a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
sun. may 14 sunburned hand of the man @ spaceland short documentaries of krzysztof kieslowski pt. 1 4 PM, 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre wed. may 17 taxi driver, joe @ new beverly some came running, two weeks in another town @ egyptian theatre thu. may 18 taxi driver, joe @ new beverly looking for technology 8 PM @ echo park film center fri. may 19 trouble in paradise, his girl friday @ ucla film archive why worry? 8:15 @ old town music hall sat. may 20 the pope @ the smell detour! @ cinespia @ hollywood forever darling, billy liar @ egyptian theatre why worry? 2:30 PM, 8:15 PM @ old town music hall krazy kat cartoons 3 PM @ AFI sun. may 21 short documentaries of krzysztof kieslowski pt. 2 4 PM, 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre nochnoy dozor, 28 days later @ new beverly jucifer 4 PM @ the echo why worry? 2:30 PM @ old town music hall mon. may 22 nochnoy dozor, 28 days later @ new beverly tue. may 23 devil woman, lady terminator @ new beverly wed. may 24 shadows @ ucla james bridges theatre thu. may 25 the thing from another world, it! the terror from beyond space @ aero theatre fri. may 26 the warriors MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ nuart theatre forbidden planet, the day the earth stood still @ aero theatre the pope, mae shi @ fort cool 2 sat. may 27 invasion of the body snatchers @ cinespia @ hollywood forever saturday night & sunday morning, night must fall @ egyptian theatre lifeforce, the thing @ aero theatre master of the flying guillotine MIDNIGHT MOVIE @ rialto theatre sun. may. 28 short documentaries of krzysztof kieslowski pt. 3 4 PM, 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre tue. may 30 lavender diamond @ the troubadour arthur lipsett revival FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema wed. may 31 his name is alive @ spaceland if..., i'll never forget what's 'is name @ egyptian theatre thu. jun. 1 tribute to nam june paik @ lacma historical fiction @ ESL projects young people @ the echo bipolar bear @ the smell fri. jun. 2 howlin' rain @ the echo WHAT IT IS: ARTHUR LIPSETT REVIVAL: Archivist Johannes Auvinen will be present to screen legendary Canadian avant-gardist Arthur Lipsett's FREE FALL ('64,9m), 21-87 ('64, 10m), A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE ('65, 13m), FLUXES ('64, 24m) and VERY NICE, VERY NICE ('61, 7m), described by Stanley Kubrick as "one of the most imaginative and brilliant uses of the movie screen and soundtrack that I have ever seen." George Lucas called him "one of the best abstract filmmakers." Discussion will connect Lipsett's intense critiques of dehumaization in industrial society with the ideas of Erich Fromm, Marshall McLuhan, and the Situationists. Preshow 7pm: Hear newly released vinyl pressings of the Lipsett collage soundtracks. Lipsett is to film what Glen Gould is to music. BILLY LIAR, 1963, Rialto Pictures, 98 min. John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY) had already directed two other films, but this biting comedy-drama raised his visibility as a force to be reckoned with. Tom Courtenay is wonderful as the frustrated, imaginative young man prone to flights of fancy. Which also leads him to lie about nearly everything, whether he feels he needs to or not, something that gets him in hot water with his stern father and his two very different girlfriends, not to mention his undertaker bosses. His fast wit make his ambitions as scriptwriter for a TV host seem almost plausible. But when finally confronted with an opportunity to leave home and go to London with free-spirit friend, Julie Christie (in her stunning feature film debut), we're left to wonder whether Billy's Walter-Mitty-ish dreams are models for the future or an escape from reality. DARLING, 1965, Avco-Embassy & Stuart Lisell Films, 128 min. Dir. John Schlesinger. Julie Christie sets off fireworks in her Academy Award-winning performance as a common girl in swinging London who achieves supermodel stardom while breaking the hearts of intellectual writer, Dirk Bogarde and decadent cad, Laurence Harvey. Finally, Christie seems destined for a fairy tale ending when she weds Italian nobility - but sometimes fairy tales aren't all they're cracked up to be. The costume design and Frederic Raphael's incisive script also won Oscars. "â¦a slashing social satire and also a devastating spoof of the synthetic, stomach-turning output of the television-advertising ageâit is loaded with startling expositions and lacerating wit."