a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
thu 8/11 7:30 invisible ray, 9 PM bedlam @ egyptian fri 8/12 7 PM reanimator @ egyptian 7:30 PM kind hearts and coronets, school for scoundrels @ ucla film archive 7:30 welcome (or, no trespassing), 8:45 PM heat @ egyptian 9:30 PM colossus @ egyptian sat 8/13 7 PM ascent, larisa @ egyptian 7:30 PM dead of night, the scapegoat @ ucla film archive 7:30 PM return of the living dead @ egyptian bipolar bear, lavender diamond @ smell chickenfat, joey altruda @ zen sushi strangers on a train @ cinespia, hollywood forever cemetery zach galifianakis @ largo sun 8/14 6 PM almost human, the italian connection @ egyptian mon 8/15 7:30 welcome (or, no trespassing) @ aero wed 8/17 7:30 pm tell them who you are, 9:25 PM medium cool @ new bev 9 PM the long memory @ ucla film archive 7 PM greenhornes @ amoeba free show! jucifer @ knitting factory thu 8/18 7:30 PM able edwards @ egyptian 7:30 pm tell them who you are, 9:25 PM medium cool @ new bev fri 8/19 7:30 PM agony-rasputin @ egyptian 7:30 PM spies @ ucla film archive sat 8/20 5 PM day of the beast, accion mutante @ egyptian 7:30 PM a house divided, unholy 3 @ ucla film archive 9:30 PM the perfect crime @ egyptian ? @ cinespia, hollywood forever cemetery sun 8/21 2 PM spider and the fly, father brown @ ucla film archive 5 PM a foreign affair @ aero 7 PM the inner scar @ ucla film archive tue 8/23 7:30 PM psycho lover @ new bev wed 8/24 7:30 pm layer cake @ new bev 7:30 PM queen of spades @ ucla film archive silver sunshine @ san diego, somewhere thu 8/25 7:30 PM ace in the hole @ aero 7:30 pm layer cake @ new bev 8 PM symbio 1 & 2 @ egyptian fri 8/26 sharon jones @ dapkings @ echo weirdo begeirdo @ smell sat 8/27 7 PM come and see @ egyptian (klimov) 8 PM fresh bait @ egyptian 8 PM john cale @ sunset junction battleship, the pope @ smell ? @ cinespia, hollywood forever cemetery languis FREE @ moca sun 8/28 2 pm la commune @ egpytian 4 pm treasure island @ egyptian 5 PM grin without a cat @ aero 6:30 PM happy here and now @ egyptian 7 PM sharon jones & the dapkings @ sunset junction wed 8/31 silver daggers @ smell WHAT IT IS: ABLE EDWARDS (2004, 85 min., USA), written & directed by Graham Robertson. Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh. In this cautionary tale of a foreboding and emotionally sterile future, Abele Edwards, a cryogenically frozen, CITIZEN KANE-meets-Walt Disney-type figure, is cloned by his former board of directors in an effort to revive the famed entertainment moguls corporations glory days. In the process of restoring reality entertainment to a synthetic, virtual world, the clone realizes he has yet to live as his own man. ABLE EDWARDS is the first, low budget independent film to be shot entirely on green screen stages with incredible digitally fabricated sets. Discussion following with director Graham Robertson and additional cast and crew. ACCION MUTANTE, 1993, 95 min. Los Angeles Premiere! Dir. Alex de la Iglesia. Alex de la Iglesisas personal interpretation of the future, this lunatic picture is a mixture of black comedy, gritty action and mutant terrorists. In an idealized society were apparently aesthetics rule, the beautiful daughter of Oriju (Frédérique Feder) is kidnapped by Ramon (Antonio Resines), the leader of a brutal terrorist group. Though fighting as a mutant in the name of the ugly people, his selfishness will ultimately overwhelm him and drag him down. Also starring Álex Angulo, Juan Viadas, Karra Elejalde, Saturnino García and Fernando Guillén. Ace in the Hole (1951) Charles Tatum, a down-on-his-luck reporter, takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. The job is pretty boring until he finds a man trapped in a mine. