a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
mon. may 7 cine povera: mexican experiments in 16mm 8:30 PM @ redcat ezra buchla, teague cullen @ pehrspace dark city, memento @ new beverly la vampire nue (w/ live score) 8 PM, daughters of darkness @ silent movie theatre i wish FREE 7 PM @ usc ray stark frank fairfield @ redwood tue. may 8 the trouble with harry 1 PM @ lacma occupy film FREE (RSVP) 8:30 PM @ space 15 twenty dark city, memento @ new beverly the in-laws, moon over parador @ aero driftwood singers (7:00) FREE @ origami vinyl one day in the life of andrei arsenevich, to chris marker an unsent letter FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges god bless america FREE 7 PM @ usc ray stark wed. may 9 dirt dress @ harvard & stone god bless america FREE @ new beverly the love trap @ silent movie theatre some like it hot @ million dollar theatre allah-las @ troubadour thu. may 10 traffic in souls, where are my children? @ ucla film archive god bless america FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges nick waterhouse @ center for the arts eagle rock a very long engagement, micmacs @ new beverly the hindenburg, earthquake @ egyptian a man escaped @ aero tom chomont 8 PM @ epfc george pal shorts FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges khrustalyov my car! @ lacma tacita dean: film and film FREE 7 PM @ getty center fri. may 11 all quiet on the western front (1930) @ ucla film archive wayne's world MIDNIGHT @ nuart julia holter @ bootleg quiet americans @ the down n out a very long engagement, micmacs @ new beverly the last of the mohicans @ egyptian yellow submarine @ aero demons MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre fancy space people, white hills @ echo brannigan's law @ the smell the face of another, nanami: the inferno of first love @ lacma barry lyndon 5 PM @ arclight hollywood the shining 9:30 PM @ arclight hollywood sat. may 12 faster pussycat! kill!... kill! 8:30 PM @ devil's night drive-in cobra woman 4 PM @ ucla film archive poison @ ucla film archive strangers on a train 8:30 PM @ cinespia @ hollywood forever 1900 5:30 PM @ new beverly in cold blood, deadline u.s.a. @ egyptian charlotte's web 4 PM @ aero pickpocket, l'argent @ aero black moth super rainbow @ echoplex moving pictures: painting photography film 8 PM @ epfc diary of a shinjuku thief 5 PM @ lacma doctor zhivago 2 PM @ arclight hollywood lolita 7 PM @ arclight hollywood driftwood singers, tom brosseau @ echo country outpost sun. may 13 becky stark @ pehrspace three smart girls grow up 7 PM, never give a sucker an even break @ ucla film archive 1900 5:30 PM @ new beverly the sound of music (70mm) 4 PM @ egyptian yellow submarine 3 PM @ aero au hasard balthazar, mouchette @ aero ben-hur 2:30 PM @ arclight hollywood mon. may 14 tremellow @ pehrspace frank fairfield @ redwood dog day afternoon, network @ new beverly music as menippean satire FREE 6 PM @ unurban tue. may 15 black dice @ center for the arts eagle rock dog day afternoon, network @ new beverly wed. may 16 cooked FREE 7 PM @ hammer mickey one, blast of silence @ million dollar theater dog day afternoon, network @ new beverly the invader @ aero animation breakdown: collected shorts of jan svankmajer @ silent movie theatre valerie and her week of wonders 10 PM @ silent movie theatre elena FREE 7 PM @ usc broccoli theatre genius within: the inner life of glenn gould FREE 7 PM, william kunstler: disturbing the universe @ ampas linwood dunn thu. may 17 dum dum girls @ pappy & harriet's (pioneertown) catwalk @ echoplex ed wood, edward scissorhands @ egyptian le diable probablement @ aero walking too fast @ silent movie theatre animation breakdown: collected shorts of jan svankmajer 11 PM @ silent movie theatre pxl this 21 8 PM @ epfc the italian job (1969), funeral in berlin @ lacma fri. may 18 dum dum girls, tamaryn @ echoplex do the right thing @ ucla film archive dirt dress @ pehrspace i vitelloni, mean streets @ new beverly the mystery of the double cross - episodes 1-8 @ spielberg @ egyptian dr. strangelove, when the wind blows @ egyptian diary of a country priest @ aero four suns 5 PM @ silent movie theatre identity card @ silent movie theatre pangea @ blue star the alternative projections marathon 8PM-2AM @ epfc kiss me deadly, the crimson kimono @ lacma driftwood singers @ velaslavasay panorama fancy space people (9:00) @ mr t's entrance 8 PM @ downtown independent sat. may 19 white magic (11:00) @ hm157 luckman jazz orchestra: tribute to charlie parker @ luckman fine arts sourpatch @ queer mansion dum dum girls FREE 6 PM @ getty center lee fields & the expressions @ echoplex i vitelloni 3:10 7:30 PM, mean streets 5:15 9:35 PM @ new beverly the mystery of the double cross - episodes 9-15 @ spielberg @ egyptian straight time, true confessions @ egyptian une femme douce, les anges du peche, les dames du bois de boulogne @ aero matchmaking mayor 1:45 PM @ silent movie theatre long live the family 4 PM @ silent movie theatre alois nebel 7:20 PM @ silent movie theatre daisies 10 PM @ silent movie theatre green & wood @ hollywood (location TBA) new works salon: calarts edition 8 PM @ epfc experiment in terror 5 PM @ lacma criss cross, m (1951) @ lacma echo park artwalk sun. may 20 l.a. filmworks: the state of the art in los angeles 1980 @ spielberg @ egyptian i vitelloni 3:05 7:30 PM, american graffiti 5:10 9:35 PM @ new beverly the iron mask 5:30 PM @ egyptian lancelot du lac, the trial of joan of arc @ aero a tribute to vaclav havel 5:30 PM @ silent movie theatre valerie and her week of wonders 9 PM @ silent movie theatre rough trade records night @ part time punks @ echo the kid brother 6:30 PM, high and dizzy @ los angeles chamber orchestra's 23rd annual silent film gala @ ucla royce hall mon. may 21 new day at 40: a community's celebration 8:30 PM @ redcat the 40-year-old virgin @ ucla film archive breakfast at tiffany's @ 25 cent movie mondays @ chinese theatre i vitelloni, american graffiti @ new beverly daisies 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre sea lions (9:00) FREE @ silverlake lounge tue. may 22 spiritualized @ wiltern secret ceremony 1 PM @ lacma i vitelloni, diner @ new beverly sneakpeek @ echo bullet in the head FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges harland williams @ the improv wed. may 23 knock on any door, in a lonely place @ million dollar theater francis, abbott and costello meet frankenstein @ ucla film archive i vitelloni, diner @ new beverly fruit of paradise @ silent movie theatre daisies 9:40 PM @ silent movie theatre ezra buchla @ the smell johnny guitar 8 PM @ downtown independent thu. may 24 meat market @ the smell beck @ santa barbara bowl a killer's blues, too many ways to be number one @ new beverly awaara @ egyptian brakhage / kuchar / levine / price 8 PM @ epfc city streets FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges hard boiled FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges willoughby @ bootleg fri. may 25 jon brion @ largo alice bag (reading) 6:30 PM @ permanent records eraserhead, the elephant man @ new beverly the abominable dr. phibes MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre the damned don't cry, slightly scarlet @ lacma king louie & the missing monuments @ redwood sat. may 26 catwalk, etc @ silver lake jubilee goonies 8:30 PM @ devil's night drive-in autolux, allah-las, catwalk, dunes, etc @ silver lake jubilee mike watt & the missingmen @ redwood eraserhead, the elephant man @ new beverly there's nothing out there MIDNIGHT @ new beverly vertigo (70mm) @ aero palms 8 PM @ epfc murder by contract 5 PM @ lacma nightfall, the prowler @ lacma sun. may 27 aloe blacc, the soft pack, the mormons, brent weinbach, etc @ silver lake jubilee blue velvet 2:40 7:30 PM, the straight story 5:00 9:50 PM @ new beverly neil hamburger @ satellite mon. may 28 thee rain cats (11:30) FREE @ bootleg broken water, dunes @ the smell blue velvet, the straight story @ new beverly tue. may 29 the invisible man 1 PM, the bride of frankenstein @ lacma lost highway, mulholland drive @ new beverly wed. may 30 paper moon 8 PM @ last remaining seats @ los angeles theatre lost highway, mulholland drive @ new beverly the clean @ echo hollywood cinema and the real los angeles FREE 7 PM @ hammer lectures @ hammer thu. may 31 inland empire 8 PM @ new beverly ali: fear eats the soul, mother kusters goes to heaven @ aero l.a. air: tuni chatterji 8 PM @ epfc robocop (25th anniversary cast & crew reunion) FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges gerhard richter painting @ lacma fri. june 1 rushmore MIDNIGHT @ nuart fox and his friends, beware of a holy whore @ egyptian brannigan's law, cortaud and bobtail @ the smell bahto / clipson / elliott / hell FREE 9 PM @ the wulf media blitz @ uncle studios inland empire 8 PM @ new beverly the loved ones MIDNIGHT @ new beverly silent comedy shorts program @ aero damsels in distress @ silent movie theatre willoughby @ satellite moab @ blue star sat. june 2 out of sight @ ucla film archive dirt dress @ the mime the marriage of maria braun, the bitter tears of petra von kant @ egyptian inland empire 8 PM @ new beverly twin peaks: fire walk with me MIDNIGHT @ new beverly the last days of disco 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre king tuff (8:00) FREE @ permanent records lolita @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sun. june 3 catwalk @ part time punks @ echo effi briest @ aero infinite body, cloudland canyon FREE 6 PM @ permanent records these are the damned 7:15 PM, attack the block 9:15 PM @ new beverly damsels in distress 5 PM @ silent movie theatre the wild angels 8 PM @ biker movie night @ satellite tue. june 5 your sister's sister FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges wed. june 6 tootsie 8 PM @ last remaining seats @ orpheum theatre satan's brew, fear of fear @ aero thu. june 7 the american soldier, love is colder than death @ egyptian fair wind to java FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges rejoyce bloomsday FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque charles cushman's journey through a vanishing america (lecture) 8 PM @ velaslavasay panorama fri. june 8 frankenstein (1931), the mummy (1932) @ ucla film archive the merchant of four seasons, gods of the plague @ aero pigs and battleships, the pornographers @ lacma the color wheel 7:00 9:00 11:00 PM @ downtown independent sat. june 9 the incredible shrinking man 4 PM @ ucla film archive to kill a mockingbird @ ucla film archive dazed & confused 8:30 PM @ devil's night drive-in lola, veronika voss @ egyptian funeral parade of roses 5 PM @ lacma high and low @ lacma the color wheel 1:00 3:00 5:00 7:00 9:00 11:00 PM @ downtown independent fast times at ridgemont high 8:30 PM @ eat see hear outdoor movie festival @ millikan high school (sherman oaks) goldfinger, thunderball @ aero celine and julie go boating 5:30 PM @ silent movie theatre hamburger: the motion picture 10 PM @ silent movie theatre the graduate 3:30 7:30 PM, the producers 5:35 9:25 PM @ new beverly wild at heart MIDNIGHT @ new beverly sun. june 10 imitation of life (1934) 7 PM, little man what now? @ ucla film archive the color wheel 5:00 7:00 PM @ downtown independent you only live twice 5 PM, on her majesty's secret service @ aero they live 3:30 PM @ new beverly mon. june 11 the color wheel 5:00 7:00 PM @ downtown independent tue. june 12 the color wheel 5:00 7:00 PM @ downtown independent wed. june 13 the big sleep 8 PM @ last remaining seats @ los angeles theatre sneakpeek @ bootleg the color wheel 3:00 5:00 PM @ downtown independent thu. june 14 partch 8:30 @ redcat ali: fear eats the soul, chinese roulette @ egyptian the color wheel 3:00 5:00 PM @ downtown independent fri. june 15 airport @ ucla film archive ghostbusters MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. june 16 the art of illusions: pre-cinematic entertainment in mexico: an illustrated lecture 8 PM @ velaslavasay panorama jb smoove @ the improv sun. june 17 high plains drifter 7 PM, winchester '73 @ ucla film archive mon. june 18 the sting @ ucla film archive tue. june 19 the bank dick 1 PM, buck privates @ lacma fri. june 22 the birds @ ucla film archive beavis and butthead do america MIDNIGHT @ nuart the coup @ the smell sat. june 23 l'inferno 3 PM @ getty center dante's inferno (2007) 7 PM @ getty center inglorious basterds @ ucla film archive donnie darko 9 PM @ devil's night drive-in quintron and miss pussycat @ the smell sun. june 24 moonbeams, whirr, tropic of cancer, etc @ shoegaze festival @ part time punks @ the echo dante's inferno (1924) 3 PM @ getty center jaws 7 PM @ ucla film archive wed. june 27 robin hood (1922) @ last reminaing seats @ orpheum theatre fri. june 29 the warriors MIDNIGHT @ nuart jonathan richman @ echo jon brion @ largo sat. june 30 the wizard of oz (1939) 2:00 8:00 PM @ last remaining seats @ saban theatre the mountain goats (solo) @ mccabe's sun. jul. 1 the mountain goats (solo) @ mccabe's tue. jul. 3 beach house @ el rey fri. jul. 6 allah-las (NOON) FREE @ grand performances @ california plaza sat. jul. 7 the big lebowski 9 PM @ devil's night drive-in mon. jul. 9 how to make a piece of art that is not a piece of art FREE 6 PM @ unurban tue. jul. 10 tom brosseau @ largo wed. jul. 18 le folie almayer @ aero sat. jul. 21 the princess bride 8:30 PM @ devil's night drive-in sat. jul. 28 jaws 2:00 8:00 PM @ alex theatre nick waterhouse (6:00) FREE @ getty center mon. aug. 13 grandaddy @ fonda WHAT IT IS: THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES Long thought dead, the victim of a horrible accident, Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) still lives, surrounded by art-deco bric-a-brac and attended by mute beauty Vulnavia (Virginia North). Outwardly normal in appearance, Phibes actually wears a rubber mask, covering his hideously deformed countenance; giving away the artifice is the fact that, when he dines, he takes his food through his neck rather than his mouth. Able to speak only when plugging a wire into his damaged vocal chords, Phibes elucidates his plan to murder the medical team whom he holds responsible for the death of his wife. Dir. Robert Fuest, 1971, 35mm, 94 min. ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL 1974, Janus Films, 93 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder When robust young Moroccan guest worker Ali (El Hadi ben Salem) and quiet, unassuming Emmi (Brigitte Mira), a white German woman easily 20 years his senior, meet in a bar, the chemistry is palpable and the two become a couple. But 1970s Germany is not kind to cross-generational, cross-racial relationships, and Emmi and Ali find their romance suddenly up against a closely guarded barrier of hostility and envy from friends and family. A surprisingly tender film from Fassbinder that often is considered his best, ALI follows the soul-wearing difficulties of prejudice, homesickness and unconventional love. In German with English subtitles. ALOIS NEBEL “Evoking some of the most renowned Czech films of the sixties — Closely Watched Trains in particular — director Tomas Lunak weaves a spell around his animated tale of Alois, a middle-aged dispatcher who works at a small railway station in the Sudeten (the mountainous region along the Czech borders with Germany and Poland.) It is 1989, and the radio is full of news of border crossings in Berlin as the wall starts to come down. His face grim, Alois looks as if he has seen it all — little excites him. But as fog and rain swirl around the station, he finds himself haunted by the past, especially the events at the end of the Second World War. Alois Nebel seems to flow effortlessly across the screen. Visually, this film is an absolute delight, its rotoscope animation allowing Lunak to concentrate on the essential in every shot, while the choice of B&W perfectly matches the tone of the story. Atmospheric and drenched in mood, Alois Nebel is destined to become a classic of the form.” — Piers Handling, TIFF Director Tomas Lunak will be here for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Tomas Lunak, 2011, 84 min. THE ALTERNATIVE PROJECTIONS MARATHON Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 has featured over 24 shows since October 2011. Alternative Projections is Filmforum’s exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern California in the postwar era. Tonight we celebrate with an incredible range of films and videos that we haven’t squeezed into other screenings, with frequent breaks for socializing! Come at the start or in the middle! Some classics and lot of rarities will please you to no end! THE AMERICAN SOLDIER 1970, Janus Films, 80 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Professional hitman Ricky (Karl Scheydt) has returned to his German hometown after living in the U.S. and fighting as an American soldier in the Vietnam War. A group of three detectives, acting without the permission of their chief and humiliated that they haven't yet busted a local crime ring, hires Ricky to go after the ring and kill each member off systematically. But all is not what it seems in Fassbinder's alternately light and deeply disturbing revisionist noir, which looks at the nature of crime and jealousy through the lens of bruised masculinity. With Fassbinder in a cameo role as Franz Walsch, a recurring character throughout his early gangster pictures and his own pseudonym for his work as an editor. In German with English subtitles. THE ART OF ILLUSIONS: PRE-CINEMATIC ENTERTAINMENT IN MEXICO: AN ILLUSTRATED LECTURE A presentation on visual technologies, projection methods and entertainments popular in Mexico before the proliferation of cinema. This bilingual illustrated lecture will be presented in English & Spanish. AU HASARD BALTHAZAR 1966, Rialto Pictures, 95 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Robert Bresson’s brief, elliptical tale about the life and death of a donkey contains such plenitude - in its steady accumulation of incident, characters, mystery and social detail, its implicative use of sound, off-screen space and editing - that it might very well merit Godard’s famous claim that it is “the world in an hour and a half.” Paralleling the mistreatment and downfall of two innocents - Marie, a young farmer’s daughter, and Balthazar, a Christ-like donkey passed from one master to the next - the film has been chosen as one of the greatest in cinema history by countless critics and cinephiles. In French with English subtitles. AWAARA THE VAGABOND 1951, 193 min, India, Dir: Raj Kapoor One of the greatest and most famous Indian films ever made, AWAARA was a global sensation. It marks the first appearance of the tramp persona that would make Raj Kapoor famous: a sly, sexy bandit, a carefree underdog who could charm a rock. In Hindi with English subtitles. BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE 1971, Janus Films, 103 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Semi-autobiographical and supposedly based on his Spanish shoot of WHITY, Fassbinder’s tale of a film set gone wrong is a deliciously absurd satire. When actors and crew (among them Hanna Schygulla, Fassbinder and Eddie Constantine as himself) arrive for a shoot only to realize that the script and director are nowhere to be found, a Waiting for Godot-style escalation of anxieties, jealousies and existential despair takes hold - only to be capped by a ridiculously funny deus ex machina when tyrannical director Jeff (Lou Castel) finally swoops down in a helicopter. In German with English subtitles. THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT 1972, Janus Films, 124 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Successful fashion designer and caustic narcissist Petra von Kant (Margit Carstensen) and her masochistic, sometimes-lover assistant Marlene (Irm Hermann) share a life of rigorous garment designing and brutal emotional manipulation from within Petra’s apartment. When aspiring model Karin Thimm (Hannah Schygulla) enters the situation, the instantly attracted Petra welcomes the supple young thing into her sick dollhouse with open arms. But Karin’s calm, inscrutable gaze belies her ruthless nature, and soon Petra is as much a casualty of obsession as long-suffering Marlene. A masterwork of intoxicating cinematography, THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT is Rainer Werner Fassbinder at his ravaging best. In German with English subtitles. Blast of Silence (1961) Directed by Allen Baron Get deep inside the rage-fuelled psyche of a brutal hit man as he stalks the city and his prey in what Bright Lights Film Journal called, “the great lost masterpiece of film noir; a twilit, deathward emanation of everything that had underlain the form from its beginnings.” 35mm, b/w, 77 min. BRAKHAGE / KUCHAR / LEVINE / PRICE A diverse program of experimental Super 8 mm films. Stan Brakhage’s Airs, from a collection of Super 8 films he completed in 1976 and later blown up to 16mm. Luther Price’s Green, “Green is a world where ghosts live … conjuring the familiar, reliving, events unresolved, revealing very little” (Price). Steve Polta’s 1997A (Arrival) “renders a subtle spectral impressionism via tenuous images of space, form, and color in disembodied flux” (New York Film Festival, Views from the Avant-Garde).Saul Levine’s “midsummer daydream” Light Lick: Only Sunshine and Submission, “ confrontational rant addressed to the judges of the films entered in a Super 8 competition” (Levine).George Kuchar’s Mom, “something for me to play and remember my mother by when she is not here to visit me: smiling, eating, walking around nice places that are filmed with a cheap lens so that you can’t see the cracks and the dirt” (Kuchar). Films projected from Super 8, except for the Brakhag, which will be projected from 16mm. BULLET IN THE HEAD When three longtime friends (Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung, and Waise Lee) become involved in the death of a rival gang member, they are forced to leave Hong Kong in order to escape the police. Their only ticket out is a free ride to Saigon working as smugglers on the black market. But it is the late 1960s and, with Saigon embroiled in the madness of the Vietnamese war, it’s very much a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When their plans to double-cross a local gangster and steal a box of gold from him go awry, the men find themselves captured by the Viet Cong and accused of working for the CIA. Incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp, their loyalties are tested to the very limit when one of the trio sets about betraying his closest friends... Please note that we'll be showing an original Hong Kong print, featuring both Simplified Chinese and English subtitles. Director: John Woo. 35mm, 136 min. CHARLES CUSHMAN'S JOURNEY THROUGH A VANISHING AMERICA Charles Cushman, amateur photographer and part-time businessman, traveled back and forth across the United States between 1938 to 1969, spending much of his time in California. During that time, he created over 14,000 Kodachrome slides documenting mid-century American life in vibrant color. Eric Sandweiss is a professor of architectural and urban history at Indiana University. His new book The Day in its Color: Charles Cushman's Photographic Journey Through a Vanishing America, will be available to purchase at the event. CHINESE ROULETTE 1976, Janus Films, 96 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Fassbinder goes Gothic with this character-driven, wicked mosaic of intertwining mysteries. Industrial magnate Gerhard Christ (Alexander Allerson) takes his longtime French mistress Irene (Anna Karina) on a weekend getaway to his luxurious countryside chateau. He gets quite a shock when he discovers his wife, Ariane, and disabled teenage daughter, Angela, already at the manse. Angela, who has deviously planned this meeting and is armed with her mute governess (Brigitte Mira) and a collection of grotesque dolls, devises a diabolical and psychologically vicious truth game of "Chinese Roulette" for the adults to play. In German with English subtitles. Cine Povera: Mexican Experiments in 16MM As an echo to the Arte Povera movement, Cine Povera showcases work from Mexico by filmmakers who persist in working in 16mm with the most modest resources. Using antiquated techniques to produce emphatically anti-corporate and insistently artisanal cinema, the artists address social and political concerns—from the recent upheavals in Oaxaca to the gentrification of urban neighborhoods. Not consumed with the medium’s illusions, this eclectic selection of handcrafted shorts reveals the passion, craft and ingenuity of artists who adhere to the ethos of honest effort. The screening features young Mexican filmmakers Uriel Lopez España, Txema Novelo, Hanne Jimenez, Rosario Sotelo, Mayra Isabel Cespedes Vaca, Elena Pardo, Andres García Franco, Jorge Lorenzo Flores Garza and Bruno Varel, alongside artists who have made work in Mexico, including Naomi Uman, Robert Fenz, Rocio Aranda de la Figuera and Erika Loic. CITY STREETS Never one to hide his talent under a bushel basket, director Rouben Mamoulien proudly proclaimed that, while there were ten killings in his 1931 gangster drama City Streets, the audience never sees any of them. This was not the only innovation in this fascinating early talkie, in which straight-arrow movie hero Gary Cooper is cast as a racketeer known only as The Kid. He has chosen a life of crime out of love for Nan (Sylvia Sidney), the daughter of mob henchman Pop Cooley (Guy Kibbee). Eventually railroaded into prison by her crooked cohorts, Nan implores The Kid to give up the rackets, but he refuses. Things go downhill very rapidly after that, culminating with The Kid and Nan being taken "for a ride" by rival thugs. Cast in a role originally intended for Clara Bow, Sylvia Sidney does a magnificent job and was soon typecast as a downtrodden Depression victim, born with two strikes against her. Conversely, Gary Cooper never again played anything quite like "The Kid." Directed By: Rouben Mamoulian, 1931, 1 hr. 22 min. THE COLOR WHEEL Confirming Alex Ross Perry as an innovative new voice in American cinema, THE COLOR WHEEL takes viewers on a comedic and cathartic road trip through the diners, motels and thrift stores of the Northeast. JR (co-writer Carlen Altman) is an aspiring news anchor who has just dropped out of school after an awful, awkward breakup with her professor/lover. She enlists her reluctant brother, Colin (played by Perry), to drive to her ex's house and help pick up the remainder of her belongings. The bickering siblings' journey will eventually lead to an unexpected destination: sympathy and acceptance. More than a mere film about sibling rivalry, THE COLOR WHEEL explores the relationship between two people who grew up together but who remain complete strangers. Beyond the nasty insults and obnoxious fights, they are two wounded souls bursting with disillusionment and sexual frustrations who can really only be tolerated by one another. Cooked Cooked tells the story of the most traumatic heat wave in U.S. history, in which 739 Chicago citizens died in a single week of July 1995, most of them poor, elderly, and African American. The film explores the intersection of poverty, global warming, and the politics of crisis. Judith Helfand’s other films include the Sundance award-winning, Emmy nominated Blue Vinyl, and its Peabody Award-winning prequel A Healthy Baby Girl (a five-year video diary about her experience with cancer). The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Helfand. (Dir. Judith Helfand, approx. 60 mins.) THE CRIMSON KIMONO 1951/b&w/86 min. Scr: Norman Reilly Raine, Leo Katcher, Waldo Salt; dir: Joseph Losey; w/ David Wayne, Raymond Burr, Norman Lloyd, Luther Adler, Howard da Silva; cinematography: Ernest Laszlo. In this unjustly neglected remake of the Fritz Lang masterpiece of the same name, Joseph Losey turns the manhunt for a child-murderer into a stark portrait of paranoia in postwar America. Largely set in and around Bunker Hill, the film's climax takes place in the Bradbury Building. Blacklisted shortly after the film's release when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Losey relocated to Europe, where he went on to collaborate with Harold Pinter on a number of iconic films, producing a far-ranging and esteemed body of work. “A marvelous, frightening film, years ahead of [Losey’s] time.”—David Thompson Imported 35mm print. CRISS CROSS 1949/b&w/87 min. Scr: Daniel Fuchs; dir: Robert Siodmak; w/ Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea; cinematography: Frank Planer Robert Siodmak reteams with his Killers leading man in this bitter, baroque noir. Intertwining past and present, Criss Cross traces the fateful love triangle between Steve (Burt Lancaster, carefully modulating between wide-eyed romanticism and despair), his ex-wife Anna (raven-haired femme fatale Yvonne De Carlo) and her current husband Slim (sniveling, sour Dan Duryea). The film boasts unforgettable site-specific details: As Slim and Steve plot an armored-car robbery in a shabby Downtown apartment, Angels Flight passes like a sentry in the window behind them; Steve tails Anna at Union Station; and Steve dismounts the “Red Car” trolley near his family’s Victorian home on Bunker Hill. Working at his prime, Siodmak envelops the film’s manifold betrayals and breakdowns with an inky palette and near-hallucinatory atmosphere. From its bravura centerpiece—a gunfight set amid a ferocious whirlwind—to a sensuous sequence as Steve watches Anna dance with another man, Criss Cross is the complete package: a masterful blend of form and content. DAISIES Daisies is a bubbling and buoyant spring of irrepressible female creativity; it is an overflowing audio-visual bouquet of color, music and texture; it is a freewheeling and effervescent farce, a formal free-for-all, a paradoxical mixture of bourgeois indulgence and cultural critique, and it’s your next favorite movie. Two young Czech girls (both named Marie) decide that the world is so corrupt that they might as well join in, and they do so with wild abandon — prancing, food-fighting, pranking old men, carousing in nightclubs and creating anarchy everywhere they go. Director Vera Chytilova’s love of cinema’s potential is both playful and palpable, as exuberant as the spirit of the two “daisies” whose misadventures have surprising weight and meaning. Banned upon its release by the Czech government, Daisies has become a major cult favorite thanks to its dazzling setpieces, charismatic and fashionable art-girl heroines, and an infectious sense of fun that’s as potent today as it was when it first premiered behind the Iron Curtain. Dir. Vera Chytilová, 1968, 35mm, 74 min. THE DAMNED DON'T CRY 1950/b&w/103 min. Scr: Harold Medford; Jerome Weidman; dir: Vincent Sherman; w/ Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran, Kent Smith; cinematography: Ted McCord A smash hit upon its release, this torrid potboiler follows the take-no-prisoners rise of Ethel Whitehead (Joan Crawford) as she claws her way to the top of society from rural housewife to a gangster’s moll poolside in Palm Springs. Along the way she becomes the center of a love quadrangle as her former beau (mild-mannered accountant Kent Smith), obsessive paramour (snarly crime boss David Brian), and ultimate prey (hot-tempered playboy Steve Cochran) angle for her affection. Replete with double and triple crosses, staccato pulp patter, and modernist desert décor, The Damned Don’t Cry is a piercingly fatalistic noir disguised as a woman’s picture. DANTE'S INFERNO (1924) In conjunction with the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages, this series focuses on three interpretations of Dante Alighieri's Inferno. Since the fifteenth century, illustrators, painters, and (finally) filmmakers have envisioned the "nine circles of hell." Dante's Inferno (1924, United States, 60 minutes, black and white) Directed by Henry Otto. Silent, presented with live piano accompaniment. DANTE'S INFERNO (2007) In conjunction with the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages, this series focuses on three interpretations of Dante Alighieri's Inferno. Since the fifteenth century, illustrators, painters, and (finally) filmmakers have envisioned the "nine circles of hell." Dante's Inferno (2007, United States, 88 minutes, color) Directed by Sean Meredith DARK CITY Alex Proyas (The Crow) directed this noir-styled futuristic thriller, scripted by Proyas, Lem Dobbs (Kafka), and David S. Goyer (The Puppet Masters). Separated from his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), amnesiac John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings -- but he can't remember if he did or didn't commit these murders. Indeed, most of his memories have completely vanished, and he becomes the focus of interest for both mad genius Dr. Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) and sympathetic detective Frank Bumstead (William Hurt). Attempting to unravel the twisted riddle of his identity, Murdoch encounters a group of ominous beings known as the Strangers, shadow-like figures who have a collective memory and possess the ability to stop time and alter physical reality through a process called The Tuning. Focusing their minds, they are able to change the size and shape of the material world... 1998, USA/Australia, 35mm, 100 minutes. directed by Alex Proyas; screenplay by Alex Proyas and David S. Goyer and Lem Dobbs; story by Alex Proyas; starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS After the break, it’s a 35mm repertory screening of the highly-stylized 1971 Euro-vamp cult classic Daughters of Darkness. Pure licentious macabre develops out of the familiar story of a newlywed couple arriving at a abandoned gothic hotel for a short spell, only to descend into a world of sadism, obsession, sex, death, and of course — vampires! Dir. Harry Kumel, 1971, 35mm, 87 min. DEADLINE U.S.A. 1952, 20th Century Fox, 87 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks Humphrey Bogart is at the top of his form as Ed Hutcheson, a crusading newspaper editor out to expose a gangster while juggling commercial needs with the public interest. A razor-sharp script by veteran Richard Brooks and solid supporting work from Kim Hunter and Ed Begley make this a must-see. DEMONS Taking its cues from Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead and ramping the madness up to 11, Demons pushes forward from the ‘80s Italian horror mold of basic giallo/slasher tropes to become a freaky, fucked-up funhouse of amazing grisly setpieces. Directed by Lamberto Bava (son of Mario Bava), and with a script written by maestro Dario Argento, Demons centers around a movie theater that’s screening a film about demons — during which the patrons become possessed by (you guessed it) demons! It’s meta-horror that pre-dates the meta-horror boom of the ‘90s/’00s, and frankly, it’s a million times more fun. Wacky characters, awesome monster make-up and gallons of grue abound, with its breakneck pace and non-stop gore gags making it a wild ride from frame one. A screening of this Satanic masterwork is rare indeed; we can’t promise you won’t get possessed, but we can promise you’ll love every sinful second! Dir. Lamberto Bava, 1985, 35mm, 88 min. DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST 1951, Rialto Pictures, 115 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Long considered a summit of world cinema, Bresson’s adaptation of George Bernanos’ renowned novel - about a young priest whose attempts to assuage the suffering of the people in his village are met with malice and indifference - established the austere style for which Bresson subsequently became famous. Claude Laydu, his downcast visage among the gallery of indelible faces in Bresson’s ouevre, brings a wounding soulfulness to his role as the ill-fated priest. “Still the screen’s most devastating account of the arduous ascent to sainthood, it achieves a lacerating honesty.” - Tom Milne. In French with English subtitles. DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF 1969/b&w and color/94 min. Scr: Tsutomu Tamura, Mamoru Sasaki, Masao Adachi, Nagisa Oshima; dir: Nagisa Oshima; w/ Tadanori Yoko, Rei Yokoyama, Moichi Tanabe, Tetsu Takahashi, Kei Sato, Fumio Watanabe, Mutsuhiro Toura, Juro Kara and members of the Situation Theater (Koyo Gekijo). Japanese New Wave firebrand Nagisa Oshima documents the teeming subcultures of Tokyo’s boisterous Shinjuku district, from neo-Kabuki street performances to student revolts, in this little-seen masterwork. The film’s splintered narrative involves, in Oshima’s words, “a boy and a girl in search of their rightful moment of sexual ecstasy.” Meeting in a bookstore, the couple embarks on a labyrinthine adventure that recalls the freewheeling misadventures of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. Co-written by writer/director Masao Adachi (Go, Go Second Time Virgin), Diary of a Shinjuku Thief is an homage to Jean Genet, whose The Thief’s Journal was repeatedly read aloud by the filmmakers as they drafted their screenplay. EFFI BRIEST 1974, Janus Films, 140 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Adapted from Theodor Fontane’s novel of the same name, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s richly textured period piece showcases the director’s ability to give traditional source material his own iconoclastic edge. In this 19th century-set tale, 17-year-old Effi Briest (Hanna Schygulla) lives with the older Baron von Instetten in a spookily isolated Baltic manor. Left alone much of the time and with a newly born daughter, Effi begins to enjoy the “company” of handsome Major Crampas (Ulli Lommel), but it is only a matter of time before the baron’s suspicions escalate to violent consequences. Winner of the 1974 InterFilm Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and named one of the 1,000 best films of all time by the New York Times. In German with English subtitles. ELENA Winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment—he’s a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she’s his dowdy former nurse who has clearly “married up.” Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife’s freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan.... Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (Golden Globe nominee, The Return) and featuring evocative, Hitchcockian music by Philip Glass, Elena is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature. Provided courtesy of Zeitgeist Films. Not Rated. Running time: 109 minutes. In Russian with English subtitles. ENTRANCE ENTRANCE is a subtle psychological thriller centered upon Suzy (Suziey Block), a young woman in Los Angeles who can't get comfortable in her own skin. She's haunted by nostalgia, has no real friends, and finds herself wandering aimlessly through life in the city. Suzy now feels stuck, her part-time-turned-full-time job at a coffee house was never meant to be forever. With each day she finds it increasingly difficult to put on a smile for strangers while making their lattes. Her alienation begins to stretch into the deeper corners of her life. She comes to find herself unable to connect with anyone, let alone her roommate Karen, whose life Suzy wishes was her own. Soon, what should be the simplest of everyday interactions twist and distort into the threatening. Suzy can't shake the gnawing suspicion that a true menace grows just outside her field of vision. She falls hard out of love with the city, but it doesn't want to let her go. When she scrambles to take control of her life, her anxiety rises to a fever pitch that boils over into a waking nightmare. ENTRANCE is about how the simple darkness on the edges of our lives can so easily give way to the naked horror of existence. The film explores the destructive nature of paranoia and the limits of perception. It is an intimate character study directed by Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath with a formalist restraint. EXPERIMENT IN TERROR 1962/b&w/123 min. Scr: The Gordons; dir: Blake Edwards; w/ Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers, Ross Martin; cinematography: Philip Lathrop Writer-director Blake Edwards followed up the enormous success of the chic and sophisticated Breakfast at Tiffany's with a decided change of pace: a dark, character-driven thriller featuring nuanced performances by Lee Remick as a tormented bank teller, Glenn Ford as the federal agent on her case, and Ross Martin as the cunning, asthmatic psychopath terrorizing her. The first film Edwards produced as well as directed, and his first work in black and white, Experiment in Terror is as dazzlingly stylized as Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Trading the Big Apple for the Bay Area—the film's credit sequence floats over the Bay Bridge and the narrative's tense conclusion takes place in a packed Candlestick Park— Edwards has Henry Mancini swapping “Moon River” swoon for a spine-tinglingly eerie score for tremolo-drenched electric guitar and autoharp. THE FACE OF ANOTHER 1966/b&w/124 min. Scr: Kôbô Abe; dir: Hiroshi Teshigahara; w/ Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiko Kyo, Mikijiro Hira, Miki Irie. A visionary work of urban existentialism, The Face of Another is director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s follow-up to his art-house classic Woman in the Dunes. After being disfigured in an industrial accident, wealthy chemist Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) concedes to a face transplant. Fitted with a new identity, he’s sucked into a whirlpool of paranoia and angst. This fragmented portrait of alienation shares the stark, stylized aesthetic of European modernists from Antonioni and Resnais to Godard’s Alphaville and Bergman’s Persona (released the same year as Teshigahara’s film, as was John Frankenheimer’s Seconds, making 1966 a milestone in split-personality cinema). Teshigahara intensifies the film’s tone of fractured consciousness with a slew of flourishes—freeze-frames, wild zooms, wash-away wipes, surrealist touches, swish pans, and jump cuts. Toro Takemitsu’s eerie and lush electronic score is a fitting accompaniment to this dark fantasy. FAIR WIND TO JAVA Republic Pictures' notion of an "epic," Fair Wind To Java manages to pack in enough entertainment value to send the adventure fans home happy. Tough South Seas skipper Fred MacMurray goes hunting for pearls on a forbidden Javanese island. Native girl Vera Ralston (never mind her Czech accent) falls in love with MacMurray and defies local laws to help him. She is punished by the island rulers, compelling MacMurray to spirit both Vera and the pearls off the island. As they make a last desperate attempt to escape, a lava-spewing volcano threatens to destroy the island. While the shipboard scenes in Fair Wind To Java are as shoddy as a high school production of Pirates of Penzance, the climactic volcanic eruption is masterfully staged by miniature experts Howard Lydecker and Theodore Lydecker. Directed By: Joseph Kane, 1953, 1 hr. 32 min. FEAR OF FEAR 1975, Janus Films, 88 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Margit Carstensen (THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT) is spell-binding as housewife Margot Staudte, whose staid, middle-class existence descends into inexorable madness with her second pregnancy. Fassbinder is in his element here with this deeply riveting psychological portrait. Originally made for television, the film is as radically, ecstatically far from a “TV movie” as can be. In German with English subtitles. FOUR SUNS The first Czech feature ever to compete at Sundance! “A man who has never actually grown up, Jara lives in a cramped apartment with his wife, their toddler, Vena (a teenage son from a previous marriage) — and spends too much time hanging out with his new oddball, New Age mystic friend Karel. After losing his wife’s patience, his connection with an increasingly punk-inspired Vena, and his actory job when caught smoking pot — Jara decides to leave it all behind, to go along on a road trip in order to find Karel’s spiritual master. Director Bohdan Slama’s sensibility stems from a tender view of ordinary people and their inability to see themselves; like Mike Leigh, Slama uncannily creates characters that are distinctive, even eccentric, without seeming contrived. Although his characters wrestle with selfishness, infidelity, and despair, they share an inexplicable, innate optimism. In this delicately framed reflection on happiness, Slama here constructs a story that feels effortless and even magical.” — Sundance Film Festival Dir. Bohdan Slama, 2012, 90 min. FOX AND HIS FRIENDS 1975, Janus Films, 123 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Franz “Fox” Biberkopf (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) and his lover Klaus have their carnival attraction “Fox, the Talking Head” shuttered by the cops, and Klaus is promptly imprisoned. Jobless, single and adrift, Fox falls in with Eugen and Philip, a glamorous, status-conscious couple with conspicuously expensive tastes who only snobbishly tolerate him. But when Fox is the improbable lottery winner of 500,000 marks, Eugen (Peter Chatel), the heir of a bookbinding firm in desperate need of funds, is suddenly anxious to become Fox’s confidant. Fassbinder’s wickedly deft work of betrayal and trickery showcases the talented director’s flare for artfully combining the bizarre with the mundane, as well as his own impressive acting chops. “Years before Hollywood made its first faltering steps in the direction of a new frankness about homosexuality, Fassbinder was miles out in front.” - Roger Ebert. In German with English subtitles. FRUIT OF PARADISE An experimental, densely symbolic retelling of Adam and Eve, Fruit of Paradise opens before "the Fall," as Josef and Eva wander nude through an Eden depicted through superimposing images of red, brown, and yellow leaves and flora over the two in a park. A choir chants the opening passages of Genesis over baroque music. The switch to the fallen world is marked by the choir chanting, "Tell me the truth," with increasing intensity. A new, clothed Josef and Eva (now played by Karel Novak and Jitka Novákova) lie on a park bench. The film focuses on Eva from this point on, as she explores her new surroundings, which resemble a kind of spa resort filled with wasteful, complacent idiots, and becomes obsessed with a red-suited serial killer named Robert (Jan Schmid). Directed By Vera Chytilová. 1 hr. 38 min. 1970. FUNERAL IN BERLIN 1966/color/102 min./Panavision Scr: Evan Jones; dir: Guy Hamilton; w/ Michael Caine, Eva Renzi, Paul Hubschmid, Oscar Homolka. Film Independent at LACMA concludes its centennial salute to Paramount Pictures with two stylish crime classics starring Michael Caine. Caine is far from the sun-soaked Mediterranean of The Italian Job in 1966's steely cold war thriller Funeral in Berlin, his second film as British spy, Harry Palmer. Caught in a web of betrayals and cover-ups, he crisscrosses a divided city that still bares the scars and secrets of its recent past. FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES 1969/b&w/105 min./16mm Scr/ dir: Toshio Matsumoto; w/ Peter, Osamu Ogasawara, Toyosaburo Uchiyama An unruly hybrid of avant-garde and pulp with a dash of cinema verité, Toshio Matsumoto’s taboo-breaking debut film was a direct influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Matsumoto transposes the Oedipus myth to Tokyo’s late-1960s drag underground as cross-dresser Eddie (played by real-life transvestite star Peter) must fend off a bevy of rivals. Still audacious after forty years and having never been released on home video in the US, Funeral Parade of Roses offers both an unflinching depiction of urban grit and a visionary collision of styles. Melding graphic design, comic books, still photographs, film pastiches, direct-to-camera soliloquys, animation, Fluxus-inspired performance art, mismatched sounds, overexposure, and documentary footage, Funeral Parade of Roses is bracingly radical in every sense of the word. “Fuses the over-the-top intensity of Branded to Kill with the apocalyptic poetry of Gimme Shelter. Echoing the skull-bong vibe of American late-'60s disillusionment, Toshio Matsumoto views 1969 Tokyo through a haze of pot smoke and burning celluloid.”—Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper Gasland Directed by Josh Fox. Produced by Trish Adlesic, Fox, Molly Gandour When Josh Fox is approached by a company wishing to drill for natural gas on his property, he begins a disturbing investigation into the environmental repercussions of the process. In region after region across the country, he documents evidence of serious pollution and contamination caused by drilling methods that have been exempted from the standards required by the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Digital. 107 mins. Academy Award nominee: Documentary Feature Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould Directed by Michèle Hozer, Peter Raymont. Produced by Raymont. The life of celebrated Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is explored through his work and extensive interviews with both Gould and his closest friends. With a lively intelligence, a passion for privacy, and an often difficult personality, Gould became an international star who was known as much for his eccentricities as for his brilliant musicianship. 