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

fri. sept. 28

dead alive MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
low @ troubadour
tell-tale hearts @ the casbah, SD
"public showing" screening 12 noon @ telic arts exchange
mala noche, my own private idaho @ new beverly theatre
joey altruda's afro cuban meltdown @ bordello
feast of san gennaro @ hollywood & highland

sat. sept. 29

low @ troubadour
tell-tale hearts @ adams ave street fair, SD
gary dauphin @ telic arts exchange
mala noche, my own private idaho @ new beverly theatre
feast of san gennaro @ hollywood & highland
pingpong, sleeper @ aero theatre
an american tragedy 7 PM @ starlight studios

sun. sept. 30

the mae shi @ the smell
feast of san gennaro @ hollywood & highland
west hollywood book fair

tue. oct. 2

holy mountain @ 1830 sunset

wed. oct. 3

her space holiday @ the echo rec center
the baker's wife, harvest @ new beverly theatre
darjeeling limited (preview screening) @ aero theatre

thu. oct. 4

darjeeling limited (preview screening) 7 PM @ hammer museum
the baker's wife, harvest @ new beverly theatre
the passion of joan of arc @ egyptian theatre

fri. oct. 5

the jazz singer 8 PM @ ampas samuel goldwyn theater
"on the history of attractions" screening 12 noon @ telic arts exchange
autumn sonata, cries and whispers @ new beverly theatre
a place to be - a celebration of nick drake 8 PM @ egyptian theatre
silver daggers @ the smell
jon brion @ largo

sat. oct. 6

la weekly detour festival
scott bukatman @ telic arts exchange
eye in the sky @ ucla film archive
autumn sonata, cries and whispers @ new beverly theatre
tokyo twilight @ lacma
jon brion @ largo

sun. oct. 7

the shins @ greek theatre
hallelujah i'm a bum, big boy @ egyptian theatre

mon. oct. 8

holly golightly & the brokeoffs, icebird @ the echo
dreams to remember the legacy of otis redding 8 PM, stax revue 1967 @ egyptian theatre
patton oswalt @ largo

tue. oct. 9

dial m for murder 1 PM @ lacma
rockfour @ the roxy

wed. oct. 10

mt. eerie/the microphones @ troubadour
colleen @ the avalon
il grido, zabriskie point @ new beverly theatre
my brother is an only child 7 PM @ egyptian theatre

thu. oct. 11

woman chases man, bombshell @ ucla film archive
colleen @ the avalon
il grido, zabriskie point @ new beverly theatre
triumph, the blood ship @ ampas linwood dunn theater
my brother is an only child @ aero theatre

fri. oct. 12

bipolar bear @ the smell
the woggles @ safari sam's
the wild bunch (70MM) @ egyptian theatre

sat. oct. 13

susanna paasonen @ telic arts exchange
army of darkness MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
pink floyd the wall (70MM) @ egyptian theatre
napoleon and me 4 PM @ aero theatre
murder by the clock 7 PM @ starlight studios
eat skull @ the scene
saccharine trust @ suzy's (hermosa beach)

sun. oct. 14

susanna paasonen @ telic arts exchange
this is england, TBA @ new beverly theatre
mad max 2 the road warrior (70MM) @ egyptian theatre
foot village @ the smell

mon. oct. 15

the mae shi @ the viper room
this is england, TBA @ new beverly theatre
damon & naomi @ echoplex

tue. oct. 16

this is england, TBA @ new beverly theatre
the wolf @ aero theatre

wed. oct. 17

trouble makers @ ucla film archive
pitfall, antonio gaudi @ new beverly theatre
david barsamian @ skylight books

thu. oct. 18

pitfall, antonio gaudi @ new beverly theatre

fri. oct. 19

black lips @ troubadour
the swimming pool, joy house @ egyptian theatre
napoleon and me, dinner for their first date @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian theatre
mary @ aero theatre
evil dead 2 MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre

sat. oct. 20

black lips @ echoplex
julie albright & terri senft @ telic arts exchange
the sleeping car murder, the champagne murders @ egyptian theatre
the case of the grinning cat, the sixth side of the pentagon, the embassy @ aero theatre
warlocks @ safari sam's

sun. oct. 21

sunshine, 2001 a space odyssey @ new beverly theatre
glass lips 7 PM, angelus @ ucla film archive
borsalino, once a thief @ egyptian theatre
experimental films from canyon cinema @ filmforum @ echo park film center
ocean 11 @ el rey

mon. oct. 22

slipstream @ ucla film archive
sunshine, 2001 a space odyssey @ new beverly theatre

tue. oct. 23

god told me to, bone @ new beverly theatre

wed. oct. 24

the outside man, classe tous risques @ egyptian theatre
come and go @ aero theatre

thu. oct. 25

autolux @ wiltern
poltergeist @ ampas linwood dunn theater
second breath @ egyptian theatre
the haunting, the uninvited @ aero theatre

fri. oct. 26

charade, mirage @ new beverly theatre
choice of arms, police python 357 @ egyptian theatre
demon seed, invasion of the body snatchers (1978) @ aero theatre

sat. oct. 27

creature from the black lagoon in 3-d @ 2 PM, 8 PM @ alex theatre
charade, mirage @ new beverly theatre
joysticks MIDNIGHT @ new beverly theatre
my brother's wedding, killer of sheep, quiet as keep
serie noire, crooks in clover @ egyptian theatre
return of the living dead, freaks, from beyond, the beyond, last house on the left, the children, the gates of hell @ dusk to dawn horrorthon @ aero theatre
the witching hour 7 PM, the black cat @ starlight studios

sun. oct. 28

quasi @ detroit bar
roky erickson & the explosives @ el rey
the departed, infernal affairs @ new beverly theatre
gospel according to harry 7 PM, wojaczek @ ucla film archive
one deadly summer, riptide @ egyptian theatre

mon. oct. 29

the departed, infernal affairs @ new beverly theatre

tue. oct. 30

mad love 1 PM @ lacma
the return of dr. x 2:30 PM @ lacma
battles, no age @ fonda music box
ted leo & the pharmacists, quasi @ el rey
the departed, infernal affairs @ new beverly theatre
thurston moore, scores @ echoplex

wed. oct. 31

the roe's room, garden of earthly delights @ ucla film archive
the omen @ aero theatre

thu. nov. 1

the trespasser @ ampas linwood dunn theater

fri. nov. 2

thrones @ the smell
ema & the ghosts @ pehrspace
daft punk's electroma MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre

sat. nov. 3

helio sequence @ the avalon

sun. nov. 4

the valerie project @ silent movie theatre
bad dudes @ safari sam's

mon. nov. 5

the valerie project @ silent movie theatre

tue. nov. 6

LA gentlemen callers FREE @ the scene

thu. nov. 8

dos @ knitting factory

fri. nov. 9

daft punk's electroma MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre

sat. nov. 10

she made her bed 7 PM @ starlight studios

mon. nov. 12

spiritualized @ vista theatre

tue. nov. 13

spiritualized @ vista theatre

wed. nov. 14

crazy and cool - jazz folies on film @ getty center

fri. nov. 16

eraserhead MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
silver daggers @ the smell

sat. nov. 17

the warlocks @ troubadour

fri. nov. 23

spaceballs MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre

sat. nov. 24

charalambides @ the smell
search for beauty 7 PM @ starlight studios

wed. nov. 28

iron & wine @ orpheum

tue. dec. 4

sharon jones & the dap-kings @ los angeles venue TBA

sat. dec. 8

upsilon acrux @ the smell
the way of all flesh 7 PM @ starlight studios

fri. dec. 14

christmas evil MIDNIGHT @ nuart theatre
bipolar bear @ the smell

sat. dec. 22

only yesterday 7 PM @ starlight studios

fri. dec. 28

electric prunes, strawberry alarm clock @ knitting factory


(2000) Directed by Lech Majewski
A painterly eye and dark humor inform this tale of a young male virgin who must be sacrificed to save the world. The 20th century is retold with images inspired by tableaux painted by Silesian coalminers. Majewski portrays a community responding to World War II and Stalinism with primitive metaphysics.
Screenwriter: Lech Majewski, Bronislaw Maj, Ireneusz Siwinski. Cast: Jan Siodlaczek, Pawel Steinert. Presented in Polish dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 103 min.

