied for his own execution. The film version, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Rosanna Arquette, has certainly not been easy to see since its 1982 release, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch the flick on the big screen, with Lawrence Schiller in person! Dir Lawrence Schiller, 1982, Digibeta, 157 min. Failure as a Generative Process: Expanded Cinema Experiments of Stan VanDerBeek This screening of HD transfers of Stan VanDerBeek’s short animated films, as well as unpublished documentation from his Cine Dreams projects, examines the utopian film experiments that he undertook after his studies at Black Mountain College. VanDerBeek’s works anticipate contemporary art’s moving- image, installation, and participatory practices. Introduction by the art historian Gloria Sutton. FANTASIA OF COLOR IN EARLY CINEMA Attention, lovers of the celluloid image: here is an opportunity to travel back in time by way of a ravishing treasure trove of hand-colored cinematic visions and wonders from more than a century ago. Beautiful restorations of these rare films are showcased in the new book Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema, the revelatory, lavishly illustrated exploration of the first-ever uses of applied color in movies. Accompanied by live music, superb digital transfers of restored work from the archives of EYE Film Institute Netherlands can now take viewers to when colored moving images truly opened a portal into otherworldly magic and the uncanny—and yet could also heighten realism. Two of the book’s authors, film scholar Tom Gunning, of the University of Chicago, and painter, illustrator and animator Jonathon Rosen, of the School of Visual Arts, introduce this delightful cinematic phantasmagoria. In person: Tom Gunning, Jonathon Rosen Fatty and Mabel at Keystone This two hour program is an evening of silent shorts on 8mm featuring two of the era’s most beloved stars, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Mabel Normand. The program includes a 100th anniversary screening of the beautifully made comedy classic “Fatty and Mabel Adrift” (1916, 34 min. Dir. Roscoe Arbuckle), a true gem from the Keystone studios, plus “Mabel, Fatty and the Law” and “Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco,” both from 1915, and much more. Curated and hosted by Tom Barnes. With live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. THE FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION #8 Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks is a practice that generates novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Such new works are, in other words, “inappropriate.” This act of (in)appropriation may even produce revelations about the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, not to mention the "producer" and "consumer" of visual culture itself. Fortunately for our purposes, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a wealth of new audiovisual elements available for appropriation into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now also provide fascinating material to repurpose in ways that lend it new meaning and resonance. Founded in 2009 and curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner, and Greg Cohen, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. From Afro-Futurist fantasias and forensic historical revisions of the McCarthy hearings to South Pole conquests and love letters to Britney Spears, this eighth edition of the Festival promises an astonishing kaleidoscope of aesthetic methods, philosophical positions, and political impulses. Brace yourselves for a sophisticated testament to the enduring power and vast potential of appropriation cinema in the new millennium! Fighting Elegy (Japan, 1966) (Kenka Erejii) Set in the 1930s, this darkly comic film is the story of Kiroku, a high school kid who lusts after the pure, Catholic daughter of the family with whom he boards. The only relief he can find for his immense sexual frustration is through fighting, which at first gets him into trouble, but later makes him perfect cannon fodder for the Sino-Japanese War. As with Story of a Prostitute (1965), the subject of militarism inspired director Seijun Suzuki to make one of his most personal and impassioned works. “One of Suzuki’s indisputable masterpieces, this subversively funny account of the making of a model fascist goes where no film had gone before in search of comic insights into the adolescent male mind.” —Tony Rayns. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 86 min. Based on a novel by Takashi Suzuki. FILMS OF JUANMA CALDERON JuanMa Calderon (Writer and Director) (Perú,1967) * Razones para el Exxxilio (2014), 75 minutes Gabriel (Giovanni Ciccia) is a young man who arrives in New York with the dreams of pouring his heart into his great passion, cinema. After many failed attempts, Gabriel feels he has finally written the script that will make a difference, a story that is genuine and heart-felt; an original porn film. With an excellent script-in-hand, and a producer in-tow, what could possibly go wrong? A story that seemed to be slated for success, turns into the nightmare of his existence. Gabriel has risked everything to make his film, and he who risks all… can lose it all…! * Karnaval (2011), 10 minutes KARNAVAL is a short comedy film set in Peru during the month of February when local traditions celebrate Carnival throughout the entire month in a strangely ritualistic event of mud baths and water-splashing throughout the city. Using both earnest and overwrought dialogue and humor, the story takes place during a neighborhood party, where the “foreigner” prepares an earnest speech to address this strange local custom, but finds herself pummelled by water-filled ballons. The film ends in an unexpected ballad as she retaliates and takes justice in her hands. * Amores Gatos (2015), 71 minutes Amores Gatos is an experimental tragicomedy about a quasi-poet dilettante that earns his living as a cat-sitter in NYC, and on this raucous night-on-the-job he manages to lose the same cat three times only to realize, when the owners unexpectedly return, that their cat has been replaced by another! This story of love and cross-stories is an adventure, a tragicomedy of love, death, and many lives. Discussion to follow Fire (Canada, 1996) Filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s stirring drama recounts the intimate relationship that develops between a new bride in a loveless marriage, and her similarly neglected sister-in-law in a shared household in New Delhi. Exciting intense controversy in India, the picture ignited movie screens with its unprecedented depiction of love between women, and its attendant suggestions about their autonomy and liberation. The film garnered honors worldwide, including the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at Outfest 1997. 