35mm. 106 mins. GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING 2011/color/97 min./digital Scr/dir: Corinna Belz. Artist Gerhard Richter offers viewers rare insight into his artistic process in this intimate new documentary. Considered one of the world’s greatest living painters, the eighty-year-old Richter is seen working on a number of large-scale canvases in his Cologne studio. Born in 1932 in Dresden (which was to become East Germany), Richter left for the West in his twenties and went on to create an influential and far-ranging body of work that includes abstract paintings and photorealist portraits. GOD BLESS AMERICA Frank (Joel Murray) has had it. A soul-crushing cacophony of stupidity surrounds him: his neighbors’ ignorance and their baby’s non-stop bawling; the mindless water-cooler blather of his idiot office mates; a workplace act of kindness that blows up into sexual harassment; and to cap things off, a brain tumor. Frank finally snaps when the nation unites in the communal ridicule of a simpleminded contestant on a television singing competition. (Remember William Hung’s fifteen minutes of fame on AMERICAN IDOL?) How did his country become so cruel to the poor, huddled masses? Is it a sign of a declining empire when such a lowbrow arena of malice is pedaled as entertainment? Someone must pay. When Frank reaches for his handgun, he finds an unlikely ally in Roxy (Tara Lynn Barr), a high-school student whose ADD-like intolerance for the morons around her jives with Frank’s train of thought. She provides him with the targets to knock off. In turn, he gives her lessons in marksmanship. And so this platonic duo — a 45-year-old and a teenager — embark on a road trip with a body count. GODS OF THE PLAGUE 1970, Janus Films, 91 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Situated as the centerpiece in a loose trilogy with LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH and THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, Fassbinder’s engrossing take on the crime film is New German Cinema meets film noir. Franz Walsch (Harry Baer) is newly released from prison and, following in the footsteps of heist antiheroes immemorial, tracks down his old cohorts and gets busy planning a new robbery. While Fassbinder plays the Walsch role in the trilogy’s other two films, the presence of Baer (who looks like a hirsute Alain Delon) gives GODS OF THE PLAGUE a surreal, playfully tongue-in-cheek feel, even as it beautifully descends into tragedy. In German with English subtitles. HARD BOILED Violence as poetry, rendered by a master – brilliant and passionate, John Woo’s HARD BOILED tells the story of a jaded detective nicknamed “Tequila” (played with controlled fury by Chow Yun-Fat). Woo’s dizzying odyssey through the world of Hong Kong Triads, undercover agents, and frenzied police raids culminates unforgettably in the breathless hospital sequence. More than a cops-and-bad-guys story, HARD BOILED continually startles with its originality and dark humor. Director: John Woo. 35mm, 126 min. HIGH AND DIZZY High and Dizzy (1920) is a short film which revolves around a young woman who sleepwalks and the doctor who is attempting to treat her. The climactic scene involves the young woman sleepwalking precariously on the outside ledge of a tall building. A subplot has Lloyd and his friend getting inebriated on homemade liquor and then trying to avoid a prohibition-era policeman who pursues them for being drunk. The Harold Lloyd film will be accompanied by the LA Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis. Newly composed music by Carl Davis for High and Dizzy will have its U.S. premiere on May 20. HIGH AND LOW 1963/b&w/142 min./Scope Scr: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryuzo Kikushima; dir: Akira Kurosawa; w/ Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyoko Kagawa A shoe magnate (Toshiro Mifune at full tilt) in the midst of a costly takeover battle is faced with a Shakespearean dilemma when his chauffer’s son is mistakenly kidnapped by cold-blooded criminals who demand a ruinous, multimillion-Yen ransom. Should he pay the gang and lose everything he’s worked for in order to save the life of another man’s son? Largely set in Mifune’s modernist hilltop mansion and Tokyo’s tawdry lower depths, Kurosawa's taut adaptation of Ed McBain’s King’s Ransom is a gripping race-against-time cliff-hanger, a compelling policier and a tour-de-force of black-and-white, Scope cinematography. A virtuoso sequence on a speeding bullet train and the sweaty, narcotic haze of Yokohama’s dark alleys and nightclubs are highlights in this feverish procedural. “A full-fledged masterpiece. . . . Kurosawa captures the agonizing tension of the situation with stunning verve, using the TohoScope wide-screen with brilliance, shrinking it and even stretching it with his compositions.”—Chris Fujiwara, The Boston Phoenix. THE HINDENBURG 1975, Universal, 125 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise Director Robert Wise helmed this film about the Hindenburg conflagration, touched off when the German zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937. George C. Scott is a conflicted German security officer aboard, Anne Bancroft is a wayward countess, William Atherton (DAY OF THE LOCUST) a possible saboteur, Roy Thinnes (TV’s "The Invaders") a fanatical Gestapo officer and Charles Durning (DOG DAY AFTERNOON) the Hindenburg’s captain. Recipient of two Oscars for Special Achievement in Sound Effects (Peter Berkos) and Visual Effects (Albert Whitlock, Glen Robinson). Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles First and foremost a city of cinema, L.A. exists both in the movies that are made here and in the image of the place on film. Mark Shiel explores this alluring locale in his new book, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles, depicting the ever-changing cinematic image of the city and revealing how its celluloid identity has been reflected and manipulated by its physical geography. Shiel traces the history of L.A. from the invention of motion pictures in the 1890s to the decline of the studio system in the 1950s. Shiel teaches in the Department of Film Studies at King’s College London. He is the author of Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City and the editor of Cinema and the City and Screening the City. HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF ART THAT IS NOT A PIECE OF ART - Gerry Fialka screens rare film clips and leads discussion that will delve deep into flipping that line into HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART THAT IS NOT NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART ala culture jammers and renegade artists. "The English language is the only language where a double negative is a no-no." - Alfred E. Newman. IDENTITY CARD The next time you reminisce about how the trials and tribulations of your teenage years — consider what that time of your life would’ve been like in ‘70s Communist Czechoslovakia! “Based on the novel of the same title by Petr Sabach, this bittersweet comedy focuses on four friends coming of age in the Seventies. The Communist regime’s dubious gift of a state identity card confers alleged adult status on the 15-year-olds, but plants the seeds of rebellion as the influence of rock music and Western hippie values pull them in daring new directions” (Siskel Film Center.) This epic teenage period piece is helmed by Ondrej Trojan, the two-time Oscar-nominated producer of Divided We Fall and director of Želary. Come early for Cinefamily’s Identity Card pre-show featuring vintage footage of classic Czech rock ‘n roll! Dir. Ondrej Trojan, 2010, 137 min. Imitation of Life (1934) Directed by John Stahl Renowned for its early Westerns and horror films, Universal also laid substantial groundwork for the melodrama in a series of films directed by John M. Stahl, three of which made such a strong impression that they were remade by Douglas Sirk in the 1950s (Imitation of Life, Magnificent Obsession and When Tomorrow Comes, which became Interlude). While Sirk’s movies are known for Technicolor expressiveness, Stahl’s power lay in his restraint; his camera’s cool, lingering gaze mapped the byways of emotional turbulence with open sincerity. Imitation of Life, based on Fannie Hurst’s 1933 novel, focuses on single mother Bea (Claudette Colbert), who successfully markets her Black maid Delilah’s (Louise Beavers) pancake recipe but fails to improve the plight of Delilah’s daughter, Peola (Fredi Washington), who “passes” for white. Though it’s suffused with stereotypes—most obviously in its appropriation of the servile and superstitious “mammy” figure—it’s an earnest attempt to address racial tensions in its day. The assertion that Peola was born into a world prejudiced against her is skillfully and compassionately wrought. The film brims with memorable supporting players (look for Ned Sparks as the crusty and clownish businessman Elmer Smith), but Black actress Fredi Washington makes a particularly strong impression as Peola. With her magnetic screen presence and a carefully modulated anxiety, Washington conveys her character’s dilemma with clear, tragic force. “You don’t know what it’s like to look white and be Black,” she tells Bea. Unlike the character she plays, however, Washington, later a journalist and social activist, proudly bore her ethnicity throughout her career and co-founded the Negro Actors Guild of America in 1937. In addition to its racial drama, the film touches admirably on women’s independence. As the rags-to-riches entrepreneur, the always charismatic Colbert shifts easily from working class exasperation to society glamor, but her confidence and self-sufficiency remain central. Exploring issues of career, motherhood and romance through its female protagonists, the film helped establish the “weepie” as a substantial genre. —Doug Cummings Universal Pictures. Producer: Carl Laemmle Jr. Based on the novel by Fannie Hurst. Screenwriter: William Hurlbut. Cinematographer: Merritt Gerstad. Editor: Philip Cahn, Maurice Wright. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks, Louise Beavers. 35mm, b/w, 116 min. In a Lonely Place (1950) Directed by Nicholas Ray In this emotionally wrenching noir meditation on human frailty, director Ray directs his then wife Gloria Grahame as a woman locked in a tumultuous relationship with Bogart’s belligerent screenwriter (and murder suspect). 35mm, b/w, 94 min. IN COLD BLOOD 1967, Sony Repertory, 134 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks This starkly masterful adaptation of Truman Capote’s true-crime classic emerges as one of the finest films by director Richard Brooks (THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, THE PROFESSIONALS). Robert Blake and Scott Wilson etch startlingly vivid portrayals of killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, two small-time thieves whose bungled home invasion robbery evolved into a slaughter of the helpless Clutter family. Charles McGraw and Jeff Corey are likewise superb as Smith’s and Hickock’s fathers. With John Forsythe as doggedly methodical head investigator Alvin Dewey. Nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director and Screenplay (Brooks), Best Cinematography (Conrad Hall) and Best Music (Quincy Jones). THE IN-LAWS 1979, Warner Bros., 103 min, USA, Dir: Arthur Hiller Giant tsetse flies, the Bay of Pigs, dictators with talking hands, flames on your car: One of the laugh-out-loud funniest movies of the past 25 years stars Alan Arkin as a middle-class dentist who finds himself thrown together with delusional CIA agent Peter Falk when their children decide to get married. Serpentine, Shel, serpentine! Discussion between films with director Arthur Hiller. THE INVADER 2011, O'Brother Distribution, 94 min, Belgium, Dir: Nicolas Provost “Amadou (Issaka Sawadogo), a swaggering bull of a man, makes his way from an unspecified African country to work illegally in Europe. He finds a tough construction job in Brussels…Amadou is a man on the make, both financial and sexually, so it isn’t long before he’s engaged in a steamy affair with Agnès (Stefania Rocca), a sophisticated, white European woman. When this liaison turns sour, Amadou’s fortunes quickly deteriorate. A chap who has previously been a potentially model EU citizen - hard-working, caring, conscientious, intelligent, resourceful - spirals into bloodshed and murder…Slickly accomplished and anchored by an outstanding central performance by the imposing Sawadogo, this offbeat picture will be a surefire talking point at festivals, especially those also showing Steve McQueen’s SHAME, with which it happens to share certain key thematic and visual parallels.” - The Hollywood Reporter. In French with English subtitles. THE IRON MASK Co-presented by the Art Directors Guild Film Society. Sponsored by the Hollywood Reporter. The Art Directors Guild Film Society kicks off their 75th anniversary year and 2012 film series with Douglas Fairbanks classic THE IRON MASK. The screening will be a tribute to Mr. Fairbanks, a great early patron of film design, as well as the film’s designer, the late Maurice Leloir, and the excellence of Hollywood film design from its very earliest days. THE IRON MASK, directed by Allan Dwan and a sequel to THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1921), was Fairbanks’ final silent swashbuckler and is considered the last of his great successes. A single 35mm print exists, restored by famed film historian Kevin Brownlow, and will be flown in from London to be projected with the acclaimed Carl Davis score! Preceding the feature, clips from earlier Douglas Fairbanks pictures A MODERN MUSKETEER (1917) and THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1921) will screen along with a big-screen presentation of Leloir's designs, rare stills, and details from the restoration of THE IRON MASK. Original posters and artwork from the collection of Dr. Tracey Goessel, as well as Fairbanks’ fascinating first effort at a Musketeer-style costumed swashbuckler, A MODERN MUSKETEER, will be on display in the lobby. A panel discussion will follow the film, with guests including John Tibbetts (Fairbanks authority and professor of film at the University of Kansas), Laurence Bennett (Oscar-nominated production designer of THE ARTIST), and Patrick Stanbury (Kevin Brownlow’s partner, producer, historian, and film restorationist), moderated by production designer John Muto. 1929, Photoplay Productions, 95 min, USA, Dir: Allan Dwan Douglas Fairbanks stars as D’Artagnan in this rip-roaring adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s series of novels. When the newly born heir to King Louis XIII’s kingdom surprisingly has a twin, the baby is smuggled away to Spain to ensure the peaceful future of France. D’Artagnan is enlisted by Cardinal Richelieu to look after the hidden prince. Many years later, after Richelieu’s death, the nefarious Rochefort kidnaps the new king and disguises him with an imposing iron mask, replacing the ruler with his twin. Can D’Artagnan save the abducted king and return the country to stability? Screening format: 35mm | Print of THE IRON MASK restored under Kevin Brownlow’s supervision, with a stereo musical score composed by Carl Davis and the original sound prologue by Douglas Fairbanks. I VITELLONI Italian maestro Federico Fellini's first international success is a nakedly autobiographical film that bears many of the formal and thematic concerns that recur throughout his work. Set in the director's hometown of Rimini, I Vitelloni follows the lives of five young vitelloni, or layabouts, who while away their listless days in their small seaside village. Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), the leader of the pack, marries his sweetheart, but finds himself constantly distracted by other women. Meanwhile, would-be playwright Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) continues work on his dreary plays, dreaming of staging them one day. Clownish Alberto (Alberto Sordi) still lives at home with his mother and sister, Olga (Claude Farell), while boasting of preserving the family honor by watching over her. While the movie seems to pay little attention to Riccardo (Riccardo Fellini) and Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), the latter eventually emerges as its key character, plainly serving as Fellini's alter ego. Stuck in adolescence, the five friends stumble into various misadventures, as they seek to spice up their uneventful provincial lives. A hit in Italy upon its release, I Vitelloni secured Fellini's reputation as an up-and-coming talent, while also introducing its title into Italian vernacular. 