Friday, August 04, 2017

Hot LA Screenings for a Hot as Hell Week

What's playing in LA theaters on 35mm (mostly) in this hot, hot weather, you ask? Here's my list!

It's just what's on my radar. There's other stuff too.
Curious? Browse the LA Film Calendars links on my side bar  → → →

A couple of these choices are tonight only, FYI.

NuArt Theatre
Akira (1988, Katsuhiro Otomo)
Friday (tonight) midnight
I will probably never again spotlight an animated movie (just not that into them), but this one I grew up on and collected the comic book (still have them at my family home somewhere) and I was super excited to see the movie when it came out, which delivered—and also was super confusing. It's a great dystopian future in a wonderful, gritty animated style about young teens not fitting in and oh, like having either teenage angst or exploding power, one or the other-- or is it a metaphor?! If you can figure out the ending, write me a comment.
(Most likely DCP screening)
Here are some of the awesome original comic book covers:
NuArt Theatre Link

Egyptian Theatre
Le Deuxième Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville)
Friday (Tonight) 7:30 pm
Finally, it begins! A Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samouraï) retrospective starts tonight, Friday August 4 at the Egyptian with Le Deuxième Souffle (1966), and here's a link to an extremely old article I wrote raving about it, so you're really taking a long time to see this film, yo. Finally here is your chance. While many Melville films have enjoyed quite a high profile, such as Le Samouraï (1967), when I see one as incredible as this (Le Deuxième Souffle), I wonder why it has been relegated to the shadows for so long-- and I then wonder how many other awesome Melville films are out there that we still can't see...!
Yes, it's also in beautiful 35mm.

Egyptian Theatre 
Léon Morin, Priest  (1961, Jean-Pierre Melville)
Thur Aug 10 7:30 pm

Far more well-known for his crime pictures, Melville can excel stupendously in other genres, and this film, Léon Morin, Priest, starring the fabulous Jean-Paul Belmondo is the crowning example. No one but the French can so meaningfully engage in profound philosophizing in a feature film—and in an entertaining way—so come expand your mind. The cinematography is by the amazing Henri Decaë. The Egyptian says it's "among the most thoughtful examinations of faith and its challenges ever made." I really liked this film and look forward to seeing again on the huge screen at the Egyptian.
(This screening DCP.)

Billy Wilder Theatre (UCLA Film & TV Archive)
Prime Cut (1972, Michael Ritchie) 35mm IB Technicolor print
Friday (tonight) 7:30 pm

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974, Sam Peckinpah)

Saturday Aug 5 7:30pm
Despite the super-intense competition this week, the best movies playing this weekend might be Prime Cut and Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Luckily they're also on separate nights so you can split them and really absorb. I'm not as big a fan of the often-raved-about Prime Cut as others (but it's definitely good), but I will rave till I'm mad about Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Dark, messy, gritty, very fucked up, it's just sad-sack desert-y fun, with profound, sad meaning. I love it.
Film nerd alert: It's an IB Technicolor 35mmm print of Prime Cut, the original "best color" film print-making process. (Alfredo Garcia is DCP screening.)

Side note, I can't resist saying that on Sunday at 7:00 pm the Billy Wilder Theatre is showing one of the worst movies I've ever seen, Tomorrow (1972, Joseph Anthony) starring Robert Duvall (although his performance is fine). I saw this in a double feature years ago following Tarkovsky's Sacrifice (maybe that had something to do with it?) and my brother and I were bored to tears watching this. I don't even know why we stayed till the end! But go ahead, don't believe me, maybe it's great now and my memory is terrible. But I'm pretty certain it's one hell of a slow and depressing movie.

Egyptian Theatre (Los Angeles Film Forum)
Classic Films by Joyce Wieland
Sunday Aug 6 7:30 PM (Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian)

If you haven't seen experimental films in a while, or you've NEVER been to an experimental film screening, Los Angeles Film Forum is the host to do it for you, and they currently screen at the Egyptian Theatre inside the smaller Spielberg Theatre. This retrospective sounds like a great one to see because it's just one artist's work all together and she sounds absolutely fascinating.
I'm most excited about "Cat Food" (1967). Seriously you haven't lived if you haven't attended at least one experimental film screening in your life.
From the site:
"Long overdue is this retrospective screening of classic experimental films by Joyce Wieland. Wieland is regarded as Canada’s foremost woman artist.  She produced an acclaimed body of work in a great variety of media, from drawing and painting to quilts and film.  Her work tended to be overshadowed in the United States by that of her husband, Michael Snow, but her cinematic explorations elude easy categorization."

Saturday Morning Cartoons
Saturday Aug 5 11:00 am

Sounds like a fun time, especially if you have kids. Saturday Morning Cartoons in a theater! This week's edition focuses on origin stories and earliest appearances, but whatever, it's fun cartoons either way. Wow, I actually highlighted two animated presentations in one week! Rare occurrence.

New Beverly
Gold of the Seven Saints (1961, Gordon Douglas)
Saturday and Sunday Aug 5th and 6th 2:00 pm

Technically a kiddie matinee, seems like a real fun way to see an early pre-Bond Roger Moore in a western!? With a 35mm film print coming all the way from the National Film & Sound Archive of Australia, this sounds like the type of  kiddie matinee to fool your kids into coming to that you actually enjoy more..!

