a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.

fri. may 1

sleater-kinney @ palladium
bouquet @ non plus ultra
shark toys, cold beat, urinals @ cafe nela
male gaze @ basic flowers

sat. may 2

telecaves, ezra buchla @ pehrspace
faust (w/ live score by roco jet) @ hm157
cold beat @ all star lanes

sun. may 3

lightning bolt @ echoplex
qui @ cafe nela
baraka (70mm), samsara @ aero

mon. may 4

flowers of shanghai 8:30 PM @ redcat
real genius FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc stark

tue. may 5

the big sleep 1 PM @ lacma

wed. may 6

el-haru kuroi @ eastside luv

thu. may 7

an autumn afternoon FREE 7 PM @ csun armer
cafe lumiere @ ucla film archive
smegma @ human resources

fri. may 8

der fan FREE 8 PM @ hyperion tavern
colleen green @ echoplex
plasmodian telecaves @ mata

sat. may 9

animal house @ cinespia @ hollywood forever
bouquet, little wings FREE (daytime show) @ 1914 clinton

tue. may 12

touch of evil 1 PM @ lacma

thu. may 14

true widow, earth @ pappy & harriet's
qui FREE @ harvard & stone

fri. may 15

nashville ramblers FREE @ the barclay (south pasadena)
a summer at grandpa's, dust in the wind @ aero
melbourne @ ucla film archive

sat. may 16

sleep, true widow, dead meadow, earth, etc. @ psycho california @ the observatory (santa ana)
nashville ramblers, rosalyns, diddley daddies @ til two club (san diego)
a city of sadness @ aero
mulholland drive @ cinespia @ hollywood forever

sun. may 17

pentagram, om, earthless, etc. @ psycho california @ the observatory (santa ana)
goodbye south goodbye, millennium mambo @ aero

tue. may 19

double indemnity 1 PM @ lacma

wed. may 20

triptides FREE @ mrs. fish

thu. may 21

cunt art was the first art @ veggiecloud
bouquet @ women's center for creative work
the molochs, drinking flowers @ non plus ultra

fri. may 22

roco jet, miss pussy cat @ hm157

sat. may 23

close encounters of the third kind @ cinespia @ hollywood forever

sun. may 24

upsilon acrux @ the smell
dazed & confused @ cinespia @ hollywood forever
drinking flowers FREE @ satellite
three o'clock high FREE 7 PM @ reel grit @ afi

tue. may 26

kiss me deadly 1 PM @ lacma

thu. may 28

neutral milk hotel, the minders @ north park theatre (san diego)
big search, white dove @ satellite
last year at marienbad, the innocents @ ampas linwood dunn

fri. may 29

neutral milk hotel, the minders @ observatory (santa ana)
spokenest @ the wulf den
the computer generation FREE 7 PM @ ooga twooga
mother merry go round, vanilla @ lolipop
bouquet (6:00) FREE @ space 1520

sat. may 30

neutral milk hotel, the minders @ pappy & harriet's (pioneertown)
wire @ echoplex
vertigo @ cinespia @ hollywood forever
young lovers @ pehrspace

sun. may 31

neutral milk hotel, the minders @ ventura theatre (ventura)
beggars of life 7 PM, wild boys of the road @ ucla film archive

mon. jun. 1

audacity @ all star lanes

tue. jun. 2

the kids in the hall @ ace hotel theatre
susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy

thu. jun. 4

bouquet (10:00) @ satellite

fri. jun. 5

shark toys @ la cita
telecaves @ mata

sat. jun. 6

harold & maude @ cinespia @ hollywood forever

tue. jun. 9

vial (8:00), susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy

wed. jun. 10

cosmonauts, la witch @ echo

thu. jun. 11

a midsummer's fantasia 6:45 PM @ laff @ regal 14
too late @ laff @ lacma

fri. jun. 12

out of my hand 6 PM @ laff @ regal 9
missing people 8:45 PM @ laff @ regal 14

sat. jun. 13

island in the sky 3 PM @ ucla film archive
do the right thing @ cinespia @ hollywood forever
the diary of a teenage girl 5:45 PM @ laff @ regal 10
atomic heart 7:00 PM @ laff @ regal 14
band of robbers 7:15 PM @ laff @ regal 9
stealing cars 8:30 PM @ laff @ regal 11
el haru kuroi @ barrio funky @ grand star

