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

sat. nov. 2

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

sun. nov. 3

sea lions (as the television personalities), heathers (as the wedding present) @ john peel nite @ echo
this life of mine 7 PM, shangrao concentration camp @ ucla film archive
bruce baillie: two nights of 16mm treasures 7 PM @ redcat
berlin alexanderplatz (marathon) day two 1 PM-10:30 PM @ goethe-institut
art on screen: a conversation with agnes varda FREE (RSVP) 2 PM @ getty center
the visitor 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater
pat garrett & billy the kid @ silent movie theater
the bling ring, only god forgives @ new beverly
let the fire burn 4 PM @ arena cinema
specters of godard FREE 5:30 PM @ schindler house
levitation room FREE @ monty bar

mon. nov. 4

the captain hates the sea @ ucla film archive
bruce baillie: two nights of 16mm treasures 8:30 PM @ redcat
escape from new york 8 PM @ arclight hollywood
the thing 8 PM @ arclight hollywood
cisco pike 10:45 PM @ silent movie theater
the bling ring, only god forgives @ new beverly

tue. nov. 5

endless bummer FREE @ harvard & stone
the act of killing FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark

wed. nov. 6

tim hecker @ human resources
paths to paradise @ the silent treatment @ silent movie theater
oldboy, lady vengeance @ new beverly
let the fire burn 9:15 PM @ arena cinema
the visitor 8 PM @ the crest

thu. nov. 7

servants' entrance FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges
mazzy star @ wiltern
the thing (1982) 9 PM @ cult camp @ downtown independent
vigilante force 10:45 PM @ silent movie theater
the act of killing @ silent movie theater
oldboy, lady vengeance @ new beverly
let the fire burn 9:15 PM @ arena cinema
chinatown @ egyptian
shoot the sun down @ aero
garage exchange vienna-los angeles (opening) FREE 7-9 PM @ mak center mackey garage top

fri. nov. 8

crocodiles @ echo
my man godfrey, the half naked truth @ ucla film archive
the loons, the woggles @ til two club (SD)
cosmonauts, froth @ the smell
pickpocket FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
the unknown known: the life and times of donald rumsfeld FREE 6:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
the fake FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
manuscripts don't burn FREE 9 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
congratulations! FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
blue ruin FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
afi fest shorts program one FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
in bloom FREE 9:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
big bad wolves FREE MIDNIGHT @ afi fest @ chinese 6
exploratorium 1: perceptions of science 8 PM @ silent movie theater
shark toys, yi @ ham & eggs
satan's brew FREE 7 PM @ csun armer theater
macario FREE 7 PM @ self help graphics
the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, that obscure object of desire @ new beverly

sat. nov. 9

indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark 7 PM @ electric dusk drive-in
the lodger FREE (RSVP) 3 PM @ getty center
rear window FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ getty center
kat kong @ club ding-a-ling @ echo country outpost
the fake FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
drones FREE 1:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
herblock FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
cleo from 5 to 7 FREE 3 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
in bloom FREE 3:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
vic + flo saw a bear FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
charlie victor romeo FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
afi fest shorts program one FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
la jaula de oro FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
bethlehem FREE 6:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
like father like son FREE 6:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
a spell to ward off the darkness FREE 6:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
we are the best! FREE 7:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
when evening falls on bucharest or metabolism FREE 9:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
the selfish giant FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
my afghanistan FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
the sacrament FREE MIDNIGHT @ afi fest @ chinese 1
the strange colour of your body's tears FREE MIDNIGHT @ afi fest @ chinese 6
badlands @ pehrspace
blume in love 3 PM @ silent movie theater
exploratorium 2: experimental films for kids 6 PM @ silent movie theater
exploratorium 3: artists in residence 9:30 PM @ silent movie theater
brakhage super 8 films 1976 8 PM @ epfc
herblock FREE 2 PM @ la central library meeting room a
quotes unquoted FREE 2 PM @ goethe institut
the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, that obscure object of desire @ new beverly

sun. nov. 10

the east is red 7 PM, red detachment of women @ ucla film archive
foreign correspondent FREE (RSVP) 3 PM @ getty center
inequality for all 4 PM @ the edye @ the broad stage
like father like son FREE 12:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
la jaula de oro FREE 1:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
a spell to ward off the darkness FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
big bad wolves FREE 1:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
congratulations! FREE 2 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
the marriage of maria braun FREE 2:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
the last emperor 3D FREE 3 PM @ afi fest @ tcl chinese
the unknown known: the life and times of donald rumsfeld FREE 3:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
omar FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
the selfish giant FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
documenteur FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
the past FREE 6 PM egyptian
we are mari pepa FREE 7:15 PM chinese 2
awful nice FREE 7:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
the umbrellas of cherbourg FREE 9 PM @ afi fest @ tcl chinese
we gotta get out of this place FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
mandela: long walk to freedom FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
the strange little cat FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
exploratorium 4: seeing sounds @ silent movie theater
paper moon 5 PM, nebraska @ new beverly

mon. nov. 11

experimental documentaries FREE 6 PM @ documental @ unurban
bed @ the smell
empire: the unintended consequences of dutch colonialism 8:30 PM @ redcat
mandela: long walk to freedom FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
bethlehem FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
manuscripts don't burn FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
we are mari pepa FREE 1:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
my afghanistan FREE 4 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
charlie victor romeo FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
the strange little cat FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
my dog killer FREE 6:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
nebraska FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ tcl chinese
exhibition FREE 7:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
the invisible woman FREE 7:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
borgman FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
omar FREE 10 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
vic + flo saw a bear FREE 10:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
the sacrament FREE 10:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
la femme nikita @ greg proops film club @ silent movie theater
annie hall 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks

tue. nov. 12

morton subotnick (8:30) @ redcat
the invisible woman FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
my dog killer FREE 1:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
we are the best! FREE 2:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 5
jodorowsky's dune FREE 6:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
when evening falls on bucharest or metabolism FREE 7:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
borgman FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
harmony lessons FREE 9:40 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
afi fest shorts program four FREE 9:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
mr. blandings builds his dream house FREE 1:30 PM @ skirball

wed. nov. 13

quasi, blues control @ echo
jodorowsky's dune FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
awful nice FREE 1:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 6
the past FREE 3:15 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
exhibition FREE 4:15 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
harmony lessons FREE 4:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 3
afi fest shorts program four FREE 7 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
her FREE 7:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
the strange colour of your body's tears FREE 7:45 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 2
the great beauty FREE 9:30 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 4
after hours FREE 11 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
berlin, get crazy @ new beverly
mur murs @ aero
the twilight samurai FREE 7 PM @ japan foundation

thu. nov. 14

chris ware: writing the graphic landscape FREE @ fowler museum
thee oh sees @ center for the arts eagle rock
wand, audacity @ bootleg
meg baird @ echo
her FREE 1 PM @ afi fest @ chinese 1
the great beauty FREE 5:30 PM @ afi fest @ egyptian
inside llewyn davis FREE 7:30 PM @ afi fest @ tcl chinese
the pervert's guide to ideology 7:30 10:20 PM @ silent movie theater
berlin, get crazy @ new beverly
killing the messenger: the deadly cost of news 8 PM @ epfc
a tribute to allan sekula: night one 7 PM @ filmforum @ moca grand ave

fri. nov. 15

labyrinth MIDNIGHT @ nuart
thee oh sees (under 21 only unless accompanied by a minor) @ center for the arts eagle rock
yellow earth, red sorghum @ ucla film archive
qui, feather wolf @ the smell
the pervert's guide to ideology 9:30 PM @ silent movie theater
valley girl MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater
the godfather @ egyptian
cold turkey 7 PM @ downtown independent
redes, let's go with pancho villa @ lacma
new york stories, four rooms @ new beverly

sat. nov. 16

the young girls of rochefort @ ucla film archive
sempelfest (noon-midnight) @ goethe-institut
mike watt & the secondmen FREE @ permanent records
telecaves @ handbag factory
alice doesn't live here anymore 4:30 PM @ silent movie theater
the pervert's guide to ideology 1:45 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater
shaun of the dead 5 PM, hot fuzz, the world's end @ egyptian
true heart susie @ retro format @ spielberg @ egyptian
que viva mexico 5 PM @ lacma
multiple visions: the crazy machine FREE (RSVP) @ lacma
new works salon 8 PM @ epfc
the molochs, drinking flowers, hellshovel @ ham & eggs tavern
sleep MIDNIGHT @ a warhol sleepover @ human resources
the battery 7 PM @ jumpcut cafe
new york stories 2:45 7:30 PM, four rooms 5:10 9:55 PM @ new beverly

sun. nov. 17

so's your old man 7 PM, running wild @ ucla film archive
wire @ echoplex
submissions @ handbag factory
the pervert's guide to ideology 8 PM @ silent movie theater
a tribute to allan sekula: the forgotten space @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian
two lives FREE (RSVP) 6 PM @ goethe institut
bury my heart in dresden FREE (RSVP) 2 PM @ los angeles skins fest @ regal l.a. live
invasion of the body snatchers (1956) 3:50 7:30 PM, the thing from another world 5:30 9:10 PM @ new beverly

mon. nov. 18

rakhshan banietemad: the hidden cost of violence 8:30 PM @ redcat
the pervert's guide to ideology 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
preserving the avant-garde: the nfpf's avant-garde treasures dvd set FREE @ back for the future: film restoration in the 21st century @ ampas linwood dunn
hannah and her sisters 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks
invasion of the body snatchers (1956), the thing from another world @ new beverly
jung bouquet FREE @ melody lounge

tue. nov. 19

the pervert's guide to ideology @ silent movie theater
fingers @ an evening with james toback @ lacma
the great beauty FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
to die for FREE 6:30 PM @ santa monica library montana branch
merx @ complex
enter the fat dragon, expect the unexpected @ new beverly
the visitor 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater

wed. nov. 20

eraserhead FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc ray stark
like magic @ ampas samuel goldwyn
autolux @ the observatory (santa ana)
the visitor 10:45 PM @ silent movie theater

thu. nov. 21

subversive cinema experimental animation films FREE 7 PM @ subversive cinema @ the talking stick
jonathan lethem & raymond pettibon FREE @ hammer conversations @ hammer
cosmic abstractions from courtney hoskins & fred worden 8 PM @ epfc
ruggles of red gap FREE 2 PM @ santa monica library montana branch
the spectacular now, the world's end @ new beverly
the visitor 10:45 PM @ silent movie theater

fri. nov. 22

oldboy MIDNIGHT @ nuart
the arch, china behind @ ucla film archive
jon brion @ largo
a brief history of time 8 PM @ science on screen @ silent movie theater
two lives, i am yours @ aero
the fugitive (1947), two mules for sister sara @ lacma
the freshman (1925) FREE (RSVP) 7 PM @ usc norris cinema
john c. reilly & becky stark & tom brosseau @ bootleg
mike watt & the missingmen @ casey's
the spectacular now, the world's end @ new beverly
corners @ the smell
hannah and her sisters FREE (RSVP) @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges

sat. nov. 23

the breakfast club 6 PM, back to the future part ii @ electric dusk drive-in
how strange to be named federico 5:30 PM, la dolce vita @ aero
under the volcano 5 PM @ lacma
the night of the iguana @ lacma
dream street 8 PM @ epfc
the spectacular now 3:05 7:30 PM, the world's end 5:00 9:25 PM @ new beverly

sun. nov. 24

pop art films FREE 7 PM @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque
nightmare alley 7 PM @ ucla film archive
the ackermonster chronicles 5 PM @ aero
secret sixteen 7 PM @ jumpcut cafe
the war of the worlds 3:30 7:30 PM, the time machine 5:30 9:40 PM @ new beverly
a stark view of the world: an evening with scott stark @ filmforum @ spielberg @ egyptian
westworld FREE 7 PM @ reel grit @ afi
a brief history of time @ silent movie theater

mon. nov. 25

the real and the hyper-real: films and videos by scott stark 8:30 PM @ redcat
hard times FREE @ back for the future: film restoration in the 21st century @ ampas linwood dunn
the war of the worlds, the time machine @ new beverly

tue. nov. 26

bunny lake is missing 1 PM @ lacma
the war of the worlds, the time machine @ new beverly
inside llewyn davis FREE (RSVP) @ melnitz movies @ ucla james bridges

wed. nov. 27

planes trains and automobiles, uncle buck @ aero

fri. nov. 29

the punk singer 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
they live MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater
the shining, room 237 @ egyptian
casablanca, the maltese falcon @ new beverly
the act of killing 4:55 PM @ arena cinema
wild style 6:50 PM @ arena cinema
downtown 81 8:15 PM @ arena cinema
the pervert's guide to ideology 9:30 PM @ arena cinema

sat. nov. 30

three stooges big screen event 2:00 8:00 PM @ alex theatre
heaven's gate 1 PM @ silent movie theater
the punk singer 7 PM @ silent movie theater
together pangea (early show) @ the echo
2001: a space odyssey @ egyptian
alex mackenzie 8 PM @ epfc
casablanca 3:05 7:30 PM, the maltese falcon 5:10 9:35 PM @ new beverly
let the fire burn 5 PM @ arena cinema
wild style 6:50 PM @ arena cinema
downtown 81 8:15 PM @ arena cinema
the pervert's guide to ideology 9:30 PM @ arena cinema