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by taking over and prolonging the rescue effort, and feeding stories to major newspapers. He creates a national media sensation and milks it for all it is worth. AGONY-RASPUTIN (AGONIIA-RASPUTIN), 1974 - 1981, 152 min. Restored Original Version! Director Elem Klimov takes an experimental approach to the tale of the legendary mad monk, Rasputin. Klimov alternates between documentary footage from the period, which he combines with color sequences of Rasputins deviancy, depravity and destruction. Completed in 1975 and originally intended for the 60th anniversary of the Revolution, AGONY was shelved until 1981. We are pleased to offer viewers a chance to see a pristine print of Klimovs vision. NOT ON VIDEO! ALMOST HUMAN (MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUÒ SPARARE), 1974, Dania Film s.r.l., 90 min. Come help celebrate No Shame Films recent DVD release of director Umberto Lenzi (SPASMO) and writer Ernesto Gastaldis (ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) rare grindhouse epic that actually delivers in the "I-cant-believe-what-Im-seeing-on-screen" province. Big mouth sociopath Tomas Milian convinces his crime partners that it would be a lucrative idea to kidnap-for-ransom the teen daughter of a wealthy businessman. But along the way, things go progressively wrong, spurring the sadistic, chip-on-his-shoulder Milian to massacre an astounding number of people who cross his path at the wrong moment. Uncompromisingly downbeat, refusing to render a happy ending for any of its characters, including hardboiled pursuing cop Henry Silva, and set to a pulsating score by Ennio Morricone, this is a certifiable pulp classic with some of the most shocking moments in 1970s action cinema. With Anita Strindberg, Laura Belli. [Please note that this, the only surviving print of ALMOST HUMAN, is slightly faded.] THE ASCENT (VOSKHOZHDENIE ), 1976, 111 min. Director Larisa Shepitkos transcendent, metaphysical masterpiece, THE ASCENT takes place in a Byelorussian war zone of occupation, captivity and collaboration. The film alternates between Breughel-esque winter landscapes and tightly shot interiors as we examine the consciences and fates of two Soviet prisoners of war. The film took best prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1977, and remains a completely unique example of Shepitkos cinematic vision, on a par with the greatest films of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov. BEDLAM, 1946, RKO (Warner Bros.), 79 min. Nell Bowen (Anna Lee), courageous protege of blustery Lord Mortimer (Billy House) tries to affect reforms in 18th century London's infamous madhouse, Bedlam. But she doesn't count on getting committed herself (!) after she crosses paths with asylum head, George Sims (a devilishly cunning Boris Karloff). Karloff gives one of his most nuanced performances as Sims, fawning to his betters in public, but a cruel torture master behind locked doors. Richard Fraser is perfect as a prim Quaker friend of Nell's trying to rescue her from the twisted labyrinth of abuse and lunacy. Inspired by the engravings of William Hogarth, Mark Robson directs to chilling effect with all of maestro producer Val Lewton's trademark atmospherics in full play. COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, 1970, Universal, 100 min. Dir. Joseph Sargent. With Susan Clark, William Schallert. "We built a super computer with a mind of its own and now we must fight it for the world!" Classic, dystopian 70s sci-fi starring Eric Braeden as Dr. Charles Forbin, a humane, thoughtful scientist chosen to oversee the U.S. governments new computerized defense system. It turns out the Russians have a super-brain of their own and when the two computers start talking its Microsoft! Just kidding its actually the prelude to apocalypse in this superb, future-shock thriller from the director of THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. Discussion following with actor Eric Braeden. COME AND SEE (IDI I SMOTRI), 1986, 142 min. Director Elem Klimovs final film remains his most harrowing. Shot in muted colors that even more grimly emphasize the barbarity of war in Nazi occupied Byelorussia. COME AND SEE follows the teen-aged Flyora first into a band of partisans, then back to his own destroyed village, where, with him, discover firsthand the brutal ordeals suffered by peasants. One of the most unflinchingly powerful depictions of the devastations of war ever put on film. A true masterpiece. COME AND SEE won first prize at the 1985 Moscow Film Festival. DAY