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

sat. oct. 5

eagle rock music festival
rio escondido @ lacma
corners @ the smell
dream boys @ ding-a-ling @ echo country outpost
merx (9:00), sea lions (4:00), shark toys (7:00) FREE @ permanent records
oh boy, beerland @ egyptian
inside out @ aero
the fly (1958) 4:45 PM @ silent movie theater
final cut: ladies and gentlemen 7:15 9:40 PM @ silent movie theater
moment trigger @ pehrspace
l'absence NOON, buud yam @ lacma
after lucia FREE (RSVP) 5 PM @ usc ray stark

sun. oct. 6

la commune paris 1871 4 PM @ the public school
l.a. witch (11:00) @ bootleg
gold, layla fourie @ egyptian
pather panchali 5 PM, aparajito, apur sansar @ aero
beginning of the end 3:30 7:30 PM, invaders from mars (1953) 5:30 9:30 PM @ new beverly
our vinyl weighs a ton @ street food cinema @ exposition park
escape from tomorrow FREE 7 PM @ reel grit @ afi

mon. oct. 7

shane @ ampas samuel goldwyn
the middleman, company limited @ aero
beginning of the end, invaders from mars (1953) @ new beverly
final cut: ladies and gentlemen 10:15 PM @ silent movie theater
troll 2 MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
escape from tomorrow FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc broccoli theatre
the black radical imagination 8:30 PM @ redcat
blackfish @ the crest
bummer kult @ pehrspace

tue. oct. 8

the big heat 1 PM @ lacma
the lavender hill mob 1:30 PM @ skirball
museum hours FREE @ hammer
huxley anne @ the smell
wake in fright, road games @ new beverly
final cut: ladies and gentlemen 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
hex MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
camera d'afrique @ lacma
unclaimed FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark

wed. oct. 9

tokyo story @ aero
hopscotch 9:50 PM @ new beverly
carnival of souls MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
forrest bess: key to the riddle FREE @ hammer
legendary pink dots @ roxy
let the fire burn 8 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood
tokyo story FREE 7 PM @ japan foundation

thu. oct. 10

bill ayers @ skylight books
assault on precinct 13 (w/ live performance by alan howarth) @ egyptian
teen kanya @ aero
hopscotch 9:50 PM @ new beverly
final cut: ladies and gentlemen 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
ernest scared stupid MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
frenkel defects 8 PM @ epfc
teenage 4:15 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood
a river changes course 6:30 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood
the life & crimes of doris payne 8 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood

fri. oct. 11

macario, pedro paramo @ lacma
the breakfast club MIDNIGHT @ nuart
i used to be darker @ sundance sunset 5
bleached (9:15; taix outside), jacco gardner (9:00, echo park umc) @ culture collide festival
the omen @ egyptian
the late show, night moves @ new beverly
hands on a hard body @ silent movie theater
abby MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
spring in a small town @ ucla film archive
the missing piece 3:30 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood
the institute 7:15 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood

sat. oct. 12

young frankenstein 7 PM @ electric dusk drive-in
the loons, the rosalyns @ casbah (SD)
king khan & the shrines (8:00), hellshovel (3:00) @ culture collide festival - taix outside
discopath, pieces (w/ live score by umberto), prom night @ egyptian
the late show 3:15 7:30 PM, night moves 5:15 9:30 PM @ new beverly
the haunted palace 2:30 PM @ silent movie theater
hands on a hard body @ silent movie theater
chester turner live 10 PM @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
laborer's love, romance of the western chamber, red heroine @ ucla film archive
los olvidados @ lacma
henri-georges clouzot and the aesthetics of the sixties: reflections on la verite 6 PM @ redcat
psycho @ street food cinema @ la state historic park
the square 8:30 PM @ docfest @ arclight hollywood

sun. oct. 13

the rosalyns @ redwood bar
why don't you play in hell? 8 PM @ egyptian
moments that made the movies @ aero
hands on a hard body 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
death bed: the bed that eats MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
drinking flowers (6:15), corners (10:00), mystic braves (10:45), sweet valley slumber party (5:30), etc. @ lolipop freakout fest @ bootleg
burden of dreams FREE 2:30 PM @ lacma
inglourious basterds 4:15 8:00 PM @ new beverly
ghostbusters 5 PM @ arclight sherman oaks

mon. oct. 14

you me & us FREE (RSVP) @ the echo
psychology films FREE 6 PM @ documental @ unurban
onibaba, kuroneko @ aero
hands on a hard body 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
homebodies MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
et la neige n'etait plus, au nom du christ FREE (RSVP) @ lmu mayer theater
let your light shine: handmade films by jodie mack 8:30 PM @ redcat
inglourious basterds 8 PM @ new beverly

tue. oct. 15

king tuff @ echoplex
blank tapes @ townhouse venice
hands on a hard body 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
martin MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
le petite vendeuse de soleil, yeelen @ lacma
short cuts 8 PM @ new beverly

wed. oct. 16

radar bros., overseas @ satellite
hands on a hard body @ silent movie theater
winterbeast 9:45 PM, the house by the cemetery @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
widowspeak @ the echo
ship of theseus FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ lacma
blue is the warmest color FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
short cuts 8 PM @ new beverly

thu. oct. 17

before the revolution FREE @ hammer
looking for mr. goodbar, american gigolo @ new beverly
hands on a hard body @ silent movie theater
dark august MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
borom sarret, finye @ lacma
die hard FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
al neil: a portrait 8 PM @ epfc

fri. oct. 18

quintron & miss pussycat @ satellite
buffy the vampire slayer MIDNIGHT @ nuart
the loons @ soda bar (SD)
chasing ice FREE @ front porch cinema @ santa monica pier
babe's and ricky's inn @ spielberg @ egyptian
a field in england, the borderlands @ aero
looking for mr. goodbar, american gigolo @ new beverly
picnic at hanging rock 8 PM @ dress up @ silent movie theater
nazarin, la joven @ lacma
ship of theseus FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
saccharine trust, mike watt & the second men, etc @ redwood

sat. oct. 19

the mr. show experience, zach galifianakis, triumph the insult comic dog, etc @ festival supreme @ santa monica pier
beetlejuice 6:30 PM, poltergeist @ electric dusk drive-in
dusk til dawn horror show (films TBA) @ new beverly
the corner: ground zero of hollywood's golden age (featuring "sunset blvd") 2 PM @ egyptian
the coward @ egyptian
the howling, the wolf man (1941) @ aero
basket case MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
the scarlet empress @ ucla film archive
heathers @ pehrspace
el FREE (RSVP) 5 PM @ lacma
the exterminating angel, simon of the desert @ lacma
new works salon 8 PM @ epfc
carnival of souls @ halloween & mourning movie night @ heritage square
le joli mai 8 PM @ silent movie theater
an american werewolf in london @ cinespia @ hollywood forever

sun. oct. 20

the mummy (1932) @ thrilling adventure hour @ egyptian
the pit and the pendulum 5 PM @ silent movie theater
the deadly spawn MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
spring silkworms 7 PM, the big road @ ucla film archive
madness and mindfulness: 4 films by ken paul rosenthal 8 PM @ epfc
army of darkness 8 PM @ arclight pasadena
invasion of the body snatchers 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks
the central park five 4 PM @ the edye @ the broad stage

mon. oct. 21

goblin: giallo live, suspiria @ egyptian
sikkim, two @ aero
the alien factor MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
moonrise @ ucla film archive
hausu, eraserhead @ new beverly

tue. oct. 22

goblin: giallo live, deep red @ egyptian
shockproof 1 PM @ lacma
au revoir simone @ echoplex
the crowd @ ampas samuel goldwyn
squirm MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
touki bouki, mille soleils @ lacma
hausu, eraserhead @ new beverly
jessica pratt, real estate @ troubadour
the house by the cemetery 8 PM @ arclight hollywood
nosferatu 8 PM @ silent movie theater

wed. oct. 23

goblin: giallo live, tenebrae @ egyptian
shakma 10 PM, shock waves @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
lfo @ silent movie theater

thu. oct. 24

subversive cinema art films FREE 7 PM @ subversive cinema @ the talking stick
the student prince in old heidlberg @ ampas samuel goldwyn
nekromantik, schramm @ egyptian
if footmen tire you what will horses do? MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
soleil o @ lacma
narco cultura FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
the strange affair of uncle harry FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges
hausu, eraserhead @ new beverly
tey FREE (RSVP) @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges
effi briest FREE 7 PM @ armer theater @ csun

fri. oct. 25

fuzz, wand @ satellite
almost human @ egyptian
the ninth configuration, fat city @ aero
bruce baillie: coming into vision @ ucla film archive
dream boys (11:30), devon williams (10:45) @ pehrspace
shark toys, plateaus @ ham & eggs
loopdeloop: hallucinations FREE 9 PM @ meltdown
jon brion @ largo
the gleaners and i, two years later, agnes varda from here to there: episode 1 @ lacma

sat. oct. 26

amityville ii: the possssion, kingdom of the spiders, the fly (1986), hell high, the car, the sentinel @ dusk-to-dawn horrorthon @ aero
nightbreed: the cabal cut @ egyptian
the evil dead (1981) MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
the goddess, new women @ ucla film archive
an evening with the makers of 'an american werewolf in london' @ ucla film archive
the craft @ cinespia @ hollywood forever
animals 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
agnes varda from here to there: episodes three and four 5 PM @ lacma
the beaches of agnes, uncle yanco @ lacma

sun. oct. 27

maxwell street revisited FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque
witchfinder general 5 PM @ silent movie theater
the town that dreaded sundown MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
street angel 7 PM, song at midnight @ ucla film archive
the mystery of the wax museum 3:50 7:30 PM, dr. cyclops 5:30 9:10 PM @ new beverly
the cabinet of dr. caligari (w/ live score) @ art share l.a.
the exorcist 8 PM @ arclight pasadena, arclight sherman oaks
metropolis (w/ live score) 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
how the west was won 12:40 PM @ cinerama dome
it's a mad mad mad mad world 5 PM @ cinerama dome
nightfall @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian
shallow grave 8:30 PM @ downtown independent
12 hours of terror (noon-midnight) @ secret sixteen @ jumpcut cafe

mon. oct. 28

the blow @ center for the arts eagle rock
l.a. witch FREE @ satellite
stories we tell @ aero
ezra buchla @ pehrspace
jane gillooly: suitcase of love and shame 8:30 PM @ redcat
the mystery of the wax museum, dr. cyclops @ new beverly
psycho 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks

tue. oct. 29

these are the damned 1 PM @ lacma
endangered species MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
murders in the rue morgue, the raven @ new beverly
evil dead ii 8 PM @ arclight pasadena
lions love (...and lies) 8 PM @ lacma
logan's run (1976) @ cinerama dome
bastards FREE (RSVP) @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges
shallow grave 7 PM @ downtown independent

wed. oct. 30

films selected by james welling FREE @ hammer
l.a. witch @ harvard & stone
the brotherhood of satan MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
murders in the rue morgue, the raven @ new beverly
eyes without a face @ silent movie theater
the shining 8:00 11:25 PM @ cinerama dome
tame impala @ belasco theater

thu. oct. 31

the phantom of the opera (w/ live organ accompaniment) 8 PM @ disney hall
nosferatu (w/ live piano accompaniment) @ aero
the tingler @ silent movie theater
chopping mall MIDNIGHT @ united states of horror @ silent movie theater
la air: gina napolitan & beaux mingus FREE 8 PM @ epfc
the bat whispers FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges
scream @ street food cinema @ exposition park
chinese roulette FREE 7 PM @ csun armer theater

fri. nov. 1

american psycho MIDNIGHT @ nuart
dirt dress @ pehrspace
the visitor MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater
fungi girls, nobunny @ echoplex
the bling ring, only god forgives @ new beverly
suspension of disbelief (for the love of frater perdurabo & k.a.) 8 PM @ machine
let the fire burn 10:30 PM @ arena cinema

sat. nov. 2

the good the bad and the ugly 1:30 PM @ autry museum
berlin alexanderplatz (marathon) day one 1 PM-10:30 PM @ goethe-institut
fungi girls, corners @ the smell
the thing (1982) MIDNIGHT @ cult camp @ downtown independent
the visitor MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater
the motel life FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ silent movie theater
pat garrett & billy the kid 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
the bling ring, only god forgives @ new beverly
abstraction reaction 2:00 3:30 5:00 PM @ machine
suspension of disbelief (for the love of frater perdurabo & k.a.) 8 PM @ machine

sun. nov. 3

sea lions (as the television personalities), heathers (as the wedding present) @ john peel nite @ echo
this life of mine 7 PM, shangrao concentration camp @ ucla film archive
bruce baillie: two nights of 16mm treasures 7 PM @ redcat
berlin alexanderplatz (marathon) day two 1 PM-10:30 PM @ goethe-institut
art on screen: a conversation with agnes varda FREE (RSVP) 2 PM @ getty center
the visitor 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater
pat garrett & billy the kid @ silent movie theater
the bling ring, only god forgives @ new beverly
let the fire burn 4 PM @ arena cinema

mon. nov. 4

the captain hates the sea @ ucla film archive
bruce baillie: two nights of 16mm treasures 8:30 PM @ redcat

thu. nov. 7

afi fest
servants' entrance FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges
mazzy star @ wiltern

fri. nov. 8

crocodiles @ echo
afi fest
my man godfrey, the half naked truth @ ucla film archive

sat. nov. 9

indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark 7 PM @ electric dusk drive-in
afi fest
the lodger FREE (RSVP) 3 PM @ getty center
foreign correspondent FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ getty center

sun. nov. 10

afi fest
the east is red 7 PM, red detachment of women @ ucla film archive
rear window FREE (RSVP) 3 PM @ getty center
inequality for all 4 PM @ the edye @ the broad stage

mon. nov. 11

experimental documentaries FREE 6 PM @ documental @ unurban
afi fest
bed @ the smell
empire: the unintended consequences of dutch colonialism 8:30 PM @ redcat

tue. nov. 12

afi fest
morton subotnick (8:30) @ redcat

wed. nov. 13

quasi, blues control @ echo
afi fest

thu. nov. 14

chris ware: writing the graphic landscape FREE @ fowler museum
afi fest
thee oh sees @ center for the arts eagle rock
audacity @ pehrspace
meg baird @ echo

fri. nov. 15

labyrinth MIDNIGHT @ nuart
thee oh sees (under 21 only unless accompanied by a minor) @ center for the arts eagle rock
yellow earth, red sorghum @ ucla film archive

sat. nov. 16

the young girls of rochefort @ ucla film archive
sempelfest (noon-midnight) @ goethe-institut

sun. nov. 17

so's your old man 7 PM, running wild @ ucla film archive

mon. nov. 18

rakhshan banietemad: the hidden cost of violence 8:30 PM @ redcat

wed. nov. 20

eraserhead FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark

thu. nov. 21

subversive cinema experimental animation films FREE 7 PM @ subversive cinema @ the talking stick
jonathan lethem & raymond pettibon FREE @ hammer conversations @ hammer

fri. nov. 22

oldboy MIDNIGHT @ nuart
the arch, china behind @ ucla film archive
jon brion @ largo

sat. nov. 23

the breakfast club 6 PM, back to the future part ii @ electric dusk drive-in

sun. nov. 24

pop art films FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque
nightmare alley 7 PM @ ucla film archive

mon. nov. 25

the real and the hyper-real: films and videos by scott stark 8:30 PM @ redcat

tue. nov. 26

bunny lake is missing 1 PM @ lacma

sat. nov. 30

three stooges big screen event 2:00 8:00 PM @ alex theatre

mon. dec. 2

corners, dirt dress, froth FREE (RSVP) @ bootleg

thu. dec. 5

jonathan richman @ the mint
the private affairs of bel ami FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges

fri. dec. 6

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair
wong fei-hung: the whip that smacks the candle, the story of a discharged prisoner @ ucla film archive

sat. dec. 7

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair

sun. dec. 8

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair
a city of sadness 7 PM @ ucla film archive

mon. dec. 9

pxl this festival FREE 7:00 9:00 PM @ documental @ unurban
cosmonauts, froth FREE (RSVP) @ bootleg
nicolas rey: autrement la molussie (differently molussia) 8:30 PM @ redcat

wed. dec. 11

gremlins 8 PM @ arclight hollywood

fri. dec. 13

comrades: almost a love story, in the mood for love @ ucla film archive

sat. dec. 14

die hard 7 PM @ electric dusk drive-in
new restorations and discoveries from center for visual music @ ucla film archive

mon. dec. 16

drinking flowers, mystic braves, froth FREE (RSVP) @ bootleg
a christmas story 8 PM @ arclight pasadena

tue. dec. 17

a christmas story 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks

wed. dec. 18

the age of consent, bed of roses @ ucla film archive

thu. dec. 19

metaphor as memory FREE @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque
die hard 8 PM @ arclight pasadena

fri. dec. 20

jon brion @ largo

sun. dec. 22

gospel music films FREE @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque

sun. jan. 5

moonbeams @ part time punks @ the echo


An intriguing blend of 70's "blaxploitation" and Exorcist clone, William Girdler's Abby is an effective and chilling film that incorporates elements of ancient African spiritualism into the conventions of the demon-possession genre. The story begins in Nigeria, where Professor Williams (Blacula's William Marshall) discovers a suggestive-looking fetish artifact in a cave once used by members of the sinister cult of "Eshu." When the relic is opened, it releases a foul-tempered Eshu demon which quickly kills several people and pursues Williams all the way back to America, where it soon enters the home of the professor's son Reverend Emmett (Terry Carter) and takes possession of the Reverend's proper and lovely wife Abby (Carol Speed). Emmett first begins to suspect something is amiss when Abby attempts suicide during a church picnic, but only after she begins vomiting in church and tormenting his congregation does he realize that her condition may not be mere insanity, and he consults his father for help... Although Warner Brothers sought legal action against this film for its similarities to The Exorcist, this is no more of a rip-off than countless Italian variations on the formula, and its strong use of African religious traditions gives it a strength lacking in many low-budget blaxploitation films of the era. Dir. William Girdler, 1974, 16mm, 89 min.

After Lucia
Since Roberto lost his wife, he has strayed his attention from his fifteen year old daughter, Alejandra. Drowned in depression he decides to move to Mexico City. At the new school, Alejandra will bear in silence emotional abuse and countless humiliations in order to keep problems away from home. Father and daughter are distancing themselves from each other more and more, while violence keeps showing up in every aspect of their lives.  Written/Directed/Produced by Michel Franco. Followed by a Q&A with Michel Franco

Agnès Varda From Here to There: Episode One
2011, 51 minutes, color, digital | Written and directed by Agnès Varda
Also screening tonight, the debut episode of Varda’s 2011 television series Agnès Varda From Here to There, a five-part program on the filmmaker’s recent travels across the globe, the different people she encounters, and the marvelous array of works of art she discovers. The first episode finds Varda visiting Chris Marker in his atelier, travelling to Nantes with Anouk Aimee and Michel Piccoli to celebrate the career of Jacques Demy, and handing over her camera to cinema’s great elder statesman, the 100-plus-year-old Manoel de Oliveira in rainy Porto. In person: Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda From Here to There: Episodes 3 and 4
2011, 90 minuste, color, digital
Written and directed by Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda’s most recent film work is the five-episode, globe-spanning  2011 television series Agnès Varda From Here to There.
In episode three, Varda visits the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, presents one of her cabanes de Cinéma at Art Basel, and explores the work and relationship of contemporary artists Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager.
Episode four traces Varda as she revisits the seaside town of Sète—the site of La Pointe courte, her 1955 filmmaking debut—and interviews some of its residents such as the net-making Calli brothers and lyrical abstractionist painter Pierre Soulages. Varda also travels to the Lyon Biennale, where she exhibits one of her art pieces and revisits artist Michel Jeannès, whose work revolves around a most innocuous and commonplace object: the button.  In person: Agnès Varda 

2013, 80 min, USA, Dir: Joe Begos
With key events set in the 1980s, the feature debut of director Joe Begos recalls some of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg’s best work from that decade. Years after he vanished in a flash of light, Mark (Josh Ethier) returns to his Maine hometown – but old friend Seth (Graham Skipper) suspects the mysterious absence has turned him into a killer. Discussion following with director Joe Begos. 

