a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
fri. aug. 31 el topo, the holy mountain @ new beverly theatre cinecon 43 @ egyptian theatre sat. sept. 1 el topo, the holy mountain @ new beverly theatre cinecon 43 @ egyptian theatre what ever happened to baby jane @ cinespia @ hollywood forever sun. sept. 2 cinecon 43 @ egyptian theatre you're gonna miss me @ aero theatre vanishing point, hells angels on wheels @ new beverly theatre mon. sept. 3 cinecon 43 @ egyptian theatre vanishing point, hells angels on wheels @ new beverly theatre tue. sept. 4 the treasure of sierra madre 1 PM @ lacma vanishing point, hells angels on wheels @ new beverly theatre wed. sept. 5 sawdust and tinsel, summer with monika @ new beverly theatre thurs. sept. 6 sword of doom, the great melee @ egyptian theatre sawdust and tinsel, summer with monika @ new beverly theatre fri. sept. 7 2001 MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre no greater glory, the boy from stalingrad @ ucla film archive pigs and battleships, intentions of murder @ egyptian theatre zouzou, princess tam-tam @ aero theatre the seventh continent @ lacma benny's video 9:20 PM @ lacma jon brion @ largo sat. sept. 8 vengeance is mine, punishment room @ egyptian theatre funny games @ lacma 71 fragments of a chronology of chance 9:20 PM @ lacma hannah and her sisters @ cinespia @ hollywood forever jon brion @ largo jordan crandall @ telic arts exchange dead meadow @ 6th and Alameda saccharine trust @ jawbone canyon sun. sept. 9 repulsion 7 PM, see no evil @ ucla film archive detective office #23 - go to hell bastards!, flower and the angry waves @ egyptian theatre harold and maude, a thousand clowns @ new beverly theatre mon. sept. 10 doug benson, patton oswalt @ largo harold and maude, a thousand clowns @ new beverly theatre tue. sept. 11 the maltese falcon 1 PM @ lacma qui @ the echo jon brion @ largo harold and maude, a thousand clowns @ new beverly theatre wed. sept. 12 decision at sundown, the last posse @ ucla film archive paper moon 8 PM FREE @ egyptian theatre kinski @ the echo fanny and alexander 8 PM @ new beverly theatre thu. sept. 13 pink floyd the wall (70 mm) @ aero theatre metropolis FREE @ santa monica pier fanny and alexander 8 PM @ new beverly theatre scream at the librarian release party 6-8 PM @ kim light gallery built to spill @ the fonda fri. sept. 14 midnight, bluebeard's eighth wife @ ucla film archive lonesome 8 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn theater riot on sunset strip, you are what you eat @ egyptian theatre boogie nights, roller boogie @ new beverly theatre built to spill @ the fonda sat. sept. 15 shopworn, forbidden @ ucla film archive the cool ones 4 PM @ egyptian theatre the trip, mondo hollywood @ egyptian theatre the exorcist @ cinespia (last of summer) @ hollywood forever boogie nights, roller boogie @ new beverly theatre melvins, flipper @ the fonda sun. sept. 16 spectrum @ echoplex it happened one night 7 PM, the whole town's talking @ ucla film archive you're gonna miss me, the love-ins @ egyptian theatre the wild bunch (70 mm) @ aero theatre playtime, mon oncle @ new beverly theatre mon. sept. 17 the clientele @ the wiltern playtime, mon oncle @ new beverly theatre tue. sept. 18 demon rage aka satan's mistress, scream of the demon lover @ new beverly theatre wed. sept. 19 the ritual, the magician @ new beverly theatre thu. sept. 20 trail of the screaming forehead 8 PM @ egyptian theatre 2001: a space odyssey (70 mm) @ aero theatre roman holiday FREE @ santa monica pier the ritual, the magician @ new beverly theatre tight spot, between midnight and dawn @ ucla film archive fri. sept. 21 spider baby, pit stop @ egyptian theatre lucksmiths @ el cid nothing sacred, twentieth century @ ucla film archive sat. sept. 22 silver apples @ spaceland switchblade sisters, coffy @ egyptian theatre mimi nguyen and john paul ricco @ telic arts exchange cash on demand, scream of fear @ ucla film archive sun. sept. 23 day of the locust 5:30 PM @ egyptian theatre "i" of gilles deleuze from a to z 8:30 PM @ mandrake bar easy living, hail the conquering hero @ ucla film archive tue. sept. 25 white heat 1 PM @ lacma wed. sept. 26 upsilon acrux @ the scene thu. sept. 27 la gentlemen callers @ silverlake lounge fri. sept. 28 dead alive MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre low @ troubadour tell-tale hearts @ the casbah, SD sat. sept. 29 low @ troubadour tell-tale hearts @ adams ave street fair, SD gary dauphin @ telic arts exchange sun. sept. 30 the mae shi @ the smell wed. oct. 3 her space holiday @ the echo thu. oct. 4 darjeeling limited (preview screening) 7 PM @ hammer museum fri. oct. 5 the jazz singer 8 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn theater sat. oct. 6 la weekly detour festival scott bukatman @ telic arts exchange eye in the sky @ ucla film archive mon. oct. 8 the brokeoffs @ the echo tue. oct. 9 dial m for murder 1 PM @ lacma wed. oct. 10 mt. eerie/the microphones @ troubadour thu. oct. 11 woman chases man, bombshell @ ucla film archive fri. oct. 12 bipolar bear @ the smell the woggles @ safari sam's sat. oct. 13 terri senft @ telic arts exchange sun. oct. 14 susanna paasonen @ telic arts exchange wed. oct. 17 trouble makers @ ucla film archive fri. oct. 19 black lips @ troubadour sat. oct. 20 black lips @ the echo julie albright @ telic arts exchange mon. oct. 22 slipstream @ ucla film archive wed. oct. 25 autolux @ wiltern fri. oct. 27 creature from the black lagoon in 3-d @ 2 PM, 8 PM @ alex theatre tue. oct. 30 mad love 1 PM @ lacma the return of dr. x 2:30 PM @ lacma fri. nov. 2 thrones @ the smell thu. nov. 8 dos @ knitting factory sat. nov. 24 charalambides @ the smell tue. dec. 4 sharon jones & the dap-kings @ los angeles venue TBA sat. dec. 8 upsilon acrux @ the smell WHAT IT IS: Benny's Video 1992/color/105 min. | Scr/dir: Michael Haneke; w/ Arno Frisch, Angela Winkler, Ulirich Muhe, Ingrid Stassner Benny is a fourteen-year-old enamored of modern media, specifically television screens and videocassettes, both of which he soaks up in the solitude of his gear-crammed bedroom. When he meets a girl at the video store and decides to bring her back to his hideaway to play his favorite tape, tragedy ensues. BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN (1950) Directed by Gordon Douglas Inspired by Jules Dassin's Gotham-set cop drama Naked City (1948), director Gordon Douglas deploys his squad cars to the mean streets of Los Angeles. Beat cops Dan Purvis (O'Brien) and Rocky Barnes (Stevens) find a mutual love interest in the sultry voice of female dispatcher Katherine Mallory (Gale Storm) during their overnight prowl through seedy night clubs for a violent East Coast racketeer. With its pseudo-documentary cinematography, this is a prime example of the noirish valiant-cops-vs.-nasty-thugs, black-and-white B-programmer that Columbia delivered so efficiently in the '50s. Plus, Angelenophiles get a great car chase through a still vital downtown. Screenplay: Eugene Ling. Cast: Edmond O'Brien, Mark Stevens, Gale Storm. 35mm, 89 min. BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE (1938) Directed by Ernst Lubitsch Legend has it that Billy Wilder initiated his famous use of the "meet cute" for this charmingly combative and risqué bedroom farce that also marks his first collaboration with Charles Brackett. After a department store tussle over a pair of pajamas is settled to their mutual satisfaction (he wears bottoms, she wears men's tops), Gary Cooper's boyish though oft-married millionaire and Claudette Colbert's fiercely independent but cash-poor aristocrat get hitched. When Colbert discovers she's actually Bluebeard's eighth wife, the marriage quickly deteriorates into a hilarious trans-European battle of wills, but not before its endlessly postponed consummation turns on the tease. Paramount. Based on the play by Alfred Savoir. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper. 35mm, 85 min. BOMBSHELL (1933) Directed by Victor Fleming Harlow plays a comic version of herself as a Hollywood starlet surrounded by hangers-on, stalkers and a zealous studio publicist (Tracy) who complicates her life by planting salacious stories about her in the press. While not officially classified a screwball comedy (which is usually considered to date from 1934), screenwriters Mahin and Furthman surely helped inspire the genre with their dizzying array of comic characters, over-the-top complications and plenty of zesty dialog. MGM. Based on the play by Caroline Francke and Mack Crane. Screenwriter: John Lee Mahin, Jules Furthman. Cinematographer: Harold Rosson. Editor: Margaret Booth. Cast: Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Franchot Tone, Una Merkel. 35mm, 95 min. THE BOY FROM STALINGRAD (1943, United States) Directed by Sidney Salkow If J.M. Barrie had had a hand in Tarkovsky's IVAN'S CHILDHOOD, it might like something like this bizarre boys' adventure confection. Surprised by the advancing German Army while gathering wheat outside their village, a spunky band of Russian adolescents employs a combination of wits and heroic self-sacrifice to defeat a Nazi battalion, blow up a tank, and save the people of Stalingrad from imminent destruction. A rarely-seen entry in Hollywoood's brief wartime spate of pro-Soviet propaganda films, THE BOY FROM STALINGRAD stars Serbian-American child actor Bobby Samarzich, who went on to found one of Southern California's greatest tamburitza bands. Screenwriter: Ferdinand Reyher. Cast: Bobby Samarzich, Conrad Binyon, Mary Lou Harrington. 35mm, 69 min. CASH ON DEMAND (1961, United Kingdom) Directed by Quentin Lawrence This vastly underappreciated thriller pits Peter Cushing, as a rigidly supercilious bank manager, into ruthless psychological contest against debonair bank robber André Morell. In order to insure the banker's cooperation in the heist, Morell has taken his wife and family hostage. Meanwhile, Cushing's long-tyrannized employees sniff out the plan, and he must win the sympathy if he is to save his family. Horror-icon Cushing gives a breathtakingly nuanced performance as this Scrooge-like martinet on the worst day of his life. Based on the telplay 'The Gold Inside' by Jacques Gillies. Screenwriter: David T. Chantler, Lewis Greifter. Cast: Peter Cushing, André Morell. 35mm, 84 min. THE COOL ONES, 1967, Warner Bros., 96 min. Dir. Gene Nelson. Dig this, pussycats: the luscious Debbie Watson stars as a frustrated go-go dancer on the Whizbam! TV show who creates a new dance craze, "The Tantrum," when she grabs the microphone on-camera from singer Glen Campbell. Meanwhile, 23-year old pop idol Gil Peterson is desperate to get the attention of Phil Spector-ish record producer Roddy McDowall to revive his stalled career. Phenomenal Hollywood pop confection, with songs by the legendary Lee Hazelwood (of Nancy Sinatra fame) and performances by The Leaves and underage sensations The Bantams. Go, baby, go …! NOT ON DVD DAY OF THE LOCUST, 1975, Paramount, 144 min. John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY) directed this epic adaptation of writer Nathaniel West’s apocalyptic take on 1930’s Hollywood as a soul-destroying Gomorrah, a false paradise of intangible dreams that hides degradation, greed and vitriolic hypocrisy behind its glitzy facade. Aspiring movie art director Tod (William Atherton) becomes obsesseed with neighbor Faye (Karen Black), a starlet who has a strange platonic relationship with lonely and awkward accountant Homer (Donald Sutherland). With a stunning ensemble cast, including Burgess Meredith as Faye’s has-been vaudevillian father, Geraldine Page as evangelist Big Sister, plus Bo Hopkins, Richard Dysart, Lelia Goldoni and Billy Barty. Richard MacDonald outdid himself with the stunningly authentic art direction. The Oscar-nominated camerawork is by Conrad Hall. Discussion following the film with Richard MacDonald’s widow, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth Myers. DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957, United States) Directed by Budd Boetticher "Some things a man can't ride around," explains Bart Allison (Randolph Scott), a bitter husband who comes to the frontier town of Sundown to kill Tate Kimbrough (John Carroll), the man who stole his wife and drove her to suicide. In a spectacularly grisly scene that may well have inspired Tarantino's KILL BILL, Allison tracks Kimbrough down on his day wedding and the festive ceremony explodes in a hail of bullets. Forced to barricade himself in a claustrophobic livery stable, Allison is confronted not only by the hired guns of his rival but also by the truth about the past and his own responsibility for his wife's fate. The second collaboration between Boetticher and Scott, DECISION AT SUNDOWN is one of their darkest and most cynical; in the climactic gunfight, the film's tarnished hero misses his shot when he stumbles and cuts his hand on a wagon wheel. Based on based on the novel by Vernon L. Fluharty. Screenplay: Charles Lang, Jr.. Cast: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele. 35mm, 77 min. DEMON RAGE (from IMDB) Horror movie about a frustrated housewife who begins having nightly trysts with a tall, dark stranger who turns out to be a ghost from the other side. Thus begins her descent into dementia, as she begins to distance herself even further from her husband and kids while painting portraits of her enigmatic new lover. DETECTIVE OFFICE #23 – GO TO HELL, BASTARDS! (TANTEI JIMUSHO NIJUSAN-KUTABARE AKUTODOMO), 1963, Nikkatsu, 92 min. Dir. Seijun Suzuki (TOKYO DRIFTER; GATE OF FLESH). Surreal, ultra-mod nuttiness with hep cool cat Joe Shishido (BRANDED TO KILL) tooling around in an Austin Healey working for detective bureau boss Nobuo Kaneko (BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR & HUMANITY) to break up a band of hoods who have stolen weapons from a U.S. Army base. Much like his other film from 1963, YOUTH OF THE BEAST, Suzuki’s irreverent visual humor breaks free in striking color compositions and action choreography, especially in some riotous nightclub scenes, with a great ‘60s rock/R&B/ Dixieland (!) hybrid score, and, last but not least, a flaming gas jet finale down in villain Kinzo Shin’s cellar. With Tamio Kawaji, Reiko Sassamori. NOT ON DVD EASY LIVING (1937) Directed by Mitchell Leisen Preston Struges's fascination with reversals of fortune is clear from the first scene of EASY LIVING when a sable coat drops from the sky smack onto the head of struggling writer Mary Smith (Jean Arthur). Soon Mary is mistaken for a kept woman and installed in a luxurious penthouse suite, where a misunderstanding with a nosy reporter over the price of steel leads to the downfall of the millionaire banker who threw the coat in the first place. Meanwhile, the rich man's son (Ray Milland) is slumming as a busboy in an automat. When he meets cute with Mary, the machines go haywire and custard pies start flying in a choreographed delirium worthy of Jacques Tati. Screenwriter: Preston Sturges. Cast: Jean Arthur, Ray Milland, Edward Arnold. 35mm, 88 min. EYE IN THE SKY (GUN CHUNG) (2007) Directed by Yau Nai-hoi The films produced by Johnnie To's Milky Way Company are fascinating studies of the topography of Hong Kong Island, the mean streets of Kowloon or the falsely quaint hide-outs of Macau. For his directorial debut, Yau Nai-hoi, the noted screenwriter of PTU (2003), Running on Karma (2003) and Election (2005), explores the intricate maze of the Central area of Hong Kong with the love and intimate knowledge of a native son. Through his skilled mise en scène, this cluttered urban texture becomes a series of signs to be deciphered: every street corner, every small event, every step out of line, is pregnant with hidden meaning and possible menace. And the cops of the Surveillance Unit (SU—code name: "eye in the sky") aren't the only ones on the look-out. Master criminal Shan (Tony Leung) is as adept at reading signs and outsmarting his opponents as is ace cop "Dog Head" (Simon Lam). The outcome of this suspenseful cat-and-mouse game will eventually turn on who leaves traces, who does not, and who can turn an image into a clue. Shan pays for his MTR (subway) entrance with small change to leave no record of his wanderings, while one of his not-so-smart acolytes (Lam Suet) buys junk food at