1953, Italy/France, 35mm, 104 minutes. directed by Federico Fellini; screenplay by Federico Fellini & Ennio Flaiano; story by Federico Fellini & Ennio Flaiano & Tullio Pinelli; starring Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi; music by Nino Rota; in Italian with English subtitles I WISH Twelve-year-old Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents inKagoshima, in the southern region of Kyushu, Japan. His younger brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata, northern Kyushu. The brothers have been separated by their parents’ divorce and Koichi’s only wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed. With help from the adults around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle that will improve their difficult lives. JOHNNY GUITAR Director Nicholas Ray upends any preconceived notions about gender roles of the old West, with a baroque adventure that climaxes with butch Joan Crawford and an even butcher Mercedes McCambridge facing off in one of the screen's most unforgettable gunfights. Whether you read the film as a Freudian Western or a metaphor about McCarthy-era witch hunts and Red-baiting, JOHNNY GUITAR goes over the top and stays there for its entire running time. The extraordinary ensemble cast also includes Sterling Hayden, Ernest Borgnine, Ward Bond, Scott Brady and John Carradine not to mention a theme song sung by Peggy Lee. (Fun fact: This is the movie that Carmen Maura's character in WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN is overdubbing into Spanish.) KHRUSTALYOV, MY CAR! 1998/b&w/150 min. Scr: Aleksei German, Svetlana Karmalita; dir: Aleksei German. The newest film by Russian auteur Aleksei German has been largely unseen since its limited release in 1998. Based on a story by Joseph Brodsky, German’s film spans the final days of Stalin’s regime (its title refers to the exclamation made by the chief of the USSR’s secret police to his chauffer as he stormed from the dictator’s deathbed), as a Red Army surgeon’s life is thrown into disarray when he’s accused of involvement in a plot to assassinate politburo leaders. German’s weightless camera weaves through a paranoid, wintry panorama of Soviet surrealism. “One of the few indisputable masterpieces of world cinema completed in the last 40 years. There is nothing quite like its combination of hallucinatory dreamscape, vulgar slapstick and mournful indignation over acts of violent political oppression. Imagine Alice in Wonderland mashed into a blender with the classic anti-Stalinist literature of Koestler, Orwell and Solzhenitsyn and you begin to get a sense of this bewildering accomplishment.”—Larry Gross, Film Comment The Kid Brother (1927) The most important family in Hickoryville is (naturally enough) the Hickorys, with sheriff Jim and his tough manly sons Leo and Olin. The timid youngest son, Harold, doesn't have the muscles to match up to them, so he has to use his wits to win the respect of his strong father and also the love of beautiful Mary. The Harold Lloyd film will be accompanied by the LA Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis. Music for The Kid Brother was commissioned by Thames Television for Channel 4. LA AIR: TUNI CHATTERJI LA AIR is a new artist-in-residence program that invites Los Angeles filmmakers to utilize EPFC resources in creating a new work over a four-week period. Tuni Chatterji’s conceptual framework starts with form itself. She is interested in looking at the physical and philosophical spaces between fiction and documentation and the relationship between images and sounds relative to the phenomena of the cinematic experience. Her filmmaking practice is informed by her study of painting. After receiving a BFA in painting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she went on to receive a MFA in Filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2007, Tuni received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research and start production on her feature length documentary Okul Nodi. Tuni’s work has been screened around the world at venues including Rotterdam International Film Festival, Printemps du Septembre and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Beginning with the movement around a specific place and time, her proposed residency project SUNSET AT NOON will be a study of Sunset Boulevard at Noon. L.A. FILMWORKS: THE STATE OF THE ART IN LOS ANGELES, 1980 In the early 1980s, Filmforum’s Terry Cannon assembled a few mixed shows for touring of experimental films by Los Angeles filmmakers. Along with Filmforum Film (Craig Rice, 1980), a document of Filmforum, selections from these shows proves a fitting end to the series, revealing the state of the art as seen by its curators in Los Angeles, circa 1980. Guests will include Craig Rice, William Scaff and Filmforum founder Terry Cannon. LA FOLIE ALMAYER ALMAYER'S FOLLY 2011, Shellac Distribution, 127 min, Belgium, France, Dir: Chantal Akerman Freely adapted from Joseph Conrad's first novel, Chantal Akerman's hypnotic drama follows a European trader's faded dreams of finding fortune in Malaysia, and his broken relationship with his half-Malay daughter. Gorgeously shot in the dense, overlush jungle, the film showcases Akerman's aesthetic tendancies for long takes and docudrama-style spontaneity. Official selection of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. LANCELOT DU LAC 1974, Gaumont, 85 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Bresson’s dream project, a film he wanted to make for more than 20 years, LANCELOT DU LAC marked a new distillation in the master’s vision and style. The director predictably ignores the pageantry, magic and romance of the quest for the Holy Grail, concentrating instead on the demise of the chivalric codes and on the canonic knights’ spiritual anguish as they return “without the Grail, which is to say the absolute, God” (Bresson). The famous jousting sequence is “one of the most exciting action sequences in the history of cinema” (Jonathan Rosenbaum). In French with English subtitles. L’ARGENT 1983, Janus Films, 85 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Transposing a Tolstoy novella to a contemporary Paris composed of Vermeer-like visuals, Bresson turns his last film into a terse and chilling indictment of capitalism and modernity. A young man (Christian Patey) unwittingly passes a counterfeit bill, his crime setting off an “avalanche of evil” that leads to mass murder and, finally, to expiation. In French with English subtitles. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS 1992, 20th Century Fox, 116 min, USA, Dir: Michael Mann James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel of the French & Indian War gets a kinetic modern upgrade courtesy of action specialist Michael Mann. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Hawkeye, a white orphan adopted by a Mohican tribe; Madeleine Stowe is the beautiful daughter of a British officer. Their love story set against the backdrop of massive historical changes makes this the rare epic that is as intimate as it is sweeping. Discussion following with director Michael Mann, moderated by Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog. Definitive Director’s Cut! LA VAMPIRE NUE British duo of darkness Demdike Stare creeps upon the Cinefamily for the world premiere of their doomy, occult-laden ghost-ambient score to of one of the most visually stunning erotic horror films ever! Single-handedly crafting a new genre, Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker are the purveyors of the “hauntology” aesthetic: the dual planes of desert gothtronics as the backdrop for a witches’ cult ritual dance deep in the El Topian wasteland — and the exotic, balmy and grotesque industrial-scapes born out of the duo’s Lancashire background. Tonight, Demdike Stare (named after a famous Pendle witch) re-vamp and re-craft their asymmetrical dub-isms to a special streamlined version of La Vampire Nue, Jean Rollin’s surrealistic 1970 classic of beguiling bloodthirtsy babes and fantastical phantasms! Dir. Jean Rollin, 1971, digital presentation, 50 min. LE DIABLE PROBABLEMENT 1977, Olive Films/Film Desk, 95 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson The most controversial film of Bresson’s career, LE DIABLE PROBABLEMENT was off-limits to viewers under the age of 18 in France as an incitement to suicide. A film that caused Rainer Werner Fassbinder to threaten to walk off the Berlin Film Festival jury if his support for it was not made public, it traces the last six months in the life of a young Parisian in search of his own demise, who rejects the conventional solutions offered by politics and religion, saying “My sickness is that I see clearly.” In French with English subtitles. LES ANGES DU PECHE 1943, 96 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Adapted by Jean Giraudoux from a Diderot novel, LES ANGES DU PECHE is a thriller in both the spiritual and the more traditional suspenseful sense - as well as being a magnificent example of that little recognized subgenre, the “nun movie.” A pampered young woman (Renee Faure) enters a Dominican convent and dedicates herself to saving a bitter, self-hating delinquent with a murderous heart (Jany Holt). As with many of Bresson’s subsequent characters, the nun’s search for salvation through sacrifice becomes a kind of Calvary, ending in humiliation, death and redemption. In French with English subtitles. LES DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE 1945, Janus Films, 86 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson A jealous woman (María Casares, in a piercing performance) takes revenge on the man who spurned her (Paul Bernard) by tricking him into marriage with a prostitute (Elina Labourdette). Jean Cocteau wrote the dialogue for this glistening drama of revenge, which, despite its elegantly acid language and luxe setting, is remarkably Bressonian in its emphasis on entrapment, sacrifice and redemption. In French with English subtitles. L'INFERNO In conjunction with the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages, this series focuses on three interpretations of Dante Alighieri's Inferno. Since the fifteenth century, illustrators, painters, and (finally) filmmakers have envisioned the "nine circles of hell." L'Inferno (1911, Italy, 68 minutes, black and white) Directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro Little Man, What Now? (1934) Directed by Frank Borzage Universal’s adaptation of the 1932 international bestseller by Hans Fallada is a rare example of Hollywood addressing Germany’s interwar depression and political turmoil while it was happening. For the most part, the industry typically avoided offending its German distributors and shied away from potentially controversial topics. Released when Hitler was already chancellor of Germany, Little Man, What Now? became the first film in director Frank Borzage’s increasingly anti-Nazi “Weimar Trilogy,” which includes Three Comrades (1938) and The Mortal Storm (1940), both also starring Margaret Sullavan. The film is virtually bookended with street demonstrations dispersed by police, and the title is a rhetorical question posed to the baby of the story’s newlyweds, Hans (Douglass Montgomery) and Laamchen (Sullavan): What will be the fate of an individual in a country facing violent upheaval? Hans and Laamchen are happily married in Ducherow, but struggling to make ends meet in hard economic times. The news of Laamchen’s pregnancy causes them worry, particularly Hans, who works as a bookkeeper for a bullying grain merchant who threatens to fire his employees on a regular basis. Their efforts to establish a new life apart from the chaos around them leads them to Berlin and a series of relationships with cutthroat employers, desperate opportunists, and ideologues. But their commitment to each other never falters. Though it was merely her second feature, the strong-willed Sullavan reportedly insisted on the selection of Borzage as director, and the material couldn’t have appealed more to the filmmaker as it connected with his major theme: the possibility of personal transcendence through romantic love. The diminutive but soulful Sullavan quickly became one of Borzage’s key muses, much as Janet Gaynor did in the silent period. Borzage’s visual finesse especially shines in two set pieces: an Edenic countryside outing in which Hans and Laamchen are bathed in soft light and playfully chase each other in a magnificent tracking shot; and a conversation staged on a merry-go-round, an apt visual metaphor for the lovers’ determined grasp in a whirlwind of social change. —Doug Cummings Universal Pictures. Producer: Carl Laemmle Jr. Based on the novel by Hans Fallada. Screenwriter: William Anthony McGuire. Cinematographer: Norbert Brodine. Editor: Milton Carruth. Cast: Margaret Sullavan, Douglass Montgomery, Alan Hale, Catharine Doucet, DeWitt Jennings. 35mm, b/w, 98 min. LOLA 1981, Janus Films, 113 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder In the late 1950s during West Germany’s postwar economic boom, Herr von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl) moves to the corruption-rife city of Coburg as its new building commissioner. He’s immediately smitten with his landlady’s daughter, Mary-Louise (Barbara Sukowa), with little knowledge of her double life: In the evenings she becomes Lola, a sultry bordello singer and mistress of local builder Schuckert (Mario Adorf). That Schuckert’s profits depend on von Bohm’s building approvals only makes this lush melodrama and second installment in Fassbinder’s “BRD Trilogy” all the more delectably complex. Shot in gorgeous, disco-ball colors by cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger. In German with English subtitles. LONG LIVE THE FAMILY One of the most strident voices in contemporary Czech cinema, director Robert Sedlacek crafts a searing commentary on contemporary Eastern European society in this critically acclaimed drama. A nouveau riche business executive goes on the run from the police, masking his escape as a family trip, claiming all the while that his chosen career, and the embezzlement that ensued, was all for the good of his family. Dir. Robert Sedlacek, 2011, 90 min. LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH 1969, Janus Films, 88 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder In Fassbinder's stark, sardonic debut feature, small-time Munich pimp Franz Walsch (played by an uncredited Fassbinder) relishes his entrepreneurial independence and refuses to join the local mob, despite its allure of greater cash flow and stability. When Franz is befriended by mysterious crook Bruno (Ulli Lommel), the two go on a small but frenzied crime spree of theft and murder, along with Franz's prostitute girlfriend Joanna (Hanna Schygulla). But as Franz plans another robbery, this time a more elaborate heist, the allegiances of the trio begin to break down. Why did Bruno seek out Franz in the first place? And is Joanna's jealous distrust leading her to make other plans? In German with English subtitles. THE LOVE TRAP In a shocking turn of events, The Silent Treatment presents the mellifluous tones of spoken dialogue! “Goat-glanders” (silents with inserted talkie sequences) were all the rage in-between 1927’s The Jazz Singer and the talkie era — and 1929’s The Love Trap is not only one of the best of this rare breed, but it’s also the most intriguing, as it’s fully bi-sected into a silent first half and a talkie second half. Directed by Hollywood legend William Wyler (Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday), the film stars the charming Laura La Plante (a kind of cross between Lucille Ball and Tina Fey) as a bright-eyed dancer who is fired from her chorus line job, cornered by a sly womanizer and evicted from her apartment, all in a single day. Fate leads her into the arms of a loving, warm-blooded blue blood, but his uptight family’s got something to say about the matter! The light comedy on display here is utterly effervescent and effortless, making the dramatic mid-film transition to sound even more effective, as Wyler brilliantly switches things up during a pivotal heavy plot twist. Our show opens with three Vitaphone late-‘20s musical soundie shorts: Norman Thomas Quintette in Harlem-Mania (1929), The Ham What I Am (1928) & The Ingenues, The Band Beautiful (1928)! The Love Trap Dir. William Wyler, 1929, 35mm, 71 min. Norman Thomas Quintette in Harlem-Mania Dir. Murray Roth, 1929, 35mm, 8 min. The Ham What I Am 1928, 35mm, 8 min. The Ingenues, The Band Beautiful 1928, 35mm, 9 min. M 1951/b&w/86 min. Scr: Norman Reilly Raine, Leo Katcher, Waldo Salt; dir: Joseph Losey; w/ David Wayne, Raymond Burr, Norman Lloyd, Luther Adler, Howard da Silva; cinematography: Ernest Laszlo. In this unjustly neglected remake of the Fritz Lang masterpiece of the same name, Joseph Losey turns the manhunt for a child-murderer into a stark portrait of paranoia in postwar America. Largely set in and around Bunker Hill, the film's climax takes place in the Bradbury Building. Blacklisted shortly after the film's release when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Losey relocated to Europe, where he went on to collaborate with Harold Pinter on a number of iconic films, producing a far-ranging and esteemed body of work. “A marvelous, frightening film, years ahead of [Losey’s] time.”