a highly-opinionated selection of things happening around town, and sometimes out of town. this month's page here.
wed. nov. 2 wild flag @ troubadour restrepo FREE 7 PM, the tillman story @ ampas linwood dunn driftwood singers @ echo the last command 8 PM @ silent movie theatre gonzo: the life and work of dr. hunter s. thompson 8 PM, fear and loathing in las vegas @ new beverly thu. nov. 3 wild flag @ troubadour derailroaded: inside the mind of larry "wild man" fischer FREE 7 PM @ beyond baroque the woods 8 PM @ downtown independent j. edgar FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ grauman's chinese the heart she holler (sneak preview) 9 PM @ silent movie theatre god equals genocide @ italiano's a useful life FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges la terra trema @ lacma gonzo: the life and work of dr. hunter s. thompson 8 PM, fear and loathing in las vegas @ new beverly fri. nov. 4 miracle in milan, umberto d. @ ucla film archive c.r.a.s.h., earn, abe vigoda @ the smell hanaan FREE 5 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian mama africa FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian almayer's folly FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian faust FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 bonsai FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 beyond the black rainbow FREE MIDNIGHT @ afi fest @ chinese 6 red desert 4:45 9:30 PM, blow-up 7:30 PM @ silent movie theatre the godfather @ aero from start to finish: the story of gray column FREE 1 PM @ getty center casablanca, the maltese falcon @ new beverly sat. nov. 5 scream festival 2011: sounding images 8:30 PM @ redcat several friends, killer of sheep @ ucla film archive dunes (12:30 AM), john wiese (9:40 PM), gun outfit (11:30 PM), infinite body (8:30 PM) @ the smell snowtown FREE 1:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 eyes without a face FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian le cercle rouge FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian target FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 the dish & the spoon FREE 5 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 carre blanc FREE 6:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 carnage FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ grauman's chinese dragonslayer FREE 7:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 bonsai FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian mama africa FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian rampart FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ grauman's chinese the color wheel FREE 10:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 red desert 2:30 7:30 PM, zabriskie point 4:45 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre night of the living dead (1968) 11 PM, just before dawn, alice sweet alice, the pit @ horrothon 6.5 @ aero saccharine trust @ redwood silent leading lady films at the barn 2:30 PM @ hollywood heritage museum casablanca 3:25 7:30 PM, the maltese falcon 5:30 9:35 PM @ new beverly return of the living dead MIDNIGHT @ new beverly sun. nov. 6 no age, bleached, kit @ the smell a day's pleasure 4:10 7:30, sunnyside 4:40 8:00, the idle class 5:10 8:30, the circus 5:55 9:15 @ charlie chaplin films @ new beverly faust FREE 12:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 once upon a time in anatolia FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian the dish & the spoon FREE 1:45 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian cafe de flore FREE 3:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 almayer's folly FREE 3:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 wuss FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian butter FREE 6:30 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ chinese 1 melancholia FREE 8:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian hanaan FREE 9:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 silver bullets FREE 9:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 headhunters FREE MIDNIGHT @ afi fest @ chinese 6 red desert 4:45 7:30 PM, the passenger 9:45 PM @ silent movie theatre monty python and the holy grail, the fisher king @ aero sic alps @ bootleg a day's pleasure 4:10 7:30 PM, sunnyside 4:40 8:00 PM, the idle class 5:10 8:30 PM, the circus 5:55 9:15 PM @ new beverly mon. nov. 7 bandits of orgosolo @ ucla film archive a day's pleasure, sunnyside, the idle class, the circus @ new beverly the turin horse FREE 12:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 headhunters FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian the color wheel FREE 1:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 the killers FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian art history FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 attenberg FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 target FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ grauman's chinese a century ago: the films of 1911: heroes and heroines @ ampas linwood dunn gun outfit @ the cube a day's pleasure, sunnyside, the idle class, the circus @ charlie chaplin films @ new beverly tue. nov. 8 melancholia FREE 3:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 jeff, who lives at home FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 the artist FREE 7:30 PM @ afi fest @ grauman's chinese the zone FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 cafe de flore FREE 10:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian blow-up, zabriskie point @ silent movie theatre the color wheel, impolex FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges gun outfit @ take off! TBA @ grindhouse film festival @ new beverly the flytraps (10:30) FREE @ five star bar wed. nov. 9 to live & die in L.A., the french connection @ ucla film archive @ million dollar theater blow-up, the passenger @ silent movie theatre the turin horse FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 snowtown FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 jeff, who lives at home FREE 2 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian carre blanc FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 nightmare alley FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian attenberg FREE 4:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 silver bullets FREE 5 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian art history FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian alps FREE 7:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 we need to talk about kevin FREE 8:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 the zone FREE 9 PM @ afi fest @ spielberg @ egyptian spark of being FREE 10:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3 beyond the black rainbow FREE 11 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 paris texas, palermo shooting @ aero the exorcist @ ampas samuel goldwyn W-H-I-T-E FREE @ origami vinyl return from the ashes, the killing of sister george @ new beverly we were feared @ arclight hollywood thu. nov. 10 run lola run FREE (rsvp) 8 PM @ luckman fine arts complex spark of being FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 once upon a time in anatolia FREE 3:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1 we need to talk about kevin FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6 let the good times roll 8 PM @ silent movie theatre the wholly family, brazil @ aero corman's world: exploits of a hollywood rebel @ lacma fri. nov. 11 moab (11:00) @ viper room w-h-i-t-e @ cat nap gibbons and the sluts @ casa nova the beast within MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre catholic spit @ the smell wings of desire, faraway so close @ aero the decline of western civilization 8 PM @ we hate everything including this film series @ epfc asco: chicano cinema and agnes varda's murs murs FREE @ lacma aventurera FREE 7 PM @ mariachi plaza no age FREE 6-9 PM @ moca pdc sat. nov. 12 mouthbreathers @ nomad gallery illusions, fragrance, as above so below, rain @ ucla film archive the dragon lives again 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre kopptoberfest: a tribute to bill kopp @ egyptian god equals genocide, culture kids, bad antics @ the smell dead meadow @ satellite aventurera FREE @ mariachi plaza unforgiven 1:30 PM @ autry amazon women on the moon MIDNIGHT @ new beverly sun. nov. 13 the horse, cutting horse @ ucla film archive doin' it on tape: video from the woman's building @ filmforum @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian mysterious island 4 PM @ egyptian we believed @ aero mon. nov. 14 two nights with ernie gehr: early films and new digital works 8:30 PM @ redcat the finches (10:00), ema & the ghosts (12:00) FREE @ silverlake lounge tue. nov. 15 two nights with ernie gehr: early films and new digital works 8:30 PM @ redcat mr. smith goes to washington 1 PM @ lacma wed. nov. 16 lawrence of arabia @ ucla film archive @ million dollar theater il posto @ ucla film archive the finches @ the smell elite squad: the enemy within FREE 7 PM @ usc ray stark resurrect dead: the mystery of the toynbee tiles FREE 9:10 PM @ usc ray stark dementia (w/ live narration and score) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre there's no there there: la films la FREE 7 PM @ goethe-institut pierre etaix: the laughter returns @ ampas samuel goldwyn thu. nov. 17 bleached (8:30) @ the echo the last picture show @ ampas samuel goldwyn fri. nov. 18 "insight": experimental theater of hollywood television FREE @ ucla film archive true romance MIDNIGHT @ nuart aballay, no return @ egyptian silent comedy shorts program @ aero jon brion @ largo moon, source code @ new beverly wavelength (original score) @ silent movie theatre wavelength (w/ live score) 10 PM @ silent movie theatre sat. nov. 19 sankofa, the diary of an african nun @ ucla film archive the finger, the student @ egyptian the adventures of baron munchausen, time bandits @ aero lazy mary, radios @ the smell moon, source code @ new beverly john carpenter's vampires MIDNIGHT @ new beverly sun. nov. 20 black art black artists, festival of mask, varnette's world, trumpetistically clora bryant @ ucla film archive resistance: stanton kaye's georg and bruce lane's unc. @ filmforum @ spielberg theatre @ egyptian mike watt & the missingmen (5:30) FREE @ liquid kitty raiders of the lost ark @ egyptian the american friend, alice in the cities @ aero the birds 2:40 7:30 PM, jaws 5:00 9:50 PM @ new beverly aliens from spaceship earth 6 PM @ silent movie theatre mon. nov. 21 collapse into image 8:30 PM @ redcat the birds, jaws @ new beverly tue. nov. 22 a dangerous method FREE 7 PM @ usc ray stark outrage FREE 8:50 PM @ usc ray stark the bridge on the river kwai 1 PM @ lacma TBA @ grindhouse film fest @ new beverly the fly 6:30 PM, dead ringers @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges wed. nov. 23 barton fink, barfly @ ucla film archive @ million dollar theater planes trains and automobiles, hannah and her sisters @ aero lucky dragons, ezra buchla, jonathan silberman @ the smell mark sultan @ el cid fri. nov. 25 the loons @ tin can alehouse (SD) thee cormans, mark sultan @ alex's bar back to the future MIDNIGHT @ nuart los angeles plays itself @ egyptian pink floyd: live at pompeii, led zeppelin: the song remains the same @ silent movie theatre sat. nov. 26 three stooges big screen event 2:00 8:00 PM @ alex theatre alice in wonderland (1933) 2 PM @ mad tea party @ silent movie theatre melancholia 5:30 8:30 11:30 PM @ silent movie theatre sun. nov. 27 melancholia 3:00 6:15 9:30 PM @ silent movie theatre cosmonauts @ the smell mon. nov. 28 driftwood singers (10:00) FREE @ bootleg melancholia 4:15 10:40 PM @ silent movie theatre tue. nov. 29 walkabout, the man who fell to earth @ new beverly melancholia 4:30 7:30 10:30 PM @ silent movie theatre outrage FREE @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges wed. nov. 30 five easy pieces, the king of marvin gardens @ ucla film archive @ million dollar theater white magic @ the echo walkabout, the man who fell to earth @ new beverly thu. dec. 1 slogan FREE (rsvp) 8 PM @ luckman fine arts complex it's such a beautiful day 7:30 10:15 PM @ an evening with don hertzfeldt @ silent movie theatre yanqui walker and the optical revolution 7 PM, pontecorvo's political poetry @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque mikal cronin, pangea @ the smell fri. dec. 2 a clockwork orange MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. dec. 3 los angeles free music society FREE @ getty center wallace berman's underground 8 PM @ armory center for the arts dunes @ the smell sun. dec. 4 gabi on the roof in july FREE 6 PM @ usc ray stark miracle on 34th street 2 PM @ million dollar theatre battleship potemkin @ new beverly mon. dec. 5 battleship potemkin @ new beverly tue. dec. 6 the sea and cake @ troubadour wed. dec. 7 to sleep with anger @ ucla film archive thu. dec. 8 king tuff, pangea @ alex's bar on the waterfront, the liberation of l.b. jones @ egyptian playtime (70mm) @ aero corman's world: exploits of a hollywood rebel FREE (RSVP) 8 PM @ silent movie theatre la vie de boheme @ lacma drifting clouds 9:20 PM @ lacma fri. dec. 9 harvest: 3,000 years @ ucla film archive we need to talk about kevin 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre devon williams, the soft pack, abe vigoda @ the echo jonathan richman @ the smell lawrence of arabia (70mm) @ aero echo park film center 10-year anniversary party (live music and films TBA) 8-11 PM @ stories sat. dec. 10 when it rains, passing through @ ucla film archive we need to talk about kevin 1:30 4:00 6:45 9:30 MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre the hustler, carrie @ egyptian 2001: a space odyssey (70mm) @ aero steamboat bill jr. 7 PM, modern times, the bank dick @ new beverly christmas evil MIDNIGHT @ new beverly silent film screenings 7 PM @ epfc filmmobile @ vons parking lot on alvarado awaara @ lacma sun. dec. 11 loons @ casbah (SD) we need to talk about kevin 1:30 4:00 6:45 9:30 MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theatre mon. dec. 12 naomi uman: the ukrainian time machine 8:30 PM @ redcat we need to talk about kevin 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre tue. dec. 13 we need to talk about kevin 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre wed. dec. 14 the day the earth stood still (1951), this island earth @ ucla film archive @ million dollar theater we need to talk about kevin 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre thu. dec. 15 we need to talk about kevin 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:15 PM @ silent movie theatre fri. dec. 16 the trip MIDNIGHT @ nuart sat. dec. 17 the rosa parks story FREE 4 PM, selma lord selma @ ucla film archive mon. dec. 26 greatest cartoons ever 2:00 7:00 PM @ alex theatre fri. dec. 30 allah-las, trmrs @ the echo fri. jan. 6 wild at heart ("uncut" version) MIDNIGHT @ nuart no age @ the smell fri. jan. 14 blood of a poet 3 PM, testament of orpheus FREE @ getty center the moderns FREE 7 PM @ getty center WHAT IT IS: ABALLAY 2011, 100 min, Argentina, Dir: Fernando Spiner Gaucho Aballay (Pablo Cedrón) brutally kills a man during a routine highway hold-up. When he sees the shattered and terrified look on the face of the murdered man's young son, Julián, hidden during the attack, Aballay resolves to change his criminal ways. Ten years later, the gaucho has become a mysterious local saint, forever mounted on a horse as penance for his earlier deeds. A grown-up Julián (Nazareno Casero) materializes in town seeking revenge for his father's death, with pictures sketched from his memory of the murderous culprits. Julián's relationship with his father's murderer becomes more complex than he bargained for when predatory psychopath El Muerto (Claudio Rissi) forces him to seek Aballay's protection. "An homage to both Argentina's gaucho culture and the brutal oaters of Sam Peckinpah and Walter Hill, ABALLAY is raw, surreal and memorable… broodingly intense, fierce and visually dazzling… Helmer Fernando Spiner brilliantly makes his point about the violence that underpins both Argentinean and American popular culture. " – Variety. In Spanish with English subtitles. ALICE IN THE CITIES 1974, 110 min, West Germany, Dir: Wim Wenders At an airport beset with delays, journalist Philip Winter (Rudiger Vogler) is booking a flight home to his native Germany from the United States in an attempt to distract himself from a particularly clingy bout of writer's block, when he meets and befriends fellow German Lisa and her nine-year-old daughter Alice (Yella Rotlander). Philip agrees to temporarily look after Alice when the three share a hotel room for the evening, but it quickly becomes apparent that the mother has no immediate plans of returning for her child. Together Philip and Alice travel to Europe and begin a search through various German cities for Alice's grandmother in director Wim Wenders' sensitive and thoughtful meditation on loneliness and the surprising ways companionship can surface. In German with English subtitles. ALICE SWEET ALICE (aka COMMUNION), 1976, Warner Bros., 98 min. Dir. Alfred Sole. Karen (a very young Brooke Shields) is strangled on the day of her first communion, and her older sister Alice becomes the prime suspect. ALIENS FROM SPACESHIP EARTH Take a wild and woolly magic carpet ride through the post-psychedelic alternative spirituality explosion of the ‘60s and ‘70s with Don Como’s Aliens From Spaceship Earth! Featuring on-screen narration and soundtrack by Donovan, the film features rare footage of the most popular and controversial cosmic leaders of the time, including Sai Baba, Yogi Bhahan, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Guru Maharaj Ji, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Ram Dass and Father Yod, with jaw-dropping footage of thousands of white, middle class young people walking barefoot across coals, being kidnapped by “deprogrammers,” engaging in tantric sex, and devoting themselves wholly to the radical, transformational practices and teachings of their “alien” spiritual teachers. Plus, it also has celebs Cybil Shepard, Martin Landau, “Chicago 7” activist Rennie Davis, Leigh Taylor Young, Linda Day George, and Raymond Burr, getting ecstatic about their gurus and God. One of the only films of its era to counteract the mass media’s anti-cult backlash that demonized a generation of seekers, Aliens… provides potent insight into a ‘70s subculture still vastly misunderstood today. After the screening (only its second public showing in 30 years), join Process Media’s Jodi Wille in a live conversation with director Don Como and very special guests from two of the spiritual groups represented in the film! Dir. Don Como, 1977, DigiBeta, 70 min. ALMAYER'S FOLLY For her first narrative feature in six years, Chantal Akerman loosely adapts Joseph Conrad's first novel in what is almost a companion piece to her 2000 masterpiece LA CAPTIVE (also adapted from the work of a literary giant, Marcel Proust). Using richly atmospheric and concentrated long takes, Akerman slowly exposes complex layers of stifling and self-destructive male obsession; the film is an allusive cinematic fugue. Almayer (Stanislas Merhar) is a failed European trader in Malaysia. His resolutely unhappy marriage to a local woman has produced a daughter, Nina (Aurora Marion), whom he now forces to attend a Western school in the hopes of saving her from a country he has grown to hate. Akerman is highly sensitive to the story's tragic paradoxes, and the film's vivid and lush cinematography, reveling in tropical textures and shifting rays of sunlight piercing dark interiors, evokes the haunting, dream-like beauty of F.W. Murnau. -Doug Cummings ALPS Acclaimed Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos makes his first appearance at AFI FEST with his newest film, ALPS. A paramedic, a nurse, a gymnast and her coach have formed a group they call Alps. They provide a most unusual service for families coping with the loss of a loved one: they inhabit the role of the dearly departed to alleviate grieving. Their leader, the paramedic who calls himself Mont Blanc, enforces a strict code of conduct which is broken when Monte Rosa, the nurse, decides to take on her own client. Reteaming with his DOGTOOTH co-writer Efthymis Filippou and star Aggeliki Papoulia, Lanthimos offers his unique vision of how society deals with death and how the roles we play in life can end up defining us. -Jenn Murphy THE AMERICAN FRIEND 1977, 125 min, West Germany, Dir: Wim Wenders When mild-mannered frame maker Jonathan (Bruno Ganz) learns he is dying, his art smuggling friend Ripley (Dennis Hopper) comes up with a diabolical idea: Jonathan should become a mob hit man in order to make money for his estate. Working from Patricia Highsmith's novel RIPLEY'S GAME, Wim Wenders creates one of his finest films, a noir set in an urban milieu where morality seems to be crumbling away before the characters' very eyes. With Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller. ART HISTORY "Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper," filmmaker Jean Cocteau once famously said. But what Cocteau didn't anticipate was how unstable the lines between reality and fantasy can become when the cost of films becomes so small, and the crews necessary to make them so minimal. This is especially fraught with potential danger when filmmakers use sex to explore their lives and the lives of their friends and collaborators. In the middle chapter of this trilogy, Joe Swanberg casts himself as Sam, a filmmaker who is directing his wife and his friend in an intensely erotic and sexually charged film. As the emotional landscape of the fictional world begins to bleed over into reality, anger and frustration erupt. -Lane Kneedler THE ARTIST Silence is golden in director Michel Haznavicius' delightful black-and-white feature set in 1920s Hollywood. Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his charming portrayal of George Valentin, a vain, preening silent film star of swashbuckling romances. Equally beguiling is Bérénice Béjo as Peppy Miller, a star-struck young dancer who fatefully encounters Valentin at a lavish premiere. THE ARTIST also features winning turns by James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller and a scene-stealing Jack Russell terrier name Uggy. Lovingly evoking such classics as A STAR IS BORN and SUNSET BOULEVARD, THE ARTIST tells its tale of Hollywood's bumpy transition from silent films to "talkies" with gorgeous cinematography by Guillaume Schiffman, a buoyant score by Ludovic Bource, and not a single word of dialogue. Reviving the spirit of silent film, Hazanavicius has penned a joyous love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood As Above, So Below (1973) Directed by Larry Clark A rediscovered masterpiece, director Larry Clark’s As Above, So Below comprises a powerful political and social critique in its portrayal of Black insurgency. The film opens in 1945 with a young boy playing in his Chicago neighborhood and then follows the adult Jita-Hadi as a returning Marine with heightened political consciousness. Like The Spook Who Sat By the Door and Gordon’s War, As Above, So Below imagines a post-Watts rebellion state of siege and an organized Black underground plotting revolution. With sound excerpts from the 1968 HUAC report “Guerrilla Warfare Advocates in the United States,” As Above, So Below is one of the more politically radical films of the L.A. Rebellion. Producer/Screenwriter/Cinematographer/ Editor: L. Clark. Cast: Nathaniel Taylor, Lyvonne Walder, Billy Middleton, Gail Peters, Kodjo. 16mm, color, 52 min. Asco: Chicano Cinema and Agnes Varda’s Mur Murs LACMA curator Rita Gonzalez will be joined by filmmaker and Asco catalogue contributor Jesse Lerner to present film-related work by Asco, including slides of their No-Movies (1972–78), Super-8 films documenting performances (1972–74), single-channel videos, and fotonovelas. The evening will also include a screening of Agnes Varda’s Mur Murs (1981) which features a performance by Asco. This is a co-presentation with Los Angeles Filmforum as part of their Pacific Standard Time initiative, Alternative Projections. ATTENBERG Greece's Official Foreign-Language Oscar Submission Athina Rachel Tsangari's ATTENBERG is a unique spin on the coming-of-age-film. In a stark white crumbling town by the sea, 23-year-old Marina has grown up an outsider to human interaction, splitting her time between caring for her dying father and receiving lessons in human intimacy from her only friend Bella. Finding the human species almost alien, Marina observes life through the lens of her hero, Sir David Attenborough and the music of Suicide. In the midst of preparing for her father's impending death, Marina meets Spyros, a visiting engineer with whom she explores her newly awakened sexuality. In her second feature film, Tsangari makes her mark as a defining voice among the new wave of Greek cinema, with a film that defies convention and injects humor and sincerity into what are truly the defining moments in life. -Jenn Murphy AVENTURERA One of the most popular Mexican films ever made, the cult sensation Aventurera is a famous example of a cabareteras, a curious film noir and musical hybrid wildly popular in Mexico in the '40s and '50s. Starring the immortal Ninon Sevilla, who Variety called "a cross between Rita Hayworth and Carmen Miranda," the film follows the melodramatic rise and fall of a popular nightclub star with a dark past. Newly remastered. In Spanish Alberto Gout---Mexico---1950---101 mins. Bandits of Orgosolo (Benditi a Orgosolo) Directed by Vittorio De Seta After bandits use his remote sheepfold as a hideout, a shepherd already underwater on his bank loans is forced to flee from corrupt police deep into the treacherous mountains with his flock. In his first fiction feature, documentarian Vittorio De Seta grounds this rural thriller with rich ethnographic detail to craft a devastating masterpiece about fate and the fragility of life on the economic fringes. Producer: Vittorio De Seta. Screenwriter: Vittorio De Seta, Vera Gherarducci. Cinematographer: Vittorio De Seta. Editor: Jolanda Benvenuti. Cast: Michele Cossu, Peppeddu Cucco, Vittorina Pisano. 35mm, b/w, in Italian with English subtitles, 98 min. THE BEAST WITHIN The Hollywood machine was quick to find new and goopy ways to insert monsters inside of our bodies, in the wake of Alien — and, not content to make just another Alien knockoff, director Philippe Mora took the concept to a whole new level with the cult classic The Beast Within. It posits what we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another: what would happen if I were raped by a monster? Equal parts possession movie, werewolf movie and grindhouse sleazefest, this early ‘80s gem is anchored by a strong cast featuring Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch and a fearless performance by beast spawn/lovelorn teen Paul Clemens. It also features some of the coolest monster make-up and transformation effects of the period: pulsating bladder and slimy latex that demands to be seen on the big screen, and will still make you squeamish nearly thirty years later. Satisfy your inner beast with us, Friday Night Frights-style! Schedules permitting, Philippe Mora and Paul Clemens will join us for a Q&A after the film! BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW Filmmaker Magazine recently named director Panos Cosmatos one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film," and this, his début feature, makes it easy to see why. Suffused with a love for classic cinema, this audacious sci-fi film set in 1983 looks like it fell out of a time capsule, not like it was made in 2011. Intensely shaded and daringly structured, BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW is a one-of-a-kind film experience, daring the audience to look away. Cosmatos' intense visual style is complimented by a spacey and synthetic score composed entirely on analog synthesizers by Black Mountain's Jeremy Schmidt. Giving away the secret of BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW's shadowy sinister experimental groups or of the surprising abilities of the residents in their facilities would ruin some of the impact of this experience. Just arrive in the theater with a mind open to altered states. -Lane Kneedler BLACK ARTS, BLACK ARTISTS Directed by Elyseo J. Taylor As the only Black faculty member in UCLA’s film school, Elyseo Taylor was an influential teacher and advocate for students of color. In voiceover dialogue with woodcut printmaker Van Slater, Taylor’s film examines the status of contemporary Black artists. A visual survey of Black art since the 19th century, punctuated with jazz and blues selections, outlines pressures to prove artistic capability, to suit white and middle-class Black tastes and to make explicit political statements. Cast: Van Slater. 