a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
mon. oct 17 8:30 pm the pope, fatal flying guilloteens @ pomona college becky stark & lavender diamond FREE 8:30 PM @ echo 7:45 PM sympathy for mr vengeance, oldboy @ new beverly theatre tue. oct 18 iron & wine @ wiltern silver daggers, gowns @ smell 7:30 PM the postman always rings twice @ egyptian 7:30 PM zebra killer aka combat cops, 9:30 PM grizzly @ new beverly theatre wed. oct 19 7:30 PM battle of algiers, 9:45 PM quemada @ new beverly theatre 7 PM boom! @ egyptian 7:30 PM cabinet of dr caligari, golem @ ucla film archive icebird 9 PM @ the scene thu. oct 20 7:30 PM battle of algiers 7:30, 9:45 PM queimada @ new beverly theatre gang of four @ wiltern 8 PM phantom of the opera @ motion picture academy fri. oct 21 7 PM david meltzer @ santa monica museum of art eddie bo @ little pedro's sat. oct 22 peter beste: norwegian black metal OPENING @ blk/mrkt gallery eddie bo @ little pedro's sun. oct 23 love as laughter @ the echo negativland @ el rey mon. oct 24 becky stark & lavender diamond FREE @ the echo negativland @ el rey wed. oct 26 7:45 PM santa sangre, salo @ new beverly theatre u-roy @ the echo (dub club) thu. oct 27 broadcast @ detroit bar dracula 8 PM @ echo park film center 7:45 PM santa sangre, salo @ new beverly theatre fri. oct 28 neil hamburger 7 PM & 10 PM @ knitting factory 7:45 PM santa sangre, salo @ new beverly theatre sat. oct 29 7:45 PM santa sangre, salo @ new beverly theatre warlocks, gris gris @ el rey WHAT IT IS: Battle of Algiers (from imdb) A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian's use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it. BOOM!, 1968, Universal, 110 min. Director Joseph Losey's (THE SERVANT) adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" positively defines the word phantasmagorical. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton star in perhaps their strangest roles, that of super-rich recluse Sissy Goforth and wandering harbinger of death, Chris Flanders, sequestered in Goforth's exotic Mediterranean island home. Mindblowing monologues on life, love, death, youth and growing old punctuated by eloquent purple prose adorn this campy legend, a thoroughly intoxicating carnival ride of the senses. Reportedly one of John Waters' favorite films. With Joanna Shimkus, Romolo Valli and a very queeny Noel Coward as 'The Witch of Capri.' An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive! THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari) (1919, Germany) Directed by Robert Wiene The wellspring of German expressionist cinema, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI combines macabre melodrama with a violently skewed visual style to conjure a mood of ineluctable dread. The nightmarish story pivots around the titular mad hypnotist and the murderous sleepwalker under his control. Suspenseful, ambiguously subjective and punctuated by a wicked final twist, the scenario is a masterpiece of sinister suggestion. Robert Wiene's off-kilter mise-en-scènedistorted camera perspectives, symbolic costumes, mannered acting, and, especially, the jagged, cock-eyed set designcrystallizes the film's darkly bizarre vision. Both a popular success and an avant-garde provocation, CALIGARI proved a landmark in the art of silent film. Producer: Rudolf Meinert, Erich Pommer. Scenario: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz. Cinematographer: Willy Hameister. Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover. 35mm, silent, (18 fps), approx. 90 min. Combat Cops AKA The Zebra Killer (from imdb) Based on the real events that shocked San Franisco in the early 70's. Mac (James Pickett) portrays the role of The Zebra Killer, a white man who dresses in black makeup and strolls the city of San Francisco stalking, raping and killing young women. Lt. Savage (Austin Stoker) hears that the Killer has killed his girlfriend (Valerie Rogers). Lt. Savage goes everywhere to find and kill the maniac, along with the help of Williams (Hugh Smith) and Robert (Charles Kissinger). David Meltzer reading On Friday, October 21, 2005, at 7 p.m., at Santa Monica Museum of Art, Building G1, in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, David Meltzer will read excerpts from his epic poem examining the multiple narratives of post-war American history, with musical accompaniment by Roberto Miranda and Crosscover. The evening is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, on view through November 26, 2005 at Santa Monica Museum of Art. The event is free. David Meltzer's gifts as a musician and a poet have shaped each other to such a degree that the line separating the two is often erased in his work. Born in New York, Meltzer moved to Los Angeles when he was 17 and immediately befriended Wallace Berman, who regularly featured Meltzer's work in Semina. In 1957, Meltzer moved to San Francisco and launched Tree Books, a publishing house devoted to writings on Jewish mysticism. During the 1970s Meltzer taught at the Urban School in San Francisco, and he developed a writing program for the California State penal colony at Vacaville. Meltzer has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry, and edited anthologies of writing on jazz, birth, and Kabbalism. Dracula EPFC is proud to present the original, legendary 1931 film directed by Todd Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as the archetypal vampire! See the film as it was meant to be see: projected from celluloid on the big screen. Come in costume for 20% off admission... THE GOLEM (Der Golem, Wie Er In Die Welt Kam) (1920, Germany) Directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese Paul Wegener co-directs and plays the title role in THE GOLEM, his third silent to treat the legend of the giant clay automaton brought to life by the dark powers of Jewish mysticism. Chief rabbi Loew (Albert Steinrück) divines imminent disaster for the Jews of 16th-century Prague, so he magically summons the stone Golem to protect his embattled ghetto community. Once loosed on the unsuspecting anti-Semitic city, the creaturea proto-Frankenstein's monstercannot be so easily contained. Less aggressively expressionistic than CALIGARI or the fantastic films of Murnau and Lang, THE GOLEM is nevertheless a significant early entry in the horror-inflected cinema of Weimar Germany. Producer: Paul Davidson. Scenario: Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen. Cinematographer: Karl Freund. Cast: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova. with German subtitles. 