Mark Toscano presents a rare 16mm screening of Canadian experimental filmmaker David Rimmer’s riveting, unsurpassed portrait of an utterly unique musical and cultural genius, the avant-garde pianist and poet Al Neil. Al Neil / A Portrait is more than a documentary profile of a man engaged in a life and death struggle with his genius and his obsessions. And while the narrative thread is centered around pathos, the film represents a coming-to-terms with what these generalizations really mean ... The many personas of Al Neil: the private, intoxicated and poetic man; the public performer and musician; and the family outcast. Rimmer's integration of these levels is masterful.” (Al Razutis) Program will include other short films to be determined. 

1982, Orion Pictures, 104 min. Dir. Damiano Damiani.
This hit prequel to THE AMITYVILLE HORROR was loosely inspired by a real-life mass murder that took place in the Long Island town in 1974. The Montelli family’s dream home turns out to be a nightmare - built on an Indian burial ground, an evil spirit resides in the house, and eventually takes possession of oldest boy Sonny. Scarier than the original, with Burt Young’s (of ROCKY fame) turn as the family’s abusive father and Lalo Schifrin’s soundtrack ratcheting up the tension. 

In the familiar-seeming, yet exotic locale of Spain's Catalonia region, awkward teen Pol attends an international school, and does what any emotionally-stunted youth would do: he hangs out with his imaginary best friend, a stuffed teddy bear with an ominous voice like a MacBook's speech function from hell. Oh, and he jams on guitar in his basement while the bear kicks ass on drums. As creepy real-world things like a local girl's death, a seductive new exchange student and outbursts of school violence all intrude on Pol's carefully calibrated world, things start to get really unhinged. Switching back and forth between English and Catalan -- and vacillating wildly between the "dream" reality, the "real" reality and a real-ish inbetween - Animals is a crystalline distillation of the dread naturally arising from our Millennial generation's impending adulthood.
Dir. Marçal Forés, 2012, digital presentation, 94 min. 

The Arch (Hong Kong, 1970)
Directed by Cecile Tang Shu Shuen
The incomparably original Cecile Tang, one of the few female filmmakers working in Hong Kong in the ‘60s and ‘70s, made two of the most interesting and important films of the era with her debut The Arch and its follow-up China Behind.  A profound character study that feels like a hybrid of Kenji Mizoguchi's tales of female sacrifice, the tragic romances of Chinese costume drama and the interruptive techniques of the French New Wave, The Arch focuses on a wealthy widow (Lisa Lu) in the early Qing dynasty on the eve of her crowning achievement, the erection of a triumphal arch in honor of her many good works.  When a young and handsome cavalry officer is billeted at her palatial house and soon begins to court both the matriarch and her immature daughter, the widow is forced to choose between her own happiness and her daughter's well-being.  Shot in soft, luminous black and white by Satyajit Ray's longtime cinematographer Subrata Mitra, The Arch is "one of the most significant art-house classics in [Hong Kong] film if Alain Resnais met Henrik Ibsen in seventeenth-century China" (Edmund Lee, Time Out Hong Kong).
Cathay Asia Films, Film Dynasty.  Producer/Screenwriter: Cecile Tang Shu Shuen.  Cinematographer: Subrata Mitra.  Editor: Les Blank, C.C. See.  Cast: Lisa Lu, Roy Chiao Hung, Hilda Chou Hsuan, Li Ying, Wen Hsui. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 95 min. 

Au Nom du Christ (In the Name of Christ)
Roger Gnoan M’Bala (Côte d’Ivoire, 1993)
Director Roger Gnoan M’Bala’s 1993 agile and dense social satire defines its target–the role that organized faith plays for many–with a single and devastatingly simple line of dialogue that slams into the heart of the bull’s eye: “I want a religion that makes the insane rational.” Au Nom du Christ questions all kinds of authority in the story of Magliore, the pig farmer turned miracle man. Magliore’s claims that he is a cousin of Christ aren’t the obvious ravings of a madman–it brings to mind Peter O’Toole’s complete immersion into such a state in The Ruling Class; this depiction makes M’Bala’s ruthless derision of the tradition of following a charismatic–for all religions–all the more memorable and scabrous. – Elvis Mitchell. Written by M’Bala, Jean-Marie Adiaffi, Bertin Akaffou. With Albert Ayatollah, Akissi Delta, Pierre Gondo (85 min)

2011, Sideshow Releasing, 90 min, USA, Dir: Ramin Niami
For more than half a century, the center of the blues in Los Angeles was Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn, a small South Central club whose stage was graced by stars and hopefuls alike. Before the storied venue closed its doors in 2010, filmmaker Ramin Niami brought his cameras in to capture stunning performances and interviews from the likes of Guitar Shorty, Barbara Morrison, Keb’ Mo’ and songwriting great Mike Stoller. This lively documentary pays loving tribute to the Inn’s late founder, Mississippi-born “Mama Laura” Mae Gross, a tireless champion of the blues and mentor to countless musicians. Discussion after the film with director Ramin Niami, with a post-screening reception and performance to follow off-site.

One of the most visionary filmmakers in contemporary cinema, Claire Denis (Beau travail, Trouble Every Day, White Material) returns with this dazzling, labyrinthine story of sex, murder, and revenge. 
Claire Denis' films live in the ambiguous intersections of misunderstood intentions and actions. Elision, the elliptical, the half-comprehended motivation, the incomplete gesture — these are the elements from which she spins her mesmerizing portraits of people and situations. For more than two decades, she has continued to shape the world, and the images she captures there, to her distinctive and singular vision of cinema.
Les Salauds is full of striking imagery, right from its first shots of a young woman walking, naked, through the dim streets of Paris. The "why" is immediately invoked, and it is not long before we are locked in a labyrinthine plot of family and business, betrayal and vengeance. The head of a family business is dead, and evidence suggests that a malevolent tycoon is responsible. Into this fractured world comes the dead man's brother-in-law, who quits his job as a sailor on an oil tanker so he can get to the bottom of what has transpired. Marco would rather not get involved — he'd prefer to remain apart from everything — but despite his vacillating, he finds himself slowly dragged in, deeper and deeper. He also carries his own secret into the story.
Denis is a master of working amidst narrative uncertainties that mirror the confusions and hesitancies of her cast of characters. The canvas of Les Salauds is dark and troubling; unsavoury sexual desires mingle with stories of drugs, abuse, and mutilation. This is a revenge story with many twists and turns. Ably supported by Agnès Godard's evocative camerawork and the eerie music of Stuart A. Staples and Tindersticks, Denis turns Les Salauds into a dazzling puzzle of a film. —Toronto International Film Festival.  Director: Claire Denis.  Writer: Jean-Pol Fargeau, Claire Denis. Stars:  Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Julie Bataille, Michael Subor, and Lola Créton. DCP/ 100 mins. FRANCE / COLOR / 2013 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES 

Opening with a series of flamboyant tracking shots, director Roland West soon enough settles down to the usual "Old House" shenanigans of sliding panels, mysterious bumps in the night, crawling hands, thunder and lightning, etc. An official remake of the 1926 The Bat (which was itself based on an Avery Hopwood play), The Bat Whispers owed just as much to The Cat and the Canary (1927), the true grand-daddy of all haunted house mysteries. After taunting the New York City police a final time, the notorious criminal "The Bat" announces his retirement to the country. Meanwhile, in said country wealthy spinster Cornelia Van Gorder (Grayce Hampton) is leasing the Courtleigh Fleming estate. The news of "The Bat" and the simultaneous disappearance of cashier Brooks Bailey (William Bakewell) shortly after a robbery at the Fleming bank set in motion a series of troubling events -- troubling especially for Miss Van Gorder's eternally frightened maid Lizzie (Maude Eburne). The missing Brooks Bailey shows up soon enough courtesy of Van Gorder's pretty niece Dale (Una Merkel), who persuades the young man to impersonate a gardener -- a disguise that fools no one. There is a mysterious doctor who speaks with an accent (Gustav von Seyffertitz); an equally alarming caretaker (Spencer Charters); a piece of missing blueprint that leads to a secret room; and, of course, "The Bat," who appears to be prowling the estate as well. Enter into all this Detective Anderson (Chester Morris), who in his unique gritty way gets to the bottom of things. Cartoonist Bob Kane reportedly had this film in mind when he nine years later created his eternally popular comic-strip hero Batman. A sadly neglected craftsman, Roland West directed only 11 films before he retired at the age of 44. West (who also directed the 1926 The Bat co-starring his then-wife Jewel Carmen as the imperiled niece) left films to run a Santa Monica café with girlfriend Thelma Todd. He was questioned by the authorities but was apparently never a suspect in Todd's mysterious death in December of 1935.  Dir. Roland West, 1 hr. 22 min, 1930.

The Beaches of Agnès
2008, 110 minutes, color, 35mm | Written and directed by Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda’s feature follow up to The Gleaners and I finds her foraging through her own 50-plus-year filmography to create a kaleidoscopic memoir. Varda revisits her youth in Belgium, adolescence in the ancient fishing village of Sète, early forays in photography, her marriage to director Jacques Demy, and her own prolific filmmaking career. Along the way, she employs the marvels of cinema—not to mention some of its greatest stars who over the years have appeared in her films such as Catherine Deneuve, Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Harrison Ford, and Jane Birkin—to mesh reality and dream, the past and present, longing and mirth, and the personal and political.
In a single film, Varda seems to encompass her entire life’s work including her recent transition to installation pieces. The Beaches of Agnès achieves an intriguing blend of mischievousness and poignancy, cementing Varda’s place as cinema’s poet laureate of the lyrical in the everyday, the majestic in the fortuitous. In person: Agnès Varda 

Bed of Roses (1933)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Constance Bennett burns up the pre-Code screen as Lorry, a prostitute back on the make after a jail stint with her eyes on a wealthy publisher and a plan to blackmail her way to easy street.  Mucking up the works is Joel McCrea’s barge captain who crosses Lorry’s path and who she can’t get off her mind.  Packed with snappy lines -- some of the best delivered by Pert Kelton as Lorry’s hard-boiled friend--Bed of Roses is director Gregory La Cava’s steamiest work.
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Producer: Merian C. Cooper.  Screenwriter: Wanda Tuchock, G. La Cava, Eugene Thackrey.  Cinematographer: Charles Rosher.  Editor: Basil Wrangell.  Cast: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, John Halliday, Pert Kelton, Samuel Hinds. 16mm, b/w, 67 min. 

Produced by Bert I. Gordon, The Beginning of the End is a menacing onslaught of giant-sized grasshoppers. Department of Agriculture functionary Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) and photojournalist Audrey Aimes (Peggie Castle) discover that the huge grasshoppers are the product of a experiment in radioactivity gone awry. Before the Army can neutralize the green monstrosities, Chicago has been besieged by the ravenous insects.  Dir. Bert I. Gordon, 1957, 1 hr. 13 mins. Program includes 2 features, a Three Stooges short, a cartoon, and a prize raffle (prize raffle on Sunday evening only.)  Director Bert I. Gordon is scheduled to appear IN PERSON before the 7:30 screening on Sunday!

Before the Revolution
During the 1960s and ‘70s thousands of Israelis lived in Tehran, enjoying a special relationship with the Shah. Protected by large arms deals and complex financial ties, the Israeli community failed to note that the despised ruling power to which they are connected was collapsing. Employing archival footage and interviews, what starts as a nostalgic look at a lost era becomes a thrilling story where huge dreams are shattered in a dark reality of greed, blindness and lust for power. (2013, Dir. D. Shadur, 60 min.) A Q&A with director Dan Shadur follows the screening.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s "Berlin Alexanderplatz" is a masterpiece of late 20th century cinema and many consider it to be his vision of humanity.
In his New York Times film review in the summer of 1983, shortly before the films New York premiere, American film critic Vincent Canby described the film as such ”The New York theatrical premiere of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's ''Berlin Alexanderplatz,'' the late German director's masterly, 15 1/2-hour television adaptation of Alfred Döblin's epic 1929 novel of postwar Berlin, stands to become one of the year's most important cinema events.
Its importance goes far beyond the Fassbinder career, though we must now reevaluate that career in light of ''Berlin Alexanderplatz,'' a 1980 work that has the effect of being the coda we did not see in Fassbinder's final film, the lamentable ''Querelle.'' 
Berlin Alexanderplatz is the adaptation of a book which, according to Fassbinder, is ingrained in his very spirit, his flesh, his body and soul.
Originally produced for German television in 1979/1980 and broadcast as a mini-series, the film epic has been fully digitally remastered.
The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles will present Fassbinder’s near 900 minute epic in its entirety over the course of a two day marathon!  

The Big Road (China, 1935)
Directed by Sun Yu
A big-hearted classic of the 1930s progressive film movement, The Big Road (also known as The Highway) chronicles the efforts of six young, patriotic and unemployed city men building a highway to aid the anti-Japanese war effort.  Among the many major achievements of Second Generation master Sun Yu, the film is also an early and mesmerizing experiment in sound design: as Paul Clark explains, "the silence of the film is broken by songs, particularly the road-making songs, which the workers sing together, and by a curious device, a series of percussion sounds, when one of the four men playfully taps the nose, chest and forehead of a gang comrade."  (This unabashed physical intimacy extends to a surprising nude bathing scene with the men, following some fairly raw talk from two women who are following the road crew's progress.)  Wearing its patriotism on its sleeve, The Big Road emphasizes the necessity of presenting a united front against the Japanese invaders; the only real villain is a Chinese collaborator who kidnaps two of the men to impede the highway's progress.  The film's insistence on identifying class enemies reveals a darker side of this otherwise effusive and joyous work.
Lianhua Film Company.  Producer: Lu Hang-zhang.  Screenwriter: Sun Yu.  Cinematographer: Hong Weilei.  Cast: Chen Yanyan, Zheng Junli, Li Lili, Liu Qiong, Jin Yan.  35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 104 min.

The Black Radical Imagination
Presented following a recent U.S. tour and an installation in Basel, Switzerland, The Black Radical Imagination is a visually rich collection of shorts—from video art to experimental and narrative films—inspired by a futurist aesthetic that explores issues of identity in our postmodern society. The program features Golden Chain (2013) by Adebukola Bodunrin and Ezra Clayton Daniels; Afronauts (2013) by Cristina De Middel; Mae’s Journal (2013) by Amir George; Quiescence Interrupted... Adumbrate (2013) by Anansi Knowbody; Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful (2012) by CalArts alumnus Akosua Adoma Owusu; Reifying Desire 2 (2012) by Jacolby Satterwhite; and The Changing Same (1998) by Cauleen Smith, whose experimental work was presented at REDCAT last spring. In addition, Pumzi (2009) by Wanuri Kahiu is screened as part of the evening. In person: Amir George and Erin Christovale

Blue is the Warmest Color
Blue is the Warmest Color centers on a 15-year-old girl named Adèle who is approaching adulthood and dreams of experiencing her first love. A handsome male classmate falls hard for her, but an unsettling erotic reverie upsets the romance before it begins. Adèle imagines that the mysterious, blue-haired girl she encountered in the street slips into her bed and possesses her with overwhelming pleasure. That blue-haired girl is a confident older art student named Emma, who will soon enter Adèle's life for real, making way for an intense and complicated love story that spans a decade and is touchingly universal in its depiction. Running time: 179 minutes. In French, with English subtitles. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche

2013, Metrodome Distribution, 90 min, UK, Dir: Elliot Goldner
An English priest believes miracles are occurring at his rural church; in response, the Vatican sends Deacon (Gordon Kennedy) and Gray (Robin Hill) to investigate. Setting up cameras to record any unusual activity, the men approach their task with skepticism, only to discover the church hides some ancient mysteries. Writer-director Elliot Goldner’s feature debut is an auspicious one, giving an unusually strong emphasis to character development for a found-footage film without skimping on the screams. “THE BORDERLANDS is scary, unnerving and you're never quite sure where the movie is heading." -

Borom Sarret
Senegal, 1963, 20 minutes
Written and directed by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Ly Abdoulay and Albourah
Fifty years ago, writer-director Ousmane Sembène made history with his 1963 filmmaking debut, the first film directed by an African to focus on his own people. Bringing his own politics into the mix, and poking at the institutional inertia that made life for a black African so difficult, Borom Sarret is both a social statement and an extremely personal story of its title character struggling to make a living with his streetcar. As he goes about using his cart for business, he almost always goes unpaid; he’s treated as he should pursue his work with the cart as something that deserves no payment. Sembène subtly deals with the continual subjugation here, and how and where a stand should be taken, launching his career with the theme that ran through his films forever after.

Noted character actor L.Q. Jones (who would later direct the cult classic A Boy and His Dog) produced this low-budget horror item about a small Southwestern town torn asunder by the mysterious disappearances of several of its children. Jones plays the town sheriff, who joins forces with some of the locals to find the perpetrators and uncovers a diabolical plot concocted by a coven of elderly devil-worshippers who plan to use the children's bodies as receptacles for their own souls, enabling them to live again in younger bodies. Dir. Bernard McEveety, 1971, 35mm, 92 min. (Archival print courtesy of Sony Pictures Repertory)

“One-year journey through the land of incessant progress, researching those sources which have given rise twenty years later to the essential question of survival.” — B.B. on Quixote (1965).
Regarded as the father of the '60s West Coast experimental/lyrical film movement and co-founder of Canyon Cinema, Bruce Baillie's virtuoso command of the 16mm film medium has introduced generations of viewers to the wider possibilities of a cinema that is both intensely personal and socially conscious.  In anticipation of Baillie's upcoming in-person appearances at the REDCAT (November 3 and 4), and part of a three program retrospective, UCLA Film & Television Archive will present three early masterworks: his rarely-screened and haunting first film, On Sundays (1961), the landscape meditation To Parsifal (1963) and Quixote (1965), Baillie's sumptuously layered, epic road poem on mid-century America and Americana, and others. Curated by Steve Anker and Timoleon Wilkins. 
* On Sundays (1961), 16mm, b/w, sound, 27.5 min. 
* To Parsifal (1963), 16mm, color, sound, 16 min.
* Quixote (1965), 16mm, color & b/w, sound, 45 min.

Bruce Baillie: Two Nights of 16mm Treasures
Bruce Baillie is one of the great figures in American avant-garde filmmaking. Since 1960, he has produced a body of films unsurpassed for their lyrical sensuality, expressive honesty and formal inventiveness. An artist and film visionary, Baillie founded Canyon Cinema in collaboration with Chick Strand in 1961, and influenced generations of filmmakers and experimental artists, ranging from George Lucas to Jennifer Reeves to Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Two nights of rarely projected, beautiful 16mm films celebrate Baillie’s artistry with vintage prints and the premiere of a previously unreleased work. Sunday’s screening features Here I Am (1962), Tung (1966), All My Life (1966), Castro Street (1966), Valentin de las Sierras (1968), Little Girl (1966, premiere, preserved by the Academy Film Archive), and others. Monday’s program includes Quick Billy (1970, 60 min.), an ode to both Eastern philosophy and “horse operas,” plus other rare, later films. In Person: Bruce Baillie

Burden of Dreams
For her new work "Believing Is Seeing," artist Nicole Miller, commissioned by the museum as part of the Redlands Art + Film Lab, uses oral histories provided by members of the community as a departure point. This series explores unique perspectives from Redlands through stories "that residents feel deserve to be told." Drop in anytime between 12:30 to 2:30 pm to discover this new project.  To screen after her work, Miller selects Burden of Dreams, a documentary about the making of Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo.  Burden of Dreams follows Herzog as he risks his life, battles self-doubt, and suffers a near breakdown in order to bring his cinematic vision to life.
Believing Is Seeing (2013, 14 minutes, looping from 12:30–2:30 pm). Artist: Nicole Miller |  Burden of Dreams (1982, 95 minutes, 2:30–4 pm). Director: Les Blank

Caméra d’Afrique
Tunisia, 1983, 95 minutes
Written and directed by Férid Boughedir
Director Férid Boughedir’s first documentary is this 1984 survey that encompasses 20 years of African filmmaking. Boughedir’s film takes the viewer from 1960s through to the 1980s, and he shows a distinctive eye as well as an artistic perspective. Caméra d’Afrique starts with seminal works that are considered most influential, such as Ousmane Sembène’s 1963 film Borom Sarret, and moves all the way through to Souleymane Cissé’s 1983 political coming-of-age drama, Finyé. By covering a large number of films from the entire continent, Boughedir is able to follow the shift in subject matter from colonial threat to smaller-scale stories that still contain epic emotional range. Just as crucially, Caméra d’Afrique profiles filmmakers who speak about issues such as dwindling sources of financial and state support for African directors—in that respect, Boughedir introduced a topic that still resonates for filmmakers and gives his documentary contemporary currency. 

