Friday, September 15, 2017

Lots More Movies You Can't Handle in LA's 35mm Film Screenings

There's almost too much to handle this week with LA's 35mm film screenings, plus some challenging films that maybe you really can't handle!
This is just what's on my personal radar and is not comprehensive. So as always, you can browse the LA Film Calendars links on my side bar to find what you like. → → →

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As usual, a couple of these choices are tonight, FYI, and not necessarily listed first.

Egyptian Theatre
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, Luis Buñuel)
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel)
Fri (tonight) 7:30 pm
This is a classic almost #FilmSchoolAlert Buñuel double feature and up first is his immortal The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. I say don't let the pretentious title distract you, focus on this particular story and its characters (plus great acting). It's paired with his final film, which is a bit of a mind-blower as well, so good I bought the DVD. Here, both are in 35mm. This screening can't be beat!

Egyptian Theatre (Los Angeles Film Forum)
"Resistance Isn't Futile" (various)
Sun. Sept. 17 7:30 pm (Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian)

Screening of major note: this is an incredible treasure trove of short films that are a time capsule of political activism during key historical moments in the US. Not to be missed! Including a short film by Straub-Huillet (very hard to see their stuff.) Just scroll through the individual film descriptions here at the link.

Egyptian Theatre (in the Spielberg Theatre)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923, Wallace Worsley) w/live musical accompaniment
Sat. Sept. 16 7:30 pm
Silent Film Nerd Alert! Here we have the original 133-minute 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame starring, yes, man of a thousand faces Lon Chaney, with live musical accompaniment in their intimate Spielberg Theatre. Have you never seen a Lon Chaney silent film performance? Better rectify that. Also, you really haven't seen silent films properly if you haven't gone out and seen them this way at least once. I can't remember my reaction to this film, but it's a big-budget spectacle at a high point of the silent studio era (Universal in this case), so it's a fascinating artifact of the time at the worst, and it's probably far better than that. It's showing in 16mm, but for silent films shot in that aspect ratio this is still totally great.

New Beverly
Grindhouse (2007, Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez)
Fri (tonight) 7:30 pm

and Sat Sept 16 7:30 pm
Continuing from last week, this is special! It's back! Grindhouse in all its grindhouse glory at a grindhouse theater showing grindhouse films all month long. It's grindhouse-a-palooza or something. Technically this is two films, a true double feature - Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez and Death Proof by Quentin Tarantino. I love this mainstream love note to good ol' grindhouse double features. Rodriguez totally nails the mixture of the good and bad writing-directing of grindhouse films, with a dash of his modern filmmaking acumen to really make it cook. Tarantino gets all experimental with quite a long chat first, and it's equally awesome. The fact that they bring totally different things to the table makes this is a perfectly wonderful double feature. Showing in 35mm. And I'm sure there's going to be some awesome trailers beforehand. Not sure if they'll resurrect the original trailer program (which included The Beyond and Massacre Mafia Style trailers), or put new ones. I kind of vote for the old ones, except for variety's sake, I hope they add some extra special gifts!

Note: They'll also continue on Sunday with what they're calling Grindhouse 2, and the week after that will be Grindhouse 3, which I may be squinting disapprovingly at that attempt, or it may be pretty awesome. Browse their site for more info. (It's basically the Rodriguez Machete films paired with other stuff.)

New Beverly
Torso (1973, Sergio Martino) 
Zombie (1979, Lucio Fulci)
Sat. Sept. 16 midnight (11:59 pm)
This is the double feature that apparently Tarantino showed the cast and crew of Grindhouse before filming, and it sounds awesome. Basically that and the posters sold me. (I've seen Zombie, and it's pretty good if I recall.)

Egyptian Theatre
Repo Man (1984, Alex Cox) 
Death Watch (1980, Bertrand Tavernier)
Sat. Sept. 16 7:30 pm
The Egyptian in its main theater on Saturday night will have this sweet double feature. Repo Man has a towering reputation as a cult classic, and Death Watch is a woefully overlooked gem starring Harvey Keitel and Romy Schneider in a futuristic mind-bender exposing all our present-day horrible tendencies. It touches on TV, media, reality TV, and technology in a twisted way with a dark undertone. Beautiful little (almost) sci-fi art film. Both in 35mm! (This is truly a great week for stuff showing on film, almost everything!)

Aero Theatre
Sleepwalkers (1992, Mick Garris)
Silver Bullet (1985, Daniel Attias)
Thinner (1996, Tom Holland)
Fri (tonight) Sept. 15 7:30 pm
The holy grail of cinephilic rites of passage, the triple feature. This would be pretty good if I didn't deeply dislike all these films! But I know horror fans out there will be into it. (Three Stephen King films). Plus they're in 35mm loveliness on a huge screen.

Aero Theatre
Firestarter (1984, Mark L. Lester)
Carrie (1976, Brian DePalma)
The Dead Zone (1983, David Cronenberg)
Sat. Sept. 16 7:30 pm
All these are 35mm except for Carrie is DCP and will still be great. I would see this one, seriously. The selection is much better than the prior one. (All three Stephen King again.)

Aero Theatre
Stand By Me (1986, Rob Reiner) 
The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont)
Sun. Sept. 17 5:00 pm Update: 7:30pm
Here we have a dash of Oscar-pedigree Stephen King films for good measure. See Jerry O'Connell at his even more lovable size. Stand By Me is in 35mm, Shawshank is in DCP.