Compelling portrait of Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), leading proponent of the Art Nouveau movement in architecture in Spain, whose distinctive style is marked by a fluidity of movement, rich color and sensuality of form and texture. Teshigahara's camera examines buildings designed by Gaudi, including Casa Vicens, Crypt of the Colonia Guell and Park Guell, Casa Batlo, Casa Mila and Barcelona's unfinished landmark, Templo de la Sagrada Familia.

The combination of Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann as mother and daughter ensured the success of AUTUMN SONATA, a psychological chamber drama about the damage caused by emotional repression. Bergman, a famous concert pianist, visits her daughter after a seven-year absence. The mother, nursing her grief over the recent death of her Italian lover, is indifferent to the raw pain of her dowdy daughter, who has lived a life of empty self-sacrifice. Over the course of twenty-four hours, all of their familial guilt, lies and resentments erupt in a series of emotional assaults and confessions. Cathartic, acted with wounding ferocity by Ullmann and Bergman, SONATA is as visually austere as it is emotionally draining. "With an intensity equalling that of PERSONA and CRIES AND WHISPERS, AUTUMN SONATA is at once gruelling and exhilarating, frequently recalling Dreyer in its formal precision and its brief flashbacks viewed statically through arched doorways, and exquisitely shot in burnished colours by Sven Nykvist" (Adrian Turner).

La femme du boulanger is a film which can stand as a summation of Marcel Pagnol's work in the cinema and of a certain style of 1930s filmmaking. It was a period in which the star and his or her attendant dialogue writer reigned supreme in French cinema. Despite the film's title, the sultry Ginette Leclerc has only a small role as the errant wife, but in compensation we are given Raimu at the height of his powers in a part shaped by Pagnol so as to give the maximum relief and humanity to the figure of a village baker deceived by his faithless wife, who runs off with a stranger. The plot could hardly be simpler: the husband now refuses to bake bread; the villagers have to join forces to "engineer" the wayward wife's return and acceptance by the baker.

BIG BOY, 1930, 68 min. Dir. Alan Crosland. This may well be the closest a modern audience will ever come to seeing what a genuine Al Jolson Broadway musical looked like. It is the only one of Jolson’s Broadway shows to be filmed. Based on his 1925 hit, the film casts Jolson in the blackface role of Gus, a stableboy at a moss-covered Southern plantation. Gus' favorite horse is the magnificent Big Boy, whom he hopes to ride to victory at the Kentucky Derby. Jolson’s "Gus" displays a persona more reminiscent of Eddie Cantor, than of a wisecracking comic who occasionally bursts into song. This is the only time he would play a central character entirely in blackface. Jolson performs his character in the most relaxed manner, giving the movie a different feel from his previous schmaltzy efforts that began with THE JAZZ SINGER (1927). The finale sequence is a clever and utterly charming ending. Gus (in jockey breeches) spins a complete 360 degree circle to "wipe" away his makeup.. the scene fades to a "curtain call" on a Warner Bros. soundstage, with Jolson, minus makeup and out of character, cheerfully introducing the supporting cast and offering to sing few encores for the benefit of the spectators. The closing reprise of "Tomorrow is Another Day," in which Jolson waxes nostalgic over Sunday dinner with his family: "What’s that hanging in the kitchen window, a luscious Southern ham! Ha, .Ha! That ain't my house!" The film is an interesting curio, but is not without its charms. While no signature Jolson tunes emerge from either the show or film, it does have several charming sentimental songs include: "Liza Lee," "My Little Sunshine," ""Tomorrow is Another Day," and a smashing up tempo nightclub tune called "Hooray for Baby and Me." NOT ON DVD

The Blood Ship (1927)
After years of having all but the last ten minutes of this film, the recent discovery of a 16mm print of the final reel permits The Blood Ship to be screened in its entirety for the first time since its original release. A seafaring adventure drenched in intrigue and skullduggery, this silent Columbia feature stars Hobart Bosworth as a man in search of his kidnapped child after serving time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Richard Arlen co-stars as his young accomplice.
Directed by George B. Seitz. Presented by Harry Cohn. Scenario Fred Myton. Based on the novel The Blood Ship by Norman Springer. Cinematography Harry Davis. With Hobart Bosworth, Jacqueline Logan, Richard Arlen, Walter James, Fred Kohler, James Bradbury Sr. Columbia Pictures. Silent. 35mm. 70 mins.

(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.

Bone (1972, 95 mins.) is an audacious social satire masquerading as an exploitation film about a black man (Yaphet Kotto) terrorizing a wealthy, white Beverly Hills couple. An intelligent, frequently hilarious, view of race relations and class warfare.

BORSALINO, 1970, Paramount, 125 min. Dir. Jacques Deray. In 1930’s Marseilles, fun-loving Jean-Paul Belmondo and ambitious Alain Delon meet, brawl over a girl, but soon become close comrades. Before long, they wrest control from the stuck-in-their-ways old gang bosses and begin organizing the wide-open city’s crime rackets. Based on Eugene Saccomano’s novel, The Bandits of Marseille, screenwriters Jean-Claude Carriere, Claude Sautet and director Deray all collaborated on the sharp script. The film was a huge hit in the U.S. as well as France upon its initial release and spurred an almost as popular sequel (without Belmondo), BORSALINO AND CO. With Mirielle Darc, Michel Bouquet, Corinne Marchand. Dubbed-in-English version. NOT ON DVD

THE CASE OF THE GRINNING CAT, 2004, First Run/Icarus, 58 min. Dir. Chris Marker. Not to be confuseed with Marker’s previous 1970’s effort, GRIN WITHOUT A CAT. In his newest film, French cinema-essayist Chris Marker reflects on French and international politics, art and culture at the start of the new millennium. In November 2001, he became intrigued by the sudden appearance of grinning yellow cat paintings on Paris buildings, Metro walls and other public surfaces, and began to document the mysterious materializations of this charming feline. This engaging record of Marker’s cinematic peregrinations throughout the city chronicles political incidents, a variety of protests (about Iraq, Tibet, immigration), elections, and celebrity scandals. The personalized commentary running throughout the film offers the simultaneously learned and witty reflections on both the contemporary and historical implications of these varied events and personalities. Eventually, the creator of the grinning cats is revealed to be an art collective known as Mr. Cat, whose members are shown painting a massive representation of their mascot on the plaza before the Pompidou Center. Marker concludes with thoughts on the vital importance of such expressions of art and
imagination in our public lives, echoing the May ‘68 slogan that “La poésie est dans la rue” (“Poetry is in the street”). "Lively, engaged, and provocative!" -- J. Hoberman, The Village Voice NOT ON DVD

THE CHAMPAGNE MURDERS (LE SCANDALE) 1967, Universal, 98 min. "Psycho puppet or cold-blooded killer?" Director Claude Chabrol’s tale of greed, hypocrisy and murder amidst France’s upscale champagne-manufacturing aristocracy unfolds in gorgeous color cinematography lensed by Jean Rabier. Grasping champagne factory owner Yvonne Furneaux (REPULSION) tries to coax her husband Anthony Perkins to help her pry loose partner Maurice Ronet’s (ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS) interest in the business. Then people start dying, and Ronet becomes the chief suspect. Is he going off his rocker? Or is someone trying to frame him? With Stephane Audran (DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOUSIE; COUP DE TORCHON) in a truly bizarre early role. Look out for that ceiling vantage point ending. Dubbed-in-English version. "A must see." – Danny Peary, Guide to the Film Fanatic NOT ON DVD. IB Technicolor Print!