Directed by Lewis Milestone
The Grand Hotel formula is given a welcome, sardonic twist in this unusual comedy-drama, adapted by Wallace Smith from his novel of the same title and directed by Lewis Milestone with a loving eye for the rhythms of shipboard life.  The Captain Hates the Sea is in many was a typical Columbia “A” production from the period just before the studio’s breakthrough to major rank.  Unable to complete with studios like Paramount and MGM in star power or lavish production values, Columbia under its hard-nosed production chief Harry Cohn concentrated on well-crafted scripts, competent players, and sets that stressed realism over glamorous make-believe.  (Many scenes in The Captain Hates the Sea were obviously shot on board a real ship.)  Columbia could not match the all-star cast that MGM lavished on Grand Hotel, but Milestone drew superb performances from Hollywood’s better character actors.  Walter Connolly has the title role of the bored captain whose ship cruises regularly between Los Angeles and New York by way of the Panama Canal.  This voyage out, Connolly’s passengers and crew include a jaunty cop-turned-private eye (Victor McLaglen), a beautiful woman with a past (Wynne Gibson), a determinedly merry widow (Alison Skipworth), an alcoholic screenwriter (John Gilbert), a prim librarian who is not quite what she seems (Helen Vinson), a suave bond thief (Fred Keating), the ship’s obliging bartender (Walter Catlett).  Even The Three Stooges perform creditably in smaller roles.
Cohn and Milestone quarreled over the casting of Gilbert.  The former silent star, his career in precipitous decline, had become a notorious real-life alcoholic, and Cohn was reluctant to approve him for a role that might be seen as exploitative of his illness and also encourage a production-delaying binge.  As it happened, the cast included several other notable tipplers, including Connolly, McLaglen, Leon Errol and Catlett.  Location shooting off Catalina Island dragged on for days as Milestone struggled to keep his players sober long enough to complete the picture.  Cohn’s frustration as he watched the film soar over budget occasioned one of the most often quoted telegram exchanges in Hollywood history.  “Hurry up,” Cohn wired.  “The costs are staggering.”  To which Milestone wired back, “So is the cast.”
The role of Steve Bramley, a knowing former newspaperman, was a departure for Gilbert, who had specialized in ultra-romantic costume roles.  Bramley’s well-tailored lounge suits flattered Gilbert’s thin frame, while his slicked-down hair and trim mustache suggested a resemblance to William Powell in his Thin Man roles.  Even Gilbert’s tenor voice, which made audiences laugh when he tried to impersonate a European nobleman, sounded right coming from a discouraged hack screenwriter.  His sensitive portrayal might have led to a new career, but it came too late.  The Captain Hates the Sea was Gilbert’s last film.  He died of a heart attack two years late at the age of 41.
---Charles Hopkins
Columbia.  Producer: Samuel J. Briskin. Screenwriter: Wallace Smith, based on his novel.  Cinematographer: Joseph August.  Editor: Gene Milford.  Cast: Victor McLaglen, Wynne Gibson, Alison Skipworth, John Gilbert, Helen Vinson. 35mm, b/w, 93 min.

1977, Universal, 98 min. Dir. Elliott Silverstein.
Wildly-deranged shocker about a mysterious black car given to mowing down anyone in its path. It soon dawns on desert town sheriff James Brolin that the homicidal car has no driver and may, in fact, be a satanic entity! One of our favorite guilty pleasures from the 1970s. With John Marley, Ronny Cox, R.G. Armstrong.

Over human history, we’ve experienced mysteries as a collective whole that we’ve never been able to solve: Is there anything faster than the speed of light? How they did really build the Pyramids? What’s the cure for the common cold? Who the fuck is the guy who made “Black Devil Doll From Hell”, and why did he do it?! One of the greatest cinematic enigmas of the last 100 years has finally been revealed: Chester Turner, the Chicago filmmaker behind the deadly duo of shot-on-video horror milestone Black Devil Doll... and its follow-up Tales From The Quadead Zone, is alive and well and living in Illinois! And, he’s coming to the Cinefamily in person to answer your burning questions about — well, pretty much everything.  Screening includes Black Devil Doll From Hell and Tales From The Quadead Zone.

China Behind (Hong Kong, 1974)
Directed by Cecile Tang Shu Shuen
Highly influenced by the French New Wave and presaging many aspects of the Hong Kong New Wave to come, the films of Cecile Tang stand apart from the kung-fu and Chinese opera films that dominated ‘70s Hong Kong cinema.  One of the most exciting discoveries of this series, Tong's second film China Behind---banned for over a decade by the Hong Kong government, on the grounds that it would "damage good relations with other territories"---follows a group of Mainlanders as they desperately try to flee from a China in thrall to the Cultural Revolution.  Narrowly escaping capture as they set out, the fugitives are willing to do anything---including a long, death-defying swim---to reach freedom.  But what they find when they reach the haven of Hong Kong is a far cry from their dreams of liberty; the final passages of the film are a damning and powerful indictment of both the socialist and free-market "utopias" that defined the ideological landscape of the century just past.  "One of the earliest films to deal with the clash of Communist and capitalist ideals that would inevitably manifest itself with the 1997 handover[;] the moral degradation and spiritual disenchantment of its characters reveal the dehumanizing effects felt [on] both sides of the border" (Edmund Lee, Time Out Hong Kong).
Film Dynasty.  Producer/Screenwriter: Cecile Tang Shu Shuen.  Cinematographer: Chang Chao-tang.  Editor: Song I-shun.  Cast: Tseng Chi-lu, Shao Hsiao-ling, Feng Pao-yen, Pan Yung-min, Chin Yung-hsiang. 35mm, color, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 89 min.

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
By the late 1980s, director Hou Hsiao-hsien had become recognized internationally for his signature filmmaking style---consisting of spare dialogue, long, lingering shots, extraordinarily precise compositions and a remarkable use of deep focus---and his highly specific but universally resonant stories of intergenerational conflict and change.  With A City of Sadness, Hou takes on a far broader historical canvas: the period of the "White Terror" between 1945 and 1950, when Taiwan became host to the Nationalist Chinese government-in-exile as they fled from their defeat at the hands of Mao's Communists---an era of political repression that reached its brutal culmination in the "February 28 Incident," the 1947 massacre of thousands of Taiwanese civilians by Nationalist soldiers.  Focusing on four brothers, each of whom represents a different response by the Taiwanese to the Nationalist government---with particular emphasis on the gentle, deaf-mute Wen-ching, movingly played by Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung Chiu-wai---Hou keeps the famous historical events off-screen while showing the tragic ruptures they create within the microcosmic world of the family.  A Taiwanese mirror of the "scar films" then being made in a Mainland China just recovering from the Cultural Revolution, Hou's beautiful, tragic, and ineffably moving City is, "one of the supreme masterworks of the contemporary cinema" (Jonathan Rosenbaum).
3-H Films, Era International.  Producer: Ch’iu Fu-sheng.  Screenwriter: Chu T’ien-yen, Wu Nien-jen.  Cinematographer: Chen Hwai-en.  Editor: Liao Ch’ing-sung.  Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Li Tien-lu, Hsin Shu-fen, Kao Jai, Chen Sown-yung. 35mm, color, in Mandarin, Min Nan and Cantonese with English subtitles, 160 min.

1972, 110 min, India, Dir: Satyajit Ray
Based on a novel by Mani Shankar Mukherjee, this second installment in director Satyajit Ray’s “Calcutta trilogy” examines the challenges and compromises of life in a metropolis striving for modernity. Shyamal (Barun Chanda) is an executive on the rise at a British-owned fan company when his sister-in-law, Tutul (Sharmila Tagore), pays him a visit. His comfortable lifestyle looks attractive to her – until she learns what he does to maintain it. In Bengali with English subtitles.

Comrades: Almost a Love Story (Hong Kong, 1996)
Directed by Peter Chan
Made one year before the handover of Hong Kong to the Mainland, prolific Second Wave filmmaker Peter Chan’s tender, lyrical boy-meets-girl chronicle garnered nine prizes at the Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director and Best Actress.  Leaving his fiancée back home in Beijing, wide-eyed Xiao Jun (Leon Lai) arrives in Hong Kong from the Mainland in 1986 to pursue his dreams of making a comfortable life for his future family.  He soon meets the ambitious, shrewd and hard-working Li Qiao (Maggie Cheung), who turns out to be a fellow Mainlander.  The friendship between Xiao Jun and Li Qiao, made more intimate by their mutual physical dislocation and experience of urban isolation, quickly escalates into a heated love affair that spans a decade and the vast distance between two islands in transition---Hong Kong and New York City---as the couple separate and reconnect with each other in unexpected circumstances.  Its soundtrack filled with the warm and nostalgic songs of pan-Asian singing sensation Teresa Teng---whose tragically early passing during production inspired Chan to change the film’s Chinese title to that of one of her best known songs ("Tian Mi Mi")---Comrades is both a spellbinding romance and a scintillating snapshot of Hong Kong, capturing the megacity’s palpable anxiety and disorientation on the brink of profound historic change.
Golden Harvest Company, United Filmmakers Organization.  Producer: Raymond Chow, Eric Tsang.  Screenwriter: Ivy Ho.  Cinematographer: Jingle Ma.  Editor: Chan Ki-Hop, Kwang Chi-leung.  Cast: Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai, Eric Tsang, Irene Tsu, Christopher Doyle. 35mm, in Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles, 118 min.

The Corner: Ground Zero of Hollywood's Golden Age
Join Los Angeles historian Marc Chevalier for an illustrated "living history" presentation on "the Corner", the social nexus of Hollywood's movie industry throughout its golden age. Gone today and practically forgotten, the Corner's heart was the Sunset Medical Building, a marbled 1931 'chateau' on Sunset Boulevard that stretched from Laurel Avenue to Crescent Height Boulevard, next to the popular celebrity hideaway, The Garden of Allah.
A wild cast of characters and incidents fill the Corner's history to the brim. Meet America's notorious "international adventuress and love pirate"; visit a grocery market that was a perpetual movie star party (Robert Mitchum played stockboy there for fun); and step inside a unique little pharmacy that grew to be a Tinseltown legend: Schwab's.
At the Corner, Howard Hughes treated his girlfriends to makeovers by a Jane Russell lookalike; writer F. Scott Fitzgerald nearly died on its sidewalk, and mobster Mickey Cohen's pummeled employees behind its doors. It's the greatest place you've never heard of. Plus, a screening of Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD which famously used the Corner (and especially Schwab's) as a scene location!
Vintage drug store-style ice cream sodas will be available for purchase at intermission!

1915, 77 min, USA, Dir: Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince
Charles Ray became a major star following his sensitive portrayal of the pampered son of a proud colonel (Frank Keenan, grandfather of actor Keenan Wynn), who is forced to join Confederate troops on the Civil War. With live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Plus, a selection of great Thomas H. Ince and D.W. Griffith short films!

Featuring a print restored under the supervision of Kevin Brownlow with a stereo musical score composed by Carl Davis.
One of the most powerful and personal films of the American cinema, produced when silent film had reached its pinnacle of visual storytelling, “The Crowd” offers a stylized view of modern life through the eyes of a young New Yorker determined to fulfill his own imagined destiny despite the intervening foibles of everyday life. Romantic, timeless and heartbreaking, “The Crowd” dispels the stereotypes of the “limitations” of silent film on every level.
Starring Eleanor Boardman and James Murray. Produced and directed by King Vidor. Written by John V.A. Weaver and Vidor. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 35mm, silent, black-and-white, 98 min.

This low-key occult tale begins in upstate New York, where a young girl is accidentally run down by a jeep driven by an aloof, careless city slicker (J.J. Barry). This careless injustice provokes the girl's grandfather to summon his mystical powers and place a death curse on the young man. Desperate to stave off the dire consequences of the hex, Barry seeks the counsel of a local psychic medium, (Kim Hunter), but her powers are no match for the hand of fate. Dir. Martin Goldman, 1976, 35mm, 87 min.

A rare case where the monster is actually as awesome as the one depicted on its VHS cover art — in this case, one of the most amazing-looking, bombastic, cartoonified death machines ever from the Golden Era of Goresploitation. After crashing to earth in the middle of the night, a strange meteor disgorges an unseen, slimy man-chomping menace that swiftly and blithely takes out an entire neighborhood’s worth of unsuspecting rural New Jerseyites. One of those love letters to the horror genre like Phantasm, The Deadly Spawn’s sincerity and overwhelming desire to please the audience easily shines through, and the limited funds were wisely dumped almost entirely into the effects budget. Sporting rows of razor-sharp teeth and pulping everything in sight, the memorable creatures are a sure crowd pleaser every time they appear. Director Douglas McKeown also doesn’t spare the red stuff, doling out some wonderfully gruesome effects akin to something from E.C. Comics — and the third act is especially fun, as the film morphs into an alien version of Straw Dogs (albeit with a wholly different finale!) Dir. Douglas McKeown, 1983, 35mm, 78 min.

Insanely rare 16mm print, the only one in the entire world ever printed — plus, director George Barry’s daughter will be here to join us in person!
Just when you thought you’d seen it all — murderous houseplants, elevators, computers, even tomatoes — along comes Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Immortalized by comedian Patton Oswalt in one of his evocative on-stage comedic rants, this highly amusing bit of gothic surrealism takes place primarily within a stone crypt, where the only remaining piece of a demonic house sits in waiting for horny young thrillseekers to stumble upon it before digesting them whole. Though most obviously “horror” (with nods to familiar trappings like ghosts and flesh-eating), Death Bed also fits snugly within Seventies outré experimental conventions. In particular, director George Barry eschews rational plotting and dialogue exposition in favor of whimsical perversity along the lines of underground filmmaker James Broughton, whose memorable 1968 short The Bed must have been a strong influence. Never really released after its lengthy post-production, Death Bed languished in the vaults after American distribution plans went belly up and a possible British distributor took off with a pirated copy. Fortunately for horror fans, Death Bed has finally emerged from his resting place to gurgle its way into your black, black heart. Dir. George Barry, 1977, 16mm, 80 min.

1975, 106 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento
From the opening with a child slashing someone and a bloody knife dropping to the floor, we're plunged into an ever-deepening pool of repressed terrors. David Hemmings is a pianist sucked into an undertow of escalating homicide after he witnesses the murder of psychic Macha Meril. One of Argento's most justly-famous gialli, where something as simple as a lizard writhing on the floor could represent a child's wounded psyche, bound some day to erupt in spectacular fits of murder. The dark and distinctive keyboard-rich soundtrack - the first by prog rockers Goblin - was a major hit in Italy. With Daria Nicolodi.

2013, 81 min, Canada, Dir: Renaud Gauthier, Marie-Claire Lalonde
This retro homage to Italian giallo movies and '70s and '80s slasher flicks follows Duane Lewis, a New York fry cook driven mad by disco music. After he flips out and kills a woman in a club, Duane flees to Montreal - but he discovers that there's no getting away from the music that drives him insane, and before long he's on a grisly killing spree.

The East is Red (Mainland China, 1965)
Directed by Wang Ping
Though often thought of as the epitome of kitsch, model operas represent a key development in Chinese cinema's tradition of filmed performance, unique both for their extreme ideological rigidity and their mesmerizingly abstract design.  While the genre hit its peak during the second phase of the Cultural Revolution, when such films as Xie Tieli's Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy were the only films permitted in theaters, the form was developed over a number of years.  Made during the first stirrings of the Cultural Revolution, and in many ways setting the template for what was to come---not least in the ideological fervor of its hard-line director Wang Ping, one of the very rare women allowed behind the camera during the period---The East Is Red was the most lavish, and most important, of these earlier films; its title song became the unofficial national anthem, and the film itself remained a cornerstone of Mao's cult of personality until his death a decade later.  Retelling the history of the Chinese Communist Party, from its founding in 1921 to its victory over the Nationalists in 1949, as a grand musical pageant, The East Is Red is both breathtaking and discomfiting in its monumental design; the opening sequence, for example, with vast numbers of spectators entering the Great Hall of the People, eerily recalls the films of Leni Riefenstahl. 35mm, color, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 117 min.

Luis Buñuel and Gabriel Figueroa: A Surreal Alliance
1952, 85 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Luis Alcoriza and Luis Buñuel; directed by Luis Buñuel; with Arturo de Córdova, Delia Garcés, and Aurora Walker
Luis Buñuel’s blackest humor is evident in this urbane melodrama. Socially respected, god-fearing Francisco is plagued by dueling anxieties: an impending lawsuit and the assumed infidelities of his beautiful new wife. A foot fetishist with a short fuse, he slowly comes apart at the seams as his jealousy overtakes his reason.  A confrontation in a quiet bell-tower also presages a similar encounter five years later in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. French film historian George Sadoul likened the film to de Sade, while psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan often screened it to his students as an exemplary portrait of paranoia. 
Set in a Mexico, where the rustic past rubs against the glistening present, where every interior is an art-deco wonder and a honeymoon to Guanajuato offers stunning vistas, Él foreshadows the suave surrealism of Buñuel’s second European period. With obvious lifts from his own anarchic L’Age d’Or, Él is an entrancing descent into madness rendered sumptuous by Gabriel Figueroa’s glistening cinematography.

Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism
Having travelled 140,000 kilometers through Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas to film this award-winning documentary, and fresh from the New York Film Festival, transatlantic artist duo Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill invite audiences into the sensory overload of Empire’s interactive digital adaptations, consisting of a series of overlapping vignettes designed for an immersive experience. Focusing on minute details and underrepresented populations, Empire reveals the gaps, lapses and contradictions of a sprawling colonial history which lasted from the 17th to the 20th century, and stretched from the Cape of Good Hope to the Indonesian archipelago, from New York City to South America’s Wild Coast. In person: Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill

Based on a true story, Endangered Species stars Robert Urich and JoBeth Williams. Urich plays vacationing ex-cop Ruben Castle, while Williams portrays Harriet Purdue, a small-town sheriff. Intrigued by Purdue's investigation of a rash of cattle mutilations, Castle begins following the evidence trail himself... Dir. Alan Rudolph, 1982, 16mm, 97 min. (Archival print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive)

Escape from Tomorrow
An epic battle begins when a middle-aged American husband and father of two learns that he has lost his job. Keeping the news from his nagging wife and wound-up children, he packs up the family and embarks on a full day of park hopping amid enchanted castles and fairytale princesses. Soon, the manufactured mirth of the fantasy land around him begins to haunt his subconscious. An idyllic family vacation quickly unravels into a surrealist and darkly comic nightmare of paranoid visions, bizarre encounters, and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy Parisian teenagers. Chillingly shot in black and white, ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW dissects the mythology of artificial perfection while subversively attacking our culture's obsession with mass entertainment. Running time: 90 minutes.  Written & Directed by Randy Moore. Produced/Edited by Soojin Chung. Followed by a Q&A with guests from the film, TBA

Et la Neige n’Etait Plus (And the Snow Was No Longer)
Ababacar Samb-Makharam (Senegal, 1965)
Director Ababacar Samb-Makharam’s short on the tensions confronting Senegalese with feet in both worlds–the European and the African–is both compelling and quaint. The narration is a series of questions for a prodigal who’s “back in your homeland (which you) yearned for in the cold and snow of Europe’s cities,” while our protagonist is sleek in a tailored suit; he’s returned to Dakar in which family and friends are resplendent wrapped in the fabrics and garb of Senegal. Beautifully shot in black and white, this film is not only a document of a Dakar that barely exists anymore, it’s one of the few films about African society of the sixties. Samb-Makharam’s leftists judgment is leavened slightly by the even-handed narration, and the deft shift from European strings to African instruments on the score is far more subtle than calling his protagonist “playboy” and referring to the “costly pleasures” of aping white behavior. It’s probably fitting that the film is in black and white, though it didn’t occur to the director how insidious European influence is. The narration is in French. - Elvis Mitchell. Written by Samb-Makharam, Jacques January (22 min)

The moon seemed perennially full on screen in the 1980s, a decade that saw more than its share of classic---and not-so-classic---werewolf movies including Wolfen (1981), The Howling petrology (1981-1989), The Company of Wolves (1984), Silver Bullet (1985) and Teen Wolf (1985), to name a few.  Towering above them all is writer-director John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London (1981).  A defining film of the era, American Werewolf proved wildly successful thanks to Landis’ deft balance of comedy and horror while Rick Baker’s Academy Award–winning makeup effects set the bar for technical mastery.  The film’s influence can be felt in the work of next generation filmmakers such as Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) but its impact extends well beyond movies.  After seeing American Werewolf, Michael Jackson asked Landis to direct a short film set to his hit song, “Thriller.”  Thirty years ago this year, Landis agreed and reconvened the creative team behind Werewolf, including Baker, producer George Folsey Jr. and costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, to contribute to another landmark, genre-bending work that transformed the art of the music video forever. 
The Archive is thrilled to present both these seminal titles, An American Werewolf in London and the long-form music video for “Thriller,” on 35mm with Landis, Baker, Folsey and Nadoolman Landis, in person.