Barton Fink (1991, Joel Coen)
Sunday Aug 6th 7:00 pm
Barton Fink is that movie Milhouse and friends were excited to see as their first R-rated movie on The Simpsons! Little did they know. Well, you can go see it too and experience their wonder and awe at all the R-rated naughtiness of this writer, um, just struggling to write a screenplay. Yup, that's it, but it's made captivating by the talent of the Coen Bros and great performances and Roger Deakins visuals.
Screening in wonderful 35mm.

The Tenant (1976, Roman Polanski)
Friday (tonight) MIDNIGHT

I really remember digging this one, so I definitely think this is a sweet midnight screening. Starring Polanski himself and Isabella Adjani, can't go wrong..! Undeniably made spookier by screening in 35mm.

Aero Theatre
Robert Mitchum Centennial
Various screenings, all week
So the Aero has this Robert Mitchum Centennial. Do we really care that a guy would've been 100? I mean, come on, but hey, whatever, show some good films, so okay. I can't pick one to prefer here. Some are new to me that I'm excited to see, like Ryan's Daughter (1970, David Lean), others are acknowledged classics, like The Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton), masterwork, screening with film noir Crossfire (1947, Edward Dmytryk). Others are gritty, looser but entertaining later works, like The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973, Peter Yates) and The Yakuza (1975, Sydney Pollack). So pick your own Mitchum if you feel like it. Several are 35mm. Especially appealing if you are stuck on the West side..!
Aero Theatre
Lifeforce (1985, Tobe Hooper) in 70mm
Thur Aug 10 7:30pm

You know damn sure I'm going to get excited about something screening on film, and even more so when it's 70mm. It's the return of the Aero's 70mm program spanning all of August starting this Thursday with Lifeforce (1985, Tobe Hooper). Now, okay, I've never seen this so I can't recommend it either way, but the trailer looked bonkers, and it has quite a cult following. It's probably not artistically satisfying if you're into Fellini and Godard, but I'm hoping it's mind-bending or grindhouse type satisfying, so it will be on my radar for sure

New Beverly
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982, Nicholas Meyer)
Fri/Sat Aug 4/5 at 6:30 pm
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, Leonard Nimoy)
Fri/Sat Aug 4/5 at 8:55 pm
Wrath of Khan really holds up if you've seen it recently, so I'd definitely recommend a 35mm outing to see this, and bonus, you get to see Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home also in 35mm for the same price of admission.

Targets (1968, Peter Bogdanovich) In-Person
Wednesday Aug 9th 7:30 pm

Peter Bogdanovich will be in person if you like to see a man wearing an ascot up close. It's pretty rare. This is on my radar because I've never seen it, it's late Boris Karloff, and really I always should have checked this out. Previously I may have avoided because it's really his Roger Corman movie before he burst onto the scene with The Last Picture Show (1971), but this is part of a series on the history of midnight movies, so I think it's the best context to finally appreciate this picture and what some great filmmakers were doing before they got their big break.

New Beverly
Okja (2017, Joon-ho Bong) in 35mm
all week starting Sunday

It's fun to see this brand-new film in a special 35mm print struck just for the New Beverly Cinema! Plus now it's paired with unique double features in the great New Beverly tradition all week long. You can see it with Babe: Pig in the City, Free Willy (!!?), or best of all, the original 1933 King Kong (next Fri/Sat), all of these in 35mm, because Free Willy wants to be free of digital cinema projection.

Martin (1977, George Romero)
Friday (tonight) 7:30 PM

Need your "George Romero just died and I'm sad!" fix? Go see Martin, his vampire film, in this hosted screening highlighting notorious and notable films from the history of the midnight movie. (This screening digital)

Vista Theatre (presented by Cinefamily)
El Topo (1970, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Saturday Aug 5 midnight

Another week, another classic Jodorowsky playing at the highly appropriate midnight hour to properly absorb his weird masterpieces. Watch some artistic stuff. At, like, midnight..? Go!

Old Town Music Hall
Murder, My Sweet (1944, Dick Powell)
Friday 8:15PM
Saturday 2:30PM and 8:15PM

(no Sunday screening this week)
How about a change of pace back to the earlier classic film era: If you live near the beach, come see the film noir masterpiece Murder, My Sweet (1944, Dick Powell), billed as:
Murder, My Sweet is a film noir masterpiece starring Dick Powell, who was known for musicals and comedies. But he gives a remarkable performance as Philip Marlowe in this RKO adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel. It’s dark, evocative cinema that exemplifies the noir hardboiled detective genre. Beautifully filmed and directed!
Every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short.

Eye on the Future
Next week, the Melville retrospective continues at the Egyptian, and I have my eye as usual on the less-talked-about gems, Le Doulos (Sat Aug 12) and I continue to adore Bob le Flambeur (Sun Aug 13). I haven't mentioned it, but of course Le Samouraï (1967) is playing twice—this week, Sat Aug 5 at 7:30 and then Sun Aug 13 at 5:00 pm

Next Friday, 70mm at Aero continues with The Thing (1982, John Carpenter) on Friday and much more. And also next Saturday Aug 12 Billy Wilder Theatre (UCLA Film & TV Archive) has a sweet car-chase-centric double-feature of Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, Monte Hellman) and Vanishing Point (1971, Richard C. Sarafian) both in sweet archival 35mm.

Plus Cinefamily will have a nice midnight screening of The Evil Dead (1981) Friday Aug. 11 at midnight, ooh, in 35mm.

Lastly, Silent Film Nerd Alert, Cinefamily will have E.A. Dupont's hard-to-see Variety (or Varieté) (1925) Sunday Aug 12 at 2:00 pm with live musical accompaniment.


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