—David Thompson Imported 35mm print. THE MAKIOKA SISTERS The Makioka Sisters chronicles the life and affairs of four sisters in late '30s Japan. An older, conservative sister tries to continue family traditions and pretensions to status, while the younger sisters discover the new freedoms becoming available to them. "This Kon Ichikawa film has a triumphant simplicity about it. You don't just watch the film--you coast on its rhythms and glide past the precipitous spots" (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker). The cast includes Juzo Itami, who would later emerge as a prominent director with The Funeral, Tampopo and A Taxing Woman. In Japanese with English subtitles. 1983, Japan, 35mm, 140 minutes. 35mm print made in 2011! directed by Kon Ichikawa; starring Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yûko Kotegawa; in Japanese with English subtitles A MAN ESCAPED 1956, Janus Films, 95 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson François Truffaut pronounced A MAN ESCAPED “the most important film of the last 10 years” when it was first released; for many critics, including Jonathan Rosenbaum, it continues to maintain its reputation as the pinnacle of Bresson’s cinema. Based on resistance leader Andre Dévigny’s account of his escape from the Nazi prison at Montluc just hours before he was to be executed - and on Bresson’s own memories of his 18-month confinement in a German POW camp during the war - the film is legendary for the authenticity of its setting, the rigor with which Bresson recreates the painstaking preparations for escape, and the use of Mozart’s C Minor Mass to elevate the grueling routines of life. A work of metaphysical suspense and resolute beauty. In French with English subtitles. Thanks to Janus Films for this brand-new 35mm print, which required extensive restoration from a camera negative. THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN 1979, Janus Films, 120 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder The marriage of Maria Braun (Hanna Schygulla in an exacting, ferocious performance) is officiated as bombs fall on it. Remaining unflinchingly loyal to her soldier husband, who soon thereafter is lost in action and then imprisoned, the sharp-as-a-tack Maria manipulates her way into the company and affections of Oswald (Ivan Desny), a manufacturer just gullible enough to give her the lucrative reins to his business. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s portrait of a beleaguered young woman who sees no option for survival but to ascend pitilessly to the top is perhaps the most beautiful, cruel film about the postwar German psyche ever made. In German with English subtitles. MATCHMAKING MAYOR “Were award-winning director Erika Hnikova’s entertaining “Matchmaking Mayor” a fiction film, it would seem ludicrous or cloying, meaning its subjects are a documentarian’s dream. She portrays ridiculous situations with the kind of sensibility that has us laughing with the subjects, not at them.” –Hollywood Reporter The kooky mayor of Zemplínske Hamre, Slovakia, is bewildered at the number of single young people in his village. He’s mystified that they would rather get to the bottom of a vodka bottle than talk to a member of the opposite sex, and in his view, this is why the human race is quietly going to hell in a handbasket. All of his earnest attempts to encourage procreation, including regularly using the village’s public address system to point out the young people’s civic duty to partner up, have failed. So he hatches a plan to neatly pair up each of the available singles. Needless to say, things don’t quite go to plan. In the end, this fantastic documentary seeks to answer the simple query: can the heart be commanded? Dir. Erika Hnikova, 2011, 72 min. THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS 1971, Janus Films, 88 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Back from the war and greeted with chilling contempt by his mother, Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmuller) continues his streak of disappointing his bourgeois family by becoming a fruit peddler. This lowly profession depresses Hans, driving him to drinking, drugs and casual abuse of his wife (Irm Herrmann), but it’s nothing in comparison with the despair he feels when his business actually begins to flourish and he’s suddenly the pride and joy of his relatives. A merciless and formally virtuoso drama from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, shot with perfection by cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann and named one of the director’s top films by critic Roger Ebert. In German with English subtitles. Mickey One (1965) Directed by Arthur Penn Arthur Penn’s New Wave-influenced, jazz riff on film noir and post-war alienation was years ahead of its time and still casts a hypnotic spell as Warren Beatty’s stand-up comic tries to out run the mob. 35mm, b/w, 93 min. MOON OVER PARADOR 1988, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Paul Mazursky When a South American dictator dies, an actor with a strong resemblance to him is hired to take his place. The actor (a brilliant Richard Dreyfuss) isn't crazy about the gig, but when he gets a taste of power - and a look at the dictator's hot companion - he suddenly changes his tune. Raul Julia and Jonathan Winters provide support (with cameos from Dick Cavett, Sammy Davis Jr., and Charo!) in this typically hilarious piece of humanist satire from director Paul Mazursky. Discussion between films with director Arthur Hiller. MOTHER KUSTERS GOES TO HEAVEN 1975, Janus Films, 120 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Frau Kusters (Brigitte Mira) gets the terrible news that her husband Herrmann has gone berserk after layoff announcements at the local tire factory, killed his supervisor and then committed suicide. As reporters sensationalize the deaths, Frau Kusters finds no comfort from her self-involved children, and befriends German Communist Party members Karl and Marianne Thalman (PEEPING TOM’s Karlheinz Bohm and THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT’s Margit Carstensen), who crash Herrmann’s funeral and see his death as a revolutionary act. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s brilliant send-up of Germany’s class structure, blood-sucking media and armchair activism features a superb cast and is shot impeccably by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. In German with English subtitles. MOUCHETTE 1967, Rialto Pictures, 82 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Based on a novel by Georges Bernanos (who also penned Diary of a Country Priest), Bresson’s masterpiece chronicles the last days in the barren, isolated life of a poor provincial girl (Nadine Nortier), beset with a dying mother, an alcoholic father and an infant brother, who greets ridicule and humiliation with a truculent defiance. In French with English subtitles. MOVING PICTURES: PAINTING, PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM Part of Filmforum’s series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980. Movies are made up of many still images, moving rapidly through a projector. And they are among the two-dimensional pictorial arts, along with painting and photography. And here’s a show bringing these ideas front and center, with lively deconstructions of movies into stills; commentaries on the “death” of painting; explorations into the possibility of making moving paintings; and intense explorations into the meaning of still images in the creation of the identity of a people. Including films by many artists, often people who also work in paint: John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, Sam Erenberg, Morgan Fisher, Gary Beydler, and more! Some in person. MURDER BY CONTRACT 1958/b&w/81 min. Scr: Ben Simcoe; dir: Irving Lerner; w/ Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi; cinematography: Lucien Ballard. Before he was America’s favorite doctor in the hit television drama Ben Casey, Vince Edwards starred as a ruthless petty criminal in a pair of film noirs by Irving Lerner, a director with roots in New York’s Workers Film and Photo League. Murder by Contract is the first and best of these two films, a masterpiece of minimalism and restraint that imagines what an Antonioni drive-in feature may look like. Edwards plays a cold-blooded contract killer who is sent on assignment to Los Angeles to snuff out the woman who is set to testify against his underworld employer. As he quietly strategizes the most effective way to infiltrate her heavily guarded hilltop mansion, Edwards takes in the sights of the City of Angels, all the while towing a round a pair of ill-matched handlers. Shot on a Poverty Row budget over eight days and with maximum precision by Lucien Ballard (The Killing, The Wild Bunch, Fixed Bayonets), the film remains a major touchstone for Martin Scorsese. Blacklisted shortly after making Murder by Contract, Lerner would occasionally resurface behind the scenes on other films, among them Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, but his contributions were largely uncredited. His final job was editing Scorsese’s New York, New York. “This is the film that has influenced me most… The spirit of Murder by Contract has a lot to do with Taxi Driver. Lerner was an artist who knew how to do things in shorthand, like Bresson and Godard.”—Martin Scorsese. MUSIC AS MENIPPEAN SATIRE - Gerry Fialka screens rare film clips and leads discussion that will delve deep into questions about music and humor. How can instrumental music make one laugh? Explore avant garde jazz, theatrical rock, novelty music and more. "Laughter is the reconciliation of yes and no" - Gurdjieff. "Music will not save your soul, but it will make your soul worth saving." - Korla Pandit. "Beta music for beta people for a beta world." - Sun Ra. THE MYSTERY OF THE DOUBLE CROSS Dirs. William Parke, Louis J. Gasnier. While traveling to America via steamship to receive his inheritance, Peter Hale (Leon Bary) receives an inscrutable telegram warning him to “beware the Double Cross.” He later is thrown together with a mysterious woman (Mollie King) during a panic over a submarine sighting. In the tumult, he sees a double cross symbol on her right shoulder. Could this be linked to the telegram, and the strange stipulation in his father’s will that Peter will marry a woman identified by the sign of the double cross? Even more unsettling is the will’s ultimatum that if anyone else marries the woman, then it will be he, not Peter, who inherits the Hale family fortune... Live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Screening format: 8mm. 15 episodes. NANAMI: THE INFERNO OF FIRST LOVE 1968/b&w/108 min. Scr: Susumu Hani, Shuji Terayama; dir: Susumu Hani; w/ Akio Takahashi, Kuniko Ishii A groundbreaking filmmaker from the Japanese New Wave whose work has gone largely unseen in the U.S., Susumu Hani creates a hallucinatory portrait of big-city adolescence in Nanami: The Inferno of First Love. A love story seen through a glass darkly (and a box-office smash in Japan), the film follows a teenage couple—both played by non-actors—as they take fateful steps toward adulthood in the shadow of Tokyo’s teeming Shinjuku district. She finds work as nude model; he uncovers traumas from his childhood. A stark and often sexually explicit rendering of a generation’s aimless drift, Nanami is largely set in shabby hotel rooms, bleak basement studios, and phantasmagoric shantytowns. Strewn with flashbacks and lapses of delirium, the film is co-written by avant-garde poet/filmmaker/dramatist/photographer Shuji Terayama, who would go on to mine similar terrain in his cult classic film Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1971). Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1940) Directed by Edward Cline For his last starring vehicle, Fields developed a loose story that has him playing a version of himself (more or less): an aging comedian at Esoteric Pictures, trying to sell the studio on his wild ideas while mentoring his niece, a young singing star (Jean). Such a straight-forward synopsis, however, doesn’t even begin to capture the surreal energy of this eccentric romp. Universal Pictures. Screenwriter: John T. Neville, Prescott Chaplin. Cinematographer: Charles Van Enger. Editor: Arthur Hilton. Cast: W. C. Fields, Gloria Jean, Leon Errol, Margaret Dumont, Susan Miller. 35mm, b/w, 70 min. New Day at 40: A Community's Celebration REDCAT is proud to host a celebratory screening (program TBA) to mark the 40th anniversary of New Day Films—created by filmmakers Julia Reichert and Jim Klein when they failed to secure distribution for Growing Up Female (1971), about the social constraints placed on women aged 4 to 35. In the early 1970s the act of hearing women’s voices was perceived as a “radical,” and New Day welcomed the work of filmmakers—both men and women—who were challenging the political status quo in terms of gender, social and racial inequality. Today, New Day Films counts more than 100 members, whose films have won Academy Awards, Emmys, and premiered at major film festivals, and cover issues as diverse as immigration, human rights, LGBT, disability, addiction, criminal justice, youth and aging. In person: Members of New Day Films NEW WORKS SALON: CALARTS EDITION A special CalArts student edition of the New Works Salon, in which several artists will present in-progress or recently completed works. This screening will present a broad range of film and video work being made at the California Institute of the Arts, undergraduate and graduate students from the film/video program, experimental animation and the school of art will be showcased. Former EPFC student and current teacher Walter Vargas will show Driving South Florence, a 16mm portrait on South Central made during his first year at CalArts, 16mm Standards of Perfection by Andrew Kim is not a film about miniature horses, Marisa Williamson presents a myth of origin--about Africans who could fly, who lost their wings on the Middle Passage, but relearned the ability to fly in a moment of danger, Jackson McCoy shares "an ocean" a meditation on water, film, wet film, and dry ice, Silvia das Fadas presents Apanhar Laranjas / Picking Oranges a 1 minute 16mm film, Calvin Fredrick made a film in which "A beef thief gets some ham lip and is hampered by the doo,” all Ryan Betschart set out to do was to make an amazing Disney Channel Original Movie, but ended up making lo-fi demonic musings on his own childhood, John Warren will show his 16mm Poppy Fields Forever, Mike Stoltz will show In Between and curator, EPFC staff member and current MFA student at CalArts Eve LaFountain will show her latest pinhole/8mm dual projection film Elderberry, Black Walnut, Oak. NIGHTFALL 1957/b&w/78 min. Scr: Stirling Silliphant; dir: Jacques Tourneur; w/ Aldo Ray, Brian Keith, Anne Bancroft; cinematography: Burnett Guffey. The great Jacques Tourneur returned to the fatalistic dreamscape and fragmented storytelling of his legendary Out of the Past with this compact saga. Told largely in flashback, Nightfall opens on Hollywood Boulevard and ends, forty-eight frantic hours later, in the snowy glare of Wyoming’s badlands. The film’s time-skipping narrative finds Aldo Ray, with fashion model Anne Bancroft (in her first film role) at his side, hiding out from a ruthless gang of bank robbers that had left him for dead. Based on a David Goodis novel, Nightfall is a masterful riff on film noir tropes by a director still in command of his craft. “A model of economical filmmaking—well-sketched atmosphere, deft characterizations . . . A wrong-man flick set in a vanished America of neon signage and out-of-town news-stands . . . The cocktail lounge pickup is adroitly staged, the action climax is expertly choreographed, and a fashion show set piece is worthy of the master.”