CHOICE OF ARMS (LE CHOIX DES ARMES), 1981, 114 min.Yves Montand is a retired mobster living a quiet, bourgeois existence in the country with his beautiful spouse (Catherine Deneuve). But their lives are shattered when impulsive, younger gangster, Gerard Depardieu, escapes from prison with a comrade. The two fugitives are subsequently ambushed by a rival gang, Depardieu’s friend is seriously wounded, and they go on a desperate hunt for refuge -- which leads them straight to Montand. An unstoppable chain reaction of tragic complications set in when a pair of cops (Michel Galabru, Gerard Lanvin) decide to pay a visit, sowing seeds of suspicion and betrayal. Director Alain Corneau again shows himself worthy of the mantle of a latter-day Melville. With the indisputably volcanic match-up of Montand, Deneuve and Depardieu. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

(from IMDB)
Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror.

CLASSE TOUS RISQUES, 1959, Rialto Films, 110 min. Dir. Claude Sautet. This hardboiled classic was virtually unknown in the US for decades until first Telluride, then the American Cinematheque screened it in the mid-1990’s. Rialto Films re-released it here in late 2005 to overwhelming acclaim of a major rediscovery. Lino Ventura delivers an awesome performance (maybe his best) as Davos, a gangster in the twilight of his career, on the run from the mob with his wife and family. Jean-Paul Belmondo (hot off his star turn in BREATHLESS) co-stars as a young hood who comes to Ventura’s aid. Brilliantly scripted by Jose Giovanni (based on a story he had heard in prison.) In French, with English subtitles."In addition to its crisp action sequences, the film has an excellent sense of place, showing us Paris, Nice and the small villages and French countryside between… one of the things that makes CLASSE TOUS RISQUES distinctive are the palpable emotional connections it makes with its characters. Though he is the hardest of hard cases, Davos cares deeply about his family, and the feelings of regret, sadness and desperation that cross his face are just one of the factors that make this film the classic it is." – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times NOT ON DVD

COME AND GO (VA E VEM), 2003, Mandragoa Filmes; 179 min. Defying good taste, conventional filmmaking and even the limitations of his then-weakening body, the late Portuguese film master Joao Cesar Monteiro completed his final masterpiece shortly before he died two months before its 2003 Cannes premiere. As widower-dandy-faux-bookish-intellectual Joao Vuvu (a variation on Monteiro’s longtime on-screen alter ego, Joao de Deus), the crafty and wiry Monteiro dominates his own film, an old man with loads of time on his hands whose every encounter with a new woman allows more wild, yet deadpan, provocations on sex, religion, race and finally, a filmmaker’s own central tool— his own eyes (actually, just one of them), staring back at us in one of the movies’ most indelible and strangest final shots. There’s nothing else like it—not even in this highly original filmmaker’s body of work, which stubbornly remains barely known in this country. “COME AND GO marks a blazing end to the 30-year career of Portugal's most provocative filmmaker-actor…A master of surreal visual comedy, as an actor Monteiro gives one the feeling of watching a great performer at his deadpan best.” -- Deborah Young, Variety. NOT ON DVD

Rare film shorts from French and American archives capture the energy and intensity of the jazz movement, both in Europe and stateside. These screenings are presented in conjunction with the Getty Research Institute's conference Côte à Côte: Art and Jazz in France and California and the Orange County Museum of Art's exhibition Birth of the Cool (October 7, 2007–January 6, 2008).

CRIES AND WHISPERS, one of the great Bergman films, is a traumatizing "dream play" set in a manor house at the turn of the century. Two women (Thulin and Ullmann) tend to their dying sister (Harriet Andersson), who finds more succour from her peasant servant (Kari Sylwan), a woman unafraid of pain and death. Bergman employs his mise en scène to express the spiritual and physical anguish of the three sisters. (The engorged scarlet colour scheme was an attempt, Bergman said, to visualize "the interior of a soul.") Part nightmare, part requiem, CRIES AND WHISPERS offers some of the greatest ensemble acting in the history of cinema: Ullmann, Thulin, and Andersson seem to harrow hell in their performances as the three tortured sisters. "Superbly photographed by Sven Nykvist in a style suggesting Edvard Munch, and with blood-red backgrounds, the film is smooth and hypnotic; it has oracular power and the pull of a dream" (Pauline Kael). "One of the ten greatest films in the history of cinema" (Terence Davies).

CROOKS IN CLOVER (aka LES TONTONS FLINGUEURS aka MONSIEUR GANGSTER) 1963, Gaumont, 105 min. Director Georges Lautner (ICY BREASTS) helmed this deliciously funny, but dark gangster spoof with Lino Ventura (SECOND BREATH) as a former mobster lured back into the business by a dying friend’s last request. Obligated to tie up some "loose ends" as well as look after the dead man’s soon-to-be-married daughter, Ventura abruptly finds himself running afoul of gangster hardcase, Bernard Blier. But Ventura is not to be trifled with, and responds in equal measure. Soon, a string of killings erupt and bodies pile up as the two men go at it. One of the classics. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

DEMON SEED, 1977, Warner Bros., 94 min. “Never was a woman violated so profanely... Never was a woman subjected to inhuman love like this... Never was a woman prepared for a more perverse destiny...Julie Christie carries the "Demon Seed" Fear for Her.” Based on the Dean R. Koontz novel and directed by Donald Cammell (PERFORMANCE), this provocative, imaginative sci-fi thriller is even more relevant today than when it was originally released. Scientist Fritz Weaver’s supercomputer decides it wants to impregnate his wife Julie Christie with its artificially-created DNA, in a sinister attempt to take over the world with its hybrid progeny! A terrifying cat-and-mouse game follows as Christie is trapped alone in the house with the omniscient computer. The cinematography was lensed by Bill Butler (JAWS) and the music score was composed by Jerry Fielding (THE WILD BUNCH; STRAW DOGS). With memorable voice work by Robert Vaughn as Proteus IV.

DREAMS TO REMEMBER: THE LEGACY OF OTIS REDDING, 2007, Reelin’ In The Years Prods., 91 min, Dir. David Peck & Phillip Galloway. A brand-new film celebrating the life and career of Otis Redding incorporating 16 classic full-length performances (many not seen in over 40 years) including ultra-rare footage of his last-ever appearance just two days before his death. Also features interviews with legendary songwriting collaborator/guitarist Steve Cropper, trumpeter Wayne Jackson of the Mar-Keys, Stax Records founder Jim Stewart and Redding’s widow Zelma.