OF THE BEAST (EL DIA DE LA BESTIA), 1995, 103 min. The savage spirit of Bunuel lives on in director Alex de la Iglesias hilarious, blood-spattered updating of Don Quixote: a mild-mannered priest (Alex Angulo) travels to Madrid, determined to contact Satan by committing every sin he can think of. Along the way, he picks up a dim-witted metalhead Sancho Panza (Santiago Segura), and the two cheerfully turn Christmas Eve into an LSD-stoked shootout between the forces of good and evil. Director Alex de la Iglesia to appear for discussion following the screening. DEAD OF NIGHT (1945) Directed by Robert Hamer Ealing took a gamble with this, not only the studio's first omnibus filmfive separate stories set in a framing story, handled by four different directorsbut its first horror movie. Luckily it turned out brilliantly and still strikes a potent chill. Starting light-heartedly, with a group of people in a country house telling macabre stories, the tone steadily darkens into nightmare. Robert Hamer's segment, "The Haunted Mirror", is the standout, with a young couple being taken over by murderous events from the past. But Cavalcanti's segmenta ventriloquist possessed by his own malevolent dummyruns Hamer close, with Michael Redgrave getting scarily inside his role as the ventriloquist. Producer: Michael Balcon. Screenwriter: John Baines, Angus MacPhail. Cinematographer: Douglas Slocombe, Stan Pavey, Jack Parker. Editor: Charles Hasse. Cast: Michael Redgrave, Mervyn Johns, Frederick Valk, Googie Withers, Sally Ann Howes. 35mm, 104 min. FATHER BROWN (1954) Directed by Robert Hamer Freely adapted from G. K. Chesterton's short story "The Blue Cross," the film sets up an extended intellectual and moral duel between the mild-mannered priest-detective (Alec Guinness) and flamboyant master-criminal Flambeau (a saturnine Peter Finch). Downplaying the comedy element, Hamer highlights Brown's quest to rescue Flambeau from both crime and atheismâa venture strangely paralleled in reality, with Guinness, a convert to Catholicism, vainly urging the solace of faith on the irreligious Hamer. (The film was originally released in the US as THE DETECTIVE.) Based on a story by G. K. Chesterton. Producer: Vivian A. Cox. Screenwriter: Thelma Schnee, Robert Hamer. Cinematographer: Harry Waxman. Editor: Gordon Hales. Cast: Alec Guinness, Peter Finch, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Ernest Thesiger. 35mm, 91 min. A Foreign Affair (1948) A congressional committee visits occupied Berlin to investigate G.I. morals. Congresswoman Phoebe Frost, appalled at widespread evidence of human frailty, hears rumors that cafe singer Erika, former mistress of a wanted war criminal, is "protected" by an American officer, and enlists Captain John Pringle to help her find him...not knowing that Pringle is Erika's lover. FRESH BAIT (LAPPAT), 1995, 115 min. Winner of the 1995 Berlin Film Festivals Golden Bear, this chilling portrait of youthful nihilism is one of director Bertrand Taverniers most powerful pieces of social commentary, examining the global impact of American consumer culture. A trio of French youths (Marie Gillain, Olivier Sitruk, and Bruno Putzulu) on a violent crime spree are motivated by nothing less than a desire to live the American dream. A haunting, unforgettable masterpiece. Grin Without A Cat (Fond de l'air est rouge, Le) (1977) The untranslatable French title is a play on words suggesting that revolution was in the air but not on the ground. The English title, "A Grin without a Cat", has a similar meaning. Director Chris Marker has given it the subtitle "Scenes from the Third World War 1967-1977". HAPPY HERE AND NOW, 2002, IFC Films, 89 min. When Amelia (Liane Balaban) ventures into the backstreets and byways of funkiest New Orleans to search for her missing sister (Shalom Harlow), a woozy, decaying private dick (Clarence Williams III) guides her to a cyber-philosopher (and a possible new variation on the Wizard of Oz) named Eddie Mars. Director Michael Almereyda (NADJA, HAMLET) has made several fascinating contemplations on the interaction of the human and technology, but nothing as beautiful, mysterious or