-- Bosley Crowther, New York Times THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, 1951, 20th Century Fox, 92 min. Dir. Robert Wise. Christ-like alien Michael Rennie arrives in Washington, D.C. with a one-eyed robot to curtail Earth's weapons of mass destruction before they can jeopardize the universe. Patricia Neal turns in a memorable performance as one of the only human beings attempting to understand him. With Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe. DETOUR! (from IMDB) In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble... DEVIL WOMAN (from IMDB) A village witch who controls poisonous serpents sends them out to murder her enemies. FORBIDDEN PLANET, 1956, Warner Brothers, 98 min. Dir. Fred Wilcox. The movie that launched a thousand ships, from STAR TREK to STAR WARS. One of the most influential films ever made, the first big budget science fiction blockbuster is a space opera with its roots in Freud, Jung and Shakespeare. It's also a landmark of production design and special effects, and features the first all-electronic music score. Starring Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielson (as the prototype for Captain Kirk) and the beautiful, future Miss Honey West (Anne Francis) as the mini-skirt-wearing, skinny-dipping object of all the men's affection. Also with Robby The Robot - need I say more? HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) Directed by Howard Hawks This hilarious screwball comedy stars Cary Grant as a crafty newspaper editor hell-bent on keeping his ace reporter and ex-wife Hildy (Rosalind Russell) from settling down in the country with a sincere but pitifully dull businessman (Ralph Bellamy) by convincing her to cover the imminent execution of a convicted murderer. Hawks' ingenious use of overlapping dialogue accelerates the film's already fast clip, and he is abetted by a seemingly endless parade of crack comic character actors. Foremost among these is John Qualen as the condemned man, as well as such familiar faces as Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, Billy Gilbert, Cliff Edwards, Ernest Truex and Roscoe Karns. Columbia. Based on The Front Page by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur. Producer: Howard Hawks. Screenwriter: Charles Lederer. Cinematographer: Joseph Walker. Camera: Rosalind Russell. Editor: Gene Havlick. Cast: Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart. 35mm, 92 min. IF... 1968, Paramount, 111 min. Dir. Lindsay Anderson. More than any other film of the era, IF... perfectly represents the international spirit of youthful rebellion in the late sixties, metamorphosing the angry young working men from earlier films like LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER and Anderson's own THIS SPORTING LIFE into revolutionary iconoclasts, establishing a balance between broader, pop culture movies like WILD IN THE STREETS and Jean-Luc Godard's apocalyptic WEEKEND. Boarding school student, Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is one of the great screen outsiders, a poetic, rebel individualist and sensitive wild man. Director Anderson imbues him with an emotional honesty and intellectual depth rarely seen in films about youth. NOT ON DVD! I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT'S 'IS NAME, 1967, Universal, 99 min. Dir. Michael Winner. One of the great lost films of the sixties. Commercials director Oliver Reed just can't stomach his job's hypocrisy any longer - he appropriately smashes his desk to bits with an axe in the opening moments! so he tries to break away from Machiavellian boss Orson Welles and rediscover his true roots working for a "small literary journal." Unfortunately for him, it's the middle of Swinging 60's London, and he's pursued/distracted by girlfriends, mistresses and soon-to-be ex-wives, while struggling to figure out just what he wants from life. Lured back to mercenary marketing by Welles, Reed delivers an ultimate finger-in-the-eye to crass advertizing with a subversive anti-commercial satirizing the industry's bad-faith venality. Co-starring Wendy Craig, Marianne Faithfull and Carol White. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (from IMDB) Dr Miles Bennel returns to his small town practice to find several of his patients suffering the paranoid delusion that their friends or relatives are impostors. He is initially skeptical, especially when the alleged dopplegangers are able to answer detailed questions about their victim's life, but he is eventually persuaded that something odd has happened, and determines to find out what. IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, 1958, Sony Repertory, 69 min. Director Edward L. Cahn was one of the legendary, underrated masters of the grade-Z movie, wringing suspense, well-orchestrated action and authentic cheap thrills from drive-in staple material. IT! is no exception, and is his most famous contribution to genre film history. A reptilian Martian vampire