The Embassy, 1975, First Run/Icarus, 22 min. Dir. Chris Marker. One of Chris Marker’s few fiction films, “The Embassy” shows political dissidents seeking refuge in a foreign embassy after a military coup d’état in an unidentified country. Over the next few days, more and more people fleeing the military assault—teachers, students, intellectuals, artists, and politicians -- arrive at the embassy. An anonymous cameraman records the tense situation with his Super-8 camera, and provides a voice-over commentary, as the Ambassador and his wife arrange to house and feed the growing group, who monitor radio reports of the alarming political developments -- including thousands of political prisoners detained in a stadium, and reports of executions -- and glimpse activities on the streets outside. The refuge-seekers accommodate themselves to the makeshift living arrangements, find ways to pass the time, and engage in often heated political debates. At the end of a week, with a guarantee of safe conduct into exile, the refugees leave the embassy and a final panning shot of the city skyline conveys the film’s politically pointed, surprise ending.

(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.

(2004, United Kingdom/Italy) Directed by Lech Majewski
In this intense tale of passion and mortality, a beautiful but dying London art historian, obsessed with Hieronymus Bosch's painting "Garden of Earthly Delights," spends her last months in Venice with her lover.
Based on the novel by L. Majewski. Cast: Claudine Spiteri, Chris Nightingale, Maria Novella Martinoli. Presented in English dialogue. 35mm, 103 min.

(Szklane usta)
(2007, poland) Directed by Lech Majewski
A young poet, whose violent father's shadow looms over him, recalls traumatic episodes from his life while locked away in an asylum. Majewski originally presented this work as a gallery installation entitled Blood of a Poet, composed of 33 video art pieces exhibited on multiple screens. Glass Lips, a narrative feature film, is drawn from these 33 elements.
Producer: Lech Majewski. Screenwriter: Lech Majewski. Cinematographer: Lech Majewski. Editor: Lech Majewski, Eliot Ems, Norbert Rudzik. Cast: Patryk Czajka, Joanna Litwin, Grzegorz Przybyl. Presented in Polish dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 97 min.

GOD TOLD ME TO, 1977, Larry Cohen, 95 min. Writer/director Larry Cohen has always been a truly independent filmmaker, fusing unique concepts and bold, in-your-face storytelling with traditional exploitation cinema. With the success of the recent PHONE BOOTH, for which he penned the screenplay, Larry Cohen is long overdue for rediscovery. In one of his most unusual shockers, GOD TOLD ME TO, Tony LoBianco is a cop tracking down a Christ-like figure influencing random people to commit murder – a warped messiah who may just be an alien from outer space! With Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney, Deborah Raffin, Richard Lynch.

(Ewangelia wedlung Harry'ego)
(1992) Directed by Lech Majewski
Starring Viggo Mortensen before he became famous, this maverick allegory takes place, according to Majewski, when "the Pacific has dried up and California has become a desert. A couple try to make the best of it but life is hard; even sex hurts. The only person who enjoys himself is Harry, the tax collector."
Cinematographer: Grzegorz Kedzierski. Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Rubin. Presented in Polish dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 88 min.

HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM!, 1933, International Entertainment Enterprises, 82 min. Dir. Lewis Milestone. During a 1933 hiatus from Warners, Al Jolson made one of the most intriguing cult films of all time. This film is a bitterly fascinating oddity, and is unquestionably the finest acting performance in his career. Set in Depression-era New York, HALLELUJAH centers on the happy go lucky Bumper (Al Jolson), the "mayor" of Central Park’s homeless community, who cheerfully accepts his lot in life, until he meets a beautiful amnesiac (Madge Evans). Bumper falls in love and decides to get a job to support her — unaware that's she's the mistress of his friend, the Mayor of New York (Frank Morgan). With story by Ben Hecht, and a fine Rodgers and Hart score, the two standouts being the poignant "You Are Too Beautiful" and the whimsical title tune. The film is unusually stylish; songs are interspersed with a large amount of "rhythmic dialogue." It is odd how in historical retrospective, the film has taken on a glow of fascination. To historically appreciate the film, one needs to keep in mind the social climate in 1933, with 25% of the country unemployed and banks closing. "Hoboes" were looked upon with sympathy, because most could relate to their blameless plight; consequently, there's a surprising amount of social commentary. Interestingly, it is the only film Jolson ever made sans the black face makeup. HALLELUJAH, I’M A BUM! is whimsy -- a truly stunning experience, that is more impressive with time!

Harvest is the story of two lonely souls and their relationship with one another. Pagnol, who was both a playwright and a novelist, as well as a director, is famous for writing the novels Manon of the Spring and Jean de Florette, which became hugely successful cinematic successes. However, his own work in cinema has largely been neglected today. This film seems to evoke the glorification of the pastoral, common in many French films from this period. While Welles did not consider Pagnol a terribly cinematic director, he admired his films for their superb writing and wonderful acting.

THE HAUNTING, 1963, Warners Bros., 112 min. Dir. Robert Wise. "Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone..." Paranormal researcher Richard Johnson leads a team of clairvoyants (Julie Harris, Claire Bloom) to determine if the notorious, bad karma-filled Hill House is truly haunted. What he doesn’t bargain for is intensely neurotic Harris developing an unhealthy sensitivity to the mansion’s evil-charged atmosphere. Based on Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Haunting of Hill House, this is one of the all-time classics of the genre. In supernatural cinemascope! With Russ Tamblyn.

One of Antonioni’s most important films and a precursor of L’AVVENTURA, IL GRIDO has gained in stature over the years to the point where it overshadows some of his better known works. (Its images and atmosphere are amongst the most indelible in all Antonioni.) An imposing portrait of a worker who wanders the Po Valley with his little daughter after his wife leaves him, IL GRIDO is one of the director’s personal favourites: “When I saw IL GRIDO after some time,” Antonioni said, “I was stunned to find myself faced with such nakedness, with such great solitude. It was like what happens on some mornings when we look in the mirror and are startled by the reflection of our own face.” “IL GRIDO attains the perfection of a masterpiece. . . Indeed, it is a classic of cinematography, and certainly one of the most significant films of recent years” (Pierre Leprohon).

JOY HOUSE (LES FELINS), 1964, Roissy Films, 98 min. Dir. Rene Clement. A crazy French/ American hybrid, this intricately structured, perverse hide-and-seek thriller stars Alain Delon as a callous young card-shark on the run from some cigar-chomping New York gangsters. Lucky for him, he holes up in the southern French countryside with a rich American widow (Lola Albright) and her love-sick niece, the stunning Jane Fonda. Director Clement and Delon re-teamed from PURPLE NOON for this offbeat tale of murder and repressed passion, with a totally unexpected and original twist ending. Based on a novel by unsung pulp great Day Keene with an extra helping of dialogue by hardboiled genius Charles Williams (DEAD CALM). Henri Decae supplied the black-and-white ‘scope cinematography, and Lalo Schifrin did the music. Original English language version.

(from IMDB)
When a top local businessman and his two bumbling nephews try to shut down the town's only video arcade, arcade employees and patrons fight back.