16mm, color, 16 min. BONSAI In an attempt to impress Emilia, Julio lies about reading Proust. Suddenly, the two are plunged into a love affair set among university classrooms, study groups, and punk rock concerts. Eight years later, working as a freelance editor and struggling to become a writer, Julio offers to transcribe the handwritten manuscripts of Chilean novelist Gazmuri. Because his fee is too high, Gazmuri does not hire him. But Julio proceeds to write his own version of Gazmuri's novel anyway, incorporating idealized memories of his college romance with Emilia. Based on Alejandro Zambra's novel, BONSÁI humorously intercuts between past and present as Julio confronts his frustrating adulthood by revisiting and rewriting his memories. Contributing to the current explosion of contemporary Chilean cinema, Cristián Jiménez's nostalgic tale of love and literature is a striking tribute to lies, fiction and all things artificial. -Dilcia Barrera BUTTER In the tradition of BEST IN SHOW and ELECTION, BUTTER is a merrily twisted comedy about American life and culture. BUTTER tells the tale of the raw ambition of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the wife of Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), Iowa's long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as her husband's beautiful, loyal helpmate. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. She finds herself facing unlikely yet formidable contenders in 10-year-old Destiny (Yara Shahidi), the African-American foster child of a local couple, as well as bad-girl stripper Brooke (Olivia Wilde) and Bob's number-one fan, Carol-Ann (Kristen Schaal). Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to win. And if that means resorting to sabotage - and recruiting her dim-witted ex-boyfriend Boyd (Hugh Jackman) as a co-conspirator - then so be it. CAFE DE FLORE Many filmmakers marry music and film together, but perhaps none as lovingly as Jean-Marc Vallée. The 70's pop that informed the filmmaker's childhood also fueled his 2008 film C.R.A.Z.Y. Vallée's new film tells two parallel stories, both connected by music and, mysteriously, much more. Antoine is a Montreal DJ reeling from a divorce and struggling to come to grips with the fact that he's the happiest he's ever been, despite having hurt someone he's loved his whole life. Braided with Antoine's tale is a seemingly unconnected story of a young mother heartbreakingly devoted to her special-needs son. She, too, sacrifices the happiness of others for her son's well being. The two stories drive toward an inevitable collision with an unrelenting rhythm akin to the thumping techno Antoine uses to move his throng of fans. Music is life for these characters, and Vallée mixes the beats with the skill of a maestro. -Lane Kneedler CARNAGE Razor-sharp and acidly funny, CARNAGE strips away the thin veneer of civilization to find the savage heart beating just below the surface. Adapting Yasmina Reza's smash comedy play "God of Carnage" to the screen, legendary director Roman Polanski assembles a dream cast to portray two sets of New York City parents locked in a showdown after their children clash on a playground. Academy Award-winners Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster and Oscar nominee John C. Reilly expertly illuminate the anger and insecurity lurking beneath both couples' polite facades. Filming in Paris, Polanski convincingly recreates the Brooklyn setting of the parental battle royale. Tightly coiled and explosively funny, CARNAGE offers a hilarious and at times heartbreaking dissection of parenting, marriage and the animal fury barely concealed within human nature. CARRE BLANC One of the strongest debuts in years, CARRÉ BLANC is a dystopian sci-fi vision of a world with limited resources and limitless cruelty. Suicide is so prevalent in this society that nets are strung up around high-rises and loudspeakers encourage citizens to have children, since most people have stopped doing so. The film begins with a gruesome revelation: The remains of the dead are being ground up as meat and served to the living (via Big Mac-like burgers). A boy is taken from his home and delivered to a state-run orphanage where he is systematically shaped into the adult society wants him to be. When we see him later in life, he is fully integrated into the machinery of society and is, in fact, one of its cruelest cogs. Four years in the making, this outlandish film paints a scathing vision of the path down which modern society might easily be heading. -Lane Kneedler A CENTURY AGO: THE FILMS OF 1911: HEROES AND HEROINES Presented on a 1909 hand-cranked Power’s Model 6 Cameragraph motion picture machine restored and cranked by Joe Rinaudo. Featuring live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla. The Academy celebrates the year 1911 and its developmental contributions to motion pictures with a program of selected films in "A Century Ago: The Films of 1911." The program spotlights several of the newly anointed star personalities of the screen whose emergence allowed studios and filmmakers to distinguish and brand their one-reel productions, which were shot in a surprising variety of locations. "A Century Ago: The Films of 1911" will include Mary Pickford in Thomas Ince’s IMP film "The Dream," G.M. Anderson in Essanay’s "Broncho Billy’s Christmas Dinner," John Bunny and Flora Finch in Vitagraph’s "Her Crowning Glory," Kathlyn Williams in the Selig Company’s "Lost in the Jungle," Winsor McCay’s first animated film from Vitagraph ("Winsor McCay"), a newly preserved print of the Star Film Company’s "Billy and His Pal," and surprises galore. Most prints will be in 35mm and are drawn from the collections of the Academy Film Archive, the British Film Institute, the Library of Congress, the Nederlands Filmmuseum and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Collapse Into Image “Hubbard uses flowers, balloons, plastic letters, and other mundane things in bizarre, at times aggressive ways, calling attention to their purpose and altering them through a series of vaudevillian maneuvers.” —Artforum Drawn from some of the most distinctive media installations of the last few years, this program showcases projects by artists who translate their extended, multifaceted creative processes onto the picture plane of the moving image and, through this transposition, invite new thinking about time, space, actions and materials. The selection includes recent works by Erika Vogt, known for her rich and rigorous practice of abstracting images and layering media. Also featured are Alex Hubbard’s often humorous, always thought-provoking videos, wherein painterly surfaces exist only to be dismantled, as in his most spatially complex piece to date, The Border, The Ship (2011). William E. Jones, meanwhile, salvages, alters, manipulates, or recontextualizes archival footage and photography, challenging the opposition between flatness and depth while deconstructing the relationship between power and imagemaking—vividly shown in Spatial Disorientation (2011), which is receiving its theatrical premiere. In person: William E. Jones, Erika Vogt THE COLOR WHEEL Confirming Alex Ross Perry as an innovative new voice in American cinema, THE COLOR WHEEL takes viewers on a comedic and cathartic road trip through the diners, motels and thrift stores of the Northeast. JR (co-writer Carlen Altman) is an aspiring news anchor who has just dropped out of school after an awful, awkward breakup with her professor/lover. She enlists her reluctant brother, Colin (played by Perry), to drive to her ex's house and help pick up the remainder of her belongings. The bickering siblings' journey will eventually lead to an unexpected destination: sympathy and acceptance. More than a mere film about sibling rivalry, THE COLOR WHEEL explores the relationship between two people who grew up together but who remain complete strangers. Beyond the nasty insults and obnoxious fights, they are two wounded souls bursting with disillusionment and sexual frustrations who can really only be tolerated by one another. -Dilcia Barrera Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel 2011/color & b&w/95 min. Scr: Gregory Locklear, Alex Stapleton; dir: Alex Stapleton. Director Alex Stapleton’s fascinating and entertaining documentary on Roger Corman, one of the American cinema’s most compelling—and likable—figures, world-premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Corman’s World not only explores the producer-director’s vast body of work—over three hundred titles and counting—but also offers insight from both expected luminaries who flourished under Corman’s tutelage—including Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Joe Dante, Ron Howard, and Pam Grier—to Corman graduates who seldom do interviews—Jack Nicholson, to name just one. This documentary offers a complete look at the complete filmmaker. In person: Roger Corman and Alex Stapleton. Other guests to be announced CUTTING HORSE Directed by Larry Clark Director Larry Clark’s revisionist Western, and second independent feature, appropriates and reconfigures genre tropes to tell the emotional story of a man struggling to put things right in his life, and in the community he once called home. Tyler is called back to the land where his former boss Sanchez still breeds horses. A strong, silent Black man, as stalwart as the freed slaves who had once worked with Mexican cattle-herding vaqueros in the old West, Tyler arrives with a reputation as an exceptional trainer of “cutting horses” (those that are cultivated to isolate and rein in unruly cattle). It is because of that talent that he has been summoned again, this time to train two specific horses as competitive champions. There he joins Doc Pete and Ray, two other members of Sanchez’ team. Unfortunately, Tyler also carries the taint of having once assaulted the unruly son of local political boss Neil Stone, himself a prominent landowner and industrialist who envies Sanchez’ property and horses. Never mind that Tyler’s former violence had actually been vengeance for the younger Stone having molested Sanchez’ daughter Rosa (once Tyler’s lover, since then married to Ray). Now the passionate Tyler must walk a straight and narrow line in order to achieve his principal goal, and not be dissuaded. Distractions emerge in many forms, as the industrialist attempts to sabotage Sanchez, trip up Tyler and even buy the loyalty of the less insightful Ray. Gratifyingly, not only skill and hard-earned wisdom, but also honor, prove to be effective counterbalances to the schemes of powerful Stone as the competitive “cutting horse” event nears. Even new love seems a possibility. The American West is a far cry from the settings of most L.A. Rebellion pictures. However, it offers a serviceable (not to mention beautiful) field against which to enact a story with resonance for Black audiences, one of a man who must be better than his peers, do battle with specters from the past and seek means other than violence to prevail in his worthy goal. Producer: Larry Clark. Screenwriter: David Hentz, Larry Clark. Cinematographer: Alexandra Cantin, Ruben O’Malley. Editor: Larry Clark. Cast: Albert Harris, Cesar E. Flores, Robert Earl Crudup, Melissa Cellura, Rufus Norris. 35mm, color, 124 min. A DANGEROUS METHOD On the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, A Dangerous Method takes a glimpse into the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Into the mix comes Otto Gross, a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries. In this exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit set the scene for the pivotal moment when Jung, Freud and Sabina come together and split apart, forever changing the face of modern thought. 35mm print provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. Rated R. Running time: 99 minutes. Directed by David Cronenberg DERAILROADED: INSIDE THE MIND OF LARRY "WILD MAN" FISCHER JOSH RUBIN and JEREMY LUBIN'S (in person) sympathetic and touching journey through the thunderstorms of the mind of paranoid-schizophrenic LARRY "WILD MAN" FISCHER follows his discordant encounters in the music business. Fischer wandered the mean streets of L.A. singing his totally unique brand of songs for 10¢ to passersby. He was discovered by FRANK ZAPPA, with whom he cut his first record album, including the enduring dada rock classic Merry Go Round. A precursor to punk, Fischer became an underground club and concert favorite. Over the course of 40 years, he appeared on national television (Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in) and the Top 50 music charts in England, was the subject of his own comic book, was the first artist to be recorded on Rhino Records, and sang a duet with ROSEMARY CLOONEY. With FRANK and GAIL ZAPPA, WEIRD AL YANKOVIC, DEVO'S MARK MOTHERSBAUGH, SOLOMON BURKE, DR. DEMENTO, and BILLY MUMY (Barnes & Barnes). "The troubled life & distorted times of LA's 'Godfather of Outsider Music'...equal parts hilarity & heartbreak" - MOJO. The Diary of an African Nun (1977) Directed by Julie Dash A nun in Uganda weighs the emptiness she finds in her supposed union with Christ. Adapted from a short story by Alice Walker, the film was a deliberate first move by its director toward narrative filmmaking, though its graphic simplicity and pantomimed performance by Barbara O. Jones give it an intensity that anticipates Julie Dash’s work on Daughters of the Dust. Producer: Julie Dash. Screenwriter: Alice Walker. Cinematographer: Orin Mitchell. Editor: Julie Dash. Cast: Barbara O. Jones, Barbara Young, Makimi Price, Ron Flagge, Renee Carraway. 