sun. dec. 1

the punk singer 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
downtown 81 3:15 PM @ arena cinema
wild style 4:30 PM @ arena cinema
the act of killing 6 PM @ arena cinema
the pervert's guide to ideology 8 PM @ arena cinema
the slits nite @ part time punks @ echo
is the man who is tall happy? 5:30 PM @ downtown independent

mon. dec. 2

dirt dress, froth FREE (RSVP) @ bootleg
the punk singer 5 PM @ silent movie theater
everybody street @ silent movie theater
digital restoration of disney animated shorts FREE @ back for the future: film restoration in the 21st century @ ampas linwood dunn
is the man who is tall happy? 3:00 5:00 7:00 10:30 PM @ downtown independent
some velvet morning FREE (RSVP) @ usc broccoli theatre

tue. dec. 3

the punk singer 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater
the palm beach story FREE 1:30 PM @ skirball
the eric andre show live @ echoplex
the films of bruce conner @ cinespia salon @ silent movie theater
is the man who is tall happy? 3:00 5:00 7:00 PM @ downtown independent

wed. dec. 4

miami connection @ the crest
the act of killing 7:15 PM @ arena cinema
the pervert's guide to ideology 9:15 PM @ arena cinema
the ten commandments (1923) @ egyptian
the punk singer 7:30 9:45 PM @ silent movie theater
is the man who is tall happy? 3:00 5:00 10:30 PM @ downtown independent

thu. dec. 5

jonathan richman @ the mint
the private affairs of bel ami FREE 5 PM @ the crank @ ucla james bridges
veronika voss FREE @ csun armer theater
the pervert's guide to ideology 6:50 PM @ arena cinema
the act of killing 9 PM @ arena cinema
the good the bad and the ugly @ aero
the punk singer 10:30 PM @ silent movie theater
is the man who is tall happy? 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 PM @ downtown independent

fri. dec. 6

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair
wong fei-hung: the whip that smacks the candle, the story of a discharged prisoner @ ucla film archive
a century ago: the films of 1913 @ ampas linwood dunn
endless bummer @ silver lake lounge
unforgiven (2013) 7 PM @ eigafest @ egyptian
cleo from 5 to 7, la pointe courte @ lacma

sat. dec. 7

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair
cosmonauts, dirt dress, froth @ lou reed tribute night @ thee mens warehouse (anaheim)
heller keller @ the smell
the devil's path 4:10 PM @ eigafest @ egyptian
star 80, lenny @ aero
le bonheur 5 PM @ lacma

sun. dec. 8

jonathan richman @ the mint
l.a. anarchist bookfair
a city of sadness 7 PM @ ucla film archive
john c. reilly & becky stark & tom brosseau @ largo
shark toys, 100 flowers @ part time punks @ echo
leaving on the 15th spring 5:45 PM @ eigafest @ egyptian
on the air (complete series marathon) FREE (RSVP) 3 PM @ usc ray stark

mon. dec. 9

pxl this festival FREE 7:00 9:00 PM @ documental @ unurban
cosmonauts, drinking flowers, black sea, froth FREE (RSVP) @ bootleg
nicolas rey: autrement la molussie (differently molussia) 8:30 PM @ redcat
side by side FREE @ back for the future: film restoration in the 21st century @ ampas linwood dunn

tue. dec. 10

in a lonely place 1 PM @ lacma
the truman show FREE 1:30 PM @ lacma
a christmas story 8 PM @ arclight pasadena

wed. dec. 11

gremlins 8 PM @ arclight hollywood

thu. dec. 12

querelle FREE @ csun armer theater

fri. dec. 13

comrades: almost a love story, in the mood for love @ ucla film archive
bleached FREE 7 PM @ whole foods, 3rd & fairfax

sat. dec. 14

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

sun. dec. 15

catwalk @ part time punks @ the echo
abie kabibble outwitting his rival 5 PM, his nibs, feel my pulse @ ucla film archive

mon. dec. 16

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

tue. dec. 17

a christmas story 8 PM @ arclight sherman oaks
close encounters of the third kind FREE 1 PM @ lacma
drugstore cowboy FREE 6:30 PM @ santa monica library montana branch

wed. dec. 18

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

thu. dec. 19

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

fri. dec. 20

jon brion @ largo
national lampoon's christmas vacation MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sun. dec. 22

gospel music films FREE @ 7 dudley cinema @ beyond baroque

fri. dec. 27

dead alive MIDNIGHT @ silent movie theater
north by northwest MIDNIGHT @ nuart

fri. jan. 3

the blues brothers MIDNIGHT @ nuart

sun. jan. 5

moonbeams @ part time punks @ the echo

fri. jan. 10

hausu MIDNIGHT @ nuart

fri. jan. 17

white fence, parquet courts @ fonda

fri. jan. 24

wooden shjips @ the echo

sat. jan. 25

wooden shjips @ soda bar (SD)

sun. jan. 26

wooden shjips @ constellation room (santa ana)

fri. jan. 31

jon brion @ largo


Abie Kabibble Outwitting His Rival (1917)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
In 1917, director Gregory La Cava was hired by William Randolph Hearst to oversee production at International Film Service, a company he had set up to adapt Hearst-controlled comic strips into animated shorts for the big screen.  Abie Kabibble Outwitting His Rival was one of two such shorts based on the Harry Hershfield’s comic “Abie the Agent” which featured the first Jewish character in an American comic strip, Abraham Kabibble, a middle class car salesman.  In the short, La Cava retains the graphic word bubble element of the comics as Abie goes to great lengths to steal a customer from a competing dealership across the street. 35mm, b/w, silent, 7 min. 

Kelly Sears presents Abstraction Reaction. The works in this program of experimental animation explore the space beyond the pictorial, figurative and often the recognizable — abstraction as a craft and a wide variety of techniques with which contemporary artists forge a lyrical, graphical, and liminal visual practice.

2012, Sonique Theatre Media, 90 min, USA, Dir: Jason Brock
The world’s No. 1 booster of horror, fantasy and sci-fi (a term he coined), Forrest J. Ackerman spread his love of those genres through the pages of his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland. His AckerMansion in Hollyweird, Karloffornia, housed one of the greatest memorabilia collections in the world, and for years before his death in 2008, “Uncle Forry” held court there. This loving documentary of his life and work features interviews with the man himself and such friends as Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen and John Landis.  Discussion following with Chris Alexander (Editor-in-Chief of FANGORIA Magazine; moderator), George Clayton Johnson (STAR TREK), William F. Nolan (LOGAN'S RUN), Diane O'Bannon (wife of the late filmmaker/writer Dan O'Bannon [ALIEN]), Jason V Brock (Director/Writer/Producer), Sunni K Brock (Editor/Producer), and Bill Warren (Ackerman's assistant and film historian).

AFI Fest Shorts Program One
* MISTERIO Spain, Director: Chema García Ibarra, 11 MIN
* I KILL New Zealand; Directors: David White, Paul Wedel; 9 MIN
* K.I.T. USA Director: Michelle Morgan, 17 MIN
* BALCONY Kosovo, Director: Lendita Zeqiraj, 20 MIN
* SKIN USA, Director: Jordana Spiro, 13 MIN
* PLACES WHERE WE LIVED USA, Director: Bernardo Britto, 7 MIN
* MAGNESIUM Netherlands, Director: Sam de Jong, 21 MIN

* THE RANCHER USA, Director: Kelly Sears, 7 MIN
* #POSTMODEM USA; Director: Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva; 12 MIN
* TOKYO GIANTS Japan, Belgium; Director: Nicolas Provost, 22 MIN
* MARILYN MYLLER USA, United Kingdom; Director: Michael Please; 6 MIN
* CATHERINE USA, Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp, 13 MIN
* DATAMOSH USA, Director: Yung Jake, 5 MIN
* SYNDROMEDA Sweden, Director: Patrik Eklund, 25 MIN

AFTER HOURS is a nightmare in Soho that is pleasant and funny to watch – a sophisticated combination of characters and situations. Scorsese holds the threads of the puppet and plays it with dexterity. Paul, played by Griffin Dunne, is like a ping pong ball sent from one place to another, trying desperately to get home, meeting women who are all hysterical – which disturbs me, but this is the story and, as we say in France, “c’est la faute à pas d’chance" (“blame it on bad luck”)! Nobody can forget when Paul hands his $20 bill to the taxi driver but it flies out the window, and that’s it: he doesn’t have enough money to get back home or do anything. The infernal wheel returns to his departure point, and he starts another day of work. The film fascinates me since I avoid shooting anything at night and I try to present strong female characters. We learn by looking into what we don’t understand. –Agnès Varda

Vancouver-based Canadian film artist Alex MacKenzie returns to EPFC with a collection of recent projector performance works and a few new surprises! Working with analog equipment and hand-processed imagery, Alex creates works of expanded cinema, light projection installation, and projector performance. His work has screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the EXiS Experimental Film Festival in Seoul, Lightcone in Paris, Kino Arsenal in Berlin and others. Logbook is a visual investigation and catalogue; traces of past life and moments passed, on a remote island mountain on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada. Filmed with a 1923 Cine-Kodak Model A—the first hand-cranked 16mm camera produced by Kodak—and presented live on a 16mm analytic projector. Frames are slowed, frozen, reversed and reprised in a study and interplay of surface and subject, where fleeting images crackle, tear and fold in on themselves to invoke the very silver nitrate of which they are made. This Charming Couple is built from fragments of a water-damaged educational film, repurposed. Its original message of the risks of entering marriage without fully knowing your partner is visually abstracted, rendering a moral lesson into a shifting landscape of emulsion. Played in reverse, the couple in question slowly move apart, becoming less and less visible as the damage worsens at film's edge... Also on the bill will be recent experiments with found film materials and projector interference... not to be missed!

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

Filmmakers Ben Russell and Ben Rivers team up for the first time to create this triptych of stories revolving around a silent protagonist. The first section centers on a man who lives in a commune, sharing food, responsibility and  intimacy with a group of utopian-minded colleagues. The second section follows the same protagonist as he lives in isolation in a picturesque, but largely inhospitable, remote island. The final section sees our hero as a member of a death metal band in Norway and follows his high-decibel incantations for one extended, uninterrupted shot. As the title suggests, this is less a traditional narrative than a weaving of sounds and images to arrange darkness and light. Invoked by two of the best experimental filmmakers working today, this spell woven over the world is one of transcendence and power.  Country: France, Estonia. Year: 2013. Directors: Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. Running Time (minutes): 98

Director Todd Sklar skillfully crafts a peculiar and hilarious version of the family road trip movie when two estranged brothers, Jim (James Pumphrey) and Dave (Alex Rennie), must travel to Branson, Missouri, to check out the family’s summer home they have co-inherited following the untimely death of their father.  Cleverly written and well-acted, the journey unfolds with high-energy sibling rivalry expressing itself in extreme and comical ways as the brothers encounter unusual situations and people along the way.  Although things don’t go as planned when they reach the house, the comedy continues.  The story finds its heart when Jim and Dave decide to stick around and make repairs to the house.  AWFUL NICE is the feature expansion of Sklar’s successful short film, ‘92 SKYBOX ALONSO MOURNING ROOKIE CARD. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Todd Sklar. Running Time (minutes): 93

“There are as many horror fans who loathe zombie movies as there are those who love them. Described as an ‘anti-zombie zombie movie’, ‘The Battery’ is the most reinvigorating take on this overworn subgenre I’ve seen in ages.” – Kier-La Janisse, Fangoria
Accomplished for a staggeringly low $6,000, writer/director Jeremy Gardner’s debut feature re-invents the post-apocalyptic zombie film through sheer simplicity. We follow two former baseball players, Ben (also Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim), cutting an aimless path across a deserted post-zombiegeddon New England. Ben has embraced their feral, lawless, nomadic lifestyle — and Mickey clings to the hope of salvation, dreaming of a bed, a girl, and a safe place to live. Bleak, funny, disturbing, and inventive (like the best no-budget cinema) The Battery succeeds powerfully by turning its limitations into strengths — and in an era where the been-there-done-that cinematic zombie realm is now mostly judged on the quality of its SFX gore and makeup, The Battery is a subversive breath of fresh air. Dir. Jeremy Gardner, 2012, digital presentation, 101 min.