Experimental Documentaries – Rare film clips incite new questions about Grierson's definition of documentary as "creative treatment of actuality." Probing the philosophies of documentarians, fresh insights will arise concerning stagings and reenactments, and the different viewpoints on degrees of involvement with the subjects. Vertov argued for presenting "life as it is" (that is, life filmed surreptitiously) and "life caught unawares" (life provoked or surprised by the camera). What is endemic to this genre and why? Wiseman calls docs "reality fiction, Alan King "actuality dramas," and Richard Leacock "historical fantasies." Why ? "I am for anyone who seeks the truth, but I part ways with them when they claimed they found it." - Bunuel. 

The Exterminating Angel
1965, 42 minutes ,black and white, 35mm | Written by Julio Alejandro and Luis Buñuel; directed by Luis Buñuel; with Claudio Brook and Silvia Pinal
When a group of elite guests discover that they are inexplicably unable to leave after a lavish dinner party, their collective adherence to social mores and conventions begins to crumble as primal savagery takes hold. The Exterminating Angel is a summation of the themes of Luis Buñuel’s Mexican period and an ornate doorway to the great European films that followed. Gabriel Figueroa’s shadowy cinematography is impeccable, especially in a justly famous sequence involving a roaming, severed hand.

1972, Sony Repertory, 100 min, USA, Dir: John Huston
John Huston, his versatility truly liberated by an evolving New Hollywood cinema, directed this gritty, slice-of-life adaptation of Leonard Gardner’s novel about two boxers, one naïve neophyte (Jeff Bridges), and one on his way down (a brilliant Stacy Keach) with his perpetually drunken mate (the great Susan Tyrell). The faithful evocation of street life in northern California Stockton, its working class heroes and skid row flophouses, where dreams and hopes get crushed out like cigarette butts, is priceless. Discussion between films with actor Stacy Keach.

2013, Drafthouse Films, 90 min, UK, Dir: Ben Wheatley
In 1648, a group of deserters from the English civil war take refuge from battle in an overgrown field, crossing paths with an alchemist’s assistant and treasure hunter. While there are plenty of mushrooms, treasure proves elusive in the field - but something much more ominous may be hiding there. This enigmatic film from on-the-rise director Ben Wheatley (KILL LIST) is both surreal and sinister, featuring moments of dark humor and stunning B&W cinematography. With Michael Smiley and Reece Shearsmith. “A FIELD IN ENGLAND is a mind-bending monochrome masterpiece... one of the best and bravest British films of the year.” - Twitch Film

Films Selected by James Welling
Zorn's Lemma
Avant-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton’s Zorn's Lemma (1970) was hailed as “a major poetic work” by 1970s structuralist filmmaker Ernie Gehr.
July ’71 in San Francisco, Living at Beach Street, Working at Canyon Cinema, Swimming in the Valley of the Moon
Peter Hutton’s July ’71 in San Francisco, Living at Beach Street, Working at Canyon Cinema, Swimming in the Valley of the Moon (1971) is a diary of free-spirited communal living and moment-by-moment observations of fleeting pleasures. (Total run time: 100 min.)

A giddy found-footage shot heard ‘round the world! For years, we’ve been waiting for an intrepid soul to craft an entirely narrative feature comprised of images and sounds from other feature films — and Final Cut – Ladies And Gentlemen, the culmination of three years’ worth of editing by visionary Hungarian director György Pàlfi (Taxidermia), is nothing short of astonishing. With the totality of the moviegoing experience as its subject, Final Cut juggles clips from over 450 of the greatest films of all time, and bends deep reserves of movie tricks, tropes and triumphs into a single flowing arc. Iconic characters are raised through childhood, fall in love, go to war, marry — and as we jump from Marilyn Monroe to Jackie Chan, from Ozu to Lynch, from the Twenties to the Millenium and back again, we bask in the unity of our shared mythos. Whether you take it in as either an immersive art piece or the all-time highlight reel of your dreams, Final Cut taps directly into the cinematic subconscious with a sensitivity sure to captivate casual movie buffs and hardcore cineastes in equal measure. Dir. György Pálfi, 2012, DCP, 84 min.

Finyé (The Wind)
Mali, 1982, 100 minutes
Written and directed by Souleymane Cissé
Starring Fousseyni Sissoko, Goundo Guissé, and Balla Moussa Keita
Writer/director Souleymane Cissé’s 1982 drama starts with a deft intimacy—following high-school classmates from two disparate worlds as they traverse the tricky roads of family and friends while keeping an eye on their futures. Ba is a young man from the village, struggling to keep his grades up, and Batrou is the sensitive daughter of a no-nonsense military man. But then Cissé shifts the ground beneath the feet of his characters—and the audience—when a political stand becomes the center of the story. What seemed to be a tried and true story of the path to adulthood becomes another altogether different one. “The wind awakens the path of man,” a title informs at the beginning of Finyé, and Cissé is out to reveal what happens when a force of nature prods another such force into action.

Forrest Bess: Key to the Riddle
This film combines the beauty of Forrest Bess’s art with the drama and tragedy of his personal life. Interviews with art historian Meyer Schapiro and Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman bring life to this visionary, eccentric artist. (2000, Dirs. C, Smith, A. Marcopoulos, 48 min.) Post-screening Q&A with director Chuck Smith.

Frenkel Defects is an intermittent, mobile film program focusing on works from among artist run film labs and collectives. This particular edition is comprised of works from the Process Reversal Collective as well as select films from L’Abominable (Paris), Cherry Kino (Leeds, UK), and The Handmade Film Institute (Boulder). Filmmakers include Andrew Busti, Sarah Biagini, Nicolas Rey, Kevin Rice, Taylor Dunne, Robert Schaller, and Martha Jurksaitis. Kevin Rice is a ‘film archivist’ whose practice focuses on the study of photochemical theories, the development of lab resources for filmmakers, and the documentation of various darkroom odysseys on motion picture film. He has worked with several artist-run film labs including (London), L’Abominable (Paris), Klubvizija (Zagreb), and LaborBerlin (Berlin). In 2012 he helped found Process Reversal, a film collective dedicated to producing resources for filmmakers and film labs. His most recent work includes the engineering of a black and white reversal process based on the properties of seawater for an adaptation of Homer’s Epic Cycle. Curator and artist Kevin Rice in person!

The Gleaners and I
2000, 82 min., color, 35mm.
Written and directed by Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda appears in person at this screening of The Gleaners and I, a film that traces a lineage from the original gleaners—peasant women who scoured fields after the harvest for leavings, as depicted in the 1867 painting by Jean-François Millet—to their present-day counterparts in both big cities and rural outposts. Nimbly blending different forms—documentary, road movie, self-portrait—The Gleaners and I is a poetic look at “foragers, rummagers and scavengers” in turn of the millennium France.
Working for the first time with digital video, Varda creates both a beguiling assessment of capitalism’s extravagances and a lovely, humanist mosaic of life beyond the mainstream. A supreme gleaner of images, ideas, and emotions herself, Varda won great acclaim with this 2000 feature: the film was voted the year’s best by France’s Syndicate of Cinema Critics and received top nonfiction awards throughout the U.S., winning accolades from both the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle. It also opened a new chapter in Varda’s vast and idiosyncratic filmmaking career—she celebrates her 60th decade working with film in 2014. Her subsequent films continue to blend serendipitous nonfiction with lyrical autobiography. In person: Agnès Varda 

Goblin: Giallo Live
Playing Los Angeles for the first time in their 40 year history, Goblin will perform a full, live set pulled from their most iconic scores, including: Dario Argento's giallo classics Suspiria, Tenebrae, and Deep Red, and George A. Romero's seminal Dawn of the Dead. Immediately following Goblin's performance will be a 35mm screening of Argento's SUSPIRIA. Immediately following Goblin's performance on 10/22 will be an incredibly rare 35mm screening of Argento's 1975 masterpiece, Deep Red. Immediately following Goblin's performance on 10/23 will be a screening of Argento's TENEBRAE. The line up for this tour will include original members since 1975 Claudio Simonetti and Maurizio Guarini (keyboards) and Massimo Morante (guitar). The band is rounded out by drummer Titta Tani and bassist Bruno Previtali that joined in 2010.

The Goddess (China, 1934)
Directed by Wu Yonggang
Silent screen legend Ruan Lingyu, giving a fierce and tragic performance in her signature role as a wronged prostitute, is the electric center of The Goddess, one of the most powerful silent films of all time and an early high point for Chinese cinema.  Ruan plays a nameless young "goddess" (1930s slang for her actual profession) who walks the streets in order to provide for her son.  A run-in with a petty gangster results in the hoodlum becoming her pimp against her will; after he does nothing to help when her son is expelled from school, and ultimately steals the tuition money she had set aside, she exacts a terrifying vengeance.  Key Second Generation director Wu Yonggang brings both an unsparing eye and a gentle humanism to this exceptional film, never flinching from the realities and consequences of the heroine's work but never judging her for resorting to what was (and is) a relatively normal profession.  But Ruan's luminous performance and presence is the true crux of the film: scholars Chris Berry and Mary Farquhar consider her character in The Goddess, "a remarkable condensation in one figure of different aspects of the times," including Confucian family devotion, gender, national identity, the new complexities of capitalism, and Ruan's own scandalous off-screen image (as brilliantly depicted in Stanley Kwan's 1992 Ruan biopic Center Stage).
Lianhua Film Company.  Screenwriter: Wu Yonggang.  Cinematographer: Hong Weilie.  Cast: Ruan Lingyu, Zhang Zhizhi, Li Keng, Li Junxin, Tang Huaiqiu. 35mm, b/w, silent with English intertitles, 85 min. Note:  Live musical accompaniment.

2013, The Match Factory, 101 min, Germany, Dir: Thomas Arslan
An official selection (competition) at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, GOLD is a Western about seven German immigrants who set out in search of gold in the backwoods of British Columbia during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. Each have their motives: an older couple seeking security, a father (Lars Rudolph) hoping to help his impoverished family, an unpleasant newspaperman (Uwe Bohm) chronicling the journey, and a mysterious packer (Marko Mandic) with a past to outrun. The last to join is Emily Mayer (Nina Hoss), a metropolitan woman whose delicate demeanor masks a steely determination to survive. Assembled by a deceptively confident businessman of questionable motives, the settlers must travel through a relatively uncharted stretch of Canadian wilderness to reach their goal, the gold fields of Dawson. As the path grows more treacherous, betrayals come to light and desperate choices are made. Following in the footsteps of MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER and MEEK'S CUTOFF, GOLD is an epic that offers an unconventional take on the well-worn Western genre. In German with English subtitles.

The Half Naked Truth (1932)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
A trio of carnival troupers with eyes for the big time storm Broadway on a whirl of midway ballyhoo in director Gregory La Cava’s racy satire of the modern publicity biz and the suckers who fall for it.  Lee Tracy’s press agent transforms Lupe Velez’ hootchy dancer into “the Princess Exotica” and lands her name in lights with Eugene Pallette’s long-suffering assistant grumbling all the way.
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  Screenwriter: G. La Cava, Corey Ford.  Cinematographer: Bert Glennon.  Editor: Charles L. Kimball.  Cast: Lupe Velez, Lee Tracy, Eugene Pallette, Frank Morgan, Shirley Chambers.  16mm, b/w, 77 min. 

Poe and Lovecraft come together for one of the most unusual Vincent Price chillers of the Sixties. Sounds a bit odd, eh? Technically, only the film’s title comes from a classic Poe(m), as the whole Roger Corman-helmed shebang’s really based on Lovecraft’s short story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”; it’s the first-ever Lovecraft film adaptation, how cool is that? Set in one of H.P.’s most familiar locations — the New England burg of Arkham — Corman unfolds the tale of Vincent Price in a dual role: an inheritor of a large estate (Price #1) who finds out that his ancestor (Price #2) was burned at the stake over a century earlier for being a warlock. Seems the terrified townsfolk weren’t wrong, for the ancient dude employed the infamous Necronomicon to summer the Elder Gods, Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth — and even now, the townies blame deformities plaguing Arkham on the ageless curse. Moody, broody, and co-starring the always-fun character actors Elisha Cook, Jr. and Lon Chaney, Jr., The Haunted Palace is Price at the top of his smirking, fully regal game. Dir. Roger Corman, 1963, 35mm, 87 min.

1989, JGM Enterprises, 84 min. Dir. Douglas Grossman.
“The teachers are tough … but their exams are murder.” A biology teacher (Maureen Mooney) is tormented by four students - who have no idea that the woman has a homicidal past. 

Henri-Georges Clouzot and the Aesthetics of the Sixties: Reflections on La Vérité
In conversation with the joint exhibitions La Fin de la Nuit at Palais de Tokyo in Paris and The End of the Night at LACE in Los Angeles, this panel discussion on the controversial French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot and his contribution to the aesthetics of the 1960s centers around a screening of his intriguing film, La Vérité (1960 Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film). A showcase for the alluring physical presence of the biggest French star of the time, Brigitte Bardot—who transforms from pouting sex kitten to grand tragedienne—La Vérité is loosely inspired by a notorious “crime of passion” case. With his stern and masterful direction of Bardot, Clouzot creates another unforgettable, yet contradictory, sexual icon for the Swinging Sixties. In person: Martha Kirszenbaum, Bérénice Reynaud, Janet Bergstrom, William E. Jones and Christine Wertheim

This classy and creative low-budget thriller depicts an all-out war of attrition between a group of neglected, disgruntled senior citizens and the heartless city officials who evicted them from their Cincinnati low-rent apartment building, which has been tagged for destruction. Their campaign goes far beyond writing strong letters to their alderman -- they begin by savagely murdering the social worker who orders their removal (Linda Marsh, in a budget Nurse Ratched mode), then take a violent stand against any contractors who attempt to stray onto their turf. Tightly directed from a clever script, portraying its geriatric killers with wit and empathy but never shying away from shocking scenes of violence. Dir. Larry Yust, 1974, 35mm, 96 min.

Walter Matthau plays a CIA agent who's been confined by office politics to a desk job. The disgruntled Matthau quits the service and heads to Europe, where he links up with former lover (an fellow ex-agent) Glenda Jackson. All goes smoothly until Matthau acts on the advice of yet another retired agent, Russian Herbert Lom, who suggests that Matthau write a tell-all autobiography. Spitefully, Matthau sends out copies of his first chapter to the heads of the CIA agencies throughout the world--and from that point on, he and Jackson don't have a moment's peace. This delights Matthau: now that all of his former colleagues are chasing after him, he has a reason to get up in the morning. As written by Brian Garfield, Hopscotch was a conventionally serious espionage novel. As adapted for the big screen by Garfield and Bryan Forbes, Hopscotch is a lively exercise in cloak-and-dagger comedy... 1980, USA, 35mm, 106 minutes. Directed by Ronald Neame; screenplay by Bryan Forbes and Brian Garfield; based on Garfield's novel; starring Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty, Herbert Lom

A rare kick-ass horror film that even dislikers of gore tend to enjoy, The House by the Cemetary contains Lucio Fulci’s typically strong emphasis on atmosphere and shocking visuals, but also devotes more time than usual to character development and surprising plotting, allowing the graphic gore to serve as a function of the story rather than an end unto itself. The last of Fulci’s Gothic zombie excursions (and the conclusion of his unofficial early ’80s “Gates Of Hell” trilogy), House is also a strangely beautiful film: Sergio Salvati’s expert ‘scope cinematography captures a perfectly eerie New England atmosphere and a strange world of childhood fairy tales gone very bad, with Walter Rizzati’s poignant score providing much-needed emotional support. Here, Fulci really shines and produces some of his finest work; the claustrophobic mixture of chills and supernatural poetry would do Mario Bava proud. Dir. Lucio Fulci, 1981, 35mm.

Based on the preachings of Reverend Estus W. Pirkle, this film warns what will happen to America if the citizens do not give up their depraved ways and turn to God and Jesus for salvation. Communist infiltrators, the "footmen", will pave the way for an all out invasion by weakening our will through TV, dance, rock music and alcohol. Once the invasion begins, the new Communist government will proceed to round up all Christians, and either execute them or force them to undergo re-education. Only by putting their faith in the bible where it belongs, says Rev. Pirkle, can America resist the coming Red Menace. Dir. Ron Ormond, 1971, 16mm, 52 min.

1986, Hemdale Film, 87 min, USA, Dir: Robert Taicher
Elliott Gould is Jimmy Morgan, an agoraphobic whose world is constrained by the walls of his Manhattan apartment. An inheritance has financed Morgan’s cloistered lifestyle for four years, but as his gambling debts and business problems mount, cracks appear in the shell. As a man growing as desperate as he is isolated, Gould gives one of his best performances in this ingeniously designed drama, which also features Jennifer Tilly, Howard Hesseman and Dana Elcar. Discussion following with director Robert Taicher and Elliott Gould.

"To those dark horses with the spirit to look up and see... a recondite family awaits." Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for. Was it a cult? Was it an elaborate game? Told from the participants’ perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where real world and fictional narratives collide, creating unforeseen and often unsettling consequences. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements and street art, THE INSTITUTE invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life. Running Time: 92 min. 

Originating during the science-fiction/Red-Scare boom of the '50s, Invaders From Mars is an entertaining little picture that holds up reasonably well. David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) is a 12-year-old astronomy buff who is stunned to see a flying saucer landing in the sand pit beyond his backyard. His father, George (Leif Erickson), ventures out to look the next morning and mysteriously disappears. David's mother, Mary (Hillary Brooke), worriedly calls police, but they are quickly swallowed up by the sand in the backyard. Later, George and the two cops return, but their personalities are markedly different having been taken over by the Martians. As David tries to find help, everyone around him comes under the frightening zombie-like spell. He finally encounters two believers in Dr. Blake (Helena Carter) and Dr. Kelston (Arthur Franz).  Dir. William Cameron Menzies, 1953, 1 hr. 18 mins.  Program includes 2 features, a Three Stooges short, a cartoon, and a prize raffle (prize raffle on Sunday evening only). Actor Jimmy Hunt is scheduled to appear IN PERSON before the 5:30 screening on Sunday!

1934, Universal, 73 min, USA, Dir: Norman Z. McLeod
Considered by some to be the Great Man’s greatest film, this short, sweet W.C. Fields vehicle is little more than a series of zany sketches loosely tied to his desire to move to California and grow oranges. Includes the legendary "Mr. Muckle" and "Carl LaFong" scenes, as well as the hanging mirror and sleeping porch routines. Jean Rouverol, who co-wrote THE FIRST TIME, plays Fields’ daughter.

Guggenheim Fellow Jane Gillooly introduces her mesmerizing and original Suitcase of Love and Shame, a tender, erotic and heartbreaking collage woven from 60 hours of reel-to-reel audiotapes discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay. In the 1960s, on the cusp of the sexual revolution, a Midwestern woman and her lover become reliant on recording devices to document and memorialize their adulterous affair. The tape recorder serves as a confidant, witness, and participant—creating a welcome ménage-à-trois. Voices give rise to a sad world, building “love and shame” little by little, as technological tools serve up a calm, continual hell. In person: Jane Gillooly

1977, Dimension Pictures, 97 min. Dir. John 'Bud' Cardos.
Horrorthon vet William Shatner stars as a veterinarian who sounds the first note of alarm when animals begin dying from spider venom; soon the entire populace of Verde Valley, Ariziona is under attack from tarantulas. A low-budget but highly entertaining revenge-of-nature tale, made with thousands of real spiders.

1968, Janus Films, 99 min, Japan, Dir: Kaneto Shindô
Another spectacularly creepy Japanese horror film from director Kaneto Shindô, who once again finds horror in a medieval Japan plagued by war. This time an evil ghost is tearing out the throats of roaming samurai; when a soldier sets off in search of the spirit, he finds himself confronting internal as well as external demons. In Japanese with English subtitles.

LA AIR is a new artist-in-residence program that invites Los Angeles filmmakers to utilize EPFC resources in creating a new work over a four-week period. Gina Napolitan & Beaux Mingus will collaborate on The Central Valley and Back Again, a live film performance, incorporating hand-processed 16mm film, found medium format slides, historic documents, cassette tapes, live sound, and a toy train. The project is centered on a collection of found slides depicting a train wreck in the Central Valley, and draws on disparate sources of historic and contemporary railroading material. 