Now recognized as a landmark independent filmmaker, Charles Burnett shot his first feature in South Los Angeles in the early 1970s. KILLER OF SHEEP is a stunning example of American urban neo-realism at its best, depicting life in an impoverished neighborhood. The film centers around Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), whose brutal job in a Watts slaughterhouse can barely sustain his household. Amid the daily struggle against penury, powerlessness and lack of opportunity, the family experiences moments of relishing beauty and hope.
35mm, 83 min. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive

Gus Van Sant adapts Walt Curtis' autobiographical novella into "a rhapsodic slacker noir pitched on the edge of physical and emotional darkness" (Nathan Lee, Village Voice). Set in Portland and primarily at night, the narrative concerns liquor store clerk/general outsider Walt (Tim Streeter) and his crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant (Doug Cooeyote). Van Sant's low-budget indie debut, shot on 16mm black-and-white stock, has a unexpectedly lush quality that gets amplified when casing the rain-drenched streets and seedy apartments that fill Mala Noche, or Bad Night.

MARY, 2005, Wild Bunch, 83 min. Dir. Abel Ferrara. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize (and three other awards) at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, Abel Ferrara’s provocative drama stars Matthew Modine as a flamboyant actor-director — part Ferrara alter-ego, part Mel Gibson surrogate — who has just wrapped production on a controversial Biblical drama, THIS IS MY BLOOD, starring himself as Jesus and leading European actress Marie Palesi (Juliette Binoche) as Mary Magdalene. But when it comes time to leave the film’s Italian location (Matera, where Passolini shot THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW and Gibson filmed THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST), Marie finds she cannot break the hold her latest character has placed on her. So she sets off on a spiritual quest to the Holy Land, while her embattled director returns to New York and a firestorm of pre-release controversy — much of it generated by an outspoken TV talk-show host (Forest Whitaker) who is devoting a week-long series of programs to the historical truth of Jesus’ life. In one of his most ambitious films to date, Ferrara uses the dual prism of filmmaking and media culture to explore his own faith and artistic identity, and the ways in which scripture has been revised and reinvented throughout history as those in power have seen fit. An outstanding cast that also includes Heather Graham and LA VIE EN ROSE star Marion Cotillard is joined by real-life religious scholars Jean-Yves Leloup, Amos Luzzatto and Elaine Pagels in this densely layered, deeply compelling movie about the tangled intersection of life, cinema and religion. NOT ON DVD Discussion following with actor Matthew Modine and editor Langdon Page.

MIRAGE, 1965, Universal, 108 min. Director Edward Dmytryk (MURDER, MY SWEET) delivers one of his best later pictures, expertly returning to noir territory with a modern sensibility and Hitchcockian style. During a New York skyscraper blackout, a high-powered executive falls to his death, and accountant Gregory Peck loses 90% of his memory. He enlists the help of new acquaintance Diane Baker and private eye Walter Matthau to help him uncover his past. Peck can only remember a couple of people who know him, and they inevitably turn up dead. From then on, all bets are off – the killers (George Kennedy, Kevin McCarthy) want Peck out of the way, too. A marvelous puzzler with brain-twisting turns that point the way to later thrillers like MEMENTO.

(from IMDB)
If Paramount had produced this film a year or two before 1931, the studio might have made it a straightforward mystery with little emphasis on terror. But in 1931, horror films were in vogue due to the success of Universal's DRACULA. So Paramount pursued this trend with MURDER BY THE CLOCK. It's still a mystery but with the atmosphere of a horror film.
And what horror! There's a crypt with an installed horn that blares to warn people the occupant has been buried alive. There's a drug that revives the dead. There's a brute (Irving Pichel) with the strength and the mind of a beast. And there's a sinister woman (Lilyan Tashman) who seduces men to commit murders for her own gain.
It is Tashman, as the nefarious Laura Endicott, who dominates the film. Adorned in tight satin dresses that showcase her lithe figure, she vamps with sinuous style, as bewitching to the audience as she is to her pawns. She definitely had the potential for stardom but would sadly pass away a few years later.
The other performers are generally fine. Irving Pichel is memorably creepy as the bestial Phillip Endicott. William "Stage" Boyd (not to be confused with William Boyd who played Hopalong Cassidy) makes a dependable hero as the hard boiled, commonsensical detective Lieutenant Valcour.

MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD (MIO FRATELLO E’ FIGLIO UNICO), 2007, THINKFilm, 100 min. Dir. Daniele Luchetti. Accio (Elio Germano) is his parents’ desperation: an impulsive and explosive troublemaker, fighting every battle like a war. His brother (Riccardo Scamarcio) is handsome, charismatic, loved by all -- but just as dangerous. In the Italian small town life of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the two brothers have opposite political beliefs, are in love with the same woman and, through endless confrontations, they live a saga of escaping, fighting and great passion. It is a story about growing up, set against fifteen years of Italian history, seen through the prism of adventures experienced by two very different, yet similar brothers. "Helmer Daniele Luchetti keeps the mood light and winning in…a micro-tale of Italy's troubled years in the late '60s and '70s, viewed through the prism of a politically divided family. Scripted by THE BEST OF YOUTH duo who brought the post-WWII years into stark and moving light, pic offers a warm humor that illuminates the defiant vista of hope even when the proceedings turn tragic." – Jay Weisberg, Variety NOT ON DVD introduction by director Daniele Luchetti and co-star Riccardo Scamarcio. Cinema Italian Style Award presentation from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, the film will be starting at 7:30 PM.

(1983) Directed by Charles Burnett and Ed Santiago
Pierce Mundy works at his parents' South Central dry cleaners with no prospects for the future and his childhood buddies in prison or dead. With his best friend just getting out of jail and his brother busy planning a wedding to a snooty upper-middle-class black woman, Pierce navigates his conflicting obligations while trying to figure out what he really wants in life. In 1983, Charles Burnett sent his rough cut of MY BROTHER'S WEDDING to his producers. Ignoring his request to finish the editing of the film, the producers rushed it to a New York festival screening, where it received a mixed review from the New York Times. With distributors scared off, MY BROTHER'S WEDDING was tragically never released. Now following a re-edit by Burnett and restoration by the PFA, MY BROTHER'S WEDDING is finally reaching theaters.—adapted from Milestone Film & Video.
Editor: Charles Burnett, Thomas Penick. Cast: Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, G. Shannon-Burnett. Format TBA, 82 min. New restoration by the Pacific Film Archive

NAPOLEON AND ME (IO E NAPOLEONE), 2007, Cattleya, 110 min. An in-period comedy from director, Paolo Virzi. Circa 1814, Napoleon (Daniel Auteuil) is sent into exile on the island of Elba and is enthusiastically welcomed by the common people and the local nobles. But there is one person who is not celebrating: the young Martino (Elio Germano), an idealist and libertarian teacher, a budding poet and the libertine lover of the beautiful, mature Baroness Emilia (Monica Bellucci) Martino hates the former Emperor, and every night he dreams of killing him. When he is offered the opportunity of becoming the clerk and librarian of the new King of Elba, the young man accepts, hoping to at last execute the murder he feels predestined to commit. Seductions and betrayals, failed attempts and astonishing confessions ensue, up until the mocking and surprising final disappointment. NOT ON DVD