sun. jun. 14

westward the women 7 PM, yellow sky @ ucla film archive
no mas bebes 2:15 PM @ laff @ regal 11
flocking 6:10 PM @ laff @ regal 14
manifest destiny 6:30 PM @ laff @ regal 8
manson family vacation 7:00 PM @ laff @ regal 11
missing people 8:55 PM @ laff @ regal 14
crumbs 9:30 PM @ laff @ regal 9

mon. jun. 15

chuck norris vs. communism 8:20 PM @ laff @ regal 9

tue. jun. 16

susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy

wed. jun. 17

the babushkas of chernobyl 6:00 PM @ laff @ regal 14
too late @ laff @ regal 13

fri. jun. 19

the gargoyles @ tower bar (SD)

sat. jun. 20

good men good women, goodbye south goodbye @ ucla film archive

sun. jun. 21

beau geste (1939) 7 PM, the light that failed @ ucla film archive
colleen green, mike watt & the secondmen, death lens, audacity, etc @ satellite

tue. jun. 23

susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy

thu. jun. 25

the great man's lady, roxie hart @ ucla film archive
pee wee's big adventure FREE 7 PM @ silver lake picture show

fri. jun. 26

the pandoras, the loons @ casbah (SD)

sat. jun. 27

white fence, the molochs, cosmonauts, winter, drinking flowers, corners, la witch, froth, adult books, etc @ lolipalooza @ echo/echoplex

sun. jun. 28

track of the cat 7 PM, the ox-bow incident @ ucla film archive

tue. jun. 30

susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy

thu. jul. 2

mark sultan, trabants @ los globos

sat. jul. 4

mummies, gories, pandoras, fe fi fo fums, untamed youth, trouble makers,'s, bombon, etc @ burger boogaloo @ mosswood park (OAKLAND)
cool ghouls @ boogaloo afterparty @ leo's (OAKLAND)
juan wauters, meat market @ boogaloo afterparty @ eli's (OAKLAND)

sun. jul. 5

jonathan richman, fuzz, king khan & bbq show, zulus, black lips, vial, audacity, etc @ burger boogaloo @ mosswood park (OAKLAND)

thu. jul. 9

amelie FREE 7 PM @ silver lake picture show

thu. jul. 23

spaceballs FREE 7 PM @ silver lake picture show

thu. aug. 13

phantom surfers FREE @ viva cantina
sister nancy FREE @ santa monica pier

fri. aug. 14

thee oh sees, destruction unit, etc @ berserktown @ the observatory

sun. aug. 16

royal trux, dead moon, etc @ berserktown @ the observatory

tue. aug. 18

2001: a space odyssey (w/ live accompaniment) @ hollywood bowl

sat. oct. 31

dracula (1931) (w/ philip glass & the kronos quartet live accompaniment) 4 PM @ ace hotel


Atomic Heart
(2014 , 97 min.)
Directed by: Ali Ahmadzadeh
Sometime around the witching hour, Arineh and Nobahar stumble out of a party giddy and spaced out. Donning brightly dyed hair covered just enough by their headscarves, the young women drive around Tehran, picking up their hipster buddy Kami along the way. In a moment of carefree distraction, they get into a car accident that pivots their night into a bizarre series of events, and the possibility of a parallel world. Symbolically lush with sharp dialogue about pop culture, the Western gaze and politics, Ali Ahmadzade’s sophomore directorial feat establishes him as a blazing new independent voice in Iranian cinema.

An Autumn Afternoon (1962), 113 mins.
The last film by Yasujiro Ozu was also his final masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignified resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization. Though the widower Shuhei (frequent Ozu leading man Chishu Ryu) has been living comfortably for years with his grown daughter, a series of events leads him to accept and encourage her marriage and departure from their home. As elegantly composed and achingly tender as any of the Japanese master’s films, An Autumn Afternoon is one of cinema’s fondest farewells.