16mm, b/w, 15 min. In-person: filmmaker Julie Dash. THE DISH & THE SPOON Furious over her husband's infidelity, Rose (Greta Gerwig) recklessly drives to her parent's deserted beach house with a single goal: revenge. Along the way, Rose meets a young British teen (newcomer Olly Alexander) who tags along to bear witness to Rose's rage-filled, and often humorous, meltdowns. The desolate off-season coastal Delaware setting underscores the melancholic vibe of these two drifters in writer/director Alison Bagnall's (BUFFALO '66, PIGGIE) brilliant performance-driven film about the complex highs and lows of relationships. The juxtaposition between Greta Gerwig's refreshingly raw performance and Olly Alexander's calm quiet presence perfectly compliments this delicate and minimalistic exploration of an unlikely relationship fused by incredible charm and deep chemistry. These two distinctly talented actors paint an organically honest portrait of an unconventional romance and are simply wonderful to watch in this funny, intimate and thoughtfully directed film. -Tristen Tuckfield Doin' It on Tape: Video from the Woman's Building Alexandra Juhasz and artist Jerri Allyn co-host this screening that features video artworks, public service announcements and documentary footage from the Woman's Building and the L.A. Women's Video Center. The LAWVC was cofounded at the WB by Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, and Annette Hunt in 1976 and joined by Jerri Allyn in 1977. Featured artists include: Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, Annette Hunt, Cheri Gaulke, Starr Goode, Suzanne Lacy, Leslie Labowitz-Starus, Susan Mogul, Sheila Ruth, Jane Thurmond, and more... THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN Literal hundreds of imitators have tried to take the throne vacated by the late Bruce Lee (Bruce Li, Bruce Lo, Bruce Lei, etc.), and none of them compare to Bruce Leung and his hallucinatory The Dragon Lives Again. While this isn’t the only film that follows the afterlife of Bruce and his misadventures through Hell — it’s absolutely the best! The Dragon finds himself stuck in Hades, and in order to defend the King Of The Underworld’s throne he must fight (here goes!): Dracula, James Bond, The Man With No Name, The Exorcist, Emmanuelle, Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, and even softcore sexpot Emmanuelle! “Since this is obviously too formidable of a lineup for even Lee to take on by himself he enlists the aid of fellow souls damned for eternity: Kwai Chang Caine, the One Armed Swordsman and that most accomplished martial artist of them all, Popeye. Yes, that’s right, Popeye. As in Popeye the Sailor Man, the cartoon character.” (Mark Johnston, Shocking Videos.) We truly apologize for not giving this one to you sooner! Dir. Kei Law, 1977, digital presentation, 90 min. DRAGONSLAYER Filmed in and around abandoned houses, punk shows, and empty swimming pools in Fullerton, CA, DRAGONSLAYER is a gritty documentary portrait of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a truly unique character who operates on his own wavelength. Something of a local skate legend, Skreech is able to travel the world via lucrative skateboarding sponsorships, but when he returns home we find him living in cars and backyards. A new father, Skreech struggles to adapt his "skate bum" lifestyle in order to raise his son with his girlfriend. In his debut film, Tristan Patterson masterfully captures the skateboarding ethos, structuring the film in a countdown format that allows the audience to get to the heart of this one-of-a-kind individual. Featuring plenty of beer, blood, vomit and spit, DRAGONSLAYER, is a punk-rock love letter to youth and learning to survive after the decline of Western civilization. -Jenn Murphy ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN The sprawling slum that towers over Rio de Janeiro is one of the most dangerous places on earth, so as the head of Rio’s BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion), Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) has seen his share of intense situations. When a BOPE mission to stop a jail riot ends in violence, Nascimento finds his job on the line–and BOPE accused of a massacre by human rights activists. But a public fed up with the violence and gangs that plague Rio loves it, and Nascimento finds himself embraced as a hero who gets results. With elections around the corner, he’s promoted to Sub- Secretary of Intelligence. In his powerful new post, Nascimento strengthens BOPE and brings the drug gangs that rule the slum to their knees–only to come to the sobering realization that by doing so, he’s made things easier for the corrupt cops and dirty politicians who are truly running the game. After years in the trenches, Nascimento now finds that his new enemies are much more dangerous and, even worse, sitting at desks just down the hall. Since its Brazilian release, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within has become the most popular film of all time in South America (out-grossing even Avatar). Not a sequel to the original Elite Squad so much as a reinvention, this stunning, intense action/drama is a perfect amalgamation of the best parts of The Departed, City of God, and The Wire. 35mm provided courtesy of Variance Films. Not Rated. Running time: 116 minutes. In Brazilian Portugeuse, with English subtitles. Directed by Jose Padilha FAUST Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, FAUST is director Alexander Sokurov's fourth and final film in his tetralogy on the corrupting effects of power. In MOLOCH, TAURUS and THE SUN, Sokurov turned his gaze on Hitler, Lenin and Japan's Emperor Hirohito, respectively. Here, the RUSSIAN ARK director offers a visceral, freestyle reading of the legend of Dr. Faust, a scholar who exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge. Departing sharply from Goethe's version of the tale, Sokurov's Faust (Johannes Zeiler) inhabits an earthy, 19th-century world of primitive autopsies and medical rituals. He becomes obsessed with the beautiful Margarete (Isolda Dychauk) and desperately turns to a physically grotesque Moneylender to conjure their union. Intensified by the immersive, painterly cinematography of Bruno Delbonnel (AMELIE), FAUST is a poetic meditation on, and a sensually overwhelming vision of, man's unyielding hunger for knowledge. -Doug Cummings THE FINGER 2011, 93 min, Argentina, Dir: Sergio Teubal Devilish would-be politician Don Hidalgo's (Gabriel Goity) ambitions of being voted in as the local councilor are temporarily thwarted when his town's 501 occupants (the necessary minimum for an election) are reduced to 500 after the murder of Hidalgo's political opponent, Baldomero. Hidalgo persuades Baldomero's brother not to sign the death certificate so that the election may proceed. When Baldomero’s amputated finger takes on a life of its own, fantastically pointing at things from inside its jar of formaldehyde and ultimately running opposite Hidalgo in the impending race for councilor, filmmaker Sergio Teubal's hilarious satire proves its capacity for both belly laughs and observant political barbs. Official selection of the 2011 Guadalajara International Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles. Fragrance (1991) Directed by Gay Abel-Bey When George visits his family before heading off to the Vietnam War, he is confronted by the conflicting ideals of his veteran father, who encourages his patriotism, and his militant brother, who urges him to stay home in protest. The complex issue of whether African Americans should be fighting for justice at home or abroad is registered most poignantly in the youngest son Bobby, a schoolboy torn between the political allegiances of his father and older brothers. Producer/Screenwriter: G. Abel-Bey. Cinematographer: Steven S. Poitras. Editor: G. Abel-Bey, S. Torriano Berry. Cast: Fumilayo, Leslie Rainey, Roy Fegan, Raymond Dunmore, Tony Ginn. Digital video, transferred from ¾” videotape, b/w, 38 min. From Start to Finish: The Story of Gray Column This 30-minute documentary video recounts the remarkable story behind the making of "Gray Column"—a monumental sculpture cast in polyresin—from its original concept to its display at the Getty. Through interviews with Valentine, his contemporaries, conservators, curators, and scientists, this video illustrates the extraordinary lengths Valentine undertook to create his colossal works. GABI ON THE ROOF IN JULY A portrait of young New York and the misguided hopefuls who can't afford to live there but do anyway, Gabi on the Roof in July is an ensemble comedy about ex-girlfriends, sibling rivalry and whipped cream in a city that's constantly in flux. Gabi, a rambunctious Oberlin undergrad, heads to New York City to spend the summer with her older brother, Sam, seeking solidarity in the wake of her parents’ divorce. When she gets there, she finds Sam too busy juggling women and too irked by her provocative antics and almost constant nudity to give her the guidance she needs. In an effort to get Sam's attention, Gabi seduces his free-loving, freeloading college buddy, only to find she's in over her head. Provided courtesy of Little Teeth Pictures. Not rated. Running time: 101 minutes. Directed by Lawrence Levine Greatest Cartoons Ever The day after Christmas has always been a big day for releasing movies, as many families are looking for something to do after all the presents have been opened and all the parties are over. This year, on December 26th, the Alex Film Society will be presenting our 2nd Annual, family oriented special event that provides a really great alternative to the other pre-packaged Hollywood extravaganzas. THE GREATEST CARTOONS EVER! showcases some of the very best theatrical cartoons from the movies' Golden Age, featuring iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Betty Boop, Donald and Daffy, even the original Superman, projected in 35mm on the big screen at the Alex Theatre. Animation historian and author Jerry Beck and producer Frank Gladstone have programmed a hugely entertaining cinematic trip back to a time when animated cartoons were more than an opening act; they were often the most popular part of going to the movies. HANAAN HANAAN is the story of Stas, a fourth-generation Korean-Uzbek police detective seeking to avenge the drug-fueled death of a friend. Infiltrating the Uzbeki underworld, Stas makes discoveries that plunge him into fury, moral chaos and a resurgent heroin dependency he once had kicked. He retreats to the snow-covered mountains of Uzbekistan, where he must fight his addiction in solitude as he faces an uncertain future. Inspired by his own life, first-time actor and childhood friend of the director Stanislav Tyan marvelously captures Stas' intense inner struggle. Set in the magnificent scenery of Uzbekistan, Ruslan Pak's gritty crime drama explores one man's desire to escape his past, his people's diaspora, and his all-encompassing search for a motherland, a promised land of milk and honey. -Dilcia Barrera Harvest: 3,000 Years Directed by Haile Gerima Director Haile Gerima’s first feature work to be set in Africa employs visions of his native Ethiopia to construct a post-colonial allegory of class exploitation. Filmed in the tumultuous days following the overthrow of Haile Selassie, the portrait of an abject peasant family toiling under the scornful eye of a wealthy landowner exhibits the spontaneity of a documentary. But it also displays the assuredness and authority of a master storyteller in the sweep of its conceptual rigor and moral stand. We are exposed to several characters, as it were, without introduction. They are members of a poor family that rise and begin tending cattle and plowing fields. Their feudal lord, a Western-attired tyrant, barks orders and criticism from a seat on his shaded front porch. Another figure, meagerly dressed, calls out insults to the landowner. These almost archetypal figures take on more specific identities as we learn that the seeming madman once owned property now expropriated and held by the landowner, and that although the peasant family may toil dutifully, its members seethe with memories and visions of another way of life. In time, a critique of modern Ethiopia (and by implication, neocolonial Africa) emerges that criticizes coming political reconfigurations as just the latest way in which others may now exploit the land and the poor. Gerima unfolds several loosely connected episodes (indeed, the “action” of the film often seems trained on an ever-more subtle understanding of certain facts of daily life, rather than on a plot), but the film also employs freewheeling shifts in register, such that political speeches in public spaces contrast with exclamatory addresses to the camera, and verbal abuse of workers alternates with fairly Buñuelian images of human beings being driven by a whip, with no qualification of the “reality” of any situation, all to the accompaniment of an evocative musical soundscape. When the “plot” finally offers its fulfillment, the effect is devastating. In this early work, Gerima strove for something more than an individual story, achieving a bracing polemic and an impassioned narrative of bleak and haunting beauty. Producer/Screenwriter: H. Gerima. Cinematographer: Eliot Davis. Editor: Phillip Kuretsky. Cast: Kasu Asfaw, Gebru Kasa, Worke Kasa. 16mm, b/w, 150 min. HEADHUNTERS Based on the Norwegian bestseller by Jo Nesbø, HEADHUNTERS is fun cat-and-mouse game full of unpredictable twists and turns. Aksel Hennie stars as the charming, sly Roger Brown, a successful corporate headhunter with many secrets. He will do anything to keep his lavish lifestyle and his gorgeous wife happy, including running an elaborate art theft scheme on the side. His fate takes a turn when he meets Clas Greve, an ex-military operative, who is in possession of a painting worth $100 million dollars. Suddenly, Roger finds himself caught in a web of lies and betrayal, unable to trust anyone around him. In order to escape from Clas, Roger must play a dangerous game against an extremely skilled opponent. In HEADHUNTERS, director Morten Tyldum has crafted an immaculately paced and blistering action thriller. -Dilcia Barrera THE HEART, SHE HOLLER From the creators of “Wonder Showzen” and “Xavier: Renegade Angel” comes a completely fried new Adult Swim live-action soap opera about folk who ain’t never used soap or seen an opera. Starring Patton Oswalt, “The Heart, She Holler” is a satire on the emotional Hee-Hawification of America, set in a town so inbred that the residents have become almost supernaturally wrong. Join us for a sneak preview of this completely warped creation, as we watch all six episodes in this unprecedented miniseries! Co-star Patton Oswalt and show creator/director Vernon Chatman will be here at the Cinefamily in person for a Q&A after the screening! The Horse (1973) Directed by Charles Burnett In this haunting coming-of-age tale that its director, Charles Burnett, has described as a “kind of allegory of the South,” an African American boy gently tends to a horse that is to be shot as a group of white men passively look on. Burnett artfully employs a sparse lyricism, juxtaposing the stillness of the rural setting against the disquiet imbued by the impending violence. Producer: Charles Burnett. Screenwriter: Charles Burnett. Cinematographer: Ian Conner. Editor: Charles Burnett. Cast: Gordon Houston, Maury Wright, Gary Morrin, Roger Collins, George Williams. 