35mm, color, 104 min. THE FORBIDDEN ROOM If a movie could dream, it might look something like THE FORBIDDEN ROOM. Canadian auteur Guy Maddin and co–director Evan Johnson invite audiences to glimpse what fills the human interior: urges, repressed memories, nightmares and dreams–within–dreams. The film is a pure manifestation of Maddin's distinctive cinephile delirium tremens. An international cast including Mathieu Amalric, Geraldine Chaplin, Udo Kier and Charlotte Rampling incarnates the obsessives trapped inside an oneiric labyrinth. Maddin and his team shot on digital cameras, then painstakingly converted the footage to resemble silent–era hand–tinted film color techniques. Expressionist, pulp, Kuleshov and camp — the Canadian filmmaker once again alchemizes his influences into the creation of a wholly original work. The Frozen Ghost (1945) A guilt-ridden stage mentalist (Lon Chaney Jr.) and a disgraced plastic surgeon (Martin Kosleck) are two key figures in the strange goings-on at a wax museum. When the eccentric owner of the museum disappears, the ensuing intrigue illuminates the Inner Sanctum’s traffic in suggestion, hypnosis, and the power of greed, jealousy and revenge to drive ordinary people to do extraordinary things. 35mm, b/w, 61 min. Director: Harold Young. Gate of Flesh (Japan, 1964) (Nikutai no Mon) Part social realist drama, part sadomasochistic trash opera, Gate of Flesh (1964) paints a dog-eat-dog portrait of postwar Tokyo. The film takes the point of view of a gang of tough prostitutes working out of a bombed-out building. When a lusty ex-soldier lurches into its midst, the group’s most sensitive member is tempted to break one of its most important rules: no falling in love. From the women’s bold, color-coded dresses to the unorthodox use of superimposition effects and theatrical lighting, this is director Seijun Suzuki at his most astonishingly inventive. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 90 min. Based on the novel by Taijiro Tamura. THE GREAT SILENCE A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds. Featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski. (Sergio Corbucci; Italy 1968; 105 min.) Rare 35mm print! THE HELLBENDERS The Civil War has ended, but not for Jonas, a ruthless Confederate officer who wants to continue the fight by reorganizing Confederate troops in the Southwest with the support of a large sum of stolen money. He devises an elaborate ruse to allow his small party to travel with minimal scrutiny through hostile territory, for the money is hidden in a coffin said to contain the body of his dead son. Jonas' other sons travel with him along with a hired "widow", as they proceed to what they hope to be a new start to the War between the States. However, while en route, they face severe, ongoing strife among themselves and successive threats from Union soldiers, a posse of cowboys, and an Indian war party. Dir. Sergio Corbucci, 1967, 90 mins. 16mm print. HELLZAPOPPIN' Ole and Chick are making a movie, but the director is not satisfied. So he brings them to a young writer, who outlines them an absurd story. They have to support Jeff and Kitty in setting up a musical revue in their garden and want to bring it up on Broadway. If Jeff is successful he can marry Kitty. But there is his rich friend Woody, who also loves Kitty, Chick's sister Betty, who's in love with a false Russian count, and detective Quimby. Dir. H.C. Potter, 1941, 80 mins. HOLLYWOOD AND UFOS More money has been made on the UFO genre than any other in Hollywood. Are the films based on reality or are they simple fantasy? Something very real is going on – just ask Steven Spielberg. “I really found my faith when I heard that the government was opposed to (the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind). If NASA took the time to write me a 20-page letter, then I knew there must be something.” You’ll experience what Spielberg discovered in his filmmaking experience at this fascinating session, and UFOJim will take you through a handful of the best movies of this genre. I Love a Mystery (1945) An eerie prophecy of death, a mysterious peg-legged lurker and a nearly fatal encounter with a flaming dessert drive a man to enlist detectives Jack Packard and Doc Long in preventing his unhappy fate. With a secret religious order, a million-dollar inheritance and a wheelchair-bound wife also in the mix, I Love A Mystery’s jam-packed plotlines evoke its lively radio antecedent. 16mm, b/w, 69 min. Director: Henry Levin. Based on the radio series created by Carlton E. Morse. Ivan’s Childhood (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962), 95 mins. The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children. JACQUES RIVETTE, LE VEILLEUR [THE WATCHMAN] Claire Denis's portrait of fellow French director Jacques Rivette, who passed away last month at 87, follows the filmmaker through city streets, exhibitions, cafes, and conversation. The made-for-French-TV documentary couples explorations of Rivette's idiosyncratic Parisian geography with discussions of his process and filmography, led by Cahiers de Cinema critic Serge Daney. Travis Mackenzie Hoover writes in Slant that the film is a catalogue of "Rivette's qualities, chief among which are his lonerish tendencies…he's private and withdrawn, and the film represents this by swallowing him up in the city or otherwise emphasizing his smallness…In the first part, ‘Day,’ it's largely performed via the wandering through the streets of Paris…in ‘Night,’ he's sitting on the top of a building, gazing over its railing or sitting in low light. The effect is to consider this person as a sort of transient with no home or country, wandering about or loitering in public space instead of staking out some personal terra firma." Dir: Claire Denis, 1990, 125 min. Jet Storm (UK, 1961) The clash of nobility and mob hysteria gets one more rehearsal in this fascinating, low-budget thriller. An explosives expert, embittered by the loss of his young daughter, reveals on an international flight that he has placed a bomb on the plane, setting up a series of fraught negotiations. The film offers a fascinating consideration of human despair and decency under intense pressure. DCP, b/w, 91 min. Director: Cy Endfield (as C. Raker Endfield). Based on a story by Sigmund Miller. The Journey of a Surrealist A 44-minute documentary on the groundbreaking director Luis Buñuel’s early Spanish films. Enjoy drinks and an evening of surreal entertainment as we celebrate the birthday of the great Luis Buñuel! Premiere. Kagero-za (Japan, 1981) According to film critic Tony Rayns, Kagero-za (1981), “may well be Suzuki’s finest achievement outside the constraints of genre filmmaking.” In this hallucinatory adaptation of work by the Taisho Era writer Kyoka Izumi, a mysterious woman named Shinako invites Matsuzaki, a playwright, to the city of Kanazawa for a romantic rendezvous. While Matsuzaki is on his way, his patron Tamawaki appears on the train, claiming to be en route to witness a love suicide between a married woman and her lover. Matsuzaki suspects Shinako is Tamawaki’s wife, and the trip to Kanazawa may spell his doom. As in Zigeunerweisen (1980), reality, fantasy, life and afterlife blend together in Kagero-za—most spectacularly in the grand finale, in which Matsuzaki finds his life morphing into a deranged theatrical extravaganza. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 140 min. Director: Seijun Suzuki. Based on a novel by Kyoka Izumi. Kanto Wanderer (Japan, 1963) (Kanto Mushuku) Based on a book by Taiko Hirabayashi, one of Japan’s most famous female novelists, Kanto Wanderer (1963) puts a Suzukian spin on the classic yakuza movie conflict between giri (duty) and ninjo (humanity). Nikkatsu superstar Akira Kobayashi plays Katsuta, a fearsome yakuza bodyguard torn between defending his boss against a rival gang leader and his obsession with Tatsuko, a femme fatale who reappears from his past. Director Seijun Suzuki uses this traditional story to experiment with color and to indulge his interest in Kabuki theater techniques and effects, most notably in the stunning final battle, in which the scenery falls away to reveal a field of pure blood red. “As an example of Suzuki’s mid-period output at Nikkatsu, Kanto Wanderer offers us an inspiring sample of experimentation on assignment.” —Margaret Barton-Fumo, Senses of Cinema. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 92 min. The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015) Filmmaker Arthur Dong's new documentary sheds light on the extraordinary life of Cambodian physician Haing S. Ngor, who survived years of torture in Khmer Rouge labor camps and rose to Hollywood fame as an Oscar-winning actor in The Killing Fields (1984), ultimately to be gunned down outside his home in Los Angeles' Chinatown. Dong's moving and penetrating film, ingeniously employing animation, music and elliptical editing, powerfully evokes this heroic and enigmatic "face of Cambodia," who worked tirelessly to bring healing and justice to his country. DCP, color, 87 min. In-person: Arthur Dong, Sophia Ngor, Jack Ong. KRISHA Trey Edward Schults’ debut feature took SXSW by storm last year, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, as well as a spot on the Cinefamily favorites list. The intense and tight narrative unfolds over a Thanksgiving gathering, rife with familial tension that feels so real, because it is, well, real; Schults cast his own family members in this deeply personal film. With hints of Cassavetes—and A Woman Under the Influence levels of commitment to dramatic performances—Krisha is a masterful debut. Dir. Trey Edward Shults, 2015, DCP, 83 min. THE LAST MOVIE Following the massive reverberations of Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper had carte blanche and a $1 million budget to realize the project of his dreams. The result was The Last Movie, a beautifully raw folk symphony of cinematic romanticism and his most ambitious effort behind the camera. Hopper plays a movie stuntman who’s working on the set of a Peruvian-shot, Hollywood-funded western. Then, he falls in love. Sound simple? It’s not. Initially conceived and edited as a linear narrative, The Last Movie was obsessively retooled by a haunted Hopper for nearly an entire year, and what emerged was an epic, constantly-in-flux fever dream that lobotomized the Godardian ideals of fiction vs. reality, reality vs. reality, form vs. content, and everything between. Rightly eulogized in Europe upon release (and wrongly reviled in the U.S.), this mesmerizing film is both a benchmark and an epitaph for Hollywood’s unhinged hippies and their uncompromising home movies. You may be challenged, but you’ll never be bored by The Last Movie. Dir. Dennis Hopper, 1971, 35mm, 108 min. Lawrence Schiller in person! L.A.X. L.A.X. deals with slippery concepts of history, memory, and how their traces mark the landscape of Los Angeles. The black and white film is made up of thirty-five shots and its soundtrack contains excerpts from various texts concerning the history of the city and of Southern California. Critic Scott Foundas writes: “Fabrice Ziolkowski's brilliant essay film prowls its way from a bird's-eye view of the Southland in its urban-suburban splendor to the seamier street-level perspective more common to the city dweller. In the process, Ziolkowski's voyeuristic black-and-white camera lingers inquisitively over the Venice canals, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and other iconographic landmarks, while a roundelay of different narrators, reading the work of Halberstam, Godard, Chandler, et al., fill us in on the city's hidden (and often unsavory) history. The film's expansive timeline stretches from the days of Franciscan monks and Indian villages to the irrigating of the San Fernando Valley, the decay of downtown and the ongoing, trenchlike divisions between races and economic classes…on one level, a snapshot of Los Angeles at the moment the film was made (1980) and, on another, a record of the city at all moments in all times — past, present and yet to come. A clear influence on subsequent works ranging from Pat O'Neill's Water and Power to Thom Andersen's recent Los Angeles Plays Itself, the film is a seminal achievement in its own right and a valuable contribution to that canon of works about the great, tangled myth of our improbable desert metropolis.” Dir: Fabrice Ziolkowski, 1980, 88 min. Fabrice Ziolkowski in person! LE REVELATEUR Philadelphia-based harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler perform an original live score to Philippe Garrel's Le Révélateur and Guy Maddin's Odilon Redon or the Eye Like A Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity, two enigmatic films that mine the aesthetic atmosphere explored by the exhibition Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints. * Le Révélateur, dir. Philippe Garrel, 1968, digital presentation, 62 min. In the wake of the May 1968 student riots in Paris, a collective of filmmakers formed under the name Zanzibar (an imagined utopia at the crossroads between east and west) to create powerfully taciturn, enigmatic visual poems. Reliant on minimal sets and improvisation, these young filmmakers captured the spirit of counterculture and revolt, influenced by the art, fashion, and music of the emerging underground. Philippe Garrel was a key Zanzibar figure and his film Le Révélateur, shot with cinematographer Michel Fournier in Germany's Black Forest, utilized a hyper-sensitive film stock to create startling deep black voids in contrast to blinding whites within