stows away on a rocketship bound for Earth, and the crew has to use every trick in the book to kill it before it kills them. This chilling nailbiter is the film most often credited as inspiring ALIEN. With Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith. JOE (from IMDB) Bill, a wealthy businessman, confronts his junkie daughter's drug-dealing boyfriend; in the ensuing argument, Bill kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at a bar. There he runs into a drunken factory worker named Joe, who hates hippies, blacks, and anyone who is "different", and would like to kill one himself. The two start talking, and Bill reveals his secret to Joe. Complications ensue. KRAZY KAT CARTOONS Second part of our screening of ultra rare 1930s black & white Krazy Kat cartoons from the 1930s. Jazzy music scores, wild rubber-hose animation and surreal storylines - they don't make 'em like this anymore. American Film Institute Steven Ross Screening Room (Warner Bros. Building) 2021 N. Western Ave. Hollywood, CA LADY TERMINATOR (from IMDB) The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage. LIFEFORCE, 1985, Sony Repertory, 101 min. Sex-starved space vampire Mathilda May terrorizes the world while looking for something to wear, in director Tobe Hooper's gleeful, over-the-top sci-fi flick - one of the great pulp movies of the 1980's. Steve Railsback co-stars as the lovestruck astronaut dazzled by May's charms, with help from Frank Finlay and Patrick Stewart. LOOKING FOR TECHNOLOGY Looking for Technology is a magically realist, hyper-musical, broken-up experiment upon Los Angeles as a raw material. The symbolic representation of L.A. in the film is interpreted completely in terms of media, and the human relationship to Machines in general. As a tribute to the human spirit, the film will be followed by live performances of the songs of Woody Guthrie. NIGHT MUST FALL, 1964, MGM (Warner Bros.), 105 min. It's Angry Young Man as budding psychopath, with Albert Finney as a charming, working class serial killer. Director Karel Reisz adapts Emlyn Williams famous play, and, contrary to some opinions, this underrated version is far superior to the first 1937 film. Finney (who also produced) is riveting as the canny sociopath who is irresistable to women, of any age. Things come to a head when he's employed as a companion by his girlfriend's boss, the affluent Mrs. Bramson (a great Mona Washbourne). Chilling and disturbing, from the opening scenes of Finney running naked through the forest with an axe to the nervewracking climax. Atmospherically photographed in stunning black-and-white by Freddie Francis. NOT ON DVD! NOCHNOY DOZOR (NIGHT WATCH) (from IMDB) Among normal humans live the "Others" possessing various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of the dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light govern the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day Moscow the dark Others actually roam the night as vampires while a "Night Watch" of light forces, among them Anton, the movie's protagonist, try to control them and limit their outrage. SATURDAY NIGHT & SUNDAY MORNING, 1960, Sony Repertory, 90 min. Karel Reisz had already directed the acclaimed documentary WE ARE THE LAMBETH BOYS, when this smoldering tale of a smart-mouthed rake in a Northern England factory town became his breakthrough debut feature. It likewise cast a spotlight on Albert Finney in his first leading role as Arthur, a human fireball burning a swath through the female population, including married Brenda (Rachel Roberts) and easygoing Doreen (Shirley Anne Field). Whether his career of seduction proves his downfall or ultimate salvation, the audience must decide. Like many other "kitchen sink" dramas, this is an unflinchingly honest depiction of the plight of women in the working class world. SOME CAME RUNNING, 1958, Warner Bros., 136 min. The ultimate, "serious" Rat Pack movie. Lest those words "serious" and "Rat Pack" seem incongruous used in the same sentence, let's make it plain: pantheon director Vincente Minelli's lush, visually rich adaptation of James Jones' bestseller about post-WWII malaise is never less than fascinating and, at times, extremely moving. Frank Sinatra is unusually credible as a cynical, hard-drinking writer returning from military service to his small, Midwestern hometown. When Frank's infatuation with repressed schoolteacher, Martha Hyer is continually frustrated, he finds solace with new best friend, eccentric, alcoholic gambler, Dean Martin. (For just how influential this film was, check out Godard's CONTEMPT where Michel Piccoli keeps his hat on even in the bathtub in tribute to Dean's character!) Fellow cast members, Hyer, Arthur Kennedy (as Frank's venal brother) and Shirley