his local 7/11 with the omnipresent "Octopus card"—a rechargeable "smart card" that denotes Hong Kong modernity, but whose transactions can be traced by computer. Meanwhile, Dog Head's rookie-in-training (Kate Tsui), a little taken aback at being given the code name "Piggy," quickly masters the tricks of the trade: from taking pictures of a suspect with her cell phone and tailing a criminal while passing as a helpless female, to disregarding orders from headquarters—in the grand tradition of any self-respecting cop movie. A treat for the eyes and the mind! Producer: Johnnie To, Tsui Siu-ming. Screenplay: Yau Nai-hoi, Au Kin-yee. Music: Guy Zerafa. Cast: Simon Yam, Tony Leung Kar-fai. Presented in Cantonese dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 90 min. Fanny and Alexander Bergman's emotional epic about a year in the lives of two young children, their dreams and impressions, and the eccentric characters who dwell in their glorious mansion. With unparalleled ensemble acting, featuring Erland Josephson, Ewa Froling, Pernila Alwin, and cinematography by Sven Nykvist. FLOWER AND THE ANGRY WAVES (HANA TO DOTO) 1964, Nikkatsu, 92 min. Director Seijun Suzuki’s classic spin on the traditional ninkyo yakuza genre, with Akira Kobayashi (BLACK TIGHT KILLERS) as a young anti-hero in a coal carters union in the turn-of-the-20th-century Taisho era up against a rival evil gang. He is also caught between the virginal Chieko Matsubara and the more worldly Naoko Kubo. Midway through the saga, his face is slightly disfigured, something which must have wreaked havoc with the sensibilities of matinee-idol/pop star Kobayashi’s younger female fanbase. Also with Tamio Kawaji as a sword-wielding assassin in Zorro-cape-and-hat (!). NOT ON DVD FORBIDDEN (1932, United States) Directed by Frank Capra Dubbed Frank Capra's "dark horse," this fascinating pre-code melodrama simmers with white fox furs, unwanted pregnancy, Cuban dance halls, and wedding-night murder attempts. Tired of her prim and proper lifestyle, country librarian Lulu Smith (Barbara Stanwyck) waves her hair and sets off on a luxury cruise to Havana, and ends up hopelessly in love with a married politician and pregnant with his child. The single mother reinvents herself again as a Miss Lonelyhearts for a big-city newspaper, whose bon-vivant editor (Ralph Bellamy) threatens to expose her secret unless she consents to marry him. Capra himself proposed marriage to Stanwyck during production of the film, and the behind-the-scenes drama may have informed the fearless intensity of her performance. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou. 35mm, 83 min. Funny Games 1997/color/104 min. | Scr/dir: Michael Haneke; w/ Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering A bourgeois family is held hostage in their own lakeside vacation home for no apparent reason by a mysterious, sadistic duo. Currently being remade by Haneke with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt, this "disgrace," as Jacques Rivette dubbed it, is perhaps the most controversial of Haneke's films. Yet, in its literal expression of many of the filmmaker's recurring themes—familial deconstruction, media-fueled disengagement—it may be also be his most prescient. THE GREAT MELEE (DAI SATSUJIN), 1964, Toei Studios, 118 min. The literal translation of the Japanese title is "The Great Killing" and, as you might guess, it delivers in spades. Director Eiichi Kudo (THIRTEEN ASSASSINS) helmed this stark samurai allegory of the radical student movement in early sixties Japan and captures this feeling perfectly without sledgehammer proselytizing. A reform activist (Kotaro Satomi) is pulled into a violent fray when an acquaintance hunted by government troops hides in his house. Samurai police burst in, kill the man and attempt to arrest Satomi. Rescued by fellow activists who create a diversion, Satomi is sheltered by a good natured, hard-drinking, apolitical ronin (Mikijiro Hira, of SWORD OF THE BEAST and THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI). A wealthy opposition samurai organizes Satomi, a female ninja, a sex-obsessed priest and a samurai family man, in an effort to assassinate the province’s abusive ruler. However, the cruel, arrogant lord (Kantaro Suga) has an expert swordsman as his bodyguard (Ryutaro Otomo). Consequently, the desperate crew’s unraveling plan devolves into a spectacular bloodbath of repression that will serve as a wake-up call for previously carefree samurai Hira. NOT ON DVD HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944) Directed by Preston Sturges Sturges's last film as a writer-director at Paramount combines satire and Capraesque sentiment to tell the story of Woodrow Truesmith (Eddie Bracken), a miserable young man who is expelled from the Marines at the start of World War II because of incurable hay fever. Woodrow relates the experience to six Marines he meets at a bar, and they impulsively decide to help him return to his small town in the guise of a wounded hero. Not only does the entire town turn out to greet him, but the reluctant Woodrow finds himself nominated for mayor. Ex-boxer Freddie Steele stands out in a strong supporting cast as a near-psychotic marine whose rage at Woodrow sets the plot in motion. Paramount. Producer: Preston Sturges. Screenwriter: Preston Sturges. Cast: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines. 35mm, 101 min. Hell's Angels on Wheels A great bit of exploitation filmmaking featuring Jack Nicholson as a gas station attendant named Poet who falls in with a rough biker gang. With real Hell's Angel Sonny Barger as technical advisor and splendid photography by Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider). "A rambunctious tour de force" (The New Yorker). INTENTIONS OF MURDER (AKAI SATSUI), 1964, Janus Films, 150 min. Director Shohei Imamura expertly treads the fine line between a shocking sociological expose and an uncompromising suspense thriller. Masumi Harukawa is Sadako, a downtrodden housewife, abused by her husband (Ko Nishimura, of SWORD OF DOOM) and mother-in-law. After being raped by a strange intruder (Shigeru Tsuyuguchi), she decides to kill herself. But the rapist returns, expressing his love and, to her own surprise, Sadako begins a passionate affair with her anguished attacker. The tryst awakens Sadako’s awareness of her own power as a woman, and she is finally able to stand up against everyone in her life that is using her to take out their own frustrations. "...a faultlessly constructed model of sophistication, which uses its messy appearance to suggest that beneath the ordered chaos of modernity with all of its artificial constraints, it is characters such as Sadako that provide the beating heart that enables society to continue." – Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye NOT ON DVD IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) Directed by Frank Capra Claudette Colbert is the runaway bride, a poor little rich girl, who meets up with the worldly Clark Gable while on the lam from her family and would-be husband. The road-trip romance of Colbert and Gable remains one of Hollywood's most charming love stories. The film was both a critical and a popular success, sweeping the five top Oscars (for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Directing and Adapted Sreenplay. As a result, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (along with TWENTIETH CENTURY; see below) is credited with launching screwball comedy as a genre. For that, film fans owe revered screenwriter Robert Riskin a debt of gratitude. Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert. 35mm, 105 min. THE LAST POSSE (1953, United States) Directed by Alfred Werker This overlooked Western perhaps went unnoticed in the 1950's because it deviated from conventional narrative. A posse comprised of ostensibly honest townsfolk returns from their hunt for a gang of thieves with neither prisoners nor the stolen loot. One man has died and the sheriff (Broderick Crawford) is seriously wounded. The members of the posse act suspiciously, and the story of the botched search and rescue is revealed through flashbacks. As much a psychological mystery as classic Western, THE LAST POSSE explores tyrannical family relationships, alcoholism, and the hypocrisy of ostensibly upstanding citizens. Co-writer Connie Lee Bennett is one of the few successful women screenwriters in the genre; she also wrote THE LADY FROM TEXAS. Cast: Broderick Crawford, John Derek, Charles Bickford, Wanda Hendrix. 