May 6, 2012

Screening This Week at the American Cinematheque - May 7 - May 13, 2012

The Film Noir festival may be over (don't worry, I'm sure it will be back next year) but the American Cinematheque as always continues with some great programming, and now that we're on the verge of heading into summer - it only keeps getting better.

THE EGYPTIAN - 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA  90028

Thursday, May 10th - 7:30pm

On screen disasters - a double feature starting out with a commemoration of the Hindenburg disaster.

THE HINDENBURG (1975, Universal; Directed by: Robert Wise)

A German Zeppelin that bursts into flames, a saboteur (added for Dramatic Effect) and as with most disaster films of the 70s, an all-star cast including George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith, Gig Young and Katherine Helmond.  Directed by Robert Wise (THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, WEST SIDE STORY) you'll get it all with 125 minutes of harrowing moments of disaster and heroic feats.

Followed by something that takes place closer to home...

EARTHQUAKE (1974, Universal; Directed by: Mark Robson)

Watch as the neighborhood you're watching the movie in (circa 1974), crumbles on screen before your very eyes.  The requisite all-star cast which includes Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Lorne Greene, disaster movie regular George Kennedy, Richard Roundtree, Victoria Principal, Walter Matthau and Genevieve Bujold all find themselves in precarious situations while Los Angeles crumbles around and on top of them.  This is one movie where an all-star cast makes is fitting - it's L.A., they all live here.

There is a moment in this movie where a crowded (of course) elevator plummets to destruction, and the actors all fall to the ground and a splotch of animated red blood comes flying at the camera.  At DAVE'S VIDEO: THE LASER PLACE, a famous Laserdisc sales and rental store located in the San Fernando Valley (now out of business) where I once worked, we used to play that scene over-and-over in slow motion to make fun of it.  One of the great things about working in a movie store with other obsessive movie fans in the movie capital of the world was the crazy discussions and scene dissections like this that would happen on a regular basis.  Even better here is the chance to see that moment on the big screen like it was meant to be seen.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Friday, May 11th - 7:30pm

Michael Mann in person to screen and discuss his definitive Director's cut of...

THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992, 20th Century Fox; Directed by: Michael Mann)

An event not to be missed as the director is on hand to discuss and celebrate this adaptation of the James Fenimore Cooper novel's 20th anniversary.

A grand sweeping spectacle with Daniel Day-Lewis on top of his game (then again, when is he not?) enhanced by an outstanding and iconic score by Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones.  Just mentioning it has me wanting to listen to the CD.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, May 12th - 10:30am

One of the tours to take in Los Angeles - the regular walking tour of one of the historic Egyptian theater in Hollywood.  Production costs and tax incentives may have driven most of the production out of Los Angeles and California, but when it comes down to it, Los Angeles is still and always will be the heart and soul of movies and the movie industry.  The American Cinematheque has kept that alive by moving their operations into the Egyptian, and taking you behind the scenes of the history of the building and the legendary area surrounding it - Hollywood and Hollywood Boulevard!

The tour concludes with a screening of FOREVER HOLLYWOOD, a 55 minute 1999 documentary produced by the Cinematheque and directed by Todd McCarthy and Arnold Glassman (both are also responsible for the amazing documentary VISIONS OF LIGHT: THE ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY).

Viva Hollywood!

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, May 12th - 7:30pm

A Richard Brooks double feature.

Sure the Noir festival may be over, but the Cinematheque has a couple of crime dramas screening to celebrate the Centennial of director Richard Brooks.

IN COLD BLOOD (1967, Sony; Directed by: Richard Brooks)

One of Director Richard Brooks' best films (and he had quite a few greats including THE PROFESSIONALS, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, ELMER GANTRY and THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE) is this incredible adaptation of Truman Capote's master novel.  As the two killers, Robert Blake and Scott Wilson bring a realism to the role and it almost feels like a documentary at times.

Followed by...

DEADLINE, U.S.A. (1952, 20th Century Fox; Directed by: Richard Brooks)

A movie not to miss!  Humphrey Bogart is great as a newspaper editor out to take down a notorious gangster just as his newspaper is about to be sold, and he's about to find himself among the ranks of the unemployed.  Definitely has a current feel to it as most newspapers and their employees have been finding themselves in the same boat lately.  Kim Hunter and Ed Begley also star.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, May 13th - 4:00pm

The Egyptian will be alive with...

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965, 20th Century Fox; Directed by Robert Wise)

Earlier in the week, was a Robert Wise disaster movie, here we have him in Oscar winning Musical mode with one of the most beloved (if not THE) musical of all time.  This is a movie so popular that every year THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL screens it as a sing-along and complete with a costume contest.

Julie Andrews sings this movie into the stratosphere as the family Von Trapp find themselves facing the threat of Nazis in pre-World War II Austria.  With iconic songs like the TITLE song and MY FAVORITE THINGS, there is no way you can't watch this movie and not smile and have a good time.