ONCE A THIEF (LES TUEURS DE SAN FRANCISCO), 1965, Warner Bros., 107 min. Director Ralph Nelson (REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT) helmed this neo-noir, a French/American co-production. Corsican ex-con Alain Delon is living in San Francisco with his wife (Ann-Margret) and daughter, just trying to keep his nose clean. Someone holds up a liquor store driving his hot rod, and he’s pulled inexorably back down into the gutter. Delon’s master hood big brother (Jack Palance) is back in town with his gang, including sociopaths Tony Musante (BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) and John Davis Chandler (MAD DOG COLL), and Palance will do anything to bring his younger sibling back into the murderous fold. Van Heflin (ACT OF VIOLENCE) is a tough police detective with an axe to grind, but he is ultimately willing to give Delon a fair shake. Unfortunately, there are bad memories between them, and Delon doesn’t trust him. A very cool, fast-moving nocturnal prowl through the rain slick streets, jazz clubs, back alleys and warehouses of the Bay Area. Original English language version. NOT ON DVD

ONE DEADLY SUMMER (L’ETE MEURTRIER) 1983, Universal, 130 min. Dir. Jean Becker. Beautiful, but emotionally unstable Isabelle Adjani is Eliane, the daughter of a single German mother who was raped by returning soliders post-WWII. Adjani goes on an investigative quest to find the men and, specifically, the man responsible for impregnating her mother (Maria Machado) – the man who must logically be her father. And when she finds him, she is determined to kill him. It’s just too bad that the village’s volunteer fireman Pin-Pon (played by pop star Alain Souchon) falls in love with her. His own obsessive affection and protective feelings towards her will suck him down into a nightmarish maelstrom of conflicted emotions and sickening violence that will change both their lives forever. Director Becker (son of master filmmaker Jacques Becker, who brought us French crime masterpieces CASQUE D’OR, GRISBI and LE TROU) dissolves present day events and flashbacks into each other with stream-of-consciousness effect, creating a poignant tapestry of heartache, beauty and tragic irony. Winner of four French Cesar Awards, including Adjani for Best Actress. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

(from IMDB)
A one-night fling during World War I results in a young girl getting pregnant. Years later, she meets him again. Now a successful businessman, he doesn't even remember her, but tries to seduce her.

THE OUTSIDE MAN (UN HOMME EST MORT), 1972, Roissy Films, 104 min. LE SAMOURAI in The City of Angels! Director Jacques Deray’s Melville-inspired thriller stars Jean-Louis Trintignant as a French hit man sent to Los Angeles to whack a mob kingpin (Ted de Corsia, of THE KILLING). Once the job is finished, though, he finds himself trapped in an early 1970’s nightmare of strip clubs, Jesus freaks and "Star Trek" re-runs, chased by muscle-car driving assassin Roy Scheider and helped by friendly go-go girl, Ann-Margret. With Angie Dickinson as the mobster’s (black) widow. Like THE MODEL SHOP and CISCO PIKE, this is an unforgettable, wild, landmark-strewn travelogue through the smog-choked avenues of a bygone Los Angeles and Hollywood. Original uncut, uncensored English language version. "LA was a dream for me – a Frenchman shooting in America!" – Jacques Deray. NOT ON DVD

PINGPONG, 2006, 89 min. A thrilling first feature by director Matthias Luthardt. 16-year-old Paul (Sebastian Urzendowsky) turns up uninvited to visit his relatives. Having recently lost his father, Paul is searching for an ideal world, and he intrudes upon the seemingly ideal family. After rejecting him at first, his aunt Anna (Marion Mitterhammer) gradually gets him on her side. Paul is attracted to her. Only after it is too late does he realize that he has been drawn under her control, and is now at her mercy.

From post-war Japan in the late 1950s and early 1960s grew a group of surrealists who were as influenced by the same ideas as the Nouvelle Vague filmmakers coming out of Europe—such as filmmaker's Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonio, and Alain Resnais. Known as in Japan as "The Century Club," these intellectuals weren't just incorporating this movement's emphasis on cinematic freedom and existential thought, but dealing existing inside a society rebuilding itself after its catastrophic defeat in World War II and the horrific devastation of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The tallest members of this society were artist and filmmaker Hiroshi Tesigahara and author and playwright Kobe Abe. Along with composer Toru Takemitsu, they combined for four movies together - Pitfall (1962), the international success Woman in the Dunes (1964), The Face of Another (1966), and Man without a Map (1968).
A poor coal miner, on the run from a mysterious past, is murdered in front of his son after moving to a ghost town where the local mine is the battleground between two unions. His ghost tries to find out the identity of his killer and the reasons for his murder, while a witness to the crime, a lonely woman, finds herself getting in over her head when she is bribed to pin the crime on one of the heads of the warring unions—who happens to be a doppelganger to the murdered vagrant.

Over the course of three introspective and hauntingly beautiful albums in the early 1970s, British singer/songwriter Nick Drake built a small but loyal following. Now, 33 years after his tragically early death, Drake is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential musicians of his generation. This very special evening celebrating his life and music includes films, guests and a unique art and photographic exhibit. It includes the World Theatrical Premiere of "Their Place: Reflections On Nick Drake", 2007, Bryter Music, 30 min. Various Directors - a series of short filmed homages to Nick Drake – created by admirers including Heath Ledger, Jonas Mekas and Tim Pope. (NOT ON DVD!) This will be preceded by: the definitive documentary "A Skin Too Few: The Days Of Nick Drake", 2000, Bryter Music, 48 min. Director Jeroen Berkvens - which includes rare footage and interviews with Drake’s producer Joe Boyd, arranger Robert Kirby, family members and a wealth of images and material about the brilliantly gifted musician. Special guests: Nick Drake’s sister Gabrielle Drake and record producer Joe Boyd.

POLICE PYTHON 357, 1976, Tamasa, 125 min. Director Alain Corneau’s tough, violent policier’s plot faintly echoes old school noir, THE BIG CLOCK. Yves Montand is middle-aged cop Marc Ferrot who falls for a young photographer (Stefania Sandrelli, of THE CONFORMIST) – without realizing that she’s already the mistress of his unstable boss, Commissaire Ganay (Francois Perier). Co-starring Simone Signoret as Ganay’s bitter, bedridden spouse. In French, with English subtitles. "Contains two murders, one suicide, one supermarket hold-up, a number of muggings and a lot of mail-order psychoanalysis" – Vincent Canby, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

In 1982, when this supernatural horror classic was first released in theaters, the film’s writer-producer Steven Spielberg commented that “there are things in this movie that motion picture audiences have never seen before.” Twenty-five years later, Poltergeist continues to startle audiences with its frightening images and spine-chilling sound effects.
Nominated for three Academy Awards in the Music, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects categories, Poltergeist stars Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as Steve and Diane Freeling, a solid American couple with three children whose peaceful lives are turned upside down when their home is invaded by a nightmarish poltergeist phenomenon.
Several key members of the film’s sound and visual effects crew will gather for an onstage discussion of the role motion picture science and technology played in shaping Poltergeist. New 35MM print.

RIPTIDE (UNE SI JOLIE PETITE PLAGE) 1948, 97 min. Dir. Yves Allegret. Former orphan, Gerard Philipe, returns to the lonely, beachside inn where he grew up, before his idealism was crushed and he sank into the depths of degradation, self-loathing and murder. Amidst an oppresive atmosphere of perpetual rainfall, Philipe goes through his last days and is dismayed to see a teenage boy who reminds him of himself. He hopes to set the orphan right, but the hardened boy is already well on his way on the road to perdition. A spiritual heir to earlier French crime gems like LE JOUR SE LEVE and QUAI DES BRUMES, RIPTIDE is a forgotten classic in urgent need of rediscovery. With Jean Servais. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

(Pokój Saren)
(1997) Directed by Lech Majewski
This autobiographical film is an opera about a young poet, his parents and the apartment in which they live. The poet's sensitivity filters visions of the apartment as it is slowly devoured by nature. In summer, the floor becomes overgrown with grass, leaves of plaster fall in autumn, and in winter, the refrigerator emits a blizzard. Nature, the final victor, will eventually devour the walls, the tables and the shelves.
Cinematographer: Adam Sikora. Cast: Rafal Olbrychski, Elzbieta Mazur, Mieczyslaw Czepulonis. Presented in Polish dialogue with English subtitles. Beta-SP, 90 min.