35mm, 71 min. LONESOME Though Lonesome was initially released as a silent, it was quickly withdrawn from theaters and sent out again with three sound sequences; the additions technically make it Universal’s first talking picture. In the film, director Paul Fejos masterfully portrays the frenzy of life and the loss of new love over the course of one day in the modern “big city,” New York. The film’s stunning views of Coney Island and other Gotham locations are shown to full advantage in a new tinted print from the George Eastman House. Lonesome has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “a major rediscovery, an exquisite urban romance of poetic realism and acute psychological insight. Timelessly exhilarating and beautiful.” Cast Barbara Kent (Mary), Glenn Tryon (Jim), Fay Holderness (Overdressed woman), Gustav Partos (Romantic gentleman), Eddie Phillips (The Sport), Andy Devine (Jim’s friend on boat). Directed by Paul Fejos. Produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. Screenplay Edward T. Lowe Jr., Mann Page, Tom Reed. Cinematography Gilbert Warrenton. Film Editing Frank Atkinson. Art Direction Charles D. Hall. Universal Pictures. 1928. 35mm. 69 mins. THE LOVE-INS, 1967, Sony Repertory, 92 min. Dir. Arthur Dreifuss. From teen exploitation wizard Sam Katzman, THE LOVE-INS gleefully rips off Timothy Leary, the hippies and everything in sight, in the story of a straightlaced professor (Richard Todd) who becomes a headtripping LSD guru to a mob of impressionable college kids. Stay tuned for the mindblowing "Alice In Wonderland" inspired psychedelic ballet (!), featuring music by The Chocolate Watch Band ("Are You Gonna Be There At the Love-in?") and others. Co-starring James MacArthur ("Hawaii Five-O") and Susan Oliver. Tune in, turn on and drop out. Discussion in between films with author Domenic Priore (Riot On Sunset Strip). NOT ON DVD THE MAGICIAN Nothing is quite as it seems in Bergman's magical, mesmerizing, metaphysical The Magician, a semi-comic, highly gothic period piece which sets faith, art and illusion on a dangerous collision course with science, rationality and reality. Max von Sydow stars as the master conjurer and mesmerist who leads a troupe of illusionists, charlatans and snake-oil salesmen into mid-19th century Stockholm. Gunnar Björnstrand is the cynical, cold man of science who sets out to expose the magician and his cohorts as frauds. Careening from ribald low comedy to nightmarish suspense, and spiked with some startlingly grisly effects, The Magician is throughout a darkly stylish, deliriously diabolical defence of the spell-binding power of the artist -- with Bergman, of course, as the film's true master conjurer. Fellini was a great admirer; the work won the Special Jury Prize at Venice 1959. "Widely underrated, probably because of its strong comic elements and a tour-de-force scene derived from horror film conventions. . . one of [Bergman's] most genuinely enjoyable films" (Geoff Andrew, Time Out). "Rich in comedy and melodrama, as well as deep philosophical thought, and wonderful in its graphic details. It is a thoroughly exciting film" (New York Times). Sweden 1958. Director: Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, »ke Fridell, Gunnar Björnstrand. B&W, 35mm, in Swedish with English subtitles. 101 mins. MIDNIGHT (1939) Directed by Mitchell Leisen Claudette Colbert stars as Eve Peabody, an American showgirl who arrives in Paris with nothing but the gold evening gown on her back. Enter fairy godmother John Barrymore who hires Peabody to distract his wife's lover. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett turn the Cinderella story inside out in this deliciously spun screwball confection. Although the two men were opposites, the partnership of the brash Wilder and the patrician Brackett produced many of the most memorable Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Paramount. Based on a story by Edwin Justus. Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer. 35mm, 95 min. MONDO HOLLYWOOD, 1967, 120 min. Robert Carl Cohen’s brain-frying stroll through the hedonistic wonderland of Los Angeles, specifically Hollywood, in its pop culture hippie heyday. We get glimpses inside Jay Sebring’s hair salon (a bit disturbing as we also get a brief flash of Manson follower Bobby Beausoleil elsewhere in the film), narration and art by body painter Sheryl Carson, and a live journey through mid-'60s Sunset Strip dance floors with trippy garage music by The Mugwump Establishment. There are also segments with surf filmmaker Dale Davis, an appearance by garage-rock protest singer Bobby Jameson (singing "Vietnam"), an interview with chief freak Vito Paulekas, and camp horror music performances by gay combo Teddy & Darrell (who cut the album "These Are The Hits You Silly Savage"). Hot rods appearing in the film include the Dragula and the Munster Koach (both of those were by George Barris, made for the Munsters TV show). Teddy & Darrel peel out in them in front of the Hollywood Palladium's Teen Age Fair). Plus appearances by Jayne Mansfield, Frank Zappa, fashion designer Rudi Gernreich and more! Discussion in between films with author Domenic Priore (Riot On Sunset Strip) and guests. NOT ON DVD MON ONCLE, 1958, Janus Films, 110 min. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The New York Times' Vincent Canby once described Jacques Tati's M. Hulot alter-ego as "a kind of fixed point in a view finder with which we are able to put the rest of the world into properly hilarious focus." This is no less true than in Tati's Academy Award-winning MON ONCLE. Following the commercial and critical success of 1953's M. HULOT'S HOLIDAY, Tati set Hulot packing for the suburbs. Rendering Le Corbusier's proclamation that a house is "a machine for living in" literally, Tati's Hulot bumbles through modernity's "gadgeted and pushbuttoned realms," to use New York Times critic Bosley Crowther's apt description of the factory floor and the family home. There Hulot commiserates with his young nephew on the awkward and always comic affects of modernism – such as lawn paths that wind like couture runways or oval windows that resemble cartoon eyes peeping down on visitors. Though Tati would make the claim in a 1968 Cahiers du Cinema interview that he "went a little astray with MON ONCLE" it remains one of his most beloved films. NO GREATER GLORY (1934, United States) Directed by Frank Borzage In this rare film, Borzage adapts a fable by Ferenc Molnár (whose work Borzage had adapted four years earlier in his masterpiece LILIOM ) about rural gangs in the Hungarian countryside. A playground rivalry leads a group of schoolboys to form two gangs, The Red Shirts and The Paul Street Boys. Their skirmish over stolen marbles escalates into a full-on mock battle and one young boy loses his life. An anti-war parable, Borzage's romanticism is put to use in atypical fashion: militarism becomes a transparent affect of boys coming-of-age. Their pride, aggression and affection for one another are captured with a poeticism only possible by this master filmmaker. Reportedly Ernst Lubitsch was responsible for convincing Columbia to greenlight the project. Based on the novel 'A pal utcai fiuk' by Ferenc Molnár. Screenwriter: Jo Swerling. Cast: George Breakston, Frankie Darro, Jackie Searl. 35mm, 70 min. NOTHING SACRED (1937) Directed by William A. Wellman Carole Lombard stars as Hazel Flagg, a small-town girl mistakenly diagnosed as suffering a fatal case of radium poisoning. Journalist Fredric March makes her the toast of New York with a series of tear-jerking newspaper stories, forcing Hazel into a web of deceptions in order to keep her health a secret. Adept at both comedy and drama, with an ear for colorful dialogue, Ben Hecht was one of the best-known and most-respected screenwriters in Hollywood from the 1930s into the '60s. Based on the story "Letter to the Editor" by James H. Street. Producer: David O. Selznick. Screenwriter: Ben Hecht. Cast: Carole Lombard, Fredric March. 