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

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

Sanfur (Sahdi Marei), a young Palestinian, is only 15 when he is recruited as an informant by Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service. Sanfur’s militant older brother is on the Shin Bet’s most wanted list and Sanfur is the key to his capture, dead or alive. The fraternal bond between the brothers is strong, but as Sanfur struggles to live up to his brother’s prominence in the community, his Israeli recruiting officer, Razi (Tsahi Halevi), becomes the role model and confidante that is missing in Sanfur’s life. Identities and loyalties blur as the Shin Bet’s operations escalate and the stakes of betrayal rise. First-time director Yuval Adler worked in intelligence for the Israeli army, and co-wrote the taut script with Ali Waked, a Muslim journalist. BETHLEHEM is a tense thriller, but more importantly, it is ultimately a tragedy about two people on opposite sides of a political conflict whose loyalties map destinies greater than their own. Country: Israel. Year: 2013. Director: Yuval Adler. Running Time (minutes): 99

The celebrated filmmaking duo behind Israel’s first horror film (RABIES, 2010) masterfully explores an unimaginable terror in this tense and ambitious fairy tale gone wrong. A killer of children is on the loose, raping, mangling and beheading little girls. An obsessive cop, who believes he’s identified the culprit, hatches a gruesome plan to take justice into his own hands. Reluctantly teaming with the vengeful father of one of the victims, a brutal interrogation begins. Utilizing this rich premise as a jumping off point, writer/directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado strike a rare and captivating tonal balance, weaving precariously between grim moral complexity, atmospheric thriller conventions and even subversive farce – craftily mining comedic elements out of ruthless fear. Anchored by riveting performances and dripping with operatic flair, BIG BAD WOLVES effortlessly deconstructs narrative tropes with reverence, emerging as one of the most original and unpredictable genre experiences of the year. Country: Israel. Year: 2013. Directors: Navot Papushado, Aharon Keshales. Running Time (minutes): 110

A classic American revenge story, BLUE RUIN follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Steeped in the moody, cramped suburbs of the American South, this modern gothic tale immerses the audience in an atmospheric rendering of violence born out of despair. A follow-up to director Jeremy Saulnier’s critically acclaimed – and criminally under-seen – MURDER PARTY (2007), BLUE RUIN is a subversive tale of revenge. Saulnier is one of the brightest and most deliberate filmmakers working today. Known for his masterful technical skill, he is also a noted cinematographer whose mastery of the frame is unassailable. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Jeremy Saulnier. Running Time (minutes): 92

Borgman is rousted from his underground dwelling by an angry group of men pursuing him. He escapes to find himself outside a modern country house and decides to beg a family for assistance. The overly aggressive response he receives sets off a chain of surprising events. After this unsettling and unexpected introduction, we follow our titular antihero as he slowly inserts himself into the lives of the suspicious yet unprepared family in their beautiful, rural home. As a dark presence in the house, Borgman exerts an unusual influence over the family. Isolated from the outside world, the manipulation begins as Borgman slowly reveals otherworldly motivations. Reminiscent of DOGTOOTH and FUNNY GAMES, BORGMAN is one of the strangest and boldest cinematic visions of the year. Country: Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark. Year: 2013. Director: Alex van Warmerdam. Running Time (minutes): 113

“The following films were all made in 1976. I do not wish to describe them.” …
“I want it understood that this 'summary' is written for identification purposes only and that it is not intended as a statement by the artist on his work. It is my belief that statements by the artist, particularly in print, aesthetically speaking, would better have been included in that work in the first place. If a film is a work of moving visual art, it is its own subject and subject only to itself. The extent to which a film can be described is the extent to which it is deficient as a work of visual art. If the 'summary of the subject' of a film can be interpreted as that which is intended to inspire perception in the viewer, rather than as that which attempts to describe the film for the viewer, then (the title) is my 'summary of the subject.” –Brakhage. Program, all works shown on 16mm: Window; Trio; Highs; Absence; The Dream, NYC, The Return, The Flower; Rembrandt, Etc., and Jane.

A Brief History of Time is based on cosmologist Stephen Hawking's 1988 bestseller of the same name. This anecdotal film concerns itself as much with Hawking's day-to-day life as it does with his unorthodox theories about the universe. Director Errol Morris inventively adopts a semi-dramatized approach to his interviews with Hawking's friends and relatives: they all appear in fabricated sets, and are lovingly photographed and lit as if they were starring in a film. Though of necessity a "talking heads" effort, A Brief History of Time is also cunningly and subtly cinematic. After the screening, stick around for a Q&A with Stephon Alexander, a world-class astrophysicist specializing in cosmology, particle physics and quantum gravity. We’ll discuss Hawking’s legacy, and how our understanding of his work has grown since the film’s original release. Dir. Errol Morris, 1991, 35mm, 83min.

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

Bury My Heart in Dresden
German with English Subtitles
Documentary. R.: Bettina Renner, D. 2013
A small US-flag in the middle of a cemetery in Dresden. Beneath the flag there is an inscription: "May angels guide you to heaven". The documentary filmmaker Bettina Renner spotted this scenario and was inspired to do research. 
Her quest ultimately lead her to the Pine Ridge reservation in southern Dakota, where she heard the story of the Oglala’s chief Edward Two Two, who wished to be buried in Dresden.
In her film she tells not only about the chieftain's fate, but also focuses on his descendants and on their struggles. Bettina Renner will be present for a Q&A.

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

The Final Reign of One-Reel Films
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 1913 and its developmental contributions to motion pictures with a program of selected films in “A Century Ago: The Films of 1913.”
The program will spotlight a selection of short films reflecting a typical night at the movies 100 years ago, just as longer “feature-length” films of three or more reels were beginning to emerge more frequently. Movie stars, filmmaking techniques and genres had blossomed to create a bustling business for the young and rapidly expanding motion picture phenomenon, with 1913 becoming a turning point for movies as we have come to know them.
Films will include “Suspense,” a split-screen tour-de-force directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley; “Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life,” featuring Mabel Normand and Mack
Sennett; “The Lady and the Mouse,” directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish; “The Evidence of the Film,” a picture from Thanhouser of New Rochelle, New York, featuring a crime that is solved by a film editor; and highlights from several feature-length films including “Traffic in Souls,” a sensational movie exploiting the fear of “white-slave” trafficking.
Most prints will be in 35mm and are drawn from the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the British Film Institute, EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Library of Congress.

With text taken solely from transcripts of real black box recordings, CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO employs both stark theatricality and 3-D photography to insert the audience into the experience of aviation disasters. The film, which takes its title from phonetic aviation slang for Cockpit Voice Recorder, is a “performance documentary,” created and reenacted by members of New York’s Collective: Unconscious Theater. Since 1999, the cast and crew of CVR have toured the world – telling the story of six doomed flights on the barest of sets with a repertory cast of seven actors. By retaining the simplicity of the play’s staging while introducing state-of-the-art stereoscopic cinematography, co-directors Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson have created a cinematic paradox of scale – effectively trapping viewers within a literal black box and allowing them to bear witness to sudden and lethal events as they play out just inches from their seats. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Directors: Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Karlyn Michelson. Running Time (minutes): 81

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

A heavenly slice of dark, laid-back storytelling that effortlessly captures the pulse of L.A. in the post-Summer Of Love “what do we do now?” era. In his starring debut film role, a sexily dejected Kristofferson plays the sexily dejected Cisco Pike, a faded rock star and ex-con armed only with a squint, stagger, boots and perfectly tousled locks. His dreams of a better life are dashed when a frighteningly high-strung crooked cop (played brilliantly by Gene Hackman) blackmails Cisco; he must sell a briefcase full of hash in just 48 hours, or go back to jail. This plot device allows for an incredible zoological survey of stoner Los Angeles, as Kris is forced to crawl over every corner of the Thomas Guide, revisiting contacts more interested in his dope connections than his new songs. The film is one long, gloriously casual unveiling of all manner of flaky Venice chicks, rich scenesters, music industry weirdos and scene-stealing counterculture denizens of all kinds — including Tex-Mex musician Doug Sahm, Joy Bang, Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas, Warhol superstar Viva, and Harry Dean Stanton in a role so perfect that we wish a spin-off film could’ve been created just for him. Dir. Bill L. Norton, 1972, 35mm, 95 min.

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

It’s 5:00 p.m. in Paris, and Cleo (Corrine Marchand) is getting a Tarot card reading. Her pop song is playing in all the cafés and she’s on the verge of exploding with fame. Unfortunately, her cards display a frightening misfortune: Death. The reading overwhelms her with distress and, as she moves through the city, she becomes increasingly aware of herself and all those around her. Agnès Varda strikingly captures the vivacity of the 1960s as her camera quietly follows Cleo wandering through the streets of the chic French capital, drifting into melancholy and searching for hope. Preceded by a conversation with Agnès Varda. Country: France, Italy. Year: 1962. Director: Agnès Varda. Running Time (minutes): 90

Home for the holidays get-together for the eccentric Turner clan goes from bad to worse when estranged daughter Nina makes a surprise visit home for the first time in 15 years. Nina clashes with her stepmother Deborah, and sister, Lindsay, while half-brother Jacob tries to keep a massive gambling debt a secret. Meanwhile, family patriarch Poppy has his own dramatic news to share. “Cold Turkey” is a black comedy about how – despite our best efforts – we all eventually turn into our parents. Starring Alicia Witt (“Friday Night Lights”), Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Sonya Walger (“Lost”), Victoria Tennant (“L.A. Story”) and acclaimed writer-director Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”). Written and Directed by Will Slocombe.  This screening will be followed by a special Q&A with director Will Slocombe, producer Graham Ballou and special guests

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

The search for a missing boy takes a turn for the bizarre in director Mike Brune's debut feature CONGRATULATIONS! When little Paul Gray disappears from his oldest brother's graduation party, local police are on the scene within hours, led by Detective Skok (John Curran). The grizzled old sleuth has a peculiar style, to say the least:  he restricts his search to the Gray's household, his officers take up residence in the home to pitch-in with the chores and the toughest questioning is reserved for Paul's angel-faced 4 year old brother. Brune has crafted an utterly brilliant absurdist comedy that takes frequent trips into the surreal. He also infuses his film with a palpable sense of loss and longing, evident in Curran's deliciously deadpan turn as Detective Skok and in Rhoda Griffis' tour de force as Paul's mother, whose desperation manifests itself in frantic reenactments of Paul's disappearance. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Mike Brune. Running Time (minutes): 90

Filmmakers Courtney Hoskins and Fred Worden live on opposite sides of the country, are three decades apart in age, and have certainly never made a film together. But they do have a few things in common: they both know each other, they both lived in Colorado, they both knew Stan Brakhage, and (this is where the curator comes in) they both have a particular talent in exploring abstraction and perception, the macro- and microcosmic, and the deep small spaces and vast open areas which cinema is uniquely suited to expressing. Half of this program will feature 16mm films by Courtney Hoskins, and the other half will feature 16mm films and a video by Fred Worden. The evening overall will comprise work by two quite distinctive artists, each exploring an indefinable and visually rich cinematic space that dances between abstraction and figuration, perception and illusion, and with an exhilarating awareness of the large and small mysteries of the cosmos. Program: The Galilean Satellits: Europa (2003, 7.5 min), Io (2003, 12.5 min), Ganymede (2003, 4 min), Callisto (2003, 3 min); Ether Twist (2002, 10.5 min), Polymer (with Carl Fuermann, 2003, 30 sec) by Courtney Hoskins, all 16mm; The Or Cloud (2001, 16mm, 7 min), If Only (2003, 16mm, 7 min), Blue Pole(s) (2005, video, 20 min) by Fred Worden. Courtney Hoskins will be present for a Q&A with curator Mark Toscano following the screening.

The Academy Award-winning shorts Flowers and Trees and The Old Mill, made by Walt Disney in the 1930s, first introduced audiences to Technicolor animation. While these shorts served as a testing ground for expansion to the Technicolor features Disney would later produce, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia, they were also animation masterpieces in their own right. Twenty years later, Disney won another Oscar for his studio's first foray into color widescreen (Cinemascope) animation, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom. Screenings of the 4k digital restorations of all three shorts will be accompanied by a detailed discussion of the challenges of preserving and restoring animated films.  IN PERSON: Theo Gluck, Walt Disney Company.