each frame. Through this collection of dark, unraveling moments, unusual and dreamlike realms are conjured, placing Garrel's film within the spiritual legacy of Georges Seurat's apparitions, Odilon Redon's fantastical symbology, and other shadowy images featured in the exhibition Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints. Le Révélateur will be presented with a new original score performed by Lattimore and Zeigler, adding a rich layer of shimmering tones to the experience of the otherwise silent film. Their score has been performed at art spaces such as Ballroom Marfa, and Philadelphia's International House, among others, and it will be released as an album by the iconic Chicago independent label Thrill Jockey Records this year. * Odilon Redon or the Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity, dir. Guy Maddin, 1995, digital presentation, 5 mins. Preceding the feature presentation, Lattimore and Zeigler will perform new music set to a short film by renowned Canadian filmmaker and artist Guy Maddin. One of Maddin's earliest experiments, it is the filmic realization of Odilon Redon's 1882 work To Edgar Allan Poe (The Eye, Like a Strange Balloon, Mounts towards Infinity), which appears in the Museum's exhibition. Maddin translates the drawing into his signature frenetic and whimsical revival of silent-film era style. Not only does Maddin make reference to several of Redon's artworks, and Redon's invocation of Edgar Allan Poe, he also condenses the narrative of La Roue, the famed five-hour silent French film, all into five minutes. Regular musical collaborators, Lattimore and Zeigler's recent contemplative, dynamic album Slant of Light weaves an elaborate, picturesque soundscape, born out improvisations and evidence of an innate connection between their musical sensibilities. Each of their skills have made them some of the most in-demand musical collaborators in and out of Philadelphia, where they have worked with a range of notable artists like Kurt Vile, Jarvis Cocker, Meg Baird, Steve Gunn, Thurston Moore, Purling Hiss, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and The War on Drugs, among many more. For Lattimore, a former member of The Valerie Project ensemble, this is her second experience scoring a compelling piece of film history. In 2006, The Valerie Project composed an original score to the baroque-folk masterwork of the Czech New Wave, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, presenting it at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and London's Meltdown Festival. Lianna All of the struggles in Sayles’ films are familiar, human, yet also unique to the time, place, and position a character finds themselves in. Lianna find herself in quite a difficult time, struggling with her out-of-place sexuality in the midst of a society that isn’t ready to fully accept her. The controlled downfall of Lianna’s marriage shows the subtle writing touch that Sayles made a career of. Here, heady intellectual conversations counterbalance the sensuality of discovered feeling. Liana is the pioneering dissection of LGBT issues it seems at first glance, but it’s also a carefully measured portrait of a person, deftly drawn. Dir John Sayles, 1983, 35mm, 110 min. JOHN SAYLES IN PERSON. LOVE EXPOSURE Ask yourself this question: when was the last time a movie really mattered to you, and shattered your world? Every so often, a film comes screaming out of the ether that magically reveals a larger truth about this thing we stumble through called life, and the latest cinematic salve is the unforgettable, uncategorizable, unmissable Love Exposure, the behemoth from Sion Sono (Suicide Club, Strange Circus) that gleefully tackles life’s biggest issues: love, death, sex, revenge, religion and up-skirt panty photography. Winner of festival awards across the globe, and breaker of art house attendance records in Japan, Love Exposure has only been seen in the U.S. at a handful of sell-out screenings, with its initially daunting 237 minutes leaving audiences desperate for another installment. Purportedly based on the life of one Sono’s friends, the film tells the epic story of Yu, a teenager who loses his Catholic faith when his mother dies and his bible-thumping priest father demands that the innocent boy confess to sins that he hasn’t committed. As he manufactures sins to keep his father pleased, Yu trains in the ‘art’ of panchira (clandestine panty snapshots!), and all bets are off when he crosses paths with Yoko, the woman of his dreams (his “Virgin Mary”), at a streetfight. As he pursues his heart, Yu finds himself tripped up by apocalyptic religious cults, Catholic guilt and the call of pornography — and must use his love to fight his way out of darkness. The Cinefamily is proud to present one of the top Japanese films of the the last decade! Dir. Sion Sono, 2008, Digital Presentation, 237 min. THE MAN WHO SKIED DOWN EVEREST Cinefamily Show & Tell invites artists, filmmakers, musicians, and other cultural heroes to divulge their deepest, darkest media obsessions by opening their closets, digging through their attics and plundering their garages to curate an evening of…whatever they want to share! For this edition, we’ve invited veritable polymath Lawrence Schiller—whose career spans photography, journalism, and filmmaking—to take us on a tour of the audio, video, and other ephemera that has inspired him. From photographing Richard Nixon’s failed presidential run and Marilyn Monroe to writing a book with Norman Mailer, Schiller has certainly got stories to share... This crash-course trip through an impressive career kicks off a weekend of screenings celebrating the restoration of The American Dreamer, beginning with The Man Who Skied Down Everest, the 1975 Academy Award-winning doc Schiller co-directed with Bruce Nyznik, which captured japanese alpinist Yuichiro Miura’s risky—and visually stunning—journey down Mt Everest. Dir Bruce Nyznik & Lawrence Schiller, 1975, 35mm, 86 min. MICKEY ONE, 1965, Columbia (Sony Repertory), 93 min. This one is so far ahead of its time... we still probably haven't caught up to it. Released right before the New Hollywood really erupted, it was films like this that paved the way, making the road a little less rough for the more famous trailblazing pictures that followed. Nightclub comic Warren Beatty, on the run from the Mob, flees to Detroit hoping to start a new life - but gangsters are less of a problem than his own personal demons. Dazzlingly shot by Ghislain Cloquet and featuring Stan Getz on the soundtrack, this is a bold and unique achievement for Beatty and director Arthur Penn, who two years later would reteam for a little item called BONNIE AND CLYDE. Written by Alan M. Surgal and co-starring Alexandra Stewart, Jeff Corey, Franchot Tone and Hurd Hatfield. The Mirror (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975), 107 mins. Andrei Tarkovsky, the acclaimed master of Soviet cinema, takes a moving and personal turn with this striking meditation on life in Russia during the bleak days of WWII. THE MIRROR is not just the display of a film director at the peak of his unique powers. As an homage to the innocence of childhood, it tells an enigmatic tale that is both gripping and horrifying. Tarkovsky uses his own coming-of-age experiences, himself "mirror"-ed, to convey the mood and action that dominated a country ravaged by war. Through a fascinating two-tiered time frame, the director blends his own harsh childhood with an adult life that is troubled and broken. Powerful images (a mother faced with political terror, a divorcing couple's quarrel) are underscored by Tarkovsky's masterful manipulation of film stocks and recorded sound. THE MIRROR becomes a stream-of-consciousness, nostalgic visions of childhood mixed with slow-motion dream sequences and stark WWII newsreels. Tarkovsky's THE MIRROR is ultimately as much a window through the filmmaker's gaze as it is a reflection of his personal passions and ideals. Through this essential film, viewers may find the puzzles that provide the key to the director's other works, including THE SACRIFICE and SOLARIS. MOANA In 1924, documentary film pioneers Robert and Frances Flaherty and family traveled to the Samoan island of Savaii to record the native life and make a film that would try to match the success of Nanook of the North. Restored in 2K with native sounds and traditional songs that Flaherty’s daughter recorded over a half-century after they shot it, Monica Flaherty's Moana with Sound is a beautiful docu-fiction and important piece of film history. Runtime: 98 min Mysterious Island (UK/USA, 1961) This fanciful adaptation of Jules Verne's 1874 novel, atypical for director Cy Endfield, called upon his knowledge of American genres, European locations and the dramatization of group dynamics. Here, a group of Union Soldiers in the American Civil War escapes a Confederate compound in a hot air balloon, landing on an island full of outsize and mysterious beasts, animated by Ray Harryhausen. DCP, color, 101 min. OBSESSION 1976, Sony Repertory, 98 min, USA, Dir: Brian De Palma. Cliff Robertson is haunted by the death of his wife and daughter following a botched kidnapping, but he gets a shot at redemption when he meets a new woman (Genevieve Bujold) with an uncanny resemblance to his dead spouse. Screenwriter Paul Schrader and director Brian De Palma pay glorious homage to the work of Alfred Hitchcock with this romantic, hallucinatory thriller, which includes one of Bernard Herrmann's best scores - one that builds upon and possibly even tops his classic work with the Master of Suspense himself. PARALLEL I-IV Harun Farocki's four-part cycle Parallel deals with the image genre of computer animation. The series focuses on the construction, visual landscape and inherent rules of computer-animated worlds. "Computer animations are currently becoming a general model, surpassing film. In films, there is the wind that blows and the wind that is produced by a wind machine. Computer images do not have two kinds of wind." —Harun Farocki Passport to Darkness (Japan, 1959) (Ankoku no Ryoken) In this stylish film noir, a trombonist goes on an all-night bender after his wife disappears during their honeymoon. When he returns home to find her corpse in their apartment, he sets off on a frantic quest to find her killer by piecing together a night he can’t remember. Director Seijun Suzuki used this classic noir material to play with genre tropes and make expressive use of darkness and light. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 88 min. The Phantom of Crestwood (1932) Listeners to RKO’s six-part serial The Phantom headed to theaters for this denouement to the tale of gold digger Jenny Wren and her untimely death after extorting former lovers for hush money. A sudden storm and an unexpected guest at a seaside estate set the stage for an atmospheric whodunit as the evening’s narrative unfolds through layered flashbacks and multiple perspectives. 35mm, b/w, 77 min. Director: J. Walter Ruben. Pistol Opera (Japan, 2001) When Satoru Ogura suggested director Seijun Suzuki make a sequel to his most notorious film, Branded to Kill (1967), the result was this eye-popping action extravaganza, which is less a sequel than a compact retrospective of Suzuki’s style and themes, updated with CGI effects and infused with the metaphysical concerns of the Taisho Trilogy. Makiko Esumi plays Stray Cat, the number three killer in her assassins’ guild. She battles her way to the top against characters such as Painless Surgeon, a cowboy who can feel no pain, and the mysterious number one killer “Hundred Eyes.” Along the way, Stray Cat detours into the land of the dead, where her victims lurk, and into the “Atrocity Exhibition,” where she battles foes amid grotesque paintings from throughout art history. Pistol Opera (2001) proves that, even in his 70s, Suzuki’s creativity was still firing on all cylinders. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 112 min. RABID DOGS After a bank job goes badly wrong, three desperate criminals take a young woman and a father and child hostage - it's the beginning of a frantic and violent road trip that not all of them will survive. French remake of the Mario Bava film. Dir. Eric Hannezo, 2015, 100 mins. RADICAL INTIMACIES: THE 8MM CINEMA OF SAUL LEVINE Practically synonymous with personal small-gauge filmmaking, Saul Levine has created more than 100 largely improvisational films in a half-century of remarkable, uninterrupted activity. His painstakingly crafted, exquisitely kinetic work deals with people and episodes from his life, but derives universal poetic meaning from its urgency, tactile presence, and range of themes, from the most personal to the political. In his key series—Notes, Portrayals, and Light Licks—Levine uses combinations of black-and-white and color, multiple images, accidents of exposure, and hand-carved collaging to expand upon his already rich, expressive cinematography. The Boston-based legend, a mentor to scores of avant-garde filmmakers throughout his teaching tenure at MassArt, brings a selection of work that includes entries from Light Licks, early 8mm Portrayals, and several Super 8mm sound films. In person: Saul Levine RAIN THE COLOR OF BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT Whoever said rock ‘n roll was dead will find a foe in modern day-Lomax Christopher Kirkley’s (fictional, but not untrue) Purple Rain-colored portrayal of Mdou Moctar, Nigerien vassal of left-handed psych blues. Famous in North Africa for his scintillating, rebellious guitar style — recordings of which traveled in stealth on teenagers’ cellphones — Moctar profiles