35mm, 74 min. PAPER MOON, 1973, Paramount, 102 min. Director Peter Bogdanovich’s Depression-era tale of confidence man Ryan O’Neal and his young daughter (Tatum O’Neal, who won a Best Supporting Oscar) fleecing naive citizens from town to town in the American Midwest is rendered in glistening and appropriately gritty black, grey and white tones by cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. Co-starring Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman. PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS (BUTA TO GUNKAN), 1961, Janus Films, 108 min. Director Shohei Imamura’s superlative, atypical yakuza saga of slum waif Jitsuko Yoshimura, her wannabe gangster boyfriend Hiroyuki Nagato, an ucler-plagued gang boss Tetsuro Tanba (THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI) and a plot to sell pigs on the post-WWII black market of their shantytown, dockside inferno. The nearby U.S. military base provides fertile soil for all varieties of crime, including prostitution, narcotics, protection rackets, gambling and black market goods. Imamura’s dark sense of humor integrates perfectly with his trademark sociology-lesson-from-hell realism. The climax where Nagato grabs a machine gun and hijacks the convoy of pigs, only to release them in a porcine stampede in the red light district is simultaneously funny, scary and sad. A matter-of-fact, unsentimental masterpiece. NOT ON DVD PINK FLOYD – THE WALL, 1982, Warner Bros., 99 min. Director Alan Parker's vivid film interpretation of the British rock combo's classic concept album THE WALL fuses curious fantasy with dark, tragic drama on an epic scale. It tells the story of anti-hero Pink, beaten down by life from his earliest childhood days in WWII Britain. Despite his rise to rock star fame, he continues to build a 'wall' around himself. The film makes innovative use of sets, costumes, and special effects, imbuing the movie with a bizarre surrealism worthy of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. Both disturbing and bedazzling, PINK FLOYD: THE WALL is a must-see film for any music lover. Do not miss this unique screening in 70 mm, the print is a bit faded though with the full 5-across magnetic stereo sound, the experience is amazing! With Bob Geldof, Bob Hoskins. 70 mm Print! PIT STOP, 1969, 92 min. This unsung masterpiece from writer/director Jack Hill is very possibly the greatest film ever made about drag racing. It delivers on all fronts, providing chills and spills in some of the most demented, dangerous race track footage ever shot (keep your eyes peeled for the nocturnal, out-of-control ‘Figure 8’ sequences that have to be seen to be believed). Richard Davalos (James Dean’s brother Aaron in EAST OF EDEN) is the brooding, alienated lone wolf driver taken under the wing of hardboiled racing promoter, Brian Donlevy (in his last role). Davalos decides to grab first place and topple manic motormouth (and homicidal) king of the track Sid Haig, as well as steal Haig’s main squeeze Beverly Washburn. Ellen Burstyn (ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) is exceptional in one of her earliest roles as a lonely driver’s wife whom Davalos also seduces. And keep yours ears open for the blistering, fuzz-drenched, way-ahead-of-its-time rock score by legendary John Fridge and The Daily Flash. Discussion in between films with director Jack Hill, actors Sid Haig, Beverly Washburn, Quinn Redeker, Karl Schanzer and cinematographer Al Taylor. A limited number of copies of the new SPIDER BABY DVD release will be given away at the screening! PLAYTIME, 1967, Janus Films, 126 min. Dir. Jacques Tati. Monsieur Hulot must contact an American official in Paris, but he gets lost in a stylish maze of modern architecture filled with the latest technical gadgets. Caught in a tourist invasion, Hulot roams around Paris with a group of American tourists, causing chaos in his usual manner. The star of the film: the city built by Tati and called Tativille/Taticity. From surprise to surprise, it’s an exquisite and divine experience! Francois Truffaut, writing to Jacques Tati about PLAYTIME, said simply, "A film from another planet." PRINCESS TAM-TAM, 1935, Kino International, 77 min. Edmund T. Greville, who straddled the English Channel directing in both France and the UK from the 1930’s through the 1950’s, helmed this delightful vehicle for expatriate American music star, Josephine Baker. Baker made her leap to international fame via the club-hopping nightlife of the 1920’s Parisian demi-monde. French novelist, Max (Albert Prejean), exhausted by his social whirlwind of a wife, takes a solitary vacation to Tunisia to unwind. There, he meets a barefoot sheperdess named Alwina (Baker). When Max hears of his wife’s dalliances with a maharajah, he decides to work "Pygmalion"-style magic on the uneducated girl, giving her a crash course in civilized manners and returning to Paris with her to pass her off as an exotic princess. PUNISHMENT ROOM (SHOKEI NO HEYA) 1956, Kadokawa Pictures, 96 min. Dir. Kon Ichikawa (THE BURMESE HARP; FIRES ON THE PLAIN). A phenomenal, astonishing and pioneering youth film that makes REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE look anemic in comparison. This spectacle of an angry, ego-driven youth (Hiroshi Kawaguchi) haunted by his own emotional impotence and resentment towards his parents, was immensely influential on Japanese pictures that came after - from Nagisa Oshima’s CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH and Seijun Suzuki’s EVERYTHING GOES WRONG to Kinji Fukasaku’s GRAVEYARD OF HONOR & HUMANITY and even Imamura’s VENGEANCE IS MINE. Kawaguchi, intelligent but hating the idea of becoming ‘tamed’ (or grown up) abuses everyone -- his ulcer-ridden bank teller dad (Seiji Miyaguchi, of THE SEVEN SAMURAI), his long-suffering mom, his teachers, his best friends (when they decide to take school seriously) and the girl he fancies (Ayako Wakao, of MANJI). Original story writer Shintaro Ishihara, brother of Nikkatsu Studios superstar Yujiro, had already written several other "sun tribe" (taiyo-zoku) bestsellers about directionless youth propelled by self-will, self-gratification and self-destruction. Two -- SEASONS IN THE SUN and CRAZED FRUIT -- had already been made into films. Parents, teachers and politicians had been grumbling, but PUNISHMENT ROOM was the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing all the studios to put a moratorium on "sun tribe" pictures. Ironically, Ishihara is now a prominent, conservative member of the Japanese government. NOT ON DVD REPULSION (1965, United Kingdom) Directed by Roman Polanski Polanski's first English-language film is a chilling thriller of sexual repression and psychological disintegration. Left alone in her sister's London apartment, a young French woman descends into a madness that culminates in murder. Catherine Deneuve plays the radiant yet menacing manicurist. Roman Polanski himself performs an odd and little-known cameo as a spoon-playing street musician. Screenwriter: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach. Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser. 35mm, 104 min. THE RITUAL A nightmarish exploration of artistic responsibility (and humiliation) that recalls the dizzying darkness of earlier Bergman tours-de-force such as Hour of the Wolf, The Magician, and The Naked Night, The Rite was originally made for Swedish television, then released theatrically with an ad campaign promising: "A world event! A masterpiece that shocks!" The film has a theatrical troupe made up of husband (Gunnar Björnstrand), wife (Ingrid Thulin), and wife's lover (Anders Ek) called up before a magistrate (played by the appropriately named Erik Hell) on charges of obscenity. Their examination becomes a sadistic inquisition in which they are cruelly bullied and humiliated, and culminates in a chilling re-creation of "The Rite," the allegedly pornographic piece which has gotten them into trouble. Bergman has a cameo as a priest -- a black-robed, Seventh Seal-like figure of death. "All of Bergman's films around this time centre on isolated social groups (often the partners of a marriage) and show them under attack from both inside and out. . . [The Rite is] a bold step forward in Bergman's analysis of human isolation (Tony Rayns). "A complex, disturbing, and deeply pessimistic film with a brilliant performance from Thulin" (Bloomsbury). Sweden 1969. Director: Ingmar Bergman . Cast: Ingrid Thulin, Anders Ek, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erik Hell. B&W, 16mm, in Swedish with English subtitles. 