Friday, January 12, 2018

LA 35mm Film Screenings for week of Jan. 12 – 18

Hear ye, LA 35mm film screenings list is here! (Includes some digital.)

This is what's on my personal radar. You can browse the LA Film Calendars links on my side bar to find even more!  → → →

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Sometimes these choices are tonight, FYI, and not necessarily listed first.

Note: There are no New Beverly listings below because they are closed for exciting improvements and updates.

UCLA Film & TV Archive
The Last Dawn (1917, Michael Curtiz)
A Million Bid (1927, Michael Curtiz)
Fri. (tonight) Jan. 12 7:30 pm
Gigantic silent film nerd alert! (So that’s just for me mainly.) Two rare, rare, rare silent films from Michael Curtiz, yes, the director of Casablanca (and literally nothing else, right?). If you’ve never experienced a silent film properly in a theater, on 35mm, with live musical accompaniment, as is the case here, you should go! It’s like seeing it how it originally was in 1917 and 1927. See what the towering art form of the age was doing before sound came in. Everyone was going to these. The first is a film from back when Curtiz was in Hungary, before his success brought him to Hollywood’s attention. And A Million Bid is his second Hollywood film, starring Dolores Costello and Warner Oland. (These are silent film stars you become familiar with as you delve into this other world of great films.) I don’t know if I can even find pictures from these films to post below, that’s how rare these are! (Okay, I found some.)

They Live (1988, John Carpenter)
Thur. Jan. 18 7:30 pm
For those who missed They Live in 35mm at the New Beverly, you get another shot! Presented by Film Independent, the famous sci-fi cult film starring Roddy Piper and directed by John Carpenter will give you a chuckle and a good time, especially on its original screening format of 35mm. I can’t really describe it as a masterpiece, but it’s fun and quirky. But fans of it are positively rabid, so join them..!

Downtown Independent 
Org (1979, Fernando Birri) rare 177-min digital restoration
Tue. Jan. 16 7:30 pm

This sounds amazing, something about switching heads and starring Terrence Hill, the frequent comedy Spaghetti Western star (most notably My Name is Nobody by Sergio Leone) and Super Fuzz star..?!  But it’s avant-garde, let’s kindly disclose that. This is co-presented with Los Angeles Film Forum, purveyors of fine avant-garde fare, but showing in the Downtown Independent’s lovely large screening facility, and it’s part of that series on Experimental Cinema in Latin America (in this case Argentinian). Read the link for more details, but it’s rarely been shown in anything but an abridged version, and it originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1979.

Aero Theatre
Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell)
Diva (1981, Jean-Jacques Beineix)
Fri. (tonight) Jan. 12 7:30 pm
Peeping Tom is sometimes considered an overlooked British Psycho (of the same year), by one of the great directors of all-time—well, more specifically he was greatest as part of the directing team of Powell & Pressburger (The Red Shoes) and is here off on his own with his most well-known solo effort. It’s well worth watching. Diva is considered an ’80s landmark French film, especially for our MTV pop culture music video world of the time. I don’t recall loving it when I watched it much later on DVD, but I was probably still too close to the time period. It is a bit of a suspense thriller if that helps. These screenings are also a tribute to awesome revival film distributor Rialto Pictures, responsible for many restoration screenings in theaters of essential foreign and classic films. There are a few more in the Rialto series, all ironically DCP, but check out Aero’s site for other worthy items. Both screenings DCP.

Egyptian Theatre
El Topo (1970, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Fando & Lis (1968, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Sat. Jan. 13 7:30 pm
Apparently Los Angeles loves Alejandro Jodorowsky, as they screen his films sooo often! But they’re intriguing art film experiments, so worth checking out, albeit DCP screenings here. He also has an exhibit of his art works at Blum & Poe coming up that this screening is cross-promotion for, but hey if you love intriguing in-your-face mind-bending cinema, then go for the films. He’s a cult director who disappeared off the map for a while, but you might have heard about his latest, well-worth-watching film, Endless Poetry. So a look back at his prime works is well worth doing. I was a big fan of Fando & Lis when it came out on DVD, but weirdly I almost enjoyed it more after hearing his audio commentary on it. Very enlightening in what he was trying to do with that film. It’s also his first feature, and if I recall was a bit surrealist and Buñuelian.