The Babushkas of Chernobyl
(2015 , 72 min.)
Directed by: Holly Morris, Anne Bogart
For nearly 30 years a community of unlikely heroines have lived in Chernobyl’s post-nuclear disaster “dead zone.” Stylish and stubborn, these fascinating women have survived, and even thrived, on some of the most toxic land on Earth. They are the last survivors of a community who refused to leave their ancestral homes after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. But the babushkas aren't the only risk-takers: scientists, bureaucrats and even young men called “Stalkers” (who break in illegally to pursue their video game-inspired fantasies) explore the dystopian Zone and seek out its radioactive grandmas. First-time filmmakers Anne Bogart and Holly Morris’ portrait of a community tells a remarkable tale about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one's own destiny and the subjective nature of risk.

1965, Sony Repertory, 100 min, USA, Dir: Robert Mulligan
The TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD team of director Robert Mulligan, producer Alan Pakula and writer Horton Foote reunite for this underrated drama set in rural Texas. In a role that plays as if it hit close to home, Steve McQueen is a troubled singer (whose band includes Glen Campbell) recently released from prison. If only for their daughter’s sake, wife Lee Remick hopes to keep him on the straight and narrow - but deputy sheriff Don Murray is there just in case she can’t. Discussion following with actor Don Murray.

Band of Robbers
(2015 , 95 min. , HDCAM - NTSC, DCP 2K )
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Adam Nee, Matthew Gray Gubler, Hannibal Buress, Melissa Benoist, Stephen Lang, Eric Christian Olsen, Daniel Edward Mora, Johnny Pemberton, Beth Grant, Cooper Huckabee, Lee Garlington, Creed Bratton
Mark Twain's young heroes Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn spring vividly back to life, this time as modern-day grown men. When Huck is released from prison he hopes to leave his criminal past behind. But his lifelong friend and corrupt cop, Tom, has other plans, having formed the Band of Robbers, a group of misfits dedicated to locating the hidden treasure that eluded the boys in childhood.
Twain aficionados will find myriad references to their beloved characters, but the film stands on its own as a story about two well-intentioned heroes refusing to bid their childhoods goodbye. Charming and hilarious, the Nee brothers make a winning directorial team in this old-fashioned Boys' Own yarn thrown headlong into the present day.

1948, Warner Bros., 87 min, USA, Dir: Jacques Tourneur
Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon and Paul Lukas head an international cast in the first Hollywood film shot on location in Allied-occupied postwar Germany. An ad-hoc cadre of allied officials, headed by train to a peace conference, suddenly become detectives when Germany’s most outspoken peace activist goes missing. A solid thriller, and a remarkable historical document of its time.

Café Lumière  (Taiwan, 2003)
Kohi jiko
In this Tokyo-set rumination on the interplay between past and present, freelance writer Yoko researches a talented but forgotten Taiwanese composer, as she copes with an unexpected pregnancy and impending single motherhood.  The legacy of colonialism, the erosion of traditional domesticity, and the solitude and displacements of contemporary urban life reverberate through Hou Hsiao-hsien's contemplative tribute to the films of Yasujiro Ozu.
Producer: Miyajima Hideshi, Yamamoto Ichiro, Osaka Fumiko.  Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Screenwriter: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Cinematography: Mark Lee (Ping-bin).  Editor: Liao Ching-sung.  Cast: Hitoto Yo, Asano Tadanobu, Hagiwara Masato, Yo Kimiko, Kobayashi Nenji.  35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 103 min.

Chuck Norris vs Communism
(2015 , 78 min.)
Directed by: Ilinca Calugareanu
Communist Romania -1980s. Culturally isolated, ideologically censored; all images of life outside the Iron Curtain are cut off and TV is reduced to a couple of hours of propaganda bulletins each day. From the drab concrete housing blocks to the food ration queues, an overwhelming fear of state surveillance had prevented the people from stepping out of line. But there was one window into the free world available to anyone who dared to look.
In the mid-1980s, thousands of Hollywood films were smuggled into the country through a well-oiled operation that swelled and swelled until it reached millions across Romania. The films were dubbed by one courageous female translator whose distinct voice captivated the whole nation and became a symbol of freedom.
The fearless stories of action heroes like Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme captured every child's imagination, but it was the lavish settings and backdrops that mesmerized this unique audience. For the first time people saw what had been denied to them: supermarkets stacked full of food, the trappings of wealth, the latest fashions, super cars, and most of all, freedom.