a rock-mystic version of himself in Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It, the first ever Tuareg-language film (it has no word for “purple”). Shot in eight days and using only local musicians, actors and youth who often rewrote or improvised the script to better represent their lives, the narrative bypasses the novelty factor of being a Tuareg Purple Rain and instead tributes Prince’s cult film while matching it with the Saharan answer: a mysterious tagelmust head garment in place of The Kid’s expressive scarves; a pious, guitar-despising Muslim father in place of Purple Rain‘s abusive patriarch; yet still, the crucial motorcycle, the race to get the girl, the ego-driven rock rivalries, and the miraculous return of the hero. An absorbing, beautifully shot homage to music itself that sends a toast each to Italian neo-realism and The Harder They Come. Dir. Christopher Kirkley, 2015, DCP, 75 min. Followed by a Q&A with director Chris Kirkley and an after party with DJ sets by Radio Afrique and Chris Kirkley. RETRO SHORTS: 16mm FILMS FROM USC'S HEFNER MOVING IMAGE ARCHIVE Screening in 16mm: * HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (1978) Drama, 27 min. A young man is challenged by the tough realities of the inner city when he recognizes the perpetrator of a violent crime. Written and Directed by Randall Fried (Heaven Is a Playground). * VANISHING VETS (1987) Documentary, 20 min. This documentary shares the unforgettable stories of black Vietnam veterans, many of whom are fighting the effects Agent Orange exposure. Directed by Julie Linowes. * BLACKTOP LINGO (1995) Drama, 12 min. Young streetball players gather in the park to discuss life, love, friendship and basketball. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, The Wood, Brown Sugar). * STRANGE FRUIT (2001) Drama, 12 min. A defiant young graffiti muralist, creates a mural about a lynching in her family’s history. Written and directed by Chris Browne (screenwriter of The Walk). Ride Lonesome (1959) Directed by Budd Boetticher | Starring Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, and Pernell Roberts. While escorting a killer to town to be hanged, a bounty hunter (Randolph Scott) allows the man’s outlaw brother to catch up with him for a showdown over a shocking previous murder. Rogue Cop Sharing both the screenwriter, Sydney Boehm, and source author, William P. McGivern, of Fritz Lang's 1953 classic The Big Heat, the rarely seen Rogue Cop is one of the earliest examples of the "dirty cop" archetype which came to be an omnipresent figure in cinema during the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. Featuring Academy Award nominated cinematography by John F. Seitz (Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity) and bitter, biting dialogue by Boehm, Roy Rowland's Rogue Cop stars a sneering Robert Taylor as the eponymous lead, Det. Christopher Kelvaney, while Janet Leigh and George Raft co-star. Roy Rowland, 1954, 16mm, 92 minutes Sands of the Kalahari (UK, 1965) A plane crash in the South African desert exposes its survivors to intensive hardship and the need to organize for survival. In true Cy Endfield style, this is expressed through the tension between savagery and civilized cooperation, as members of the group oscillate between the two extremes, eerily mirrored by the allegorical presence of an always-nearby pack of wild baboons. 35mm, color, 119 min. Director: Cy Endfield. Based on the novel Sands of the Kalahari by William Mulvhill. Seven Men from Now (1956) Directed by Budd Boetticher | Starring Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, and Lee Marvin. This was the film that first brought together Boetticher, Scott, and writer Burt Kennedy. A former sheriff (Randolph Scott) blames himself for his wife’s death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible. The Shadow (1940) Chapter 13: “Wheels of Death” Chapter 14: “The Sealed Room” Chapter 15: “The Shadow’s Net Closes” Considered by Shadow magazine writer Walter B. Gibson to be the best screen interpretation of the franchise, the action-packed final episodes of the 1940 serial find the crimefighter, aided by Margo Lane and Harry Vincent, in pursuit of notorious mastermind the Black Tiger, even as local citizens believe the Shadow himself to be behind the trail of mayhem. 35mm, b/w, approx. total running time 51 min. Director: James W. Horne. Based on the short stories in The Shadow magazine. The Sleeping Beast Within (Japan, 1960) A businessman vanishes upon his return from an overseas trip, and his daughter hires a reporter to help find him. When the father reappears, the reporter becomes suspicious and starts digging deeper, uncovering a secret world of heroin smuggling and murder—all tied up with a mysterious Sun God cult. This proto-Breaking Bad moves to an energetic pulp fiction beat all the way to its spectacular conflagration of an ending. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 86 min. Director: Seijun Suzuki. Smashing the O-Line (Japan, 1960) This crime thriller features one of the most nihilistic characters in director Seijun Suzuki’s early films: Katiri, a reporter so ambitiously amoral that he’ll sell out anyone—including his partner and the drug dealer he’s sleeping with— to get a scoop. But what happens when an even more ruthless female gang boss kidnaps his sister? With its jazzy musical score and sordid milieu of drug smuggling and human trafficking, Smashing the O-Line (1960) is one of Suzuki’s darkest urban tales. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 83 min. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) Barbara Stanwyck takes on Agnes Moorehead's celebrated role as the frantic invalid of Suspense's much-reprised radio play. Alone and bedridden, Leona Stevenson tries desperately to raise the alarm after overhearing a murder plot on the phone, only to realize that she is its intended victim. Claustrophobically structured in seemingly real time, director Anatole Litvak’s film speeds to its horrifying conclusion. 