a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
thu. mar. 29 fearless fighters, supermanchu @ new beverly theatre the curse of quon gwon, her wild oat @ ampas linwood dunn theatre cria cuervos, spirit of the beehive @ aero theatre battleship potemkin 8 PM @ silent movie theatre black time @ alex's bar fri. mar. 30 dos, silver daggers @ the smell the blood spattered bride, asylum of blood, mary mary bloody mary @ new beverly theatre night tide, the beat, reflections of a beatnik @ egyptian theatre the seventh seal, wild strawberries @ aero theatre the 400 blows, monika @ lacma xl terrestrials @ telic cadillac beach 8 PM @ machine gallery sat. mar. 31 the blood spattered bride, asylum of blood, mary mary bloody mary @ new beverly theatre the beat generation, the connection @ egyptian theatre zero for conduct, jules and jim, cleo from 5 to 7 @ aero theatre pickpocket, l'avventura @ lacma operation breton, une histoire d'eau, breathless, jlg by jlg @ ucla film archive mike watt & the missingmen, bellrays, saccharine trust @ safari sam's sun. apr. 1 the lady in red, bare knuckles @ new beverly theatre viridiana, black orpheus @ aero theatre a nice afternoon symphony orchestra @ telic le petit soldat 7 PM, les carabiners @ ucla film archive double harness, rafter romance @ egyptian theatre the mythology show 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre mon. apr. 2 the lady in red, bare knuckles @ new beverly theatre antarcticans FREE @ silver lake lounge tue. apr. 3 the lady in red, bare knuckles @ new beverly theatre last refuge for the senses or noise hippies against all war 7 PM, the mythology show FREE @ 7 dudley cinema ozomatli FREE 6 PM @ amoeba records wed. apr. 4 the female bunch, wonder women @ new beverly theatre experimental documentaries by konefsky & benstock 8 PM FREE @ 7 dudley cinema thu. apr. 5 mia doi todd @ tangier nurse with wound FREE 7 PM @ amoeba records west of zanzibar 8 PM @ silent movie theatre fri. apr. 6 the thermals @ the echo white line fever, return to macon county @ new beverly theatre madame de..., death of a cyclist @ lacma vivre sa vie, a married woman @ ucla film archive sat. apr. 7 the mad doctor of market street @ starlight studio white line fever, return to macon county @ new beverly theatre zero de conduite, the rules of the game @ lacma alphaville 2 PM, made in USA @ ucla film archive sun. apr. 8 the girl from starship venus, the legend of the wolf woman @ new beverly theatre mon. apr. 9 the girl from starship venus, the legend of the wolf woman @ new beverly theatre sonic boom @ safari sam's the valet 8 PM @ cinerama dome tue. apr. 10 the girl from starship venus, the legend of the wolf woman @ new beverly theatre mt. eerie @ the smell wed. apr. 11 slithis, screams of a winter night @ new beverly theatre pierrot le fou, contempt @ ucla film archive playtime (70mm) @ egyptian theatre thu. apr. 12 slithis, screams of a winter night @ new beverly theatre kichul kim: listening to this room @ telic act of violence, force of evil @ egyptian theatre the wandering jew 8 PM, the immigrant, call of the cuckoo @ silent movie theatre fri. apr. 13 suspiria MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre hot summer in barefoot county, redneck miller @ new beverly theatre code unknown @ ucla film archive armored car robbery, odds against tomorrow @ egyptian theatre aggrolites @ the echo explx mia doi todd @ el cid sat. apr. 14 the ponys @ the echo hot summer in barefoot county, redneck miller @ new beverly theatre band of outsiders 2 PM, numero deux @ ucla film archive men at work @ ucla film archive the big knife, sweet smell of success @ egyptian theatre sun. apr. 15 the muthers, fight for your life @ new beverly theatre port of new york, the breaking point @ egyptian theatre rock n roll adventure kids @ the smell mon. apr. 16 the muthers, fight for your life @ new beverly theatre kimya dawson @ knitting factory tue. apr. 17 the muthers, fight for your life @ new beverly theatre dark passage 1 PM @ lacma elliott caine quintet @ jazz bakery wed. apr. 18 dragon's vengeance, kung fu the punch of death @ new beverly theatre double indemnity, blood money @ aero theatre orson welles' multi-verse FREE @ 7 dudley cinema thu. apr. 19 dragon's vengeance, kung fu the punch of death @ new beverly theatre cry of the city, city of fear @ egyptian theatre nobody lives forever, 711 ocean drive @ aero theatre the temptress 8 PM, dr. pickle and mr. pride, lines busy @ silent movie theatre fri. apr. 20 trans am @ troubadour leave her to heaven 8 PM @ ampas samuel golden theatre the crimson kimono, pickup on south street @ egyptian theatre murder my sweet, the spiritualist @ aero theatre psychic paramount, earthless @ 1269 space sat. apr. 21 true to life @ starlight studios bad dudes @ the smell the glass wall, the crooked web @ egyptian theatre mildred pierce, female on the beach @ aero theatre johnny guitar @ lacma sun. apr. 22 grave of the vampire, jailbait babysitter @ new beverly theatre one plus one (aka sympathy for the devil) 7 PM, la chinoise @ ucla film archive he walked by night, the killer that stalked new york @ egyptian theatre agnostic ceiling 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre shack out on 101, tension @ aero theatre the paleface 8 PM, by the sun's rays @ silent movie theatre mon. apr. 23 grave of the vampire, jailbait babysitter @ new beverly theatre qui FREE @ silver lake lounge tue. apr. 24 grave of the vampire, jailbait babysitter @ new beverly theatre wed. apr. 25 return of the tiger, stoner @ new beverly theatre the killing, the sleeping city @ egyptian theatre thu. apr. 26 return of the tiger, stoner @ new beverly theatre pitfall, a double life @ egyptian theatre fri. apr. 27 bipolar bear @ the smell death rage, cry of the prostitute @ new beverly theatre 711 ocean drive, the mob @ egyptian theatre sat. apr. 28 death rage, cry of the prostitute @ new beverly theatre histoire(s) du cinema chapters 1-2 4 PM @ ucla film archive histoire(s) du cinema chapters 3-4 8 PM @ ucla film archive the wrong man, shockproof @ egyptian theatre the last picture show 9:30 PM @ lacma sun. apr. 29 the people against o'hara, i love trouble @ egyptian theatre wed. may 2 the garment jungle, abandoned @ egyptian theatre fri. may 4 the left handed gun @ lacma dead man 9:30 PM @ lacma sat. may 5 the hour before the dawn @ starlight studios electra glide in blue 9:40 PM @ lacma sun. may 6 james benning's california trilogy @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre mon. may 7 paris je t'aime @ ucla film archive fri. may 11 to be a star @ ucla film archive once upon a time in the west @ lacma sat. may 12 paris texas @ lacma sun. may 13 weekend 7 PM, le gai savoir @ ucla film archive james benning's california trilogy @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre sun. may 16 every man for himself, ici et ailleurs @ ucla film archive punking out @ 7 dudley cinema fri. may 18 melt banana @ troubadour the bitter tea of general yen, baby face @ ucla film archive sat. may 19 standing room only @ starlight studios passion, first name: carmen @ ucla film archive sun. may 20 the pope, foot village, dos @ the smell james benning's california trilogy @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre tue. may 24 the clientele @ knitting factory sat. may 26 echo curio @ mr. t's bowl double indemnity, the file on thelma jordan @ ucla film archive sun. may 27 nouvelle vague 7 PM, detective @ ucla film archive fri. jun. 1 ladies they talk about, the lady eve @ ucla film archive sat. jun. 2 notre musique, for ever mozart @ ucla film archive the pope @ the smell sat. jun. 16 lavender diamond @ troubadour fri. jun. 22 low @ troubadour sat. jun. 23 low @ troubadour thu. jun. 28 fuck yeah fest fri. jun. 29 von trier's medea 8 PM @ getty villa raccoo-oo-oon @ the smell fuck yeah fest sat. jun. 30 pasolini's medea 8 PM @ getty villa fuck yeah fest sun. july 1 fuck yeah fest sat. july 7 forbidden planet 2 PM, 8 PM @ alex theatre WHAT IT IS: ABANDONED, 1949, Universal, 78 min. Dir. Joseph M. Newman. "No name for her baby... only a price! " Screenwriter Bill Bowers strikes again, this time providing uncredited seasoning to an expose of Los Angeles black-market baby rackets. Amazing location footage of 1949 Los Angeles is on prominent display in this gorgeous 35mm print recently unearthed by the Film Noir Foundation. Co-starring Dennis O’Keefe, Gale Storm, Raymond Burr, Jeff Chandler. Screenplay by Irwin Geilgud. Don’t miss your only chance to see this on a big screen! NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actor Robert Loggia (THE GARMENT JUNGLE). ACT OF VIOLENCE, 1948, Warner Bros., 81 min. A dark masterpiece made during the Metro tenure of producer Dore Schary, this is emblematic film noir: Psychically-scarred WWII POW Robert Ryan stalks war hero Van Heflin from sylvan Big Bear Lake to the nocturnal underbelly of postwar downtown L.A. Stellar Robert Surtees’ cinematography captures not only the city, but superb performances from the whole cast, including a jaw-droppingly gorgeous 20-year old Janet Leigh as Heflin’s endearingly tenacious spouse and Mary Astor as a street-wise hooker! Directed by the great Fred Zinnemann (A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS; DAY OF THE JACKAL) NOT ON DVD A DOUBLE LIFE, 1947, Republic (Paramount), 104 min. Ronald Colman plumbs frigid depths as an actor truly lost in his work. Did he really kill that poor waitress (Shelley Winters) or was that just a rehearsal for his next great Shakespearian turn? Colman’s Oscar-winning performance as thespian Anthony John still seems stunningly fresh. One of the true classics, co-starring Signe Hasso, Edmund O’Brien and Ray Collins. Directed by George Cukor, filmed on location at the Empire Theatre in New York City, from a brilliant script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. "Once Tony John begins to go over the edge, nearly every shot is an expressionistic metaphor for his mental state, as he shifts between lucidity and bizarre histrionics." – Jerry Renshaw, The Austin Chronicle NOT ON DVD ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, 1950, Warner Bros., 67 min. The ultimate ‘B’ caper flick, directed by a great friend of the American Cinematheque, the late Richard Fleischer (THE NARROW MARGIN). The toughest mug in noir, Charles McGraw, plays the prototype L.A. Robbery-Homicide dick matched against goggle-eyed heavy William Talman in the film noir equivalent of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA! With sultry Adele Jergens as a duplicitous burlesque queen, strutting her stuff amidst plenty of period L.A. location photography. NOT ON DVD. ASYLUM OF BLOOD (from IMDB) The journalist Alan Foster makes a bet than he can spend one night at the haunted Blackwood Castle. As he learns, the rumours of ghosts at the castle are indeed true. BABY FACE (1933, United States) Directed by Alfred Green Stanwyck stars as the notorious Lily Powers, who literally sleeps her way to the top of a New York high-rise office building, laying waste to a multitude of men in the process. This restoration features five minutes of previously censored footage. Screenwriter: Kathryn Scola. Screenplay: Gene Markey. Cast: B. Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, 76 min. BARE KNUCKLES (from IMDB) A bounty hunter in Los Angeles sets out to track down and stop a masked serial killer who murders women by using kung-fu moves. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (from IMDB) Quite a lot has been said about this film and its landmark importance in forming the language of film. If you are interested in film history, to truly understand the innovations Eisenstein brings to the medium you might try viewing Potemkin along side most any film made before it (those of D.W. Griffith offer a good contrast). It should be allowed that Eisenstein was not the only montage theorist and the principles of montage editing would likely have been discovered by another given time. However, even today, few directors have approached the skill with which Eisenstein created meaning through the combination of images at such an early point in the evolution of the medium. If you are not interested in that sort of thing, Potemkin is still one of the most beautiful and moving films ever made. THE BEAT GENERATION, 1959, 95 min. "The wild, weird world of the Beatniks! ...Sullen rebels, defiant chicks...searching for a life of their own!" Shrewd producer Albert Zugsmith (TOUCH OF EVIL, THE TARNISHED ANGELS) latched onto the then-current catch phrase describing a new movement of jazz buffs, literary rebels and societal drop-outs to use as a movie title and backdrop for his entertaining and exploitive sleaze noir directed by Charles Haas (GIRLS TOWN, THE BIG OPERATOR). Steve Cochran is a tough-as-nails L.A. detective on the trail of serial rapist, The Aspirin Kid (Ray Danton), a path that leads him through coffee houses, poetry readings and assorted sin dens. When Cochran’s own wife (Fay Spain) ends up a victim, we see our hero assuming a few misogynistic traits in common with villain, Danton; just one of the few surprising turns in Richard Matheson and Lewis Meltzer’s bizarre, hardboiled script. The eye-popping cast includes Mamie Van Doren, Margaret Hayes, Louis Armstrong, James Mitchum, Jackie Coogan, Vampira (reciting some twisted poetry) and "Slapsy Maxie" Rosenbloom as a wrestling beatnik! NOT ON DVD. Discussion in between films with actress Mamie Van Doren. THE BIG KNIFE, 1955, MGM Repertory, 111 min. Clifford Odets and James Poe’s play about the black heart of Hollywood gets the full soap opera treatment from director Robert Aldrich (KISS ME DEADLY; WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?). Rough-hewn matinee idol Jack Palance gets the twice-over from venal studio boss Rod Steiger, spineless agent Everett Sloane, damaged spouse Ida Lupino, and everyone else in his orbit. The all-star cast includes Shelley Winters, Jean Hagen and an especially slippery Wendell Corey as Steiger’s euphemism-spewing hatchet man. Deliciously dark fun with none of the Beverly Hills scenery left unchewed. THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN (1933, United States) Directed by Frank Capra In this unusual love story from pre-Code Hollywood, Stanwyck portrays an idealistic American missionary in wartorn China who finds herself the unwilling guest of the eponymous general. The turmoil continues as Stanwyck falls for her captor. Screenwriter: Edward Paramore. Cast: B. Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, 89 min. BLOOD MONEY, 1933, 20th Century Fox, 65 min. "Director Rowland Brown's BLOOD MONEY is a stylish evocation of wide-open L.A., where good-bad guy George Bancroft's politically powerful bail bondsman is smitten with thrill-seeking Brentwood deb Frances Dee while down-to-earth nightclub proprietor Judith Anderson holds a torch for the big lug. Legendary vaudeville singer Blossom Seeley is the star attraction at Anderson's swanky joint." -- Kevin Thomas NOT ON DVD. THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE (from IMDB) A young husband's sexual fantasies frighten his new wife and cause her to seek advice from Carmilla, a descendent of Mircalla de Karnstein. Carmilla seduces the young bride and forces her to commit gory acts of mutilation. THE BREAKING POINT, 1950, Warner Bros., 97 min. The finest film version of Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not (and yes, we’re not forgetting the Bogart-Hawks classic), shifts the story from Cuba to California, but retains the novel’s core of heartache. As Skipper Harry Morgan, John Garfield gives a searing portrait of a man whose domestic woes and mid-life crisis leads to crime and death. Garfield’s greatness is matched by Patricia Neal, as a viper-tongued femme fatale, and Phyllis Thaxter, as his mousy but mighty spouse. With Wallace Ford. One of director Michael Curtiz’s forgotten masterpieces — don’t miss this one! NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actress Lynne Carter (PORT OF NEW YORK). CITY OF FEAR 1959, Sony Repertory, 81 min. "A half crazed man in a terror crazed town!" Escaped con Vince Edwards thinks he’s stealing a cache of heroin, but he’s actually toting around enough radioactive material to destroy the parts of Los Angeles left standing at the end of KISS ME DEADLY. Like its bookend, MURDER BY CONTRACT, this is a tough little shoestring production innovatively assembled by co-writer/actor Steven Ritch (PLUNDER ROAD) and director Irving Lerner, featuring one of the first film scores of legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith. Co-starring Lyle Talbot and John Archer. NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actor Tommy Cook (CRY OF THE CITY). CLEO FROM 5 TO 7, 1951, Janus Films, 90 min. Agnes Varda’s breakthrough film, two hours in the life of a hopelessly pretty pop singer (Corrine Marchand), who may or may not be dying of cancer. CLEO ranks with BREATHLESS and THE 400 BLOWS as one of the seminal works of the French New Wave. "The streets of Paris are filmed like they have never again been filmed." – Telerama CODE UNKNOWN (CODE INCONNU) (2000, France) Directed by Michael Haneke With his characteristic austerity, director Michael Haneke (Caché) traces the causal chain that connects a diverse group of characters, from impoverished Balkan immigrants to a guilt-stricken Juliette Binoche, all struggling to get by in contemporary Paris. Taut long takes and precise temporal manipulation lend stylistic and narrative rigor to this biting critique of bourgeois privilege in a globalized Europe. Screenwriter: Michael Haneke. Cast: Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 117 min. In person: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Curtis Hanson THE CONNECTION, 1962, 110 min. While the big Hollywood studios couldn’t manage anything more genuine than our whacked-out co-feature THE BEAT GENERATION or the totally anemic, wrong-headed adaptation of Kerouac’s THE SUBTERRANEANS (which was unavailable for screening), Shirley Clarke’s experimental drama from New York had certified "beat" roots and a down-and-dirty style. Using a film-within-a-film framework, Clarke follows a clueless cinema verite documentarian as he records the waiting game played by hep jazz musicians congregated in an apartment in anticipation of their next fix. Director Clarke remains a relatively unsung, now virtually forgotten champion of early independent film. Operating in the same universe as John Cassavetes, she later produced such unassuming masterpieces as THE COOL WORLD and PORTRAIT OF JASON. With many award-winning shorts already to her credit, THE CONNECTION was her debut feature and won her wide critical acclaim. The great ensemble cast includes Warren Finnerty, Roscoe Lee Browne, William Redfield, Carl Lee, Jerome Raphael, Barbara Winchester and Giorgia Moll. "What's most radical about Clarke's movie isn't the depiction of the needle and the damage done but her critique of the burgeoning American cinema verite movement and its claims of capturing "the truth." – Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice NOT ON DVD. CRIA CUERVOS, 1976, Janus Films, 115 min. Dir. Carlos Saura. The marvelous, almost otherworldly Ana Torrent (SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, THESIS) stars as an 8-year-old girl who is convinced she holds the power of life and death over her house’s inhabitants. The title refers to an old Spanish saying: "Raise crows and they’ll peck out your eyes." Winner of the Special Jury Award at Cannes, CRIA CUERVOS is Saura at his very best -- mysterious, breathtaking, inescapable. With Geraldine Chaplin. "Ana Torrent, Conchita Perez and Maite Sanchez Alexandros constitute the most extraordinary incarnations of childhood I have seen on the screen. To watch these three girls... is to see childhood at long last as a jungle of wild feelings in which death is stared at without flinching." -- Andrew Sarris, Village Voice THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959, Sony Repertory, 82 min. As the classic noir period was fading, director Sam Fuller (THE NAKED KISS) came out blasting with the first of a series of wildly original, and often wildly erratic, crime thrillers. This one starts as a pulpy policier, with a pair of L.A. cops (Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta) hunting the killer of a stripper. Midway it twists into a heated romantic triangle with both cops falling for a key witness. The best passages explore the Nisei experience in America, and Shigeta’s torment at falling for a Caucasian woman. Fantastic vintage footage of Little Tokyo, with kinetic inspiration colliding into stilted exposition — watch for flying shrapnel. With Victoria Shaw and Anna Lee. "…a triumph of grungy lyricism… Fuller's feat is giving the film's nonstop interrogations, meetings, and confrontations profound racial and political meaning." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine NOT ON DVD THE CROOKED WEB, 1955, Sony Repertory, 77 min. Another forgotten ‘B’ noir is resurrected by the Film Noir Foundation and the American Cinematheque! Good guy drive-in owner Frank Lovejoy bites off more than he can swallow when he falls for Amazonian carhop Mari Blanchard, who portrays one of the more challenging femme fatales of the fifties, in this globe-hopping melodrama that leaps from the San Fernando valley to postwar Germany. Veteran genre director Nathan Juran (20,000,000 MILES TO EARTH; HIGHWAY DRAGNET) helms a story full of genuinely surprising plot twists. Co-starring Richard Denning. NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actress Ann Robinson (THE GLASS WALL). CRY OF THE CITY, 1948, 20th Century-Fox, 95 min. Perhaps the most perfectly realized of all director Robert Siodmak’s films (which include THE KILLERS and CRISS CROSS), both thematically and stylistically, CRY OF THE CITY tells the time-honored tale (based on Henry Helseth’s novel The Chair for Martin Rome) of neighborhood pals who tread divergent courses. Victor Mature becomes a lawman, Richard Conte goes crooked. The two square off all across Manhattan, with tragic results. Although shot entirely on location, Siodmak had no use for the semi-documentary vogue of the day, creating instead a vivid Expressionistic urban landscape that ideally suited this mythic mid-20th century tale of good and evil. Co-starring Shelley Winters, Fred Clark and a scary Hope Emerson (watch for her "neck massage" scene with Conte to see what we mean!). NOT ON DVD CRY OF THE PROSTITUTE (from IMDB) I would advise those reared on Hollywood blockbusters and popcorn to steer well clear, but for those of us who enjoy these cheap and cheerful Italian productions with their inane dialogue and gratuitous violence and nudity then 'Cry Of A Prostitute' may well appeal. The mighty Henry Silva plays Tony Aniante who yo-yo's back and forth between two rival families in Sicily, playing both hands until he sees the moment to take the initiative. Yes, we've seen it all before but for me , the film is all about Henry Silva. His fans will be pleased to know that he gets maximum screen time in this one and has at least one classic scene, where he is being taunted by a couple of hoods in a café. One of them pours hot coffee over his expensive leather shoes and all hell breaks loose ("Clean my shoes motherf*****!"). Barbara Bouchet is as memorable as ever as the slutty, bored 'wife' of one of the mafia dons. Best scene has to be where she is flirting with Henry Silva by simulating fellatio on a banana at the dinner table... The action scenes are clumsy in places but fairly bloody (lots of slo-mo bursting blood squibs!) and the score is pretty good too. The Curse of Quon Gwon (1917) (fragment) The first known feature made by Chinese-Americans, and one of the few American silent feature films directed by a woman, this drama was thought to be completely lost until filmmaker Arthur Dong discovered two surviving reels in the possession of the lead actress’s daughters while he was researching a documentary. Dong was authorized to bring the nitrate 35mm negative of reels 4 and 7, as well as ten minutes of additional 16mm footage, to the Academy Film Archive for preservation, returning this rare glimpse into early 20th century Chinese-American culture to its place in film history. The Curse of Quon Gwon was produced in Oakland, California. Death of a Cyclist (1955/b&w/88 min.) Scr: Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Fernando de Igoa; dir: Juan Antonio Bardem; w/ Lucia Bosé, Alberto Closas, Carlos Casaravilla, Otello Toso A rare production from Francisco Franco's Spain, Death of a Cyclist is a powerful blend of film noir and neorealism starring Italian actress Lucia Bosé of early Antonioni fame (Cronaca di un Amore [Story of a Love Affair ]) as the wife of a wealthy industrialist embroiled in an adulterous affair with a college professor. While speeding toward Madrid from a clandestine tryst, the two lovers accidentally run down a bicyclist and, panicking, leave him to die. As they try to conceal their love from society and the hit-and-run accident from police, Bardem shows how a crime of chance can lead to one of premeditation. DEATH RAGE (from IMDB) Yul Brynner plays Peter Marciani, an aging hit-man hired to go to Italy to kill a mob boss. At first he refuses until he learns that his intended target is responsible for his brother's death. Along the way, he meets and befriends a young, overly helpful, wannabe mobster and a beautiful showgirl. Can these three pull off the job? DÉTECTIVE (1985, France) Godard salutes the classic crime genre and explicitly dedicates the film to a trio of fellow auteurs: Cassavetes, Eastwood, Ulmer. In this comical noir pastiche, surfeited with literary and cinematic quotations, a superb ensemble cast inhabits a once-grand but now crumbling Paris hotel. Screenwriter: Alain Sarde, Philippe Setbon, Anne-Marie Miéville. Cast: Nathalie Baye, Stéphane Ferrara, Johnny Hallyday, Jean-Pierre Léaud. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 95 min. Electra Glide in Blue (1973/color/114 min./Panavision) Scr: Rupert Hitzig, Robert Boris; dir: James William Guercio; w/ Robert Blake, Billy Green Bush, Mitchell Ryan, Elisha Cook Jr. A good man often meets an unjust fate, and in this transposition of the classic western to hippie-era Arizona, Robert Blake is a Vietnam vet turned motorcycle cop who is too honest to take the bribes and make the false arrests that would earn him detective status. Shot in Monument Valley by the brilliant cinematographer Conrad Hall (In Cold Blood), this forgotten film is the only feature directed by Guercio, the manager of the group Chicago, members of which appear in the movie. Ending with a five-minute, slow-motion zoom down an empty highway towards a fallen figure, Electra Glide looks forward to post-modern 'westerns' like David Lynch's Lost Highway and Gus Van Sant's Gerry. EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF (SAUVE QUI PEUT [LA VIE]) (1979, France) Godard returns to celluloid and storytelling, after a decade of non-narrative video experiments, in this low-key comic drama he described as his “second first film.” EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF focuses on recognizable urban types grappling with midlife crises and existential ennui: Jacques Dutronc (as “Paul Godard”!) and Nathalie Baye play TV producers stuck in a dissatisfying affair; while Isabelle Huppert also stars as a practical, no-nonsense prostitute (shades of VIVRE SA VIE). Sexually frank, emotionally wistful and visually refined, the film effectively inaugurates Godard’s mature period of Swiss-centric pastoralism. “A stunning, original work…breathtakingly beautiful and often very funny” (Vincent Canby, New York Times). Screenwriter: Anne-Marie Mieville, Jean-Claude Carriere. Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, Nathalie Baye, Cecile Tanner. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 87 min. EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARIES BY KONEFSKY & BENSTOCK I YAM WHAT I YAM ('05, 16m) - Bryan Konefsky's inspired doc starts in 1929 when monocular vision was not limited to the gaze of telescopes (Edwin Hubble) or movie cameras (Dziga Vertov). 1929 was also the year that the one-eyed, “strong to the finish” sailor named Popeye was first introduced to the United States as a comic strip character. And, even after 75 years and 234 movies, Popeye’s rebel yell for the common good, “I yam what I yam” still resonates with the hope and conviction of his visionary colleagues. CHICKEN DELIGHT ('06, 22m) Konefsky's meditation on the United States' ongoing courtship with radioactivity & the FDA's decision to serve irradiated meat in their School Lunch Program. KONEFSKY INTERVIEW ('06, 60m) colorful conversation between Bryan & Fialka. ORDERS OF LOVE ('05, 10m) Benstock's personal doc about the hidden influences that the past generations have on our personalities. THE HOLOCAUST TOURIST - From Never Again to Kitsch & Hot Dogs ('06, 10m) Benstock's wry animated documentary about how Holocaust tourism distorts history. A whistlestop tour from Auschwitz hot-dogs to Krakow's kitsch Judaica. BENSTOCK INTERVIEW ('06, 60m) thoughtful dialogue with Jeremy & Fialka. FEARLESS FIGHTERS (from IMDB) A famous hero is guarding the transportation of a supply of gold and jewels. Attacked by bandits, he successfully fights them off. The Bandits vow - revenge! The chief of the bandits goes to ask help from a brother member of his martial arts clan, but the brother won't commit crime - so the bandit chief vows - revenge! Instead he hires a group of archers, and they kill the great hero. When his son and daughter here of it, they vow - revenge! Measnwhile, the bandit chief kills the whole family of the clan brother who wouldn't join his clan so the brother vows - revenge! Meanwhile, the bandit chief hires a super-swordsman to fight against the clan brother; since this is an insult to his previous super-swordsman, the latter vows -revenge! Meanewhile, a group of bandits dressed as zombies, who were previously defeated by the clan brother, show up to take their - revenge! After which the new super-swordsman shows up and disposes of the clan-brother's left arm and right leg; the clan brother learns how to fight using only prosthetic limbs - just so he can take his - revenge! THE FEMALE BUNCH (from IMDB) After a string of bad times with men, Sandy tries to kill herself. Co-waitress Libby saves her and takes her to meet some female friends of hers who live on a ranch in the desert. Grace, the leader of the gang, puts Sandy through her initiation and they get on with the real job of running drugs across the Mexican border, hassling poor farmers, taking any man they please, and generally raising a little hell. Soon Sandy becomes unsure if this is the life for her, but it may be too late to get out. FEMALE ON THE BEACH, 1955, Universal, 97 min. Dir. Joseph Pevney. "He was the kind of man that her kind of woman can't leave alone!" Joan Crawford is back on the Santa Monica beach in this deliriously over-the-top mystery-melodrama, featuring some of the most outrageous double entendre dialogue ever heard in a Hollywood movie. Something very weird happened to the previous owner of the beach house in which Joan is having a hot and heavy dalliance with sailor-stud Jeff Chandler. Are neighbors Jan Sterling and Cecil Kellaway involved? What do you think? NOT ON DVD FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE (from IMDB) FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE may well be one of the most politically incorrect movies ever made, but it's also one of the most gripping and entertaining examples of the zero-budget grindhouse genre since the blaxploitation flicks of Jack Hill and early Wes Craven (whose THE HILLS HAVE EYES came out the same year). A trio of thoroughly unlikeable convicts under the loose command of a convicted rapist and murderer (William Sanderson in an amazing no-holds-barred performance) escape from a prison escort van following a traffic accident and hole up in the remote home of a God-fearing black family. Unfortunately Sanderson isn't exactly the tolerant type and subjects the family to all manner of abuse, mainly verbal (some of Sanderson's lines are SO outrageous they're actually perversely amusing) as it happens, but when he gets physical things get extremely disturbing. THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON (1950, United States) Directed by Robert Siodmak Stanwyck stars as an aging femme fatale who intrigues a younger detective and makes him the scapegoat for the murder of her rich aunt that she and her gangster lover have committed. In the end, her conscience (and her heart) win out. Screenwriter: Ketti Frings. Camera: Wendell Corey. Cast: B. Stanwyck, Anthony Paul Kelly. Presented in English dialogue. 16mm, 100 min. FIRST NAME: CARMEN (PRÉNOM CARMEN) (1983, France) Godard repurposes Mérimée’s Carmen—and replaces Bizet with Beethoven, plus a dash of Tom Waits—in this shaggy-dog tale about a gorgeous aspiring terrorist conducting a torrid affair with the cop investigating her. In a continuation of his early ’80s semiautobiographical tendency, Godard himself appears as “Uncle Jean,” a once-great film director dreaming of a comeback from the confines of a lunatic asylum. Screenwriter: Anne-Marie Miéville. Cast: Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Myriem Roussel, Christophe Odent. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 85 min. FORCE OF EVIL, 1948, Republic (Paramount), 78 min. One of the most distinctive works of the original film noir era, Abraham Polonsky’s directorial debut is both a detailed expose of the New York numbers racket (based on Ira Wolfert’s journalistic novel, Tucker’s People), and a riveting tale of a fallen man’s search for his soul (John Garfield, who also produced, burns up the screen in one of his best roles). Stylized art direction complements the vivid New York location footage. Featuring an evocative score by David Raksin and a memorable supporting performance by the great Thomas Gomez as Garfield’s older brother. An innovative and superlative film in every respect! "A poetic, terse, beautifully exact, and highly personal re-creation of the American underworld, with an unpunctuated Joycean screenplay by Polonsky that is perhaps unique in the American cinema." – Don Druker, Chicago Reader FOR EVER MOZART (1996, France) Godard’s autumnal musings on life, death and art coalesce around the plight of Sarajevo in this bifurcated narrative that first follows a group of literati on a doomed mission to stage de Musset in a war zone; and then tracks the equally quixotic efforts of an aging, Godardesque director to launch a political art film called Fatal Bolero. Cast: Madeleine Assas, Ghalia Lacroix, Berangere Allaux, Vicky Messica. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 84 min. THE GARMENT JUNGLE, 1957, Sony Repertory, 88 min. Based on the true story of a muckraking New York journalist who was blinded by acid for trying to expose the evils of garment industry bosses, this film is one of the toughest "expose" pictures of the 1950’s. The fierce script by Harry Kleiner is directed by both Robert Aldrich (the project’s original helmer) and Vincent Sherman (who replaced him during filming). The result is seamless, and the performances are uniformly first-rate, from a cast that includes Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Matthews (pre-Sinbad), Gia Scala, Richard Boone, Joseph Wiseman, and a young and fiery Robert Loggia. NOT ON DVD THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS (from IMDB) While on the surface it looks like a single-joke movie (alien is mistaken for sexy foreign girl and inspires reprobate reactions like 'you Scandinavians don't beat about the bush, do you') The Sexplorer is actually one of Derek Ford's better sex comedies with his self-penned script showing an uncharacteristic amount of inventiveness and wit . Alongside farcical misunderstandings and more nudity than you can shake a 'large probe' at,the film's funniest and freakiest moment finds Monika being offered a drink in a strip-club which has the side-effect of turning her green from head to toe (complete with spray painted Afro-wig). As one character remarks-'she's bloody green as a traffic light'. Ford also shows where his heart lay by throwing in lots of location work-night-time shots of Soho and Piccadilly Circus and scenes taking place in grimy men's toilets and nicotine stained launderettes make The Sexplorer a great 1970's London film. THE GLASS WALL, 1953, Sony Repertory, 82 min. Vittorio Gassman plays a "displaced person" about to be deported who jumps ship in a desperate bid to find the only man in New York — a WWII brethren — who can secure his citizenship. This vividly-photographed look at 1950’s Manhattan-after-dark grafts traditional noir iconography — such as fallen angel Gloria Grahame — onto a still-topical storyline about the plight of illegal immigrants. Co-written and directed by Maxwell Shane. A first-time screening at the American Cinematheque! NOT ON DVD GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE (from IMDB) This unjustly overlooked low-budget 70's drive-in fright pic jewel starts off with an alarmingly savage and startling opening sequence: smarmy malevolent age-old bloodsucker Cleb Croft (a spirited, wonderfully rancorous turn by unsung exploitation film fave Michael Pataki, who not also appears in such grisly goodies as "Dead and Buried," "Graduation Day," and that deathless Grade Z woofer "Dracula's Dog," but also directed both the creepy "Mansion of the Doomed" and the incredibly asinine soft-core sex musical version of "Cinderella" for Charles Band) assaults a libidinous young couple making out in a cemetery; he breaks the guy's back by bending him over a tombstone and tosses the hapless screaming woman (excellently played by Kitty Vallacher, who's tastefully listed in the opening credits as "the reluctant mother") into an open grave so he can ferociously rape her! The result of this terrible tryst is one James Eastman (a most sympathetic performance by legendary biker flick icon William Smith, who's perfect in a rare excursion into the horror genre), who grows up from a sickly baby who drinks blood from a bottle into a shy, soft-spoken, muscular half-man, half-vampire being who obsessively tracks down his evil undead old man -- Caleb works at a local college university as a nighttime professor of a class specializing in the occult! -- and engages in a shockingly brutal bout of no-holds-barred fisticuffs with the pernicious bastard in the film's amazingly violent conclusion. 70's soap opera star Lieux Dressler, who portrayed Claudia Jennings' brassy, domineering mother in the T&A drive-in hoot "Truckstop Women" and the folksy innkeeper in the bang-up revenge-of-the-animals winner "Kingdom of the Spiders," cameos as a batty asylum inmate. David Chase, who later wrote several teleplays for the fantastic, sadly short-lived "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" TV series and most recently created the hit cable TV show "The Sopranos," penned the hip, clever, very twisty and surprise-laden script. John Hayes, who also did the excruciatingly woeful zombie stinker "Garden of the Dead" the same years as this pip and went on to helm the laughably lousy sci-fi clinker "End of the World" (another Chuckie Band gem), masterfully creates a grim, creepy, totally sober mood and makes the most out of a conspicuously paltry, but well-spent budget, thus giving this singularly warped and downbeat humdinger the necessary gloom-doom edge required to make it a genuinely good'n'ghastly little sleeper. Her Wild Oat (1927) In this feature comedy, presented by the Academy in a newly restored print, silent film star Colleen Moore plays a woman who owns a small lunch wagon and falls for a duke’s son, played by Larry Kent, who is pretending to be his own chauffeur. With her savings, she pursues him to a resort hotel, only to be mistaken for a duchess. Moore, whose career exploded when she adopted her signature flapper haircut, was the top box office star of 1927, and her career continued into the sound era. Her final film role was Hester Prynne the 1934 version of The Scarlet Letter. Many of Moore’s films have been lost to nitrate decomposition, so the return of Her Wild Oat is a rediscovery to be cherished. HE WALKED BY NIGHT, 1948, MGM Repertory, 79 min. In this landmark noir, a psychotic loner (Richard Basehart) uses his genius for electronics to commit robberies while evading the police. When he graduates to murder, L.A.’s finest, including tough Scott Brady and methodical Jack Webb (who was immediately inspired to create "Dragnet"), pull out a few modern techniques of their own. The cops launch an all-out manhunt to snare the clever crook, tracking him through—and beneath—cityscapes stunningly photographed by the greatest of all noir cinematographers, John Alton. Directed by Alfred Werker (SHOCK), with uncredited assistance from Anthony Mann (RAW DEAL; T-MEN). Don’t miss this classic in all of its 35mm glory! HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA (France) Godard spent ten years constructing this sustained montage of film clips, music fragments, sound effects, on-screen text and voice-over, not so much a history of the cinema as a critique of it. Returning repeatedly to images of war and the Holocaust, Godard moves between documentary and fictional modes to question the cinema’s failure to recognize the urgent, ugly truths of the century it helped to shape. 1988-98. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. Beta-SP, Chapters 1-2: 148 min., Chapters 3-4: 117 min. HOT SUMMER IN BAREFOOT COUNTY (from IMDB) A city cop is sent out to the country to go undercover and bust up a ring of moonshiners run by a woman and her three hot teenage daughters. ICI ET AILLEURS (1974, France) Directed by J.L. Goddard and Anne-Marie Mieville Godard’s first collaboration with Anne-Marie Miéville and first major work on video, ICI ET AILLEURS links the Palestinian struggle in the Middle East to larger historical forces as well as the domestic concerns facing an average French family. Using material originally shot with Jean-Pierre Gorin in 1970 for a polemical documentary to be called JUSQU’À LA VICTOIRE (UNTIL VICTORY), Godard and Miéville re-edited footage of PLO militants into a thoughtful autocritique that reconsiders the ideological stance and formal methods of the Dziga Vertov Group in a less dogmatic, more exploratory light. Advocating dialectics over strident agitprop, Godard and Miéville achieve "a rare form of lucidity and purity" (Jonathan Rosenbaum). Screenwriter: J.L. Goddard, Anne-Marie Mieville. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. DV, 60 min. I LOVE TROUBLE, 1948, Sony Repertory, 93 min. Dir. S. Sylvan Simon. Franchot Tone plays a wisecracking private eye sleuthing his way through a bevy of treacherous dames in this playful homage to Raymond Chandler, written by future TV legend Roy Huggins (creator of great small screen shows "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick," "The Fugitive"). Great location sequences of Wilshire, Venice and Long Beach abound throughout. With Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Adele Jergens, Glenda Farrell, John Ireland, Raymond Burr. This brand new 35mm print was struck expressly for the Film Noir Foundation, courtesy of Sony Repertory. NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actor Richard Anderson (PEOPLE AGAINST OHARA). JAILBAIT BABYSITTER (from IMDB) Vicki is seventeen and her older friends call her Jailbait. Her boyfriend Robert is frustrated because Vicki doesn't want to do the wild thing, but he's willing to wait. After a party gets out of hand, Vicki escapes with the help of Lorraine, who takes her in as a houseguest. While Lorraine teaches Vicki etiquette, Robert wonders what happened to his girlfriend. And Vicki soon learns more about Lorraine's job as an "executive liaison." JLG BY JLG (JLG/JLG: AUTOPORTRAIT DE DÉCEMBRE) (1994, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard A melancholy self-portrait and cultural lament tempered by strokes of self-deprecating humor, JLG BY JLG is Godard working in his austere, associative, cagily aphoristic essay mode. Beginning with a photograph of the director as a solemn youth, the film gradually drags present-day Godard into view through a collage of fragmentary scenes shot in and around his wintry Swiss redoubt. Lyrical landscapes and snippets of plangent classical music are interlaced with countless aural and visual references, anti-American jabs and philosophical pensees. Godard's petty complaints and penchant for misanthropic crankiness are offset by the film's frequent bursts of breathtaking beauty, its unconsolable sense of loss and ultimately humble humanism. Producer: Jean-Luc Godard. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Christian Jacquenod, Yves Pouliquen, Jean-Luc Godard. Editor: Catherine Cormon, Jean-Luc Godard. Cast: Jean-Luc Godard, Denis Jadót, Elisabeth Kasa. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 55 min. Johnny Guitar (1954/color/110 min.) Scr: Philip Yordan, Ben Maddow (uncredited); dir: Nicholas Ray; w/ Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady Johnny Guitar (Hayden), a reformed gunfighter, comes to the defense of his ex-lover, wealthy saloon owner Vienna (Crawford), when a pathologically jealous female banker (McCambridge) incites the community to drive her out of town. Written by blacklisted writer Ben Maddow, Ray's film goes deliriously over-the-top in its use of sexual hysteria to evoke the violence and mob mentality of the early 1950s. Shot in lurid primary colors and conceived as a series of stylized confrontations between the characters, Johnny Guitar abounds in wonderful lines and memorable scenes. THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK, 1950, Sony Repertory, 79 min. Evelyn Keyes, in thrall to a truly despicable crook (Charles Korvin), agrees to carry into the States $40,000 worth of jewels smuggled out of Cuba. What she doesn’t know is that she’s contracted the smallpox virus and is spreading it all over Manhattan. What she learns is that her man is cheating on her — with her sister (Lola Albright). What she wants is revenge! A truly exciting and underappreciated film featuring a compelling performance by Keyes. With Dorothy Malone and Barry Kelley. Directed by Earl McEvoy. Don’t miss it! NOT ON DVD THE KILLING, 1956, MGM Repertory, 85 min. If you haven’t seen it, you may be missing the greatest caper film of all time. Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) attempts to liberate a million dollars from the bustling Landsdowne racetrack in broad daylight, with only a simple diversion and a crew of hardboiled misfits working in perfect unison. Of course, when said crew contains Elisha Cook, Jay C. Flippen, Ted de Corsia and king-hell nutcase Timothy Carey, things aren’t going to work out as planned… and when Marie Windsor is mixed up in it, you know it’s going to get very noir. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, faithfully adapted by noir legend Jim Thompson from Lionel White’s novel Clean Break, and photographed by Lucien Ballard. Co-starring Coleen Gray. KUNG FU: THE PUNCH OF DEATH (from IMDB) Here the character of `Fong Su Yi' (as pronounced by the English voice cast) is young, callow, and reckless and instigates a dispute with a corrupt rival martial school that results in his father's death and his and his mother's exile. When Fong (Meng Fei) goes after the rivals, Iron Fist Tan (Yasuaki Kurata) and his brother (Wang Ching), he is so badly beaten that it takes months to recuperate under the watchful care of his mother and a young girl he'd helped out. His mother puts him through rigorous training and an herbal bath that will make him invulnerable (no mention is made of the weak point-his rectum!-that figures in so many other films about Fong). Eventually he is able to take on Iron Fist and his brother. The film is very well mounted and shot on lavish studio sets and sprawling locations. LA CHINOISE (1967, France) A punchy, prophetic collage of political slogans and media imagery, LA CHINOISE stars Anne Wiazemsky (married to Godard at the time) and Jean-Pierre Léaud as members of a student cell cloistered in a Paris apartment where they read Marx, mouth Maoist maxims, and plot terrorist violence. Godard uncorks a fusillade of signifiers around his youthful ideologues and mixes skepticism with sympathy in what amounts to an ambivalent portrait of the new generation of radicals poised on the brink of May ‘68. Pauline Kael praised the film as a “fast, clever political comedy (and elegy) about the late ‘60s incorporation of revolutionary heroes and ideas into Pop.” Cast: Anne Wiazemsky, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Juliet Berto, Michel Semeniako. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 96 min. LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT (1933, United States) Directed by Walter Bretherton and William Keighley In this campy exposé of female prisons, Stanwyck plays Nan Taylor, a gangster’s moll who is arrested and sent to the big house after acting as a decoy during a bank robbery. Screenwriter: Brown Holmes, Sidney Sutherland, William McGrath. Cast: B. Stanwyck, Preston S. Foster, Lyle Talbot, Dorothy Burgess. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, 64 min. THE LADY EVE (1941, United States) Directed by Preston Sturges As con artist Jean Harrington (aka the Lady Eve Sidwich) who toys with a young Henry Fonda, Stanwyck delivers one of her most memorable performances. An all-time screwball comedy classic. Cast: B. Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Palette. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, 90 min. THE LADY IN RED (from IMDB) 1930's gangster era film about Dillinger and his last girl. Written by John Sayles. LAST REFUGE FOR THE SENSES, or NOISE HIPPIES AGAINST ALL WAR! ('01-'07, 64m) at 7:00pm. Itinerant filmmaker & programmer BEN RUSSELL brings a frenetic mix of post-psychedelic/noise/DIY 16mm films straight from the dirty warehouses of Providence, Rhode Island. From filmmakers JO DERY, XANDER MARRO, MAT BRINKMAN, LEIF GOLDBERG, ARA PETERSON, and HIMSELF, we've got Group Trance Rituals, Direct Dumpster-Dive Animation, History Seen Through the Eyes of Bats, Live Soundtracks, Cut-Up Eyeballs, Single Frame Collectives, Puppet Chaos, Analog Transcendence, and So Much More. Featuring music by Lighting Bolt, Mystery Brinkman, Carly Ptak (Nautical Almanac), the Shirelles vs the Suicidal Tendencies, the Wind-Up Bird, and Dave Lifrieri (Manbeard). These nine films represent the true cinema of deliverance, the theater of psychic hearts and radical love. Plus: THE MYTHOLOGY SHOW - at 8:30pm. Ben Russell's Mad Visions of Our Collective Existence. Steeped in American folklore THE TWENTY-ONE LIVES OF BILLY THE KID ('05, 56m), psychiatric techniques of the early 20th century BLACK AND WHITE TRYPPS NUMBER TWO ('06, 8m), mask rituals DAUM ('00, 7m), chaos theory BLACK AND WHITE TRYPPS NUMBER ONE ('05, 7m), and polynesian god-worship TERRA INCOGNITA ('02,11m). These five films propose an alternate mythos for the world in which we reside. There are Creation Myths, First Contact Myths, Giant Stone Head Myths, Eternally Bloody Cowboy Myths, and a special screening of what may well be the only 16mm structuralist Western ever made. L'Avventura (1960/b&w/143 min.) Scr: Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra; dir: Michelangelo Antonioni; w/ Monica Vitti, Gabriele Ferzetti, Lea Massari A towering work of modernist cinema, the story of L'Avventura is deceptively simple: Anna (Massari), a moody, Roman socialite, invites a dozen friends-among them her best friend, Claudia (Vitti), and her lover, Sandro (Ferzetti)- to sail with her to the Aeolian Islands off Sicily. The next afternoon, Anna inexplicably disappears from a small volcanic island and as the other guests drift back to Rome, an anxious Claudia and a reluctant Sandro embark on a journey to find their missing friend whose absence has a powerful and disturbing psychological effect. With its carefully composed images and neorealist locations, erotic undercurrents and hypnotic rhythms, unnerving silences and oblique dialogue, L'Avventura is, in the words of Antonioni, "a detective story told from back to front." Winner of the 1960 special jury prize, Cannes Film Festival. LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN Unlike virtually all of the best known and loved films of the noir genre, including several starring Gene Tierney (Laura, Where the Sidewalk Ends), this 1945 film offers all the pleasures of noir, but in lurid Technicolor. In addition, the wicked and murderous Ellen Berent, played by Tierney, stalks not the hard streets of the city, but the pastoral wilderness of Maine and New Mexico, and some of her crimes are perpetrated in the daytime! Her mother, played by Mary Philips, can only say, “There’s nothing wrong with Ellen. It’s just that she loves too much.” Tierney earned her only Oscar® nomination for this performance, and Leon Shamroy took home a statuette for his brilliant cinematography. The Left-Handed Gun (1958/b&w/102 min.) Scr: Leslie Stevens; dir: Arthur Penn; w/ Paul Newman, Lita Milan, Hurd Hatfield The western's new psychological realism erupted with Penn's depiction of legendary gunslinger Billy the Kid as an illiterate, ignorant orphan whose monosyllabic speech and self-posturing cloak an animal-like intelligence, and a crippling need for a father-figure. Adapted from a television play by Gore Vidal, this harsh film follows Billy from killer to legend up to his final meeting with Pat Garrett, but there is no nostalgia in its moments of sudden, painful violence "The contrast between the legend and the miserable human reality anticipates Bonnie and Clyde." -Robin Wood, Arthur Penn LE GAI SAVOIR (1968, France) Commissioned by (but never aired on) French television as an adaptation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s educational treatise Émile, LE GAI SAVOIR was Godard’s first attempt at a “zero degree” approach after his outright rejection of narrative on strict political grounds. Extending the omnivorous essayistic tendencies of his pre-’68 films, Godard uses a bevy of didactic Brechtian devices to round out a spare account of young militants Jean-Pierre Léaud (“Émile Rousseau”) and Juliet Berto (“Patricia Lumumba”) meeting in a darkened TV studio to discuss, and ultimately deconstruct, the oppressive connection between language and capitalism. “One of Godard’s most beautiful, most visually lucid movies” (Vincent Canby, New York Times). Cast: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Juliet Berto. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 16mm, 95 min. THE LEGEND OF THE WOLF WOMAN (from IMDB) A woman has dreams that she is a werewolf so she goes out and finds men. She proceeds to have sex with them and then rip their throats out with her teeth. She eventually falls in love but then she is raped and her lover is murdered so she goes out for revenge. LE PETIT SOLDAT (1960, France) Godard's second feature--and first starring his soon-to-be wife Anna Karina--was banned in France for its pointed commentary on the colonialist quagmire then roiling Algeria. Michel Subor plays an ambivalent secret agent carrying out contract hits on Arab terrorists based in Geneva. Dazzlingly photographed by Raoul Coutard, Karina is the leftist sympathizer he falls for but ultimately fails to protect. A political thriller larded with cerebral Godardian asides (e.g., "Cinema is truth twenty-four times a second.") but not devoid of visceral effects--a horrifyingly matter-of-fact torture sequence couldn't feel more topical today--LE PETIT SOLDAT, despite its original suppression, has since earned its standing as an early nouvelle vague classic. Producer: Georges de Beauregard. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Agnès Guillemot, Nadine Marquand, Lila Herman. Cast: Michel Subor, Anna Karina, Henri-Jacques Huet, Paul Beauvais. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 88 min. LES CARABINIERS (1963, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Godard goes to war in this savage satire, apparently suggested by Roberto Rossellini, about two amoral rubes who, conscripted into the army, proceed to loot and murder their way around the world without conscience or compunction. The tone is absurdist farce, the style unvarnished verite punctuated by disjunctive sound, handwritten intertitles, and genuine newsreel combat footage. Godard follows his moronic protagonists as they wreak havoc across generic modern-day backdrops both urban and rural: the war is both everywhere and nowhere, in line with Godard's stated intention, articulated in defending the film from its myriad detractors, to show "what all wars are and have been, from the barbarian invasion, up to Korea or Algeria, with Fontenoy, Trafalgar, Gettysburg, etc." Based on the play by Benjamino Joppolo. Producer: Georges de Beauregard, Carlo Ponti. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard, Roberto Rossellini, Jean Gruault. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Agnès Guillemot, Lila Lakshmanan. Cast: Marino Mase, Albert Juross, Geneviève Galéa, Catherine Ribiero. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, Black and White, 80 min. MADE IN U.S.A. (1966, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Inspired by THE BIG SLEEP and based (just barely) on a Donald Westlake crime novel, MADE IN U.S.A. yokes hard-boiled tropes to topical commentary on events ranging from the Ben Barka affair in France to the assassination of JFK. In her last feature for Godard, Anna Karina stars as a detective investigating her lover’s murder by descending into the underworld of a bizarre French simulacrum of Atlantic City (photographed, with full-color splashiness, in the Paris suburbs!). Godard set out to make what he called “a real story film,” but wound up with a typically fractured, ambiguous narrative packed with high-art references, pulp citations, and trenchant political asides. Based on the novel 'The Jugger' by Donald Westlake. Producer: Georges de Beauregard. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Agnès Guillemot. Cast: Anna Karina, Laszlo Szabo, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Yves Afonso. Presented in French and English dialogue. 16mm, 90 min. A MARRIED WOMAN (UNE FEMME MARIÉE) (1964, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Deemed scandalous for its casual treatment of infidelity and condemned by French authorities on its original release, UNE FEMME MARIEE describes a day in the life of a lovely young wife (Macha Meril) torn between her pilot husband (Philippe Leroy) and her journalist lover (Bernard Noel). Godard characteristically disrupts this conventional tale with his arsenal of distanciation techniques and sociological digressions. The subtitle, "fragments of a film shot in 1964," suggests the episodic method: a narrative broken up by talking-head interviews, camera tricks, and random graphic inserts pulled from newspapers, magazines, advertisements, posters and billboards--the image-saturated modern mediascape that envelops characters, audience and auteur alike. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Agnes Guillemot, Françoise Collin. Cast: Macha Méril, Bernard Noël, Philippe Leroy, Roger Leenhardt. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 16mm, 98 min. MARY, MARY, BLOODY MARY (from IMDB) A beautifull artist (Cristina Ferrare) moonlights as a vampire while in Mexico, killing lovers of both sex. It seems that the only person who has any chance of stopping her reign of terror is her father (John Carradine), who's also a vampire. MEN AT WORK ((KARGARAN MASHGHOULE KARAND)) (2006, Iran) Directed by Mani Haghighi Based on a story by Abbas Kiarostami, director Mani Haghighi's film, which equally invites and defies allegory, pits four middle-aged men against a seemingly immobile rock. While the boulder remains stubbornly upright, the characters' quest to topple it drives them further and further into comic madness, and what begins as macho tomfoolery transforms into emasculating obsession. Screenwriter: Mani Haghighi. Cast: Attila Pesyani, Mahmoud Kalari, Ahmad Hamed. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. HD, 77 min. In person: Mani Haghighi (schedule permitting) MILDRED PIERCE, 1945, Warner Bros., 111 min. Dir. Michael Curtiz. Joan Crawford gives her signature performance (an Oscar winner!) as James M. Cain's ultimate maternal martyr, in thrall to her own femme fatale daughter, Veda (a deliciously venal Ann Blyth). The twisted combination of high-strung soap opera and hard-edged pulp produced what may be the greatest Hollywood melodrama of all time. With an incredibly strong supporting cast featuring Eve Arden, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott and Bruce Bennett, and fabulous views of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, circa 1945! THE MOB, 1951, Sony Repertory, 87 min. When Bill Bowers writes the screenplay, you can count on the action and dialogue being fast, furious and fun — even in a brutal story of a New York cop (Broderick Crawford) going deep undercover to thwart waterfront racketeers. When Crawford shows a particular relish for acting like a crook, the real bad guys (starting with a menacing Ernest Borgnine) decide to put him on ice. Roughhouse melodrama that made a huge star of Crawford. Directed by Robert Parrish (CRY DANGER). "Broderick Crawford is fine as a cop who poses as a hood to overthrow racketeers who've been shaking down dock workers on the waterfront. Fist fights, gunfire and some salty dialog and sexy interludes involving Crawford with Lynne Baggett enliven the proceedings considerably." – Variety NOT ON DVD Monika (1953/b&w/96 min.) Scr: Ingmar Bergman, Pers Anders Fogelström; dir: Ingmar Bergman; w/ Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg Ingmar Bergman's most erotic film stars the beautiful Harriet Andersson as Monika, a seventeen-year-old working-class girl whose summer of sailing with her twenty-year-old boyfriend ends in unwanted pregnancy and sudden marriage. Shot over one summer with a small crew, Monika's striking black-and-white images, its documentary-like immediacy, and Andersson's frank sexuality were acclaimed by the young French critics of Cahiers du cinema who were to become the filmmakers of the New Wave. THE MUTHERS (from IMDB) Janine "TNT Jackson" Bell stars as half of a modern day pirate duo who, along with savage sista Rosanne Katon, must rescue Janine's sister from the clutches of evil coffee plantation owner Tony Carreon. Along the way they meet sportscaster-turned-actress Jayne Kennedy, who turns up as Carreon's mistress, and Trina "Thumper" Parks, who plays the head prisoner in Carreon's jive java jail. THE MYTHOLOGY SHOW Filmmaker Ben Russell in person! Garbed in the finest of linens (cotton) and bathed in radiant green flickering light (fluorescent), itinerant filmmaker and programmer Ben Russell steps forward to reveal his own Mad Visions of Our Collective Existence. Steeped in American folklore, psychiatric techniques of the early 20th century, chaos theory, mask rituals, and techniques of synaesthesia, these five 16mm films propose an alternate mythos for the world in which we reside. Ben has brought with him Creation Myths and First Contact Myths, Giant Stone Head Myths and Eternally Bloody Cowboy Myths, as well as what may very well be the only 16mm structuralist Western ever made... Featuring: Black and White Trypps Number One (2005, 6:30, 16mm, silent) Daumë (2000, 7:00, 16mm) Black and White Trypps Number Two (2006, 8:30, 16mm, silent) Terra Incognita (2002, 10:00, 16mm) The Twenty-One Lives of Billy the Kid (2005, 55:00, 16mm) NIGHT TIDE, 1961, 84 min. Director Curtis Harrington’s debut indie feature is a masterpiece, a haunted, poetic hymn to the dark world of the fly-by-night carnival, lonely midways at dawn and the siren call of eon’s-old passion spawned by the devils of the deep blue sea. In a fond nod to Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s CAT PEOPLE, at-loose-ends sailor Johnny Drake (Dennis Hopper) falls in love with sideshow mermaid, Mora (Linda Lawson) who may just somehow be related to the real thing. Shot in and around Santa Monica and Venice Beach in the beat culture’s heyday, the film continues to exert a strong spell, and is brimming with the heady atmosphere of bygone coffee houses, poet hipsters, languid jazz and bongos on the shore. With Luana Anders, Gavin Muir. "…captures an intangible quality of what Santa Monica was like in the early 60s. Quite apart from Los Angeles, it was a quiet residential community. The funfair pier has just the right air of seedy despair about it. Everyone seems to be living 'just off' the mainstream."Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant Preceded by the shorts: "Venice In The Sixties" (aka "The Beat") 15 min. Dir. Leland Auslender. Originally shot for a television show and never used, this is essentially a full-color look inside the atmosphere of the Venice West coffeehouse, its various sections, activities and people; "The Beat From Within: Reflections of a Beatnik" 10 min. Produced by Ralph Morin and directed by Tom Koester, this short covers a day in the life of a Venice beatnik in glorious black 'n' white. Plus: Authors Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester (Beatsville, Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece, Dumb Angel #4: All Summer Long) will present a unique one-hour slide show documenting the Beat Generation's long stretch over the Greater Los Angeles area between 1956 and 1966, via visuals of coffeehouses and jazz joints from the Sunset Strip to Malibu, Venice and Newport Beach. Legendary locations only heard about in books or in liner notes, from the Gas House and nearby Venice West Cafe, to the Unicorn and Shelly's Manne-Hole in Hollywood, the Lighthouse and Insomniac in Hermosa Beach, then all the way down to Cafe Frankenstein (owned, operated and painted by Burt Shonberg). Arists from John Altoon to Eric "Big Daddy" Nord gave these places a colourful splash, as did the wide variety of Folk singers and poets who performed on their stages. NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, 1946, Warner Bros., 100 min. Dir. Jean Negulesco. Forties' favorite John Garfield plays a shady ex-GI hooked up in a plot to bilk a war widow (gorgeous Geralidine Fitzgerald). He rents a swanky, Malibu shoreside home as a front. But when he falls for Fitzgerald, the gang wants them both dead, leading to a suspenseful climax on the Santa Monica piers! Negulesco ladles noir atmospherics onto W.R. Burnett's original screenplay, which offers colorful roles for supporting actors Walter Brennan, George Tobias, Faye Emerson and George Coulouris. New 35mm print courtesy of the Film Noir Foundation. NOT ON DVD NOTRE MUSIQUE (2004, France) A trip by Godard to a literary conference in Sarajevo provides the backdrop for this elegiac reflection on war and its relation to cinema, memory and language. The film mixes fiction and documentary, with Godard and authors Mahmoud Darwish and Juan Goytisolo playing themselves. Cast: Sarah Adler, Nade Dieu, J.L. Goddard. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 80 min. NOUVELLE VAGUE (1990, France) An allusive, elegant meditation on natural beauty and anguished critique of corporate capitalism, Nouvelle Vague stars Alain Delon as a careworn drifter lured by an attractive businesswoman (Domiziana Giordano) into a fraught pas de deux complicated by sexual desire, class antagonism and gender difference. Cast: Alain Delon, Domiziana Giordano, Laurence Cote. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 89 min. NUMÉRO DEUX (1975, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Godard reinvents himself yet again as a video-savvy artist with “one of the most ambitious and innovative films in his career” (Jonathan Rosenbaum). Layering and superimposing video imagery within a widescreen film frame, Godard achieves multisensorial and polyphonic effects in this quasi-narrative essay that lays bare the systemic conditions deforming one working-class family’s everyday life. Ever reflexive, but also newly sensitive to women’s issues (co-scenarist Miéville’s influence here is decisive), Godard brilliantly synthesizes his aesthetic and political analyses in NUMÉRO DEUX. “A masterpiece...among the most visually compelling films Godard has ever made” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice). Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miéville. Cinematographer: William Lubtchansky. Cast: Sandrine Battistella, Pierre Oudry, Alexandre Rignault, Rachel Stefanopoli. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 88 min. ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, 1959, MGM Repertory, 96 min. A seminal cinematic treatise on race relations, artfully served up by director, Robert Wise (THE SET UP; THE HAUNTING). Manhattanites Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan and Ed Begley plan a last-ditch bank robbery in upstate New York. Ryan’s abject bigotry and Belafonte’s take-no-prisoners pride keeps the tension on razor’s edge. Credited John O. Killens was the front for blacklisted screenwriter Abe Polonsky. Gloria Grahame and Shelley Winters offer kinky and melancholy support, respectively. A late term film noir masterpiece, featuring a marvelously inventive score by John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet! Once Upon a Time in the West (1967/color/165 min./CinemaScope) Scr: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati; dir: Sergio Leone; w/ Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards Jr. The coming of the railroad to Sweetwater, Arizona drives the action in Leone's Kurosawa-influenced epic, a violent meditation on capitalism in the Old West. Legendary for its variations in visual scale from extreme long shot to extreme close-up, its haunting score by Ennio Morricone, the casting against type of Henry Fonda as a cold, blue-eyed killer, and a slow opening sequence in which three killers wait for a train, Once Upon a Time in the West brilliantly employs the western's own myths to breathe life into a tired genre. "A film that springs entirely from American westerns as seen by Europeans, and yet assumes an emotional texture every bit as varied and full-bodied as a film taken from lived experience." -Dave Kehr, New York Times ONE PLUS ONE ((aka SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL)) (1968, France) Godard’s search for new, politicized forms of filmmaking led him to this documentary-fiction hybrid which also became his first effort in English. ONE PLUS ONE dispenses with story altogether and alternates staged scenes of various characters spouting revolutionary rhetoric—e.g. Anne Wiazemsky as the grafitti-tagger “Eve Democracy”—with live segments, captured by a hypnotically roving camera, featuring the Rolling Stones as they compose their haunting rock anthem “Sympathy for the Devil.” “A movie experience of major importance…beautifully and carefully composed, a kind of testament to Godard’s very original, creative impulse” (Vincent Canby, New York Times). Cast: Anne Wiazemsky, Iain Quarrier, Danny Daniels, the Rolling Stones . Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 99 min. OPÉRATION BÉTON (1954) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard After his first early stint writing film criticism in Paris for Cahiers du cinema among other periodicals, Godard returned to Switzerland where he found work on the construction of the colossal Grande Dixence dam. Parlaying his wages as a laborer into financing for his first film, Godard made the short documentary OPERATION BETON in 1954. A modest but compelling account of the heroic building project, Godard's directorial debut boasts some thrilling outdoor views, an optimistic respect for industrial progress, and an evocative score combining music by Handel and Bach. Producer: Jean-Luc Godard. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Adrien Porchet. Editor: Jean-Luc Godard. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 17 min. PARIS, JE T’AIME (2006) This cosmopolitan update of the 1965 anthology film, PARIS VU PAR…, offers 18 personal paeans to the City of Light from an international who’s who of filmmakers. Among the contributors: Olivier Assayas, Joel and Ethan Coen, Gurinder Chadha and Alfonso Cuarón. With each filmmaker assigned an arrondissement as setting for his/her vignette, PARIS JE T’AIME frames a kaleidoscopic vision of the city. 115 min. PASSION (1982, France) Godard reunites with Raoul Coutard, the cinematographer behind his seminal ’60s films, and enlists the aid of some heavyweight Euro-stars (Huppert, Schygulla, Piccoli) for this seriocomic take on the filmmaking process. A high-minded Polish director stages elaborate tableaux vivants based on famous paintings (Goya, Ingres, Rembrandt, Delacroix, etc.), but can’t come up with a coherent plot line to please his financial backers. Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Hanna Schygulla, Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Radziwilowicz. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 87 min. THE PEOPLE AGAINST O'HARA, 1951, MGM Repertory, 102 min. RARITY! The great Spencer Tracy makes his only foray into film noir playing a retired New York attorney who comes back to the courtroom to defend a young man accused of murder. The only thing that can blunt his brilliance is the bottle, and unfortunately he can’t let go of it. The story’s twists and turns lead to a satisfying, and surprisingly dark, resolution. A solid story by Eleazar Lipsky (KISS OF DEATH) is brought beautifully to life by a fine cast (Pat O’Brien, Diana Lynn, John Hodiak, Eduardo Ciannelli), the crisp direction of John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), and most critically, the spectacular camerawork of John Alton. NOT ON DVD Pickpocket (1959/b&w/75 min.) Scr/dir: Robert Bresson; w/ Martin LaSalle, Marika Green Michel, an alienated academic, picks pockets not for money but for human contact, and he alternately embraces and resists its powerful attraction. But when another pickpocket offers him a place on his team, Michel seizes the chance to train with a pro and Pickpocket shifts into high gear. The extended sequences of professional pickpockets at the top of their game-on the Paris Metro, at the racetrack, in a ticket line, crossing a busy street-generate an adrenaline rush and an edge-of-the-seat tension equal to the best action cinema. PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, 1953, 20th Century Fox, 80 min. Pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) lifts a stolen military microfilm from the mistress of a Communist spy. Next thing the lowlife wharf rat knows, he’s the hottest thing in the Big Apple, with the Commies and the Feds all trying to kill him first. A former New York crime reporter, director Sam Fuller knows how to make a backlot feel like the real thing: in his sweaty subways, skid row tenements, and waterfront dives the heroes aren’t the do-gooder Feds, but nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. In Fuller’s world loyalty vies with self-interest, and tenderness battles brutality to a standstill every step of the way. With Jean Peters, Richard Kiley, and an Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter. PIERROT LE FOU (1965, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Belmondo ditches his stultifying bourgeois life for ex-flame Karina and the outlaw couple hits the road flying high on true love and the promise of liberation. The ’Scope visuals, courtesy of redoubtable cinematographer Coutard, are pure Pop poetry, especially in the sun-kissed South of France passages. Godard said he “wanted to do a kind of YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, a story of the last romantic couple.” PIERROT LE FOU accordingly combines noirish amour fou with freewheeling farce, gangster-movie violence and high-spirited adventure. Frenetic and broadly satirical yet tinged with bittersweet pathos, the film also exults in characteristically dizzying allusiveness—don’t miss the indelible Sam Fuller cameo!—and off-the-cuff cultural commentary. Based on the novel 'Obsession' by Lionel White. Producer: Georges de Beauregard. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Françoise Collin. Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Dirk Sanders, Raymond Devos. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 110 min. PITFALL, 1948, 86 min. Enjoy an adult dose of Southern Californian suburban angst as Dick Powell’s by-the-book insurance agent, dissatisfied with a dead-end job and humdrum wife (Jane Wyatt) indulges in an extra-marital dalliance with hard-luck model Lizabeth Scott who models in the salon of our own Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue May Co department store (the building is now part of LACMA). Who will make him pay for his indiscretion? The thuggish private eye (a wonderfully creepy Raymond Burr) who already has designs on Liz? Her jealous boyfriend, about to be sprung from prison? Or his own steel-spined spouse? Come see who survives the guilt-sodden affair in this remarkable and vastly-undervalued masterpiece of noir, with brilliant uncredited scripting by William Bowers, and direction by Andre de Toth (CRIME WAVE). NOT ON DVD PORT OF NEW YORK 1949, 82 min. Incredible 1940’s location footage of New York’s waterfront (shot by the underrated George Diskant) highlights this brass-knuckled thriller of two old-school narcs (Scott Brady and Richard Rober) trying to bust a drug smuggling racket run by kingpin Yul Brynner (sporting a full head of wavy hair, seven years before THE KING AND I!). Colorful character roles, especially Arthur Blake as desperate comic Dolly Carns, and violent action pepper this sensational forgotten "B" from Eagle-Lion and director Lazlo Benedek (THE WILD ONE). This American Cinematheque "re-premiere" is made possible through the courtesy of Victoria Brynner and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. PUNKING OUT ('78, 24m) Filmmakers Ric Shore (in person), Juliusz Kossakowski & Maggi Carson capture the birth of punk in all its nihilism, angst & raw power at CBGBs in this stylized probe of the musicians, the die hard fans, the weekend punks and CBGBs owner/promoter Hilly Kristal. With explosive performances by The Ramones, Richard Hell & the Vodoids and Stiv Bators & The Dead Boys. Plus tons of punk rarities with The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, the Minutemen and more. RAFTER ROMANCE (1933, RKO), directed by William A. Seiter. Zesty little comedy in which Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster, both three months behind in the rent, are forced to time-share an attic apartment: they work different shifts, so they never see each other. Can this romance develop? Come and find out. Rollicking fun with George Sidney, Robert Benchley, Laura Hope Crews and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams adding their own unique styles of mirth-making. Thespian Foster later went on to direct films himself, including noirs JOURNEY INTO FEAR and KISS THE BLOOD OFF OF MY HANDS. NOT ON DVD RETURN OF THE TIGER (from IMDB) The most brutal action packed martial arts battle of the decade, Bruce Li, The Roaring Kung Tiger, faces his deadliest enemy.. the vicious and sadistic torturer from The Midnight Express. The Hoover Night Club in Bangkok is used to coverup the operations of the international narcotics group headed by an American, George Cross. A rival gang, run by a chinese, also tries to dominate the drug market in southeast Asia. Handsome professional killer Chang Hung, accompanied by his female assistant, arrives in Bangkok and smashes a Kung-fu school run by George. Tseng Tse-chan, leader of the chinese group, approaches Chang to eliminate george, but his price is too high. Unknown to him, Chang was hired by George to infiltrate Tseng' racket. The girl's job is to play the 2 rival gangs against each other.. RETURN TO MACON COUNTY (from IMDB) In 1958, two teenagers take their pride and joy, a hopped-up Chevy, and start a cross-country journey to enter it in the National Championship drag races in California. Along the way they hook up with a pretty but dingy waitress who quits her job and hops in their car--and turns out to be more trouble than they thought--drag-race a gang of town punks who lose to to them and then accuse them of cheating, and come up against a local cop who is obsessed with putting these two "juvenile delinquents" in jail. The Rules of the Game (1939/b&w/106 min.) Scr: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch; dir: Jean Renoir; w/ Marcel Dalio, Nora Grégor, Jean Renoir In Jean Renoir's masterpiece, made between the Munich accords and the outbreak of World War II, history plays as both tragedy and farce. This self-declared "dramatic fantasy" inspired by The Marriage of Figaro etches, in Renoir's words, "a rich, complex society . . . dancing on a volcano." At a weekend hunting party, amorous escapades abound among the aristocratic guests upstairs and the servants downstairs, but the refusal of one guest to play by society's rules sparks a chain of events that ends in tragedy. Note: this print is made from negative material digitally restored by Janus Films in 2006. SCREAMS OF A WINTER NIGHT (from IMDB) 10 college students go camping, when they get there, they tell scary stories to each other. 711 OCEAN DRIVE, 1950, Sony Repertory, 102 min. Edmund O’Brien stars as an ambitious telephone technician who ruthlessly climbs the ladder of a nationwide gambling syndicate. One of the most entertaining of the ‘racket-noirs’ spawned by the Kefauver organized crime hearings is helmed by the late friend of the American Cinematheque, director Joseph Newman. Co-starring Joanne Dru and Otto Kruger with a memorable climax shot on location at Hoover Dam. "Operations of the syndicates are given a realistic touch by the screenplay, and Joseph M. Newman's direction keeps action at a fast pace. O'Brien is excellent as the hot-tempered, ambitious young syndicate chief." – Variety NOT ON DVD SHACK OUT ON 101, 1955, Paramount, 90 min. Dir. Edward Dein. Hands down, the goofiest, loopiest and most entertaining Red Scare movie ever produced in Hollywood. A time-capsule farce on 1950’s America set entirely in a beachside beanery, this is a film like no other, combining smuggled secrets, seafood, runaway lust, civil service exams and weightlifting in the kitchen. The go-for-broke cast includes Frank Lovejoy, delectable Terry Moore, kooky Keenan Wynn, and, as "Slob," Lee Marvin at his outrageous best! NOT ON DVD SHOCKPROOF, 1949, Sony Repertory, 79 min. "You’ve got to change your brand of men." Esteemed director Douglas Sirk (WRITTEN ON THE WIND) veers from the bedroom to the back-alley in this underrated, seldom-screened noir shot on location in downtown Los Angeles. Cornel Wilde stars as a dedicated parole officer who gets in hot water when a fetching hardcase (Patrica Knight), just released after a five-year jolt for manslaughter, stirs more than his protective instincts. Blackmail and more man-slaughtering follow. Co-written by Helen Deutsch and Samuel Fuller. NOT ON DVD. Discussion in between films with actress Peggy Webber (THE WRONG MAN). THE SLEEPING CITY, 1950, Universal, 85 min. Cop Richard Conte goes undercover at New York’s famous Bellevue Hospital, where internists are getting mysteriously interred. While posing as a new doctor, he ignites sparks with a lovely nurse who may be far less than saintly (Coleen Gray, in what may be her best performance!). Shot on location entirely inside and around Bellevue by director George Sherman, from an original screenplay by Jo Eisinger (NIGHT AND THE CITY). NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actress Coleen Gray. SLITHIS (from IMDB) A nuclear leak creates a mutant Slithis sea monster, which terrorizes the variety of pets, winos, and hippies who hang around Venice, California. SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (EL ESPIRITU DE LA COLMENA), 1973, Janus Films, 95 min. Dir. Victor Erice. A film of sublime silence and mystery, equal to the best of Tarkovsky or Antonioni, starring Ana Torrent as an intense young girl who searches the barren fields outside her town, looking for the disembodied spirit of Frankenstein’s monster. Erice’s first feature film was widely hailed as a masterpiece on its release, a near-perfect blend of myth and pure cinematic imagination. The fragile Torrent became, ironically, as haunting a symbol as the film itself – critic Luis Arata noted that "her big soft black eyes seem to be open windows into her mind, where much of THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE actually takes place," and Katherine Kovacs memorably described