1989, 158 min, Taiwan, Dir: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
A Golden Lion winner at the Venice Film Festival, this powerful epic is considered by many to be director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s greatest achievement. After WWII, control of Taiwan is ceded by Japan to the mainland Chinese government; the ensuing campaign of repression soon ensnares the Lin brothers (Tony Leung, Chen Sung-yung and Jack Kao). Viewing a nation’s history through the lens of a single family, Hou not only illuminates the formerly taboo subject of the “White Terror,” but shows how events that shake a society filter down to shape the lives of everyday people. In Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Japanese with English subtitles. Introduction by Berenice Reynaud, who will sign copies of her book, A City of Sadness, in the lobby at 7:00 PM.

(2014 , 68 min. , DCP, DCP 2K )
Directed by: Miguel Llanso
After decades of lying dormant, a mothership awakens in the horizon. Resolved to board the ship, an unlikely hero embarks on an otherworldly adventure across a surreal, post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscape. Pop cultural artifacts of our present society take on new value as oddities floating in space are traded as antiquities in a bizarre storefront. With his directorial debut, Miguel Llansó, a Spanish filmmaker based in Ethiopia, has created a mystical and romantic journey for which there is no destination

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
(2015 , 101 min. )
Directed by: Marielle Heller
Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. Minnie begins a complex love affair with her mother’s boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world,” Monroe Rutherford. What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative account of one girl’s sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment.
Set in 1976 San Francisco, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl begins at the crossroads of the fading hippie movement and the dawn of punk rock. News commentary of the Patty Hearst trial echoes in the background, as Minnie’s young expressive eyes soak in a drug-laden city in transition— where teenage rebellion and adult responsibility clash in characters lost and longing. Minnie’s hard-partying mother and absent father have left her rudderless. She first finds solace in Monroe’s seductive smile, and then on the backstreets of the city by the bay. Animation serves a refuge from the confusing and unstable world around her. Minnie emerges defiant — taking command of her sexuality and drawing on her newfound creative talents to reveal truths in the kind of intimate and vivid detail that can only be found in the pages of a teenage girl’s diary.

1987, 110 min, Taiwan, Dir: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
At the end of the 1960s, high-school sweethearts Wan (Wang Chien-wen) and Huen (Hsin Shu-feng) leave their little mining town in search of greater opportunities in Taipei, where the vicissitudes of life take their toll on the relationship. One of the key films of Taiwan’s New Cinema (and the concluding chapter in Hou’s coming-of-age trilogy), this moving and reflective drama has a naturalistic feel that belies its meticulous shot composition. In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles.

(2015 , 110 min. )
Directed by: Beata Gardeler
For a tight-knit community in a small, Swedish village, life is simple. But the town’s idle routine is disrupted when 14-year-old Jennifer reports a well-liked classmate has sexually assaulted her. The police, judiciary and townspeople all quickly turn against Jennifer and her family and the young woman’s life begins to spiral downwards.
Loosely based on real life events and breathtakingly lensed, Beata Gardler's sophomore feature unfolds with otherworldly ease, examining the frustrating and single-minded nature of small town mob-mentality, finger-pointin, and slut-shaming. Winner of the Crystal Bear at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, Gardler’s restrained and stripped-down film explores the vicious social blowback that rape victims experience the world over.

“An emotionally shattering masterpiece... Flowers of Shanghai is one of the most sublimely beautiful films I’ve ever seen, and one of the most unbearably sad.” – Manohla Dargis
The breathtaking cinema of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, the leading figure of the Taiwanese new Wave, is the subject of a retrospective that spans more than three decades. As one of the participating venues, REDCAT shows a new 35mm print of Hou’s richly textured masterpiece Flowers of Shanghai (Haishanghua, 1998, 125 min.). An heir to the great modernist legacy—with its use of elegantly staged long takes, performances by many non-professional actors, and a radically elliptical mode of storytelling—Hou has created a body of work that has opened up exciting new horizons for the medium.