16mm, color, 14 min. Illusions (1982) Directed by Julie Dash Set in Hollywood during WWII, Illusions tells the story of Mignon Duprée, a studio executive passing for white, and Ester Jeeter, an African American singer hired to dub the voice of a white movie star. The film is a gripping critique of the power of the movies to shape perception as it explores the multiple illusions created by Hollywood and the very illusion of racial identity. Producer/Screenwriter: J. Dash. Cinematographer: Ahmed El Maanouni. Editor: J. Dash, Charles Burnett. Cast: Lonette McKee, Rosanne Katon, Ned Bellamy, Jack Radar, Fernando Lundi Faust. 16mm, b/w, 36 min. In-person: Filmmaker Julie Dash. Il Posto Directed by Ermanno Olmi Under pressure from his nagging, working-class parents, the dutiful Domenico applies for a civil service job. Among the applicants, he encounters the fetching Antonietta and strikes up a charmingly awkward relationship. Whatever dewy-eyed nostalgia might typically accompany such adolescent milestones is dispelled by director Ermanno Olmi who frames Domenico’s entry into adulthood against the drudgery and resignation of his fellow office drones. Producer: Alberto Soffientini. Screenwriter: Ermanno Olmi. Cinematographer: Lamberto Caimi. Editor: Carla Colombo. Cast: Loredana Detto, Sandro Panzeri, Tullio Kezich, Mara Revel, Guido Chiti. 35mm, b/w, in Italian with English subtitles, 120 min. IMPOLEX Impolex tells the story of Tyrone S., a United States soldier in Operation Paperclip, the mission to locate and retrieve German rockets and rocket science after the end of World War II. Tyrone is tasked with finding what he believes are the last V-2’s. Lost in the woods of an undefined European country, people from Tyrone’s past begin to appear in unusual ways, bearing strange tidings. A loved one he abandoned for the war is especially prominent in Tyrone’s journey, as is a fellow soldier and a mysterious man with tidings of the present and the future that are not yet known to Tyrone. Impolex is an unjustifiable blend of the bare bones realism of John Ford’s WWII documentaries and the glorious stupidity of Abbot and Costello. Writer/Director/Producer/Editor Alex Ross Perry in person for a Q&A moderated by the LA Times' Mark Olsen! "Insight": Experimental Theater of Hollywood Television Created, produced and hosted by Paulist priest Father Ellwood E. Kieser (1929–2000), the landmark anthology television series “Insight” debuted in the 1960-61 season and aired nationally in syndication for well over two decades. Top Hollywood artists such as Rod Serling, Ida Lupino, Bob Newhart, Patty Duke, William Peter Blatty, Michael Crichton and Martin Sheen contributed their talents to the series, drawn by the show’s reputation for stretching the creative boundaries of television. Fondly remembered for its “Twilight Zone”-esque tone, “Insight” received critical acclaim and won numerous Emmy Awards for addressing difficult social issues and humanist themes, often with black humor or stark realism. UCLA Film & Television Archive is pleased to join Paulist Productions in celebrating this lost television cult-classic with a panel discussion, a series highlight reel and a screening of the star-studded episodes “Locusts Have No King” (1965) and “The Poker Game” (1969). In-person: Rev. Eric Andrews, President, Paulist Productions, and actor Martin Sheen (schedule permitting). "Insight: Locusts Have No King" (1965) Directed by Ted Post In this noir-tinged episode, a businessman is drugged and jailed on morals charges as he stands against political corruption in his municipality. Screenwriter: Gilbert Ralston. Cast: William Shatner, Geraldine Brooks. DigiBeta, b/w, Approx 30 min. "Insight: The Poker Game" (1969) Directed by Ralph Senensky A friendly card game turns brutal as an idealistic hippie reveals the prejudices, hang-ups and dark hidden frailties among a group of middle-aged men. Screenwriter: Jack Hanrahan. Cast: Ed Asner, Bill Bixby, Jeffrey Hunter, Beau Bridges. DigiBeta, b/w, Approx 30 min. IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY At the young age of 35, the Oscar-nominated Don Hertzfeldt has amassed a body a of work unparalleled in modern animation. His meticulously crafted hand-drawn and -animated shorts continue to amaze and inspire audiences globally, and on Dec. 1st, Hertzfeldt will be in-person at the Cinefamily to introduce the L.A. premiere of his latest short, It’s Such A Beautiful Day. His longest and most ambitious piece to date, the 23-minute conclusion to his “Bill Trilogy” has been nearly two years in the making — blending traditional animation, experimental optical effects, trick photography, and new digital hyrbids printed out one frame at a time, captured entirely on an antique 35mm animation stand (one of the last remaining cameras of its kind left in America!) In addition to a selection of Don’s classic shorts, the entire Bill Trilogy will be screened together for the first time in Los Angeles via new 35mm prints, immediately followed by a live on-stage interview and audience chat with Don! JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME In their second major studio outing (following CYRUS), Jay and Mark Duplass tell the story of a day being blown off course with beauty, clarity and style. Jason Segel shines as Jeff, a late-blooming loser living in his mother's basement. His day of existential contemplation is interrupted when his mom (Susan Sarandon) asks him to run to the store for wood glue. Jeff's minor errand soon becomes a major odyssey driven by his search for clues to the meaning of life. Along the way, Jeff careens into the path of his brother Pat (Ed Helms), whose own life, and notably his marriage, is also cast adrift. Artfully etched by the Duplass brothers, these roles provide amazing showcases for Segel's charms, Helms' anxiety and Sarandon's emotional depths. At times funny, thrilling and heartbreaking, JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME finds in its low-key slacker Jeff a bigger-than-life specimen of a modern hero. -Lane Kneedler JUST BEFORE DAWN, 1981, Picturmedia, 90 min. Dir. Jeff Lieberman. The director of SQUIRM brings us this entry in the Woodsploitation subgenre made famous by DELIVERANCE, SOUTHERN COMFORT, and HUNTER'S BLOOD. This time, a group of young campers find themselves face to face with a murderous mountain man and angry hillbillies. Beautiful U.K. Print! 8 Extra Minutes! THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE Groundbreaking in its portrayal of a complex, lesbian relationship, Robert Aldrich's feature follows the relationship difficulties a TV star encounters after she learns the character she plays on a popular program is about to be killed off. Fine performances from Beryl Reid, Susannah York and Coral Browne. Robert Aldrich---USA---1968---140 mins. Kopptoberfest: A Tribute To Bill Kopp (90 min.) A madcap night of animation by the prolific writer, creator, animator and voice actor Bill Kopp! Featuring a wide selection of his hilarious cartoons ranging from the spooftacular "Eek! The Cat" to the cowardly "Mad Jack The Pirate," and from the Spielberg produced "Toonsylvania" to the cult classic BETTER OFF DEAD. Also featuring selections from the masterful "The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show," the violent retelling of the Three Little Pigs in "Tales From The Crypt," Roger Rabbit in "Roller Coaster Rabbit," and his Academy Award-winning student films "Mr. Gloom" and "Observational Hazard," plus rarities and much more! Prior to the screening, hand-painted animation cells will be sold, with all proceeds going to the American Cinematheque. Free screening with suggested donation of $10. Discussion following with Bill Kopp and voice actors Brad Garrett, Tom Kenny, Jess Harnell, Jeff DeGrandis, Billy West and Margaret Loesch. Screening format: DVD THE LAST COMMAND Rarely does a movie successfully paint a sympathetic portrait of a villain as a man with a good heart mired in the wrong set of circumstances — and Josef Von Sternberg’s The Last Command does just that with a stroke of mastery so mesmerizing that it’ll remind you how powerful and emotionally complex films can be. Emil Jannings gives a thrilling performance as a former Tsarist Russian general, toppled and beaten, exiled from his country and lost in a nightmare scenario in which he’s an extra in a film about the same revolution that destroyed him. Awarded the very first Oscar for Best Actor for the role, Jannings’ tormented portrayal of this fallen idol is absolutely worthy of such an accolade. On top of the film’s surreal set-up, we’re also treated with the magical cinematography of Bert Glennon (Stagecoach) and incredible sets that plant you firmly in the rich periods of both early Hollywood and Tsarist Russia. This is a real powerhouse of a film, with war, impossible love and one of the greatest on screen performances of the era! Our evening also includes two short subjects: Laurel & Hardy in Big Business (1929), and the animated Ko-Ko’s Klock (1927)! The Last Command Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1928, 35mm, 85 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive) Ko-Ko’s Klock Dir. Dave Fleischer, 1927, 35mm, 7 min. (Archival 35mm print courtest of the UCLA FIlm & Television Archive) Big Business Dirs. Leo McCarey & James W. Horne, 1929, 35mm, 19 min. (Archival 35mm print courtest of the UCLA FIlm & Television Archive) La terra trema 1948/b&w/165 min. Scr: Giovanni Verga, Antonio Pietrangeli, Luchino Visconti; dir: Luchino Visconti; w/ Antonio Arcidiacono, Giuseppe Arcidiacono. Director Luchino Visconti’s 1948 drama visits what became known as his recurrent theme: the destruction of a family by outsized ambition, while a bemused Fate observes like an old friend. Eschewing the operatic style of his other works (Senso, The Leopard), Visconti employs a documentary-like intimacy in La terra trema to tell the story of a fisherman and his family, even bringing non-actors into the mix. “The masterly way in which Visconti has handled his actors deserves the highest praise . . . never before have the actors been so skillfully integrated with the most specifically aesthetic elements of the film. . . . In La terra trema, the actor speaks, moves, and acts with complete naturalness—one might even say, with unimaginable grace.”—Andre Bazin. In person: writer-director James Gray (Two Lovers, We Own the Night) MAMA AFRICA The late, great Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) was one of the most charismatic African performers of her time. At the height of her popularity in Africa, Makeba boldly took a public anti-apartheid stand that led to the revocation of her passport and the beginning of a lifetime in exile. Director Mika Kaurismäki uncovers stunning archival footage that offers a rare glimpse into Makeba's personal life, highlighting the deep admiration and gratitude that she felt for Harry Belafonte, who managed her career in the United States after she was forced to leave South Africa. Perhaps what is most remarkable about Makeba's story is that she refused to be silenced. MAMA AFRICA masterfully reveals private moments which illuminate the depth and influence of this legendary artist's political activism. -Jacqueline Lyanga MELANCHOLIA MELANCHOLIA is a psychological disaster film that could have only come from the mind of Lars von Trier. Promising no happy endings, MELANCHOLIA centers on sisters Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Justine is celebrating her marriage to Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) at Claire's estate. Despite Claire's best efforts, the wedding is a disaster, as Justine struggles with her depression and tries to make the best of it. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is on a collision course with Earth, which causes Claire to have an emotional breakdown of her own. Kirsten Dunst delivers a tour-de-force performance with a very raw and honest portrayal of a woman battling depression, while the film aesthetically mimics her struggle by shifting between stylized, romantic visuals and raw, shaky handheld camerawork. With MELANCHOLIA, von Trier delivers not only his first foray into science fiction but one of the most visually stunning films of his career. -Jenn Murphy Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano) (Italy, 1951) Directed by Vittorio De Sica An unusual injection of fantasy into the neo-realist vein, director Vittorio De Sica’s follow-up to Bicycle Thieves (based on a novel by Zavattini) presents a baby discovered in a cabbage patch who, with the help of a magic dove, grows up to lead a shantytown revolt against oil-driven industrialists. Tipping his hat to René Clair and Charlie Chaplin, De Sica offers a warm, delightful fairy tale. Producer: Umberto Scarpelli. Based on a novel by Cesare Zavattini. Screenwriter: Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica. Cinematographer: G.R. Aldo. Editor: Eraldo Da Roma. Cast: Francesco Golisano, Brunella Bova, Emma Gramatica, Paolo Stoppa, Guglielmo Barnabò. 35mm, b/w, in Italian with English subtitles, 101 min. The Moderns (USA, 1988) Alan Rudolph's homage to 1920s Paris delights in having real-life personalities—Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway—interact with his fictional characters in the smoky cafes and esteemed salons of this radically creative place and time. MYSTERIOUS ISLAND 1961, Sony Repertory, 101 min, UK, Dir: Cy Endfield Based on Jules Verne's sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND follows a group of Confederate prisoners during the Civil War who escape using an enemy balloon, only to find themselves blown off-course to a remote island, populated by monstrous creatures and the enigmatic Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom) himself! Directed by Cy Endfield (ZULU, TRY AND GET ME) in a rare fantasy outing, with a superb score by maestro Bernard Herrmann. With Ray Harryhausen, Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary Merrill. Naomi Uman: The Ukrainian Time Machine “Like a crochet needle swiftly passing through loops of silk and wool… Naomi Uman’s camera lives amongst the people, homes and villages she films.” —Vancouver Cinematheque In 2006, experimental filmmaker Naomi Uman returned to the land her great-grandparents had left a hundred years earlier. Living among the babushky of a tiny Ukrainian village, she discovered a lifestyle that didn’t seem to have changed much in a century, and set out to make a series of “precise miniatures of a rural life that’s fading” (Robert Flaherty Seminar) shot in 16mm, while keeping a video diary. In Kalendar (2008, 16mm, silent, 11 min.), a series of exquisite snapshots examine the meanings of the months in the Ukrainian calendar. Videodiary 2-1-2006 to Present (2011, video, 83 min.) reframes the previous elements into a larger narrative struggling with issues of identity, gender, and her intimate connection with the history of Judaism and global immigration. In person: Naomi Uman NO RETURN 2010, 104 min, Argentina, Dir: Miguel Cohan After narrowly escaping being run over by a ventriloquist, Pablo (Agustín Vasquez) is the victim of a hit-and-run by teenagers Matiás (Martín Slipak) and Chaucha (Felipe Villanueva). The bad situation spirals out of control as Matiás concocts a story that his car was stolen, meanwhile nervously hearing reports that Pablo has gone into a coma, and as Matiás' father (Federico Luppi) inadvertently stirs up TV interest when he goes looking for witnesses to the falsely reported crime. In filmmaker Miguel Cohan's debut feature from the producers of THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, the common cinematic trope of a pivotal car accident is given sensitive and intriguingly unpredictable treatment, resulting in a critically lauded, understated thriller. Nominated for six Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina Awards, and winner of Best First Work and Best Supporting Actor (Slipak). In Spanish with English subtitles. ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA Turkey's Official Foreign-Language Oscar Submission A suspect has confessed to murder. All that remains is for him to take the police to the victim's body. This journey begins a long odyssey across the rolling countryside as it becomes clear that the confessed killer can't remember where he left the dead body. As we watch the detectives unravel this seemingly simple case, small clues come into focus, hinting at widespread corruption in the police force and possibly something much more sinister. The latest film from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA is a slow-burning and far from routine police procedural. Ceylan uses expansive cinematic space to draw the audience into the film's tightly focused thesis. For cinephiles who love piecing together difficult puzzle films, this labyrinthine tale will prove one of the most challenging delights of the year. -Lane Kneedler OUTRAGE Several subsidiary bosses gather at a lavish lunch with “Mr. Chairman,” the head of the ruling Sanno-kai crime organization which controls the Greater Tokyo area. Sannokai underboss Kato warns Ikemoto about his overt dealings with family outsider Murase, an old-timer with whom he recently made a pact in prison. In an effort to ease Mr. Chairman’s suspicions, Ikemoto asks fellow boss Otomo to do his dirty work for him by making a minor but obvious move against Murase. Otomo’s actions are the start of a ruthless series of conflicts and betrayals. Before long, several yakuza clans are out for blood in their constant battle for power and money. The rival bosses fight to rise through the ranks by scheming and making short-lived allegiances. In this corrupt world where there are no heroes, it’s Bad Guy vs. Bad Guy in a spiraling outrage of gang warfare... PALERMO SHOOTING 2008, 124 min, Germany, Dir: Wim Wenders After German photographer Finn’s (Campino) wild lifestyle almost gets him killed, he decides to slow down and move to Palermo, Italy. There, he meets Flavia (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and falls in with the rhythms of a completely new way of living. With Dennis Hopper, Milla Jovovich and Lou Reed. Passing Through Directed by Larry Clark Eddie Warmack, an African American jazz musician, is released from prison for the killing of a white gangster. Not willing to play for the mobsters who control the music industry, including clubs and recording studios, Warmack searches for his mentor and grandfather, the legendary jazz musician Poppa Harris. Director Larry Clark's film theorizes that jazz is one of the purest expressions of African American culture, embodying the struggles of generations of Blacks going back to slavery times, but now hijacked by a white culture that brutally exploits jazz musicians for profit. The opening seven-minute credit sequence is accordingly an homage to jazz and jazz musicians, privileging the raw energy of the music, while the concert footage appears virtually abstractly as a riot of blues, reds and whites. The film repeatedly returns to scenes of various musicians improvising jazz, as well as flashback scenes (in black-and-white) in which Poppa teaches Warmack to play saxophone, leading a French critic to call Passing Through “the only jazz film in the history of cinema.” It is the Africanism of Poppa, as the spiritual center of Passing Through, that ties together Black American jazz and the liberation movements of Africa and North America. In the early flashback sequences in sepia, Clarence Muse appears in African dress and teaches saxophone under the sky. Poppa teaches Warmack that the music comes from the soil, from the earth, leading Womack to bury his saxophone to improve his playing. The film’s final montage incorporates shots of African leaders with a close-up of Poppa’s eye and close-ups of Black hands holding the soil, thus semantically connecting jazz, Africa and the earth in one mystical union, and by extension justifying the liberation of the earth through violent struggle, whether in Africa or Los Angeles. Clark completed the film while participating in the fellows program at the American Film Institute. The film’s world premiere took place at “Filmex,” the Los Angeles Film Festival in 1977, subsequently won a special jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and played film festivals in Edinburgh (1978), Perth (1978) and Moscow (1979). Producer: L. Clark. Screenwriter: L. Clark, Ted Lange. Cinematographer: Roderick Young, George Geddis. Editor: Larry Clark. Cast: Nathaniel Taylor, Clarence Muse, Pamela Jones, Johnny Weathers, Della Thomas. 35mm, color, 111 min. In-person: filmmaker Larry Clark and actor Ted Lange. PIERRE ETAIX: THE LAUGHTER RETURNS Featuring PIERRE ÉTAIX in person and screenings of LE GRAND AMOUR and his Oscar-winning short HEUREUX ANNIVERSAIRE Hosted by Leonard Maltin The delightful films of Pierre Étaix, a classic French comedian influenced by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, have been largely unseen for over 20 years. Copyright entanglements have long kept Pierre Étaix’s work out of the public eye. Happily, these films have recently been restored and re-released in France. Now, following his stateside appearance at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival, the Academy welcomes Étaix to Los Angeles. After a conversation with the comedian, newly restored prints of his Oscar-winning short "Heureux Anniversaire" ("Happy Anniversary," 1962) and his delightful romantic farce "Le Grand Amour" ("The Great Love," 1969) will be presented. Étaix is a clown, magician, illustrator and cabaret artist who worked with famed director Jacques Tati in various capacities on "Mon Oncle" (1958). He then found an ideal collaborator for his own film projects in writer Jean-Claude Carrière. Although it is evident that Étaix was inspired by the great silent comedians, both as a filmmaker and a performer, his graceful, inventive, humorous and deliciously French comedies are uniquely his own. THE PIT, 1981, New World Pictures, 97 min. Dir. Lew Lehman. Lonely Jamie Benjamin is the butt of jokes and harassment - until he makes a discovery deep in the forest that enables him to exact violent revenge against those who have wronged him. One of the strangest horror films of the '80s. PONTECORVO's POLITICAL POETRY - Rare clips and fiery discussion on the motives and consequences of the acclaimed 1965 film of urban terrorist insurgency THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, which was obligatory viewing for the Black Panthers, and was used as a training film for Bush's Pentagon's special operations chiefs in 2003. Pauline Kael wrote " Gillo Pontecorvo is the most dangerous type of Marxist - a Marxist poet." Rain (1978) Directed by Melvonna Ballenger Director Melvonna Ballenger’s Rain shows how awareness can lead to a more fulfilling life. In the film, a female typist goes from apathetic to empowered through the help of a man giving out political fliers on the street. Using John Coltrane’s song “After the Rain,” Ballenger’s narration of the film meditates on rainy days and their impact. The rain in this short film doesn’t signify defeat, but offers renewal and “a chance to recollect, a cool out.” Producer/Screenwriter: M. Ballenger. Cast: Evlynne Braithwaite, Bernard Nicolas, Ijeoma Iloputaife, Michael Friend, Keith Williams. Digital video, transferred from ¾” videotape, b/w, 16 min. RAMPART Academy Award-nominated writer/director Oren Moverman (THE MESSENGER) and James Ellroy ( L.A. Confidential”) team up to create a hard-boiled crime drama layered with grit, loathing and disgrace. Woody Harrelson gives a ferocious performance as Dave Brown, an LA cop trapped in a vicious cycle of corruption. For Brown, there is no way out; there are only ways to dig in deeper, until you either disappear or die. When he is not being eaten alive by his beat on the East Side, Brown aggressively and relentlessly takes his own big bites, until he finds himself set up to take the fall to deflect attention from an even bigger corruption scandal at the LAPD’s Rampart division. As Brown’s career crumbles, so does his personal life, leaving behind a trail of angry ex-wives, neglected children and late-night lovers. Great performances from Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ben Foster, Ice Cube and Steve Buscemi round out this modern LA noir. – Jacqueline Lyanga Red Desert Michelangelo Antonioni’s panoramas of contemporary alienation were decade-defining artistic events, and Red Desert, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age — about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris — continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another, Red Desert creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age. Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964, 35mm, 117 min. Resistance: Stanton Kaye’s Georg and Bruce Lane’s unc. Stanton Kaye’s legendary, award-winning Georg (1964) is an affecting, formally inventive narrative that follows a German émigré in America seeking to escape the encroaching militarism that threatens his family’s existence. The film unfolds as a series of diaristic sequences supposedly assembled after the protagonist’s death, as a found audiovisual document, a formal approach that was a great influence on Jim McBride’s David Holzman’s Diary, and countless other films that followed. In counterpoint to Kaye’s experimental verité-fiction, Bruce Lane’s distilled, three-minute epic unc.