Egyptian Theatre
The Holy Mountain (1973, Alejandro Jodorowsky) Jodorowsky in person!
Santa Sangre (1989, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Sun. Jan. 14 7:30 pm
It’s even more Jodorowsky. Just read the above blurb, please. (Note: site says sold out, but stand-by line.) Both DCP screenings yeah, sorry, what can you do. But I have never seen Santa Sangre, oversight on my part, so might good time to check it out! Holy Mountain’s cult movie status reputation should precede it, but search the Internet or some books if you don’t know about it.

UCLA Film & TV Archive
Doctor X (1932, Michael Curtiz)
Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933, Michael Curtiz)
The Kennel Murder Case (1933, Michael Curtiz)
Sat. Jan. 13 7:30 pm
My curiosity about the great guy who directed the masterpiece Casablanca and nothing nearly as well-known doesn’t quite extend to his sound films, although since I am fascinated by anything silent, was very excited to see his early silent (!) films on Friday, notated above. However, this is a very exciting triple feature in 35mm, so if I was going to delve into the quality of Curtiz’s pre-Casablanca oeuvre, this would be the optimal way to do it, and if you are a horror genre aficionado, you don’t really want to miss this rare treat! (Well, the last one is hard-boiled crime/detective, but close enough.) Also, the first two have Fay Wray in them (star of 1933 King Kong) and her work is far too overlooked, so I’d say it’s worth seeing her star turns here. And you even get Eugene Pallette (the best gruff voice in movie history) showing up in the third film. Honestly, all in 35mm? I’d say go! The first two are even in color. For film dates that early (only shortly after sound in 1927), that is a fairly rare treat. In fact, the first one, Doctor X, is still with two-strip technicolor, before they developed three-strip! (It looks different, fascinating to check out.)

Coming Next Week

Egyptian Theatre
The Dance of Reality (2013, Alejandro Jodorowsky) Jodorowsky in person!
Endless Poetry (2016, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Sat. Jan. 20 7:30 pm
So if you were watching last week for his cult classics being re-screened, here’s where the resurfacing of Jodorowsky occurred after a long absence. I have seen Endless Poetry and give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up for Fellini-esque visuals and mind-bending journey, if not quite as satisfying as a Fellini movie, because it tilts a bit more avant-garde (but just a bit). It’s really the most artistic thing you might see created in the current day on this scale (or maybe Twin Peaks: The Return as well). It really straddles that line between profound personal exploration and narcissism, landing just a tad too much on the narcissistic side, but not enough for me to not highly recommend it. Plus I am fascinated by his life story just enough to endure that aspect. So I have to catch up and watch The Dance of Reality as they are part of a trilogy (one still to come), and I just happened to miss that one! I was skeptical of what his return might be, but it’s really been pretty great. Both screenings DCP, but they were also shot digitally (pretty sure), so there’s not a better option to see these anyway! NOTE: He’s in person, and it’s listed as sold out. There will be a standby line.

Egyptian Theatre
Beauty and the Beast (1946, Jean Cocteau)
Donkey Skin (1970, Jacques Demy)
Sun. Jan. 21 7:30 pm
Beauty and the Beast is a luminously photographed black-and-white fantasy by a major avant-garde director, Jean Cocteau, being screened here in luscious 35mm, so should you miss this major work?! No! Okay, I’m slightly mixing up my memory of that same director’s beautiful Orpheus, and I don’t remember this one quite as well, but we all know the story so it’s more relatable than most avant-garde films, and I think it’s not heavy on the avant-garde stuff, so what I’m saying is it’s a great introduction to Cocteau, and a stupendous way to watch an earlier telling of this famous tale. Donkey Skin I have not seen, but Jacques Demy, to me, is hit and miss, but really big when he hits. So he’s often worth a look, so might as well stay for it! Plus it stars Catherine Deneuve and Jean Marais. (Beauty and the Beast in 35mm. Donkey Skin in DCP).

Egyptian Theatre
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985, Tim Burton)
Wed. Jan. 24 7:30 pm
In 35mm with a devoted audience would be the perfect way to see this, so check it out. It’s preceded by a podcast recording from Whose Line Is It Anyway? stellar improv comedian Greg Proops, a very fun event all around. It’s also a Tim Burton film, in case that does anything for you, which it should! (Podcast approximately 30 minutes, film starting about 8:00 pm.)

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