a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
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 a woman is a woman, cruel story of youth @ this is widescreen @ ampas linwood dunn fri. jun. 5 shark toys @ la cita telecaves @ mata becky stark & john c reilly @ bootleg the vikings @ this is widescreen @ ampas samuel goldwyn sat. jun. 6 harold & maude @ cinespia @ hollywood forever tue. jun. 9 vial (8:00), susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy wed. jun. 10 cosmonauts (11:40), la witch (8:50) @ echo psycho 8 PM @ last remaining seats @ million dollar theatre thu. jun. 11 a midsummer's fantasia 6:45 PM @ laff @ regal 14 too late @ laff @ lacma kwaidan @ this is widescreen @ ampas linwood dunn fri. jun. 12 out of my hand 6 PM @ laff @ regal 9 missing people 8:45 PM @ laff @ regal 14 heathers @ pehrspace grand prix @ this is widescreen @ ampas samuel goldwyn 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 city lights 8 PM @ last remaining seats @ los angeles theatre 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 sex stains @ little joy 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 thu. jun. 18 human highway 8 PM @ vista the big gundown, dragon inn @ this is widescreen @ ampas linwood dunn silent running FREE 7 PM @ 356 mission fri. jun. 19 the gargoyles @ tower bar (SD) the graduate, point blank @ this is widescreen @ ampas samuel goldwyn sat. jun. 20 good men good women, goodbye south goodbye @ ucla film archive don't go back to sleep FREE 7 PM @ 356 mission 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 the private life of sherlock holmes FREE 7 PM @ reel grit @ afi 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 raiders of the lost ark 2:00 8:00 PM @ last remaining seats @ ace hotel theatre sun. jun. 28 track of the cat 7 PM, the ox-bow incident @ ucla film archive mon. jun. 29 the princess bride FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian tue. jun. 30 susan (9:00) FREE @ little joy thu. jul. 2 mark sultan, trabants @ los globos fri. jul. 3 the goonies @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sat. jul. 4 mummies, gories, pandoras, fe fi fo fums, untamed youth, trouble makers, 18.104.22.168'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) tue. jul. 7 spokenest, qui @ redwood thu. jul. 9 amelie FREE 7 PM @ silver lake picture show l for leisure FREE 7 PM @ 356 mission the motherhood archives FREE @ veggie cloud the 17th parallel 8 PM @ hearkenings @ epfc fri. jul. 10 pacific rim MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. jul. 11 a hard day's night @ cinespia @ hollywood forever white magic, roco jet @ katzen kultur klub wed. jul. 15 triptides, the blank tapes @ mrs fish thu. jul. 16 geriatric crimesolvers FREE 7 PM @ 356 mission fuzz @ troubadour fri. jul. 17 chinatown MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. jul. 18 mr. holmes (w/ q&a) 7:15 PM @ landmark mon. jul. 20 little magic (9:00) FREE @ echo wed. jul. 22 levitation room, la witch, adult books @ constellation room (santa ana) thu. jul. 23 spaceballs FREE 7 PM @ silver lake picture show diary of a pregnant woman, mother love, joyce at 34 FREE @ veggie cloud wed. jul. 29 robert aiki aubrey lowe & ariel kalma @ complex thu. jul. 30 telecaves, m geddes gengras @ coaxial after tiller FREE @ veggie cloud sat. aug. 1 apocalypse now @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sat. aug. 8 it happened one night @ cinespia @ hollywood forever mon. aug. 10 the goonies FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian thu. aug. 13 phantom surfers FREE @ viva cantina sister nancy FREE @ santa monica pier fri. aug. 14 echo park rising thee oh sees, destruction unit, etc @ berserktown @ the observatory (santa ana) phantom surfers, bombon @ alex's bar (long beach) 2001: a space odyssey MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. aug. 15 echo park rising can't hardly wait, scream, cruel intentions @ movies all night @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sun. aug. 16 echo park rising royal trux, dead moon, etc @ berserktown @ the observatory mon. aug. 17 indiana jones and the temple of doom FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian tue. aug. 18 2001: a space odyssey (w/ live accompaniment) @ hollywood bowl sat. aug. 22 pee wee's big adventure @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sat. aug. 29 the virgin suicides @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sat. sep. 5 cat power, susan, the rosalyns, the fly traps, glitterburst, julie ruin, bleached, bombon, etc @ burger-a-go-go 2 @ observatory (OC) mon. sep. 14 clueless FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian mon. oct. 19 ghostbusters FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian mon. oct. 26 the shining FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ dive in theatre @ skybar @ mondrian fri. oct. 30 the ex @ the roxy sat. oct. 31 dracula (1931) (w/ philip glass & the kronos quartet live accompaniment) 4 PM @ ace hotel WHAT IT IS: 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. 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. 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. 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. Crumbs (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. DON'T GO BACK TO SLEEP Don’t Go Back to Sleep is an experimental narrative created, directed, shot, and edited by artist Stanya Kahn and includes original compositions by Kahn and musician Keith Wood (Hush, Chelsea Light Moving). Kahn builds darkly comedic and uncanny scenes revolving around groups of medical professionals stationed in vacant, newly built homes as they prepare for impending emergencies. (2014, Dir. S. Kahn, 74 min.) Flocking (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. GOODBYE, SOUTH, GOODBYE NAN GUO ZAI JIAN, NAN GUO 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 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. 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. 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. 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.