75 mins. Roller Boogie An obvious attempt to cash in on the brief roller disco craze of the late-1970s, with Linda Blair as a Beverly Hills teen who falls for a roller skater from the wrong side of the tracks. Together with their roller skating friends, they try to stop a developer from tearing down the roller rink. Sawdust and Tinsel Ingmar Bergman's profound meditation on art and sexual conflict. Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden and centered on a ragged traveling circus, the plot details the private anguish of the ring master (Ake Gronberg), reunited with his former wife (AnnikaTretow) in a provincial town. Complications erupt when Gronberg's mistress (Harriet Andersson) is seduced by a loquacious actor (Hasse Ekman). With Anders Ek and Gudrum Brost. SCREAM AT THE LIBRARIAN An instant cult classic, Scream at the Librarian sucks you into the flophouse grime of downtown Los Angeles at a time when it was abandoned by all but the terminally desperate. The Screamer, Mr. Brain Damage, The Devil... these are just a few of the unforgivable characters that people Rane’s real-life accounts from deep in the seedy stacks of a library, which had become a refuge for squatters, drug addicts, and the mentally deranged. Each story is accompanied by stunning new illustrations from Raymond Pettibon & Cristin Sheehan Sullivan. SCREAM OF FEAR (1961, United Kingdom) Directed by Seth Holt In this truly spine-tingling, little known horror gem, Hammer Studios writer/director team Holt and Sangster turned away from their usual mummies and monsters in favor of more subtle, GASLIGHT-tinged psychological suspense. When wheelchair-bound Penny Appleby (a captivating Susan Strasberg) arrives for a visit at her father's cliffside villa on the French Riviera, the coolly chic stepmother she has never met (Ann Todd) informs her that daddy is away on business. Soon Penny encounters something that looks like her father's corpse and her sanity is tested in a series of delightfully macabre plot twists. The Hammer touch is evident in the atmospheric black&white photography and the eerie sound of Penny's wheelchair echoing down the villa's empty corridors. Screenwriter: Jimmy Sangster. Cast: Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis. 35mm, 81 min. SCREAM OF THE DEMON LOVER (from IMDB) A beautiful young woman travels to a remote estate to seek employment as a biochemist for Baron Janos Dalmar. She finds herself attracted to him, so immerses herself in her work to suppress her lusty desires. A rash of rather brutal murders occurs in the area and she soon discovers that the Baron is not what he seems. Not long thereafter, the Baron transforms into a demon, and the beautiful young woman becomes his very own love slave. SEE NO EVIL (1971, United Kingdom/United States) Directed by Richard Fleischer Recuperating at her uncle's country estate after a riding accident left her blind, Sarah (Mia Farrow, complete with British accent) wakes up to discover her entire family has been slaughtered by a crazed serial killer. Determined to track down the killer herself, Sarah sets off on horseback, only to find herself momentarily impeded when she is trapped in a clay pit by a family of sinister gypsies. Wickedly clever, tour-de-force camerawork plays on the character's blindness, keeping the carnage (and the killer's mud-spattered cowboy boots) just on the edge of the frame. A memorable, Elmer Bernstein-scored credit sequence follows the faceless killer as he takes in a sexploitation matinee and stalks through a tiny hamlet chock-full of consumer-culture violence. Producer: Martin Ransohoff. Screenwriter: Brian Clemens. Cast: Mia Farrow, Dorothy Alison. 35mm, 87 min. The Seventh Continent 1989/color/104 min. | Scr/dir: Michael Haneke; w/ Birgit Doll, Dieter Berner, Udo Samel, Leni Tanzer A family of three slowly disengages from one another in a downward spiral towards eventual self-destruction. Haneke's debut film is also the first chapter of his "glaciation trilogy," whose heading may refer not just to the insular, emotional alienation and moral disaffection of its characters but also the cold, clinical gaze of Haneke's camera. "Its tact and intelligence, and also its reticence and detachment, make it a shocking and potent statement about our times." (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader) 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance 1994/color/95 min. | Scr/dir: Michael Haneke; w/ Gabriel Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Miko, Otto Grunmandl, Anne Bennent, Udo Samel Haneke concludes the "glaciation trilogy" with this mosaic of horrors—Balkan warfare, the loneliness of an old pensioner, the street life of a Romanian refugee—around a young man drifting towards catastrophe. Praised for its "masterfully orchestrated ensemble acting and the countless dramatic mini-explosions unleashed along the way" by Michael Atkinson. SHOPWORN (1932, United States) Directed by Nicholas Grinde This pre-Code classic finds working girl (a waitress at the family café) Stanwyck falling for a society scion only to be framed as a prostitute by his disapproving mother. After doing time at the State Home for the Regeneration of Females, Stanwyck rises as an actress/showgirl but soon falls for the same gent again. This time mum brandishes a weapon, but drops it with a change of heart. Columbia's troubles with the new Production Code Administration over this film are nearly as melodramatic as the film itself. The PCA rejected an early draft of the script for its characterization of members of "decent and conventional society" as "unsympathetic, narrow, selfish, and insincere" and then condemned the first cut as "an example of the stubborn refusal of this particular company to take advice." Though Columbia was forced to excise the hints that the Stanwyck character actually did tricks from the final, PCA-approved edit, Stanwyck's ballsy performance still suggests that she's been around the block a few times. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Regis Toomey, ZaSu Pitts. 35mm, 72 min. SLIPSTREAM (2007, United States) Directed by Anthony Hopkins Actor Anthony Hopkins steps behind the camera with this independent film detailing the breakdown of an actor/screenwriter for whom real life and the fictional worlds he creates become increasingly indistinguishable. Besides its extensive ensemble cast, Slipstream also features a remarkable visual style, as Hopkins eschews seamless editing for non-stop, eye-popping montage. In person: Anthony Hopkins Producer: Stella Arroyave, Robert Katz. Screenwriter: Anthony Hopkins. Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, John Turturro, Stella Arroyave. 