a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
fri. may 2 blade runner final cut MIDNIGHT @ fairfax regency theatre the multinauts MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre devotional cinema: new and recent work by nathaniel dorsky @ ucla film archive wearing a four-cornered cap and a tiger skin, 13 years 13 minutes @ speilberg theatre @ egyptian theatre how to vote, born to be bad @ aero theatre the party MIDNIGHT @ nuart m*a*s*h @ silent movie theatre fellini satyricon 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre totally serious @ the smell jon brion @ largo sat. may 3 the ugly beats @ satisfaction @ bordello the woggles @ tiki invasion @ mission tiki drive-in burnt offerings MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre the fly (1986) 8 PM @ steve allen theater an american tragedy, thunderbolt @ ucla film archive trading places, three amigos! @ aero theatre all about eve @ lacma of human bondage 10 PM @ lacma double indemnity 1 PM @ silent movie theatre grey gardens 6:30 PM, the beales of grey gardens @ silent movie theatre stoned 10:15 PM, blood freak @ silent movie theatre the warlocks @ the smell rachel mayeri: primate cinema @ telic arts exchange i heart paper 7 PM-10 PM @ studio 1636 sun. may 4 westworld 9 PM @ steve allen theater soylent green 3:40 7:30 PM, westworld 5:40 9:30 PM @ new beverly theatre ramrod 7 PM, bullfighter and the lady @ ucla film archive the blues brothers, animal house @ aero theatre southern california video part two: bruce and norman yonemoto 7 PM @ filmforum @ egyptian theatre mon. may 5 soylent green, westworld @ new beverly theatre thrones @ the smell tue. may 6 soylent green, westworld @ new beverly theatre battle squadron 8 PM, high crime @ silent movie theatre wed. may 7 slaughterhouse-five, fahrenheit 451 @ new beverly theatre brief encounter, great expectations @ aero theatre tumbleweeds 8 PM @ silent movie theatre the lions @ dub club @ echoplex dark hand & lamplight 8 PM @ hammer museum thu. may 8 slaughterhouse-five, fahrenheit 451 @ new beverly theatre a passage to india @ aero theatre alan lomax songhunter 8 PM @ silent movie theatre chico mann @ zanzibar fri. may 9 forbidden planet, the time machine @ new beverly theatre reservoir dogs MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre italian crime films double feature @ cult cinema club @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian theatre lawrence of arabia (70mm) @ aero theatre bob & carol & ted & alice @ silent movie theatre a quiet place in the country 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre plan 9 from outer space MIDNIGHT @ regency fairfax sat. may 10 the remarkable andrew 7 PM, blaze of noon @ starlight studios naked lunch 8 PM @ steve allen theater forbidden planet 3:25 7:30 PM, the time machine 5:25 9:30 PM @ new beverly theatre smokey and the bandit MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre scavenger hunt 3:45-6:00 PM @ egyptian theatre midnight madness @ egyptian theatre doctor zhivago @ aero theatre criss cross 1 PM @ silent movie theatre salesman 7 PM, the burks of georgia @ silent movie theatre blue sunshine 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre chico mann @ echoplex the princess bride @ angel city drive-in sun. may 11 bad dudes @ the smell the incredible shrinking man 9 PM @ steve allen theater where's poppa?, a thousand clowns @ new beverly theatre sappho 7 PM, the saint and her fool @ ucla film archive the man who laughs 8 PM @ silent movie theatre blackblack, naked on the vague FREE 8 PM @ family chico mann @ little temple mon. may 12 fargo 7 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn theatre where's poppa?, a thousand clowns @ new beverly theatre nicky katt's mug melter monday 7 PM @ silent movie theatre tue. may 13 syd garon & sam spiegel @ flux screening series @ hammer museum 2000 maniacs, tender flesh @ new beverly theatre front page woman 1 PM @ lacma wed. may 14 bananas, sleeper @ new beverly theatre a door to the sky @ ucla film archive the great k & a train robbery 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. may 15 bananas, sleeper @ new beverly theatre playtime (70mm) @ egyptian theatre kiss of the spider woman 9 PM FREE @ lacma fri. may 16 mia doi todd @ mccabe's performance, o lucky man! @ new beverly theatre reservoir dogs MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre apocalypse now (70mm) @ egyptian theatre mishima a life in four chapters @ lacma little murders @ silent movie theatre death laid an egg 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre naked on the vague @ the smell sat. may 17 dirtbombs @ troubadour crash (1996) 8 PM @ steve allen theater performance 3:05 8:30 PM, o lucky man! 5:10 PM @ new beverly theatre grindhouse fest MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre vertigo (70mm) @ egyptian theatre the little foxes @ lacma out of the past 1 PM @ silent movie theatre maysles shorts program one 7 PM @ silent movie theatre the boost 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre sun. may 18 the company of wolves 9 PM @ steve allen theater chinatown 2:45 8:00 PM, day of the locust 5:15 PM @ new beverly theatre the royal family of broadway 7 PM, murder at the vanities @ ucla film archive khartoum (70mm) @ egyptian theatre mon. may 19 l.a. confidential 7 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn theatre chinatown, day of the locust @ new beverly theatre tue. may 20 clinic @ troubadour chinatown, day of the locust @ new beverly theatre m83 @ echoplex wed. may 21 bruce bickford: prometheus' garden @ 7 dudley cinema psycho, frenzy @ new beverly theatre the vanishing american 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. may 22 bad dudes @ the smell radar bros. @ knitting factory psycho, frenzy @ new beverly theatre the man i killed, the scoundrel @ ucla film archive rosemary's baby @ ampas goldwyn theatre night nurse, three on a match @ egyptian theatre heaven's gate @ aero theatre john cohen films 8 PM @ silent movie theatre cluster, mi ami @ farmlab fri. may 23 next stop greenwich village, harry and tonto @ new beverly theatre reservoir dogs MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre vivacious lady, born to dance @ ucla film archive forbidden, madam satan @ egyptian theatre 2001 a space odyssey (70mm) @ aero theatre marked woman 9:30 PM @ lacma the silent partner @ silent movie theatre dillinger is dead 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre enter the dragon MIDNIGHT @ regency fairfax dead meadow @ muddy waters (santa barbara) cluster, wooden shjips @ henry miller library (big sur) sat. may 24 bad dudes, bipolar bear @ the smell this is the night 7 PM, frankenstein (1931) @ starlight studios existenz 8 PM @ steve allen theater next stop greenwich village 3:05 7:30 PM, harry and tonto 5:15 9:40 PM @ new beverly theatre the creature from black lake MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre beast of the city, skyscraper souls @ egyptian theatre apocalypse now (70mm) @ aero theatre born to kill 1 PM @ silent movie theatre maysles shorts program two 7 PM @ silent movie theatre the people next door 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre ace in the hole @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sun. may 25 invasion of the body snatchers (1956) 9 PM @ steve allen theater the detective 5:30 PM @ egyptian theatre playtime (70mm) @ aero theatre alan & richard bishop, tribute to sun city girls @ echoplex neil hamburger @ spaceland tue. may 27 gary panter, matt groening @ skylight books grindhouse fest @ new beverly theatre wed. may 28 gentlemen prefer blondes @ last remaining seats @ los angeles theatre bedazzled, the ruling class @ new beverly theatre the iron horse 8 PM @ silent movie theatre superdrag @ troubadour thu. may 29 the warlocks @ charlie o's bedazzled, the ruling class @ new beverly theatre those magnificent men in their flying machines (70mm) @ aero theatre superdrag @ troubadour fri. may 30 reservoir dogs MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre the man who knew too much, strangers on a train @ egyptian theatre blade runner the final cut MIDNIGHT @ nuart mongol (preview screening) @ lacma the long goodbye, california split @ silent movie theatre dr. strangelove MIDNIGHT @ regency fairfax dead meadow @ little radio warehouse sat. may 31 parable 4 PM, simon of the desert @ getty center spider 8 PM @ steve allen theater zardoz MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre vertigo, rope @ ucla film archive rear window, shadow of a doubt @ egyptian theatre what ever happened to baby jane? @ lacma the nanny 10 PM @ lacma they drive by night 1 PM @ silent movie theatre crystal antlers @ pehrspace swervedriver @ henry fonda theatre culver city artwalk the party @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sun. jun. 1 soylent green 9 PM @ steve allen theater call northside 777 7:00 PM, the man who shot liberty valance @ ucla film archive the adventures of robin hood 7 PM @ ampas linwood dunn theatre north by northwest, dial m for murder @ egyptian theatre khartoum (70mm) 5:00 PM @ aero theatre wed. jun. 4 louis ck @ largo mildred pierce @ last remaining seats @ million dollar theatre thu. jun. 5 playboy jazz on film FREE @ lacma folk shorts by les blank 8 PM @ silent movie theatre black angels @ troubadour fri. jun. 6 kevin mcdonald @ largo war and peace parts 1 & 2 @ lacma the lady eve @ silent movie theatre class of 1984 10:15 PM, class of 1999 @ silent movie theatre jon brion @ largo (new location) sat. jun. 7 the damned don't cry 1 PM @ silent movie theatre the death of mr. lazarescu 5 PM, stuff and dough @ silent movie theatre quiet wedding 7 PM @ starlight studios rooftop films @ eighteen thirty sun. jun. 8 forbidden planet 9 PM @ steve allen theater harvey 7 PM, the glenn miller story @ ucla film archive war and peace parts 3 & 4 @ lacma mon. jun. 9 jon brion @ largo tue. jun. 10 pre-code cartoons 8 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. jun. 11 goldfinger @ last remaining seats @ orpheum theatre camille 8 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. jun. 12 helio sequence @ echoplex bound for glory 8 PM @ silent movie theatre detroit cobras, les sans culottes @ troubadour fri. jun. 13 venetian snares @ knitting factory jaws MIDNIGHT @ nuart war and peace parts 1 & 2 @ lacma sullivan's travels @ silent movie theatre massacre at central high 10:15 PM, three o'clock high @ silent movie theatre jon brion @ largo (new location) sat. jun. 14 helio sequence @ detroit bar war and peace parts 3 & 4 @ lacma leave her to heaven 1 PM @ silent movie theatre california dreamin' 7 PM @ silent movie theatre meatballs @ angel city drive-in sun. jun. 15 clash of the titans 9 PM @ steve allen theater the kid 1 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM @ silent movie theatre occult L.A. 8 PM @ silent movie theatre mon. jun. 16 times new viking, psychedelic horseshit, bipolar bear @ the smell wed. jun. 18 young frankenstein @ last remaining seats @ los angeles theatre fri. jun. 20 tales from gimli hospital MIDNIGHT @ nuart war and peace parts 1 & 2 @ lacma carrie MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre jon brion @ largo (new location) sat. jun. 21 war and peace parts 3 & 4 @ lacma gilda 1 PM @ silent movie theatre this man is news 7 PM, blanche fury @ starlight studios sun. jun. 22 island of lost souls 9 PM @ steve allen theatre tue. jun. 24 the magician 8 PM @ silent movie theatre fri. jun. 27 rear window MIDNIGHT @ nuart the palm beach story @ silent movie theatre if... 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre grandmaster flash book signing 7 PM @ book soup jon brion @ largo (new location) sat. jun. 28 detour 1 PM @ silent movie theatre sequences 6 PM, reenactment @ silent movie theatre sun. jun. 29 bride of frankenstein 9 PM @ steve allen theatre mon. jun. 30 white dog 8 PM @ silent movie theatre sat. jul. 5 the accused 7 PM @ starlight studios fri. jul. 11 fear and loathing in las vegas MIDNIGHT @ nuart WHAT IT IS: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD In conjunction with the Council’s exhibition “Playing God: The Art and Artists of Matte Painting,” Academy Award-nominated visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound editor Ben Burtt will explore some of the secrets behind the making of The Adventures of Robin Hood. This special evening includes a screening of the 1938 classic as well as two onstage presentations: Warner Bros. studio archivist Leith Adams will display a rare matte painting used in the film and discuss its curious history, and archery expert Dale Smith will reproduce the famous arrow sounds from the film using replica arrows designed by Burtt. The Adventures of Robin Hood depicts the archetypal struggle of good against evil, with Errol Flynn as the quintessential hero matching wits - and blade and arrow - with the villainous Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone), the scheming Prince John (Claude Rains) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Melville Cooper). Complementing the action is one of the screen’s most memorable love stories, in which the dashing Robin wins the heart of the beautiful Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland). Alan Lomax: Songhunter "I thought of Alan as a Minotaur — half man, half supernatural — who defied life as we know it." - Bill Ferris, friend of Alan Lomax. Known as the "song hunter", Alan Lomax was one of the world's most prolific and well-known musicologists and folklorists. He is most famous for his recordings from the deep South in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s at penitentiaries, plantations and farms of the Mississippi Delta. He also traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, and North Africa capturing live field performances, and helped to establish the Library of Conress' Archive of American Folk Song. Tonight, we celebrate Lomax’s career by showing a Dutch documentary on his career, as well as selections from his own incredible film archive, including footage of the New Lost City Ramblers at Carnegie Hall, Willie Dixon, Howling Wolf, and more. Dir. Rogier Kappers, 2004, digital presentation, 93 min. All About Eve 1950/b&w/138 min. | Scr./dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz; w/ Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Marilyn Monroe A guileless fan and aspiring actress insinuates her way into the life of an aging Broadway star and her circle, unleashing fire and light. One of the wittiest films ever written and Davis's signature role. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (1931) Directed by Josef von Sternberg Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel is most familiar to movie audiences today as the basis for George Stevens's ultra-romantic 1951 film version, A Place In The Sun. Though dismissed by its director and vilified by Dreiser, who sued Paramount for misrepresenting his work, Josef von Sternberg's early talkie version under the original title provides its own rewards if viewed with an unprejudiced eye. Dreiser's novel stressed the deadly effect of American society's obsession with wealth and position on a young man who sees his chance at a better life threatened by his working class girlfriend's unexpected pregnancy. Sternberg stressed the hero's personal responsibility for his plight over Dreiser's sociological vision, and worked in signature touches like long, beautiful dissolves, lateral tracking shots, and abundant use of ambient sound. Sylvia Sidney is both innocently sweet and uncompromisingly tough in her role as the doomed lover. Our sympathies lie with her and not with socialite Frances Dee, in contrast to Elizabeth Taylor's breathtaking interpretation of the Dee role in A Place In The Sun. Based on the novel by Theodore Dresier. Screenplay: Samuel Hoffenstein. Cinematographer: Lee Garmes. Cast: Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee, Irving Pichel. 35mm, 95 min. BATTLE SQUADRON One of the the kings of Italian action movies, Enzo G. Castellari, who ruled ‘70s drive-ins with his amped-up spins on futuristic sci-fi, spaghetti westerns and war epics, will be here in person to introduce two of his testoserone-drenched pictures, both unavailable on DVD and making a rare big-screen U.S. showing. First up, Enzo shows off one of his biggest budgets in the aerial combat spectacular Battle Squadron, a feisty film with Van Johnson (post-MGM), square-jawed Frederick Stafford, and Francisco Rabal (Viridiana) in the story of German saboteurs trying to infiltrate Merry Olde England and kicking off World War II’s Battle of Britain. Dir. Enzo Castellari, 1969, 35mm, 100 min. THE BEALES OF GREY GARDENS A ninety-minute companion piece to Grey Gardens comprised of outtakes too tangential for the original film, but too entertaining to languish in the Maysles archives. Dirs. Albert and David Maysles, 2006, DigiBeta, 90 min. BEDAZZLED This very funny comic version of Faust stars the great British comedy duo of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and takes plenty of hilarious pokes at organized religion. Moore is a hapless short-order cook who makes a deal with Satan (Cook) to win the girl of his dreams. A wild ride through the Seven Deadly Sins follows, including an encounter with Lust, played by Raquel Welch. The film is a real testament to the talent of Cook (who also wrote the screenplay), far less widely known in the U.S. than his former partner. BLOOD FREAK Blood Freak is an anti-weed, pro-Jesus monster gore freakout concerning Elvis-esque biker Herschell, who’s caught between the Bible-quoting bombshell Angel and her pothead sister, who drags him down into a hazy cesspool fueled by the one-two punch of cannabis extremis and food additives (did we mention Herschell’s a human guinea pig working for irresponsible food researchers?). The combination of reefer, stuffing and experimental seasonings mutates Herschell into a giant turkey-headed man-thing who seeks revenge by slaughtering every last drug freak in Miami. Will the Lord step in and end this madness? Only the oily dime-store philosopher/on-screen narrator (co-director and nudist Brad Grinter) knows for sure. Dirs. Brad F. Grinter & Steve Hawkes, 1972, 35mm, 86 min. Blue Sunshine Would you want you doctor to be tripping on LSD? How about your child’s babysitter? In Jeff Lieberman’s hilarious and horrifying parody of drug scare films, we’re shown a world where lurking beneath the surface of every hippie-cum-yuppie who thought he could hit the pipe without paying the piper, lies a potential latent bald-headed Mansonoid. Or, as the film’s original poster screamed, “WARNING! If you are one of the millions who took hallucinogens in the late '60s...you may be a human time bomb about to explode into a bloody nightmare of uncontrollable killing.” In the film, Zalman King discovers that all his college buddies that dosed on a particularly potent brand of acid, Blue Sunshine, are suffering from more than decade-delayed flashbacks. These upstanding socially responsible citizens lose their hair, and transform into super-strong, bloodthirsty maniacs howling at the “blue sunshine” in the night sky. Who will be next – could it be you? Blue Sunshine Dir. Jeff Lieberman, 1976, digital presentation, 89 min. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice A cheeky glance at the Sexual Revolution from a middle-aged, upper middle-class SoCal perspective, director Paul Mazursky’s first feature has aged agreeably — much like Elliot Gould. Ted (Gould) and Alice (a gorgeous Dyan Cannon) are friends with Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood, also gorgeous). Having dealt with marital problems, the latter couple return from a New Age retreat, and in a new spirit of openness, shares the details of their love lives and affairs with a simultaneously terrified and titillated Ted and Alice. These disclosures forge a closer bond between the couples, and, in the twilight of the Swingin’ Sixties, the question is: how close is too close? Fortunately, Mazursky goes for keenly observed humor instead of soap opera, and brings out the best in his performers. Gould grabbed a “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar nod in 1970 for this, his first high-profile film role. Dir. Paul Mazursky, 1969, 35mm, 105 min. The Boost In this feature-length PSA based on a novel by drug culture expert and Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein (“Win Ben Stein’s Money”), James Woods plays a intense, verbose and neurotic salesman full of nervous energy and jittery ticks — and this is before he does his first line of coke. When Woods meets a millionaire who plays fairy godmother and flies him out to gutter-glittery Los Angeles to sell tax-shelter real estate, all seems good, for a while, but tough times lead him face down into a pile of the Devil’s Dandruff. While it’s fun for a while (midnight private jet to Vegas to see Steve Martin, anyone?), it becomes a one-way rail ticket to the bottom, and soon he’s freebasing coke in a Hollywood slum with a septuagenarian, and torturing his beloved dollhouse-perfect housewife Sean Young. James Woods + cocaine = a rip-snortin’ good time. Dir. Harold Becker, 1988, 35mm, 95 min. BORN TO BE BAD, 1950, Warner Bros. 94 min. Dir. Nicholas Ray. Joan Fontaine looks sweet and innocent on the surface, but after she steals millionaire Zachary Scott away from another woman, she continues an illicit affair with novelist Robert Ryan. Things just get more complicated from there in this energetic, daring and slightly nasty little melodrama. One of Nicholas Ray's best early films, and certainly his most audacious up until JOHNNY GUITAR. With Mel Ferrer. Born to Kill Perhaps the most perverse film to come out of Hollywood in the 1940s, Born To Kill was the first film noir to be directed by Robert Wise, who later went on to shoot many noir greats like The Set-Up and The Captive City. Wise revels in the utter sleazy friction created by leads Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor, who play a emotionally unbalanced and jealous killer, and a recent divorcée hungry for danger who trails him out of instant attachment to his insane self-confidence. Tierney is a pure thrill to watch as Sam Wilde, the amoral dirtbag narcissist who treats friends and foes all with the same contempt, and the inimitable Elisha Cook, Jr. is equally fun as Sam’s jittery “friend”, who utters one of noir’s most memorable lines of callous-yet-sensible dialogue: “You can't just go around killing people when the notion strikes you. It's just not feasible.” Dir. Robert Wise, 1947, 35mm, 92 min. Bound for Glory Hal Ashby's epic, simple and understated biopic of Woody Guthrie, detailing his exodus from the Midwest to California, is a masterpiece of ‘70s cinema, not only for its depiction of Guthrie’s music, but also for its portrayal of Dust Bowl despair. The story of a small-town farmer seeking prosperity in the West, Guthrie instead finds himself an able-bodied singer-songwriter. His lyrics and songs speak to the unspoken truths of the wage-slave poor working in the fields struggling against wealthy landowners. Inspired by Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory won two Oscars for Haskell Wexler's cinematography (the film was the first ever to utilize the Steadicam) and for Leonard Rosenman's music. David Carradine's performance is uncompromising as he breathes life into Woody's songs and the late Ronny Cox (Ozark Bule) as Woody's trusted union confidant deserves mention. Dir. Hal Ashby, 1976, 35mm, 147 min. BRIEF ENCOUNTER, 1946, MGM/UA, 86 min. Dir. David Lean. A seemingly happily married woman (Celia Johnson) gets a piece of grit in her eye at the train station; a married doctor (Trevor Howard) helps remove it. From such simple, commonplace stuff is woven one of the most heartbreaking portraits of lost love and longing ever put on film – a story, in its very, very British way, equal to the sweeping passions of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DR. ZHIVAGO. Based on Noel Coward’s play "Still Life." BRUCE BICKFORD: PROMETHEUS’ GARDEN ('88, 28m) Zappa animator Bickford utilizes clay puppets and sets, cutouts, replacement series, aluminum foil, “strato-cut” slices, and molten wax to create phantasmagorical version of the Greek Prometheus myth - an immortal who created the first mortals out of clay. He also stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the people. Zeus exacted revenge by ordering Prometheus chained to a mountain where an eagle ate Prometheus’ liver. Since he was immortal, Prometheus’ liver grew back after each daily visit by the eagle, forcing Prometheus to face horrific pain for eternity. Bickford’s incorporation of this myth into his unforgetable animated film includes appearances by Vikings, cowboys, Vietnam War era mercenaries, imps, elves, fairies, and countless other historical and mythological creatures. Also: LUCK OF A FOGHORN ('08, 30m) Brett Ingram won many awards with his remarkable Bickford doc MONSTER ROAD. Here is more amazing "behind the scenes and into the mind of Bickford" footage. The title of the featurette originates from a surreal day dream Bickford had while hovering near death with pneumonia in hospital. With Laird Dixon's hauntingly beautiful original score. Plus sneak peek of a new Ingram "work-in-progress." BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY (1951) Directed by Budd Boetticher American-born Oscar "Budd" Boetticher Jr., who had apprenticed as a matador in Mexico, was brought to Hollywood to work as a technical advisor on Rouben Mamoulian's Blood and Sand (1941). Boetticher served a second apprenticeship in the ‘40s as a studio messenger and B-movie director before he was given a chance to direct his dream project, the story of an American tourist (Robert Stack) who learns the art of bullfighting from a distinguished Mexican matador (Gilbert Roland). Boetticher wanted to call the film Torero, but his studio, Republic, and producer, cowboy star John Wayne, changed the title to Bullfighter and The Lady, and Wayne's friend and mentor John Ford shortened the film by 30 minutes, eliminating some of Boetticher's favorite scenes. It was not until the early ‘80s that UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt, in cooperation with Boetticher and Stack, who had kept his own 16mm print of the full-length version, restored Bullfighter and The Lady to its original 124-minute length. Warning: the bullfight sequences graphically depict cruelty to animals, including the killing of a bull. Based on a story by B. Boetticher and Ray Nazzaro. Producer: John Wayne. Screenplay: James Edward Grant. Cinematographer: Jack Draper. Editor: Richard L. Van Enger. Cast: Robert Stack, Joy Page, Gilbert Roland, Virginia Grey, John Hubbard. 