Laborer's Love (China, 1922)
Directed by Zhang Shichuan
Although virtually all of early Chinese cinema has been destroyed, what remains offers a fascinating glimpse into the creative crucible of 1920s Shanghai.  Laborer's Love, written by Zheng Zhengqiu and directed Zhang Shichuan---both of them regarded as founding fathers of the First Generation of Chinese cinema---is a synthesis of Harold Lloyd-like silent comedy and the May 4th literature then in fashion.  While the film's charming story of a soft-hearted carpenter turned fruit peddler trying to impress his future father-in-law does not much seem like a call to class warfare, the pointed references to urban corruption and the character of a happily liberated young woman anticipate the progressive impulse in much Chinese cinema to come. Mingxing Film Company. Screenwriter: Zheng Zhengqiu.  Cinematographer: Zhang Weitao.  Cast: Zheng Zhegu, Yu Ying, Zheng Zhengqiu. 35mm, b/w, silent with English intertitles, 30 min.

L’Absence (The Absence)
Includes conversation with director Mama Kéïta
Senegal, 2009, 82 minutes
Written and directed by Mama Kéïta 
Starring Mame Ndoumbé Diop, Mouss Diouf, Ibrahima Mbaye, and William Nadylam 
“If James Brown had died in 1967 instead of Otis Redding, the United States wouldn’t be the same,” prodigal son Adama is told by his boyhood friend, Djibril: “(They’re) so arrogant, like that arrogant sex machine James Brown.” Not only does Mama Kéïta’s 2009 skillful and tangy blend of thriller and melodrama offer the most unique cultural/political assessment of America in film history, this discussion neatly sets the tone for L’Absence. The successful Adama is cool and distant after returning to Senegal following a 15-year period in France—he is part of the absence referred to in the title. We see that he is a man of the world with a valise that is perfectly coordinated to match his suit and shoes (the film has a stunningly realized palette of reds and earth tones). Though Adama sent money home to care for his adoring grandmother and deaf younger sister Aicha (he moved away while she was still little), he still carries a void in his soul about being away from home. In a powerful scene sans dialogue, Adama curls into fetal position cradling a photo of his dead mother. But he’s pulled deeper into the intrigues of his kin and his country, after discovering how Aicha helps support the family. L’Absence is a remarkable achievement: it’s dense in both dramatic and political terms.

La Commune Paris 1871
a screening & conversation with Louis Schwartz
La Commune, Paris 1871 (Watkins, 2000) tends to reactivate the insurrectionary spirit of the Paris Commune. By weaving the past of its historical story with the present of the experience of it's cast, the film uses the events of 1871 to illuminate the conditions under which we organize today. Watkins and the other filmmakers pay special attention to splits, rifts and swerves within the revolutionary milieux. In our time, class belonging has become an external constraint, something to be abolished and the working class has radically decomposed. Under such conditions, organization and direct action must come out swerves and splits among activist groupings.
We hope we can respond to the film with a discussion on working with rifts within the terrible communities in which we find ourselves, with an emphasis on gender and race.
Louis Schwartz teaches Film Studies at Ohio University and helps to organize the Appalachia Free Skool. He researches images and insurrections and his current work focuses on the force of rifts in activist communities. The rift project finds academic,” political” and “personal” expressions of which this screening is one. Schwartz wrote a book on the use of film and video in US Courts, Mechanical Witness (Oxford, 2009) as well as several articles on film theory.
Hosted by the L.A. Anti-authoritarian Marxist Network & The Public School L.A.

La Joven (The Young One)
Luis Buñuel and Gabriel Figueroa: A Surreal Alliance
1960, 95 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Hugo Butler and Luis Buñuel; directed by Luis Buñuel; with Zachary Scott, Bernie Hamilton, and Key Meersman
Despite its Spanish title, La Joven is set in the American South, bearing a passing resemblance to an exploitation picture. On an isolated North Carolina nature preserve, young and innocent Evvie finds herself in the custody of backwoods groundskeeper Miller when her grandfather passes away. As she prepares to be whisked away to the mainland and into the custody of the state, she stumbles upon an unlikely refugee: Traver, a young black man on the run after being accused of raping a white woman. What ensues is a morally complex chess game between the island’s three inhabitants, burnished by Gabriel Figueroa’s elegant chiaroscuro.  
Easily the most unexpected entry in Luis Buñuel’s Mexican filmography, with this film Buñuel crafted a biting portrait of American racism, hypocrisy, and lechery—with a script by the blacklisted screenwriter Hugo Butler, no less—and released it at the height of the civil rights movement. Largely panned in the States, La Joven was largely forgotten until a reissue in the early 1990s.

La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
Senegal, 1999, 45 minutes
Written and directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty
Starring Lissa Balera, Aminata Fall, and Tayerou M'Baye
The last film by Senegalese writer/director Djibril Diop Mambéty is a stark yet lyrical dramatization of street life in Dakar. The 1999 short film follows Sili, a poor young woman whose furtive expression hides a steely nature. Mambéty trains his camera on the group of impoverished, homeless youngsters pounding away at making a living in the ruthlessly indifferent city; he follows the determined Sili, out to break the spine of chauvinism that prohibits girls from vying for coins and sustenance. As we watch Sili—played, like many of the children onscreen, with precise control by a nonactor with communicative body language and expressive faces—plant herself against the onslaught of tradition, we become aware that Mambéty is building narrative tension by pitting his lead against tradition and time. There’s enough unique suspense that accrues, and the audience waits to see what the new dawn will bring for Sili. 

Even though he barely makes enough money to cover his expenses and finds divorce cases (his bread and butter) unsavory, aging detective Ira Wells (Art Carney) is determined to stay active and to retain some amount of self-respect. When his partner Harry Regan (Howard Duff) is killed while on assignment, Ira agrees to take on his current case, although he can't see how it has anything to do with his friend's murder, which he is anxious to solve. In order to survive, by solving the case of his client's missing cat, and solving the murder of his friend, Ira winds up accepting a lot of help from his client Margo (Lily Tomlin). 1977, USA, 35mm, 93 minutes. Written and directed by Robert Benton; starring Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy, Eugene Roche, Joanna Cassidy, John Considine

In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “...let the fire burn.” Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history. Running Time: 95 min. 

Let Your Light Shine: Handmade Films by Jodie Mack
Combining formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation, Jodie Mack’s handmade films explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling, the tension between form and meaning. Questioning decoration in daily life, Mack brings overlooked and wasted objects to vivid cinematic life. Mack presents Dusty Stacks of Mom: The Poster Project (2013), her most ambitious project to date, in addition to several recent films. Dusty Stacks is a 40-minute stop-motion animation that pays homage to her mother’s defunct poster shop, offering a whirlwind visual tour of pop music with a live, karaoke-style accompaniment that uses a popular rock album as a backdrop for her own lyrics. Vibrant and unpredictable, Mack’s tactile work skirts the edges between animation, collage, autobiography and music video. In person: Jodie Mack

Screening followed by a live set by guitar wizard/frequency manipulator G.E. Stinson, who’ll wave your brain and shock your cones with tones and drones from other dimensions! Our antennae immediately ping into the air whenever we come across any film that puts its focus on sound — and curiously enough, after 2010’s whimsical oddity Sound of Noise, Sweden has given us another cinematic gift of sonic strangeness in LFO, which answers the question: what would happen if a Dilbert type discovered the key to mind control? Robert, a solitary man who frequently secludes himself away from his disdainful wife and son, slaves away in his basement on harmless private experiments with audio frequencies — until the day when he stumbles upon a wavelength that gives him the Jedi-like power of suggestion over anyone he plays it for. And what he really wants most is to get to know his new neighbors. “The battle depicted in the film is almost entirely mental, a duel between cracked intellect and suppressed emotion. It makes the question personal: If you could control other people absolutely (without them knowing it), what would you do? Really? Think again. ‘LFO’ is a diabolical joy to watch.” (Peter Martin, Twitch)
Dir. Antonio Tublen, 2012, DCP, 94 min.

1969, 110 minutes, color, 35mm
Written and directed by Agnès Varda; with Viva, Gerome Ragni, James Rado, Shirley Clarke
Agnès Varda’s first-ever American feature film was shot while she was living in Los Angeles with husband Jacques Demy (his own U.S. debut, Model Shop, was released the same year). LIONS LOVE (. . . AND LIES) finds Warhol superstar Viva joined by Hair cocreators James Rado and Gerome Ragni (to round out the trio) in various states of undress as they play host to visiting cinéma vérité luminary Shirley Clarke (The Cool World, Portrait of Jason) in a Hollywood bungalow.
Southern California counterculture, New York bohemia, and French New Wave comingle in this film about a film steeped in post-1968 milieu of blissed-out disengagement and retrenched activism. The film that graced the debut cover of Warhol’s Interview magazine, LIONS LOVE is Varda’s anarchic paean to the Age of Aquarius with guest spots by everyone from Eddie Constantine and Peter Bogdanovich. The film is also among the four Varda works newly restored by LACMA in partnership with the Annenberg Foundation and The Film Foundation. In person: Agnès Varda | World premiere of new restoration. 

Find out how a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1930s America winds up as one of the world’s most notorious jewel thieves. A glamorous 80-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the $2 million in jewels she’s stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat. With Doris now on trial for the theft of a department store diamond ring, we probe beneath her consummate smile to uncover the secrets of her trade and what drove her to a life of crime. Stylized recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how Payne managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany’s from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes. This sensational portrait exposes a rebel who defies society’s prejudices and pinches her own version of the American Dream while she steals your heart. Running Time: 74 min. 

This October loopdeloop is gettin' trippy. This screening of short animated loops will be based on the theme, HALLUCINATIONS! Loopdeloop is a bi-monthly animation competition. Challengers create short looping animations based on a theme then submit them. On the night all the submissions on the website will be screened, applauded AND judged by the audience at the NerdMelt Showroom, as well as an expert panel of radical animation people. Amazing prizes will be given to the best loops! Laughter will be shared by all!

Los Olvidados (The Young and the Damned)
1950, 88 min., black and white, 35mm print courtesy of the Tim Hunter Collection at the Academy Film Archive.
Written by Luis Alcoriza Luis Buñuel; directed by Luis Buñuel; with Alfonso Mejia, Roberto Cobo, Estela Inda, and Miguel Inclán
Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel’s harrowing portrait of juvenile wretches in the unforgiving slums of Mexico City remains an indelible landmark of world cinema. The film was shot on location over 21 days and featured performances by many nonprofessionals. Though it was jeered initially by the local press for its negative view of Mexican society, the film went on to win not only its champions but also a best director accolade for Buñuel in Cannes.
Mexico’s own Octavio Paz helped bring it to international attention by writing “This is not a documentary . . .  Even less is it a thesis, a piece of propaganda, or a morality fable. Dream, design, chance, and the dark side life are given their due.” In the States, New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael praised a particular, unforgettable sequence in the film as “the most brilliantly conceived dream I have ever seen in a film.”
Buñuel’s third Mexican feature is also his first with cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, who masterfully contrasts Caravaggio-esque interiors with the sun-blasted desolation of day.

1959, 87 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Screenwriters: Roberto Gavaldón and Emilio Carballido; director: Roberto Gavaldón; with Ignacio López Tarso, Pina Pellicer, Enrique Lucero, and José Galvez
The first cinematic adaptation by Roberto Gavaldón of a literary work by B. Traven, Macario filters Brothers Grimm through the rites and iconography of Mexico’s Day of the Dead. The story centers on Macario (Ignacio López Tarso), a poor lumberjack who lives in a one-room shack with his wife and unruly brood, barely making ends meet lugging fire-wood to local merchants. When a cooked turkey turns up mysteriously in his satchel, the starving Macario embarks on an adventure of surrealist proportions.
Facing a steady procession of suitors to share in his impromptu meal—a white-robed God, a whip-snapping and silver-spurred Satan, and a poncho-garbed campesino Death—Macario winds up making a Faustian pact. Thanks to a gourd’s worth of water with magical healing powers, Macario goes from peasant to posh. But what will the state make of his overnight success?
Gavaldón was nominated for an Academy Award for Macario, a film whose folkoric fantasy is delivered with an anti-materialist bite. Gabriel Figueroa’s cinematography adds an eerie gleam to this mordant fable, most remarkably as Macario descends into the fog-drenched and hundred-candle-specked cavern of Death (the grottos of Cacahuamilpa).

The recent films of filmmaker/activist Ken Paul Rosenthal are beautiful and provocative works of conscious cinema that re-envision the way we think and speak about our individual and collective mental health in today's chaotic world. These transformative films weave personal and political narratives through natural and urban landscapes, home movies, and archival social hygiene films. Mad Dance: A Mental Health Film Trilogy, consisting of For Shadows (2013, 27 minutes), a contemplative, multi-layered memoir that unravels the tangled roots of self-harm while coming to terms with one's shadow; In Light In! (2013, 12 minutes) a darkly humorous, visual essay on the pervasive disease model of mental illness in Western Culture; and Crooked Beauty (2002, 30 minutes), the much-lauded poetic documentary on artist/activist Jacks McNamara and the foundation of the Icarus Project. Program also includes Rosenthal’s I My Bike (2002, 5 minutes), a cine-poetic work traces the conflict between urban space and the body. Ken Paul Rosenthal in person!

“Don’t worry, I’m always careful with the needles,” advises the troubled Martin to a female victim as he injects her with a sedative. In a dim train car, he embraces her unconscious body and uses a razor blade to open her veins and drink her blood. With this unforgettable opening, Martin finds George Romero taking vampire lore into devastating waters, with the same precision and down-to-earth gusto found in his previous studies of zombies, witchcraft and urban paranoia.  The teenage Martin (John Amplas) lives with his stern uncle, who claims that Martin is actually an ancient, traditional vampire who stalks the streets at night; the viewer is never completely sure about the true nature of Martin’s identity, with eerie gothic flashbacks reinforcing the uneasy coexistence between past and present in his family.  Plus, the violence is tastefully handled, with startling bursts of blood suddenly pooling out of characters who seem all too human.  The kind of film that horror buffs adore, Martin is Romero’s true masterpiece, a perfect example of his personal expression as a filmmaker, and very rarely screened.
Dir. George Romero, 1977, 95 min.

MAXWELL STREET REVISITED - Jazz historian Sherwin Dunner (in person) host an evening of inspired music films. Bargains and blues could be found on any Sunday at the biggest, brassiest open air street market in America which thrived for over 100 years before it was paved over for the University of Illinois at Chicago expansion in 1994. We'll be showing AND THIS IS FREE (1963, 50 minutes), the groundbreaking cinema verite film which captures Chicago's Maxwell Street market in full glory on a typical Sunday – a vibrant mix of blues and gospel singers, hustlers, pitchmen, pushcart vendors and preachers. Shoppers could find great deals, but also were prime for fleecing. With a sly wink, one of the stores even chose the name “Cheat You Fair.” We'll also see MAXWELL STREET - A LIVING MEMORY (2002, 30m) on Maxwell Street from the perspective of the Jewish merchants who worked there, found footage and a photo slide show. Plus live blues music.

METAPHOR AS MEMORY - Gerry Fialka probes McLuhan and Chris Marker, who said "I remember the images I filmed. They have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory - the act of remembering is not the opposite of forgetting." "All active media are metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms...what is a meta phor?" - McLuhan. "Remember to forget" - James Joyce.  

1976, 131 min, India, Dir: Satyajit Ray
By a twist of fate, Somnath’s (Pradip Mukherjee) college exam scores are disappointing, and he becomes just another graduate struggling in the oversaturated Calcutta job market. Another twist points him to work as a “middleman,” buying and selling commodities – but Somnath’s increasing success in the business world requires him to cut some moral corners along the way. The final installment in Satyajit Ray’s “Calcutta trilogy,” and among the most hard-hitting films the director ever made. In Bengali with English subtitles.

Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns)
Senegal and France, 2013, 45 minutes
Written and directed by Mati Diop
After its triumphant play at the Marseilles Film Festival, the 2013 film by director and actress Mati Diop debuts in Los Angeles debut at Caméras d'Afrique. Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns) is a tribute to Touki Bouki, the groundbreaking film by her uncle, Djibril Diop Membety. Diop chronicles her journey of discovery as she searches for the actors who starred in Touki Bouki (Diop Mambéty passed away in 1988). The work is as much the story of the impact of film on Senegal as it is Diop’s own story: a shrewd and emotional examination of her family’s connection to popular culture, which ranges from her uncle to her father, the composer/performer Wasis Diop. 

An unlikely thief. An unthinkable theft. An unsolved mystery. Until now. It's the greatest little-known art theft of all time. With the most unlikely thief. And no one knows why he really did it. Until now. More than 100 years after the theft of the Mona Lisa, writer/director Joe Medeiros finds the real reason Vincenzo Peruggia stole the masterpiece from the Louvre -- a reason Peruggia's only daughter didn't even know. Running Time: 86 min. 

Moments That Made The Movies
Described by The Atlantic as “probably the greatest living film critic and historian,” David Thomson has written about cinema for such periodicals as The New Republic, The Guardian and Sight & Sound and authored more than two dozen books. His latest work focuses on scenes from 70 films that over the course of a century helped define our shared visual language. Join Thomson in person for an illustrated presentation on these moments that made the movies.

Directed by Frank Borzage
The early life of director Frank Borzage (1893-1962) offered few clues that he would develop into one of the screen’s great romanticists.  Born in Salt Lake City, he went to work in a silver mine at 13 but soon left to join a traveling stage company.  He landed in Hollywood in 1912, where he found steady work playing bit parts and then leads in Westerns for Thomas Ince.  By 1916 he was directing two-reelers and melodramas for Universal, including a series of Westerns starring Texas Guinan that seem startlingly adult today.  His breakthrough film was Humoresque (1920), a sentimental but effective adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s story about a poor Jewish boy’s struggle to become a concert violinist.  It ran for 12 weeks at New York’s Criterion Theatre, breaking the theater’s prior attendance records.  It also set Borzage on the path to his reputation as a distinctive visual stylist and specialist in stories about young lovers who find beauty and romance amid dire poverty.  Hollywood recognized his artistry by voting him the first Academy Award for directing for Seventh Heaven in 1927, and again for Bad Girl in 1931. 
Working at many studios before settling at MGM, he remained a leading director throughout the ‘30s, scoring critical and commercial success with such films as A Farewell to Arms (1932), History is Made at Night (1937), Three Comraders (1938), and The Mortal Storm (1940).  He resumed freelancing in 1943, but his unabashed romanticism no longer suited the mood of wartime America, and he was unwilling or unable to adapt his style to the brutal realism of film noir.  In 1945 he signed a five-picture deal with Republic, a minor league studio that was trying to establish itself was an A-player in the competitive postwar market.  But I’ve Always Loved You (1946) and That’s My Man (1947) were expensive, poorly reviewed flops, and Borzage ended his tenure at Republic with Moonrise, a more modest production that still lost money.  He did not direct a theatrical feature again for 10 years, when he briefly returned with his final two films.
Today, most admirers of Borzage’s work rank Moonrise near the top of his sound films, but contemporary reviewers expressed disappointment.  Variety called it, “well made, but too drab,” while The New York Times characterized it as, “a clouded tale filled largely with pallid people.”  More recent critics such as John Belton have praised the “psychological intensity of Borzage’s images, seen in his constant use of foreground-background interaction, rack focus, tight close-ups . . . shadows and off-axis, angled shooting.”  For Belton, these visual flourishes express the psychological dilemma of the leading character, a man haunted since childhood by his father’s execution for murder and his belief that he must follow the same path.  Another critic, Frederick Lamster, echoes Belton by calling the film a, “summing up . . . or testament,” of a man, “all of whose films express a belief in transcendence and regeneration.”
— Charles Hopkins
Republic Pictures.  Producer/Screenwriter: Charles Haas. Cinematographer: John L. Russell.  Editor: Harry Keller.  Cast: Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore, Rex Ingram, Henry Morgan. 35mm, b/w, 90 min.

Museum Hours
The meeting of a security guard and a museumgoer sparks an unexpected series of explorations of their own lives, the life of a city, and the way artworks reflect and shape daily experience. (2012, Dir. J. Cohen, 106 min.)