completely mind-altering as this tale of people connecting by way of virtual avatars. HEAT (ZNOY), 1963, 85 min. Larisa Shepitkos debut feature, made when she was 25 years old, HEAT announced the arrival a major new talent and went on to win prizes at the Leningrad and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals. It was also made in grueling conditions on the barren steppes, the young director falling ill and having to direct from a stretcher. An idealistic high school graduate goes to work on a state farm, only to clash with its authoritarian, Stalinist leader. Shepitkos haunting depictions of the wind-scoured landscape mirrored the bitter emotional and spiritual hardships faced by the characters themselves. NOT ON VIDEO! A HOUSE DIVIDED (1931, United States) Directed by William Wyler A HOUSE DIVIDED opens as Seth Law (Walter Huston), a brutish, hard-drinking, hard-living fisherman has just buried his wife. His sensitive son (Kent Douglass) is barely allowed to grieve before his father drags him to a rowdy cafÃ© for a night of carousing. Soon after, the father sends away for a middle-aged mail order bride to keep house. But when a beautiful young woman arrives instead, the son falls for her, testing the limits of his already volatile relationship with his father. William Wyler's ultra-rare early sound feature is quintessential Universal gothic, complete with a dramatic ocean rescue and featuring a fearless performance by the inimitable Huston. Universal. Based on the story "Heart and Hand" by Olive Edens. Producer: Carl Laemmle, Jr.. Screenwriter: John B. Clymer, Dale Van Every, John Huston. Cinematographer: Charles Stumar. Editor: Ted Kent. Cast: Walter Huston, Kent Douglass, Helen Chandler, Mary Foy. 35mm, 68 min. THE INNER SCAR (La cicatrice intérieure) (1971, France) Directed by Philippe Garrel This stark, contemplative and frequently ravishing avant-garde provocation dates from the most experimental phase of Philippe Garrel's long career as a leading figure in the post-New Wave generation. With the camera panning and tracking, rigorously conceived long takes link a series of episodes played out against disparate, but similarly barren, landscapes. Garrel and Nico (the filmmaker's lover) appear as an archetypal couple, wandering in silence while Nico's distinctive singing voice sporadically fills out the soundtrack. Also on hand is Pierre ClÃ©menti, nude but for mythic accessories. Screenwriter: Philippe Garrel. Cast: Nico, Philippe Garrel, Pierre Clémenti, Christian Aaron Boulogne. 35mm, 60 min. THE INVISIBLE RAY, 1936, Universal, 81 min. Dir. Lambert Hillyer. A wildly bizarre, almost giddy fusion of cosmic sci-fi, gothic horror and jungle-action picture, THE INVISIBLE RAY stars the great Boris Karloff as Dr. Janos Rukh, a brilliant if antisocial scientist whos discovered a mysterious new element, Radium "X." Accompanied by colleague Bela Lugosi (in a rare good-guy role), the two lead an expedition to uncharted Africa with Karloffs long-suffering wife Frances Drake and her erstwhile lover Frank Lawton a journey with horrifying repercussions for Karloff once hes exposed to Radium "Xs" awful powers Watch for the mind-boggling voyage across the Universe in the opening scenes, and for Violet Kemble as Karloffs stone-faced mother, who provides the films amazingly explosive climax ! THE ITALIAN CONNECTION (LA MALA ORDINA), 1972, Xenon Films, 92 min. NYC mob boss Cyril Cusack dispatches two emotionally-dead hitmen (Henry Silva and Woody Strode) to Milan to execute a small time pimp (Mario Adorf, co-star of THE TIN DRUM) for allegedly absconding with a valuable drug shipment. The only problem is Adorf is a scapegoat for the real guilty party. Is it actually local crimelord Adolfo Celi? or the beautiful Luciana Paluzzi? or perhaps one of his stable of prostitutes? No answers are forthcoming, and Adorfs only option is to flee. And flee he does in the relentless remainder of the saga, including one of the most heartpounding, grueling foot pursuits ever committed to celluloid, all culminating in a brutal confrontation in an auto graveyard. Late director Fernando di Leo has finally come up for