Subtitled “an emotion picture,” DOCUMENTEUR is Agnès Varda’s impressionistic study of a French typist (played by the film’s editor, Sabine Mamou), recently separated from her lover, who searches with her eight-year-old son (played by Varda’s real son, Mathieu Demy) for a modest place to live in L.A.’s then-dilapidated Venice Beach. Shot on location, the film is a striking assembly of real places (windy piers, lonely beaches, laundromats) and anonymous faces. Varda also highlights L.A.’s famous murals by the likes of Terry Schoonhoven, Vic Henderson and others. Text in the title sequence offers wordplay as it fashions the word documentaire (documentary) from meaningful words shared between the mother and son: “doDO, cuCU, maMAN, vas-tu-te TAIRE?” (“sleep, bum-bum, mommy, will you be quiet?”). Equally clever, the film’s title merges the words for “documentary” and “liar,” further blurring the line between fact and fiction. The film is as much a portrait of its time and place as it is a narrative about a mother and son trying to make ends meet. The dialogue – much of it delivered as interior monologue – is playful and rhythmic; a kind of stream of conscious, minimalist poetry. Country: France, USA. Year: 1981. Director: Agnès Varda. Running Time (minutes): 65

Whereas the power of the technical innovations on which Griffith's reputation largely rests has been diluted by a century of cinematic conventionalization, the depth of his emotions and the force of his vision of humanity has been preserved intact. He once declared, "A street might be recalled to us as a beautiful street. If our dreams of the people we met and knew and loved on that street are beautiful, then the street will be beautiful to us. It is the same with everything else. There is nothing in life but humanity." (Dream Street, directed by D.W. Griffith, 93 minutes, 16mm)

In a doublewide trailer somewhere in the Nevada desert, a general's daughter (Eloise Mumford) on her first day of deployment and a high school dropout airman (Matt O'Leary) decide the fates of "terrorists" from a height of five miles up.  As the action plays out in real time and their window to “drop the hellfire” slowly closes, the threat of violence against civilians becomes a no-holds-barred philosophical debate about what a solider must know – and not know – in order to pull the trigger. In the tradition of such thrillers as FAIL SAFE and 12 ANGRY MEN, director Rick Rosenthal has ripped the polite mask off the modern arsenal to present this clear-headed portrayal of drone warfare.  With its knowing inclusion of video game imagery and musical cues, DRONES deconstructs the tropes of action films and military drama to reveal the emotional detachment of our fighting men and women. Country: USA. Year: 2012. Director: Rick Rosenthal. Running Time (minutes): 82

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

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

In director Joanna Hogg’s third feature, married artists known only as D and H (played with commendable naturalism by former punk singer Viv Albertine and artist Liam Hillick) find dormant anxieties and buried frustrations bubbling to the surface after they agree to sell their home of 18 years. The London house, a stunning modernist work designed by the late architect James Melvin, is fascinating in its multiple functions: aside from a living space, it’s a studio for D to conceptualize her performance pieces; a maze of cavernous rooms that serve to isolate D and H from each other; and an insular environment shielding the bourgeois couple from the outside world. When D and H venture outside the house, the results tend toward startling confrontations or surreal flourishes (note the tuba player whose instruments breathe fire), but Hogg’s expertise lies in revealing the uncomfortable truths that reveal themselves in mundane routines. Country: UK. Year: 2013. Director: Joanna Hogg. Running Time (minutes): 104

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

The Exploratorium is more than just an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker — for their Cinema Arts Program treats movies as an active viewing experience, using the screen as a portal to investigation. From the museum’s earliest days, Exploratorium founder Frank Oppenheimer reached out to innovative film artists such as Stan Brakhage, and Charles & Ray Eames and for advice on programmatic perspective. Enjoy a hand-selected guided tour of the Cinema Arts program’s history, one that gets right to the heart of what the museum’s all about, featuring docs, award-winning contemporary works, and even an iconic Eames short. Welcome to the Exploratorium.
The program features the Academy Film Archive’s gorgeous new preservation of the Oscar-nominated 1974 short Exploratorium, Jon Boorstin’s beautiful and poetic documentary portrait of the museum.
Shorts include:
Blind Gary Davis – Dir. Harold Becker, 1964, 16mm, 11 min.
Daredevil Cyclists – 1916, 16mm, 1 min.
Powers of Ten Dir. – Charles and Ray Eames, 1968/77, 16mm, 9 min.
Frame – Dir. Lewis Alquist, 1991, 16mm, 3 min.
Fiddle Dee Dee – Dir. Norman McLaren, 1947, 16mm, 3 min.
Magnetic Movie – Dir. Semiconductor, 2006, digital presentation, 5 min.
Recamera – Dir. Rosario Sotelo (in attendance!), 2007, 16mm, 3 min.
Ryan – Dir. Chris Landreth, 2004, digital presentation, 14 min.
Sour Death Balls – Dir. Jessica Yu, 1992, 16mm, 5 min.
Swing Movie – Dir. Liz Keim, 1982, digital presentation, 6 min.
Zea – Dirs. Andre Leduc & Jean-Jacques Leduc, 1981, 16mm, 5 min.
Exploratorium – Dir. Jon Boorstin, 1974, 35mm, 15 min. (Brand-new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive!)

While abstract animation may not immediately seem welcoming for kids, nothing could be further from the truth, for this vibrant, colorful family-friendly lineup shows off the role that exploration plays in the creative process. Join the ranks of cameraless, “direct” animation pioneers like Len Lye and Norman McLaren during a pre-screening workshop where you can get your hands dirty and discover the instant gratification of low-budget animation in the pre-digital age. Armed with permanent markers, nails, dental tools, sandpaper, paint and a host of other impromptu tools, you the audience can commit your vision to a few feet of 16mm film stock, which our projectionist will splice together into a one-of-a-kind mini-masterpiece. This spontaneous creation will conclude a knockout program of similar “outside-the-box” approaches to filmmaking as an extension of folk arts and crafts. Expect hyperkinetic dances of color, repurposed household objects and plenty of big-screen surprises.
Plus, the program features the Academy Film Archive’s gorgeous new preservation of the Oscar-nominated 1974 short Exploratorium, Jon Boorstin’s beautiful and poetic documentary portrait of the museum. Includes a “cameraless animation” workshop on our patio.
Shorts include:
Baglight – Dir. Rock Ross, 1994, 16mm, 4 min.
Energy! – 2007, digital presentation, 5 min.
Fiddle Dee Dee – Dir. Norman McLaren, 1947, 16mm, 3 min.
Free Radicals – Dir. Len Lye, 1958, 16mm, 4 min.
Please Don’t Stop – Dir. Stephanie Maxwell, 1988, 16mm, 7 min.
Hand Held Day – Dir. Gary Beydler, 1975, 16mm, 5 min.
Rad Plaid – Dir. Jodie Mack, 2010, digital presentation, 6 min.
Sour Death Balls – Dir. Jessica Yu, 1992, 16mm, 5 min.
Whalefall – Dirs. Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck, 2011, digital presentation, 4 min.
Western Spaghetti – Dir. Pes, 2008, digital presentation, 2 min.
Exploratorium – Dir. Jon Boorstin, 1974, 35mm, 15 min. (Brand-new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive!)

Much like the Cinefamily, the Exploratorium takes an eclectic approach to its programming — and for over thirty years, its Cinema Arts program has been central to its success. With this program, we’ll delve deeper into the museum’s incredible 16mm collection, discovering the local flavor of San Francisco in gorgeously poetic black and white documentaries, abstract studies of the downtown seascape, light paintings, and even a classic short by filmmaking naturalist Jean Painlevé. While this show’s Bay Area-centric lineup features many shorts made while in residence with the museum, others mark recent discoveries made by the museum’s deeply creative staff, such as Restless, a journey through Iceland’s magical landscapes of geysers, glaciers, steam eruptions and strange rock formations. Just as the Exploratorium pushes the boundaries of what is possible with film in a museum context, we’ll bring the best of their discoveries to our humble cinema for an evening of discovery.
The program features the Academy Film Archive’s gorgeous new preservation of Jon Boorstin’s 1974 Oscar-nominated short Exploratorium, a beautiful and poetic documentary portrait of the museum lovingly preserved by the Academy Film Archive.
Shorts include:
Driven: Pete Richards – Dir. Exploratorium, 2011, digital presentation, 5 min.
Crossing the Bar – Dir. Andy Black, 1992, 16mm, 13 min.
Diggins – Dirs. Christian Bruno & Natalija Vekic (in attendance!), 2005, 16mm, 4 min.
Light Year – Dir. Paul Clipson, 2013, 16mm, 10 min.
Panorama – Dir. Michael Rudnick, 1982, 16mm, 13 min.
N-Judah 5:30 – Dir. Sam Green, 2004, 16mm, 3 min.
Light Walk – Dir. Michael Walsh, 1999, 16mm, 4 min.
Restless – Dir. Andrej Zdravic, 1987, 16mm, 12 min.
Shape Shift – Dir. Scott Stark, 2004, digital presentation, 10 min.
Vespucciland – Dir. Rock Ross, 1982, 16mm, 3 min.
Le Vampire – Dir. Jean Painleve, 1945, 16mm, 9 min.
Exploratorium – Dir. Jon Boorstin (in attendance!), 1974, 35mm, 15 min. (Brand-new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive!)

Across film, dance, music and fine art, creators have long sought to convey the harmony between light, movement, and tone that reverberates through nature — and it is that vision which inspired this “Seeing Sounds” program. We’ll see footage from rock ‘n roll light shows, side by side with installations from multi-projector underground “happenings”, and groundbreaking early computer animation. Exploiting the power of senses in synch, these films equalize sound and vision, integrating them into an affecting whole. From classic examples of synaesthetic cinema that pair each note with an immersive visual, to collage films that redefine their images through the aural, each of these works are majorly transportive. Join us for a true symbiosis of the senses!
The program features the Academy Film Archive’s gorgeous new preservation of Jon Boorstin’s 1974 Oscar-nominated short Exploratorium, a beautiful and poetic documentary portrait of the museum lovingly preserved by the Academy Film Archive.
Shorts include:
Multiple SIDosis – Dir. Sid Laverents, 1970, 9 min.
Daybreak Express – Dir. D.A. Pennebaker, 1953, 16mm, 5 min.
Everywhere at Once – Dir. Alan Berliner, 1985, 16mm, 10 min.
Free Radicals – Dir. Len Lye, 1958, 16mm, 4 min.
Human Vectors – Dir. Dov Jacobson, 1982, 5 min.
Joshua Light Show’s Liquid Light Loops – Dir. Joshua White, 1969, digital presentation, 5 min. (print courtesy of the director)
Kitsch in Sync – Dir. Adam Beckett, 1975, 16mm, 5 min.
Laserium – 16mm, 3 min.
Market Street – Dir. Tomonari Nishikawa, 2005, 16mm, 4 min.
Metadata – Dir. Peter Foldes, 1971, digital presentation, 8 min.
Rectangle and Rectangles – Dir. Rene Jodoin, 1984, 16mm, 8 min.
Two Space – Dir. Larry Cuba, 1979, 16mm, 8 min.
Exploratorium – Dir. Jon Boorstin, 1974, 35mm, 15 min. (Brand-new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive!)

South Korean animator Yeon Sang-ho’s sophomore feature film is an intriguing and controversial exploration of blind faith and the distorted beliefs that define good and evil. A small rural village is on the verge of being flooded to construct a hydro-electric dam. Scared and confused about the future, the entire community’s only hope is with a church and its leaders who have promised to relocate them to a new housing development, a promised land. When ex-convict and religious skeptic Min-chul discovers that the church leaders are wanted criminals that are defrauding the flock, the town’s authorities ignore his claims and the villagers declare him possessed by the devil. Plagued by his reputation, Min-chul takes matters into his own hands to reveal the truth behind the corrupt ministry. Providing no hero or stable moral character, THE FAKE presents a divisive narrative, which questions whether organized religion is more harmful than the worst individual. Country: South Korea. Year: 2013. Director: Yeon Sang-ho. Running Time (minutes): 101

Feel My Pulse (1928)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
The incomparable Bebe Daniels gets big laughs as a hypochondriac heiress who retreats to a sanitarium that, unbeknownst to her, has become a hideout for bootleggers.  William Powell is the gang’s heavy who plays along until the truth outs in a splendid slapstick crescendo.
Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. Screenwriter: Nicholas T. Barrows, George Marion Jr., Howard Emmett Rogers, Keene Thompson.  Cinematographer: J. Roy Hunt.  Editor: E. Lloyd Sheldon.  Cast: Bebe Daniels, Melbourne MacDowell, George Irving, Charles Sellon, William Powell.  16mm, b/w, silent, 63 min.

1978, 90 minutes, color, digital
Written and directed by James Toback; with Harvey Keitel Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown, and Michael V. Gazzo
Includes a 35th-Anniversary Screening of Fingers
Writer/director James Toback talks about what keeps bringing him back to making movies. He has made a career creating merciless takes on hyperarticulate characters with bone-deep attachments to their distinctive versions of masculinity that invariably lead to their dooms. Toback's gift, in fact, is his ability to discover and disentangle the lyrical from urges—and obsessions—that are at best primal, and in many cases, lethal. The films range from fictional stories that could have lifted from Doestoevsky or Mailer (The Gambler, Black and White) to stories based on real life figures, as in the case of his biopic 1991 script, Bugsy and his 2009 documentary, Tyson, an intimidatingly pores-and-all view of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson.
Toback's newest work, Seduced and Abandoned, is a documentary-hybrid that pairs the writer/director with actor Alec Baldwin. The film follows them as the pair combs the streets of Cannes during the film festival, ostensibly to find funding for a passion project. The search pulls them into the paths of figures from Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola to studio executives Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer; each tries to explain the siren's call that draws them back into the movie business, often despite them knowing better.
A screening of 1978's Fingers, Toback’s first film as writer/director, follows the conversation.

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

The Fugitive
1947, 104 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Dudley Nichols; directed by John Ford; with Henry Fonda, Pedro Armendariz, Dolores del Rio, Ward Bond, and Miguel Inclán
Adapting Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, John Ford crafts a stately allegory on the resilience of the human spirit against devastating odds in the independently financed The Fugitive. In an unidentified Mexican state under the thumb of ruthless, anticlerical lieutenant (Pedro Armendariz), a priest (Henry Fonda) must disguise himself as a peasant and offers his services in secret. Greene’s searing novel was inspired by his travels throughout postrevolutionary Mexico in the late 1930s. Though the more salacious elements of the source material were toned down significantly by the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930, Ford’s film remains a haunting panorama of suffering and charity.
Ford chose cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa with the enthusiastic endorsement of Gregg Toland, who himself lensed Ford’s The Long Voyage Home and The Grapes of Wrath, not to mention Citizen Kane for Orson Welles. Figueroa lavishly applies the chiaroscuro lighting and expressionistic pictorialism he had perfected working with Emilio Fernández to a stunningly artful film that Ford himself regarded as “perfect.” In addition to Armendariz and Figueroa, another luminary from the Mexican screen also surfaces in The Fugitive: Dolores del Rio makes her comeback to American cinemas here as Maria, a cantina barmaid. Shot on location throughout central and southern Mexico, Ford’s film is rife with cinematographic triumphs and is the closest Hollywood ever came to making a film in the unmistakable style of the Mexican Golden Age of Cinema. 