35mm, silent, (20 fps), approx. 85 min. Simultaneous translation into English will be provided for both films. Live musical accompaniment by Robert Israel Grizzly (from imdb) An eighteen foot, two thousand pound Grizzly bear terrorizes campers and hikers at a state park. This frustrates the head Park Ranger (Christopher George) and decides to hunt it down. His efforts however were thwarted by the Park Supervisor (Joe Dorsey) and many drunk hunters into the areas. After the bear kills another campers, two rangers, a hunter and a little boy and his mother, The ranger employs his friend, a Naturalist (Richard Jaeckel) to find the bear and tranquilize it. But he gets killed. Finally with the help of a Helicopter Pilot (Andrew Prine)the ranger goes in pursuit to finally kill it with any means necessary with rifles and a rocket launcher. It is to the end when they realize the bear is much stronger than they imagined. Oldboy (from imdb) A Vengeance Movie from "the Vengeance Trilogy" by the Philosopher, Chan-Wook Park. The first movie was Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance. So this movie's about vengeance. Chan-Wook's feature about vengeance; "Venegance's a huge might and a sense that needs passion. A man who runs after vengeance have to put all the pleasure of life aside. The Venegance brings a different pleasure within but in the end this pleasure is not useful.Though the man takes his revenge on aim, he can't bring what he lost back. Here is a great paradox about the sense of vengeance. The man's focusing an event that leads nowhere in the end with his all power and pleasure interests me." THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925, United States) Directed by Rupert Julian Based on Le FantÃ´me de L'OpÃ©ra, a 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, this PHANTOM is the definitive version of all phantoms before or since. Lon Chaney is magnificent as a disfigured maniac composer who covertly guides a Paris Opera understudy to stardom by unleashing a series of terrors that force the leading soprano to step down. When the Phantom begins to collect on his Faustian bargain by forcing the beautiful young singer to give up her fiancÃ©, she rebels, and the Phantom absconds with her to his underground chambers. In the grand finale a raging mob pursues him through the streets of Paris. This cinema classic had an inauspicious beginning when a preview audience panned it. It was withheld from release for two years, reworked into a swashbuckling comedy, then reconverted to horror melodrama. Ultimately, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA pulled in huge box office for Universal Pictures and launched Lon Chaney into superstardom. Universal. Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. Producer: Carl Laemmle. Scenario: Ramond Schrock, Elliot J. Clawson. Cinematographer: Virgil Miller. Editor: Maurice Pivar. Cast: Lon Chaney, Jr., Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Snitz Edwards. 35mm, silent, approx. 90 min. Live musical accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra This screening will take place at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd. Tickets are $5 public/$3 members. For information and box-office hours, please call 310.246.3600 or visit www.oscars.org THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, 1946, MGM (Warners), 113 min. Lana Turner and John Garfield literally scorch the screen as a pair of murderous lovers, in director Tay Garnetts much imitated but never-equaled dark romance, one of the high points of 1940s film noir. Based on the novel by the great James M. Cain (the title famously refers to Cains own postman, who would ring twice when delivering rejection notices from publishers). Come celebrate our 83rd birthday with this Hollywood classic, which originally opened at the Egyptian in 1946! Were thrilled to welcome as our host for the evening novelist, movie historian and film noir expert-par-excellence, Eddie Muller! Join us for Birthday Cake at 7:30 PM prior to the film. 1940s attire encouraged. Take a tour detailing the rich history of the Egyptian Theatre and go behind-the-scenes to areas not normally available to the public. Tours in honor of the 83rd Anniversary are on October 15 or 16. An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive! Quemada! (from imdb) This is, without doubt, one of the best films ever made which deals with the festering malaise of racism, and, by distancing it into the past, Pontecorvo brings home truths that are entirely appropriate to the present day. He brings an almost psychological precision to his films. Working in close association with Ennio Morricone who augments so many scenes with his stunning score, Pontecorvo creates a film of ideas presented as adventure, with scenes of breath-taking spectacle which are on a par with those of the earliest silent days of cinema, when one could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of extras