—J. Hoberman 1900 Bernardo Bertolucci's 255-minute 1900 was a gargantuan undertaking, requiring the resources of three European countries and a trio of American movie studios. Set in the Italian town of Parma, the film's continuity backtracks from Liberation Day in 1945 to the occasion of composer/patriot Giuseppe Verdi's death in 1901. We follow the lives of two men born on that day in 1901, who grow up to be Alfredo Berlinghieti (Robert De Niro) and Olmo Dalco (Gérard Depardieu). Wealthy Alfredo sinks into dissipation, while poverty-stricken Olmo becomes a firebrand labor leader and communist. After WWI, Alfredo is allowed to peacefully retain his land holdings by playing nice with the burgeoning fascists; Olmo, on the other hand, engages in a long-standing battle against the minions of Mussolini. The two protagonists are reunited when Alfredo returns to Parma to preside over Olmo's trial for "political crimes." Co-star Burt Lancaster is cast as Alfredo's wealthy grandfather, who hates to see the old values buried beneath the social travails of the 20th century. Many American prints of 1900 were shortened to 243 minutes, rendering the story hard to follow at times. Version screened will be the 1991 re-issue (restored and uncut) (note: rated NC-17). 1976, Italy/France/West Germany, 35mm, 317 minutes. directed by Bernardo Bertolucci; produced by Alberto Grimaldi; written by Franco Arcalli and Bernardo Bertolucci and Giuseppe Bertolucci; starring Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland, Alida Valli, Burt Lancaster, Sterling Hayden; music by Ennio Morricone; cinematography by Vittorio Storaro ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH (Chris Marker, 1999): Through film clips, journal entries, and personal musings, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is renowned French filmmaker Chris Marker's homage to his friend and colleague, Andrei Tarkovsky, who died in 1986. Performing close readings of Tarkovsky’s films – including rare scenes from his student film (an adaptation of Hemingway's THE KILLERS) and a practically unknown production of BORIS GOUDONOV – Marker attempts to locate Tarkovsky in his work. Parallels drawn by Marker between Tarkovsky’s life and films offer an original insight into the reclusive director. Personal anecdotes from Tarkovsky's writings – from his prophetic meeting with Boris Pasternak (author of DR. ZHIVAGO) to an encounter with the KGB on the streets of Paris (he thought they were coming to kill him) – pepper the film. With behind-the-scenes footage of Tarkovsky obsessively commanding his entire crew (including famed Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist, during the filming of a complicated sequence from his final film The Sacrifice), and candid moments of Tarkovsky with his friends and family, bedridden but still working on the editing of his final film, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is a personal and loving portrait of the monumental filmmaker. PALMS "Artur Aristakisyan’s 1993 documentary, Palms (Ladoni), has been a film cited more than seen; it’s an intensely poetic, provocative–even inspiring–account of the poor and destitute in Chisinau (formerly Kishinev), the capital of Moldova ... it was shot in handheld, black-and-white 16mm and enlarged to 35mm in an a way that makes it seem like a scratched, overly-contrasted artifact from ages past; a film about the purity of abjection that physically resembles its subject. The only soundtrack is Aristakisyan’s ruminating narration and brief snatches of Giuseppe Verdi’s soaring music. The footage was collected over the course of several years shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union and Moldova’s independence, and it could be said to be a baring of the country’s repressed soul through the tenuous lives of its vagabonds." --Doug Cummings, Film Journeys. With introduction by Ross Lipman. 1993, 139min, projected from DVD PARTCH “Weird and wonderful sonorities, truly unlike anything else on Earth or any neighboring celestial body.” LA Weekly Celebrating the release of the first recording of the complete Bitter Music, Partch’s often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, long-lost hobo journal from 1935 is performed as a special multimedia presentation including the work’s original pen and ink illustrations, photographs from the composer’s scrapbooks and his legendary instruments. From the transient shelters of mid-Depression California to the reading room of the British Museum, from cleaning sewers to taking tea with Irish poet W.B. Yeats, Partch’s story reveals seven months in a lifetime of extraordinary struggle to forge a new musical language outside the traditions of western classical music. The evening also includes a newly discovered 1969 interview with Partch about Bitter Music, and the first performance of the long-lost 1942 version of Barstow for 2 voices, Adapted Guitar and Chromelodeon. PICKPOCKET 1959, Janus Films, 75 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Loosely based on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Bresson’s terse, intense portrait of a compulsive pickpocket (Martin LaSalle) who believes himself above the moral constraints of common humanity turns the act of thievery into a ritual at once erotic and aesthetic. The “ballets of thievery,” as Jean Cocteau called them, are stunningly choreographed and edited. In French with English subtitles. PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS 1962/b&w/108 min./Scope Scr: Hisashi Yamanouchi; dir: Shohei Imamura; w/ Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Shiro Osaka Set in the seedy port town of Yokosuka, site of a massive U.S. naval base, Pigs and Battleships is a raucous black comedy on overdrive. Director Shohei Imamura not only creates a visceral panorama of Japan’s postwar underworld—prostitutes, punks, hoods—but also offers biting metaphors of how the Japanese adapted to the daily reality of the American army presence. Its Scope frame bursting at the seams with frantic activity, the film reaches an absurdist climax as black-market pigs raised on garbage from the army compound storm the city’s narrow streets. A corrosive, breakneck satire beloved by Susan Sontag, the film was dubbed, recut, and retitled (The Dirty Girls and later The Flesh Is Hot) for its original release. Restored to its original version, Pigs and Battleships is now widely considered Imamura’s first great work. “An expansive, loopy film of extravagant set pieces and distinctive dark humor . . . Shohei Imamura has a passion for everything that’s kinky, lowlife or irrational in Japanese culture.”—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice. Poison Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) first exploded onto the post-Soderbergh '90s Sundance landscape with this controversial debut feature, a dizzying, perverse mix of kitschy drive-in fare, docudrama and lyrical poeticism. Sprinkled with quotes and situations from the literature of writer/thief/convict Jean Genet, and with a dose of vivid queer sexuality, Poison posits a triptych of stories relentlessly intercut with each other to produce an escalating sense of unease: a procedural pseudo-doc in which family and friends discuss a disappeared magical, murderous child; a '50s sci-fi parody featuring a mad doctor who chemically isolates the human sex drive; and, the aching tale of an inveterate thief whose prison life is disrupted by the object of his affection from their old reformatory days. Elegantly assembled and often disturbing, operating through dense subliminal suggestions that take hold long after the closing credits roll, Poison both nabbed the 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and ignited a firestorm of debate when its partial funding by the NEA became a target of the religious right. Dir. Todd Haynes, 1991, 35mm, 85 min. In-person: filmmaker Todd Haynes; scholar B. Ruby Rich. THE PORNOGRAPHERS 1966/b&w/127 min./Scope Scr: Shohei Imamura, Koji Numata; Dir: Shohei Imamura; w/ Shoichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Masafumi Kondo, Keiki Sagawa Imamura’s independently produced follow-up to Pigs and Battleships is one of cinema's great films on filmmaking. Subu (Shoichi Ozawa) is a small-scale movie mogul, a producer/distributor of 8mm erotic reels that he shoots in the desolate outskirts of Osaka or in threadbare home studios. Though he is considered a “maestro” by his devoted staff, his work life is a constant stream of yakuza shakedowns, police harassment, sales pitches, and unruly shoots. His home life offers little respite: Sharing his bed with a widow who keeps a carp she believes is her reincarnated husband, Subu quietly longs for the woman’s homely teenage daughter. Adapting Akiyuki Nosaka’s best-selling novel, Imamura interweaves the lurid with the lyrical, peeping through the Scope frame at the lives of the disreputable, the criminal, and the downright bizarre. “It would be difficult to mistake an Imamura film for anyone else’s—few filmmakers ever had a more dire view of mankind. His was rooted to the verities of Japanese life in extremis . . . [Imamura] began as a studio apprentice with Yasujiro Ozu, and he quickly established a distaste for his sensei’s restraint and quiet eloquence. (Even Imamura’s interior space[s] . . . are deliberately cramped and chaotic, in direct contrast to Ozu’s famous, measured rooms.) In fact, he has always seemed a sort of Japanese Sam Fuller, fascinated with working-class ruin and primal impulse. And he could be viciously funny.”—Michael Atkinson, The Boston Phoenix THE PROWLER 1951/b&w/92 min. Scr: Hugo Butler, Dalton Trumbo; dir: Joseph Losey; w/ Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell; cinematography: Arthur Miller. | Restored 35mm print; preservation funded by The Film Noir Foundation. A tawdry tale of obsession and murder, Joseph Losey’s The Prowler tells the story of a crooked LAPD rookie who decides to win over the lonely housewife he’s been stalking by knocking off her husband. Made shortly before his remake of M, The Prowler was Losey’s favorite of his five Hollywood features. Written by the already blacklisted Dalton Trumbo and the eventually blacklisted Hugo Butler, this intensely paranoid tailspin of a romance skewers middle-class decorum en route to its fateful climax in a Nevada ghost town. Featuring assistant direction by Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly) and resourceful art direction by Boris Leven (West Side Story, Criss Cross, The King of Comedy), The Prowler is a haunting portrait of the American dream, wrapped in a tabloid melodrama. A favorite of James Ellroy, The Prowler has been beautifully restored in 35mm by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. “The Prowler maybe the creepiest of classic noirs . . . it has definite Cold War resonance.”—J. Hoberman PXL THIS 21 PXL THIS 21, the 21st annual toy camera film festival featuring Pixelvision films made with the Fisher-Price PXL-2000 camcorder and the second oldest film festival in LA, celebrates visionary moving image artists from 4-years-olds to professionals. All genres are here: avant-garde, comedy, documentary, abstract, music, art, narrative & films words cannot describe. "PXL is the ultimate people's video." - J. Hoberman. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly. DIRECTOR GERRY FIALKA WILL BE PRESENT FOR DISCUSSION. REJOYCE BLOOMSDAY - Celebrate JAMES JOYCE's Bloomsday with live performances and ultra rare film clips of Joyce and Marshall McLuhan, whose translation of Finnegans Wake reveals the cloned ESP of global memory theater probing. ROBOCOP Ken Russell called it “the greatest science-fiction film since METROPOLIS.” He wasn't kidding. The single greatest American theatrical motion picture experience ever realized, controversial director Paul Verhoeven (TOTAL RECALL, SOLDIER OF ORANGE) brought ROBOCOP to life as an effects-laden work of science fiction with a satirical edge that has since become a cult classic phenomenon. The film features a resurrected and roboticized hero (Peter Weller) in a supercharged cyborg body, struggling to reclaim his memory and avenge his own death. Written by UCLA alumni Ed Neumeier (STARSHIP TROOPERS) and Michael Miner (BOOK OF STARS), the film is a superhero fantasy come to vivid, bloody life. Pre-show video introduction by Barbara Boyle, UCLA TFT Chair and former SVP of Worldwide Productions at Orion Pictures! Join us for a post-show conversation led by TFT Dean Emeritus, Bob Rosen, featuring (schedules permitting) Paul Verhoeven (director), UCLA alumnus Peter Weller (Alex Murphy/RoboCop), Nancy Allen (Anne Lewis), UCLA alumnus Ed Neumeier, UCLA alumnus Michael Miner (co-writer), Phil Tippett (ED-209 visual effects designer) and numerous additional cast/crew members to be announced soon! Do not miss this once in a lifetime event! Please note: seating for this event will be extremely limited. SATAN'S BREW 1976, Janus Films, 112 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Womanizing writer Walter (Kurt Raab) lives with his nutjob brother Ernst (Volker Spengler), who has a sexual proclivity for houseflies, and juggles drama with both his mistress and wife. Upon becoming obsessed with the work of a 19th-century gay poet, Walter imagines himself as the author’s reincarnation. Aggressively heterosexual, Walter tries to become gay for the full reincarnation to take effect, hiring a slew of handsome young men in togas to be his groupies. Fassbinder’s devilish humor is in full force in this hilarious soap opera, arguably the most flat-out comedy of his career. In German with English subtitles. SLIGHTLY SCARLET 1956/color/99 min./SuperScope Scr: Robert Blees; dir: Allan Dwan; w/ John Payne, Rhonda Fleming, Arlene Dahl, Kent Taylor; cinematography: John Alton A contemporary of D.W. Griffith, Canadian-born Allan Dwan directed a staggering four hundred films over fifty years. Made in the director’s final years, Slightly Scarlet transfers the shadowy aesthetic of film noir into eye-popping Technicolor, demonstrating that the genre’s moody and expressionistic visual style could transcend film stock. In fictional Bay City, John Payne is a hoodlum tasked to take down a reform candidate. But he ends up pining for Arlene Dahl, the politician’s secretary whose fiery, kleptomaniac sister (Rhonda Fleming) has just been released from prison. An adaptation of the James M. Cain novel Love’s Lovely Counterfeit, Dwan’s film may have been made on a tight budget but the baroque art direction of Van Nest Polglase (Citizen Kane, Top Hat) and fervid Superscope compositions by cinematographer John Alton (The Big Combo, Reign of Terror, Raw Deal) make Slightly Scarlet a singular viewing experience. Ranked fifth—above Bresson, Rossellini, and Cukor—in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1956 year-end list for Cahiers du Cinéma, it awaits rediscovery. STRAIGHT TIME 1978, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Ulu Grosbard This adaptation of the novel No Beast So Fierce, the crime-fiction debut of ex-con writer Edward Bunker (written while he was in prison), is one of the most underrated and least seen of Dustin Hoffman’s 1970s performances. Reformed Los Angeles junkie and thief Hoffman comes up against the gritty realities of a smugly unfair parole officer (M. Emmet Walsh) and the limited employment opportunities for ex-convicts. Although the bitter, frustrated Hoffman finds love in the form of Theresa Russell, his institutionalized resentments gradually suck him back down into the company of lowlife companions (Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton) and a life of crime. This was a project close to Hoffman’s heart - he initially began directing the film himself but turned it over to director Grosbard after the first few days. TACITA DEAN: FILM AND FILM Artist Tacita