My Man Godfrey (1936)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Director Gregory La Cava’s comic masterpiece entertains with a subtle social message about the contrasting worlds of the rich---represented here by an eccentric family populated with brilliant character actors---and the poor.  William Powell is outstanding as Godfrey Smith, a WWI veteran found living in a dump and hired by a flighty but sympathetic socialite (Carole Lombard) to be the family butler.  Godfrey soon establishes himself as the wisest member of a nutty household.
Universal Productions, Inc. Based on the novel by Eric Hatch.  Screenwriter: Morrie Ryskind, Eric Hatch.  Cinematographer: Ted Tetzlaff.  Editor: Ted Kent, Russell Schoengarth.  Cast: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette.  35mm, b/w, 94 min. 

Narco Cultura
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws, glorified by musicians who praise their new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by an addiction to money, drugs, and violence. From war photographer Shaul Schwarz comes NARCO CULTURA, an explosive look at the drug cartels’ pop culture influence on both sides of the border as experienced by an LA narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War. Running time: 102 minutes. In English and Spanish, with English subtitles.   Directed & Cinematography by Shaul Schwarz. Produced by Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, and Todd Hagopian. Followed by a Q&A with Shaul Schwarz

Luis Buñuel and Gabriel Figueroa: A Surreal Alliance
1958, 91 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Julio Alejandro and Luis Buñuel; directed by Luis Buñuel; with Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, and Jesús Fernández
A solemn and earnest priest is defrocked when he takes in a wounded prostitute. Dropping his vestments, he embarks on a journey through Mexico by (bare) foot. But his attempts adhere strictly to the church’s teachings— to turn the other cheek and to do good unto others—and to subside on charity don’t fare well at the spiteful hands of his fellow man.
Nazarin, largely considered one of the masterpieces of Luis Buñuel’s Mexican period, features Mexican star Marga López stars as one of Nazario’s unlikely disciples, while Gabriel Figueroa’s polished, fluent cinematography limns the cruel, depraved realities that he encounters. According to Octavio Paz, Nazario, “whose conception of Christinaity prompts him to oppose the church, society, and the police . . .  follows in the great tradition of mad Spaniards, originated by Cervantes.” The great Arturo Ripstein praised this acidic film in 1998, writing, “It’s morally flawless, ethically perfect, and blessed with a poetic power that will always sing. It’s a beautiful story with beautiful characters and situations, beautifully told. Nazarín has never failed to move me.”  

New Restorations and Discoveries From Center for Visual Music
From absolute film to psychedelia, this program of revelatory moments from the history of visual music and kinetic art explores lost, legendary and rare treasures found in the archives of Center for Visual Music (CVM).  Featuring among others, rare works by Jordan Belson, including the unfinished Quartet (1983) and the U.S. premiere of the restoration of the infamous LSD (1962); Charles Dockum’s Mobilcolor Performance Film (1970), a later color-light projection composition that provides insights into the history of kinetic art; and two newly discovered films by John Cage and Richard Lippold, including the U.S. premiere of The Sun Film (1956), a kinetic art sculpture. 
The program, featuring many newly preserved 16mm and 35mm prints, will be introduced by archivist/curator Cindy Keefer of CVM. Richard Brown, Ph.D., will introduce The Sun Film and The Sun, Variations Within a Sphere No. 10 [documentation] (1956) by John Cage and Richard Lippold.

New Women (China, 1935)
Directed by Cai Chusheng
New Women was iconic actress Ruan Lingyu's swan song, released mere months before her suicide; its story, thinly adapted from the memoir of Ai Xia, an actresses hounded to death by the press several years earlier, eerily parallels Ruan's own tragically short life.  "Often seen [by critics] as a metaphor for China itself, suffering under semi-colonialism, semi-feudalism and Japanese invasion" (Chris Berry and Mary Farquhar, “China On Screen”), Ruan here plays the very model of a "new woman," an independent-minded music teacher who dreams of becoming a celebrated writer.  Her struggles, intensified by lecherous and vengeful men out to manipulate her and the need to provide for her sick daughter in the countryside, are contrasted with those of her best friend, a patriotic female factory worker who is presented as a model figure for post-revolutionary women.  Influential left-wing director Cai Chusheng experiments with both the literary humanism of the May 4th Movement and the new revolutionary class politics in this fascinating transitional film, making Ruan both the embodiment of the era's complexities and contradictions and the hope for their resolution; as Berry and Farquhar write, "If Ruan herself embodies a China that cannot act now, she also acts as a channel for the expression and articulation of hopes for future agency."
Lianhua Film Company.  Producer: Luo Mingyou. Screenwriter: Sun Shiyi.  Cinematographer: Zhao Daming.  Cast: Ruan Lingyu, Gu Menghe, Zheng Junli, Wu Yin, Wang Naidong. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 106 min. 

Several local and visiting artists will present in-progress or recently completed works in an informal screening with brief introductions by the artists and time for discussion between each work. Clay Dean will show Field Theory, a recently completed video, along with a rarely screened 16mm film Optic Glyph. The pairing of these pieces looks to explore ideas around the physicality of working with and perceiving these mediums. John Wiese will be showing several new pieces in-progress. Karen Adelman will show a pair of new videos selected from her exhibit La Bulla y Restos, the culmination of a yearlong project in Los Angeles and Colombia. Visiting from Bolivia, Diego Torres Peñaloza has been making films since 1974, first with Super 8, then 16 mm and later digital. In 2011 he decided to return to Super 8 with the film La Montaña Interior, which is a metaphor on the search for one’s own road in life. The main character is a man that decides to take a long walk toward the mountains that culminates with the ascent to a summit, while he remembers his activism as an artist and as an ecologist.

Nicolas Rey: autrement, la Molussie (differently, Molussia)
“Few works so perfectly combine cinesensuality and Marxist dialectics: here, beauty is praxis and agitation becomes thought.” —Film Comment
Based on fragments from Günther Anders’ novel The Molussian Catacomb, written between 1932 and 1936, Nicolas Rey’s captivating nine-part film presents allegorical stories and musings by political prisoners sitting in the pits of an imaginary fascist state called Molussia. Shown in random order whenever it is screened, the film’s sections ruminate on capitalism, imperialism and resistance—accompanied by gritty, unsettling self-processed images of undefined landscapes. A haunting and moving meditation on brutality and control, autrement, la Molussie has galvanized audiences at festivals throughout the world. Since 1993 Rey has been making films that hover between photography, documentaries and the avant-garde. He is one of the founders of the Paris-based artist film lab L’Abominable. In person: Nicolas Rey

2012, 144 min, USA, Dir: Clive Barker
Horror great Clive Barker adapted his novel Cabal as NIGHTBREED in 1990, casting Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby and David Cronenberg (as lethal psychotherapist Dr. Philip K. Decker) in an ambitious tale originally written as a fantastical love story occupied by monsters. Unfortunately, the production was wrought with interference, and cut and packaged as a slasher movie - though even in truncated form, its fine performances, distinctive Danny Elfman score and wildly inventive make-up and special effects work elevated NIGHTBREED far above typical genre fare. Over the years, as rumors of found footage circulated, the film achieved a mythic status with a restored version quickly becoming the holy grail of horror. With Barker’s cooperation, restoration director Russell Cherrington and producer Mark Miller assembled a new edit with more than forty minutes of excised footage, restoring plotlines, characters and scenes to best represent Barker’s defining intent and bring the epic back to life.

Nightfall (2011, digital, color, sound, 98 min.) consists of a single 98-minute shot made at a high elevation in the woods in the west Sierras that begins in late afternoon as the sun is going down and ends in near blackness. Widely acclaimed for his great 16mm durational films about the American landscape, James Benning has been making new work in digital HD since 2009.  One of the possibilities of digital filming that Benning has reveled in is the extreme duration possible, an extension of his earlier film work in which shots were one minute or ten minutes long.  Now With Nightfall, he invites the audience to slow down and observe the most basic elements of nature in a way that very few of us do.
Benning's use of duration reflects his accord with Henry David Thoreau's passage from Walden, “No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking at what is to be seen?”
“Nightfall is a provocative and artful inquiry into Benning’s philosophy that landscape is a function of time, of duration, and that looking and listening—paying close attention—are elevated and elevating practices of life. Benning is endlessly interested in finding out “what duration does to your relationship to an image over time, with slowing down.”
Pure, radical, and with minimal means, Benning gives us an information-rich image of something that eludes everyday life for the majority—wilderness, and an acute experience of something equally elusive—time. Nightfall is a tutorial for slowing pace, for looking closely, for meditative thinking. Benning regards Nightfall as a “portrait of solitude.” When asked at a screening whether the film mirrors his personal path, he replied, “I have anxiety, and this calms me down, but this isn’t a reflection of how I live my life; it’s a reflection of how I want to live.”
When I first saw Nightfall, I was grateful to experience the heightened consciousness of time passing that the film induces. How often do we get to sit and watch night descend over a patch of mountaintop forest? While watching, my mind ran the gamut, from extreme focus to enchantment to aimless wandering to tranquility, restlessness, and sleepiness. Three-quarters or so in, the experience intensified—moments of muting illumination that may well have been synchronized with the actuality of twilight becoming dusk. I was stunned by the excitement of the event—the incidence of nightfall—and the event of the film, which struck me on the spot as a tour de force, compelling for its clarity, subtlety, and quietude. Observing the gradual darkness felt like a revelation. I was sorry when Nightfall ended.” – Julie Ault

Directed by Edmund Goulding 
Bored with playing sympathetic heroes, Tyrone Power persuaded Twentieth Century-Fox to cast him as a calculating heel in a noir-ish film version of William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel.  Ambitious carnival roustabout Stan Carlisle takes over a sideshow mind-reading act and transforms it into a slick nightclub turn.  Determined to milk the "spook racket" for all it's worth, Stan next joins forces with a corrupt psychiatrist who supplies him with confidential information about her wealthy patients that Stan uses to convince them of his psychic ability.  Power skillfully conveys Stan's cynicism and nervy charm, along with his oddly touching naiveté: he cannot help believing in tarot cards, and has a superstitious fear of divine retribution.  Nightmare Alley stands out among 1940s films for its darkly humorous slant on phony religionists and their gullible followers.
---Charles Hopkins
Twentieth Century Fox.  Producer: George Jessel. Screenwriter: Jules Furthman, based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham.  Cinematographer: Lee Garmes.  Editor: Barbara McLean.  Cast: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Taylor Holmes. 35mm, b/w, 111 min.

1980, Warner Bros., 118 min, USA, Dir: William Peter Blatty
This hilarious, thrilling and altogether amazing fusion of horror film, ultra-black comedy and religious allegory was directed and written by THE EXORCIST author William Peter Blatty. Stacy Keach stars as the psychiatrist assigned to straighten out the inmates in a decaying castle taken over by the U.S. military. Discussion between films with actor Stacy Keach.

2012, Music Box Films, 83 min, Germany, Dir: Jan-Ole Gerster
Jan Ole Gerster's wry and vibrant feature debut OH BOY, which swept the 2013 German Film Awards, paints a day in the life of Niko, a twenty-something college dropout going nowhere fast. Niko lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider. Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance, and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his "emotional imbalance." Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school taunts when she was "Roly Poly Julia," but it becomes increasingly apparent that she has unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life. Shot in timeless black and white and enriched with a snappy jazz soundtrack, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience. In German with English subtitles.

1964, Janus Films, 103 min, Japan, Dir: Kaneto Shindô
In this chilling Japanese folk tale, a poverty-stricken mother and daughter-in-law make a meager living killing off samurai and selling their belongings. Their lives become more interesting when a neighbor returns from war and becomes a part of their lives, but before long they find themselves joined in a fate as horrific as it is beautiful. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Pedro Páramo
1967, 110 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Screenwriters: Carlos Fuentes and Carlos Velo; director: Carlos Velo; with John Gavin, Ignacio López Tarso, Pilar Pellicer, and Carlos Fernández
The first film adaption of Juan Rulfo’s modernist novel (“one of the masterpieces of 20th-century world literature,” per Susan Sontag) of the same name, Pedro Páramo traces the surrealist-tinged journey of Juan Preciado into the past of the once-thriving hamlet of Comala. Now a dusty ghost town inhabited only by phantoms—including Juan’s own recently deceased mother—Comala was at one time the seat of great wealth and corruption. It was also the home to Juan’s father, the titular womanizing feudal lord Pedro Páramo (John Gavin).
Through the prism of Páramo’s dark history and the storied past of the Media Luna estate which he spawned (a refrain heard throughout the film: “We’re all sons of Pedro Páramo”), the film creates a sweeping yet intimate panorama of rural Mexico on the brink of revolution. This late entry in the canon of the Golden Age and the first narrative feature by Spanish-born documentarian Carlos Velo toggles past and present, dream and reality, memory and fantasy, and disparate perspectives—all through the polished cinematography of Gabriel Figueroa. 

1982, Grindhouse Releasing, 89 min, Spain/USA, Dir: Juan Piquer Simón
In this infamous grindhouse thriller, a young boy with twisted ideas about sexuality grows into a serial killer on a rampage, collecting body parts to assemble his jigsaw puzzle of the ideal woman. Christopher George (TV’s “Rat Patrol”) is the hardboiled cop on his trail in a bizarre college town. Filmmaker Simón keeps the absurd number of red herrings coming at breakneck speed. Live Score by Umberto!

Writer/director Albert Lewin, ever on the lookout for esoteric story material that would accommodate his fascination with Egyptian sculpture and feline symbolism, managed to inject both into The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. Though based on a Guy de Maupassant story, Bel Ami seems to have been written by Oscar Wilde, another of Lewin's pets. George Sanders plays an epigrammatic Parisian journalist, who rises to the top through the "kindnesses" of the various influential women that he's seduced and abandoned. This 19th-century rake's progress is ultimately halted by a duel... George Sanders' stepping-stone ladies include Angela Lansbury, Frances Dee, Ann Dvorak, Marie Wilson, Katherine Emery and Susan Douglas. Dir. Albert Lewin, 1 hr. 52 min, 1947.

23rd annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly.  

Rakhshan Banietemad: The Hidden Cost of Violence
Iran’s most celebrated female filmmaker, Rakhshan Banietemad, screens two passionate and fascinating explorations of the impact of the recent electoral processes in her country. We Are Half of Iran’s Population(Ma Nimi Az Jameiate Iranim, 2009) shows a diverse coalition of women’s rights activists engaged in the political debate. In the world premiere of See You Tomorrow Elina! (Farda Mibinamet Elina, 2013), Banietemad returns to the kindergarten where she had enrolled her daughter, Baran—now an actress and activist who has appeared in many of Banietemad’s narrative films. The film compares the violence witnessed by Iranian kindergarten students during the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s with that of the recent political protests following the country’s 2009 elections.  In person: Rakhshan Banietemad

The Real and the Hyper-Real: Films and Videos by Scott Stark
Scott Stark’s films, videos and installations are kinetic revelations that can be shocking, mesmerizing and narratively rich. Each is a distinctive cultural and aesthetic adventure with its own conceptual rigor. His films include the mysterious and delightful Hotel Cartograph (1983); More Than Meets the Eye: Remaking Jane Fonda (2001/06), Stark’s witty response to this American icon; Speechless (2008), a visceral collision of anatomy with rough-hewn surfaces; Traces (2012), a flickering play of fragmented objects; and his masterful The Realist (2013), a “doomed love” melodrama peopled with department store mannequins and located in the visually heightened universe of clothing displays, fashion islands and storefront windows. In person: Scott Stark 

Red Detachment of Women (Mainland China, 1961)
Directed by Xie Jin
"The films I directed before the Cultural Revolution are mostly about the contrast between the old society and the new society," said Xie Jin, whose distinguished career extended from the pre- to post-Cultural Revolution periods.  "What was the past like?  What happened after the founding of New China?"  The director boldly answered those questions in this tale of a violated peasant girl turned vicious fighting machine.  The film's first half, situated on the sweltering island of Hainan, has the feel of a "James Bond of the East," as a dashing spy recruits our heroine to the Communist cause; the second half, featuring her army training and fearsome all-female combat scenes, crosses the eye-popping style of Communist propaganda posters with the gritty realism of Soviet war films, creating an unclassifiable, proto-pop art socialist cinematography.  While Red Detachment is certainly brimming with cadre spirit---it became one of the Mainland's most important films up to the fall of the Gang of Four, remade successively in literary, theater, model opera and new film versions---Xie Jin never lets the proceedings sink into sloganeering; he later claimed that he kept such classic (and decidedly un-revolutionary) Chinese novels as “Romance of Book and Sword” in mind while making the film.
Tianma Film Studio. Screenwriter: Liang Xin.  Cinematographer: Shen Xilin.  Editor: Zhang Hanchen.  Cast: Zhu Xijuan, Niu Ben, Wang Xingang, Chen Qiang, Xiang Mei. 35mm, color, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 110 min.

Directed by Wen Yimin
The only surviving section of the 13-part serial Red Knight Errant, this barn-burner of an action epic is a prime specimen of the martial arts/fantasy film explosion of late-twenties and early-thirties Shanghai---but one with a significant twist.  In place of the typical manly hero, Red Heroine presents a swashbuckling woman clad in exotic costume soaring through the air, disappearing in clouds of smoke and laying waste to armies of baddies with a sweep of her sword.  Opening with Red Heroine's abduction by a tyrannical warlord, the film follows her rescue by a hermit monk, her training to become an unstoppable killing machine, and her efforts to stop the warlord ravaging the countryside and enslaving numerous (very) scantily-clad young women.  (Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist strongman then ruling China, had threatened to ban all martial arts cinema for its immorality, but one wonders if the films' politics cut a bit too close to the bone as well!)  Reportedly a smash hit on its release, Red Heroine helped set the template for later revivals of the martial arts genre in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Youlian Film Company. Cinematographer: Yao Shiquan.  Cast: Wang Chuqin, Zhu Shaoquan, Zhao Taishan, Fan Xuepeng, Qu Yifeng. 35mm, b/w, silent with English intertitles, 94 min. Note:  Live musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick.  

Red Sorghum (Mainland China, 1987)
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Already a renowned cinematographer for his work on such landmark Fifth Generation films as Yellow Earth, Zhang Yimou announced himself as a master director with this deceptively simple folk fable; the film also introduced the world to his muse and future wife Gong Li, who went on to become the most famous film actress to ever emerge from the Mainland.  Set in the lead-up to the Sino-Japanese War, Red Sorghum tells the story of a young peasant girl, Jiu'er (Gong), whose parents sell her into marriage with an elderly winemaker.  Attacked by bandits on the way to her wedding, Jiu'er is rescued by one of her palanquin bearers (Jiang Wen, sporting maximum swagger), who later returns and becomes her lover.  Together they turn around the wine business she has inherited, but then have to grimly dig in to face the invading Japanese armies.  From its bawdy beginnings to its tragic conclusion, where an unimaginable nightmare becomes all too real, Red Sorghum is above all a formidable visual accomplishment: every shot feels utterly original, every nuance of color a boldly symbolic flourish.  "The cinematography in Red Sorghum has no desire to be subtle, or muted; it wants to splash its passionate colors all over the screen with abandon, and the sheer visual impact of the film is voluptuous" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times).
Xi’an Film Studio.  Producer: Wu Tian-ming. Screenwriter: Mo Yan, Chen Jianyu, Zhu Wei.  Cinematographer: Gu Changwei.  Editor: Du Yuan.  Cast: Jiang Wen, Gong Li, Dong Kun, Qian Ming, Chen Zhigang. 35mm, color, in Mandarin and Japanese with English subtitles, 91 min. 

Río Escondido
1947, 110 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Screenwriter: Mauricio Magdaleno; director: Emilio Fernández; with María Félix, Domingo Soler, Carlos López Moctezuma, and Fernando Fernández
Perhaps the most patriotic of the Emilio Fernández–Gabriel Figueroa films, Río Escondido is also one of the most pictorially perfect. Summoned to the capital—“the heart of Mexico”—by the president of the Republic himself, school-teacher Rosaura (María Félix) beholds Diego Rivera’s breathtaking National Palace murals—originally meant to be seen in glorious Technicolor, though the footage has since disappeared. She is tasked with bringing civilization to the dusty pueblo of Río Escondido, which also happens to be located in the very municipality named after Benito) Juarez, “the father of modern Mexico."
What Rosaura finds is a community under the thumb of the petty tyrant El Jefe (Carlos López Moctezuma), lacking in basic supplies and baking under the unforgiving desert sun. With the help of a young, peripatetic doctor (Fernando Fernández) she sets up a new school and vaccinates the populace. A fiery pedagogue, she nonetheless becomes the object of El Jefe’s affections. Fighting a literal heart sickness, Rosaura must face the risk of sacrificing herself for the good of the patria on a grubby span of hinterland turned sublime by the lens of Figueroa.