35mm, 124 min. THE BURKS OF GEORGIA The Maysles profile a poor white Georgian family struggling to survive with the realities of thirteen children. Dirs. Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, 1974, MiniDV, 53 min. BURNT OFFERINGS (from IMDB) Haunted house chiller from Dan Curtis has Oliver Reed and Karen Black as summer caretakers moving into gothic house with their young son. The catch? The house rejuvenates a part of itself with each death that occurs on its premises. California Dreamin' Winner of the “Un Certain Regard” prize at Cannes in 2007, California Dreamin’ marked a short end to 27-year-old director Cristian Nemescu’s career, as he was tragically killed in a crash six weeks after the film’s principal photography wrapped. Inspired by an event that had occurred in the late 1990s during the Kosovo war, the film finds a scheming village station master in a Bucharest suburb blocking a train filled with NATO military equipment and American Marines for lack of legitimate customs papers. The scenario unfolds over the course of several days, as village locals mingle with the self-righteous stranded troops. Forced to live side by side, both groups discover that life can never again be quite the same. Dir. Cristian Nemescu, 2007, DigiBeta, 155 min. CALIFORNIA SPLIT Gould and George Segal bounce wildly off one another in the loose and engaging California Split, Altman's exploration of compulsive gambling. Gould is the wild-man, living on couches and a diet of cereal; Segal is a successful publisher, the man with something to lose. A feast of detail and subtle characterization, California Split is best experienced in the theater, where, like the casino, you never really know what time of day it is. California Split Dir. Robert Altman, 1974, 35mm, 108 min. CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (1948) Directed by Henry Hathaway Impressed by a mother's determination to clear her convicted son of murder, Stewart's skeptical Chicago newspaperman reopens an investigation declared closed a dozen years before. Always the consummate studio performer, Stewart found himself literally prowling gritty new territory in the film as director Hathaway shot on location to lend a semi-documentary feel to the story. Based on newspaper articles by James P. McGuire. Producer: Otto Lang. Scenario: Jay Dratler. Screenplay: Jerome Cady, Leonard Hoffman, Quentin Reynolds. Cinematographer: Joe MacDonald. Editor: J. Watson Webb. Cast: James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb, Helen Walker. 35mm, 111 min. Camille Gorgeous Art Deco sets help complete the lavish portrait of Parisian life presented in Camille, the classic romantic tragedy that cemented Valentino's reputation as a fantastically sensual leading man. His turn opposite the eponymous lead character (as star-crossed lover Armand Duval) is heartrending in light of the similarities his own life shared with this film's narrative: both were marked by impossible love, shocking betrayals, lapses into poverty, and a legendary untimely death. Armand takes on enough emotional turmoil to elicit a lifetime of crying jags when he becomes smitten with the ravishing (and tubercular) young courtesan Marguerite. This stunning adaptation of Alexander Dumas' timeless melodrama rivals Garbo's 1936 version in vision and poignancy, in large part due to the impressionistic, unusual set design of Natacha Rambova, who soon after would become Valentino's second (and third!) wife. Rambova also incited Valentino's interest in séances and the occult, a fascination that no doubt informed the very personal, haunting contribution he made to this unforgettable film. Dir. Ray C. Smallwood, 1921, 35mm, 70 min. CLASS OF 1984 You’ll feel a whole lot better about any lingering high school traumas after catching this riotous two-fer from director Mark L. Lester, who earned a little place in cinematic heaven with Commando. First up, new teacher Perry King locks horns with malicious students from the Class of 1984, led by Timothy Van Patten at a school with mandatory metal detectors (imagine that!). Featuring Roddy McDowall as the doormat principal, Michael J. Fox as a terrorized freshman, and a theme song by none other than Alice Cooper, it’s a gory, fast-paced updating of The Blackboard Jungle with the nastiest shop classroom scene ever. Dir. Mark L. Lester, 1982, 35mm, 98 min. CLASS OF 1999 The story gets a sci-fi makeover in Class of 1999, as unruly kids are under the thumbs of robot teachers; the B-movie dream cast includes Pam Grier, Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell and Joshua Miller (that spooky kid from Near Dark). Must-see viewing for anyone considering a career with the L.A. educational system. Dir. Mark L. Lester, 1990, 35mm, 99 min. THE COMPANY OF WOLVES Neil Jordan turns the story of Little Red Riding Hood into a highly stylized werewolf film, boasting magnificent sets and lush cinematography. The sexual subtext of the fairy tale is brought to the surface, as Granny (played with wonderfully wicked humor by Angela Lansbury) warns young Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) about the beasts that lurk within men. Also starring Stephen Rea and David Warner. "A horror film as literate as it is visionary, it's great fun--and that's not a cheap thrill" (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice). THE CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE This fun, light-hearted, low-budget "Bigfoot" movie features entertaining performances by Jack Elam (Once Upon a Time in the West) and Dub Taylor (Bonnie and Clyde) as two college students who travel to Louisiana to track Bigfoot. With Dennis Fimple and John David Carson. Criss Cross Originally intended by film producer Mark Hellinger to be a sharp, straight-up policier in the style of his The Naked City before his untimely passing in 1947, Criss Cross instead surfaced in 1949 as a heavily stylized affair helmed by film noir titan Robert Siodmak (The Killers, Phantom Lady, The File On Thelma Jordan). The film’s star, Burt Lancaster, was reportly unhappy with Siodmak’s grafting of a love triangle angle onto the original racetrack heist story, but Criss Cross’s head-spinning maze of triple and quadruple crosses benefits from the added unfolding consequences of fatalistic love akin to a slo-mo train wreck. The action centers around a robbery hatched by a heartbreaker (a drop-dead gorgeous Yvonne De Carlo), her ex-husband (Lancaster) and a vicious gangster played by the wonderful Dan Dureya. Criss Cross also features the movie debut of Tony Curtis, and was later remade by Steven Soderbergh as The Underneath (1995). Dir. Robert Siodmak, 1949, 35mm, 88 min. The Damned Don't Cry “The joy of any Crawford performance is her portrayal of women whose worlds crumble around them, which she takes in with a slight tilt of those bizarrely-drawn eyebrows and a trembling in her clenched fists.” —Donna Bowman, The Onion No one dares weep once Joan Crawford gets it going in this one. An unusual hybrid of film noir and chick flick, The Damned Don’t Cry features one of Crawford’s most iconic performances, and a story arc that resembles both Joan’s real-life rags to riches rise to stardom and the life of gangster Bugsy Siegel’s girlfriend Virginia Hill. From an oilfield shack to the head of a national crime syndicate, Crawford plunges into the swamp of corruption, using her sexual moxie as a blunt instrument on David Brian, Steve Cochran and Kent Smith. Directed by Vincent Sherman (who also directed Joan in two other pictures within eighteen months of Damned), this tough-edged movie showcases an aging Crawford still at the heights of her cinematic power. Dir. Vincent Sherman, 1950, 35mm, 103 min. Dark Hand & Lamplight Toronto-based visual artist Shary Boyle aka Dark Hand and musician Doug Paisley aka Lamplight first came together as an opening act for Will Oldham's 2006 tour of California (under his Bonnie “Prince” Billie moniker.) For the project, Lamplight wrote a collection of new songs, which Dark Hand used as the basis for a new series of artwork. Then, Dark Hand created artwork that Lamplight next used as the basis for new instrumental compositions and improvisations. In a live setting, the duo’s collaborative performance features Lamplight singing and playing guitar while Dark Hand creates live drawings and animates pre-drawn images on an overhead projector. Choreographed to the lyrics and music, Dark Hand projects her artwork onto a screen, the wall, Lamplight, and other available surfaces. For the first time since their original tour, the duo return to California to give a rare performance including their original favorites and new, never-performed material. DAY OF THE LOCUST Nathaniel West's powerful novel about Hollywood in the 1930s is faithfully transferred to the big screen. William Atherton is the naive artist who learns that Tinseltown has a heart of tin. With Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, Bo Hopkins, Geraldine Page, Richard A. Dysart, Jackie Earle Haley and Donald Sutherland as the unfortunate Homer. Death Laid an Egg The first and only murder mystery to revolve entirely around a farm for mutant chickens, this explosive oddity has become a huge cult favorite over the past 15 years. You still won’t believe it either, as director Giulio Questi (fresh off one of the world’s weirdest spaghetti westerns, Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot!) spins out a gruesome satire on industrialism with an aging Gina Lollobrigida (Trapeze), a confused Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Great Silence), and a very sexy Ewa Aulin (Candy) doing the love triangle thing at a high-tech breeding factory designed to produce headless poultry, while a knife-wielding maniac runs around, cast members drop dead and reappear, and jazz pioneer Bruno Madera goes nuts on the soundtrack. Twist piles upon twist in a film picked by the folks at EurotrashCinema.com as their favorite of all time. Abrasive, delightful and still one of a kind. Dir. Giulio Questi, 1968, 35mm, 86 min. THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU The Death of Mr. Lazarescu seems so realistic and convincing, unfolding in real time, that it’s hard to believe it was acted. As it follows an ailing boozehound who gets carted from one overtaxed Bucharest hospital to another in search of proper care, a whole stressed society is laid bare: each doctor, nurse, paramedic, and patient leaps into view with sharp individuality and articulate self-defensiveness. Director Cristi Puiu claimed the 2005 Cannes “Un Certain Regard” prize for this darkly humorous, compulsively vibrant feature. Dir. Cristi Puiu, 2005, 35mm, 150 min. THE DETECTIVE, 1968, 20th Century Fox, 114 min. Hardboiled filmmaker Gordon Douglas (veteran helmer of Cagney gem KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE as well as Sinatra’s TONY ROME and LADY IN CEMENT) directs this splendid neo-noir. Frank Sinatra is a fair, no-nonsense cop heading an investigation into the murder of a gay man that soon unravels into a web of drug-and-sex-addled police corruption. Lee Remick is Sinatra’s sexually voracious spouse, Jacqueline Bisset is a boyish waif (in a role originally intended for Mia Farrow) who may have clues to the crime, and Ralph Meeker, Jack Klugman, Al Freeman Jr. and Robert Duvall are just a few of Sinatra’s motley crew of colleagues. Tony Musante (BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) delivers a disturbing, powerhouse performance as one of the main suspects. William Creber’s art direction ably accomplishes a seamless fit, melding New York City exteriors with interiors shot on a Hollywood soundstage. Discussion following the film with art director William J. Creber. Detour Coming in at a lean 67 minutes, underrated auteur Edgar Ulmer’s Detour may be one of the most inexpensive noirs ever filmed, but it’s nothing but one of the genre’s most “pure distillations – and most perversely entertaining triumphs.” (NoirOfTheWeek.com). Sultry siren Ann Savage plays one of the meanest femme fatales in the history of the genre, hurling acidic, barbed insults at Tom Neal, playing the motorist with a shady recent past who’s just picked her up from hitchhiking. Neal lets Savage’s berating, domineering behavior get the better of him as he drags her along for a grim ride through murder plots and seedy motel rooms; the two characters are glorious extremes of noir gender archetypes – the deadly female animal and the loser willing to let such a creature walk all over him in exchange for a glimpse at a more exciting life. Dir. Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945, 35mm, 67 min. DEVOTIONAL CINEMA: NEW AND RECENT WORK BY NATHANIEL DORSKY Celebrated avant-garde filmmaker and author of Devotional Cinema, Nathaniel Dorsky has delighted audiences for over 40 years with films that celebrate the sensuous beauty of natural light. Dorsky's films are both silent and run at silent speed, straddling the threshold of persistence-of-vision. His rigorous attention to the qualities of film emulsion (grain, color, texture) places his work on an artistic level akin to Chinese poetry. Whether his camera is trained on a rain swept street, sunlight undulating in tree branches, or the gestures of a loved-one, the viewer is aware of a certain conundrum: These objects all exist in the everyday world, yet Dorsky manages to transcend their mundane significance. The visceral result is an expansion of the screen into a living, breathing entity. Utilizing montage that highlights visual echoes across a series of disparate shots, rather than relying on the narrative accumulation of cuts, the work is supremely generous to its audience. One may emerge from Dorsky's cinema-as-meditative-state with a sensitized, liberated vision of the world. The Archive is pleased to welcome Dorsky for a screening of three of his recent 16mm films, including the world premiere of his latest work, Winter (2007). In person: Nathaniel Dorsky Dillinger is Dead Meet Glauco (Michel Piccoli), an industrial designer living contentedly with his wife (Anita Pallenberg) in an ultramodern flat outside the city. He's got all the luxuries: a hi-fi with tons of groovy records, cameras and tape recorders with which to pester the bedridden wife, a beautiful, lusty maid (Annie Girardot) — and a rusty old revolver. For ninety minutes, we watch Piccoli charmingly inhabit this peculiar bourgeois so-and-so, he communes with his belongings, one by one, taking pleasure in the little things — pantomiming along with his home movies, and lubricating his pistol in olive oil. With impeccable craft, director Marco Ferreri luxuriates in the simple elements of cinema such as light, sound, performance and mise-en-scène, but the self-satisfying games and immaculate surfaces expose a chilling, ultimately shocking purpose. If Fassbinder had co-directed a Jacques Tati film, the deliberate, elegant, devilish and perverse Dillinger Is Dead would be the result. Dir. Marco Ferreri, 1969, 35mm, 90 min. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, 1965, Warner Bros., 193 min. Dir. David Lean. "If this man were my father, I should want to know," says General Yevgraf Zhivago (Alec Guinness) to his wary niece – and the story that he narrates, of decadent Tsarists, anguished revolutionaries, two beautiful women in love with the same man, a nation and a people in upheaval, and above all, the poet and physician (Omar Sharif) who witnesses and remembers it all – is one of the most lyrical and visually breathtaking stories in the history of film. From the bloodstained march through the Moscow streets, to the snowbound train ride through the Ural Mountains, to the haunted ice palace at Varykino, this is the essence of pure cinema. Brilliantly scripted by Robert Bolt (from Boris Pasternak’s novel), and photographed by Freddie Young (who replaced Nicolas Roeg soon into shooting). Co-starring Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay, Ralph Richardson and Siobhan McKenna, with Oscar-winning music by Maurice Jarre. A DOOR TO THE SKY (BAB AL-SAMA MAFTUH) (1989, Morocco/Tunisia/France) Directed by Farida Ben Lyazid Farida Ben Lyazid's directorial debut brought a bold, feminist perspective to the shifting values of Moroccan society. The Sufi-inspired tale vividly enacts the spiritual awakening of Nadia after she returns from France to her native Fez for her father's funeral. Inspired by the chanting of Koranic verses, she begins a journey of self-discovery that simultaneously challenges the orthodoxy of Isamic tradition. Cast: Chaidia Hadraoui, Eva Saint-Paul, Zakia Tahri. Presented in Arabic and French dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 107 min. Folk Shorts by Les Blank We present three folk film classics by Les Blank, who’s spent nearly fifty years documenting on film the tastes, sounds and rituals of both regional America and points abroad. His singular freewheeling viewpoint of celebrating “simple, loving people of the Earth” has garnered him countless awards, including AFI’s Maya Deren Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achivement in 1990. The Blues Accordin’ To Lightnin’ Hopkins is a loving portrait of blues legend Hopkins, serving a heaping helping of live performances at both a community barbeque in his hometown of Centerville, Texas, and an all-black rodeo. The Sun’s Gonna Shine is a brief lyrical recreation of Hopkins' decision at age eight to stop chopping cotton and start singing for a living, and Sprout Wings And Fly is a poignant tribute to Appalachian fiddler Tommy Jarrell, whose unpretentious folk wisdom is interlaced with family scenes and reminiscences, plus plenty of old-time music. Dir. Les Blank, 1969-83, 35mm, 80 min. FRENZY Hitchcock's penultimate film showed the master near peak form with a dark suspense story in which an innocent man is suspected of a series of vicious necktie stranglings. He's on the run, while the suave and sexually depraved killer eludes suspicion. Hitchcock's first film shot in England since Stage Fright was also a return to the more sensational and shocking elements of Psycho after several years of more "sophisticated" fare. Jon Finch and Barry Foster star. Front Page Woman 1935/b&w/82 min. |Scr: Laird Doyle, Lillie Hayward, Roy Chanslor; dir: Michael Curtiz; w/ Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns Rival reporters try to scoop each other while covering a fire. Gilda Rita Hayworth unknowingly defined her career and the iconic image of the femme fatale itself with Gilda. The love triangle is a prevalent theme in film noir, but never has it been more painfully realized than in this film, for its triangle of love-hate is so devoid of warmth that it threatens to crumble at any moment, and we are kept eagerly waiting to see which way the structure topples. In a heartwrenching performance, Hayworth teeters back and forth with Glenn Ford’s small-time crook and George Macready’s wealthy fascist businessman until she’s out of juice; Allmovie.com reviewer Steve Press notes: “When…Gilda performs her signature number, ‘Put the Blame on Mame,’ she is not simply enraging both [Ford] and [Macready] with her open sexuality, she is also crying out in pain for the love she is being denied.” Gilda was produced by Virginia Van Upp, one of the few female producers working in the testosterone-charged studio system of 1940s Hollywood. Dir. Charles Vidor, 1946, 35mm, 110 min. GREAT EXPECTATIONS, 1946, MGM/UA, 118 min. The film that set the standard for all Dickens adaptations before or since. Director David Lean’s early masterpiece opens with the awesome images of a convict stumbling across a storm-wracked moor and then plunges us into the story of an impoverished underdog, Pip (John Mills) trying to defy the rigid caste system of Victorian England. Co-starring Alec Guinness (in his first film for Lean), Jean Simmons, Francis L. Sullivan and Valerie Hobson, with Oscar-winning black-and-white photography by Guy Green. The Great K & A Train Robbery Bob told us to pick any Tom Mix western, ‘cause he hadn’t seen ‘em; he just really wants to. The Great K & A Train Robbery is an exemplar of the kind of entertainments Mix regularly delivered to cheering boys everywhere. Bob: “All these movies are based around the brief period of the Pony Express, which only lasted for ten years, but it was so colorful that the memory went on in stories, plays and movies for a long time after. But Tom Mix’s movies were made before I started playing, and besides, they were considered too vulgar for the audience back then at the Pasadena Playhouse — we never even saw a Chaplin or a Keaton film there! But Mix was household name; he typified the Western milieu I dreamt about as a kid. Tom Mix was the big name we all wanted to be. There was Hoot Gibson, and of course, William S. Hart, but Mix was Cowboy #1!” Dir. Lewis Seiler, 1926, 16mm, 53 min. GREY GARDENS Ordinary squalor can be uncomfortable, but irreverent, upper-class squalor is a wonder to behold. The charming subjects living in the spacious tumbledown East Hampton halls of Grey Gardens are the seventysomething high society shut-in Edith Beale and her memorably stylish daughter Edie, real-life cousins to Jackie O. caught in both physical decay (their crumbling mansion is condemned by the Health Department) and a time regression where past conflicts and unresolved dreams are rehashed for their own amusement. Amongst the cluttered furniture, filth and stray raccoons, Edith and Edie revel in the attention provided by the camera, charming us with genial storytelling, song and playful familial bickering. While the reality of the womens’ situation can be sad, Grey Gardens shows the Beales as beacons of light. Dirs. Ellen Hovde, Albert and David Maysles, Muffie Meyer, 1975, DigiBeta, 100 min HARRY AND TONTO Art Carney won an Oscar portraying a retired schoolteacher disgracefully thrown from his apartment to make way for urban renewal. Taking his cat as his only companion, he travels cross country to live with family. Along the way he encounters fascinating strangers and friends who help give meaning to his life. HARVEY (1950) Directed by Henry Koster Based on Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Harvey features Stewart in one of his most renowned comic roles as Elwood P. Dowd, an eccentric small-town tippler whose constant companion on his daily tavern crawl is the iconic title character, a giant, but strictly invisible, rabbit. When Elwood's peculiar beliefs finally become unbearable to the family, his flustered but kind-hearted aunt (Josephine Hull) attempts to have him committed. The unpredictably humorous consequences ripple out from their immediate circle to affect the motley staff at the local sanitarium. Stewart earned an Oscar nomination for his disarming lead performance while Hull, reprising her part from the original Broadway run, took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Director Henry Koster was praised for his fidelity to Chase's immensely popular Broadway production, retaining several key cast members from the stage show as well as its gently whimsical tone and broad message of tolerance. A celebration of oddball individuality and a tongue-in-cheek critique of orthodox psychiatry, Harvey delightfully espouses an optimistic and inclusive vision of postwar American society. Based on the play by Mary Chase. Producer: John Beck. Screenplay: Mary Chase, Oscar Brodney, Myles Connolly. Cinematographer: William Daniels. Editor: Ralph Dawson. Cast: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Victoria Horne, Charles Drake, Peggy Dow. 35mm, 104 min. HEAVEN’S GATE, 1980, Sony Repertory, 219 min. Director Michael Cimino’s sprawling, epic anti-Western was one of the most hotly debated films of its time, a blockbuster whose budget had spiraled out of control, nearly bankrupting United Artists and hastening the embattled company’s sale to MGM. When it was released, many critics reacted to the hoopla and negative hype instead of the actual content of the film. Today, though still controversial, the film has undergone significant re-appraisal and its considerable virtues are now widely recognized. Many consider it a masterpiece, especially in its uncut form, the version Cimino had originally intended for release. Kris Kristofferson is a sheriff caught in the middle of mounting tensions between affluent landowners and newly arrived homesteaders in 1890s Wyoming. Complicating matters is a burgeoning love triangle between Kristofferson, his paramour, Ella (Isabelle Huppert), and hired gun Christopher Walken. Film Critic Kevin Thomas will introduce the screening. HIGH CRIME Franco Nero’s a tough cop who discovers High Crime thanks to a ring of vicious Continental drug dealers. Generally acknowledged as the first poliziottesco (a violent and popular type of Italian cop thriller), the film also features a rip-roaring soundtrack from the incredible Guido & Maurizio De Angelis. Dir. Enzo Castellari, 1973, 35mm, 100 min. HOW TO VOTE (1936, 10 min.) Dir. Felix Feist. A whimsical exercise with Robert Benchley, famed humorist of the ’30s & ’40s who made a series of droll and satirical shorts about middle class American life. IF... One of the first and greatest adolescent revenge fantasy films, this landmark entry in Lindsay Anderson’s “Mick Travis” trilogy with Malcolm McDowell is the cinematic equivalent of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and still one of the most subversive films ever released by a major studio. (It was one of the first features to get slapped with an “X” rating, though it’s easily an “R” today.) Surrealism and experimental touches add further juice to this rallying cry against the oppressive hell of Western education, as Malcolm and pals take arms against the oppressive regime designed to turn them into dutiful grist for the British governmental mill. Even more potent for Americans now in the wake of real-life high school shooting sprees, this excellent late-’60 pop culture milestone can still be appreciated as a rousing absurdist comedy or a gut-wrenching glimpse of things to come. Dir. Lindsay Anderson, 1968, 35mm, 111 min. The Iron Horse The Iron Horse was a breakout film for John Ford, a true film genius, and the greatest of Western directors. 