Constanze Ruhm & Christine Lang and First Office
Opening reception: Thursday, November 7, 7-9 PM
The MAK Center's Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles series at the Garage Top at the Mackey Apartments presents former artist-in-residence resident Constanze Ruhm in collaboration with German filmmaker Christine Lang and Los Angeles designers First Office (Anna Neimark and Andrew Atwood).
At the Garage Top, Ruhm and Lang's experimental film Kalte Probe (Cold Rehearsal) will be seen in an installation designed by First Office. Cold Rehearsal references a number of other films, both by the artist and by directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Andrei Tarkowsky. Its narrative focuses on Hans, a film director with a fading career entangled in a scheme orchestrated by a number of dead actresses who plot revenge. The ninety-minute film reviews Hans's life and his final ordeal, a fall from a TV stage staircase. In the fantasy played out in the few seconds between his fall and his death, Hans encounters important women from his life, as well as himself as a child. Cold Rehearsal will be screened in a continuous loop and is in German with English subtitles.
In the installation, entitled PARANORMAL PANORAMA, First Office and the filmmakers responded to a found photograph of the home of 19th century architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, with its walls covered in a painted mural of a mountain range. Associating the image with one of Cold Rehearsal's characters--the Polish babysitter Ewa who falls to her death during an outing at Mont Tendre in the Swiss Jura Mountains--the domestic interior built for viewing Cold Rehearsal has its exterior walls covered with a panoramic painting of Mont Tendre.
Additionally, the opening reception for the exhibition on November 7 will feature the dedication of Ruhm and Lang's Henry Miller Park Reincarnation Site, with a speech by Dr. Juli Carson in relation to the exhibition and in consideration of a quote from Gilles Deleuze.

Director Allan Arkush knew whereof he spoke in Get Crazy. A longtime employee of Fillmore East, Arkush brought a great deal of insider's savvy to this comedy about the concert circuit and its denizens. Malcolm McDowell stars as a Mick Jagger-type rocker who is one of several acts lined up for a big New Years' Eve show. If villains Ed Begley Jr., Bobby Sherman and Fabian have their way, however, the show will never get off the ground. The supporting cast is dotted with such cult-flick icons as Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph and Mary Woronov. The musical portion of the program is handled by the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Lou Reed (as a Bob Dylan type) and Bill Henderson (as a Muddy Waters takeoff). In case it hasn't been made clear already, the main "joke" of Get Crazy is the presence in the cast of actors as musicians and musicians as actors; it is to the film's credit that this one joke never wears out its welcome.  1983, USA, 35mm, 92 minutes. 30th anniversary! Directed by Allan Arkush; written by Danny Opatoshu, Henry Rosenbaum, David Taylor; starring Malcolm McDowell, Allen Garfield, Daniel Stern, Gail Edwards, Miles Chapin, Ed Begley, Jr., Stacey Nelkin, Bill Henderson, Lou Reed, Howard Kaylan, Lori Eastside, Lee Ving, John Densmore, et al.

At the age of 65, after years of being content to entertain the masses as the host of a parade of endless conga line and cocktail-fueled rooftop terrace extravaganzas frequented by Rome’s upper class – aristocrats, nobles, politicians, celebrities, artists and intellectuals – Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) begins to contemplate his own mortality when he learns that a former lover has died. An existential crisis looms as Jep awakens to the decadence of his lifestyle; he’s abandoned the artistic goals that fueled him as a young man for a life of affluence, excess and moral decline. THE GREAT BEAUTY is an ambitious homage to the resplendent history of Italian cinema that recalls the extravagance (LA DOLCE VITA), theatricality (SATYRICON) and personal (8 ½) works of the great Federico Fellini, but at the same time, Sorrentino’s cinematic feast proves that the story of great Italian cinema continues to unfold. Country: Italy, France. Year: 2013. Director: Paolo Sorrentino. Running Time (minutes): 142

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

HARD TIMES (1975, Walter Hill)
The challenges of preserving a film made within the 1970s studio system will be discussed through a case study of Hard Times, a 1975 film featuring Charles Bronson as a bare-knuckle fighter in 1930s New Orleans. IN PERSON: Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

With his stunningly accomplished debut feature, Kazakh writer, director and editor Emir Baigazin firmly announces himself as a filmmaker of tremendous power and lyricism. In its very first images, Baigazin establishes a gripping hypnotic rhythm as 13-year old Aslan silently chases after a sheep. This playful sequence gives way to icy reality as he slices the beast’s throat, bleeds it out and skins it without remorse, a calculating ritual. At school, he is swiftly humiliated by a bully who turns him into the class pariah. Soon after, a hierarchy of corruption is revealed that permeates beyond the schoolyard. Damaged but undaunted, Aslan methodically plots his retaliation. In possession of a rare gift for storytelling, Baigazin operates with an uncompromising authority, meticulously sculpting a captivating narrative with the focus, precision and clarity of a master of the medium. A delicate glimpse into a cultural microcosm, HARMONY LESSONS resonates with haunting universality. Country: Kazakhstan, Germany, France. Year: 2013. Director: Emir Baigazin. Running Time (minutes): 110

A fascinating look at Herbert L. Block, known to millions by his pen name “Herblock,” a man summarized by journalist Ted Koppel as “the most feared editorial cartoonist-journalist in the country” for his 55-year career at the Washington Post. Fellow journalists like Tom Brokaw appear in the film to offer insights on how Herb used his artistic pen to attack politicians and express his views on justice and human rights. The film provides a penetrating view of American history from World War II through 9/11 as expressed in Block’s drawings. During the Watergate scandal, he was one of the first – literally – to draw connections to the White House, winning in the process four Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Contemporary political satirists like Jon Stewart and Lewis Black also appear in the film to discuss Block’s influence on their work. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Michael Stevens. Running Time (minutes): 95

His Nibs (1921)
Directed by Gregory La Cava
One of director Gregory La Cava's first directorial jobs after moving from animation, His Nibs features vaudeville star "Chic" Sale in multiple roles in a film within a film about a movie screening in a small town.
Exceptional Pictures. Screenwriter: Arthur Hoerl.  Cinematographer: A.J. Stout.  Editor: Arthur Hoerl.  Cast: Charles “Chic” Sale, Colleen Moore, Joseph J. Dowling, J.P. Lockney, Walt Whitman.  35mm, b/w, silent, 59 min.

2013, Bim Distribuzione, 90 min, Italy, Dir: Ettore Scola
This documentary by director Ettore Scola focuses on his longtime friend Federico Fellini, using personal memories, archival footage and recreations to paint a loving portrait of the legendary Italian filmmaker. In Italian with English subtitles.

2013, 98 min, Norway, Dir: Iram Haq
The feature debut from director Iram Haq follows Mina (Amrita Acharia), a single mother in Oslo, Norway whose traditional parents disapprove of her modern lifestyle. But Mina may have finally found her soul mate when she meets Swedish film director Jesper (Ola Rapace). In Norwegian with English subtitles. Norway’s Official Oscar Submission!
 Discussion following the double feature with TWO LIVES director Georg Maas and I AM YOURS director Iram Haq and actress Amrita Acharia.

First-time filmmakers Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross present a powerful story of two girls challenging outdated patriarchal expectations while living in a country dominated by testosterone-fueled aggression. It’s 1992 in Tbilisi, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but 14-year-old best friends Eka and Natia are unfazed by the fear and insecurity lurking around them. As civil war rages in the rest of the country, the girls are preoccupied with school gossip, learning how to smoke cigarettes and flirting with the neighborhood boys. Their lives change when Natia receives a pistol as an unexpected love gesture and suddenly the girls must face circumstances beyond their control. Loosely based on Nana Ekvtimishvili’s childhood memories and featuring radiant performances by the two breakout leads, Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria, IN BLOOM portrays distinctively fierce female characters rebelling against their traditions in order to blossom within their crumbling city. Country: Georgia, Germany, France. Year: 2013. Directors: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross. Running Time (minutes): 102

Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity Dickens – famous, controlling and emotionally isolated – falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theater is a vital arena for Dickens, a man more emotionally coherent on the page or on stage than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens' passion and his muse, secrecy is the price for both of them, and for Nelly a life of invisibility. Based on Claire Tomalin’s biography of Nelly Ternan, whose rapturous affair with Dickens inspired some of his most famed characters, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, under the steadfast and alluring direction of Ralph Fiennes, exquisitely brings one of the great love stories in literary history to life. Country: UK. Year: 2013. Director: Ralph Fiennes. Running Time (minutes): 111

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

1974 was to be a breakout year for cult film icon Alejandro Jodorowsky. He had burst onto the international scene with the first “midnight movies” – mystical EL TOPO followed by surreal sensation THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, both acclaimed in the pantheon of alternative cinema. Now, it was time for his masterpiece. Having secured rights to Frank Herbert’s sci-fi tome “Dune,” he would unleash a revolutionary vision upon an unsuspecting world – or so he thought. Chronicling one of the lost legends of cinephilia, director Frank Pavich has exhaustively researched and lovingly assembled the surviving troupe of warriors who worked on Jodorowsky’s project to recount the story of one of the greatest films never made. Vividly revealing the timelessness of passion and the tragedy of unrealized ideas, often in the enigmatic auteur’s own words, JODOROWSKY’S DUNE stands as a testament to the spirit of artistic pursuit and a love letter to total cinema. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Frank Pavich. Running Time (minutes): 90

Murder is the leading cause of work-related deaths for journalists as censorship increases worldwide. Journalists reporting from Mexico, Russia and the conflict zones of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria tell their personal stories of kidnapping, intimidation, and beatings. They’ve experienced the loss of colleagues in the field and have been close to death themselves. Their stories are heartfelt, captivating, engaging and at moments – shocking. If no story is worth a life, then why is murder the number one cause of journalists’ deaths worldwide? In addition to those who have been killed, dozens have been attacked, kidnapped, or forced into exile in connection with their coverage of crime and corruption. Killing The Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News, features exclusive, first-hand accounts of journalists who have faced dire consequences in their pursuit of the news. Directors Tricia Todd & Eric Matthies in person!

The dangerous migrant journey begins with few words spoken among 15-year-olds Juan, Sara and Samuel. Soon a Tzotzil Indian boy named Chauk joins the quietly desperate triumvirate to make four for the road. Setting off from their poor Guatemalan hometowns, freeloading on top of trains with like-minded strangers and traveling through lawless middle lands, the adolescents risk more than they could have imagined in pursuit of the coveted American Dream up north. This poetic thriller was inspired by true stories unfolding daily along unnamed railroad tracks, and Spanish filmmaker Diego Quemada-Diez utilizes a naturalistic approach that emphasizes the remarkable performances of his untrained actors. The young ensemble cast won a special Certain Talent Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for its remarkable performances. Country: Mexico, Spain. Year: 2013. Director: Diego Quemada-Diez. Running Time (minutes): 102

For the 25th anniversary of the international release of this visually sumptuous epic about the life of Pu Yi (1905-1967) – China’s final sovereign after millennia of dynastic rulers – the film has been given a 4K restoration with re-mastered sound. Personally supervised by director Bernardo Bertolucci (AFI FEST 2012 Guest Artistic Director) and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, depth and dimension have been added with a 3-D conversion that enriches the film’s rare sights; it was the first feature shot in Beijing’s 500-year-old Forbidden City. Four different actors portray Pu Yi, beginning with his ascent to the throne shortly before his third birthday, through the Chinese civil war, occupations by Japan and the Soviet Union, and his rehabilitation by Chinese communists. Renowned actors Peter O’Toole and Joan Chen – not to mention thousands of extras – round out the international cast. Pu Yi’s own brother, Pu Chieh, served as one of the film’s many technical advisors, and the resulting tapestry received nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Country: China, Italy, UK, France. Year: 1987. Director: Bernardo Bertolucci. Running Time (minutes): 163

Let’s Go with Pancho Villa
1936, 87 minutes, black and white, 35mmWritten by Xavier Villaurrutia and Fernando de Fuentes; directed by Fernando de Fuentes; w/ Antonio R. Frausto, Domingo Soler, Manuel Tamés, Ramón Vallarino, and Carlos López “Chaflán”
In the tumultuous year of 1914, six friends band together as the Lions of San Pablo and decide to join the forces of the Pancho Villa for the revolutionary cause. Their journey from wide-eyed idealism to ragged disillusionment is set against a cataclysmic panorama of war—from the battlefront to the cantina. The director who by all accounts jumpstarted the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema with the 1936 smash hit comedia ranchera (ranch comedy) Allá en el Rancho Grande (Out on the Big Ranch), Fernando de Fuentes was first renowned for a trilogy on the Mexican Revolution.
Let’s Go with Pancho Villa concludes this trio of films with brio. A massive production—the progressive government of Lázaro Cárdenas put an entire battalion of soldiers, not to mention army ordinances, uniforms, horses, artillery, and even an entire train at de Fuentes’s disposal—Let’s Go with Pancho Villa is one of the earliest credits for cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and finds him honing his craft with an epic canvas at his disposal. The results are legendary. 

Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year for his touching drama, LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON, the story of two families who learn that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth. One of the fathers is an affluent architect who exacts strict academic and cultural discipline on his son, while the other father is a repairman of small appliances; he is poor, but unlike the architect, he actually spends time with his son and family. There is a sharp class divide that separates the approach that each family has taken toward nurturing their sons, but now both fathers find themselves equally desperate to gain the trust of their biological sons, and prove their capacity for unconditional love. The strong performances of the two young boys are the heart and soul of this story, of two sons and two fathers whose lives will forever be intertwined. Country: Japan. Year: 2013. Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Running Time (minutes): 120

With Ricky Jay, Shane Mahan and Michael Weber
“I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians.” – Francis Ford Coppola
“Like Magic” will explore cinema’s roots in stage magic and sleight of hand, examining how the basic principles of visual deception were critical to the development of special effects-driven “movie magic.” Not only are these principles just as important today, much of the early film technology that employed them remains just as effective as ever.
Using scenes from films including Georges Méliès’s “The Magician” (1898), Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” (1946), Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), Neil Burger’s “The Illusionist” (2006) and Rupert Sanders’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012), the program will show how some of the techniques used in the earliest “trick films,” such as trick perspective, cuts, dissolves and multiple exposures, are still used by filmmakers in the digital age. The night will include live demonstrations and conversations with some of the films' creative teams, who will reveal how many of these scenes were created.
Considered one of the world's great sleight-of-hand artists, Ricky Jay levitates between the worlds of magic and the movies. As an actor, he has appeared in films by directors such as David Mamet, Gus Van Sant, Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson. With his partner Michael Weber, he founded the consulting company Deceptive Practices, which has lent its expertise to such films as “House of Games” (1987), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “The Illusionist” (2006) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007). He is the author of more than a half dozen books and the subject of a new documentary, “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.”
Shane Mahan has created, coordinated or supervised effects on such films as  “Aliens” (1986), “Jurassic Park” (1993) and “Galaxy Quest” (1999). He earned an Oscar nomination for Visual Effects for his work on the physical suits for “Iron Man” (2008). Along with Lindsay MacGowan, John Rosengrant and Alan Scott, Mahan founded Legacy Effects, which has contributed effects to “Real Steel” (2011), “Life of Pi” (2012), “Pacific Rim” (2013) and many other feature films.
Sought for his balance of problem-solving and story-telling abilities, Michael Weber has engineered illusions for both stage and screen. His work can be seen in “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (1988), “Leap of Faith” (1992), “Congo” (1995), “The Prestige” (2006), “The Fountain” (2006) and “The Great Buck Henry” (2009), among others. Weber and Ricky Jay are currently working with composer Stephen Schwartz on the upcoming Broadway musical Houdini, starring Hugh Jackman.

During the feast of All Souls Day, Macario, a peasant living in colonial Mexico, revolts against his lifetime of poverty by vowing never to eat again until he has a whole turkey for himself, despite his large family’s needs. The day he finally gets his turkey, the Devil, God and Death each ask to share his large meal with them and weigh on his conscience.
Macario was the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film and was also entered into the Cannes Film Festival. The cinematography is reputed to be Gabriel Figueroa's best and was to be his final major work in black and white film. B. Traven, a shadowy figure whose real identity is still disputed today, wrote the novel, which the film is based on.  Spanish with English subtitles.

Idris Elba embodies Nelson Mandela in this epic adaptation of Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” It tells the story of his struggle to bring an end to the racist system of apartheid, which denied black South Africans their human rights for almost 50 years. Elba’s performance anchors the film as we follow his path from an idealistic young lawyer to a freedom-fighter leading the African National Congress (ANC) resistance movement.  Mandela is sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island, and ultimately becomes the first president of post-apartheid South Africa. At the same time, the film takes an intimate look at Mandela’s personal life, and the deep love for his wife Winnie (Naomie Harris), that fueled their mutual struggle. It’s a thorough portrait of a leader whose commitment to freedom would transform and impact the lives of people all over the world, inspiring generations. Country: UK, South Africa. Year: 2013. Director: Justin Chadwick. Running Time (minutes): 143

Based on a true story, this modern thriller tells the story of a failed effort by the Iranian government to murder almost two dozen journalists in 1995.  Told in a gripping fashion that artfully reveals itself over time, MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN describes the journey of two hired killers who, years later, are intimidating and interrogating witnesses of the failed mass murder on behalf of the suppressive regime. With a stark color palette and incredible performances, Rasoulof (and his anonymous cast and crew) deftly illustrate the impossibility of living under the constant threat of death and the determination of the human spirit that dares to speak truth to power. Shot on location in Iran without permission and secretly débuted earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN also constitutes a blatant defiance of director Mohammad Rasoulof’s 20-year ban from filmmaking. Country: Iran. Year: 2013. Director: Mohammad Rasoulof. Running Time (minutes): 127

Hannah Schygulla offers an extraordinary performance. She is wounded, strong, smart, fragile, beautiful. Fassbinder makes us follow her sinuous path. We cannot judge. We are caught in the stream of her destiny. Some scenes in the film are printed in my memory: Maria is half-lost among a crowd at a train station, asking about Herman Braun, in case somebody has seen him at war. We know that they were married for only a day-and-a-half. Maria is in love with an American, a big, black, strong, beautiful man. He is naked in the room when Herman – whom everybody thought was dead – returns. A unique version of ‘the returning soldier’ story, gone wrong! Later, Maria becomes the mistress of a rich industrialist, and we feel the way she rebuilds herself from the ruins of the war to a comfortable situation is an allegory of post-war Germany. – Agnès Varda. Country: Germany. Year: 1979. Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Running Time (minutes): 120

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

Amongst The Motel Life’s blisteringly cold Nevada winter, and the aching despair of its down-on-their-luck, trapped siblings on the lam, first-time directors Alan & Gabe Polsky deftly shine a light on the enormous power of brotherly bonds, a la “Of Mice And Men”. Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch play hard-living, destitute kin with no other surviving family, who must drop their meager existence and flee the law together after Dorff accidentally kills a child pedestrian with his car. Escaping from the pain through a heady stew of flashback memories and storytelling yarns (often animated as pencil-drawn flights of fancy), Hirsch and Dorff navigate a truly endearing familial relationship while jointly struggling through crippling guilt, fear and loss. Also in the mix are Dakota Fanning as a long-lost girlfriend and Kris Kristofferson as a car dealer with sage advice, making The Motel Life a dense buffet of mood and unforgettably gripping characterizations. Dirs. Alan & Gabe Polsky, 2013, DCP, 85 min. Kris Kristofferson and filmmakers Alan & Gabe Polsky will be at the Cinefamily in person for a Q&A after the film!

Multiple Visions: The Crazy Machine
2012, 93 minutes, black and white, DCP
Directed by Emilio Maillé.
“A fascinating master class in cinematographic philosophy.”—Variety
A formidable cast of fellow cinematographers from around the world pay tribute to the art and life of Gabriel Figueroa—among them Vittorio Storaro, Raoul Coutard, Christopher Doyle, Haskell Wexler, Janusz Kaminski, Anthony Dod Mantle, and Darius Khondji. Director Emilio Maillé masterfully interweaves the first-person observations of his esteemed interviewees with a spellbinding selection of clips from Figueroa’s films and a majestic original score by Michael Nyman.

1980, Cine-Tamaris, 81 min, France/USA, Dir: Agnès Varda
Essential viewing for all Angelenos, MUR MURS is Varda’s lively tribute to this city’s outdoor murals, from the Pig Paradise in Vernon to The Fall of Icarus in Venice. Along the way, she captures priceless interviews with the muralists themselves, including 23-year old Judy Baca, who observes, “I started painting because I realized… that I had never seen a Chicana in a museum.” Discussion following with director Agnès Varda.

Danish journalist and filmmaker Nagieb Khaja arms 30 civilians with high-definition cell phone cameras in war-torn Afghanistan for this jarring, embedded reportage. Infiltrating local towns for personal stories beyond the usual journalistic access, the filmmakers parachute viewers down to emotional epicenters to meet people rarely seen. Among those is the 19-year-old man huddling with his frightened younger siblings as the Taliban fights outside; the 48-year-old health clinician grappling with the mass destruction of his trees by security forces who turned his house into an operations base; the 40-year-old farmer who finds rare peace in prayer and walking in his fields. In such an intense military environment, Khaja and his amateur operators deliver the stuff of zeitgeist from the forbidden zone and, in the process, produce evidence of human resiliency: not even the gravest of strife can  completely extinguish the hopes within their hearts and minds. Country: Denmark. Year: 2012. Director: Nagieb Khaja. Running Time (minutes): 88

In the dreary early hours, as the sun scatters upon the desolate Slovak countryside somewhere near the border, 18-year-old Marek trains his ferocious mutt to attack. Marek’s scrappy, pale frame and hard, deadened eyes betray an impenetrably empty figure, resigned to a life of hardship and neglect. His solace is found with the local skinheads who populate the sparse region. Burdened with the responsibility to save his father’s land, he seeks out the mother who abandoned him years earlier. Their turbulent meeting sparks an ominous chain of events in which bubbling ethnic tensions and inner turmoil will lead to dark consequences. Evocatively employing authentic locations, untrained actors and a sparse narrative bereft of a musical score, director Mira Fornay’s contemplative camerawork and simmering approach captures a vivid sense of place and a stagnant feeling of quiet desperation that comes with no easy answers. Country: Slovakia, Czech Republic. Year: 2013. Director: Mira Fornay. Running Time (minutes): 90

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

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

Several local and visiting artists will present in-progress or recently completed works in an informal screening with brief introductions by the artists and time for discussion between each work. Silvia das Fadas will show Square Dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 (16mm, 9 min, color, sound). Jackson McCoy Astor Place (2013, 5 minutes, 16mm) a square in New York, Untitled (Chelsea Manning) (2012, 11 minutes, HD video) illustrating WikiLeaks, and/or Sugar Rushes (2013, 10 minutes, 16mm) a ten-minute study of the interaction between a shuttered sugar factory and film. Visiting from Oakland, Zach Iannazzi will show his 16mm film California Picture Book (2013, 16mm, 14 minutes). Plus others TBA.

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

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

The Night of the Iguana
1964, 125 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Anthony Veiller and John Huston; directed by John Huston; with Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Debora Kerr, and Sue Lyon
Richard Burton stars as a disheveled tour guide tasked with leading a band of American schoolteachers on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta. As they settle into a tumbledown beachfront posada owned by sultry Maxine Faulk (Ava Gardner), one member of Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon's (Burton) delegation begins to take an interest in him: a young seductress played by Sue Lyon, two years out from Lolita. But prudish Hannah Jelkes (Deborah Kerr) stands in their way.
Racked with fever and still tormented by his recent defrocking, the reverend finds himself tempted to surrender to the sins of the flesh. Adapting Tennessee William’s play to the big screen, John Huston called upon cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa to render Mexico with pictorial authenticity and the results—whether under the tropical sun or lit by a glowing moon—glisten with his trademark inky sophistication. Figueroa garnered his only Academy Award nomination for the film. 

Omar is not afraid to climb over the Israeli walls in Palestine using surreptitious rope ladders; having sniper fire whiz past his head is a part of daily life for Omar and his best friend, Tarek. Ironically, the most dangerous thing in Omar’s life is the fact that he’s in love with Nadia, Tarek’s sister. When military intelligence investigates the death of a checkpoint patrolman, they realize that Omar’s relationship can be used to leverage information. From this tale of hidden love comes an intense portrait of life in the West Bank. Director Hany Abu-Assad throws these characters into a world of dangerous loyalties and betrayals where something as simple as young love can be exploited. OMAR is a drama that reveals Assad’s compassionate view of life, empathizing deeply with human beings trapped in circumstances beyond their control. Country: Palestine. Year: 2013. Director: Hany Abu-Assad. Running Time (minutes): 98

Returning to AFI FEST, Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi continues his career-defining exploration of family dynamics, morality and class conflict. After four years of separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran to finalize his divorce with his wife Marie. Almost immediately, Ahmad becomes entangled in a new crisis when he discovers his ex- is about to re-marry and her daughter deeply objects. Marie’s new fiancé is the quiet and handsome Samir, an owner of a dry-cleaners and still married to a woman in a coma. Truths are questioned and misunderstandings unfold as Ahmad examines and attempts to stabilize the domestic hostility. Featuring authentic performances from Ali Mosaffa, Bérénice Bejo and Tahar Rahim, THE PAST’s intricate characters, emotionally complex narrative and unexpected revelations confirm Asghar Farhadi’s mastery of filmmaking and storytelling. Country: France, Iran, Italy. Year: 2013. Director: Asghar Farhadi. Running Time (minutes): 130

“Raymond Griffith seems to me to occupy a handsome fifth place — after Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, and Langdon — in the silent comedy pantheon, a place that is his by right of his refusal to ape his contemporaries, and his insistence on following the devious curve of an entirely idiosyncratic eye.” — Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns
He was known as the “Silk Hat Comedian” — he was beloved by millions for his suave, debonair brand of comedic grace — and yet, today almost no one knows his name. One of the many silent era stars whose work was lost to time (due to the lack of any surviving film prints) the prolific Raymond Griffith utilized as his trademark a top hat, a tuxedo and a cunning charm that easily set him apart from other top-billed laughmakers of the day. Only a tiny handful of Griffith’s pictures remain for us to enjoy, such as the Civil War comedy Hands Up!, Tod Browning’s White Tiger and tonight’s drawing-room farce; come celebrate the hidden legacy of one of the Twenties’ most humorous ladykillers with Paths To Paradise, starring Griffith and Betty Compson as dueling grifters on the make for the same wealthy schnook’s collection of diamonds. Preceeding the film is the 1925 comedy short Hold My Baby!
Paths To Paradise Dir. Clarence G. Badger, 1925, 35mm, 53 min. (only surviving print, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Hold My Baby Dir. James W. Horne, 1925, 35mm, approx. 20 min (Print courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Cultural theorist superstar Slavoj Zizek re-teams with director Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert's Guide to Cinema) for another wildly entertaining romp through the crossroads of cinema and philosophy. With infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, Zizek literally goes inside some truly epochal movies, all the better to explore and expose how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. As the ideology that undergirds our cinematic fantasies is revealed, striking associations emerge: What hidden Catholic teachings lurk at the heart of The Sound of Music? What are the fascist political dimensions of Jaws? Taxi Driver, Zabriskie Point, The Searchers, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter's They Live ("one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left"), Titanic, Kinder Eggs, verité news footage, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia all inform Zizek's stimulating, provocative and often hilarious psychoanalytic-cinematic rant. Dir. Sophie Fiennes, 2012, digital presentation, 136min.