1996, 112 min, Taiwan/Japan, Dir: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
This look at aimless young adults on the fringe of Taiwan’s underworld was named one of the best films of the 1990s by Cahiers du cinéma. A pop-up gambling den is the latest venture for Gao (Jack Kao) and his friends, whose get-rich-quick schemes eventually bump up against the established criminal order. The fast times and bleak futures of a lost generation are occasionally offset here by moments of transcendence thanks to some kinetic visual sequences and the pulsing soundtrack by costar Lim Giong. In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles.

Good Men, Good Women  (Taiwan, 1995)
Hao nan hao nu
In this moving and formally rigorous historical epic, director Hou Hsiao-hsien pays tribute to those individuals who resisted Chiang Kai-Shek's martial law in the "White Terror" of the 1950s.  Dramatizing the making of a film about one such leader, he simultaneously details the anxieties of the actress who will play her, implicitly lamenting the anomie and alienation that have filled the gap left by men and women of conviction. The final installment of Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s trilogy of films (following A CITY OF SADNESS and THE PUPPETMASTER), GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN continues the preceding works’ nuanced exploration of themes of loss, historical memory, and societal transformation. The only film of the three to be partly set in contemporary times, it juxtaposes scenes from the life of an actress—her relationship with a man with criminal affiliations, his eventual death, her harassment by a man who has stolen her diary—with depictions of the film that she is scheduled to act in, centering on the true story of two political activists who are persecuted in the early years of the White Terror. The complex, multilayered narrative is complemented by the variation and inventiveness of the cinematography, the work of frequent Hou collaborator Huai-en Chen.
“The visual mastery is stunning . . . probably the most artistically accomplished new feature I saw in 1995.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader
“A rigorous work of art whose mysteries are worth unraveling.” —Caryn James, The New York Times

1988, Cinelicious Pics, 97 min, France, Dir: Agnès Varda
Jane Birkin started as an actress during London’s Swinging ’60s, sang duets with Serge Gainsbourg (whom she married), earned plaudits for humanitarian work … and is the subject of this delightful documentary. Birkin and director Varda are longtime friends, and this film emerges as a portrait of two talented artists who have challenged limitations placed on women in culture and society. In French with English subtitles. Discussion between screenings with director Agnès Varda.

1953, Warner Bros., 69 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges
Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan play a vacationing couple whose fishing trip to Baja turns into a nightmare when the husband is trapped under a rotting pier with the tide rising. Their only hope is a fugitive killer (Ralph Meeker), whose aid comes at a high cost for the terrified, if resourceful, wife. A suspense gem directed and played with all the stops out, especially when Stanwyck and Meeker go toe-to-toe!

Manifest Destiny
( 83 min. , DCP 4K, DCP )
Directed by: Michael Dwyer
Chasing the bling of a lux life, Claudia, a twenty-something Chicana, makes bad choices – and gets caught. Despite the fact that she barely speaks a word of Spanish, her undocumented status gets her deported to Mexico. Although she can never legally return to the U.S. Claudia refuses to accept life with her estranged father and grandmother in her foreign “homeland,” and she spirals into a dangerous situation with a handsome smuggler. Veronica Sixtos gives a nuanced performance as an emotionally withholding anti-hero who’s trouble for anyone who dares to care about her. Pitched in a heightened style between a slow-burning thriller and a noir western, this smartly conceived allegorical tale confronts the dark side of the American dream.

Manson Family Vacation
(2015 , 83 min.)
Directed by: J. Davis
Cast: Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Leonora Pitts, Adam Chernick, Tobin Bell, Davie-Blue
A successful lawyer is understandably disturbed when his brother comes to Los Angeles and wants to visit sites related to the infamous Manson Family. The brothers embark on a strange road trip that leads them from old murder sites to the modern-day world of Charles Manson. The movie explores the hero worship of Manson, the limits of brotherly love and the importance of family.