(1966) crystallizes a whole generation’s paranoia and disgust at old-fashioned American militarism and patriotism. In person: Stanton Kaye, Bruce Lane Georg (1964, 16mm, b/w, 50 min.) Directed by Stanton Kaye unc. (1966, 16mm, color, 3min., restored print from the Academy Film Archive) Directed by Bruce Lane RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES Strangeness is afoot. Most people don't notice the hundreds of cryptic tiled messages about resurrecting the dead that have been appearing in city streets over the past three decades. But Justin Duerr does. For years, finding an answer to this long-standing urban mystery has been his obsession. He has been collecting clues that the tiler has embedded in the streets of major cities across the U.S. and South America. But as Justin starts piecing together key events of the past he finds a story that is more surreal than he imagined, and one that hits disturbingly close to home. Edited and Directed by Jon Foy RETURN FROM THE ASHES (from IMDB) Stanislaus Pilgrin, a Polish chess master and handsome gigolo, marries wealthy Jewish widow, Dr. Michele Wolf, an X-ray technician and has an affair with her step-daughter, Fabienne and then plots to murder them both in a scheme that will have him inherit their money. 1965, UK, 35mm, 105 minutes. directed by J. Lee Thompson; starring Maximilian Schell, Samantha Eggar, Ingrid Thulin, Herbert Lom Sankofa Directed by Haile Gerima Powerful, moving and highly acclaimed, director Haile Gerima’s Sankofa is a masterpiece of cinema that has had a transformative impact on audiences since its release in 1993. This empowering film tells a story of slavery and of the African Diaspora from the perspective of the enslaved, challenging the romanticizing of slavery prevalent in American culture. Sankofa was developed from 20 years of research into the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the experiences of African slaves in the New World. The film represents complex characters and empowering moments of resilience that assert humanity in the face of subjugation. Unlike Hollywood’s depiction of slavery, Gerima presents the often suppressed history of slave resistance and rebellion and represents the enslaved as agents of their own liberation. The story begins with Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), an African American model on a fashion shoot at the former slave castles in Cape Coast, Ghana. Mona undergoes a journey back in time and place to a slave plantation in North America where she becomes Shola, a house slave, and experiences the suffering of slavery firsthand. In becoming Shola and returning to her past culture and heritage, Mona is able to recover her lost slave identity and confront her ancestral experience. Shola’s interactions with her fellow slaves are marked with humanity and dignity, most notably with Shango (Mutabaruka), a rebellious field slave, and Nunu (Alexandra Duah), one of the few slaves to remember her life in Africa before being stolen by Europeans. The film’s narrative structure follows the concept of “Sankofa,” an Akan word that signifies the recuperation of one’s past in order to comprehend the present and find one’s future. Producer/Screenwriter/Editor: H. Gerima. Cinematographer: Augustin Cubano. Cast: Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, Alexandra Duah, Nick Medley, Mutabaruka. 35mm, color, 124 min. SCREAM Festival 2011: Sounding Images Co-presented with the Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music. Electro-acoustic music merges seamlessly with electronically generated or enhanced imagery in this screening of 11 international works—a program that attests to the ongoing maturation of an electronic “inter-arts” that transcends disciplines, genres and geographies. Whether created through collaborations between artists and technicians at major art centers, or by digitally savvy individual artmakers in faraway outposts, these composites of sound and image share in common aesthetic imagination and skillful technique. Selma, Lord, Selma (1999) Directed by Charles Burnett “Human progress,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explained, “is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” In director Charles Burnett’s film Selma, Lord, Selma, the youthful eyes of 11-year-old female protagonist Sheyann Webb is the lens in which we see the determined bravery and compassionate humanity that was the hallmark of the Civil Rights Movement. Set against the backdrop of the racially tumultuous 1960s, Selma, Lord, Selma is based on Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson’s memoir "Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days" (1997). Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film premiered on the ABC network on Jan. 17, 1999, one day before King’s national holiday. Chronicling the events leading up to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches led by King and many notable Black and white civil rights leaders, Burnett’s film eloquently dramatizes African Americans’ fight to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Based on these historical events, including the horror of Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, the film celebrates the triumph of American humanity and nonviolent civil disobedience. Starring the late Yolanda King, daughter of King, the film honors King’s legacy of equality, love, change and courage in the face of bigotry, racism and hatred. In taking a child’s point of view, Burnett employs a narrative strategy common to the L.A. Rebellion. Through the eyes of an innocent young girl, we learn that the fight for freedom demands faith and fortitude, education and empathy, strength and service. A film for the whole family to reflect on not just the darkness of the past but on the eve of a new dawn in America’s history, Selma, Lord, Selma reminds us, as King proclaimed, that “the time is always right to do what is right.” Producer: Christopher Seitz. Based on the book by Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson as told to Frank Sikora. Screenwriter: Cynthia Whitcomb. Cinematographer: John Simmons. Editor: Nancy Richardson. Cast: Mackenzie Astin, Jurnee Smollett, Clifton Powell, Ella Joyce, Yolanda King. Digital video, color, 88 min. Several Friends (1969) Directed by Charles Burnett In director Charles Burnett’s first student film, eccentric and endearing young people interact in a variety of everyday settings: outside a liquor store, in a living room, fixing a car. Burnett’s ability to draw out vivid characterizations from an ensemble of actors—as well as his sensitivity to the expressive potential of working class props and spaces—is already in ample evidence. Producer: Charles Burnett. Screenwriter: Charles Burnett. Cinematographer: Jim Watkins. Editor: Charles Burnett. Cast: Andy Burnett, Eugene Cherry, Charles Bracy, Donna Deitch, Cassandra Wright. 35mm, color, 22 min. SILVER BULLETS This trilogy by director Joe Swanberg deals with autobiographical issues of filmmaking, sex and the collision of art and reality. SILVER BULLETS is the first film in the series and it premiered earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, alongside ART HISTORY. In the film, director Ti West plays a filmmaker directing a horror movie. He casts the young and beautiful Kate Lyn Shiel as the lead, much to her delight. Not as delighted is Lyn Shiel's boyfriend (played by Swanberg), who suspects that her new director has amorous intentions and that he plans to make their collaboration more carnal than artistic. Swanberg's character is also a filmmaker himself, but a creator of much more artistic fare who has monologues questioning the value of his life and his films. It's an incredibly candid and naked outpouring of a filmmaker exploring his obsessions on the screen. -Lane Kneedler SLOGAN Serge, a successful television commercials producer in his early 40's, travels to Venice to enter his films in a festival. Dissatisfied with his life and his marriage, Serge meets Evelyne, a pretty 18-year-old English girl, and makes her his mistress. He rents an apartment and lives with her while waiting for his divorce. Evelyne soon tires of him, however, and abandons him for a Venetian speedboat driver. In search of companionship and consolation, Serge picks up another young woman. Directed by: Pierre Grimblat. Starring: Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin and Andréa Parisy. Runtime: 90 min. France, 1969 SNOWTOWN In his feature film debut, director Justin Kurzel brings to the screen the horrifying true story of Australia's most notorious serial killer. Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother and brothers in a rundown, welfare-stricken Adelaide suburb. Longing to escape the violence and hopelessness that mark his daily life, Jamie finds salvation when he meets a charismatic father-figure named John Bunting. A friendship forms between the two and soon Jaime finds himself drawn into Bunting's attempts to "clean up" the neighborhood with brutal torture and murder. With amazing performances from first-time actors Lucas Pittaway and Daniel Henshall, Kurzel doesn't merely retell the story of these murders, but instead provides a stark journey into a feral subculture of welfare dependence, addiction, domestic violence, brutality and sexual abuse. -Jenn Murphy SPARK OF BEING Director Bill Morrison has been a mainstay of the experimental film world for many years, but this is his first appearance at AFI FEST. His previous works, including DECASIA, have played in festivals around the world, winning numerous awards and acclaim. With SPARK OF BEING, Morrison retells one of the cinema's classic stories, Frankenstein, in his signature style, using found footage meticulously step printed and repurposed. Morrison's mastery over celluloid allows him to add layers of decay and darkness to the screen, not to mention the electric sparks which course through both Morrison's past work and this timeless tale of man's hubris. Crackling off the screen, SPARK OF BEING is a one-of-a-kind event for Los Angeles and AFI FEST. -Lane Kneedler THE STUDENT 2011, 124 min, Argentina, Dir: Santiago Mitre Roque (an excellent Esteban Lamothe) has left his provincial hometown for the University of Buenos Aires, a campus he finds overwhelmed with indecipherable slogans and students rallying for different political parties and causes. As he develops a crush on a cute teaching assistant (Romina Paula) trying to instigate reform, and befriends Professor Acevedo (Ricardo Felix), a veteran campus politician, Roque is lured into the school's vibrantly seductive political realm (and away from his homework), and climbs the ranks as Acevedo's campaign and event organizer. But political allegiances are not without a price, and Roque soon realizes the ruthless nature of some of his newfound friends and allies. Official selection of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and 2011 Locarno Film Festival. "A taut, incisive look at university wheeling and dealing." –Variety. In Spanish with English subtitles. TARGET Set in 2020, TARGET envisions a culturally stagnant Russia where the disparity between classes is even greater than it is now, and where a whizzing superhighway connects the nation with its trade partners in China and France. Four ultra-wealthy Muscovites visit a strange rural spa to experience "The Target," a former Soviet-era astrophysics facility that is bombarded with positive radiation from space, enabling it to function as a veritable fountain of youth. Upon returning to Moscow, newly energized yet emotionally dimmed, they find themselves locked in a cycle of infidelity and mistrust that obliquely mirrors the events of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." In TARGET, director Alexander Zeldovich, working from a script by playwright and novelist Vladimir Sorokin, has created a dystopian sci-fi landscape dipped in Easter egg hues, brimming with futuristic notions and classical philosophy. The result is an experience that is impossible to pigeon-hole - both thoroughly original and uniquely Russian. -Dayan Ballweg THERE'S NO THERE, THERE: LA FILMS LA Big City Forum & Cinema Speakeasy present an evening of short films that examine what LA means to those that inhabit it, in a program and discussion about our public urban identity. We will be screening pieces that capture the complexity and reality of living in our de-centralized – yet mythical – metropolis. LA is the constantly shifting metropolis constructed entirely for mass consumption by fantastical and fevered minds with nary a glance at the rich complexity roiling beneath its shimmering skin. From gritty downtown cop dramas to technicolor Hollywood fantasies, it has been omnipresent in American celluloid, but rarely truly captured. It is, in short, the most filmed yet least understood megalopolis in modern American history. Filmmakers will be on hand for a post-screening discussion about their sense of place, moderated by Saskia Wilson-Brown and Big City Forum. Part 1: LA Isn’t a Real City, It Just Plays One on Camera (Observations) ‘I Hate LA’ by Suzy Barrett (TRT 2.5 min) ‘Los Angeles: A Love Poem’ by Dylan King (TRT 2.25 min) ‘Not West of Western’ by Clay Dean (TRT 13.5 min) Part 2: Interlude (Moments) ‘Javelin @ Bob Baker Marionette Theatre’ by Alex Pelly, Dublab (TRT. 10 min) ‘Mall Mania’ by Joel Fletcher (TRT 4.5 min) ‘Intolerance’ by Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo (TRT 2.25 min) Part 3: A Manufactured Narrative (Stories) ‘Untitled (Perlman Place)’ by Vera Brunner-Sung (TRT 1 min) ‘Dos, Por Favor’ by Fabian Euresti (TRT 15 min) and a special surprise by Austin Young (TRT 10 min) Three Stooges Big Screen Event Stooges In History –– Sort of! This Year, we will take a look back in time to various period of history with our boys as the guides. Subject to great 35mm prints being available, our line up is: BACK TO THE WOODS (1937) GOOFS AND SADDLES (1937) MUMMIES DUMMIES (1948) HIGHER THAN A KITE (1943) WEE WEE MONSIEUR (1938) Our extra added attraction this year will be a tribute to the early television hosts who brought the Stooges films to kids all over the country via their local after-school shows during the late 1950s and 1960s. We'll be taking a nostalgic look at Officer Joe Boulton, Skipper Chuck Zink, Chuck McCann, Sandy Becker, Sally Starr, Cowboy Bob Glaze, etc. etc. That should put us in the mood to go back in time with Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp. Running time approximately 2 hours. To Live & Die in L.A. (1985) Directed by William Friedkin From robbery, murder, and exploitation to a riveting car chase on a crowded Los Angeles freeway, Secret Service agent Richard Chance will stop at nothing to bring down the evil counterfeiter who killed his partner. William L. Petersen and Willem Dafoe are standouts in William Friedkin's crime thriller, which also features a Wang Chung score. MGM/UA. Producer: Irving H. Levin. Screenwriter: William Friedkin, Gerald Petievich. Cinematographer: Robby Muller. Editor: Scott Smith. Cast: William L. Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, John Turturro. 35mm, color, 116 min. To Sleep With Anger Directed by Charles Burnett Director Charles Burnett’s first feature to be widely released by a major distributor enjoyed universal critical acclaim, with stellar reviews appearing in the Chicago Reader, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker and Variety. Despite a virtually nonexistent studio marketing campaign that led to disappointing box office, the film received a significant number of prestigious accolades, including several top honors at the Independent Spirit Awards, a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and a National Society of Film Critics Award for best screenplay. Featuring a highly accomplished ensemble cast headed by the film’s executive producer, actor Danny Glover, To Sleep With Anger concerns a transplanted African American family’s metaphorical and metaphysical tug-of-war between their comfortable life in Los Angeles and the age-old superstitions and cultural traditions native to their former home in the South. The catalyst for this mortal conflict is a beloved family friend from back home, Harry Mention (Glover), a “trickster” who arrives unexpectedly with a twinkle in his eye and a soul-rooted connection to the more sinister aspects of Southern folklore. As Harry’s initially charming, but ultimately devilish, conjuring gradually infiltrates three generations of the family unit, deep-seated fractures in their interrelationships are forced to confrontation. A wholly original work that draws closely from Burnett’s personal ties to the South (the director was born in Mississippi) and to South Central Los Angeles where he grew up, To Sleep With Anger is a singular artistic achievement that transcends categorization, seamlessly incorporating elements of family drama, dark comedy and magical realism. Within this densely layered framework, Burnett incisively, yet subtly, examines the complexities of modern middle-class Black life amid the challenges of reconciling the past with the present. The result is an indelibly humanistic fable, rich in poetic symbolism and firmly grounded in a recognizable reality. Producer: Caldecott Chubb, Thomas S. Byrnes, Darin Scott. Screenwriter: C. Burnett. Cinematographer: Walter Lloyd. Editor: Nancy Richardson. Cast: Danny Glover, Paul Butler, DeVaughn Nixon, Vonetta McGee, Carl Lumbly. 35mm, color, 102 min. Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant (1989) Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis This film presents a fond and informative portrait of pioneering female jazz trumpeter Clora Bryant, a proponent of West Coast jazz whose early stints with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm led eventually to collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others. Rich with tunes and anecdotes, the documentary handsomely details Bryant’s long journey in music and her influence on generations of musicians. Wimmin with a Mission Productions. Producer: Zeinabu irene Davis, Marc Arthur Chery. Screenwriter: Z. irene Davis, Lillian E. Benson. Cinematographer: Katherine Engstrom, Willie Dawkins, Charles Burnett, S. Torriano Berry, Yasu Tsuji, Biya Ababulga, Pierre Desir. Editor: L. E. Benson. Co-Editor: Katherine Engstrom. Cast: Clora Bryant, Dizzy Gillespie, James Newton, Helen Cole, Teddy Edwards. DVCam, b/w & color, 57 min. In-person: filmmakers Zeinabu irene Davis and Carroll Parrott Blue. THE TURIN HORSE Hungary's Official Foreign-Language Oscar Submission Inspired by the account of Friedrich Nietzsche's mental breakdown at the sight of a horse being whipped, Hungarian master Béla Tarr's new work - which he claims will be his last - is an apocalyptic vision. Tarr's film begins immediately after Nietzsche's breakdown (in fact, he is never seen). Instead, it imagines the lives of the horse's weary masters, an elderly peasant and his grown daughter, who live in a primitive cabin, subsisting on boiled potatoes and pálinka brandy. A windstorm rages across their desolate plain, threatening extinction. Tarr charts the peasants' harsh existence using his roving camera's long takes and Mihály Vig's repetitive score to create an enveloping tone poem about human endurance in the face of cosmic malevolence. Though it's tempting to draw conclusions from a visitor's pessimistic monologue, the film's precise meaning remains elusive. A challenging, beautiful and emotionally affecting work, it is a haunting farewell from an iconic filmmaker. -Doug Cummings Two Nights with Ernie Gehr: Early Films and New Digital Works “A filmmaker’s filmmaker whose movies are so tough-minded and lucid it is as if they were produced to demonstrate the marvels of the motion picture apparatus.” —J. Hoberman Ernie Gehr’s unsurpassed body of films and videos from the past 43 years combines richly conceived and rigorous cinematic structures with a profound sensitivity for the physical world around him. This two-program series begins on Monday with four recent digital works: Crystal Palace (2002/2011), Auto-Collider IX (2010), Thank You for Visiting (2010), and Abracadabra (2009). The quartet features, according to Gehr, “Lake Tahoe on steroids, aerobic eye exercises in San Francisco, Brooklyn’s Red Hook after midnight, and for those with a special weakness for the baffling mysteries of early cinema: spiritualism, crashing through stone walls, a remake of the sinking of the Titanic, and, as a grand finale, the dance-of-the-century!” Tuesday’s screening revisits Gehr’s earliest 16mm films: Morning (1968), Wait (1968), Reverberation (1969), Transparency (1969), History (1970), Field (1970), and Serene Velocity (1970)—one of the few experimental films included in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as an American landmark. These rarely screened shorts are elegant, concise and acutely observed explorations of cinematic space, and established Gehr as one of our foremost avant-gardists. In person: Ernie Gehr A USEFUL LIFE After twenty-five years, Cinemateca Uruguaya’s most devoted employee, Jorge (real-life Uruguayan critic Jorge Jellinek), still finds his inspiration in caring for the films and audiences that grace the seats and screen of his beloved arthouse cinema. But when dwindling attendance and diminishing support force the theater to close its doors, Jorge is sent into a world he knows only through the lens of art—and suddenly forced to discover a new passion that transcends his once-celluloid reality. Stylishly framed in black-and-white with brilliantly understated performances, Federico Veiroj’s sly and loving homage to the soul of cinema is a universally appealing gem and knowing charmer about life after the movies. Wallace Berman’s Underground In the mid-1960s, Wallace Berman inspired and communed with a close-knit circle of actors and artists, who screened their underground films domestically among a group of Topanga Canyon bohemians. These films were influenced by Berman’s spiritualist and radically amateur concepts of art, that nevertheless thrived in the intersection among art, Hollywood, and the institutions of the semi-commercial underground. Featuring Russ Tamblyn and/or George Herms in person. Aleph (1956-66, 8 min.) Directed by Wallace Berman Breakaway (1966, 5 min.) Directed by Bruce Conner WAVELENGTH Elemental, uncompromising, physical and yet completely intangible – explaining Michael Snow’s 1967 Wavelength is like explaining light itself. The 45-minute tracking shot is one of the most influential experimental films of all time, elegantly cutting to and straight through the essence of the filmic experience. This is a purely formal world, where the unalterable path of the camera – not human concerns like story or time – is what forms the experience. Originally scored to a simple sine wave drone, Michael Snow’s 1967 Wavelength converted the tenants of ambient, experimental music to the visual realm. For this special evening, sound artist J.R. Robinson – who has exhibited his ambient tonefields in museums around the world – will pay tribute to Snow’s pioneering visual experiment with an original sonic creation by his ensemble Wrekmeister Harmonies, accompanied by a list of friends and collaborators that includes members of LCD Soundsystem, The Melvins, Jesus Lizard, Priestbird, LA’s Big Business and Qui, and, of course, a projection of Wavelength itself! Dir. Michael Snow, 1967, 16mm, 45 min. WE BELIEVED 2011, Rai Trade, 120 min, Italy, Dir: Mario Martone With this recently re-cut version from his original 2010 epic, director Mario Martone's (NASTY LOVE, DEATH OF A NEAPOLITAN MATHEMATICIAN) historical mythbuster follows the real events surrounding Italy's unification in the 19th century, from the nation's stormy birth in the 1820s to its solidification in the 1870s. Edoardo Natoli and Andrea Bosca star as Domenico and Angelo, two commoners loosely based on minor historical figures from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies who dream of a unified Italy. Over the course of decades, the two transform into very different types of revolutionaries - Domenico siding with the populist movement, with Angelo becoming a violent nihilist willing to murder friends and enemies. With Luigi Lo Cascio (THE BEST OF YOUTH) and Francesca Inaudi (AFTER MIDNIGHT). For lovers of Luchino Visconti's THE LEOPARD, this is a must-see! In Italian with English subtitles. Introduction by actress Francesca Inaudi – schedule permitting. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN Director Lynn Ramsay (RATCATCHER, MORVERN CALLAR) steps behind the camera for the first time in nine years to tell the fragmented story of a woman living a waking nightmare, coming to terms with the reality that her son was a high-school spree killer. Tilda Swinton gives a remarkable performance as Eva, a reluctant mother whose life is shattered beyond repair by her son's Columbine-like atrocity. Her situation is every parent's worst fear: the child that you have raised has turned into a monster. Eva is left with no option but to replay the fragments of Kevin's life and ponder her role in his unspeakable acts. Haunted by guilt and confronted by bereaved parents, how is it possible to go on with your life? Ramsay's film offers no easy answers, but instead examines with her deft eye the emotional and societal consequences of what we bring into the world. -Lane Kneedler WE WERE FEARED This film chronicles the rise and fall of The Cuckoo's Nest,' a famous Socal Punk Rock Club that was not only the birthplace of slam dancing but a key incubator to the surf, skate and extreme sports culture of today. Running time: 74 mins. IN PERSON: Henry Rollins. When It Rains (1995) Directed by Charles Burnett On New Year’s Day, a man tries to help a woman pay her rent and learns a lesson in connecting with others in a community. Ayuko Babu, founding director of the Pan African Film Festival of Los Angeles, assumes the lead role in a pleasingly empathic reading. Leapfrog Production. Producer: Chantal Bernheim. Screenwriter: C. Burnett. Cast: Ayuko Babu, Kenny Merritt, Charles Bracy, Soul, R. Ray Barness. 16mm, color, 13 min. The Wholly Family (2011, 26 min) Terry Gilliam's new short film about an American family in the streets of Naples. Discussion following the feature with director Terry Gilliam. The Woods written and directed by Matthew Lessner Idealistic twenty-somethings driven by a higher calling of a utopia, fashionably answer the call to change by mobilizing a movement deep into the woods, armed with a ridiculous amount of Cost-Co reserves and technology. Playfully incisive, this first feature's take on revolt is a classic for the Millennial generation. Q&A with filmmakers. Cast: Justin Phillips, Toby David, Adam Mortemore, Nicola Persky, Chris Edley YANQUI WALKER AND THE OPTICAL REVOLUTION (2009, 33m) Kathryn Ramey's inspired experimental documentary about a now-obscure American expansionist and military dictator, William Walker, who, through military force and coercion, became president of Nicaragua in 1856. The film blends found footage, documentary photography, ethnographic inquiry and personal travelogue with experimental film techniques such as hand-processing, optical printing and hand conducted time-lapse to detour and derail the various approaches to history making that have been applied to this story. Yanqui WALKER as a contemporary work of film art, not only tells us something about history and how it connects to current political, social and economic situations but also how art and poetry can be a means to subvert and transcend even the most oppressive of narratives. Seminal experimental filmmaker/curator Jonas Mekas says "You don't have to be a communist to be anti-capitalist. It is enough to be a poet." THE ZONE In the final film of this trilogy, films are nesting within other films, not so much breaking the fourth wall as pushing its boundaries beyond reality. THE ZONE finds Swanberg virtually playing himself, a filmmaker who puts beautiful women into frank and sexual situations. As the emotions in the films within films rise, the real-world emotional stakes for the characters are raised on every level, often exploding into brute physicality. These three films function as unique time capsules capturing an artist wrestling with his complex conflicts, all the while struggling to have his art catch up with his actual emotional development. THE ZONE is having its world premiere at AFI FEST, and it's a great honor for the festival to showcase this dynamic young filmmaker. -Lane Kneedler