PICKPOCKET is a definite masterpiece and has a quality of “DO NOT TOUCH.” But the minute you enter the film with its grey textures, you are hooked! We follow the mysterious Michel, played by ghost-acting Martin LaSalle as an addict with an urge for dexterous pick-pocketing. He even improves his art with a pro. Bresson dares to film the thefts as a rather erotic excitement and climax. Martin feels both guilt and pride. A determined plain-clothes policeman tries to catch Martin, but the film is not a police story; it’s more like Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” Martin has a long way to go – including jail time – to discover the feeling of love. This was Bresson’s first non-adapted script. He also made radical choices: the cinematographer L. H. Burel used a specific lens (50mm). The editing also stresses the suspenseful passage of time. Yes, PICKPOCKET is definitely a masterpiece. – Agnès Varda. Country: France. Year: 1959. Director: Robert Bresson. Running Time (minutes): 75

Preserving the Avant-Garde: The NFPF's Avant-Garde Treasures DVD Set
Working independently, avant-garde and experimental filmmakers have pushed the limits and broken the rules of traditional filmmaking to create their own personal works. Films selected for the NFPF’s most recent collection in its DVD series “Avant-Garde Treasures,” by Carolee Schneemann, Bruce Conner and Andrea Callard, will be presented on film along with a discussion of the particular challenges of preserving these unique, cutting-edge works. IN PERSON:  Jeff Lambert, National Film Preservation Foundation.

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

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

¡Que viva México!
1931/1979, 88 minutes, black and white, digital
Directed by Grigori Aleksandrov and Sergei Eisenstein
A hallucinatory frieze of Mexican culture, ¡Que viva México! luxuriates in the ceremonial and folkloric—sections were to be devoted to Sandunga, Maguey, and the Day of the Dead. Cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa was said to have visited Eisenstein’s set and may have even done camerawork for the great Soviet director. What is certain is that Eisenstein’s delirious vision, even if compromised by his financiers, proved an indelible influence to the burgeoning cinematographer.
Five years on from his epochal Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein traveled to Mexico after a frustrating sojourn in Hollywood. He spent the next 14 months shooting hundreds of hours of footage for a travelogue that transformed into an ambitious epic that would present a survey of Mexican history from the ancient Mayans through the 1910 revolution. But financial and political troubles impeded Eisenstein from completing the film during his lifetime: producer Upton Sinclair was exasperated by the protracted shoot while Stalin’s politburo all but branded the director as a deserted.
Eisenstein’s cursed Mexican film existed for decades only in tantalizing fragments until it was reconstructed by his associate Grigori Aleksandrov in 1979. Though we’ll never know what Eisenstein’s film would have been had he finished it (he died in 1948), Aleksandrov’s approximation is fascinating. Eisenstein created a surge of impeccable imagery his imagination electrified by the murals of Diego Rivera and José Clement Orozco.

Quotes Unquoted
In Conversation with Constanze Ruhm & Christine Lang
In conjunction with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s exhibition at the Mackey Garage Top, the Goethe Institute presents a talk and a screening revolving around the film COLD REHEARSAL (2013) by artists and filmmakers Constanze Ruhm (AT) and Christine Lang (GER).
Cold Rehearsal is an experimental narrative film that is referential on all levels, including its text and storytelling, its sound and music, its framing, acting, and props.
It relates explicitly and implicitly to film history and theory, to narrative forms and conventions of modernist cinema. In a presentation complementing the current exhibition at the MAK Center, Ruhm and Lang will introduce their sources and references with an artistic, feminist perspective, in order to re-appropriate, update, and rewrite film history.
In the course of the lecture, excerpts from Vivre sa vie (Jean-Luc Godard), Il Deserto Rosso (Michelangelo Antonioni) Solaris (Andrei Tarkowski), Les choses de la vie (Claude Sautet), Mulholland Drive (David Lynch), Inland Empire (David Lynch), Gold Diggers (Sally Potter), 9 Leben hat die Katze (Ula Stöckl), Identity (James Mangold), Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson), Ossessione (Luchino Visconti), and Peeping Tom (Michael Powell) will be screened.

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

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

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

1936, 65 minutes, black and white, 35mm
Written by Agustín Velázquez Chávez and Paul Strand; directed by Fred Zinnemann and Emilio Gómez Muriel
A fascinating and influential artifact, Redes was made in 1936 with funding by Mexico’s Federal Department of Art with the purpose of underlining the social ideals of the Revolution to the millions of illiterate citizens dispersed across this vast nation. A stark table of solidarity in the face of exploitation, Redes is set in the fishing community of Alvarado on the pictuersque Gulf Coast of Mexico. Cast with nonactors, the film has a most improbable and startling assemblage of collaborators behind the scenes: legendary photographer Paul Strand shot the film, a codirecting credit is given to Fred Zinnemann (roughly a decade before his Hollywood break and a long, fruitful career that ranged from High Noon to Oklahoma!) and the film’s grand, modernist score was penned by Silvestre Revueltas. Working under the dual influences of Robert Flaherty and F. W. Murnau, Zinnemann crafts a lyrical docu-drama that beautifully presages the glories of Italian neorealism. Long unavailable, Redes was restored in 2009 by the World Cinema Foundation. 

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

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

Patrick is a photographer whose once drug-addicted sister, Caroline, is a member of an isolated sober-living community in Mississippi. Patrick discovers that the program is closer to a communal-living collective and that there is a strange and charismatic leader of the group, known only as “Father.” When his sister leaves the country to start a new utopian society in the jungle, he enlists two co-workers to shoot a documentary on their whereabouts. Based on detailed research of the infamous Jonestown massacre, THE SACRAMENT is a thoroughly terrifying examination of modern religion, charismatic influence and the exploitation of power. Director Ti West explores the horrific idea of a man who can talk people into killing themselves. Who could wield such power, and who could be susceptible to a vast array of grotesque suggestions? A shocking tale of devotion gone horribly wrong, THE SACRAMENT offers a disturbing vision of groupthink. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Ti West. Running Time (minutes): 95

(Satansbraten), 1976, Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
A grotesque absurdist tale of a womanizing writer who apparently murders his rich mistress and becomes convinced that he is the reincarnation of a 19th century poet. SATAN'S BREW is Fassbinder’s first flat-out comedy and a hilarious multi-layered farce.

Inspired by the children she met in Bradford in northern England when researching her previous acclaimed documentary, THE ARBOR, Clio Barnard creates a moving tale that combines fairytale with contemporary reality. Arbor is a feisty menace who rejects his meds and roams the streets with his mellow best friend, Swifty. After a fight at school, the duo is expelled and seems as forsaken as the desolate countryside surrounding them. The boys turn to illegally collecting scrap metal for Kitten, a greedy dealer obsessed with horse races. Arbor is eager to please and emulate Kitten, but Kitten is quickly taken by Swifty’s connection to horses. Failed by their parents, the educational system and society in general, Arbor and Swifty face challenging scenarios that will test their friendship and loyalty. Armed with striking cinematography and unforgettable performances from the untrained leads, A SELFISH GIANT continues Barnard’s exploration of the dangers of neglecting children and presents a memorable story of a society that sifts through garbage in search of hope and opportunity. Country: UK. Year: 2013. Director: Clio Barnard. Running Time (minutes): 91

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

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

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

1978, 100 min, USA, Dir: David Leeds
Christopher Walken, Margot Kidder, Geoffrey Lewis and A Martinez star in this stylish counterculture Western from writer-producer-director David Leeds. Walken plays a Confederate war veteran who is now a bounty hunter, Kidder is an indentured servant trying to escape to freedom, and Lewis is a brutal mercenary; when their paths cross, the result is a powerful examination of violence in the American West. Discussion following with director David Leeds and actor A Martinez.

(2012, Chris Kenneally)
In 2010 actor-producer Keanu Reeves witnessed the transition from film to digital media – in image-capture, post-production and theatrical presentations – and decided to document this sea change taking place in his industry. Through interviews with leading Hollywood filmmakers and cinematographers, SIDE BY SIDE probes the virtues and limitations of capturing and viewing stories on film vs. digital means. This screening will be the premiere of the first 35mm print of SIDE BY SIDE. IN PERSON:  Keanu Reeves and Justin Szlasa, independent producers (schedules permitting).

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

Specters of Godard
The MAK Center is pleased to present Specters of Godard, a panel discussion considering film and video works by post-conceptual artists who trace their origins to the cinema of Jean-Luc Godard. Organized and moderated by Dr. Juli Carson, Associate Professor at UC Irvine and director of its Critical and Curatorial MFA program and the University Art Galleries, the panel will include filmmaker and installation artist Kerry Tribe, Israeli-American artist Michael Moshe Dahan, and artist and curator Constanze Ruhm. Selections from the panelists' films will lead off the conversation.
Kerry Tribe's double projection piece, Here & Elsewhere (2002, 10:30 min, loop) engages with one of Godard's most familiar themes, memory and narrative. Each channel of the projection frames the same scene from slightly different positions as the voice of Peter Wollen interviews his daughter Audrey in a loose reprisal of Jean-Luc Godard's and Anne Marie Miéville's 1978 television documentary FRANCE/TOUR/DETOUR/DEUX/ENFANTS. Asking "Does memory happen in the present, or does it happen in the past? Does a photograph tell you that something has actually happened," Tribe's work underscores the double movement of time in the process of remembering something.
The focus of Constanze Ruhm and Christine Lang's Cold Rehearsal shifts away from the characters that were located at the core of earlier productions: Nana, (Vivre sa vie), Giuliana (Deserto Rosso), and Hari (Solaris), whose identities and stories have been re-scripted and rendered in new versions in the framework of the X Characters series, with Crash Site / My_Never_Ending_Burial_Plot constituting its symbolic ending. Cold Rehearsal deals with a new character: former director/actor Hans, who once used to be a successful, famous director, but is now in his decline. He becomes the main character entangled in a scheme orchestrated by a number of dead actresses who plot revenge. Hans slips on a banana peel, falls down a stairway (a prop from a T.V. show), and finally dies. The film recounts the story of the ordeal he undergoes in the few seconds of his fall and death, which are stretched to ninety minutes of film time. In his death fantasy, he re-encounters the most important women (characters) of his life (actresses/lovers, nurses, mothers...) and as well, himself as a child. Finally, he understands that he is dead.
In 1976, Godard commissioned the design and fabrication of a 35mm motion picture camera that would be as compact as a 8mm and as self-contained as the video Portapak. Several years later, he received a prototype for the Aaton 35-8, a camera that, while small and portable, suffered from myopia and was simply too loud. Michael Moshe Dahan's film Seven Points of Failure (2013, 79 mins, 35mm color, sound), and its companion short Two Points of Failure (2013, 13mins) investigate the compulsion to repeat and the desire to look again more closely as failed operations that at once add information while obfuscating understanding. The invention and early failure of the Aaton 35-8 in the late 1970's comes at a critical time in the history of cinema, a moment in which the dominant indexical analogue machinery of the film camera and film negative began their slow, inevitable demise. The operative mode of Two Points of Failure is to point to an object which at the moment of its inception was destined to die, and is now already dead. This film simultaneously functions as the index of a disappearance and the remainder of the object that has been extirpated.

Though it's 2 days after Halloween, we'll be keeping it kooky and very spooky at the Echo Park Film Center, with an evening of especially creepy cartoons. All dug up from the 16mm graveyard by our own Cosmo Segurson. He's betting that some of these odd and genuinely weird hand-drawn mini-masterpieces will delight, and/or give you nightmares. Ice Cream Sandwiches and Spooky Cartoons? Join us....if you dare!!!