Melbourne  (Iran, 2014)
Writer-director Nima Javidi’s remarkable debut feature opens as a young couple in Tehran prepares for an imminent trip abroad.  A patient accumulation of familiar detail—the hurried list checking, the small annoyances of packing—hints at their hopeful expectations for the future, which would seem to include the baby sleeping in their back bedroom.  Then everything turns upside down.  Before we know it, Javidi plunges us into one the most nerve-wracking, nail-biting, what-would-you-do ethical thrillers in recent memory.  It’s a ride you don’t want to miss.  
Inan Independents.  Producer: Javad Norouzbeigi.  Director: Nima Javidi.  Screenwriter: Nima Javidi.  Cinematography: Hooman Behmanesh.  Editor: Sepideh Adovahab.  Cast: Payman Maadi, Negar Javaherian, Mani Haghighi, Shirin Yazdanbaksh, Elham Korda.  DCP, color, in Persian with English subtitles,  91 min.

A Midsummer's Fantasia
(2014 , 96 min.)
Directed by: Jang Kun-jae
Up-and-coming auteur Jang Kun-jae’s intriguingly two-fold narrative is both a documentary-like study of memory and a thoughtful meditation on what connects people despite cultural differences. A Korean director and his interpreter visit an almost abandoned Japanese village to research a film project. They discover an aging community on the verge of fading away after being abandoned by its younger members for the cities. Inspired by the first half of the film, the latter part of the story follows a young Korean actress who gradually develops a connection with a Japanese persimmon farmer. Simple, exquisite treasures are hidden in the fabric of this ever-so-gentle film, awaiting the patient viewer. Actors reappear in new roles, ideas lightly coalesce, and the head yields delicately to the heart.

2001, 119 min, Taiwan/France, Dir: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
At the center of this portrait of Taipei night life is Vicky (Shu Qi), a party girl stuck in a rut of self-destructive thrills and an on-again, off-again relationship with her no-good boyfriend (Tuan Chun-hao). She narrates the events in hindsight from ten years after their occurrence, giving poignancy to pretty but vacant lives adrift in a new millennium. With Jack Kao as Vicky’s gangster-protector. In Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles.

Missing People
(2014 , 81 min. )
Directed by: David Shapiro
Martina Batan is haunted by the 1978 unsolved murder of her 14-year-old brother. The director of a high art gallery in New York, Batan becomes obsessed with Roy Ferdinand, an outsider artist whose violent and sexually graphic work controversially chronicles African-American cultural identity in pre-Katrina New Orleans.  After connecting with Ferdinand’s two sisters, Batan confronts the parallels that exist between the murder of her own brother and the images Ferdinand lived and depicted in his art. Film Independent Spirit Award winning director David Shapiro explores the wayward paths we take on our personal journeys toward truth in this nonfiction mystery.

No Más Bebés
(2015 , 79 min.)
Directed by: Renee Tajima-Peña
In 1960s and 70s Los Angeles, Mexican immigrant women allege they were coercively sterilized without their consent at LAC + USC Medical Center. Archival footage of the booming Chicano rights movement is juxtaposed with interviews in a long abandoned hospital. Interwoven are opinions from both sides of the landmark case Madrigal v. Quilligan. The women who brought the case to trial are represented by a young and fearless lawyer, Antonia Hernandez. Academy Award®-nominated director Renee Tajima-Peña (Who Killed Vincent Chin) saved this important case from becoming a forgotten footnote, facilitating a measure of closure and raising a timely topic amid the ongoing battles over reproductive rights and discriminatory practices.

Out of My Hand
(2014 , 86 min. , DCP - NTSC, DCP 2K )
Directed by: Takeshi Fukunaga
Music: Tyondai Braxton
Cisco is a devoted husband and father who toils every day on a rubber tree plantation, doing grueling, backbreaking work that pays just enough to make ends meet. When Cisco and his co-workers attempt to form a union, he loses his job and decides to follow in his cousin’s footsteps by leaving Liberia to become a cab driver in NYC. Soon his past catches up to him and he must face the old demons he's tried to bury as well as new challenges that only life in America — and especially New York — can create. Stunningly lensed across two continents and bolstered by a magnetic performance from discovery Bishop Blay, Takeshi Fukunaga’s feature debut, co-written with filmmaking partner Donari Braxton, is an understated and contemplative portrait of perseverance against the odds.

