Friday, July 21, 2017

LA Screenings Not to Miss This Week

Here are MY picks for the top screenings this week in LA if you are ready to get off your arse and watch some awesome 35mm film..! (in sweet air-conditioning) instead of reading this on a phone in your hand on Twitter, you could be in the theater watching some of these!

If you want to make your own decisions (who does that?!), browse the LA Film Calendars links on my side bar  → → →

Some of these are tonight, FYI.

Egyptian Theatre  
If... (1968, Lindsay Anderson)
Performance (1970, Donald Cammell, Nicholas Roeg)
At the Egyptian tonight Friday July 21 is If... and Performance, two landmark films of a sort of British "new wave" this is basically the greatest double feature I could ever imagine being concocted.   

If... is Malcolm McDowell gone mad in a British boarding school. And Performance is James Fox as a despicable London gangster who hides out from his bosses with a bunch of hippie musicians led by Mick Jagger who "open his eyes." They're both mind benders of the trippy '60s/'70s variety (not like a Matrix plot-twist). The only drawback is that you should really only see one at a time to fully absorb. This is the double feature of the year in my book. Both on 35mm film.

Old Town Music Hall
Fri 8:15pm, Sat 2:30 and 8:15pm, Sun 2:30pm
"All-Star Comedy Festival"
This weekend the Old Town Music Hall has its best program of the year, a rare treat, esp. if you live near the beach, with its "All-Star Comedy Festival" of silent and sound comedy shorts, always exquisitely selected, on 35mm and 16mm film. Every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along (I'm not kidding!), and a comedy short.

Universal CityWalk IMAX
Dunkirk (2017, Christopher Nolan) in 70mm IMAX
Various showtimes
Okay, of course I rarely highlight current releases here, but this is a very special and rare event to see a film the majority of which was shot using 70mm IMAX cameras actually projected in 70mm IMAX on film. This is the case with Dunkirk (2017) by Christopher Nolan.

The only other place near LA showing it on film is Irvine, and there is also a "laser IMAX" (not film) at the TCL Chinese Theatre, but for me, I'd recommend seeing the highest-possible-resolution film format, which still exceeds digital (I think, right?), projected in the same native format it was shot on. Don't miss this. It doesn't play here on 70mm film forever, maybe a couple weeks, before the chance is gone.

Similar experiences were possible with Interstellar and some of his previous films, but the list of 70mm film theaters has dwindled, and, for me, seeing Interstellar in 70mm IMAX was really incredible visually, if you care about things like resolution (incredible detail on faces or in this movie maybe the ocean, etc.). It's really breathtaking.

Also note there is a HUGE difference between regular 70mm and IMAX 70mm. Imax is run through the film gate horizontally, instead of vertically, and while it uses the same 70mm film stock, what accounts for the extraordinary image quality is it is exposing a far larger surface area of the film stock (in a more square-ish aspect ratio) by this horizontal method, resulting in just stunning resolution. The projectors are somewhat rare and perhaps hard to maintain as to why the lack of availability to see it this way, and the extremely rare number of major film productions which utilize the format.

Here is the IMAX link to back up this info about it being the only place, and also for other cities outside of LA:

Billy Wilder Theatre (UCLA Film & TV Archive)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962, Blake Edwards)
Crime in the Streets (1956, Don Siegel)
Saturday July 22, 7:30 PM
One print in 35mm, the second in 16mm. Great deal regardless to see two classic films on beautiful film. Most know Days of Wine and Roses with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, and UCLA says of Crime in the Streets:
Director Don Siegel, hot off of his of his landmark classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), imbues the low-budget urban tale (originally staged on TV by Sidney Lumet) with trademark grit and intensity.
Crime in the Streets has John Cassavetes in it, and if you are the one person who doesn't like to watch John Cassavetes act, then don't go!

Stalker (1979, Andrei Tarkovsky)
Saturday July 22nd 7:00 pm 
Monday July 24th 8:00 pm
Along with other great stuff at Cinefamily, the new restoration of Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979) continues, showing twice this week, and these are the last 2 screenings! Seeing a great master's film on the big screen, the proper way, it's definitely going on my list. (This screening DCP)
A lot of other great stuff at Cinefamily, including the oddball The Happiness of the Katakuris continuing, so browse the Cinefamily calendar..!

New Beverly Cinema
Secret Agent Super Dragon (1966, Giorgio Ferroni) 
Murder for Sale (1968, Renzo Cerrato, Jean-Pierre Desagnat)   
Wed July 26 and Thur July 27
Italian-made Euro spy films of the '60s riding the James Bond wave of a spy craze, in original 35mm IB Technicolor prints-- this is an original color film print creation process resulting in especially vibrant colors and such prints are a holy grail of cinema nerds. Plus the films sound crazy and outlandish in a great way. Check out the trailers. Batshit crazy quote from the trailer:
- Are you a natural redhead?
- You'll have to take my word for it. (beat) For now.
Good grief..!

Aero Theatre
9 to 5 (1980, Colin Higgins)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982, Colin Higgins)
Sunday July 23 7:30 pm 
These just seem really fun to see on the big screen in this day and age. Especially if you're over on the West side of LA. 9 to 5 is undeniably fun, and I haven't seen the second one, but obviously I'd be sitting through both if I'm there! (These two screenings are DCP.)


NuArt Theatre 
Endless Poetry (2016, Alejandro Jodorowosky)
Playing all week
Continuing for another week, the NuArt Theatre (an LA institution) has the latest film by cult auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) playing all week, including a bonus midnight screening of his The Holy Mountain (1973) TONIGHT only. Just look at that poster to get intrigued. I haven't seen the recent Jodorowsky movies since his reappearance on the scene, but he's a towering figure of late '60s and '70s cult art cinema, so if you're going to jaunt to the big screen, this is the type of film to do it on.

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