35mm, 96 min. SPIDER BABY, 1968, 81 min. Writer/director Jack Hill’s endearingly odd, unique, scary and funny low budget masterpiece only gets better with each repeated viewing. Lon Chaney, Jr. is Bruno, a lovable old chauffeur who is saddled with looking after the disturbed young progeny of his late employer in a dilapidated Southern California mansion. Cousins Carol Ohmart (HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL) and Quinn Redeker, along with Redeker’s girlfriend Mary Mitchell (DEMENTIA 13) arrive with family attorney Shlocker (Karl Schanzer) on a visit to the macabre household. That they don’t know what to make of their strange teenage relatives (Jill Banner, Beverly Washburn, Sid Haig of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) is putting it mildly. All of them seem to be refugees from a Charles Addams cartoon! What no one except Bruno knows is that the family suffers from a hereditary disease causing gradual retardation, eventually regressing to cannibalism. Director Hill expertly balances the scares with laughs in this one-of-a-kind classic. Compares favorably to James Whale’s OLD DARK HOUSE and is everything the big budget ADDAM’S FAMILY movies should have been but were not. Summer with Monika A film held in the highest esteem by the talents of the French New Wave, Bergman's early masterpiece is a sensuous, sympathetic and admirably unsentimental tale of young love turned sour. Harriet Andersson, in her first of many Bergman roles, gives a fiery, first-rate performance as Monika, a seductive, impulsive shop girl whose whirlwind summer romance with a young man ends in pregnancy, forced marriage, and unhappy domesticity. Atmospherically shot by Gunnar Fischer, Bergman's cameraman of choice before Sven Nykvist, the film's visual design effectively contrasts the idyllic, airy locales of summer romance with the dark, dingy, drab reality of working-class life in the city. “The most important thing in the film is the extremely complex and detailed treatment of Monika ... her splendid energy, her animal vitality and sensuality ... She brings a whole new range of possibilities to Bergman's work” (Robin Wood). “[A story] perfectly wedded to the climatic dictates of the Swedish year: uninhibited sex in the archipelago beneath a cloudless sky, then the return to Stockholm as the winds of autumn gather strength ... [Andersson] emerged from the film not only as a ready-made star, but also as Bergman's companion for the next few years” (Peter Cowie). SWORD OF DOOM (DAIBOSATSU TOGE), 1966, Janus Films, 120 min. Director Kihachi Okamoto made a slew of great films, including KILL!, DESPERADO OUTPOST, AGE OF ASSASSINS, SAMURAI ASSASSIN, and THE HUMAN BULLET – to name only a few! – but his ultimate masterwork is this uncompromising samurai film. It is a riveting, desolate picture, anchored by a mesmerizing portrayal from Tatsuya Nakadai as paranoid killer Ryunosuke Tsukue, an outcast from his family and a hunted man recruited by the notorious Shinsengumi band of assassins. There have been many movie renditions of Kaizan Nakazato’s popular novel The Great Boddhisatva Pass since it first appeared over seventy years ago, but Okamoto’s version in ashen black-and-white scope captures the nihilistic netherworld of the sociopathic swordsman best. Masaru Sato’s music is at the pinnacle of a multitude of great Japanese movie scores from the 1960’s. The supporting cast, including Toshiro Mifune, Michiyo Aratama and Yuzo Kayama, are all excellent. Screenwriter, Shinobu Hashimoto (who co-wrote many of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces) provides an expert distillation, going back to the literary source. If you’ve never seen it on the big screen, it is not to be missed. A Thousand Clowns Jason Robards is the voluntarily unemployed writer of the Chuckles the Chipmunk Show. He is equally devoted to raising his nephew and avoiding the rat race. But his defiance of the system is tested when social workers tell him to shape up and get a job -- or the boy will be shipped to a foster home. TIGHT SPOT (1955) Directed by Philip Karlson Probably inspired by mob mistress Virginia Hill's ribald testimony before the Kefauver Committee, Philip Karlson's taut thriller takes place over one night in a New York hotel room, where District Attorney Edward G. Robinson and detective Brian Keith attempt to persuade hard-boiled good-time girl Ginger Rogers to testify against a dangerous mob boss. As a steamy attraction develops between Rogers and the younger Keith, an attempt on her life alerts her that one of her guardians is stooling for the mob. Karlslon heightens the claustrophobia by cutting repeatedly to an all-night hillbilly music telethon on the hotel TV—both to counterpoint the tension, and as a nod to the numerous Westerns he directed. Based on the play 'Dead Pigeon' by Leonard Kantor. Screenwriter: William Bowers. Cast: Ginger Rogers, Edward G. Robinson. 35mm, 95 min. TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD, 2007, 84 min. Dir. Larry Blamire. At long last--the eagerly-awaited follow-up to THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA! Shot in glorious color and the new screen miracle CraniaScope, it's the spine-tingling story of a small coastal town besieged by foreheads from outer space, intent on taking over our planet; imagine INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS directed by Douglas Sirk (only funny, of course) and you've got it. Presented by none other than Ray Harryhausen, it features stop-motion work by the Chiodo Brothers, some very cool cameos, and a haunting title song performed by The Manhattan Transfer! With Brian Howe, Dan Conroy, Andrew Parks, Fay Masterson. Plus: Surprise Larry Blamire Shorts (9 min.). Discussion afterwards with cast and crew. TROUBLE MAKERS (GUANGRONGDE FENNU) (2006, China) Directed by Cao Baoping A backwater hole of a village, appropriately called Blackwell, is under the thumb of the four Xiong Brothers, who are salt traffickers, rapists, corrupt officials holding a monopoly on power in the village and relentless profiteers. Promoted to be the local Party Secretary so he can be the brothers' fall guy, Ye Guangrong smiles to their face, but is seething inside. (The Chinese title is "Guangrong's Fury," and the original English title was "The Glorious Fury.") Unable to fight this new "Gang of Four" through official channels, he assembles a colorful posse of riff-raff, thugs, coarse peasants and honest villagers who are simply fed up. And then they start to fight dirty. Really dirty. It's a men's story (women are kept in the background, mostly as victims), with an accompanying deluge of insults, foul language and obscenities—a rare and fascinating instance in Chinese cinema. One of the thugs, who's enamored with kung fu, that Guangrong recruits into his rebel militia is known by the sweet monicker of "Dog Balls." The film is suffused with a Rabelaisian poetry of vulgarity and joyful playfulness, but also a somber streak—as tragedy, limited horizons and backward sexual politics keep seeping under the humor, in a way that brings to mind the Jim Thompson of The Killer Inside Me or Pop 1280. In spite of its happy ending, this dark comedy had to wait a long time before being approved by the censors. Unrest in the countryside, villager riots, peasant revolts—these are current Chinese realities that the powers-that-be don't like to talk about. For his first feature, screenwriter-turned-director Cao Baoping demonstrates an absolute mastery of the medium, with a rigorous mise en scène that produces a claustrophobic feeling, uncanny for a depiction of the countryside. The acting is excellent, especially Wu Gang as Guangrong, a first-rate actor too often underestimated. Based on 'Village Operation' by Que Diwei. Producer: Zhang Yaoli, Cao Baoping, Cindy M. Li. Screenwriter: Cao Baoping. Cinematographer: Tao Shiwei. Art Director: Lou Pan. Editor: Cao Baoping. Cast: Wu Gang, Li Xiaobo. Presented in Mandarin dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 103 min. TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934) Directed by Howard Hawks Broadway theater impresario Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore) is a bigger ham than most actors, but through sheer drive and talent he has built himself a successful career. When his discovery, Lily Garland (Carole Lombard), rises to stardom and heeds the call of Hollywood, Oscar's career begins to slide until he gets the chance to reverse his fortunes when he meets her again aboard the Twentieth Century Limited train. Comic genius Ben Hecht adapts his hit 1932 Broadway comedy, co-scripted by his writing partner Charles MacArthur. Based on the play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Screenwriter: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur. Cast: John Barrymore, Carole Lombard. 