Dean talks about FILM, her installation at the Tate Modern in London. This work is an 11-minute, silent 35 mm film that is projected onto a 13 meter-tall white monolith. Dean also discusses her use of masterful techniques of analogue filmmaking to create FILM, a work that would not have been possible in digital format. FILM has been called "a love letter to a disappearing medium." Dean is known for her use of film to capture fleeting moments of light and subtle shifts in movement with long, steady takes to create original works that would be impossible with other media. Cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth) joins Dean following her presentation to present a proposal for UNESCO to recognize the medium of film as a world cultural heritage. A notable group of cineasts, cinematographers, and filmmakers are invited to discuss Navarro's proposal and the current urgent situation of this dying medium. THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE (from IMDB) Seven teens head up to a cabin on the lake for spring break. Mike has studied all horror films on video, and recognizes the signs of foreshadowing of doom. The others dismiss his concerns as the workings of a person that watches too many videos, but there really is something out there, and the teens begin experiencing an attrition problem when they start stumbling into all the cliches found in a typical teen horror film. 1991, USA, 35mm, 91 minutes. Writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky is scheduled to appear in person! written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky; starring Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz, Mark Collver, Bonnie Bowers TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER (Emiko Omori, 2012): A collective cinematic love letter to the elusive French filmmaker Chris Marker in documentary form, Emiko Omori’s timely film captures the persona of a filmmaker who is at once both contradictorily present in and distant from his body of work. Notoriously private, Self-described as the “best known author of unknown works,” Marker is widely known for a few key cinematic works such as LA JETÉE (1962) and SANS SOLEIL (1983), but his wider filmography remains undiscovered. Through interviews with Marker's many colleagues and admirers, Omori lovingly describes a man whose preference for personal privacy has rendered him perhaps cinema’s most famous enigma: a man who is his works. Marker’s films have affected many, both those who know him personally and those who only know him through his films. Please join us for this special event as we pay tribute to a legendary and ephemeral French filmmaker, the "cat who walks by himself," Chris Marker. NOTE: This is the first public screening of Emiko Omori’s TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER, still a work in progress. TOM CHOMONT A screening of recently preserved 16mm films by the late Tom Chomont. This rare screening of films brings the work of this artist back to Los Angeles. Filmmaker Jim Hubbard writes: “Chomont’s films offer a lyric depiction of the ordinary world, but at the same time reveal an unabashedly spiritual and sexualized parallel universe. His incomparable technique of offsetting color positive and high contrast black-and-white negative creates a subtly beautiful, otherworldly aura.” Fearless and tender, Chomont is a film alchemist, bringing a unique and ravishing vision to the screen. 16mm Chomont program includes: Ophelia/The Cat Lady (1969), Love Objects (1971, Holland), The Mirror Garden (1967), Epilogue/Siam (1969), Jabbok (1967), Phases of the Moon (1968), Oblivion (1969). Preceded by: Glimpse of the Garden by Marie Menken (1957), Fire of Waters by Stan Brakhage (1965), Lemon by Hollis Frampton (1969), and Futuristic Death Ray and Anna/Anna by Clay Dean (2003 and 2010), all on 16mm. Guest curator Kate Brown. Screening made possible by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation and through the Avant-Garde Master Program funded by The Film Foundation and administered by the National Film Preservation Foundation. 16mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funded by The Film Foundation. TOO MANY WAYS TO BE NUMBER ONE Playing with temporal narrative structure, this nifty gangster thriller continues the circle of influence between American and Hong Kong crime films that includes Kubrick's The Killing, Ringo Lam's City on Fire, and Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, among others. The story charts the failed mission of a band of incompetent criminals. "...the vaccine that'll have you giving any crime movie that comes your way a suspicious glance" (Subway Cinema). 1997, Hong Kong, 35mm, 90 minutes. directed by Wai Ka-Fai; produced by Johnny To; starring Lau Ching-wan, Francis Ng, Carman Lee, Cheung Tat-ming, Elvis Tsui Kam-kong, Matt Chow; in Cantonese with English subtitles Traffic in Souls (1913) Directed by George Loane Tucker A woman is snatched literally off the boat in New York harbor and sold into what was euphemistically called the white slavery trade, secretly run by a well-known philanthropist. Taking a cue from D.W. Griffith's Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) and its mistrust of wealthy do-gooders, Tucker’s yellow journalism earned back 100 times its production costs and was Universal’s first international hit. Independent Moving Picture Co. Screenwriter: Walter MacNamara, G.L. Tucker. Cast: Jane Gail, Ethel Grandin, William Turner, Matt Moore, William Welsh. 35mm, silent, b/w, 88 min. THE TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC 1962, Janus Films, 65 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Bresson’s sparest and most inexorable film is taken entirely from the official transcripts of the trial of Joan of Arc - whom the director called “the most extraordinary person who ever lived” - and concentrates on her torment and humiliation. Dreyer’s THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC looks almost melodramatic next to TRIAL’s spartan gravity; the parched quality of Bresson’s rendering is indicated in its relative absence of water or fluids. “For the first time in film history, one feels that Joan was really burned.” - Richard Roud. In French with English subtitles. A TRIBUTE TO VACLAV HAVEL Before becoming the first president of free Czechoslovakia after 1989 and a world-celebrated politician, Václav Havel (who sadly passed away this winter) was first and foremost an incredible playwright. In the 1960s, Joseph Papp premiered all his plays at the venerable Public Theater in Manhattan, and invited Havel for his first visit to America in 1968. After leaving public office, Havel returned to writing, and to a theme of his from the ’70s, about a womanizing politico at the time of life when he is no longer the center of attention, protected by his office against his political archrival. A searing satire, Havel’s directorial debut Leaving fulfilled his lifelong dream of making a movie. Based as much on Shakespeare’s King Lear as on the president’s real-life experience in politics, the resonance with Havel’s personal life is allegedly accidental, though the author’s claim is made harder to believe by the casting of his wife, Dagmar, in the role of the politico’s girlfriend. After intermission, it’s a presentation of a 2010 television production of Havel’s play The Garden Party! Leaving Dir. Vaclev Havel, 2011, 95 min. The Garden Party Dir. Rudolf Tesácek, 2010, 92 min. TRUE CONFESSIONS 1981, MGM/Park Circus, 108 min, USA, Dir: Ulu Grosbard Circa 1948, Robert Duvall is a hard-nosed cop and Robert De Niro is his brother, an enterprising monsignor rising behind the scenes with high-powered Catholic members of Los Angeles’ political elite. When a young actress is gruesomely murdered (à la the Black Dahlia), Duvall believes one of De Niro’s high-profile parishioners, pimp-turned-building contractor Jack Amsterdam (Charles Durning), may be involved. Issues of family, guilt, moral responsibility and hypocrisy collide in screenwriter John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion’s screenplay from Dunne’s novel. Director Ulu Grosbard focuses on character and the personal terrain of missed emotional and spiritual opportunities, rather than making a standard whodunit, something that led critics to damn the movie with faint praise. One of the great lost films of the 1980s. UNE FEMME DOUCE 1969, Paramount, 88 min, France, Dir: Robert Bresson Based on a short story by Dostoevsky and perhaps the most secular and sensual of Bresson’s films an impression heightened by its featuring the screen debut of the ravishing Dominique Sanda (THE CONFORMIST), whom the director discovered. A balefully beautiful account of the marriage between the gentle creature of the title (Sanda) and a pawnbroker (Guy Frangin) whose introspectiveness masks his sadistic nature. Bresson’s femme douce can escape her domestic hell only through death - either her husband’s or her own. In French with English subtitles. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS “Virtually every shot is a knockout.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader As joyful as it is impossible to pin down, Valerie is a haunting, psychoactive period piece which plunges the beautiful heroine Valerie into a phantasmagorical world of thirsty vampires, the dark arts and dreamy free love — all set to one of the great film scores of the era, a cocktail of psych-folk and avant-garde classical by the great Luboš Fišer. The film opens with 13-year-old Valerie’s first menstruation and subsequent sexual awakening, her unsteady discovery of which lets loose a torrent of quixotic, hallucinatory experiences both terrifying and beautiful; amongst a haze of shifting tones and a flurry of role reversals and Gothic nightmares in broad daylight, Valerie floats along, buoyed by the fears and fantasies that come with nascent sexuality and teenage fantasy. This bewitching brew is a must to behold on 35mm — do not miss it. Dir. Jaromil Jires, 1970, 35mm, 73 min. VERONIKA VOSS 1982, Janus Films, 104 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Drug-addled and poisoned by nostalgia, faded film star Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) is attempting to return to her 1940s heyday of glittering, sexy success by fueling herself with booze and cocaine. Having fallen into the talons of a sadistic psychiatrist (Annemarie Duringer) who enjoys having a celebrity around the office and doesn’t mind providing Veronika with just enough prescription cocktails to keep her on a dependant leash, the washed-up starlet seems in every way at odds with the 1950s and ’60s West German “economic miracle” around her - or is she? Caustically, brilliantly critical as ever, Fassbinder’s third installment in the “BRD Trilogy” is another excellent, nuanced portrait of postwar Germany. In German with English subtitles. WALKING TOO FAST “Against the backdrop of a Cold War Czechoslovakia where 1989's Velvet Revolution is still unimaginable, this taut political thriller traces the psychological unraveling of a secret agent, torn apart by the monotony and corruption of the sinister bureaucracy that employs him. Antonin (nicknamed Tonga) becomes obsessed with the girlfriend of a writer he is tracking as a suspected subversive, using the considerable means at his disposal to break them apart and win the woman for himself, never mind the implausibility of his plan. Tomas refuses to accept Tonga’s offer of exile, even amid the incessant sabotaging of his private life — but the pressure is unrelenting, and he eventually must choose between his love for Klara and everything else he holds dear. Bringing to mind The Lives of Others in its story of love under a totalitarian regime, Walking Too Fast similarly features a brilliant central performance by Ondrej Maly, who plays Tonga with a chilling ruthlessness. Maly’s steeliness is echoed by Jaromir Kacer’s surveillance-like photography, full of stark shadows and a tenebrous ochre and gray palette. Collecting an unprecedented 13 Czech Golden Lion nominations, Walking Too Fast is a bleak and potent rendering of the emotional destruction wreaked by totalitarianism.” — Jesse Dubus, San Francisco International Film Festival 2011 Director Radim Spacek will be here for a Q&A after the film! Dir. Radim Spacek, 2010, 146 min. WHEN THE WIND BLOWS 1986, MGM/Park Circus, 80 min, UK, Dir: Jimmy Murakami In Jimmy Murakami’s apocalyptic animated delight, aging British couple Hilda and Jim Bloggs (Peggy Ashcroft and John Mills) build a bomb shelter in preparation for an impending nuclear attack, unaware that the nature of warfare has changed since World War II. Written by Raymond Briggs (THE SNOWMAN) based on his graphic novel of the same name. Soundtrack features music by Roger Waters and David Bowie (who performed the title song), along with Genesis, Squeeze and Paul Hardcastle. Where Are My Children? (1916) Directed by Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley An overzealous prosecutor accuses a local doctor of performing illegal abortions, unaware of his own wife’s complicity in helping create choices for women. Little known today, Lois Weber was one of a whole cadre of women directors working at Universal in the 1910s. This highly controversial and successful blockbuster made her one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Universal Film Mfg Co. Screenwriter: Lois Weber. Cinematographer: Al Siegler, Stephen S. Norton. Cast: Tyrone Power, Helen Riaume, Marie Walcamp, Cora Drew, Rene Rogers. 35mm, silent, b/w, 62 min. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe Directed by Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler. Produced by E. Kunstler, S. Kunstler, Jesse Moss, Susan Korda. Filmmakers Emily and Sarah Kunstler offer a portrait of their father, controversial defense attorney William Kunstler. From his days as a passionate advocate for the civil rights movement to his later career defending a series of accused murderers and terrorists, Kunstler earned a reputation as a fearless and often flamboyant presence in the courtroom. 35mm. 85 mins. YOUR SISTER'S SISTER Iris is both Jack’s best friend and his dead brother’s ex — which makes them almost like siblings. It also complicates the not-so-platonic feelings Iris may have developed for Jack. Lynn Shelton’s 2009 film HUMPDAY balanced an out-there premise — two straight men test their male identities by making a gay porn — with a grounded understanding of male friendship and post-twenties anxiety. YOUR SISTER'S SISTER builds upon HUMPDAY’s emotional honesty and naturalistic humor, marking a true maturation for Shelton as a filmmaker. A year after his brother’s death, Jack (Mark Duplass) still see-saws between emotionally wobbly and outright volatile. When he makes a scene at a memorial party, Iris (Emily Blunt) intervenes with a plan: Jack must oil up his old bike and trek to her father’s cabin on an island on Puget Sound, where isolation will give his brain a chance to detangle. When Jack gets to the woods, however, he finds not solitude but Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), herself nursing a wounded heart and a bottle of tequila. After several shots and some slurred commiseration, liquor isn’t the only fluid these two end up sharing. Their hangover descends in the form of Iris, who pulls up with a bag of groceries the next morning. Though ripe for love-triangle trappings, YOUR SISTER'S SISTER offers an uncontrived navigation of romantic and sibling relationships. Shelton’s perceptive script proves that intimate films don’t have to be small; in fact, it is the characters’ sense of closeness that produces large-scale emotional resonances. Its humor may swing from understated to raunchy, but YOUR SISTER'S SISTER is always smart. Shelton elicits complex performances from a simple premise. Duplass is both an endearing goof and poignantly unhinged as a man grappling with the aftermath of grief, while DeWitt and Blunt are thoroughly believable as two very loving, very different sisters. Indeed, DeWitt — already memorable as the bride in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED — puts in a breakout turn as a lovelorn but resolute woman at a crossroads. And while Blunt may be known for her performances in big-budget fare, she is completely at home in this eye-level portrayal of contemporary love. Join us for a post-show Q&A with actor Mark Duplass moderated by Melnitz Movies Director Samuel B. Prime!