her as "wandering like a sleepwalker across a vast and bleak countryside, where the wind never blows and the sun never shines." THE SPIRITUALIST (aka THE AMAZING DR. X), 1948, Sony Pictures, 78 min. Dir. Bernard Vorhaus. "In his eyes, the threat of terror! In his hands, the power to destroy!" screamed the tagline. John Alton's finest B&W cinematography elevates to exhilarating heights this entertaining story of a phony psychic (Turhan Bey) insinuating himself into the L.A. cliffside mansion of a wealthy widow (Lynn Bari) and preying on both her and her impressionable daughter (Cathy O'Donnell). One of the most satisfying "B" films of the era. Story by Crane Wilbur. STONER (from IMDB) I remember reading an interview with George Lazenby the month after Lee died in which he said that his next movie would be called "THE SHRINE OF THE ULTIMATE BLISS" and that is the name of the villains headquarters in this movie which in English is called "STONER"(after Lazenby's character).Stoner is an Australian cop in Hong Kong seeking the bad guys whose new wonder drug,a kind of super ecstasy,had caused the death of his fiancee.After a smattering of sub James Bond posturing and creaky dialogue he teams up with a Chinese policewoman played by kung fu queen Angela Mao and together they wipe out approximately 1000 henchmen of the villain Dr. Sinn(yes really). The final bout between Mao and Sinn seems to last about half an hour whilst old George is punching and lamely kicking scores of bad guys including "MARTIAL LAW'S" Sammo Hung in a room with a spinning floor.This movie is a must for lovers of movie dross SUPERMANCHU (from IMDB) Personally, this is the definitive B-Movie. It's got bad acting, bad overdubs, bad filming, just plain out bad everything. But, more importantly, it's so bad it's funny! Really really funny! I was rolling on the ground laughing the first time I saw it. SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, 1957, MGM Repertory, 95 min. Directed by maestro Alexander Mackendrick, this legendary film seems to get better with each viewing. Burt Lancaster soars in a thinly-veiled portrait of powerful Broadway columnist Walter Winchell, with Tony Curtis in perhaps his finest performance as two-faced, sycophantic press agent ‘Sidney Falco.’ Some of the most deliciously dyspeptic dialogue in screen history is uttered courtesy of writers Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets, all complemented by James Wong Howe’s cinema verite camerawork and a brassy Elmer Bernstein score. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open as put-upon jazz musician Martin Milner sits in with the legendary Chico Hamilton Quintet. Co-starring Susan Harrison, Emile Meyer and the great Barbara Nichols (who utters the immortal line "What am I, a bowl of fruit? A tangerine that peels in a minute?") You gotta love this dirty town! TENSION, 1949,Warner Bros., 95 min. Directed by John Berry. One of the truly terrific underrated noir films of the forties. Richard Basehart plays a milquetoast druggist married to the over-sexed and chronically unfaithful Audrey Totter. But the sad sack has a plan to get revenge, so he can start a new life with Cyd Charisse! Cops Barry Sullivan and William Conrad pursue -- but is Barry pursuing the truth, or the red-hot Totter? More fabulous 1940’s coast-side action (with a de rigueur muscle-man-beating-up-the-guy-with-glasses-on-the-beach scene), in this vastly entertaining thriller, laced with acid dialogue. NOT ON DVD TO BE A STAR (SETAREH MI-SHVAD) (2006, Iran) Directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani When an aspiring actress wrangles a small role for her out-of-work father (Entezami, in a tour-de-force performance), the man finds only abuse and ultimately heartbreak on-set. Condemned by Iran's censors, who banned the film and destroyed the negative, this print is the only surviving uncut version of the film. Screenwriter: Fereydoun Jeyrani. Cast: Ezatollah Entezami, Andisheh Fouadvand. Presented in Persian dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 98 min. UNE HISTOIRE D'EAU (1958, France) Shortly before their respective breakthrough first features, Godard and Truffaut collaborated on this amusing short bagatelle. Caroline Dim stars as a young woman trying to get to Paris despite widespread flooding; future nouvelle vague regular Jean-Claude Brialy (his voice dubbed by Godard himself) plays the young man who accompanies her on the journey. Shot quickly on location with the support of veteran producer Pierre Braunberger, and explicitly billed as an homage to Mack Sennett, UNE HISTOIRE D'EAU anticipates the freewheeling films that both its talented young directors would go on to make. Producer: Pierre Braunberger. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Michel Latouche. Editor: Jean-Luc Godard. Cast: Jean-Claude Brialy, Caroline Dim. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 18 min. THE VALET (LA DOUBLURE) 85 MIN DIR: Francis Verber, CAST: Gad Elmaleh, Alice Taglioni, Virginie Ledoyen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Daniel Auteuil Q&A WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR FRANCIS VERBER FOLLOWING SCREENING. Francis Veber (THE DINNER GAME, THE CLOSET), the contemporary master of French farce, combines the classic elements of hilarious slapstick with quick-witted dialogue in his new film THE VALET. The tale begins when François Pignon (Gad Elmaleh), a car service valet at a posh Paris hotel, gets caught-up in a billionaire industrialist's sneaky infidelities. The plot quickly turns when François -- the fall guy -- is photographed by a paparazzo as he is leaving the hotel alongside Pierre Levasseur (Daniel Auteuil), the tycoon and his beautiful supermodel mistress Elena (Alice Taglioni). Pierre's scheming lawyer, Maitre Foix (Richard Berry), concocts an outrageous plan in a desperate attempt to avoid an ugly divorce from Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas). Francis Veber's intricate and lively plot, pitch perfect timing and unusual characters make THE VALET an uproariously good time. French with English subtitles. VIVRE SA VIE (1962, France) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard Godard continues his systematic assault on narrative grammar and standard sound-image relations in this soberly detached yet still emotionally devastating portrait of a young Parisienne's slide into prostitution. Anna Karina stars as the impassive, enigmatic subject of Godard's study, a single girl forced to fend for herself in the brutal modern big city. Presented in a dozen discrete episodes, each chapter preceded by a putative plot summary, VIVRE SA VIE flirts with literary coherence but in fact encompasses many competing discursive strategies and multifarious modes of cinematic expression. Serene and poetic yet formally daring, the film moved Susan Sontag to call it "one of the most extraordinary, beautiful, and original works of art that I know of." Based on on documentation from 'Où en est la prostitution' by Marcel Sacotte. Producer: Pierre Braunberger. Screenwriter: Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer: Raoul Coutard. Editor: Agnes Guillemot, Lila Lakshmanan. Cast: Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe, Peter Kassovitz. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, Black and White, 85 min. WEEKEND (1967, France) Godard’s early, exuberant period comes to an unofficial end with this apocalyptically satirical road movie, a coruscating summa of his accumulated thematic concerns and formal transgressions. Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne star as a loathsome bourgeois couple on a chaotic picaresque through the modern wastelands. Chock-full of the auteur’s signature allusions and stylistic disjunctions, WEEKEND also boasts one of the most famous set pieces in film history: a bravura long-take tracking shot that depicts late ‘60s French consumerist society as a neverending car wreck-cum-traffic jam. Fin de cinéma indeed. “This film has more depth than any of Godard's earlier work. It's his vision of Hell and it ranks with the greatest” (Pauline Kael). Cast: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Jean-Pierre Kalfon. Presented in French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 95 min. WEST OF ZANZIBAR (from IMDB) "West of Zanzibar" gives actor Lon Chaney Sr. an opportunity to (literally) stretch his muscles. Chaney plays a spiteful man living in a self-made, morally twisted utopia who impatiently waits for the day when he could finally get even with the person who crippled him. While many actors have a broad assortment of emotions, Chaney's forte is his ability to manipulate his body to do what he wants it to do. He is called the "Man of A Thousand Faces", but it will be more fitting to call him the "Man of A Thousand Bodies". He contorts his body the way great actors contort their faces. Here he has a chance to lay bare this strange gift of his. The movie has some silly plot holes, but Chaney is such a fascinating performer that you won't mind the story's hard to swallow moments. Browning's direction is full of inventive touches, and he keeps the story moving at a very fast pace. It is an eccentrically sad semi-horror film, with the great Chaney at his very best. The wonderfully worn out sets suggest decay and depravation. WHITE LINE FEVER (from IMDB) WHITE LINE FEVER has the distinction of being the first contemporary studio film to focus on the theme of the independent trucker and his/her lifestyle (perhaps inspired by the TV series MOVIN' ON, which debuted a year earlier). Most others, before and since, have been little more than standard formula action-adventure/comedy flicks with the trucking theme a mere novelty, something to capitalize on the CB trend - as so many did in the 70's. Sure, WHITE LINE FEVER features its share of "big rig movie" cliches - fights, chases, crashes - set to appropriately sprightly Dukes of Hazard-ish banjo music - and of course the now-familiar independent-trucker-fights-corruption storyline itself. But the performances of Jan-Michael Vincent (who also did all his own stunts in the movie), Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones and Sam Laws keep things believable and interesting; and, most importantly, the over-the-road sequences manage to convey something of the awesome solitude of the trucking lifestyle. WONDER WOMEN (from IMDB) Dr. Tsu is a brilliant surgeon with her own exotic island off the coast of Manila. Using her sexy, all-girl army of martial-arts experts, Tsu kidnaps some of the world's greatest athletes. She is able to transplant any body part, so she uses the athletes for spare parts to sell to the world's richest men. Mike Harber is a womanizing, wise-cracking insurance investigator for Lloyd's of London sent to Manila to investigate the disappearance of a jai-alai player, and becomes involved with Dr. Tsu's mad mission. THE WRONG MAN, 1956, Warner Bros., 105 min. Henry Fonda plays real-life jazz musician Emmanuel Ballestreros, an innocent man who is one day sucked into a whirlpool of circumstantial guilt and left to drown in New York’s criminal justice system. This seldom-seen gem by director Alfred Hitchcock, a grim orphan amongst his glossy 1950’s confections, was shot entirely on-site in the locations where the story actually happened, and it expertly draws the viewer into the nightmare of the falsely-accused. Hitchcock was famously paranoid of anything and everything to do with the police, and those fears reach their zenith of expression here. With Vera Miles and Anthony Quayle excellent in supporting roles. ZERO FOR CONDUCT (ZERO DE CONDUITE), 1933, Janus Films, 41 min. Dir. Jean Vigo. Although he only made two features and a pair of shorts before his tragic early death in 1934, French director Jean Vigo remains one of the guiding lights of French cinema. This, his first feature, shows why: at a repressive boarding school a group of students decide to revolt, leading to full-scale (and wildly surreal) anarchy. Suppressed for decades in France, ZERO FOR CONDUCT went on to inspire everyone from Truffaut (THE 400 BLOWS) to Lindsay Anderson (IF...).