In her directorial debut, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam intimately captures the stories of three families living in Cambodia as they strive to maintain their traditional ways of life amid rapid development and environmental degradation. Deep in the jungle, Sav Samourn struggles as large companies encroach and “progress” claims the life-giving forests. She discovers there’s little room for wild animals, ghosts – and the home she has always known. In a fishing hamlet, Sari Math must quit school to help support his family. But as the fish catch dwindles, Sari and his family find their livelihood threatened. In a village, Khieu Mok must leave to seek work in a Phnom Penh factory to help pay her family’s debts. But city life proves no better, and Khieu struggles between her need to send money home and her duty to be with her loved ones. From Cambodia’s forests to its rivers, from its idyllic rice fields to the capital’s pulsing heart, forces of radical change are transforming the landscape of the country – and the dreams of its people. Running Time: 83 min. 

Hollywood's Stacy Keach stars in Australia's Road Games. Keach is a truck driver who takes the law in his own hands to capture a serial killer. When the police fail to nab the murderer of hitchhikers, Keach takes to the road, conducting his own search. En route, he picks up hitcher Jamie Lee Curtis... Director Richard Franklin's fondness for Hitchcock, which would come to full fruition in Psycho II (1982), is very much in evidence throughout Road Games. 1981, Australia, 35mm, 101 minutes. Directed by Richard Franklin; screenplay by Everett De Roche; original story by Everett De Roche and Richard Franklin; starring Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page

Directed by Li Minwei
Less than an hour remains of this sumptuous costume epic, at the time one of the most lavish Chinese productions ever made.  Based on a scandalous Yuan Dynasty play, the film chronicles the blossoming affair between a young scholar and a courtier's daughter, set against the backdrop of a bandit siege.  Featuring a few breathtaking hand-tinted sequences and replete with breakneck action, intrigue and old-fashioned romance, Romance of the Western Chamber anticipates the later "anything goes" spirit of Hong Kong New Wave director Tsui Hark. Minxin Film Company. Screenwriter: Hou Yao, based on the play by Wang Shifu.  Cinematographer: Liang Linguang.  Cast: Ce Cijiang, Liu Chuchu, Li Dandan, Hu Chichang, Zhu Yaoting. 35mm, b/w, silent with French intertitles and live English translation, 45 min.

Running Wild (1927)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
The henpecked husband was a comic archetype that W.C. Fields refined to wry perfection over the course his career.  Here it exists in perhaps its most slapstick form on screen with Fields as Elmer Finch, a lowly clerk put upon by everyone until he’s accidentally hypnotized and turns the tables on his tormentors.
Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. Screenwriter: Roy Briant, G. La Cava.  Cinematographer: Paul Vogel.  Cast: W.C. Fields, Marie Shotwell, Mary Brian, Claud Buchanan, Barney Raskle. 35mm, b/w, silent, 68 min. 

Directed by Josef von Sternberg
This beautiful, delirious film traces the rise of Catherine the Great of Russia from her arranged marriage to the hapless future Czar Peter III in 1744 to her accession as empress following Peter’s murder in 1762.  Released in September, 1934, it followed by six months the U.S. release of Catherine the Great, a British film directed by Paul Czinner that covered much the same ground.  Produced by Alexander Korda in typically lavish style and starring Czinner’s wife, Elisabeth Bergner, as Catherine and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., as Peter, the British film used spectacle as background for what he called “a relentless exercise in decor,” with Catherine and Peter’s story as pretext for a stunning series of visual effects.  “Comparisons are not even called for,” noted Variety. “Korda played ‘Catherine’ for drama; Von Sternberg plays her for pageantry.”
In contrast to the carefully researched 18th century background in Czinner’s film, Sternberg created a Russia that was as fanciful and stylized as Eisenstein’s in Ivan the Terrible.  Grotesque carvings festoon the walls and furniture of Catherine’s palace, dwarfing the actors and competing all too successfully, in some scenes, for the audience’s attention.  The intent may have been to emphasize the primitive, semi-medieval nature of the world into which Catherine was thrust after her sunny childhood in a provincial German court, but the background are so outlandish that they amuse rather than frighten: in truth, the Russian court as imagined by Sternberg and his designers would not look out of place in a Disney cartoon.  For all its “pageantry,” the film looks more expensive than it was.  Most of the action takes place on one ingeniously constructed set; and when Ernst Lubitsch, who was serving a brief, unhappy tenure as head of Paramount, complained of Sternberg’s extravagance in hiring crowds of extras for a short montage sequence, Sternberg pointed out that he had used stock footage from Lubitsch’s 1928 production The Patriot instead.  (That sequence is all that survives of The Patriot today, incidentally.)
Most audiences today find The Scarlet Empress hugely entertaining, but the film was so poorly received in 1934 that it became the first Sternberg-Marlene Dietrich film to lose money.  Their next film, The Devil is a Woman (1935), failed even more disastrously, and Sternberg’s partnership with Paramount and Dietrich was at an end.  The careers of both director and star went into eclipse, until Dietrich’s triumphant comeback in the role of Frenchy, the raucous saloon singer of George Marshall’s Destry Rides Again (1939).  Sternberg continued directing films until the 1950s, but he never regained the autonomy he enjoyed when he created the gorgeous monstrosity that is The Scarlet Empress.  
---Charles Hopkins
Paramount Pictures.  Producer: Josef von Sternberg. Screenwriter: Manuel Komroff, based on a diary by Catherine the Great.  Cinematographer: Bert Glennon.  Editor: Sam Winston.  Cast: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser. 35mm, b/w, 108 min.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, where he now lives and works, filmmaker Peter Sempel spent his adolescent years in the Australian Outback. For over 30 years, Sempel has traveled the world creating an extraordinary body of work.
Focusing his camera on a vast array of musicians and artists, Sempel creates what he refers to as "personal portraits" of icons such as musicians Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Nina Hagen, Motörhead's Lemmy, the poet Allen Ginsberg, Japanese Butoh-dancer Kazuo Ohno, and filmmaker Jonas Mekas.
Join Filmmaker Peter Sempel at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles for a special 12 hour Marathon of 30 years of Art + Music films. Punk and Glory guaranteed! Peter Sempel will be in attendance. 

1977, Universal, 92 min. Dir. Michael Winner.
In this creepy adaptation of Jeffrey Konvitz’s horror best-seller, a troubled model (Cristina Raines) moves into a New York apartment building that gives new meaning to the phrase “neighbors from Hell.” The all-star cast includes Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, John Carradine and Christopher Walken.

Inasmuch as the film was based on a novel by Swedish author Sigrid Boo, Fox's Servant's Entrance is logically set in Sweden. Heiress Hedda Nillson (Janet Gaynor), certain that her family is about to lose all its money, takes a job as a maid. After the usual trials and tribulations, Hedda falls in love with humble chauffeur Eric Landstrom (Lew Ayres). When it turns out she's not going to go broke after all, Hedda despairs, believing that she will be forced to give Eric up... The highlight of Servant's Entrance is an animated nightmare sequence, courtesy of Walt Disney studios, wherein poor Hedda is "attacked" by a barrage of anthropomorphic pots and pans (Disney's previous contribution to Fox Studios was a futuristic television sequence in the 1933 Lilian Harvey vehicle My Lips Betray). Dir. Frank Lloyd, 1 hr. 28 min, 1934.

A 60th anniversary screening of a new digital restoration, with an introduction by James Mangold
“A gun is a tool, Marion, no better or no worse than any other tool, an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” – Shane
“Shane” is a classic western that has influenced numerous directors, including Warren Beatty and Woody Allen, who called “Shane” one of his favorite American films and praised its “poetry and elegant flow.”
Based on Jack Schaefer’s successful 1949 novel, the film recounts the age-old story of the duel between good and evil through the eyes of Joey (Brandon De Wilde), an impressionable young boy who idolizes a mysterious gunslinger. Shane (Alan Ladd), the man without a past or a future, inserts himself into the battle over land being waged between homesteaders and a cattle baron, and in the process, transforms a beleaguered town. Van Heflin and Jean Arthur co-star as Joey’s parents, who find their lives deeply affected by Shane.
Considered by Allen to be veteran producer-director George Stevens’s masterpiece, “Shane” marked Stevens’s first foray into color. Shot on location near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the film’s rich Technicolor cinematography captures the panorama of the frontier during a crucial moment in Western mythology, when civilization was encroaching on the seemingly endless wilderness. 118 minutes.

Shangrao Concentration Camp (Mainland China, 1951)
Directed by Zhang Ke, Sha Meng
One of the major discoveries of this series and one of the greatest POW films of all time, Shangrao Concentration Camp is set in the hellish confines of a Guomindang (Nationalist) prison, where the brutal officials try to force two female Communist prisoners to reveal their leader's identity and location.  While its subject and year of production might suggest a propaganda film, Shangrao has garnered some interesting (if chronologically impossible) comparisons to Bresson from some critics for its intense, haunting minimalism, though its true roots are in the Soviet cinema then widely distributed in China; in particular, the great cinematographer Zhu Jinming offers a brilliant echo of Dovzhenko's overwhelming landscapes in his images of China's rugged northern climes.  With an extraordinary use of long takes and surprisingly mobile camera movements accentuating the passionate, earthy performances of leads Tang Hua Da and Zhiang Jun, Shangrao Concentration Camp is, "a powerful meditation on human relations under pressure" (Paul Clark, “Chinese Cinema: Culture and Politics Since 1949”).
Shanghai Film Studio. Screenwriter: Feng Xuefeng.  Cinematographer: Qiu Yiren, Zhu Jinming.  Editor: Wu Tingfang, Huang Zhangcai.  Cast: Tang Hua Da, Zhiang Jun, Lu Min, Zhou Liangliang, Lin Nong. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 96 min. 

Ship of Theseus
2012, 139 minutes. Written and directed by Anand Gandhi; produced by Mukesh Shah, Sohum Shah, and Amita Shah
As the planks of Theseus' ship needed repair, it was replaced part by part, up to a point where not a single part from the original ship remained in it, anymore. Is it, then, still the same ship? If all the discarded parts were used to build another ship, which of the two, if either, is the real Ship of Theseus?
An unusual photographer grapples with the loss of her intuitive brilliance as an aftermath of a clinical procedure. An erudite monk confronting an ethical dilemma with a long held ideology, has to choose between principle and death. And a young stockbroker, following the trail of a stolen kidney, learns how intricate morality can be.
Following the separate strands of their philosophical journeys, and their eventual convergence, Ship of Theseus explores questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death.  In English, Arabic, Swedish, and Hindi, with English subtitles.

1949, 79 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Helen Deutsch and Samuel Fuller; directed by Douglas Sirk; with Cornel Wilde, Patricia Knight, John Baragrey, Esther Minciotti
A beautiful ex-con falls for her parole officer while still dating the crook who landed her in prison.

It’s the underwater Nazi zombie flick that cares: Shock Waves. Brooke Adams is the survivor of an ill-fated vacation cruise, during which her ship runs aground on Peter Cushing’s tropical SS hideaway — a Floridian isle on which he breeds zombies from the bodies of his deceased Aryan soldiers. Lurking beneath the water, this self-appointed Death Corps is ready to drag new visitors to a very soggy death! Despite its lack of technical polish, Shock Waves is one of those buried treasures horror fans love to discover and recommend to their friends. The surreal, dreamlike setting plays like a cross between Lucio Fulci’s Zombie and the haunted wastelands of Val Lewton, while the detached, somnambulist performances, coupled with a skin-crawling electronic score, make for a unique and unsettling experience. Dir. Ken Wiederhorn, 1977, 35mm, 90 min.

1971, 55 min, India, Dir: Satyajit Ray
Described by its writer-director (and narrator) as “a paean of praise for the place,” this rarely screened documentary was commissioned by the ruler of Sikkim to promote tourism several years before the Himalayan kingdom became part of India. Banned for decades in India (and at one point considered lost), SIKKIM is a travelogue through a land of breathtaking beauty.

Simon of the Desert
Luis Buñuel revels in the penitent spirituality, profane humor, and fantastical phenomena that befall the hermit who sat atop a marble pillar in the barren Syrian Desert for 37 years. Taunted and tempted by a versatile Satan (Mexican diva Silvia Pinal), Simon is a paradigm of bizarre piety and Figueroa’s camera, returning to the rugged, open-air vistas that harken back to his work with Emilio Fernández. Inspired by chronicles of the fourth-century mystic Saint Simeon Stylites, Buñuel’s last Mexican production ran out of financing and never became a full-fledged feature. Punctuated by an abrupt flash-forward to swinging present-day Manhattan, Simon of the Desert’s find Buñuel closing his Mexican period on a surrealist high note.  

Soleil O (Oh, Sun)
Mauritanie, 1969, 102 minutes
Written and directed by Med Hondo
Starring Yane Barry, Bernard Bresson, and Greg Germain
Writer/director Med Hondo’s 1969 examination of the hand of European imperialism on Africa is initially playful (the opening credits sequence offers a brutally comic black-and-white piece of animation that could be from a pan-African Terry Gilliam) and finally penetrating. After the opening, Soleil O launches into another shock: right after a proud voiceover informs us of a people with “its own science and teaching methods,” we see the tribesmen asking for God’s forgiveness for not speaking French and surrendering their tribal name for Christian ones. We’re in more than capable hands—Hondo’s thoughtful shifts in tone and narrative style keeps this in constant and provocative motion—as Soleil O tracks an African desperately in search of his French ancestors and slowly discovers what has been taken away from him and leads us to speculate if a sacrificed soul can be reclaimed.  

Song at Midnight (China, 1937)
Directed by Ma-Xu Weibang
A loose adaptation of Gaston Leroux's “The Phantom of the Opera,” Song at Midnight is, "an oddball mixture of horror film, propaganda piece and musical; it rates historical importance as the first acknowledged Chinese horror film" (Donato Totaro).  Soon after the fall of Imperial China, an opera troupe arrives at a theater overseen by a troll-like custodian and a catatonic woman named Li Xiaoxia, who is entranced by the haunting voice of a plaintive, unseen singer.  The young leftist leader of the troupe delves into the mystery and discovers that the voice belongs to a mysterious man named Song Danping, once a famous opera singer who was tortured and hideously disfigured by an evil lord over his love for the woman who now thinks him dead.  Beautifully rendered in gothic black-and-white, Song at Midnight is intriguing both for its political content---making the wronged hero Song Danping, "a fugitive revolutionary, using the theater as a sanctuary... with clear references to the chaotic political struggles of the 1920s" (David Robinson)--- and its evocation of 1930s Hollywood horror films.  Director Ma-Xu Weibang went on to be a force in postwar Hong Kong cinema, and may have helped institute its tradition of cleverly appropriating visual and narrative motifs from both Hollywood and other national cinemas.
Xinhua Film Company.  Producer: Zhang Shankun.  Screenwriter: Ma-Xu Weibang.  Cinematographer: Yu Xingsan, Xue Boqing.  Editor: Dong Jiqing.  Cast: Jin Shan, Hu Ping, Shi Chao, Xiao Ying, Zhou Wenshu. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 119 min.

So's Your Old Man (1926)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
In one of W.C. Fields’ best silent outings, he plays Samuel Bisbee, a small town would-be inventor with delusions of grandeur.  His daughter is in love with the son of one of the town's better families, but the young man's parents want no part of the dilapidated failure until an unlikely deus ex machina in the form of a European princess intervenes.
Famous Players-Lasky Corp. Screenwriter: J. Clarkson Miller.  Cinematographer: George Miller.  Editor: Julian Johnson.  Cast: W.C. Fields, Alice Joyce, Charles Rogers, Kittens Reichert, Marcia Harris. 35mm, b/w, silent, 67 min. 

Directed by Fei Mu
Spring in a Small Town is the apotheosis of Golden Age Shanghai cinema, at once a deeply literary work that forges unexpected connections between pre- and post-Republican prose forms, and a breathtaking visual masterpiece that marries symbolism derived from ancient landscape painting with innovative camera and editing ideas.  His once great wealth lost in the aftermath of the Second World War, the sickly, middle-aged Dai Liyan (Shi Yu) now pines for the past in his ruined estate with his alienated wife Zhou Yuwen (Wei Wei), his young sister, and an old servant.  The couple's mutual ennui is temporarily lifted when an old friend---and Yuwen's former lover---arrives for a visit.  As old feelings rekindle, Yuwen becomes torn between loyalty to her husband and his family and the chance to begin life anew with her old flame.  Cited as a formative influence by Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Jia Zhangke and Wong Kar-wai, Spring in a Small Town evokes the astonishing visual fluidity of Orson Welles while predicting the cinema of modernist master Alain Resnais in its beautifully affecting restraint and time-jumping, Marienbad-ish voiceover.  Wei Wei is exquisite as the tortured Yuwen, her poetic voiceover suggesting a regretful ghost recalling her last possible moment of happiness; she endows the film with a tragic pain that lingers long after the wistful last shot.  "An extraordinary work, anticipating Antonioni in its slow unfolding of an erotic situation, treated with a mixture of sympathy and austerity." --- David Bordwell.  Wenhua Film Company. Screenwriter: Li Tianji.  Cinematographer: Li Shengwei.  Editor: Xu Ming, Wei Yibao.  Cast: Shi Yu, Wei Wei, Zhang Hongmei, Li Wei, Cui Chaoming. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 93 min.

Directed by Cheng Bugao
Hailed as one of the first successful attempts to weave progressive politics into Chinese popular cinema, Spring Silkworms is as notable for its exquisite attention to the details of rural life as it is for its revolutionary spirit.  Scripted by the greatest screenwriters of the day, Cai Chusheng and Xia Yan, from the (decidedly un-militant) short story by May 4th writer Mao Dun, Spring Silkworms follows a humble silk-farming family struggling to be free of debt to exploitative middlemen (shades of Visconti's classic La Terra Trema).  While bristling with rage at the destructive macroeconomic forces brought on by late-stage colonialism, the film never sacrifices empathy to ideology; the Marxist message is further modulated by First Generation master Cheng Bugao's lyrical depictions of local farming practices and the gorgeous Zhejiang countryside.  Indeed, Cheng's luminous landscape sequences (influenced by ancient scroll painting) attests to Spring Silkworms' enormous continuing importance: regarding nature as virtually a character in itself, the film anticipates similar strategies in such later masterpieces as Fei Mu's Spring in a Small Town and Chen Kaige's Yellow Earth.  "A milestone in the development of Chinese, and indeed world, cinema."
--- Paul Clark, “Chinese Cinema: Culture and Politics Since 1949”
Mingxing Film Company. Screenwriter: Cai Chusheng, Xia Yan, based on the short story by Mao Dun.  Cinematographer: Wang Shizhen.  Cast: Gong Jianong, Zheng Xiaoqiu, Gao Qianping, Wang Zhengxin, Yan Yuexian. 35mm, b/w, silent with English intertitles, 100 min. Note:  Live musical accompaniment.

The Square is a truly immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces: from a brutal army dictatorship willing to crush protesters with military tanks, to a corrupt Muslim Brotherhood using mosques to manipulate voters. Running Time: 88 min. 

Before his masterful exploitation efforts Blue Sunshine and Just Before Dawn (see: our October 5th midnight show), mastermind cult director Jeff Lieberman debuted with this nature-strikes-back nightmare of wriggling horror, in which a sleepy backwoods Georgia town is inundated with millions of bloodthirsty creatures oozing out of the mire to feed on human flesh! When a violent summer storm knocks Fly Creek, GA’s power lines down onto wet soil, the resulting surge of electricity drives forth a tidal wave of terror, in the form of an invertebrate holocaust. The worm wranglers on this one still haven’t recovered, for the picture bursts at the seams with a googolplex’s worth of writhing critters, made all the more freaky-deaky by an omniprescent, overdriven, terrifying squelching on the audio track. If that weren’t already enough — the Rick Baker makeup effects, the Brooklynite lead actors doing their best Tennessee Williams, the local townsfolk playing themselves, the jaw-dropping worm photography, the authentic folksy charm and the thick humidity permeating this Southern affair all solidly nail Squirm into the gilded pantheon of drive-in horror history. Dir. Jeff Lieberman, 1976, 35mm, 93 min.

2012, Roadside Attractions, 108 min, Canada, Dir: Sarah Polley
An actress and Oscar-nominated writer as well as a director, Sarah Polley turns the camera on her own family in this unusual documentary. Growing up as the daughter of performers, Polley had heard rumors about her mother, who died when Sarah was 11. Using interviews and re-enactments to unravel the mystery, Polley discovers how differently people can color their version of the past - and how multicolored the truth can be. “One of the boldest and most exciting films I’ve seen in the last six months, and the kind of experience that has the power to alter your perception of the world.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times. Discussion following with director Sarah Polley.