re-evaluation (in part, thanks to his championing by Quentin Tarantino) THE ITALIAN CONNECTION shows him to be a genuine master of the 1970s Euro crime film. KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) Directed by Robert Hamer Hamer's masterpiece is one of the wittiest, most poised and deliciously callous black comedies ever made. With passionate scorn underlying the amorality and poised Wildean wit, the film's tale of ruthless serial killings is all the more subversive for being played out amid stiff Edwardian formality. Alec Guinness pulls off a tour de force in his eightfold role as every member of the aristocratic D'Ascoyne clan, but he's matched by Dennis Price as the disavowed relative who coolly murders his way to the dukedomand by Joan Greenwood, toe-curlingly delicious as his purring, opportunistic mistress. The Edwardian period detail is flawless. Based on a novel by Roy Horniman. Producer: Michael Balcon. Screenwriter: Robert Hamer, John Dighton, Douglas Slocombe. Editor: Peter Tanner. Cast: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood. 35mm, 106 min. La Commune (Paris, 1871) (2000) Peter Watkins' nearly 6-hour long docudrama, "La Commune (Paris, 1871)," is a surprisingly passionate and fast-moving lesson in history. It is also a brilliant demonstration of how history is shaped, and re-shaped, by the tellers of the tale. Using the "You Are There" approach of earlier radio and TV days, Watkins has a male and female news team from "Commune TV" wandering through the poorest district of Paris inviting people to express their grievances against the state to the camera. While the people bitterly suffer because of the government's inept defeat at the hands of the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War, their anger inspires solidarity for them throughout Paris, and although they briefly rise up and seize power, they are brutally put down in the end. Ironically, during the course of their uprising, a TV monitor in the background features happy-talk "Versailles TV" news anchors, who continually vilify the Communards and rationalize the government's brutal acts of supression. "La Commune" is a must-see for students of history, and a must-see for students of the media. LARISA, 1980, 25 min. Klimovs documentary frames his wife Shepitkos life and career, alternating between photographs and sequences from her films. Movingly, the film reaches its conclusion with the last sequence Shepitko ever shot. Throughout, Shepitko meditates on what it means to create and live. NOT ON VIDEO! Layer Cake (2004) Based upon JJ Connelly's London crime novel, "LAYER CAKE" is about a successful cocaine dealer (DANIEL CRAIG) who has earned a respected place among England's Mafia elite and plans an early retirement from the business. However, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal neo-Nazi sect and a whole series of double crossings. The title "LAYER CAKE" refers to the layers or levels the dealer has to go through as he painstakingly plots his own escape. What is revealed is a modern underworld where the rules have changed. There are no 'codes', or 'families' and respect lasts as long as a line. Not knowing who he can trust, he has to use all his 'savvy', 'telling' and skills which make him one of the best, to escape his own. The ultimate last job, a love interest called Tammy and an international drugs ring, threaten to draw him back into the 'cake mix'. But, time is running out and the penalty will endure a lifetime.. THE LONG MEMORY (1952) Directed by Robert Hamer Hamer's acute sense of milieu is well to the fore in this revenge thriller. The set-up is archetypal noir: a man framed for murder (John Mills) gets out of jail resolved to get the people who had him put away. Hamer intensifies the downbeat atmosphere by setting much of the action on the desolate mudflats of the Thames estuary, and the landscape contributes a brooding presence, outward expression of the anti-hero's grim, seared mentality. Based on a novel by Howard Clewes. Producer: Hugh Stewart. Screenwriter: Robert Hamer, Frank Harvey. Cinematographer: Harry Waxman. Editor: Gordon Hales. Cast: John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars, Eva Berg. 35mm, 96 min. Medium Cool (1969) John Cassellis is the toughtest TV-news-reporter around. He becomes an expert in reporting about violence in the ghetto and racial tensions. But he discovers that his network helps the FBI by letting them look at his tapes to find suspects. When he protests he is fired and goes to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. THE PERFECT CRIME (EL CRIMEN PERFECTO), 2005, Vitagraph Films, 105 min. Los Angeles Premiere! The latest from ace Spanish helmer Alex de la Iglesia (DAY OF THE BEAST) is a wickedly funny black comedy shot through with outrageous Hitchcockian suspense. Guillermo Toledo (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED) stars as the Don Juan of a big Madrid department store. In between after-hours sexual romps with a rotating pool of sexy salesgirls, this ambitious ladies department clerk competes for the coveted Floor Manager position with his hated rival, the manager of Mens Wear Rafael will do anything to ace out the competition, but instead of getting the job he yearns for, he makes a big mistake which is witnessed by an unattractive, unsophisticated saleswoman, Lourdes (Monica Cervera) with a longstanding crush on him. When she blackmails him into marrying her, his dreams of an elegant life are swallowed up by the vulgar reality of an ordinary existence and his only way to escape from her clutches is to commit the "ferpect" crime Premiere Party for all ticket buyers prior to the show. Discussion following with director Alex de la Iglesia. Join us for a pre-party in the courtyard at 8PM BEFORE the film, sponsored by Tu Ciudad Magazine. The Psycho Lover (1970) A psychiatrist plots to murder his wife, but with a new twist: he will brainwash a patient he is treating into committing the crime. THE QUEEN OF SPADES (1949, United Kingdom) Directed by Thorold Dickinson This deliciously macabre adaptation of Pushkin's Gothic tale recreates a 19th century St. Petersburg in the grip of a gambling fever. When a conniving army officer hears that an aging countess has made a pact with the devil to win at faro, he sets out to seduce her lissome young beneficiary in order to plunder the old lady's secrets. A consummate stylist, director Thorold Dickinson spins a shivery tale of ghostly refinement while his elegant, kinetic camera prowls furtively around the lavish sets. As the eccentric old countess, silent film star Edith Evans' comeback performance is unforgettable: at once campy and horrifying, peculiar and majestic. Based on a story by Alexander Pushkin. Producer: Anatole de Grunwald. Screenwriter: Rodney Ackland, Arthur Boys. Cinematographer: Otto Heller. Editor: Hazel Wilkinson. Cast: Anton Wallbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell, Ronald Howard. 35mm, 95 min. RE-ANIMATOR, 1985, Filmax, 86 min. Adapted from the H.P. Lovecraft tale Herbert West, this mind-bending, darkly funny horror thriller was a breakout hit, establishing director Stuart Gordon as a force to be reckoned with. Impetuous researcher Jeffrey Combs develops a serum that can bring back the dead, something that his new roommate, Bruce Abbott, hadnt exactly bargained on. Delivers on every front with laughs, shocks and genuine shivers escalating until the outrageous gore-drenched finale. With Barbara Crampton, David Gale. Discussion following with director Stuart Gordon. 20th Anniversary Cast & Crew Reunion. THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, 1985, Columbia, 90 min. "Theyre Back Theyre Hungry And Theyre NOT Vegetarian!!" Director/writer Dan OBannons gory, gleeful, punk-rock classic is the godfather to such revisionist zombie flicks as the recent SHAUN OF THE DEAD. RETURN is an unofficial "sequel" to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, where leaking gas canisters at a medical supply warehouse inadvertently rain down on the nearby cemetery and mortuary. Much skull-splitting, brain-eating hilarity ensues along with punked-out Linnea Quigleys unforgettable erotic cemetery dance! Discussion following with cast and crew including: director & screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, actors James Karen, Clu Gulager, Jewel Shepard, Linnea Quigley, Don Calfa, Beverly Randolph, John Philbin, Miguel Nunez Jr. and Brian Peck, and art director William Stout. 