employed and the vast panoramic canvases presented to us. In a sense, these images of a collective mass of humanity are in themselves an abstract call to insurrection and rebellion; a fearsome judgement on the over-wheening arrogance of white Christian and colonial culture in the past, and those remnants of it that still echo to this day. As those who read my postings may well guess, I believe music plays a tremendously creative role in film, and is a contributory factor of immense importance, and QUEMADA utilises music almost like a weapon in its armoury! Brando has said, in an interview published some years ago in `Playboy' magazine, that he and Pontecorvo didn't get on well together during the production of this movie, (one perhaps forgets now that when QUEMADA was made, Brando's career was at a very low point!), and yet there is no hint of this in the movie itself, as Brando turns in one of his most measured, considered and subtle performances. So suave, and so genteelly treacherous! Pretending to `do what's right', but eventually `doing what's white'. Fine and thought-provoking dialogue is a plus: `Freedom is not something somebody gives you. It is something you take for yourself', and there is a powerful scene where, in an unguarded moment of temper, the character played by Brando, who, up until then has shown himself to be the benign white liberal, suddenly hurls a racist epithet at his prisoner, thus reminding us, that every `brother' ain't always a `brother'! Pontecorvo's films always seem to manage to upset both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum, (from my own libertarian point of view, a source of deep satisfaction), because he has always refused to traffic in slogans or short-term solutions to complex and long-gestating problems. He knows always that human nature is not consistent, and that, (as Shaw once said), `People don't have their virtues and vices in sets; they come all mixed up, anyhow'. Finally, mention must be made of the superb title sequence; such a stunning and exciting `overture' to the content of the film to come, which stimulates and excites from the very outset. Gillo Pontecorvo has not made many films, (and whatever happened to OGRO?), but in my view, he has made three masterpieces, and this is one of them. One could almost get nostalgic for the days when, to show the East how laid-back and freedom-loving we in the West were, we allowed heretics to make the occasional movie that dealt with IDEAS... Now that such fine points no longer need to be made at International Film Festivals, seems like `ideas' as an ingredient in films, have been put on the back burner! No doubt we shall all live to regret it! Santa Sangre (from imdb) After a long absence Jodorowsky returned with this surreal but more accessible offering than his earlier work, focusing on a circus and starring Jodorowsky's son and grandson as Fenix, a young boy who witnesses his father cut off the arms of his mother before committing suicide. Then we see Fenix grown up and finding his mother again, and she uses him as her slave, using his hands for her various needs and also to commit murder. There are the trademark Jodorowsky images in parts with deformed people on a trip out from an asylum, and powerful scenes like the elephant being savaged for food. But it somehow has a more warmer and humble feel to it than his previous work. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (from imdb) There are two reasons to watch Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. The violence and the sound. Or rather, the sound and the violence. The main character's lack of one sense drives the film, both form and function wise. Occasionally, we lose one of the two ways in which we interact with the film (sound, sight). The loss of one sense adds value to the other. It makes the normally assumed other seem all the more there. Unlike most Hollywood takes on this particular sense absence, we get a bit of a glimpse into what the absence means to the character, and not just what it means to us looking at the character as third person. What results are some very nice moments that are film using itself as a medium to one of its potentials. This movie is well titled (english translation), but why won't become obvious until the last third of the film. The violence is a bit overwhelming, especially given the tone of the initial third. We start off thinking that maybe all planned actions will go as they should, without harm, and without significant consequence, that implied violence might only exist beyond the threshold of common sense. As plans slowly unravel, and as tragedy exerts its sometimes tender hold, we see an escalation of blood with few limits in depiction. Mr. Park (and here I'm paraphrasing a translator's take) has stated that the violence in this film is less bloody, and less realistic (?) than that found in horror movies, or movies of other persuasion (action?). What he says is true, but in those movies we are distanced from the events via a somewhat thick veil of disbelief. Unlikely characters and unlikely events combine for a combustion that makes it easy for to be distant from the gore. While the characters in this film might be unlikely, they are drawn with the kind of SYMPATHY that allows their environs to seem more plausible (or possible). Mr. Park also stressed the elements of class struggle, although my familiarity with South Korean culture leaves me uncertain of all their applications. There certainly is a sense of have vs. have-not in the film, and this seems to reveal itself most significantly near the end. The story may be told somewhat elliptically, so English (only) audiences beware, especially if you require the tried and true formulas that Hollywood so often provides.