MacLaine were all nominated for Best Supporting Oscars. MacLaine is especially fine, heartrending as a seemingly empty-headed party girl who emerges as the most genuine, noble character in the film. THE THING, 1982, Universal, 108 min. Director John Carpenter re-imagined the 1951 sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD as something darker, fiercer and altogether more disturbing, pitting sombrero-wearing helicopter pilot Kurt Russell and a crew of Arctic scientists against a ravenous, shape-shifting alien being. From the haunting opening shots of a sled dog fleeing across the snow, to the apocalyptic, fire-and-ice ending, this ranks with Ridley Scott's ALIEN as one of the finest and most beautifully-crafted sci-fi films of the past 25 years. Discussion in between films with director Tobe Hooper. THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, 1951, Warner Bros., 87 min. Dir. Christian Nyby. Produced by the great Howard Hawks. The first alien invasion film and arguably the first modern horror film. A prototype for everything that would follow, from ALIEN to FRIDAY THE 13th to HALLOWEEN. A fast moving freight train of a movie, filled with Hawks trademark snappy, overlapping dialogue and some of the scariest moments ever on film. It's the STAGECOACH of horror films. Featuring "Gunsmoke's" James Arness as the THING. It also demonstrates the dangers of electric blankets. With Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan. TRIBUTE TO NAM JUNE PAIK This memorial tribute to the life and career of composer and video/performance artist Nam June Paik will feature a Fluxus-style evening of remembrances, re-presented music and video performances, projected video works, and rare video clips previously unseen in public. It is curated by Carole Ann Klonarides and includes: Zen for Film, presented by curator Julie Lazar; Video Compilation, compiled and introduced by Lori Zippay, Electronic Arts Intermix; and Early Paik sound/music, performed by Los Angeles artist Steve Rodan. TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932) Directed by Ernst Lubitsch Sexual innuendo meets Continental sophistication in this romantic farce produced during the more permissive days before the enforcement of the Hays Production Code. Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall shine as a pair of con artists intent on separating widow Mariette Colet (Kay Francis) from her fortune in cash and jewels. Love-weary Mariette's suitors are a pair of bickering dandies (played by Charlie Ruggles and Edward Everett Horton) who only add to her weariness. Besides a stoical C. Aubrey Smith (with his trademark bushy eyebrows) as the businessman Giron and Hollywood butler par excellence Robert Greig, watch for Leonid Kinskey in an uncredited cameo as a communist radical. With its witty dialogue and inventive strokes of visual humor, TROUBLE IN PARADISE is often regarded as Ernst Lubitsch's finest film and the acme of classical Hollywood comedy. aramount. Based on a play by LÃ¡zslÃ³ AladÃ¡r. Producer: Ernst Lubitsch. Screenwriter: Samson Raphaelson. Cinematographer: Victor Milner. Cast: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles, Edward Everett Horton, C. Aubrey Smith. 35mm Nitrate, 81 min. Beautiful Nitrate Print! TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN, 1962, Warner Bros. 107 min. Recovering alcoholic actor, Kirk Douglas, fresh out of a sanitorium, flies to Rome for a role in "friend," director Edward G. Robinson's latest epic. But when he arrives, Kirk's character remembers just exactly why he had started drinking in the first place! Adding fuel to Kirk's psychological distress is the presence of impossibly glamorous Cyd Charisse (in her most memorable role) as his nymphomaniac ex-wife. But Kirk's budding romance with sweet Rosanna Schiaffino and his mentoring of temperamental actor, George Hamilton, offer him hope of redemption. Director Vincente Minelli's mesmerizing depiction of runaway productions finding lower production costs and exotic locales at Cinecitta is unusually honest in its depiction of the petty backbiting that goes on behind the scenes in the industry. Be sure to look out for the great Claire Trevor as Robinson's harridan spouse, surely one of the most hateful characters to ever appear in a Hollywood movie. Like SOME CAME RUNNING, TWO WEEKS offers more than its share of astounding âscope compositions! WHY WORRY? (from IMDB) Harold Van Pelham (Lloyd) is a hypochondriac, rich businessman who sails to the tropics for his 'health.' Instead of the peace and seclusion he is seeking, he finds himself in the middle of a revolution. He is imprisoned where he befriends the friendly giant, Colosso (Aasen), and they engineer an escape. Together, they quell the revolution.