20th Anniversary Cast & Crew Reunion. THE SCAPEGOAT (1958) Directed by Robert Hamer The string of alter-egos in Hamer's films reaches a culmination in THE SCAPEGOAT, where a man must defeat his doppelganger. Holidaying in France, a lonely English schoolteacher meets his double, a decadent French aristocrat who seizes his chance to put a malignant plan into operation. Adapted from a novel by Daphne du Maurier, this should have provided ideal material for Hamer, but MGM took a blunt axe to the footage. Nevertheless, enough of Hamer's concept survives to suggest he had a taut grip on his material, and Alec Guinness subtly differentiates the two aspects of his dual role. Based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. Producer: Michael Balcon. Screenwriter: Gore Vidal, Robert Hamer. Cinematographer: Paul Beeson. Editor: Jack Harrison. Cast: Alec Guinness, Bette Davis, Irene Worth, Nicole Maurey. 35mm, 97 min. SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (1959) Directed by Robert Hamer Hamer's final feature was completed in his absence by an uncredited Cyril Frankel. Stephen Potter's cynical "Lifemanship" books are the source of the plot, in which Ian Carmichael's dithering wimp learns how to get one up on suave, successful cad Terry-Thomas. Alastair Sim makes a suitably louche Stephen Potter, and the film is marbled with moments of divertingly cruel humornot least the double act of Dennis Price and Peter Jones as the car salesmen from hell. Based on the novels by Stephen Potter. Producer: Hal E. Chester. Screenwriter: Patricia Moyes, Hal E. Chester, Peter Ustinov, Frank Tarloff. Cinematographer: Erwin Hillier. Editor: Richard Best. Cast: Ian Carmichael, Terry- Thomas, Alastair Sim, Dennis Price, Peter Jones. 35mm, 97 min. THE SPIDER AND THE FLY (1949) Directed by Robert Hamer A rare example of British period noir. The setting is Paris, but bright lights and cancan dancers are in short supply. This is a gray, grim Paris, haunted by the imminent shadow of World War I, where a police detective and a master criminal play out their private duelâtwo professionals united by a contempt for the blockheads surrounding them on both sides of the law. Then a woman comes between them, upsetting the delicate balance.â¦ Hamer traces the cruel ironies of the plot with somber relish. Producer: Aubrey Baring. Screenwriter: Robert Westerby. Cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth. Editor: Seth Holt. Cast: Eric Portman, Guy Rolfe, Nadia Gray. 35mm, 106 min. SPIES (Spione) (1928, Germany) Directed by Fritz Lang In the first film he made with his own company, Fritz Lang sets loose a dizzying labyrinth of spies, counter-spies, secret passages, hara-kiri and opium smoke in this intoxicating, proto-Bond adventure. When the suave British gentleman-spy Agent 326 is charged with bringing down the empire of archfiend the Great Haghi, he finds his mission complicated by the seductive charms of Sonia, Haghi's most dangerous agent. Rudolf Klein-Roggethe ex-husband of Lang's wife Thea von Harbou and the star of his Mabuse filmsinvests Haghi with tremendous diabolical aplomb, especially in his astonishing talent for disguise. Even more unabashedly pulp-influenced than the Mabuse series, in SPIONE Lang uses his unerring sense of pacing and Escher-like compositions to construct a film as purely thrilling as a rollercoaster ride. Producer: Fritz Lang. Scenario: Thea von Harbou. Cinematographer: Fritz Arno Wagner. Cast: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gerda Maurus, Willy Fritsch, Lien Dyers. with German subtitles. 