35mm, 91 min. VANISHING POINT With its peculiar combination of drive-in movie sensationalism and a vaguely existential theme, this car chase thriller has built up a loyal cult following over the years. A former cop and race car driver (Barry Newman), now moving cars for a living, makes a bet that he can drive a spiffy Dodge from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. Pumped up on amphetamines and guided by the words of a blind disc jockey (Cleavon Little), the driver's high-speed gamble makes him a counter-culture hero and the police's most wanted man. A blockade seems to mark the end of the ride, but the driver has his own, unexpected plan for escape. A memorably odd film that falls somewhere between the absurd, action excesses of Gone in 60 Seconds and the far more artful Two-Lane Blacktop. VENGEANCE IS MINE (FUKUSHU SURU WA WARE NI ARI), 1979, Janus Films, 140 min. Based on a true story, this is one of director Shohei Imamura’s most well-known and popular masterworks, and features Ken Ogata in his breakout role as sociopathic killer Iwao Enokizu. Imamura captures tormented Enokizu’s rampage of robbery and murder, effortlessly flowing in-and-out of flashbacks to his past life, with equally astonishing performances from Rentaro Mikuni as his scrupulously Catholic father and Mitsuko Baisho as his lonely, love-starved wife. A great crime film that rises above and beyond the genre, achieving a totality that enables Enokizu’s character to be recognized as a vulnerable human being while still holding him responsible for his brutally amoral transgressions."Movies about actual crimes are usually frustrating because, limited to the facts, they pretend that the facts are enough... VENGEANCE IS MINE transcends those limitations and gives us a portrait of a killer that is poignant, tragic and banal enough to deserve the comparison with Crime and Punishment." – Roger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING (1935) Directed by John Ford THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING centers on a timid, white collar clerk named Arthur Jones whose misfortune is to be the spitting image of "Killer" Mannion, a notorious gangster. When Jones gets mistaken for his double, he is given a pass by the police to avoid another case of mistaken identity, but confusion develops when his double gets hold of the pass. The narrative dynamic rests on comic twists, mistaken identity, and the treatment of the police and bureaucrats as incompetent fools. Columbia. Based on the story "Jail Breaker" by William R. Burnett. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur. 35mm, 95 min. THE WILD BUNCH, 1969, Warner Bros., 145 min. Saddle up for a screening of director Sam Peckinpah’s magnificent, ultra-violent Western, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Jaime Sanchez as a band of doomed outlaws trying to outrun history. Exceedingly controversial upon its initial release, THE WILD BUNCH forever changed the way violence was depicted and perceived in the movies. And it is even more startling in its bigger-than-life 70mm incarnation. Co-starring a tough guys’ who’s who of western greats, including Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins and Strother Martin. 70 mm Print! WOMAN CHASES MAN (1937) Directed by John Blystone Perhaps one of the absolute screwiest of the screwball comedies, WOMAN CHASES MAN provoked Variety to grouse "insanely illogical," while The New York Times sniffed that the film was so flighty "one huff and puff would blow it away." In brief, crackpot inventor B.J. Nolan (Charles Winninger) plots with an impoverished lady architect (Miriam Hopkins) to trick his handsome but frugal millionaire son (Joel McCrea) into funding their housing project by getting him drunk—one drop of liquor sends the parsimonious McCrea into a spending frenzy. Meanwhile, two pairs of scheming imposters (including a lecherous Frenchman) take up residence in McCrea's mansion, all intending to inebriate him. A jaw-dropping array of A-list writers from Ben Hecht to Dorothy Parker reportedly had their hands in the script and the final result is practically Dadaist is its unabashed display of sense-defying antics. Producer: Samuel Goldwyn. Screenwriter: Joseph Anthony, Mannie Seff, David Hertz. Cinematographer: Gregg Toland. Camera: Miriam Hopkins. Editor: Daniel Mandell. Cast: Joel McCrea, Charles Winninger, Erik Rhodes. 35mm, 71 min. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, 1968, Cerberus/Natoma Prod., 75 min. Dir. Barry Feinstein. This insanely-rare 60’s artifact is a stream-of-acidness portrait of Los Angeles and Haight Ashbury in the Summer of Love, featuring footage of Paul Butterfield, David Crosby, Tiny Tim, Peter Yarrow. With San Francisco icons Super Nun Sister, Immaculata Baby and legendary pot dealer Super Spade (who was murdered before the film was released). Amazing footage of The Teen Age Fair at the Hollywood Palladium, featuring go go dancers, Rodney Bingenheimer and other pop culture ephemera; body painting at chief freak Vito Paulekas’ sculpting studio Clay Vito (one of the bodies is painted by Von Dutch); Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention Freak Out in September of 1966 at the Shrine Auditorium; hot rods and rumbling V8 engines roaring down Sunset Strip at the height of its psychedelic Mod scene. Van Dyke Parks' song "Come To The Sunshine" as performed by Harpers' Bizarre soundtracks a montage of love-ins from both L.A. and San Francisco. With more music by Electric Flag and others. Please note that this, the only surviving 35 mm. print of the complete, uncut version of YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, is faded. Because of its extreme rarity – and grooviness! – we’re including it in this special weekend event! Films preceded by a slide show. Discussion in between films with author Domenic Priore (Riot On Sunset Strip) and guests. NOT ON DVD YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME, 2005, Palm Pictures, 91 min. Dir. Keven McAlester. This is the story of Roky Erickson: manic frontman for the legendary band The 13th Floor Elevators, creators of psychedelic music and muse to Janis Joplin. A disturbingly intimate portrait of an imploding family and the struggle between modern medicine and religion. Known for his colossal heroin & LSD binges, struggles with schizophrenia, and an unthinkable term at Rusk Hospital for the criminally insane, Roky went missing from the world. The documentary reveals the shocking and triumphant truth behind one of rock's great mysteries. As singer, songwriter, and guitar player for the legendary Austin, Texas sixties band The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson had a profound impact on the pivotal evolution of the music scene when the group was formed. They were the first rock and roll band to describe their music as "psychedelic," and they spread this new concept to the West Coast. While later bands such as The Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane were more rooted in traditional acoustic folk music, the Elevators’ unique brand of heavy, electric blues-drenched rock pointed to a new direction for the music of the first "hip" generation. The Elevators only had one major chart hit, the Roky-penned "You're Gonna Miss Me," but their influence reached far beyond the static world of Top 40. ZOUZOU, 1934, Kino International, 92 min. Dir. Marc Allegret. A box office smash for France in 1934, ZOUZOU is the magnificent Josephine Baker’s foray into talkies and what a marvelous introduction it is. Baker is the free-spirited Zouzou, a Creole girl who carries a torch for her adoptive brother, the ex-sailor electrician Jean played by that lion of classic French cinema, Jean Gabin. Raised in the circus as part of an exotic sideshow act, Jean and Zouzou head for Paris with their adoptive father where they find work as hired hands at a music hall. What follows is part screwball comedy, part backstage musical, and part unrequited love triangle culminating in several spectacular Busby Berkley-esque showstoppers. The film is a grand tour de force for Baker who not only spellbinds with her legendarily sensuous dancer’s presence but also exudes a playful, positively Chaplin-esque exuberance for physical comedy.