The Ox-Bow Incident  (1943)
Director William A. Wellman used a restrained narrative style and classical visual composition to create this starkly realistic take on vigilante justice.  Two cowboy drifters witness a lynching of innocent travelers in cattle country.  Henry Fonda's performance as an outsider of humble origins responding to injustice recalls his young Mr. Lincoln and Tom Joad [The Grapes of Wrath (1940)].  The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won acclaim worldwide, although initial box office in the U.S. was slow.  A re-release the following year was more successful.
Twentieth Century Fox.  Producer: Lamar Trotti.  Director: William A. Wellman.  Screenwriter: Lamar Trotti.  Based on the novel by Walter Van Tilburg.  Cinematography: Arthur C. Miller.  Editor: Allen McNeil.  Cast: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan.  35mm, b/w, 75 min.

Stealing Cars
(2014 , 110 min. , DCP, DCP 2K )
Directed by: Bradley Kaplan
The moment Billy arrives at juvenile detention camp, his smart-ass attitude guarantees a rough sentence ahead. Initially his bravado wins over his fellow offenders, and his clever wit appeals to the cultivated warden. But his insubordinate and reckless behavior alienates him, while the deep grief that gnaws at him is slowly revealed.
Billy is a magnetic, hell raising character evoking Holden Caulfield and R.P. McMurphy, whose escalating antics create a palpable tension and hide a troubled teen reeling from a devastating loss. Bradley Kaplan’s directorial debut features an outstanding lead performance by Emory Cohen, supported by well-inhabited ensemble performances by veterans like John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Mike Epps, and William H. Macy.

1984, 98 min, Taiwan, Dir: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
The first part of acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s coming-of-age trilogy follows 11-year-old Tung-Tung (Wang Chi-kuang), who travels with his little sister to his grandparent’s country home after his mother is hospitalized. Told from the boy’s perspective, this slice-of-childhood-life is not quite as idyllic as the title suggests; while playtime is never far away for these kids, neither is an adult world with problems just beyond their understanding. Jury Prize winner at the 1985 Locarno Film Festival. In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles.

Too Late
(2015 , 107 min. , 35mm )
Directed by: Dennis Hauck
From desolate, overgrown Radio Hill to the ritzy penthouse of The Beverly Hilton, Too Late offers remarkable views of Los Angeles from the undiscovered to the iconic. Private investigator Mel Sampson is tasked with tracking down a missing woman from his own past, crossing paths with eccentric personalities and lost souls while he works the case. Though Mel is looking for a lost woman, he’s also trying to find himself. 
Writer-director Dennis Hauck makes his directorial feature debut in this dark love letter to Los Angeles. Hawkes gives an incredible lead performance, along with a stellar supporting cast. Shot on 35mm film by Bill Fernandez, Too Late is visually resplendent and a true cinephile’s delight.  

Track of the Cat  (1954)
For several years, director William A. Wellman wanted to adapt this brooding novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark (who also wrote The Ox-Bow Incident).  When the studio compelled him to shoot the film in color, he filmed the snowy northern California setting in such monochromatic color as to simulate his preferred black-and-white look.  The story centers on a slightly unhinged family of backwoods pioneers.  Son Robert Mitchum is haunted by a marauding mountain lion, a symbol of evil in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe.  With this dark film, Wellman became one of the first Hollywood auteurs to explore 1950s baroque obsessions.  This Cold War western has been referred to as “CinemaScope's first genuine weirdie.”
Wayne-Fellows Productions, Inc.  Producer: John Wayne, Robert Fellows.  Director: William A. Wellman.  Screenwriter: A.I. Bezzerides.  Based on the novel by Walter Van Tillburg Clark.  Cinematography: William H. Colthier.  Editor: Fred MacDowell.  Cast: Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Diana Lynn, Tab Hunter, Beulah Bondi.  35mm, color, 103 min.

1977, 20th Century Fox, 82 min, USA, Dir: Ralph Bakshi
A post-apocalyptic vision like none before, where twin wizards - the wicked Blackwolf and the good-hearted Avatar - battle for rule over an epic, fantasy wasteland. Discussion between films with director Ralph Bakshi.