Aero Theatre
Victoria & Abdul  (2017, Stephen Frears) w/Stephen Frears In Person
The Grifters (1990, Stephen Frears)
Wed. Sept. 20 7:30 pm

Cool double of Stephen Frears films. This is his brand-new film Victoria & Abdul starring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal, paired with The Grifters in 35mm, with Stephen Frears in person. This might be a members-only screening.

New Beverly
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1954, Alfred Hitchcock) 
Wed. Sept. 20 2:00 pm
New Bev's Hitchcock Wednesdays continues with the masterfully enjoyable The Man Who Knew Too Much (1954). I describe it that way because it's not a "make you think" masterpiece (like Vertigo), it's more like North by Northwest enjoyable. And it packs a fun wallop, really climaxes well. And, again, this is on 35mm, so.....

Old Town Music Hall
San Francisco (1936, W.S. Van Dyke) 
Fri Sept 15 8:15 pm and Sat 16 2:30 pm and 8:15 pm
This Clark Gable starrer features "an earthquake sequence you'll never forget". Sure, that's exactly what we want to see in LA with all the disasters happening lately. But hey go see this and be prepared for the worst? I recently saw something here and it was not on film. I don't know if that is always the case here, but just a heads-up, I guess (They used to show stuff on film). It's still a great fun time if you live near the beach, as it's in El Segundo. Plus every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short.
Coming Next Week
Coming up next Friday take special note of this really unique film series, the first night of which I think is a real eye-catcher: REDCAT (near the Walt Disney Concert Hall) and Los Angeles Film Forum will launch Ism Ism Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America "an ambitious, five-month film series —the first in the U.S.—that surveys Latin America’s vibrant experimental production from the 1930s to today."
  • The first program on Fri Sept 22 is entitled Dreams of Suitcases and a Blue Lobster, an evening of surrealist-influenced shorts from the '30s to the '60s, including one by Raul Ruiz, plus a film co-directed by Gabriel García Márquez! If you've never gone out to a theater to see an experimental film, you really haven't expanded your mind enough yet.
  • Sat Sept 23 is a survey of South American “Camera-Less” or “Direct” filmmaking, in which figures are painted, scratched, or inked directly onto film leader, should appeal to any Stan Brakhage fans out there. (I hope that's more than none?)
  • Sat. Sept. 23 (later at 9:00 pm) they spotlight filmmaker Willie Varela, an El Paso-based Chicano media artist.
  • Sun Sept. 24 it's a program spotlighting three significant Latin American experimental filmmakers, including a co-writer of I Am Cuba, entitled Countercultures and Undergrounds.
  • Sun Sept. 24 (later at 8:30pm) is Dialogues with Che (about that Che) which sounds like several films deconstructing iconography and photos in a manner that perhaps has similarities to Godard/Gorin's Letter to Jane. (Then the series is on break till Oct. 2, phew!)

Fri. Sept. 22 the Egyptian will have Powell & Pressburger's masterpiece The Red Shoes (1948), which profoundly influenced Gene Kelly's Singing in the Rain and the entire evolution of musicals, in 35mm and restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Wow!

  • Sun. Sept. 24 they have the entire Apu Trilogy (by Satyajit Ray) in one sitting? Maybe too much, but all prints newly restored 35mm, wow. Great format to see a landmark work in. The Apu Trilogy is Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), Apur Sansar (1958).

UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater will have three very early films from Mexico in 35mm:

  • Enamorada (1946, Emilio Fernández) w/María Félix on Sat. Sept. 23 
  • Sun. Sept. 24 is a double feature of Santa (1932, Antonio Moreno) and La mujer del puerto (The Woman of the Port) (1934, Arcady Boytler, Raphael J. Sevilla).
A rare screening opportunity. But are they like great films? Hard to say until I go see. But definitely cultural touchstones presented in 35mm as they were original shown (albeit with English subtitles).

  • Plus there's a little Marx Brothers film called Duck Soup (1933, Leo McCarey) Sun Sept. 24 at 11:00 am (free admission!) in 35mm.

At New Beverly

  • I like the looks of Mon. Sept. 25th's Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971, Roger Vadim) and Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976, Richard Lerner), even though my friend warned me they're bad!
  • Tue. Sept. 26 there's even more choice grindhouse-type fare with Machine Gun McCain (1969, Giuliano Montaldo) starring John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands (!) in an I.B. Technicolor 35mm print (!), playing with Wipeout! (aka The Boss) (1976, Fernando Di Leo) starring Henry Silva and Richard Conte, sounds completely awesome. 
  • Hitchcock 2:00 pm matinee Wednesdays continue with Rebecca (1940) in lovely 35mm as well, Wed. Sept. 27.
The Academy will show Zoot Suit (1981, Luis Valdez) starring Edward James Olmos Sept. 25 7:30 pm.

La Maleta (The Suitcase) (from program "Dreams of Suitcases and a Blue Lobster")

Ism Ism

El Dia Que Me Quieras (The Day You'll Love Me)

The Red Shoes

Pather Panchali



La Mujer del Porto

Duck Soup

Pretty Maids All in a Row

Revenge of the Cheerleaders

Machine Gun McCain

Wipeout! (aka The Boss)


Zoot Suit

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