35mm, b/w, 89 min. Based on the radio play by Lucille Fletcher. SPRING TAKES TIME When engineer Heinz Solter (Mellies) is suddenly arrested and accused of approving a defective gas pipeline the question arises: Was it an act of sabotage or willful negligence? Despite his lack of party affiliation, Solter had been revered by his colleagues as a reliable and competent engineer, whose intelligence and tenacity enabled him to win over the likes the plant’s careerist director Erhard Faber (Simon). At first, the case seems clear-cut for the state prosecutor, but when upon further investigation, he discovers that Solter, pressured by Faber, had actually acted against his better judgment. Based on an actual crime case, Stahnke’s film was banned shortly after its release due to its critical examination of the problems of a planned economy and its extremely stylized avant-garde imagery. The scathing criticism unintentionally complimented the film by accusing it of stylistic affinities to Antonioni and Fellini. German with English subtitles. Dir.: Günter Stahnke, GDR, 1965, 76 min., digital. Story of a Prostitute (Japan, 1965) (Shunpuden) Yumiko Nogawa, one of director Seijun Suzuki’s favorite actresses, gives perhaps her most ferocious performance in this scathing portrayal of Japanese militarism during the lead-up to World War II. Sent with six other comfort women to service a garrison of some 1,000 men in Manchuria during the Sino-Japanese War, Nogawa’s Harumi is brutalized by a vicious lieutenant who wants her as his personal property. Meanwhile, she is falling in love with his gentle young assistant. The Taijiro Tamura novel on which the film is based was previously made into a much-sanitized film by Akira Kurosawa called Escape at Dawn (1950). Working in the B-movie arena allowed Suzuki to use the sex and violence expected from the genre to advance the view he shared with Tamura, as Tony Rayns put it: “that the sex-drive is a crucial part of the human will to live.” “This is the movie that proves Suzuki should be lifted out of the limiting category of the Asia Extreme cult directors, the ‘Japanese Outlaw Masters,’ and placed at the grown-ups’ table, alongside Kurosawa, Okamoto, and Kobayashi.” —David Chute, Criterion Current. 35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 96 min. Based on a novel by Hajime Takaiwa. A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (Japan, 1977) (Hishu Monogatari) Nearly a decade after being fired by Nikkatsu Studios, Suzuki returned to the director’s chair with this titillating tale of a model who is groomed to become a professional golfer as a publicity stunt. When she turns out to be good at the sport, her success leads a deranged fan to hatch a blackmail scheme. “Riddled with the director's wildly non-conformist use of non-contiguous edits, unhinged shot composition, and violent splashes of colour, crazed and chaotic and for too long buried in the sand bunkers of obscurity, this long-overlooked work simply cries out for revival.” —Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 93 min. Director: Seijun Suzuki. Based on a story by Ikki Kajiwara. Tattooed Life (Japan, 1965) (Irezumi Ichidai) Set in the 1930s, Tattooed Life (1965) is the story of two brothers: Kenji, an art student, and Tetsu, who is working as a yakuza to help pay for Kenji’s tuition. When a hit job goes horribly wrong, the brothers flee. They end up finding work in a mine—and falling in love with the owner’s wife and daughter. But will Tetsu’s gang tattoos reveal the brothers’ secret past? The first film to earn director Seijun Suzuki a warning about “going too far” from his Nikkatsu bosses, Tattooed Life contains one of his most iconic and audacious violations of film form: a final fight scene in which the floor suddenly and illogically disappears, and the action is filmed from below the actors’ feet. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 87 min. Tempest (1928) William Cameron Menzies received his first Academy Award for Art Direction for two 1928 pictures; one of them, this depiction of a Russian peasant who ascends to power within the Tsar's Army, then joins the Bolshevik revolution, while romancing an imperious princess. Menzies' extensively researched and evocative designs gave the film a formal beauty and unity that belied its turbulent production circumstances, drawing praise from admiring star John Barrymore. 35mm, b/w, silent, 105 min. Director: Sam Taylor. With: John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Louis Wolheim, Boris de Fas, George Fawcett. TEXTURES OF LIFE: FILM AND THE ART OF TACITA DEAN British artist Tacita Dean’s extraordinary body of art embraces many mediums; she works with paint, found objects, photography, prints and writing, but it is her films that make the most indelible contribution. For Dean, film emulsion is a living tissue that can engender unsurpassed, vibrant experiences of light and rhythm, and she has been a passionate champion of the endangered medium. Working with a deeply contemplative aesthetic, her portrayals of artists and phenomena extend the literal into poetic dimensions. The youngest artist ever to be given a solo show at Tate Britain in 2001, Dean has exhibited at museums throughout the world, including the Hammer Museum two years ago, and she has produced over 50 films. For tonight’s program, Dean presents a rare selection of 16mm films that are not normally presented theatrically and that have not shown in Los Angeles before. In person: Tacita Dean THREE FILMS BY JENNIFER REEDER Drawing on forms as varied as TV after-school specials, music videos and magical realism, Jennifer Reeder constructs intimate narratives about relationships, trauma and coping. Her latest acclaimed work, Blood Below the Skin, chronicles a turbulent week in the life of three teenage girls, from different social circles, ahead of the school dance. Also on tap are the L.A. debut of A Million Miles Away, a festival circuit favorite in which a distressed substitute teacher and a teen girls’ choir revel in the melancholy of a Judas Priest anthem, and Seven Songs About Thunder, a dark feminist comedy about a mother, her daughter, a liar, and a therapist. L.A. premiere. THE TIN DRUM Die Blechtrommel 1979, Janus Films, 163 min, Dir: Volker Schlöndorff Adapted from the acclaimed Günter Grass novel, this Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar winner stars David Bennent as Oskar Matzerath, a boy whose refusal to grow up makes this one of the most bizarre coming-of-age film ever. Born near the Polish-German border in the 1920s, Oskar has a ringside seat to the rise of Nazism, and uses his tin drum and glass-shattering voice to display his disgust with the adult world. An unforgettable film (including at least a couple of sequences that will make you squirm). Directors Cut. Tokyo Drifter (Japan, 1966) (Tokyo Nagaremono) Tasked with making a vehicle for actor/singer Tetsuya Watari to croon the title song, director Seijun Suzuki concocted this crazy yarn about a reformed yakuza on the run from his former comrades. The film is mainly an excuse to stage an escalating series of goofy musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. Popping with garish colors, self-parodic style and avant-garde visual design, Tokyo Drifter embodies a late-1960s zeitgeist in which trash and art joyfully comingle. “With influences that range from Pop Art to 1950s Hollywood musicals, and from farce and absurdist comedy to surrealism, Suzuki shows off his formal acrobatics in a film that is clearly meant to mock rather than celebrate the yakuza film genre.” —Nikolaos Vryzidis, Directory of World Cinema: Japan. DCP, b/w & color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 83 min. The Unknown (1946) The death of a domineering Kentucky matriarch gathers her heirs at their decaying ancestral home in this Southern Gothic–tinged mystery based on the radio story “The Thing That Cries In The Night.” Accompanying granddaughter Nina for the reading of the will, Jack and Doc protect her from a series of malevolent mishaps while unraveling the secrets of the mouldering mansion. 