The screening is a 70mm presentation, and I have seen this movie in 70mm at the Egyptian before and it is an event that is not to be missed!  The Puppet show sequence alone is amazing.

Some of the actors who played the children of the family Von Trapp will be on hand to sign copies of their new book THE SOUND OF MUSIC FAMILY SCRAPBOOK.  I recently heard them on KPCC's AIRTALK talk about their book, and it sounds like a great and intimate companion piece to the movie by people who witnessed it all first hand, and as children.

May 13th is Mother's day, and I can't think of a better way to spend time with your Mom than taking her to see THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

THE TRAILER can be accessed HERE.

Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

THE AERO - 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA  90403

Tuesday, May 8th - 7:30pm

The Aero continues their series of movies that make fun of dictators with director Arthur Hiller on hand for a Q&A.

THE IN-LAWS (1979, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Arthur Hiller)

Regular dentist Alan Arkin finds himself mixed up with CIA operative Peter Falk when their children get married, then gets caught up in a series of misadventures.

Remade in 2003 with Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas.

Followed by...

MOON OVER PARADOR (1988, Universal; Directed by: Paul Mazursky)

Richard Dreyfuss is an actor who takes the place of a dead dictator, and finds himself caught up in the power that the position brings, as well as his access to the absolutely stunning Sonia Braga.

I haven't seen this movie in a while, and have been thinking about revisiting it so this is perfect timing.  Also stars Raul Julia, Jonathan Winters, Fernando Rey and Sammy Davis Jr. and Charo pop up randomly as well.  I mean come on...Charo!  How is this not a must see?



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Thursday, May 10th - 7:30pm

The Cinematheque begins a series of movies directed by Robert Bresson.

A MAN ESCAPED (1956, Janus; Directed by: Robert Bresson)

I am a big admirer of Bresson's work, so this series has me especially excited (very much looking forward to DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST which screens next week).

This is a movie I haven't seen, but has been on my wish list for ages.  A French resistance activist finds himself in a Nazi prison, and plans an elaborate escape.

Knowing how Bresson handles the visuals, this is sure to be not only an exciting movie, but a striking and beautifully shot one as well.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Friday, May 11th - 7:30pm

Watch out for Blue Meanies!

YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968, D&E; Directed by: George Dunning)

The Beatles go animated for this classic movie that has them trying to bring happiness and music back to Pepperland.

The Beatles here proving that they were more than just a hit band (along with Richard Lester's A HARD DAY'S NIGHT) with this wildly creative and fun movie that has become a cultural icon.  And that main theme song is just...well...awesome.

I can't think of many better ways to spend a Friday night than to see a print of this projected on a big screen with an audience.

An encore screening follows on Sunday Afternoon.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, May 12th - 4:00pm

CHARLOTTE'S WEB (1973, Paramount; Directed by: Charles A. Nichols and Iwao Takamoto)

It's Mother's day weekend, so grab the kids and your handkerchiefs and head down to the Aero for a matinee screening of the 1973 animated feature based on E.B. White's Children's classic novel, CHARLOTTE'S WEB.

Spider befriends pig who is bound to become Hot Dogs at some point.  How many movies do you know that can make a creature like a spider, that usually terrifies people, into a lovable protagonist.  Such a beautiful and touching movie, I remember crying for quite a while after when I first saw it as a child.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, May 12th - 7:30pm

The Robert Bresson retrospective series continues.

PICKPOCKET (1959, Janus; Directed by: Robert Bresson)

A Pickpocket sworn to go on the straight and narrow picking up his bad deeds where he left off - and in fact getting better them, and treating his act of crime as an art-form - once his mother dies and he realizes its the only way he can survive.

Thought-provoking and as usual with a Bresson film, beautifully shot and executed.

Followed by...

L'ARGENT (1983, Janus; Directed by: Robert Bresson)

Bresson's final movie is based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy.  An innocent man ends up with a counterfeit bill that alters his life for ever - leading him eventually to a life of crime and even committing an act of murder.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, May 3rd - 3:00pm

An encore screening for Mother's Day...

YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968, D&E; Directed by: George Dunning)

See Trailer and more details above.

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, May 3rd - 7:30pm

The Robert Bresson retrospective continues.

AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (1966, Rialto; Directed by: Robert Bresson)

Who would think that a movie about a donkey would be as masterful as this?  The editing and sound design alone make for a compelling mise en scene, and a screening experience that shouldn't be missed.

Followed by...

MOUCHETTE (1967, Rialto; Directed by: Robert Bresson)

A young girl whose life, put it sucks.  He mother is dying, her father is an insufferable drunk and her brother is a helpless infant.  She comes across a poacher who thinks he has just killed a cop and he uses her to build his alibi.

Bresson at his best.  Then again, I can't think of any movie he made where he wasn't at his best.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Back next week with more films in the Robert Bresson screening series, as well as a Johnny Depp/Tim Burton double feature and some silent movie offerings.