(from IMDB)
You really have to see this one to believe it! Not many movies flaunt their pre-code liberty so blatantly and lightheartedly (not unlike the Busby Berkeley extravaganza "Gold Diggers of 1933"). At the same time, it's very successful in its own right as a fast-paced comedy satirizing health-product hucksters and wealthy debauchees.
Inspired by the L.A. Olympics, a trio of con artists lure some prize-winning athletes into endorsing their newly-acquired fitness magazine. They stage an international publicity stunt to find the healthiest young bodies in the English-speaking world. While the athletes are out scouting for specimens, the three rogues turn the magazine into a lurid cheesecake rag (their lascivious board of censors is a hoot). This spins off into a health farm, which they try to turn into a high-priced knocking shop for Hollywood swells out to exploit eager young talent.
As the con artists, Robert Armstrong and James Gleason have plenty of fancy, word-mangling patter. And Gertrude Michael holds her own, needling them mercilessly, as well as slinkily seducing all-American hero Buster Crabbe. Crabbe practically plays himself, while an unrecognizable bleached-blonde Ida Lupino is his pert female British counterpart.

SECOND BREATH (LE DEUXIEME SOUFFLE), 1966, Filmel, 150 min. Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville. A middle-aged hood (Lino Ventura) breaks out of jail and organizes a new gang, determined to prove he still has what it takes. Melville’s brutal, crackling noir contrasts Ventura’s "old world craftsmanship" against the younger generation of Nouvelle Vague crooks. A twisting-turning maze of existential pitfalls opens up before Ventura’s character – some placed by the police, some by his cronies, some by his woman and some even by himself – will it be possible for him to circumvent them all? Based on the novel by Jose Giovanni. Director Alain Corneau just completed production on a remake with Daniel Auteil. With Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin. In French, with English subtitles. "Melville did for the crime film what Leone did for the western." – Quentin Tarantino; "Established Melville’s reputation as a brilliant refurbisher of the immemorial imagery of the genre – gleaming night streets, gunmen prowling in deserted stairways." – Tom Milne. NOT ON DVD

SERIE NOIRE. 1979, Tamasa, 111 min. Director Alain Corneau expertly adapts one of Jim Thompson’s most twisted pulp masterworks, A Hell of a Woman. Patrick Dewaere stars as Frank Poupart, a human ferret scurrying around the bleak edges of Nowhere, trying to sell cheap trinkets door-to-door and collect on small mob debts. When he stumbles across a gorgeous teenager (Marie Trintignant) with a rich and repulsive aunt, Dewaere gets sucked into the blackest vacuum of all. With Bernard Blier. In French, with English subtitles. "Definitely the best movie made from a Jim Thompson novel to date…Patrick Dewaere as demented thief/murderer/ child molester is as close to a real Jim Thompson character as an actor could get." – Barry Gifford NOT ON DVD

The Sixth Side Of The Pentagon, 1967, First Run/ Icarus, 27 min. Dirs. Chris Marker & François Reichenbach. “If the five sides of the pentagon appear impregnable, attack the sixth side.” -- Zen proverb. On October 21, 1967, over 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam. It was the largest protest gathering yet, and it brought together a wide cross-section of liberals, radicals, hippies, and Yippies. Che Guevara had been killed in Bolivia only two weeks previously, and, for many, it was the transition from simply marching against the war, to taking direct action to try to stop the ‘American war machine.’ Norman Mailer wrote about the events in Armies of the Night. French filmmaker Chris Marker, leading a team of filmmakers, was also there, and made “The Sixth Side of the Pentagon.” From young men burning their draft cards, to the Yippies chanting “Out, demons, out!” while trying to levitate the Pentagon, to thousands of protestors rushing the steps of the Pentagon itself and some actually getting into the building, “The Sixth Side Of The Pentagon,” by contemporaneously putting us in the midst of the action yet combining the experience with a wry and reflective commentary, is a remarkable time capsule and reminder of events from forty years ago, 1967—the turning point of opposition to a long and unpopular war. “Eloquent… impressive… Chris Marker is among that rare breed of men in whom the currents of political engagement and searching human honesty reinforce and enrich rather than antagonize each other.” -- Larry Loewinger, Film Quarterly.

SLEEPER (SCHLÄFER) 2005, A story of rivalry and treachery set in a triangle of love, science and politics! Powerful themes of betrayal, friendship, ambition and trust are at the centre of director Benjamin Heisenberg’s debut feature, which plays like the intriguing and unsettling calm before the storm. Set at Munich’s University of Technology, assistant professor Johannes Mehrveldt befriends Farid Atabay, a colleague of Algerian background who is working on the same project. What his pal does not know is that Johannes was approached by the German secret service to report on Farid, who they suspect is a sleeper terrorist. Initially, Johannes refuses, but the seeds of doubt are sown. Winner of seven awards at various European festivals.

THE SLEEPING CAR MURDER (COMPARTIMENT TUEURS), 1965, 90 min. Director Costa-Gavras (Z; MISSING) chose to make a suspense shocker as his first film. Finally, here it is after decades out-of-circulation, a genuine classic, a virtually lost and forgotten jewel in the crown of French crime films in urgent need of restoration and rediscovery. Six people share a sleeping compartment on a Paris-bound train. After they arrive, one of them is found strangled, and, before long, the killer starts knocking off the remaining passengers. Yves Montand is superb as a harried police inspector coming down with the flu, who doggedly follows up every lead. Red herrings abound and the twists and thrills are masterfully executed. Enormously influential on not just other French crime films that followed, but the Italian giallo thriller genre as well. With a dream cast that includes Michel Piccoli, Simone Signoret, Jacques Perrin, Catherine Allegret and Jean-Louis Trintignant. In French with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

(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.

STAX REVUE 1967, 2007, Reelin’ In The Years Prods., 78 min. A platinum gem recently unearthed in the vaults of Norwegian TV and not seen in the US until now! It’s the only surviving full-length film of the legendary 1967 Stax Revue - the European tour that sparked the soul revolution. Beautifully shot with multiple cameras in a controlled studio environment with quality sound - we get to experience the excitement that Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley, Booker T. & The MGs brought to Europe in that halcyon tour. Features Otis Redding’s full five-song set. Discussion in between films with Zelma Redding and Stax session musician Wayne Jackson of the Mar-Keys in-person.