20th Century Fox recently struck a newly restored 35mm print! Bob: “The Iron Horse was my favorite. I like it the best of all because it’s historic. It shows Lincoln and shows how important it was to build the railroads. They cut some parts out of later prints; in the original, they showed the invention of the safety match — before then you had to use tinder. Erno Rapee, who was the first person to introduce a symphony orchestra into silent pictures, composed ‘The Iron Horse March’ for this picture, and it was quite stirring. When I was a child there was an orchestra at the Rialto, and I got to see it there. Though most of the music was derivative, it was quite beautiful. I love playing it.” Dir. John Ford, 1924, 35mm, 133 min. ISLAND OF LOST SOULS A terrifying adaptation of H.G. Wells' story about a vivisectionist trapped on a desolate island who alters the biological genetics of jungle animals and changes them into pathological man/animal hybrids. With Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen and Stanley Fields. John Cohen Films John Cohen, founding member of the ‘50s folk troupe the New Lost City Ramblers, started making films in order to bring together the two disciplines he was heavily active in: music and photography. His first film, The High Lonesome Sound, is a love letter to Appalachia and features the amazing banjo picker Roscoe Holcomb as the anchor for this gem of cultural anthropology. Next, The End of an Old Song brings us to North Carolina, and demonstrates the power of old English ballads sung with gusto while soused in a saloon. Sara and Maybelle is a rare filmed performance of the two titular members of the Carter Family, Musical Holdouts is an expansive survey of American musical subcultures that steadfastly refuse to be blanded by mainstream consciousness, and Post Industrial Fiddle explores the importance of music-making in the life of a pulp mill worker in rural Maine. All deceptively simple, but profound stuff. Dir. John Cohen, 1962-82, various formats, 120 min. KHARTOUM, 1966, MGM Repertory, 128 min. Dirs. Basil Dearden and Eliot Elisofon. MGM Repertory’s latest restoration! Charlton Heston stars as British general Charles "Chinese" Gordon, who is sent to defend the British Empire in the Sudan during a violent uprising led by jihad-hungry Laurence Olivier. This is one of the most literate (with an Oscar-nominated screenplay) and visually sumptuous of all 1960s epics, with vibrant colors and spectacular action sequences courtesy of ace craftsman Basil Dearden. The Kid In celebration of Father’s Day, The Cinefamily presents one of Chaplin’s most moving and beloved films. The Tramp adopts an abandoned baby he discovers in an alley, and raises him to become his sidekick in a variety of schemes and cons. A moving and hilarious film about paternal love, or as Chaplin’s first title says, "A picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear..." Children under 18 get in half price to this special “kiddie” matinee. Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1921, 35mm, 68 min. Kiss of the Spider Woman 1985/color/118 min. | Scr: Leonard Schrader; dir: Hector Babenco; w/ William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga For his performance as a Latin American homosexual sharing a cell with a macho revolutionary, William Hurt took home the Best Actor award. The Lady Eve Beautiful con artist Jean Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck) leads the aw-shucks beer fortune heir Charles Pike (Henry Fonda) up a windy road of romantic torments in The Lady Eve, Sturges’ riotous meditation on sexual politics, where neither side has much of a chance of besting the other. Harrington meets Pike on an ocean liner and, with the help of her partner-in-crime father, starts to swindle the contents of Pike’s pocketbook through crooked card games, but in the process starts to fall for Pike’s naïve charms. When he discovers her ruse and turns his affection into elaborate torment, she returns back in his life under the assumed identity of faux posh dame Lady Eve Sidwich, with one mission: to make his life just as tormented. One perfectly executed scene of buoyant comedy follows another; The Lady Eve possesses what the Bright Lights Film Journal calls “an obscene number of wonderful moments.” Dir. Preston Sturges, 1941, 35mm, 97 min. Leave Her to Heaven Gene Tierney’s performance here as a mad, cold-blooded beauty who will stop at absolutely nothing to possess successful novelist Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) earned her an Academy Award nomination and the enduring awe of movie fans. It is hard to believe that such radiant beauty cloaks such evil, but such is true as we watch Tierney dispatch with anybody and anything that she perceives is getting in the way of Wilde’s affection for her. Tierney’s reptilian turn is what makes this film truly memorable, but Leave Her To Heaven is also beautifully filmed in Technicolor (an unusual touch for an entry in a genre that prides itself on things lurking in the shadows), and springs forth from a script leaving precious little to convention, in a genre where convention was often crowned king. Dir. John M. Stahl, 1945, 35mm, 110 min. The Little Foxes 1941/b&w/115 min. | Scr: Lillian Hellman, Arthur Kober, Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell; dir: William Wyler; w/ Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Dan Duryea Lillian Helmann's corrosive play about money, power, and mendacity in the Deep South features Davis in high shrew mode as Regina Givens (Talullah Bankhead played her on Broadway), who outmaneuvers brothers and husband to control the dynastic fortune. Little Murders A bitterly zany black comedy caked in post-'68 disillusionment, Little Murders is perhaps the perfect vehicle for Elliot Gould's rumpled charisma. Alan Arkin, making his directorial debut, translates Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Jules Pfeiffer's stage play, an off-the-wall cocktail of fairy-tale, farce, paranoia thriller and comedy of errors. As Alfred Chamberlain, a shut-in photographer so resentful of his own success that he's turned to taking photos of feces, Gould personifies the deep ambivalence of the era, delivering a performance both poignant and irreverent. Alfred falls in love, improbably, with Patsy, a waspy Manhattan interior decorator whose unwavering determination to happiness in a crumbling society gives Alfred a reason to believe — at least, until random acts of terror shatter their dreams. Hilarity does eventually ensue, thanks in part to some unforgettable appearances by Arkin as a hysterical detective, and Donald Sutherland as a hippie priest officiating what is easily the greatest wedding sequence in cinema history. Dir. Alan Arkin, 1971, 35mm, 110 min. THE LONG GOODBYE In Elliot Gould, Robert Altman found the perfect performer to match his own trademark slinky narratives. The Long Goodbye showcases Gould in the role of legendary gumshoe Philip Marlowe; in Altman's vision, Marlowe is a man out of time, with an ethical code deeply at odds with a hedonistic 70's L.A. culture. From the wonderful supporting performances by Sterling Hayden (as a drunken, Bukowski-like author), Henry Gibson and Mark Rydell, to the ingenious, illusion-shattering John Williams score, everything about the film is strange, sly and close to perfection. The Long Goodbye Dir. Robert Altman, 1973, 35mm, 112 min. The Magician (with live accompaniment) Presented by Process Books In celebration of the new Manly P. Hall biography “Master of the Mysteries” by Louis Sahagun, Process Books presents a special screening of Ingmar Bergman’s 1959 film The Magician with an original score performed by musician Yvanne Spevack and a live ensemble. Bergman’s film is a mystical contemplation of a magician and his vagrant troupe of medicine-show performers as they travel through the country in the mid-nineteenth century and are hounded by a skeptical public. Utilizing a combination of traditional orchestral string instruments, guitars, keyboards, accordion and electronic beats, the ensemble will be led by Spevack on acoustic and electric violin, musical saw, midi-synthesized electronic textures and processing. The Magician marks the second time Spevack has scored a film and performed it live, the first being Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle Of Algiers. “Master of the Mysteries” author Louis Sahagun will be present before and after the show to meet guests and sign books. Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1958, 35mm, 97 min. THE MAN I KILLED (BROKEN LULLABY) (1932) Directed by Ernst Lubitsch Although Ernst Lubtisch was known for his skill directing sophisticated comedies, in films like Lady Windermere's Fan (1925), Angel (1937), and The Shop Around The Corner (1940) he imbued potentially farcical situations with genuine sentiment and even pathos. The Man I Killed (re-titled Broken Lullaby by Paramount) was his only attempt at a straight dramatic film during the sound era. Phillips Holmes stars as a French World War I veteran who is haunted by the memory of a young German soldier he killed in the trenches. After the war, he makes his way to the German's home village where, without revealing his responsibility for their son's death, he wins over the boy's grieving parents (Lionel Barrymore and Louise Carter) and falls in love with his fiancé (Nancy Carroll). The famed Lubitsch touch is evident in scenes such as a passing Armistice Day parade framed by the crutches and surviving leg of a wounded veteran, and a tracking shot of Holmes and Carroll walking to the off-screen accompaniment of ringing shop door bells as the whole village rushes to gawk at them. Based on a play by Maurice Rostand. Screenplay: Samson Raphaelson, Ernest Vajda. Cinematographer: Victor Milner. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Nancy Carroll, Phillips Holmes, Louise Carter, ZaSu Pitts. 35mm, 77 min. The Man Who Laughs (with live accompaniment by Plastic Crimewave, Ariel Pink and Jimi Hey) Co-Presented by Arthur Magazine Arthur proudly presents live scores to both the classic 1928 German expressionist film The Man Who Laughs and Georges Méliès’ classic turn-of-the-century silent short A Trip To The Moon. Based on the Victor Hugo novel, The Man Who Laughs is a moody masterpiece by director Paul Leni, a tragic melodrama starring Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) as an abandoned 17th-century British aristocrat disfigured at a young age by gypsies to have a freakish eternal grin. Performing the soundtrack will be an ensemble of Chicago’s own Plastic Crimewave aka Steve Krakow (who also writes and draws the Galactic Zoo Dossier magazine for the Drag City label), and locals Jimi Hey (former drummer for Beachwood Sparks) and Ariel Pink, the lo-fi pop wunderkind behind Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Also DJing before and after the films will be Frankie Delmane of the Teenage Frames. The Man Who Laughs Dir. Paul Leni, 1928, DVD, 110 min. Marked Woman 1937/b&w/96 min. | Scr: Abem Finkel, Robert Rossen; dir: Lloyd Bacon; w/ Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart A dance hall "hostess" turns state's witness when her sister is murdered by the mob. Davis demanded realistic makeup for the scene in which she is badly beaten in this quintessential Warner crime picture, based on the life of gangster Lucky Luciano. M*A*S*H Richard Schiekel, writing for Time Magazine in 1970, declared “M*A*S*H is what the new freedom of the screen is all about!" Even with our culture’s deep re-evaluation of the artistic high points in '70s cinema, it’s still hard for anyone young enough to not seen M*A*S*H upon its theatrical release to fully understand how groundbreaking Robert Altman’s use of overlapping dialogue, realistic war gore, and a devil-may-care attitude towards the horrors of war really were in American film. Easy Rider may have unlocked the gates of prudishness, but M*A*S*H helped to dynamite the gate doors right off their hinges, and the whole enterprise would have never worked without the twin leads of Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland, who effortlessly complement each other’s comedic timing with an immaculate Marx Brothers flair. The comedy of M*A*S*H is very much of its time, but Gould in particular keeps today’s viewer smiling with his portrayal of Trapper John, the ballsy, hypercool military surgeon trying to retain his sanity amongst a mountain of casualties by any batty means necessary. Dir. Robert Altman, 1970, 35mm, 116 min. MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH Used to be that movies told kids with bully problems that you either got the cops involved or you outfought them, also telling them once the threat was gone, everyone would be nicer to each other. With Massacre At Central High, director Rene Daalder says both these thoughts are bullshit: the authorities don't care about kids, bullies have muscle and cunning you don't, and if you hand outcasts the whip they will gladly become the new oppressors. The only permanent solution to the problem is to kill them all yourself. Watch Robert Carradine, Andrew Stevens and hottie Rainbeaux Smith as they upend or are consumed by the social upheaval. Dir. Rene Daalder, 1976, HDCAM, 87 min. Maysles Shorts, Program 1 Either letting the material dictate the length, or simply working-for-hire, the Maysles have actually made more shorts than features. Within these films lies much of their finest, and least seen, work. Program 1 includes: IBM: A Self-Portrait fascinatingly documents the corporate juggernaut in it’s incipient stages; Anastasia is an episode of NBC’s Update about an American dancer in the Bolshoi Ballet; Cut Piece shows one of Yoko Ono’s most famous conceptual art pieces; and a variety of rare footage and out-takes from deep in the Maysles’ vault. Dirs: Albert and David Masyles, various formats, 90 min. Maysles Shorts, Program 2 (Hollywood) In the ‘60s, the Maysles had unprecedented access into the backstage lives of members of the Hollywood elite. Program 2 is a selection of amazing verité documents of these entertainment icons: Meet Marlon Brando finds the titular titan of acting stuck against his will at a routine press junket for the routine war film Morituri; Orson Welles In Spain is a glimpse of Welles pitching a film idea about bullfighting to incredulous high-society patrons; and Showman gives us a blustery portrait of maverick indie producer Joseph E. Levine, and the ad campaign he concocts to win Sophia Loren an Oscar for Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women. Dirs. Albert and David Maysles, various formats, 120 min. MIDNIGHT MADNESS, 1980, Disney,112 min. Dir. Michael Nankin and David Wechter. Following the massive commercial success of ANIMAL HOUSE, many studios tried to cash in with imitations of that film's frat-house sensibility -- including the unlikely Walt Disney Pictures! For its second PG-rated release (the first being THE BLACK HOLE), the Mouse House produced this surprisingly funny and inventive tale of a group of college students who participate in an elaborate all-night scavenger hunt. Underrated when it opened in 1980, MIDNIGHT MADNESS has acquired a well-deserved cult following, and marks the screen debut of a young Michael J. Fox! Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters 1985/b&w and color/120 min. | Scr: Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader; dir: Paul Schrader; w/ Ken Ogata This unique portrait of the controversial, self-styled samurai of postwar Japanese literature applies different styles and moods to depict both the worlds of his novels as well as the torments of his private life. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, the film features a score by Philip Glass Mongol 2007/color/120 min. | Scr: Sergei Bodrov, Arif Aliyev; dir: Bodrov; w/ Tadanobu Asano Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar and filmed in Kazakhstan and China, Mongol tells a tale of love and warfare set within an exotic, nomadic world of endless space, extreme climate and ever-present danger. Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov (Prisoner of the Mountains) traces the formative years of Genghis Khan from age 9 in 1172 through 1206, the year this legendary warrior united the feuding nomadic clans of the Mongolian steppe under his rule. Having endured a perilous childhood and brutal imprisonment, and inspired by the strength and resourcefulness of Borte, his first wife and lifelong adviser, Khan rose from obscurity to become one of history's most fearless and visionary leaders. "Boasts breathtaking landscapes, dazzling cinematography, bloody battles and… spectacular production design." - Variety THE MULTINAUTS From the creators of Dungeon Majesty, Telefantasy Studios presents THE MULTINAUTS: an all new adventure saga, set in a pangalactic post nuke multiverse. Episode One: Three heroes from different time periods are picked up by a holographic spaceship and sent on a mission to rescue Falco Quasar, a colony pilot, when they are attacked by a mega corporation and its mutant empire. MURDER AT THE VANITIES (1934) Directed by Mitchell Leisen Broadway in the ‘20s was home to three lavish semi-annual revues: Florenz Ziegfeld's "Follies," George White's "Scandals," and Earl Carroll's "Vanities." All three were subsequently exploited for their name value by the Hollywood studios. Murder At The Vanities was based on an unorthodox edition of Carroll's revue in which the traditional sketches between numbers were replaced by a backstage murder mystery. The distinctly pre-Code film version starred Danish-born Carl Brisson and New York actress and singer Kitty Carlisle in their Hollywood debuts. The film's strongest scenes, however, built on the rapport between hardboiled and lecherous police inspector Bill Murdock, played by Victor McLaglen, and Carroll's wisecracking publicist Jack Ellery, played by Jack Oakie. The musical numbers include the hummable "Cocktails for Two," the desert island fantasy "Live and Love Tonight," and "The Rape of the Rhapsody," with Duke Ellington and his orchestra. Another number extolled the soothing properties of "(Sweet) Marihuana," but Paramount reluctantly deferred to the Hays Office and ordered this sequence deleted from all prints. It was also supposed to have been deleted from the original negative, but fortunately it survived in the elements copied for UCLA's preservation. Based on the musical play by Earl Carroll and Rufus King. Screenplay: Carey Wilson, Joseph Gollomb, Sam Hellman. Cinematographer: Leo Tover. Cast: Carl Brisson, Victor McLaglen, Jack Oakie, Kitty Carlisle, Duke Ellington. 35mm, 95 min. The Nanny 1965/b&w/93 min. | Scr: Jimmy Sangster; dir: Seth Holt; w/ Bette Davis, Wendy Craig, Jill Bennett In this creepy thriller (Hammer's last film in black and white and one of the British studio's best) Davis gives a virtuoso performance as a prim nanny—perfect in the eyes of everyone except Joey, her disturbed ward, recently returned from a juvenile home for murdering his sister. "I'm taking Master Joey an extra pillow..." NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE Larry Lapinsky is a young man seeking fame and discovering independence in this bittersweet comedy set in 1950s New York. His mother, deftly played by Shelley Winters, is distraught when he leaves his traditional family home in Brooklyn and moves to bohemian Greenwich Village. Nicky Katt's Mug Melter Monday Nicky Katt’s been in over 40 movies, and counting. He’s also a movie maniac. Here at the Cinefamily, we’re movie maniacs. So this Monday, we’re sending out an all-points bulletin — calling all movie maniacs! — we’re getting together to watch movies, all night long. And not just any movies, we got some flicks that's melt your ugly mug off, they're so nuclear. The back patio will be open, and we’ll have our grill fired up (BYOHD: Bring Your Own Hot Dogs),so join us as while we kick back a few beers, eat some meat and watch movies one after another after another after another. We’ll be showing a mixture of 35mm and 16mm prints, bootleg videos and whatever else we feel like throwing on the screen. Some teaser's? How about a beautiful 35mm print of BABY, THE RAIN MUST FALL? Or the melted mug of Mickey Rourke in the underrated Walter Hill thriller JOHNNY HANDSOME? That's just a taste. Occult L.A. Los Angeles has long been home to one of America’s most powerful occult scenes. The frontier town was already packed with Theosophists and Hindu gurus when the mystic Manly P. Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society in 1934 and started compiling the largest occult library west of the Mississippi. Some of Aleister Crowley’s most influential followers also made the Southland a crucial center of Crowley’s magickal religion of Thelema. Tonight’s program will combine presentations by independent scholars, and experimental esoteric films from Kenneth Anger, Curtis Harrington, Chick Strand, and others. Leading the evening will be Erik Davis, author of “The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape.” Also presenting will be Louis Sahagun, author of “Master of the Mysteries”, a new bio of Manly P. Hall; and Brian Butler, an expert on the life of Cameron, mistress of JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons and LA’s most intriguing enchantress. Of Human Bondage 1934/b&w/83 min. | Scr: Lester Cohen; dir: John Cromwell; w/ Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee In this gritty adaptation of the novel by Somerset Maugham, a slatternly waitress responds to the attentions of a wealthy student with mockery and sadism. O LUCKY MAN! Developed from an original treatment by Malcolm McDowell, based on his experiences as a coffee salesman before he became an actor. The subject is the eternal, sometimes very funny, sometimes surreal, circle of human experience--aspiration, energy, wickedness, humor and folly. With Ralph Richardson, Rachel Roberts, Malcolm McDowell. Out of the Past For Out Of The Past, director Jacques Tourneur took some of the hazy, dreamlike stylistic touches of his previous Val Lewton-produced 1940s horror films (Cat People, The Leopard Man, I Walked With A Zombie, which were in turn noir-influenced in terms of atmosphere and cinematography), and elevated already-complex material into an intriguing and beautifully textured masterwork where nothing is as it seems. Jane Greer shines brightly as the dark-hearted dame who deals a dirty hand to both rich gangster Kirk Douglas and middle-of-nowhere gas station owner Robert Mitchum (in one of his finest performances). In a previous identity, Mitchum was a private dick who chased Greer, Douglas’ mistress on the lam, to Mexico, where they conspired against Douglas, but now in the present, Douglas seems all-forgiving — until it’s too late for Mitchum to get the gist of the set-up he’s waltzed into. Out Of The Past was later remade as Against All Odds (1984). Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1947, 35mm, 97 min. The Palm Beach Story Zany (adj.): ludicrously comical. Things don’t get any zanier than in The Palm Beach Story, a picture with a premise so nutty that only someone with Sturges’ prowess could pull it off without effort. Tom and Gerry Jeffers (Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert) are a financially unstable couple banking on Tom’s abilities as an inventor. To bail themselves out of their situation, Gerry hatches the silliest scheme in all of schemedom: she’ll get a divorce and seduce a rich man in Palm Beach, Florida, in order to finance herself and Tom’s new shadow life – and somehow Tom falls for the plan! Gerry shacks up with a Rockefeller clone, and Tom trails the two, pretending to be her brother, unwittingly catching the romantic attention of the rich man’s sister. The whole affair collapses in a sequence of farcical events worth a hundred Wedding Crashers, proving that with this film, Sturges was at the very height of his game. Dir. Preston Sturges, 1942, 35mm, 88 min. Parable (1964, USA) Commissioned for exhibition in the Protestant Council's Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair, the 22-minunte Parable is, according to Time magazine, "basically an art film that got religion." A PASSAGE TO INDIA, 1984, Columbia, 163 min. Director David Lean’s final film (and his first since RYAN’S DAUGHTER, 14 years earlier) is a deeply satisfying marriage of his finest qualities as a director: truly epic in scope, it also manages to be astonishingly intimate and emotionally complex. Judy Davis stars as a repressed young Englishwoman who accuses an Indian doctor (Victor Banerjee) of attempted rape at the mysterious Marabar Caves, setting off a firestorm of political and racial controversy in British-controlled India. Peggy Ashcroft won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her heartbreaking work in the film, as did composer Maurice Jarre (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) for his superb score. And nearly 40 years after they first worked together on GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Lean’s greatest collaborator, Alec Guinness, returned one final time, for his gentle, melancholy performance as Professor Godbole. The People Next Door Filled with top-notch actors, The People Next Door is one of the most backwards “Let’s poke concerned parents in the eye!” drug films ever. Eli Wallach and Julie Harris (East Of Eden) play the typical booze-swillin’, chain-smoking, sleeping pill-popping naïve parents who are stunned to discover their sweet little sixteen-year-old daughter is a nympho LSD freak, whom they then feel the burning need to hospitalize. Dad suspects his own long-haired older son of giving her the “stuff” and throws him out of the house, while Mom seeks advice from the neighbors (Hal Holbrook and Cloris Leachman), who can barely contain their own children, and their own dark suburban secrets. Amongst the futile family therapy scenes, nude bikers and trippy freak-outs are enough generation gaps to plow a speedboat through, and this film delivers a solid slew of suburban spew, enough middle-class chaos to send any parent into catatonia. Dir. David Greene, 1970, 35mm, 93 min. PERFORMANCE Mick Jagger is Turner, a burnt-out rock star, in this mind-boggling study of consciousness and identity where nothing is true and everything is permitted. James Fox co-stars as Chas, a gangster on the run who takes shelter in Turner's home. Performance, the first feature directed by Roeg or Cammell, was years ahead of its time and remains an audacious and stunning achievement. Playboy "Jazz on Film" Jazz historian and commentator Mark Cantor returns to LACMA for a ninth consecutive year to present an exciting program of classic jazz performances drawn from his unique collection. Featured performers include: Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, and Louis Armstrong. Sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival. Pre-Code Cartoons Prior to Hollywood’s Production Code in 1934, the animated cartoons produced by the major studios were just as violent, sexy, rude and crude as their live action counterparts. Nudity, naughty words, and outrageous gags involving body parts, toilet paper, voyeurism, ethnic stereotypes and, in particular, booze (remember, this was before prohibition ended) were the order of the day. The early 1930s cartoons were also artistically uninhibited in their use of the cartoon medium — the animators were allowed their imaginations to run wild, creating the trippiest cartoon shorts ever, decades before the arrival of LSD. Betty Boop, Krazy Kat, Scrappy and Flip The Frog are among the stars in this special compilation of rare film prints, assembled by animation historian Jerry Beck (of CartoonBrew.com), who will also introduce the program. 