35mm, b/w, 70 min. Director: Henry Levin. Based on the radio series created by Carlton E. Morse. VIVA VILLA! In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. Dir. Jack Conway, 1934, 115 mins. WHERE THE CHOCOLATE MOUNTAINS A tour de force of digital art, Where the Chocolate Mountains (2015, 55 min.) is a major new opus from Pat O’Neill, one of the all-time guiding lights of the Los Angeles avant-garde, whose pioneering use of the optical printer marked a creative breakthrough in composite image-making in cinema. Continuing in the vein of his renowned 35mm epics Water and Power (1989), Trouble in the Image (1996) and Decay of Fiction (2002), the founding CalArts faculty member combines haunting cinematography of the Chocolate Mountains along the border between California and Arizona—long used as a bombing range by the military—with footage shot in L.A., Mexico and Prague, intimate self-portraits, and recurring graphic motifs to create irrepressible, stunningly detailed streams of multilayered sight and sound. The new film is preceded by one of O’Neill early classic, 7362 (1967, 10 min.). In person: Pat O’Neill White Homeland Commando White Homeland Commando is The Wooster Group’s skewed take on the police procedural, conceived at the start of the true-crime craze. The first totally stand-alone video by the Group, WHC plays like a transmission from a parallel universe. The plot centers on the infiltration of a white supremacist cult by a special unit of the police force. Written for the company in 1987 by Michael Kirby, the teleplay is a Structuralist narrative that interweaves the stories of eight characters – four cops and four white supremacists – and mixes experimental theater strategies with the aesthetics of popular television crime shows like Kojak and Hill Street Blues. Kirby’s Structuralist script also incorporates actual propaganda material from sources such as “The Aryan Nation Archives” and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith’s Bulletin. Under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte, working with cinematographer Ken Kobland and editor Melody London, the video is abstracted by intentional disruptions – garishly beautiful computer animations, stuttering playback, and sound-sync delays – that invite an impressionistic viewing, akin to late-night channel surfing. The result is an indelible portrayal of the sinister violence and aggression seething within society. Broadcast, just once, on public television, the video was also screened at the New York Film Festival, The Kitchen, MoMA, and was selected for the controversial “politically correct” 1993 Whitney Biennial, where it struck a disharmonic chord with the tone of much of the art on display. Shot in various locations in New York, WHC includes original music by David Van Tieghem, and features performances by Wooster Group members Willem Dafoe, Kate Valk, Peyton Smith, Anna Köhler, Jeff Webster, Nancy Reilly, Michael Stumm, and Ron Vawter. Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, 1992, 63 min. Followed by a discussion with Kate Valk, Elizabeth LeCompte, Chris Kraus, and Lewis Klahr. WILLIAM LEAVITT: BEHAVIOR LAXART and Los Angeles Filmforum are pleased to present the debut screening of Behavior, a new film work by Los Angeles based artist William Leavitt. In his sculptures, paintings, drawings, films, plays and performance tableaus Leavitt has consistently presented uncanny scenes of domestic life, the built environment, and social interaction—familiar yet estranging representations of Americana that evidence their own artifice and disassociated temporality. Consequently, Leavitt’s work offers an encounter, suspended in time, with a cultural landscape that demands to be incessantly updated. The artist’s fifth film work, Behavior responds to the cultural emphasis on constantly refreshing attention through anachronisms and by way of an extended focus on expectant moments rather than their outcome. 45 minutes. Post-screening Discussion with William Leavitt and Thom Andersen. Youth of the Beast (Japan, 1963) (Yaju no Seishun) Director Seijun Suzuki himself claims that 1963 was the year when he truly came into his own, and Youth of the Beast is one of his breakthroughs. In his second collaboration with the director, Jo Shishido rampages through the movie, playing a disgraced ex-cop pitting two yakuza gangs against each other to avenge the death of a fellow officer. As the double and triple crosses mount, Suzuki fills the frame with lurid colors, striking compositions and boldly theatrical effects that signal a director breaking away from genre material to forge a pulp art form all his own. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 91 min. Based on a novel by Haruhiko Oyabu. Yumeji (Japan, 1991) Made 10 years after its predecessor, the final film in the Taisho Trilogy spins a fantastical tale from the life of a historical figure. Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934) was an artist known as much for his paintings of beautiful women as for his bohemian lifestyle. As played by rock star Kenji Sawada, the Yumeji of director Seijun Suzuki’s film is a serial seducer haunted by thoughts of his own death while pursuing ideals of beauty in his art. Traveling to Kanazawa to meet his lover, he instead falls for a widow whose murdered husband inconveniently returns from the dead. Love, desire, life and death collapse into one another as Yumeji’s art takes on an uncanny existence of its own. 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 128 min. Ziguernerweisen (Japan, 1980) Named the best film of the 1980s in a poll of Japanese film critics, Zigeunerweisen (1980) takes its title from a recording of violin music by Pablo de Sarasate. The piece haunts the film’s two main characters: Aochi, an uptight professor at a military academy, and his erstwhile colleague Nakasago, who is now a wild-haired wanderer and possible murderer. The movie’s plot is a metaphysical ghost story involving love triangles, doppelgangers, and a blurred line between the worlds of the living and the dead. “Underlying the teasing riddles,” writes film critic Tony Rayns, “is an aching lament for the sumptuous hybrid culture of the 1920s that was swept away by the militarism of the 1930s.” 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 144 min. Director: Seijun Suzuki.