The Story of a Discharged Prisoner (Hong Kong, 1967)
Directed by Patrick Lung Kong
Only recently being rediscovered, this tough-as-nails, black-and-white crime thriller from 1967 has had an enormous and lasting influence: it served as the basis for John Woo's 1986 bullet-ballet opus A Better Tomorrow, which made "heroic bloodshed" the new face of Hong Kong action cinema.  Patrick Tse Yin stars as the eponymous ex-con Lee Cheuk-hung, who is released from prison after 15 years to discover his fiancée has become the mistress of powerful triad boss One-Eyed Jack (Shek Kin, best known in the West as the villain in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon), who tries to recruit Lee into his gang; determined to stay on the straight and narrow, Lee refuses.  But when the vengeful Jack starts putting the pressure on, the former foot soldier is forced to once again show that he has the "true colors of a hero" (as per the film's original title).  Both a groundbreaking action melodrama (featuring fight choreography from legendary martial arts master Lau Kar-leung's brother Lau Kar-wing) and a forceful, socially conscious portrait of the plight of the marginalized in a rapidly modernizing Hong Kong, The Story of a Discharged Prisoner is "[both] a damning critique [and] a call for hope...[this] is filmmaking at its sharpest and most masterful" (South China Morning Post).
Kong Ngee Company. Producer: He Jianye.  Screenwriter: Patrick Lung Kong.  Cinematographer: Chen Kan.  Cast: Patrick Tse Yin, Shek Kin, Chan Tsai-chung, Do Ping, Hui Ying-ying. 35mm, b/w, in Cantonese with English subtitles, 119 min.

Fabric designer Harry Quincey (George Sanders) has the unhappy task of caring for his tiresome unmarried sisters, Lettie (Geraldine Fitzgerald) and Hester (Moyna MacGill). When Harry falls in love with Deborah Brown (Ella Raines), Hester is delighted, but Lettie smolders with jealousy. Upset at Lettie 's opposition, Harry would like nothing better than to do her in. Does he? And what has really happened here? The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry was one of several Universal film noirs of the 1940s produced by longtime Alfred Hitchcock associate Joan Harrison. Dir. Robert Siodmak, 1 hr. 20 min, 1945.

Street Angel (China, 1937)
Directed by Yuan Muzhi
Loosely based on director Frank Borzage's 1927 silent classic Seventh Heaven (though bearing the title of the film he made a year later) and a major hit upon its release in Shanghai, Street Angel is a curious mélange of leftist Chinese cinema motifs and Hollywood bravado, and plentiful other delightfully discordant elements.  (The opening parade scene, featuring copious cross-cutting between bemused onlookers and the film's playful main characters, could be mistaken for early Fellini.)  Zhao Dan stars as a misfit street musician who sets out to rescue two hard-luck sisters---one already sold into prostitution, the other on the verge of the same and barely subsisting as a teahouse singer---from their dire straits.  A scintillating mixture of melodrama, social realism, exuberant musical numbers and slapstick comedy, Street Angel is considered the definitive portrait of Shanghai street life in the 1930s, marvelously capturing the earthy energy and wild collective mood swings that preceded the incipient Japanese invasion.
Mingxing Film Company.  Screenwriter: Yuan Muzhi.  Cinematographer: Wu Yinxian.  Cast: Zhao Dan, Wang Jiting, Wei Heling, Zhou Xuan, Qian Qianli. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 91 min.

Featuring a print restored under the supervision of Kevin Brownlow with a stereo musical score composed by Carl Davis.
Heightening the full romantic power of the silent screen with the unique “Lubitsch” touch, “The Student Prince” offers beautiful cinematography, playful and subtle performances from Novarro and Shearer, and a touching story of a young prince who falls in love with an innkeeper’s daughter in an enchanting film whose pictures are, indeed, worth a thousand words.
Starring Norma Shearer and Ramon Novarro. Produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Written by Hans Kraly, based on the book Karl Heinrich by Wilhelm Meyer-Förster and the operetta The Student Prince by Dorothy Donnelly and Sigmund Romberg. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 35mm, silent, black-and-white, 105 min.

Before the ‘Teenager’ was invented, there was no second stage of life. You were either a child or you went to work as an adult. At the turn of the century, child labor was ending, ‘adolescence’ was emerging, and a struggle erupted between adults and youth. Would the young be controlled and regimented, or could they be free? Inspired by punk author Jon Savage’s book, Teenage gives voice to young people from the first half of the 20th century in America, England, and Germany—from party-crazed Flappers and hip Swing Kids to zealous Nazi Youth and frenzied Sub-Debs. By the end of World War II, they were all ‘Teenagers’: a new idea of youth. Four young voices bring to life rare archival material and filmed portraits of emblematic teenagers from history—Brenda Dean Paul, a self-destructive Bright Young Thing; Melita Maschmann, an idealistic Hitler Youth; Tommie Scheel, a rebellious German Swing Kid; and Warren Wall, a black Boy Scout. This living collage is punctuated by a contemporary score by Bradford Cox. Teenage is a story that ends with a beginning: a prelude to today's youth culture. In each generation, adults often mistake youthful unrest for an emotional right of passage. But history proves that rebelling teenagers aren't just claiming their independence, they're shaping the future. Running Time: 78 min. 

1961, Janus Films, 174 min, India, Dir: Satyajit Ray
To commemorate the centennial of writer Rabindranath Tagore, director Satyajit Ray adapted the Nobel Prize-winner’s stories in this entertaining anthology. “The Postmaster” looks at the all-too-brief bond between a Calcutta man who takes a job as a village postmaster and the little girl who works as his housekeeper; one of Ray’s smallest but brightest gems. “Monihara (The Lost Jewels),” a ghost story about a jewelry-obsessed woman and her husband, had been edited out of the international release but is included in this restoration. In “Samapti (The Conclusion),” Soumitra Chatterjee plays a college graduate whose mother has a dull wife picked out for him - until a madcap young woman catches his eye. In Bengali with English subtitles.

1982, 110 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento
Dario Argento's mastery of the giallo is clear in this stylish thriller, which is among the writer-director's most violent - and erotic. In Rome to promote his new novel, a murder mystery writer (Anthony Franciosa) learns that his work has inspired a serial slasher who targets women. As the author teams with the police to find the killer, the blood flows as freely as the plot twists in this oft-censored "video nasty," which includes some of Argento's most dazzling set pieces. Goblin keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, guitarist Massimo Morante and bassist Fabio Pignatelli reunited to create the suspenseful soundtrack. With John Saxon and Daria Nicolodi.

"Spiritual, soulful and captivating" —The Hollywood Reporter
"Williams is a solid presence anchoring the movie with great ease." —Variety
"A metaphysical film of rare sensorial power (...) a beautiful fable of initiation." —Le Monde
At the same time, joyous, subtle, and tragic, Tey is a powerful fairytale. In a village outside Dakar, the gods—or the stars, or destiny, have spoken: Satché must die by the end of the day. Until nightfall, the film follows him making his goodbyes to those around him—his family, his lover, his children, his wife. Initially feted by his community with an enthusiasm tainted by melancholy, Satché, the one chosen to disappear, soon finds himself set apart from those closest to him, in beautiful scenes that seek to show those elements of friendship, desire, sadness, affection, and anger that are usually left unsaid. —BelleMoon Productions. Director: Alain Gomis. Writer:  Alain Gomis, Djolof Mbengue, Marc Wels. Stars:  Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman, Aïssa Maïga, Djolof Mbengue, Thierno Ndiaye Doss. BelleMoon Productions. DCP/ 88 mins.  Director Alain Gomis and Actor Saul Williams will be in attendance for a Q & A following the screening

These Are the Damned
1965, 87 minutes, black and white, Scope, 35mm
Written by Evan Jones; directed by Joseph Losey; with MacDonald Carey, Shirley Field, Viveca Lindfors, Alexander Knox
Children bred to survive a nuclear holocaust escape from a top-secret military facility.

This Life of Mine (Mainland China, 1950)
Directed by Shi Hui
"Shi Hui, driven to suicide in Mao's 'Anti-Rightist Purge' of the late 1950s, was one of the greatest screen actors ever and a very fine director; this adaptation of a short story by Lao She was probably his best work" (Tony Rayns, Time Out London).  The first film produced in Shanghai after the end of the civil war, This Life of Mine delicately balances the interest in earthy local language that was a hallmark of the May 4th Movement with the class analysis demanded by the new regime.  It is also among the first fully realized examples of Soviet-influenced cinematography in Chinese cinema: the film's sublime play of light and shadow was much admired and frequently imitated in the years to come.  The film traces the history of 20th-century China from the fall of the Qing dynasty through to the 1949 Revolution through the eyes of a simple Beijing policeman, played by actor-director Shi Hui, who brilliantly conveys the changing face of the Chinese people through four tumultuous decades of conflict.  "The ultimate discovery.  As an expression of the New China's spiritual turmoil, the film engages in intense moral inquiries and ambiguities that are unparalleled in socialist cinema, even as it tries to toe the party line" (Andrew Chan, The L Magazine).
Wenhua Film Company. Screenwriter: Yang Liuqing, based on the story by Lao She.  Cinematographer: Lin Fa, Ge Weiqing.  Editor: Fu Jiqiu.  Cast: Shi Hui, Li Wei, Wei Heling, Wang Min, Cui Chaoming. 35mm, b/w, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 120 min.

Touki Bouki
Senegal, 1973, 95 minutes
Written and directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty
Starring Magaye Niang, Mareme Niang, and Aminata Fall
Touki Bouki is writer/director Djibril Diop Membéty’s wild and seductive look at 1970s Senegal reeling and swooning under the pop culture of France—to its peril. The impact of Touki Bouki on Senegal’s film history can’t be underestimated. Membéty was the first to use the tools of the French New Wave to invite audiences into his story of a brash young rebel who cruises the streets of Dakar on a motorcycle with a skull mounted on the handlebars. When he meets a woman who shares his dreams to find a better life in Paris, his life seems complete. But Membéty doesn’t just want us to be taken by the romantic journey of this pair following a dream—his ambition is in showing how their dream and the subjugation it implies—is ruinous. And in its own modest but unforgettable terms, his film makes that tragedy clear. His film has undercurrents of Breathless and Rocco and His Brothers, but is still very much his creation.

From the exploitation impresario that birthed The Legend of Boggy Creek comes this ripped-from-the-headlines heartstopper, chronicling one of American antiquity’s most baffling true-crime cases. A hooded maniac known as The Phantom Killer terrorizes the moonlit streets of Texarkana, Arkansas — and, try as they might, the duo of ‘70s genre staple Andrew Prine and cowboy star Ben Johnson are powerless to stop him. Looking much like Friday the 13th Part 2’s “hooded” version of Jason Voorhees, the villain strikes a particularly chilling chord, as his apparently motiveless actions is as strikingly disturbing as his mute presence. Legendary filmmaking personality/Town creator Charles B. Pierce could do it all: direct, act, produce and write — he’s the one who originally crafted Dirty Harry’s signature line “Go ahead, make my day.” Town is his regional masterpiece, a haunting recreation of the brutal, still-unsolved 1946 Texarkana murders using the very same streets on which the slayings were committed. Come get caught up in this cold-hearted, crimson-soaked procedural — a nightmare-inducing proto-Unsolved Mysteries where an unhappy ending has already been assured. Dir. Charles B. Pierce, 1976, 35mm, 90 min.

1965, 11 min. Dir. Satyajit Ray. Commissioned by U.S. public television to make one of three shorts for an English-speaking audience, Ray instead dispensed with dialogue altogether in this film fable. Two boys, one rich and one from the slums, compete to see who has the better toys - a competition less lopsided than it initially seems.

Two Years Later
2002, 60 minutes, color, digital | Written and directed by Agnès Varda
A sequel of sorts to Agnès Varda's The Gleaners and I, Two Years Later finds the filmmaker reflecting on her 2000 masterwork and catching up with some of its protagonists, among them Parisian scavenger Alain, Aix-en-Provence’s rubber-booted trash-retrieval advocate François, and the itinerant Claude.
Two Years Later also explores the response The Gleaners and I received from filmgoers throughout France as documented in the bounty of colorful postcards, homemade care packages, and heartfelt letters that Varda received. Another cross-country adventure and a wonderful epilogue to The Gleaners and I, Two Years Later proves Varda’s curiosity is as limitless as her compassion. In person: Agnès Varda 

Tom Faunce, humanitarian and a veteran of the Vietnam War, allows the camera to follow along on his journey to uncover the true identity of a man claiming to be an American Special Forces MIA still living in a remote Vietnamese village 45 years after being declared Missing In Action and, ultimately, Killed In Action. Shot down in a helicopter sent on a clandestine Special Operations rescue mission over Laos in 1968, the remains of the former Green Beret and MACV-SOG operative were never recovered, despite a search of the crash site. Tom, inspired by his belief in the military oath, "leave no man behind," is unable to turn his back on the man he meets in present-day Vietnam, the man whose name resides on Line 8, Panel 64E of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. And so begins Tom's struggle to reunite a fellow soldier with his family. The tale of two lives bound by the burdens of war, love and brotherhood personifies what it truly means to transform personal strife into a path paved with humanity and compassion for others. Running time: 81 minutes.  Written, Directed, and Produced by Michael Jorgensen. Followed by a Q&A with Emmy Award-Winning Director Michael Jorgensen 

Uncle Yanco
1967, 22 minutes, color, 35mm | Written and directed by Agnès Varda
Also screening tonight is Varda’s 1967 documentary short Uncle Yanco, a portrait of Varda’s encounter with a Greek relative she never knew she had: a charming painter many decades her senior who lives in hippie tranquility on a houseboat in Sausalito. Uncle Yanco is also among the four Varda works newly restored by LACMA in partnership with the Annenberg Foundation and The Film Foundation. In person: Agnès Varda 

The Visitor has the highest JDPM (Jaw Drops Per Minute) ratio of any film of its era, Italian ripoff or not. It’s a wonderful mishmash of The Omen and Close Encounters, but that barely hints at the whacked fervor with which director Giulio Paradisi hurls his hastily assembled “all-star” cast (John Huston, Glenn Ford, Shelley Winters, and, yes, Lance Henriksen) into the cinematic void, showering them with what the Alamo Drafthouse has called “a blackhearted blowout of interplanetary possession, telekinetic avian assault, exploding basketballs and ecclesiastical laserstorms.” Just when you think you’ve nailed down which direction the film is heading in, it completely shatters your notion of the time-space continuum with enough force to rival a thousand screenings of Zabriskie Point. If you miss out on this one, then you have as much regard for cinema as you do for a discarded toenail clipping. Dir. Giulio Paradisi, 1979, 35mm, 108 min.

Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left... Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe. 1971, Australia/USA, 35mm, 114 minutes. Directed by Ted Kotcheff; screenplay by Evan Jones; based on Kenneth Cook's novel; starring Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson

2013, Drafthouse Films, 126 min, Japan, Dir: Sion Sono
Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s People's Choice Midnight Madness Award! Described by its provocative writer-director as “an action film about the love of 35mm,” Sion Sono’s 31st film was penned some 15 years ago, long before digital cinema became the norm. A violent confrontation with a rival yakuza clan leaves a mob boss's wife in prison and his daughter’s performing career derailed. Some down-on-their-luck moviemakers may be able to give the aspiring actress a boost - but they are walking into a bloodbath. Impossible to categorize and astonishing to experience, WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? is a visceral and visual rush unlike anything else. In Japanese with English subtitles.

“We should all stop and take a moment to consider ourselves blessed that we live in a world that allows stuff like this to see the light of day.” —
“If the aliens from ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ landed near the cabin from ‘Evil Dead’, causing the cosmic radiation of ancient evil spirits to contaminate the exact brand of bottled water that David Lynch drinks, the result would probably be something like ‘Winterbeast’.” —
Across three decades and at least as many film formats, along with a ton of heart and a heaping helping of pure gonzo weirdness, Winterbeast roared into blissful existence — and all us horror hounds are the better for it. Started in the mid-’70s, completed in the late-’80s and finally released in the early-’90s, this longtime stopmotion-laden labor of love hurls at you a platoon of insane, murderous Native American demon monsters on the prowl, against Massachusetts forest rangers investigating the grisly remains of their victims. Any ordinary filmmaking hopeful, in the face of the obstacles presented to Winterbeast’s creators, would easily shrivel away — but the sheer imaginative force of director Chris Thies and producer/animator Mark Frizzell persevered, leaving us this colorful no-budget regional horror gem. Filmmakers in person! Dir. Christopher Thies, 1991, digital presentation, 80 min.

Wong Fei-Hung: The Whip That Smacks the Candle (Hong Kong, 1949)
Directed by Wu Pang
One of the most revered of Chinese folk heroes, the legendary martial artist Wong Fei-hung (1847-1924) is also one of the most popular and enduring screen characters in cinema history.  A tried and true symbol of Chinese tradition and patriotism standing tall against Western influence and foreign incursion, Wong was portrayed at various ages and in numerous incarnations, from the comic to the ultra-serious, in over 100 feature films---most famously by Jackie Chan (in 1978’s Drunken Master and its absolutely awesome 1994 sequel) and Jet Li (in the Once Upon a Time in China series).  But Wu Pang’s 1949 The Whip That Smacks the Candle started it all: not only did it bring Wong to the screen for the first time in the person of Chinese opera star Kwan Tak-hing (who would go on to play the role in over 70 features, serials and TV episodes), it set the template for the modern kung fu genre by eschewing the fantasy elements of the silent era wuxia films in favor of realistic action choreography and a focus on the importance of martial arts discipline and technique.  Come see where it all began!
Wing Yiu Film Company.  Producer: Cheung Tsok-hong.  Screenwriter: Ng Yat-siu, based on the story by Chu Yu-chai.  Cast: Kwan Tak-hing, Walter Tso Tat-Wah, Lee Lan, Sek Kin, Tsi Chi-wai. 35mm, in Cantonese with English subtitles, 72 min.

Yeelen (Brightness)
Mali, 1987, 105 minutes
Written and directed by Souleymane Cissé
Starring Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, and Niamanto Sanogo
Director Souleymane Cissé’s film has the scale and power of an epic and the soaring essence of a myth being created before our eyes. In this 1987 film, such is Cissé’s command of the medium that he grabs our attention with a handful of scenes early on in Yeelen: a naked boy walks a young goat to a post and tethers it, where it frolics and drops to its knees before a man who sits as unmoving as a statue. In the next, a shaman chants ominously and flames spontaneously burst into life from the fervor of his words. Finally, the story sets into motion in earnest as Niankoro discusses wanting to find his father, while his grandmother tells him of the pains she’s suffered to keep the father (a deadly wizard) at bay. Folkloric and intense, Yeelen is festooned with such tableaux and each has the inviting effect of building a grander story piece by piece as Niankoro learns the truth of his grandmother’s admonitions. This stunningly gorgeous film earned prizes at the 1987 Cannes International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.

Yellow Earth (Mainland China, 1984)
Directed by Chen Kaige
The film that changed Chinese cinema forever has lost none of its power or beauty since its explosive debut.  In 1939, a young cadre comes to a dirt-poor village in Shaanxi province (the cradle of Chinese communism) to collect local folk songs so they can be adapted into Maoist anthems.  (This same campaign created the theme for The East Is Red, screening on November 10).  He befriends a young girl and educates her about the new social status that women will enjoy come the revolution.  After he departs, she tries to follow him, with tragic consequences.  Beautifully etching both the beauty and terror of rural life, director Chen Kaige and cinematographer Zhang Yimou upend all the conventions of Seventeen Years-style socialist realism through poetic symbolism drawn from ancient scroll paintings and an exquisite use of traditional folk music.  A true milestone, Yellow Earth introduces all the key elements of Fifth Generation filmmaking and would help propel the Mainland to the top ranks of global cinema.  "Chen Kaige and his cinematographer Zhang Yimou have invented a new language of colors, shadows, glances, spaces, and unspoken thoughts and implications; and they've made their new language sing" (Tony Rayns, Time Out London).
Guangxi Film Studio.  Producer: Guo Ke-qi. Screenwriter: Zhang Xiliang.  Cinematographer: Zhang Yimou.  Editor: Pei Xiaonan.  Cast: Wang Xueqi, Xue Bai, Liu Qiang, Tan Tuo. 35mm, color, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 89 min.