1930-34, various formats, 90 min. A Quiet Place in the Country In a nether region located on the border of gothic horror and experimental psychodrama, Franco Nero finds his dream home in this way-way-way out pop-art Poltergeist. Nero has a grand time as Leonardo Ferri, an uncommonly flipped-out painter whose paranoia and self-doubt drive him out of claustrophobic Venice and into the crusty chambers of a dilapidated villa. From the first moment, in which he and the luscious Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave) engage in some violent sexual shenanigans, it's quite clear that Ferri's “outside the box”, but the depravity of Elio Petri's paint-spilling thriller really starts to flow when the ghost of a sex-crazed countess shows up, pushing Leonardo into a googly-eyed, sweaty-browed fervor. Petri jam-packs this lurid fable with grotesquery and kink, but perhaps the most perverse thing about A Quiet Place In The Country is the setting, which is not so much the titular landscape as the psyche of a tortured artist, a place where truly any bizarre and unseemly fixation can rampant. Dir. Elio Petri, 1969, 35mm, 106 min. RAMROD (1947) Directed by Andre de Toth In contrast to the wholesome Westerns of prewar Saturday matinées, with their clear-cut distinctions between right and wrong, Ramrod typifies the cynical, psychologically complex, and morally ambiguous Westerns that began to appear after World War II. (It has, in fact, been called a "noir Western.") Joel McCrea plays a washed-up cowpoke and drunk who becomes involved in a range war between a strong-willed woman (Veronica Lake, director Andre De Toth's then wife) and her cattle baron father. The good guys fight as dirty as their foes, and Lake is portrayed as a classic femme fatale: "soft and warm and deadlier than steel." Producer Harry Sherman sent his cast and crew to Utah rather than to the Colorado locations of Luke Short's original novel. Ramrod was proclaimed "the official film of the Utah Centennial," but when Utah Senator Elias Day saw it, he was so incensed by its amorality that he offered to give the film back to Colorado. Audiences and reviewers embraced this new, tougher breed of Western, with the Los Angeles Herald Express (in a review entitled "Western Goes Psycho") praising De Toth for his "hard laconic realism … enhanced by the almost daguerreotype photography of Russell Harlan." Based on the novel by Luke Short. Producer: Harry Sherman. Screenplay: Jack Moffitt, Graham Baker, Cecile Kramer. Cinematographer: Russell Harlan. Editor: Sherman A. Rose. Cast: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Don DeFore, Donald Crisp, Preston Foster. 35mm, 94 min. REENACTMENT Reenactment, formerly banned in its native country, is the story of two students who, after being arrested for public drunkenness, are given the option of jail, or working on a state-sponsored documentary on the evils of alcoholism. 12:08 Bucharest director C. Porumboiu cites Reenactment as the best film Romania has ever produced. Dir. Lucian Pintilie, 1968, 35mm, 106 min. THE ROYAL FAMILY OF BROADWAY (1930) Directed by George Cukor and Cyril Gardner When Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman's comedy opened on Broadway in 1927, it was called, simply, "The Royal Family." The authors knew that to theatergoers of that time there was only one royal family that mattered—the flamboyant, quarrelsome, hugely talented Barrymore dynasty. Paramount's clumsy elongation of the title is the only unsubtle note in this early talking production. George Cukor, co-directing his third feature, had already found the vein of urbane humor that he mined delightfully in such later films as Holiday (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1941), and the Tracy-Hepburn comedies. He was helped by superb performances by Ina Claire, who managed to be giddy, exasperating, and utterly charming all at the same time in the role based on Ethel Barrymore, and Fredric March, who exploited his physical resemblance to John Barrymore to good effect as Claire's movie star brother. Based on the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman. Screenplay: Herman Mankiewicz, Gertrude Purcell. Cinematographer: George Folsey. Cast: Ina Claire, Fredric March. 35mm, 82 min. THE RULING CLASS Peter O'Toole stars as the 14th Earl of Gurney, who happens to believe he is Jesus Christ. He is "cured" of his messianic delusions, only to become Jack the Ripper incarnate. "The Ruling Class may be the bitterest satiric assault by filmmakers on their dominant native culture this side of Dr. Strangelove, a savage vaudeville of upper-class decay filled with outrageous farce, brilliant wordplay, and characters bursting hilariously into song" (Andy Markowtiz, Baltimore City Paper). THE SAINT AND HER FOOL (DIE HEILIGE UND IHR NARR) (1928, Germany) Directed by Wilhelm Dieterle William Dieterle's long Hollywood career included such well-regarded films as The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936), The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1940), The Devil And Daniel Webster (1941), and A Portrait of Jennie (1948). But few know—or have ever seen—the nine features that Wilhelm Dieterle directed in Germany prior to 1930. Der Heilige Und Ihr Narr was his fourth feature, a romantic melodrama about the young daughter of a haughty count and a neighboring penniless aristocrat and painter (played by Dieterle) who falls in love with her, causing the girl's stepmother to fly into a jealous rage. The film did not survive in Germany, but it has been preserved from a nitrate print with English intertitles that was discovered in Jack Warner's personal vault and turned over to the UCLA Film & Television Archive. A planned U.S. release may have been cancelled due to the Warner Bros.-First National merger and the unfortunate fact that the silent film era was nearly over. Based on the novel by Agnes Gunther. Screenplay: Kurt J. Brown, Charlotte Hagenbruch. Cinematographer: Fredrick Fugland. Cast: Wilhelm Dieterle, Lien Deyers, Gina Manès. 35mm, silent, w/ English intertitles, approx. 90 min. SALESMAN The Maysles trained their unflinching camera on the day-to-day hustle of door-to-door Bible salesmen in this direct cinema landmark. Salesman is a poignant look at the casualties of the American Dream, with a real life Willy Loman, “The Badger”, at its center. Bathed in flop sweat, but as tenacious as the badger from which he derives his nickname, Paul Brennan is the star of Salesman, a weary huckster of overpriced Bibles to poor suburbanites, and he and his three compatriots use guilt, charm, seduction and faux piety to separate average Americans from their hard-earned money. The film is filled with genuine suspense, humor and unexpected pathos. Like a humanist Glengarry Glen Ross, Salesman thrills us with the mercenary nature of sales while deepening our empathy for the huckster at its center. Dirs. Albert and David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, 1968, 16mm, 85 min. SAPPHO (1921, Germany) Directed by Dimitri Buchowetski In a scant six reels, Sappho breezes through a delirious plot involving a Continental vamp whose infidelity drives her lover insane, leading his brother to seek revenge—and that's only the prelude to an escalating series of seductions, betrayals, chases, and murders. Though it was released in Europe in 1921, U.S. audiences did not see Sappho until 1923, following star Pola Negri's arrival in Hollywood. UCLA's preservation elements were copied from an elaborately tinted and toned nitrate print with English inter-titles. This print retained the original German title, even though the film was rechristened Mad Love for American release (possibly out of fear audiences would assume Negri's character was a lesbian?). Cinematographer: Arpad Viragh. Cast: Pola Negri, Johannes Riemann, Alfred Abel. 35mm, silent, w/ English intertitles, approx. 60 min. SCAVENGER HUNT The American Cinematheque partners with The Go Game for a movie-scavenger hunt combo! This fast-paced, high-tech, real-life adventure game is like nothing you've ever experienced. Solve clues and perform challenges as you scramble around Hollywood Boulevard for fun and prizes. Dinner break after the game and then the winners will be determined (7:30 - 8:00 PM) in front of the live audience, before the screening of MIDNIGHT MADNESS (details below). Play the game with MIDNIGHT MADNESS director David Wechter! THE SCOUNDREL (1935) Directed by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur In 1934, proclaiming their intention to make films for the "intelligent minority" that did not usually go to movies, playwrights Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur set up their own production company with backing from Paramount in Paramount's East Coast studio in Astoria, Long Island. The four films they wrote, produced, and directed in Astoria during their two year tenure—Crime Without Passion (1934), Once In A Blue Moon (1935), The Scoundrel, and Soak The Rich (1936)—are almost defiantly anti-box office in their desire to achieve more than the usual Hollywood "product." The Scoundrel is a mordant fantasy about a philandering publisher, Anthony Mallare, played to acid perfection by Noel Coward in his talking picture debut. After Mallare is killed in a plane crash off Bermuda, he is denied permission to enter heaven unless he can find one person out of the thousands he has known and betrayed to weep at his passing. There is a strong flavor of New York in the ‘20s and the Algonquin Round Table in the film's witty dialogue, aided by the presence of an authentic Round Table veteran, Alexander Woollcott, in a supporting role. Producer: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur. Screenwriter: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur. Cast: Noel Coward, Julie Haydon. 35mm, 78 min. SEQUENCES A program highlighting two key films that point the way to today’s Romanian New Wave. Astonishingly rich in its insights into the dynamics of filmmaking, Sequences is comprised of three episodes, each of which involves a camera crew at various moments in a production. In the first part, the words of the film’s protagonist come to describe the director’s own life. In the second sequence, an insignificant family drama hides deeper tensions off the set, and in the startling finale, two extras discover that during the war they were bitter enemies. Art imitates life, or is it the other way around? Dir. Alexandru Tatos, 1982, 35mm, 98 min. The Silent Partner In some ways, the enormously entertaining cat-and-mouse caper The Silent Partner represents a turning point in Elliot Gould's career. Toying with his image in bold and unexpected ways, Gould plays mild-mannered bank teller Miles Cullen, a man valued not too highly around the workplace. When he catches on to department-store Santa Christopher Plummer's robbery scheme before the fact, he squirrels away a bag full of cash and blames Santa for the full tab. Soon, Plummer catches on Miles having caught on, and makes Miles' life miserable. Made in Toronto at the height of the Canadian "Tax Shelter" film industry, with an exceptional cast (including the game Susannah York and an exceptionally sadistic Plummer, sporting a variety of imaginative costumes), The Silent Partner gives Gould a chance to show off the depth of craft: in his hands, Miles is alternately a bumbler, a trickster, a lover and a nobody. Dir. Daryl Duke, 1978, 35mm, 106 min. Simon of the Desert (1965, Mexico) Luis Buñuel's Simon of the Desert is the ascetic St. Simon who stood on a pedestal for six years, six months, and six days observing his adulators' needs and demand for cheap miracles while simultaneously trying to ward off a very sexy Satan. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VIDEO PART 2: BRUCE AND NORMAN YONEMOTO California-based artists Bruce and Norman Yonemoto deconstruct and rewrite the hyperbolic vernacular with which the mass media constructs cultural mythologies. Ironically employing the image-language and narrative syntax of popular forms, such as soap opera, Hollywood melodrama and TV advertising, they work from “the inside out” to expose the media’s pervasive manipulation of reality and fantasy. STONED A Reagan-era After School Special starring Scott Baio as a geeky student whom, in a pathetic effort to fit in, goes tokin’ in the boy’s room and falls slave to the evil weed. Predictably, he becomes a giggling, snack-craving skate-boarder who puts the “high” in high school and an oar to his poor brother’s head. Dir. John Herzfeld, 1980, 16mm, 44 min. STUFF AND DOUGH Puiu’s debut, Stuff and Dough, the Tarantino-like tale of a young cash-strapped punk accepting a courier job from a local gangster without ever inquiring just what’s in the package. Michael Atkinson of the Boston Phoenix writes: “[Stuff]’s all rhythm and time and experience, a road movie so stripped down that there’s almost nothing left.” Dir. Cristi Puiu, 2001, 35mm, 91 min. Sullivan's Travels In the whimsically self-referential Sullivan’s Travels, Joel McCrea plays a Hollywood filmmaker fresh off a string of successful comedy pictures who longs to bring something other than whimsy to the screen. In an attempt to the get at the heart of the “common man”, he disguises himself as a hobo and hurtles himself into the world of the downtrodden. His “working vacation” comes to an abrupt end when, after his ID is stolen during a mugging, he’s arrested and sent to work in a Southern chain gang. While there, McCrea finally learns that cinema’s version of reality and real reality are two greatly different things. The direct inspiration for the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Sullivan’s Travels is a guaranteed good time, and is regarded as one of the best movies-on-movies ever made. Dir. Preston Sturges, 1941, 35mm, 90 min. TENDER FLESH Laurence Harvey directs and stars in an unusual cannibal horror feature--the last film he made before succumbing to stomach cancer. Harvey plays a seedy photographer who invites a beautiful hitchhiker (Meg Foster) back to his seaside mansion for dinner. There he divulges his P.O.W. past and accidentally unveils his basement of horrors, transmitting frighteningly bad vibes to his innocent hippie houseguest. They Drive by Night Ida Lupino gives her all for this film in her must-see portrayal of the unhinged beauty Lana Carlsen. Based on the tensely wrought Depression-era novel “The Long Haul” penned by noir writer A.I. “Buzz” Bezzerides, Raoul Walsh’s rarely-screened They Drive By Night (not to be confused with the excellent 1949 noir They Live By Night) features George Raft and Humphrey Bogart as brothers who go into business together as rickety independent operators of a trucking company. Fate smacks both brothers in the gut when Bogart falls asleep at the wheel and loses an arm in a truck accident, and Raft gets seduced by Lupino’s loopy vixen, who bumps off her trucking magnate hubby in the hopes that Raft will join her both in business and in love. When Raft spurns her, she frames him for the murder, and the film climaxes in one of the most demented courtroom scenes ever. Dir. Raoul Walsh, 1940, 35mm, 95 min. 13 YEARS, 13 MINUTES, 2007, 49 min. Dir. Marek Maldis. A story of two boys caught up in the turmoil of the dramatic events of 1956 in Central Europe. At 13, Romek Strzalkowski was the youngest victim of the first workers' rebellion against Communist authorities in Poland. During "Black Thursday" on June 26, he was killed protesting near the UB political police headquarters. Peter Mansfeld was the youngest victim of post-revolt Communist reprisals in Hungary. As a 15-year-old he took part in the Budapest fighting. After the revolution had been quelled by the Soviet army in 1956, he did not give up; he was arrested in 1959 and sentenced to death. Because of the Communists' cruelty, it took as long as 13 minutes for Peter to die, "like Jesus Christ on the cross," said his Hungarian biographer. The filmmakers analyze the importance of the legend about the two boys who fought against Communism in Poland and Hungary. THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, 1965, 20th Century Fox, 133 min. Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Robert Morley, James Fox, Japanese superstar Yujiro Ishihara and the ever-delightful Terry-Thomas star as a group of lovably crackpot aviators, inventors and villains competing to win a London-to-Paris air race in 1910, in director Ken Annakin’s combination of epic adventure and slapstick comedy. A THOUSAND CLOWNS Jason Robards is the voluntarily unemployed writer of the Chuckles the Chipmunk Show. He is equally devoted to raising his nephew and avoiding the rat race. But his defiance of the system is tested when social workers tell him to shape up and get a job... or the boy will be shipped to a foster home. Based on the Herb Gardner Broadway play. THREE O'CLOCK HIGH Phil Joanou’s underappreciated ‘80s black comedy Three O’ Clock High, featuring an unforgettable anxiety-laden turn by Casey Siesmaszko as the hapless nerdy lead forced into an inescapable schoolyard fight with perfectly-cast bully Richard Tyson (Two Moon Junction!). Dir. Phil Joanou, 1987, 35mm, 97 min. THUNDERBOLT (1929) Directed by Josef von Sternberg When sound arrived in Hollywood, Josef von Sternberg like every other silent director was forced to think about how he would confront the new medium. He concluded that "Sound had to counterpoint or compensate the image, add to it—not subtract from it." Thunderbolt, his first talkie, starred George Bancroft as a brutal racketeer who reaches out from his cell on death row to frame the honest young man (Richard Arlen) who has stolen the love of his moll (Fay Wray). The film was a hit, but Sternberg was chagrined that no one appreciated his experiments with contrapuntal sound. "The one exception," he wrote, "was a fellow director, the scholarly and sensitive Ludwig Berger, who sent a telegram which read: 'Saw your Thunderbolt and congratulate you with all my heart. It is the first rounded out and artistically elaborated sound film. Bravo.'" Producer: B.P. Fineman. Screenplay: Jules Furthman, Herman J. Mankiewicz. Cinematographer: Henry Gerrard. Editor: Helen Lewis. Cast: George Bancroft, Fay Wray, Richard Arlen. 35mm, 91 min. Tumbleweeds Tumbleweeds was the swan song of cowboy movie legend William S. Hart, who also secretly co-directed the film. It was both his last silent western, and one of his best. Bob Mitchell: “Hart was a Presbyterian minister’s son, and then I think he went into Shakespearean acting. He was middle-aged by the time he was famous, and became a kind of symbol — his face was so well known, and always associated with ‘cleaning up’ the West. Always the same routine, always a man who closes down the gambling and saloon of a lawless town — but he never gets the girl. He just goes off into sunset. Tumbleweeds was made in ‘25, so I never got to play it in its original run. The song was so popular…[singing] oh, the weeeeeeeds keep a-tumblin’ down’, and I think the association of the song makes it particularly appealing to me. That, and the image of those weeds tumbling across the prairie make it a wonderful piece of art.” Dirs. King Baggot & William S. Hart, 1925, 16mm, 78 min. 2000 MANIACS A classic shocker about six tourists who stumble upon a small town called Pleasant Valley that is in the midst of a Centennial celebration--honoring a Civil War massacre! The innocent tourists become unwilling "guests of horror" at the bloody bash. Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis in gushing blood color. The Vanishing American Based on a Zane Grey novel, The Vanishing American concerns a college-educated Native American protagonist who meets with racism. Bob: “The interest in Native American culture started around 1914; there was the belief that the Indians were dying out. This picture was considered important enough that the producers had a theme song composed by Charles Wakefield Cadman, a very respected composer. Well, Cadman lived on a reservation for a while, and later wrote a song called “The Land of the Sky Blue Water” that became a huge hit. The Vanishing American was particularly close to me because when I was playing for it, Cadman came down and played a show — he had a beautiful high tenor voice — and I got to set up the stops on the organ for him, and he gave me a copy of the music, which I still remember. I want to play the score he wrote, which I like quite a bit, for the show.” Dir. George B. Seitz, 1925, 16mm, 110 min. VIVACIOUS LADY (1938) Directed by George Stevens MGM loaned out Stewart to RKO for this energetic comedy about a buttoned-down botany professor who falls for the titular vivacious lady. Stewart plays the aw-shucks academic visiting his roguish cousin (James Ellison) in the big city when he meets wised-up nightclub performer Ginger Rogers. Sparks quickly fly and by the next morning these polar opposites have been joined in holy matrimony. But back home in his conservative college town, Stewart conceals the marriage from his family (and his former fiancee!) until he can figure out how to justify his new bride to his hidebound father. Director George Stevens, a veteran of classic Laurel and Hardy slapstick, stuffs the film with scene-stealing supporting actors (Beulah Bondi, Franklin Pangborn) and stages some inspired physical set-pieces, including a protracted catfight between Rogers and Frances Mercer that escalates into a frenzy of comic destruction. Like the best entries in the screwball genre, Vivacious Lady ultimately resolves its myriad of complications by endorsing parity among romantic partners and subtly condemning the inequities of traditional married life. Based on the short story by I.A.R. Wylie. Producer: George Stevens. Screenplay: P.J. Wolfson, Ernest Pagana. Cinematographer: Robert de Grasse. Cast: Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, James Ellison, Beulah Bondi. 35mm, 90 min. War and Peace Voyna i mir | 1965-1967/color/233 min. plus intermission | Scr: Sergei Bondarchuk, Vasili Solovyov; dir: Bondarchuk; w/ Bondarchuk, Lyudmila Savelyeva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov Sergei Bondarchuk's stirring adaptation of Tolstoy's novel about life, love, and death in three aristocratic Russian families before and during the Napoleonic wars of 1812, is a monumental film that features 100,000 extras culled from the Soviet army, and adjusted to today's currency, cost 700 million dollars to shoot. Although the four-hour English dubbed version released in the US in 1968 won that year's Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the original seven hour Russian language film went unseen in America. Following recent screenings in Chicago, Roger Ebert wrote: "You are never, ever going to see anything to equal it! Bondarchuk balances the spectacular, the human, and the intellectual… And always he returns to ToIstoy's theme of men in the grip of history." We are pleased to present the original film in Russian with English subtitles. WEARING A FOUR-CORNERED CAP AND A TIGER SKIN (WROGATYWCE I TYGRYSIEJ SKORZE), 2008, 56 min. Dir. Jerzy Lubach. This film presents the little-known story of Georgian officers who fought in the ranks of the Polish Army, Home Army and Polish Armed Forces during WWII. This subject matter was banned in Communist Poland for political reasons; it was only in the 1990s that Polish historians began analyzing it. "Polish" Georgians, loyal to the country that had accepted them, proved their heroism during the September 1939 defense campaign and later in occupied Poland and on the western fronts. Many later received the most prestigious Polish military distinctions. Numerous Georgian officers became involved in all spheres of life in their new motherland, marrying Polish women and brought up their children in the atmosphere of pride and remembrance of a heroic fight for the freedom of both nations. WHERE'S POPPA? Carl Reiner directs this very black comedy about an uptight New York attorney whose social life is constantly being ruined by his senile mother. George Segal is the lawyer at his wits end. Ruth Gordon is the albatross around his neck. With Trish Van Devere as the new girlfriend and Ron Leibman as Segal's brother Sidney who finds Central Park a place of peril and romance while dressed in a gorilla suit. Script by Robert Klane from his novel. White Dog Presented by Wesleyan University Press One of the most iconoclastic, innovative filmmakers of the post-WWII era, Samuel Fuller instilled in his works a daring sense of style and a sensationalistic approach to truth. His goal was to produce emotional responses in the viewer, shock of recognitions, and he was willing to break every rule in the book to do it. White Dog, Fuller's most controversial project and one of his most rarely screened films, is the story of a young actress (Kristy McNichol) who hires an animal trainer (Paul Winfield) to cure a stray dog programmed from birth to attack blacks. Subject to uninformed charges of racism, White Dog was pulled from limited theatrical distribution by Paramount, after which Fuller decamped with his family to Paris and never made another American film. Wesleyan film professor Lisa Dombrowski, author of “The Films of Samuel Fuller: If You Die, I'll Kill You!”, will introduce the picture, and a Q & A, book signing, and reception will follow the screening. Dir. Samuel Fuller, 1982, 35mm, 84 min.