THE SWIMMING POOL (LA PISCINE), 1969, SNC, 120 min. One of the best efforts and hardest-to-see (in America) from director Jacques Deray (BORSALINO; THE OUTSIDE MAN), with a trenchant script co-written by Buñuel colaborator, Jean-Claude Carriere. Writer Jean-Paul (Alain Delon) and journalist Marianne (Romy Schneider) are having an affair in St. Tropez when interrupted by a visit from Marianne’s former lover, Harry (Maurice Ronet). Harry has also brought along his fatally attractive daughter, Penelope (Jane Birkin). Hormones rage and sparks fly, and one of the four ends up dead, accidentally drowned after a fight. Now the the three survivors must get their stories straight before the investigating police arrive. Top-notch psychological suspense. In French with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

Tokyo Twilight: 50th Anniversary Screening
1957/b&w/141 min. | Scr: Kôgo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu; dir: Ozu; w/ Setsuko Hara, Isuzu Yamada, Ineko Arima, Chishu Ryu
Two years after his internationally acclaimed Tokyo Story, Yasujiro Ozu tells the parallel stories of two adult sisters—one of whom is coping with an unwanted pregnancy, the other with marital discord—who have moved in with their aging father. The sudden appearance of their mother, long assumed dead, plunges the family into crisis. Ozu's last film in black and white, in a career that stretches back to the silent era, is an atypically unforgiving view of human nature; its melodramatic plot and scenes of heart-wrenching domestic strife and disintegration are set against the bleakness of winter and the communal solitude of city life. "It seems redundant to add 'the great' before Ozu's name; this Japanese master has long since ascended to that place in the cinematic firmament where adjectives are no longer applied to names, and names become adjectives."—Dave Kehr, The New York Times.

Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood and editor of Anita Loos Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction will present highlights from her newly completed book Joseph P. Kennedy Presents.
Kennedy is the only man ever to run three film studios (FBO, Pathé and First National) and a theater circuit simultaneously. He was a major player in the conversion from silent to sound films, masterminding the merger that created RKO, the first studio specifically created to make sound films. Joseph P. Kennedy Presents, which offers the first serious look at Kennedy’s years as a film mogul, draws on material in his recently released personal papers. Beauchamp’s presentation will include insight into her research process and will focus on the unique producing partnership between Kennedy and screen star Gloria Swanson. The lecture will be followed by a screening of The Trespasser, Swanson’s first talkie, which has seldom screened in Los Angeles since its original release. Kennedy produced the film, and for her performance Swanson earned her second Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.
The Trespasser was made shortly after Kennedy and Swanson fired director Erich von Stroheim from Queen Kelly. As they pondered what to do with that costly unfinished silent film project, Eddie Goulding was using up to 12 cameras simultaneously on The Trespasser, which Variety hailed as developing “sound film presentation to a point not previously put on the screen.” Swanson’s singing and talking were heralded as lessons to all other actresses on “how to do it.”
Directed by Edmund Goulding. Presented by Joseph P. Kennedy. Screenplay Goulding. Cinematography George Barnes, Gregg Toland. Film Editing Cyril Gardner. Art Direction Stephen Goosson. With Gloria Swanson, Robert Ames, Purnell Pratt, Henry B. Walthall, William Holden. Gloria Productions. United Artists. 1929. 35mm. 120 mins. Preservation funded by The American Film Institute and The Film Foundation.

Triumph (1917) (fragment)
The loss of many of Lon Chaney’s earliest film performances makes the resurfacing of the first three reels of Triumph a welcome event. This melodrama about an actress in love with a playwright and the stage manager blackmailing her for her affections offers a unique glimpse into Chaney’s career before his classic performances in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. Photographs and title cards have been added to complete the story for viewers.
Directed by Joseph De Grasse. Scenario Fred Myton. With Dorothy Phillips, Lon Chaney, William J. Dyer. Bluebird Photoplays. Silent. 35 mm. 40 mins. (3 of 5 original reels).

(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.

THE UNINVITED, 1944, Universal, 98 min. Siblings Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey move into a seaside home and quickly discover that they aren't the only tenants in this classic ghost story. Director Lewis Allen lays on the atmosphere, and the performers provide the emotional weight, in a thriller that's as smart as it is scary. A beautifully crafted horror movie for adults in the tradition that would later be elaborated upon by the likes of Roman Polanski and Stanley Kubrick. Also starring the hauntingly beautiful Gail Russell. NOT ON DVD

Philadelphia musicians bring new life to a forgotten classic of the Czech New Wave: Jaromil Jires' Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). The sound goes off and the amps get cranked (do harps need amps?) as a collective of Philadelphia's finest underground musicians pay tribute to this seminal film of the new folk movement. Spearheaded by Greg Weeks (Espers, Grass), Margie Wienk (Fern Knight) and Brooke Sietinsons (Espers, Grass), the ensemble includes harpist Mary Lattimore, cellist Helena Espvall (Espers), Vocalist Tara Burke (Fursaxa), bassist/percussionist Jesse Sparhawk (Fern Knight, Timesbold), flautist/keyboardist Jessica Weeks (Woodwose, Grass), enigmatic electronicist Charles Cohen and percussionist Jim Ayre (Fern Knight, Rake.). Key to the concept is how reframing the film's action with an alternate soundtrack draws new interpretations from a work of intricate depth and changeable meaning. Foremost in the musicians' minds, however, is paying tribute to a timeless fantasy film of increasing relevance.

(from IMDB)
THE WAY OF ALL FLESH (Paramount, 1940), directed by Louis King, is a remake of an old 1927 silent tearjerker that starred the then great German actor, Emil Jannings (1884-1950), in the drama, along with "THE LAST COMMAND (Paramount, 1928), that earned him the honor of being the first actor ever to win an Academy Award. The leading actor in this remake is the Russian-born Akim Tamiroff (1900-1973), a resident character actor of numerous features for Paramount since 1934, who, by this time, had risen from minor roles to occasional character parts to occasional top-billed leads in second feature films. Tamiroff stars as the bearded Paul Kriza, a European by birth living in mid-western United States with his American wife, Anna (Gladys George), and their four children, working as a bank cashier. A loyal employee, Paul is entrusted by Mr. Hanzel (Roger Imhoff), a bank president, to go to New York City to deliver a large sum of money for the bank. After a sentimental farewell to his family, Paul goes on his way. While on the train, Paul lets his responsibility lapse when he innocently becomes involved with Mary Brown (Murial Angelus), a dubious adventuress, who, after learning of his mission, gets him drunk and seduces him.

(1999, poland) Directed by Lech Majewski
This re-imagining of the biopic portrays the last days of Rafal Wojaczek, a rebellious poet who died prematurely in his twenties like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jim Morrison. Fueled by his self-destructive life, his poetry made a lasting impression on generations of Poles. He drank and fought and walked through windows. Confronting death on a daily basis, he tried to tame it, caring for no one, not even himself. Living only for poetry and conscious of the need for myth in the mythless reality of communist Poland, he burned his life as an offering.
Screenwriter: Lech Majewski, Maciej Melecki. Cinematographer: Adam Sikora. Cast: Krzystof Siwczyk, Dominika Ostalowska. Presented in Polish dialogue with English subtitles. 35mm, 89 min.

THE WOLF (IL LUPO), 2007, Poker Films, 88 min. Dir. Stefano Calvagna’s third feature is inspired by the real events in the life of Luciano Liboni, aka "The Wolf." A freewheeling interpretation of the character, here renamed Franco Scattoni (Massimo Bonetti), the film highlights the ups and downs of a rough and violent man, whose behavior borders on madness and is worsened by epilepsy. Il Lupo feels he has nothing to loose. Diving headfirst into a life of crime, he ends up killing a gas station attendant in Perugia in 2002. He then kills a young "carabiniere," and becomes a wanted fugitive. A case study in human behavior’s violent patterns framed as a psychological thriller and police story, this controversial film has been praised for the uncompromising realism of its disturbing narrative. NOT ON DVD Discussion following with director Stefano Calvagna.

(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.