Scott Stark’s films, videos and installations are kinetic revelations that can be shocking, mesmerizing and narratively rich.  We’re delighted to welcome Scott to Los Angeles again.  We last featured him at Filmforum in 2002.  Over two nights in November, he will present a wide array of new work created since then, along with a few earlier works.  On Sunday, the works display a consistent remaking of the screen, rendering past into present, and colliding spaces in ways that find new political and narrative meaning. Scott Stark in person!

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

From the directors of AMER and the “O is for Orgasm” segment of THE ABC’S OF DEATH (AFI FEST 2012) comes this gorgeous and lurid homage to masters of classic Italian Giallo horror. Dan returns home to his Art Nouveau apartment building to find that his wife is missing.  The police are no help, and there are no signs of a struggle or a break-in.  His search for answers leads him to uncover strange details about his neighbors’ lives and, unexpectedly, Dan slowly begins to suffer from hallucinations and madness. THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS is a bloody and taut psychosexual rabbit hole, a puzzle that begs not to be solved but invites the audience to revel in the sadomasochistic eroticism of the directing duo’s ultra-saturated color scheme. Country: Belgium, France, Luxembourg. Year: 2013. Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani. Running Time (minutes): 102

On the day of a large family gathering, a Berlin flat is bustling with activity. The mother has a full plate: the two older children are home for dinner, and the youngest screams at kitchen appliances. Add the neighbor fixing the washing machine, the napping grandfather, the extended family, a dog and the eponymous cat, and this apartment is full to overflowing. A whimsical and spellbinding film, THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT explores the tensions and pleasures of everyday domestic life, while celebrating the secret fantasies its characters harbor, sharing their inner thoughts and having them heard. This debut feature from writer-director Ramon Zürcher unites an all-ages cast to elevate daily life into a playful and effortless ballet as the characters sashay around one another in the apartment’s cramped quarters. Country: Germany. Year: 2013. Director: Ramon Zürcher. Running Time (minutes): 72

Suspension of Disbelief (for the love of Frater Perdurabo & K.A.)
Joe Merrell brings us “Suspension of Disbelief (for the love of Frater Perdurabo & K.A.)” which is, in large part, an animated 3D ChromaDepth video homage to the work of Kenneth Anger and Aleister Crowley. The version of the piece being screened was made especially for the Alvarado Caverns and Mystery Theater project. 3D glasses provided; not for the faint of heart or those sensitive to flashing lights and images!

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

A Tribute to Allan Sekula: The Forgotten Space
Allan Sekula (1951-2013) was an influential artist, writer, and teacher. His works, including books, photographic sequences, written texts, slide sequences, and sound recordings, are among the most moving and incisive critiques of global capital from the latter half of the twentieth century. In 2001, he turned to digital video as yet another means to make art that critically engages the world. Los Angeles Filmforum is proud to present two programs of Sekula’s work in video this week in tribute.  On this second night, we screen his last film, The Forgotten Space. 

A Tribute to Allan Sekula: Night One
Allan Sekula (1951-2013) was an influential artist, writer, and teacher. His works, including books, photographic sequences, written texts, slide sequences, and sound recordings, are among the most moving and incisive critiques of global capital from the latter half of the twentieth century. In 2001, he turned to digital video as yet another means to make art that critically engages the world. Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA is proud to present a program of Sekula’s work in video, with another program coming this Sunday, in tribute.

1919, 87 min, USA, Dir: D.W. Griffith
In "the story of a plain girl," Lillian Gish stars in the title role as a young woman secretly smitten with a neighbor (Robert Harron). Though Susie must sacrifice greatly for the man, her love for him never wavers. Presented by Retro Format Films on 8mm! Program also includes D.W. Griffith’s short films “An Unseen Enemy” (1912, 17 min.), which introduced Gish and her sister Dorothy, “The Musketeers of Pig Alley” (1912, 17 min.) and “The Mothering Heart” (1913, 29 min.), all starring Lillian Gish. With live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

The Twilight Samurai
Seibei Iguchi (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a low-ranking samurai living in the fading days of the Shogun period in Japan. His wife has died of tuberculosis, and with two daughters and an elderly mother to support, he and his family must survive in austerity. But when news of his sword-fighting prowess gets out, his superiors order him on a dangerous mission: kill a renowned warrior who is on the wrong side of a clan power struggle. 129 MINS, 2002

2012, Beta Cinema, 97 min, Germany, Dir: Georg Maas
Born to a Norwegian mother (Liv Ullmann, in what the actress has said will be her final role) and a German soldier, Katrine (Juliane Köhler) has lived happily in Norway for 20 years – until a lawsuit arising from the WWII occupation threatens to divide her family. Based on actual events. With English subtitles. Germany’s Official Oscar Submission!
 Discussion following the double feature with TWO LIVES director Georg Maas and I AM YOURS director Iram Haq and actress Amrita Acharia.

Two Mules for Sister Sara
1970, 116 minutes, color, Scope, 35mm
Written by Albert Maltz; directed by Don Siegel; with Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fabregas, and Alberto Morin
A rare CinemaScope film for cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, Two Mules for Sister Sara finds gutsy auteur Don Siegel directing from a story by master of the minimalist Western—Budd Boetticher—punched up by blacklisted The Naked City screenwriter Albert Maltz.
Gunrunning Juarista (Shirley MacLaine) disguises herself as a nun to traverse enemy terrain and comes across American mercenary Hogan (Clint Eastwood). A cigarillo-chomping dynamite expert also serving the resistance, Eastwood escorts MacLaine to her destination—the rebel camp—and ultimately joins their ranks for an explosive showdown at Emperor Maximilian’s heavily guarded garrison in Chihuahua. Ennio Morricone’s eldritch score—revived four decades later by Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained—and Figueroa’s dusty widescreen vistas recall Eastwood’s work with spaghetti Western master Sergio Leone, but the film’s comedy-laced romance is unlike anything from the Italian director. In fact Eastwood likened Two Mules for Sister Sara to the work of John Huston another Mexico-fixated director: “It’s kind of African Queen gone West.”

Under the Volcano
1984, 112 minutes, color, 35mm
Written by Guy Gallo; directed by John Huston, with Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews, Ignacio Lopez Tarzo, Dawson Bray
Twenty years after shooting Night of the Iguana together, American auteur John Huston reunited with Gabriel Figueroa for this adaptation of Malcolm Lowry’s seminal novel. Huston had a long career of translating novels to the big screen—his first feature, The Maltese Falcon, was after all a Raymond Chandler adaptation. Huston was the first director to introduce B. Traven’s work to American audiences with a cinematic version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but Lowry’s 1947 book had already thwarted prior directors attempting to translate its 600 pages into a cohesive motion picture (Luis Buñuel, Ken Russell, and Joseph Losey among them).  
In Huston’s film, Albert Finney plays a hard-drinking British ex-diplomat in Cuernavaca who stumbles through his waking moments in booze-fog conflating memory and reality, past and present. The drums of World War II beat on the horizon and Day of the Dead fiestas reign over the city. When his estranged wife—played by elegant Jacqueline Bisset—suddenly returns in hopes of rehabilitating him, Finney spins out further into the void. The actor is pitch-perfect as the tortured, booze-soaked consul—he even garnered an Academy Award nomination—and Figueroa, working in color, renders a darkly bucolic Mexico of yesteryear exquisitely. Huston made only two more films after Under the Volcano, but the film proved to be Figueroa’s swan song.  

Master documentarian Errol Morris turns the “Interrotron” – his notorious device for filming interview subjects as they gaze directly into the camera – toward the subject of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  One of the most trusted advisors to the Republican elite for more than two decades, Rumsfeld is a fascinating subject whose tendency to share all his thoughts in memo form has created a vast historical archive. From this archive, Morris pores over the past decisions, challenges and artful linguistic constructions that Rumsfeld has built over the years.  Probing and insightful, Morris is the unequalled master of unpacking and contextualizing our recent shared history. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Director: Errol Morris. Running Time (minutes): 96

One of the most singular voices to emerge in the last decade, French-Canadian iconoclast Denis Côté inhabits a universe of storytelling all his own. His latest begins with Vic’s sudden arrival in a peaceful backwoods town. Recently released from prison at 61-years-old, she takes up residence with her only relative, her mute and deteriorating father. Vic is soon joined by her determined, yet good-natured, parole officer and Flo, a former cellmate and lover looking to start life anew. But Flo is attempting to escape demons from her past, demons that are plotting revenge. Côté’s work offers an elliptical, offbeat and precise sensibility that challenges viewers while consistently keeping them guessing. Thoroughly engrossing at every turn, the film is a potent swirl of stirring performances, bizarre characters, offbeat humor and detached formalism that proves what’s left unsaid is just as important as what’s shown on screen. Country: Canada. Year: 2013. Director: Denis Côté. Running Time (minutes): 95

In this unforgettable assault on reality-- restored and presented uncut for the first time ever--legendary Hollywood director/actor John Huston (The Maltese Falcon; Treasure Of The Sierra Madre) stars as an intergalactic warrior who joins a cosmic Christ figure in battle against a demonic 8-year-old girl (and her pet hawk!) while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Multi-dimensional warfare, pre-adolescent profanity and brutal avian attacks combine to transport the viewer to a state unlike anything they've experienced... somewhere between Hell, Atlanta, GA and the darkest reaches of outer space. The Visitor fearlessly fuses elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The Birds, Rosemary’s Baby, The Fury and even Star Wars and its baffling all-star cast includes Shelley Winters (Night Of The Hunter), Glenn Ford (Superman), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Franco Nero (Django) and Sam Peckinpah (director of The Wild Bunch). Dir. Giulio Paradisi, 1979, 35mm, 108 min.

Skip the neon leg warmers, it’s 1982 Stockholm and punk is thriving by means of intrepid Klara and ingenious Bobo. The two middle school outcasts spend their days defiantly resisting femme stereotypes with their Mohawk haircuts and political activism. Taking a stand against (heavy metal) noise pollution and their pointless gym class, Klara and Bobo form a band with sparse instruments provided by the local recreation center and immediately recruit the very lonely and very Christian guitar-skilled, Hedvig. In between song-writing sessions and band practice, the girls encounter parents, alcohol, parties and the spiked-haired boy that will change everything between them. Director Lukas Moodysson successfully presents a refreshing and optimistic story that exhibits the significance of preteen friendships. Adapted from a semi-autographical graphic novel by Moodysson’s wife, Coco, WE ARE THE BEST outshines familiar coming-of-age conventions by crafting strong females and empowering revolutions. Country: Sweden. Year: 2013. Director: Lukas Moodysson. Running Time (minutes): 102

Alex has big plans for his summer in Guadalajara. He hopes to get a girlfriend, make money with a new job, learn a new song with his band, Mari Pepa, and win the upcoming ”battle of the bands” concert.  His summer expectations quickly become impossible to fulfill as he realizes everything in his life is shifting. Increasingly worried about his deteriorating grandmother, Alex realizes he must learn to deal with loneliness and begin to say goodbye to his innocence. Armed with a full cast of local untrained actors and based on the director/writer’s personal memories, SOMOS MARI PEPA is a love letter to, and a voyage through, the alleys and garages of Atemajac, Jalisco. Establishing director Samuel Kishi Leopo as a new, exciting voice in independent Mexican cinema, the film skillfully and comically captures the breakdown of adolescent rebellion in a period in which boys are forced to become men. Country: Mexico. Year: 2013. Director: Samuel Kishi Leopo. Running Time (minutes): 95.  PRECEDED BY: THE MASQUE USA, Director: Mike Plante, 11 MIN

Coming out swinging with a style-infused debut, brothers and co-directors Zeke and Simon Hawkins serve up a breathless Texas neo-noir with deliciously dark shades of hardboiled novelist Jim Thompson. As their summer comes to an end, BJ (Logan Huffman) convinces his best friend Bobby (Jeremy Allen White) and girlfriend Sue (Mackenzie Davis) to indulge in one last night on the town. The three burn through BJ’s cash in no time, but it turns out to have been stolen from Giff (Mark Pellegrino), BJ's boss, and he wants it back. To set the record straight, he forces the young characters to plan a heist against a nefarious gangster. But nothing goes straight in this crooked tale of deception and violence, stealthily shot in grainy widescreen, and heightened by an atmospheric, guitar-plucked score. Country: USA. Year: 2013. Directors: Zeke Hawkins, Simon Hawkins. Running Time (minutes): 92

Romanian New Waver Corneliu Poremboiu (POLICE, ADJECTIVE) is back to his clever, wordy dialogue, deadpan sense of humor and patience-demanding shot duration with this tale of a director attempting to convince his supporting actress (and current bedfellow) to appear nude in a scene from his film. A cunning portrait of sexual hypocrisy emerges, as director and actress alike go to great lengths to convince themselves the nude scene in question will reveal deeper emotional aspects of her character. Composed of fewer than 20 shots, WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM is also an offbeat ode to traditional filmmaking: it was shot on 35mm. It’s no surprise that Porumboiu opens with his lead character explaining that an entire roll of film lasts no more than 11 minutes. Here the real and fictional directors are winking at each other, inviting the audience along on an extended joke of impressive visual and verbal proportions. Country: Romania, France. Year: 2013. Director: Corneliu Porumboiu. Running Time (minutes): 89

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

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