35mm, silent, (22 fps), 140 min. Simultaneous translation into English will be provided. SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE, 1968, Janus Films, 70 min. Dir: William Greaves. SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE 2 1/2, 2005, 99 min, Dir. William Greaves. The best American sequel of 2005 isnt REVENGE OF THE SITH, but it might be legendary independent filmmaker William Greaves SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE 2 ½. In 1968, Greaves created a daring, innovative feature in which a film crew rebels against a director (Greaves, playing himself) and takes over his production. Artfully blending documentary and narrative approaches, SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE is an intricate but accessible and deeply moving rumination on art, politics, sexuality and filmmaking, set against the turbulent America of the late 1960s. SYMBIO 1 went unseen until 1992, when it re-emerged on the festival circuit, to garner rave reviews and a rabid cult following that includes actor/filmmaker Steve Buscemi and filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh helped mentor Greaves stunning 2005 follow-up, SYMBIO 2-1/2, an elegy for the creative heat of the American 60s and a stunning celebration of the growth and evolution of human relationships and their embodiment in the actors craft. In this special evening, William Greaves will present the West Coast premiere of the complete SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM including both "Take One" and "Take 2 1/2." The question of the night: is SYMBIO one masterpiece or two? Mr. Greaves will be on hand to take your questions, so ask him yourself! NOT ON VIDEO! Discussion with director William Greaves in between movies. Pre-screening reception from 6:30 8:00 PM in the Egyptian Courtyard, sponsored by Janus Films and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Tell Them Who You Are (2004) Filmmaker and award-winning photojournalist Mark S. Wexler's portrays his famous cinematographer father and attempts to reconcile with him. It is clear from the outset that the impatient Haskell Wexler has little confidence in his son, the filmmaker. They become dueling directors as Haskell prods, cajoles and lectures Mark throughout the production, reminding his son that he, Haskell Wexler, is the star of the movie. TREASURE ISLAND, 1999, King Pictures, 86 min. Director Scott Kings astonishing debut eerily predicted the security state the U.S. would become after the 9/11 attacks. Set in a parallel-universe America, Kings surreal, terrifying movie plays like a skillful collaboration between David Lynch, George Romero and James Ellroy. Two WWII U.S. code-breakers fabricate an identity for a corpse to misdirect the Japanese. Their own identities begin to disintegrate into that of their creation, unleashing everything repressed within themselves. A prizewinner at Sundance for Kings "Distinctive Vision in Filmmaking," and overdue for rediscovery today. Discussion following with director Scott King. THE UNHOLY THREE (1930, United States) Directed by Jack Conway Lon Chaney's only sound film is a remake, almost scene for scene, of Chaney's 1925 silent film (directed by Tod Browning) about a crime syndicate made up of a ventriloquist, a strongman and a midget. The sound remake accorded Chaney's ventriloquist character, Echo, a variety of voices. Although the remake is perhaps less brooding than the original, Chaney's gritty delivery adds a Bogart-esque grimness to his already sinister character. In the relatively new medium of talking pictures, Chaney's dynamic vocal versatility may well have earned him the title of man of 1000 voices had he lived to make another picture. MGM. Based on the novel by Clarence Robbins. Screenwriter: J.C Nugent, Elliott Nugent. Cinematographer: Percy Hilburn. Editor: Frank Sullivan. Cast: Lon Chaney, Lila Lee, Harry Earles, Ivan Linow. 35mm, 74 min. WELCOME, OR NO TRESPASSING (DOBRO POZHALOVAT, ILI POSTORONNIM VKHOD ZAPRESHEN), 1964, 74 min. Director Elem Klimovs classic comedy satirizes the conventions of a childrens Young Pioneer summer camp. The hero, Inochkin, is expelled for misbehaving but he sneaks back into the camp, and is hidden by other children hide him. Klimov daringly mixes a direct critique of the Soviet system with hilarious fantasy sequences. Considered too dangerous by studio officials, the film was only released on Khrushchevs orders. When he saw it, though, he enjoyed it, and asked why it wasnt being shown. NOT ON VIDEO!