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May 27, 2012

Screening this week at the American Cinematheque - May 28 - June 3, 2012



This week the American Cinematheque has an comprehensive retrospective of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's work at both the Egyptian and Aero, as well as other programs like a Silent Comedies night and a tribute to the recently departed author Maurice Sendak (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE).

This all leads up to the beginning of the OO7 festival which begins next week (June 8) which spreads over both theaters throughout the month of June.

THE EGYPTIAN - 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA  90028





Friday, June 1st - 7:30pm

Cruelly, Madly, Deeply - The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

FOX AND HIS FRIENDS (1975, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




Well before anyone else, Fassbinder makes a movie that portrays very open and honest homosexuality.  Fox (Fassbinder) has a carnival attraction shut down by the police, only to end up winning the lottery and his new found wealth makes him a lot of new friends.

Followed by...

BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE (1971, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




A movie about the making of a movie where everything goes wrong - especially given the fact that the script and director are nowhere to be found.  The cast and crew try to make the best out of the situation which just gets more and more complicated as time goes on.

NO TRAILER available for FOX AND HIS FRIENDS.

A CLIP from BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE:




Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, June 2nd - 7:30pm

Cruelly, Madly, Deeply - The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder


THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN (1979, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




Post-war Germany takes its toll on a woman (expertly played by Hanna Schygulla) who does whatever it takes to survive.  Gritty and honest, a movie that is both cruel and beautiful.

Followed by...

THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (1972, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




Another no-holds-barred movie by Fassbinder has a self-involved fashion designer falling for a beauty who wants to be a model and she gets caught up in a very complex web of emotions with the designer's masochistic assistant.  As the American Cinematheque website states:  "Fassbinder at his ravaging best".

A CLIP from THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN:





A CLIP from THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT:




Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, June 3rd - 7:30pm

BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992, Columbia; Directed by Francis Ford Coppola)




Francis Ford Coppola's lavish take on the immortal Dracula story (pun intended) turns 20.  This is a movie where the production and costume design scream out for a big screen viewing- the only way to see this movie properly.

Gary Oldman is outstanding as Dracula who gets a very detailed back-story from Coppola, making him a way more sympathetic character than we're used to as he pursues his beyond-the-grave love affair with Winona Ryder's Mina.  Keanu Reeves is Harker, Anthony Hopkins is his usual awesome self as Van Helsing and Monica Belluci, Tom Waits, Carey Elwes and Richard E. Grant round out the cast.

I am a very big admirer of Wojciech Kilar's haunting yet epic score for this film that has a distinctive gothic yet epic feel to it.  The main theme is instantly recognizable, and ended up in many trailers for years to come (including I believe an early teaser for the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie).

THE TRAILER:




Link to Information and Tickets HERE.


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





Wednesday, May 30th - 7:30pm

Short Film Programs 2012

RURAL ROUTE FILM FESTIVAL SHORTS PROGRAM




From the Cinematheque website:

An independent film festival based in the urbanopolis of New York City, Rural Route brings you "films by and about rural people and places."

Included in the program:
"Anima Mundi" (2010, 4 min). Filmmaker, animator and video artist Kate Balsley combines thousands of individual images of flowers to create a unique, fluid aesthetic. Website
"Holland, MI" (2011, 10 min). Rebecca Rodriguez's portrait of 80-year-old shoe carver Elmer Veldheer, who lives and works on a tulip farm.
"The Bees" (2010, 13 min). Rana Ayoub's documentary portraying the life of a Lebanese beekeeper.Website
"Plot" (2009, 2 min). In the heart of the city, beyond green metal fences, the cycle of growth marches on in George Sander-Jackson's animated short.
"We Are Not What They Say We Are" (2010, 13 min). Jimmy and Mary are two young Roman Gypsies on the tough road to adult life in this group collaboration short.
"Tractor Chicken Scene From OUR FOOTLOOSE REMAKE" (2011, 5 min). Mike Manaswetisch and Willy Roberts beat Hollywood to the punch and created their own FOOTLOOSE remake.
"We're Leaving" (2011, 13 min). Rusty has to find a new place to live with his wife and teenage alligator, Chopper, in Zachary Treitz' narrative short film.
"From the Ashes" (2009, 4 min). A film about the rejuvenation of life from the ashes of forest fires, and a textural visual experience reimagined through mixed media by Dan Sokolowski.
"Fireline" (2010, 7 min). Sara Newens' short film presents a visceral and meditative insight into the scope of fighting wildland fires.
"AWOL" (2010, 14 min). Deb Shoval's short tells the story of a young woman who, days before her deployment to Afghanistan, returns to her home in rural Pennsylvania with dreams of running away to Canada. Website
More information at www.ruralroutefilms.com.
Discussion following the screening with filmmakers Kate Balsley ("Anima Mundi") and Rebecca Rodriguez ("Holland, MI").

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Thursday, May 31st - 7:30pm

Cruelly, Madly, Deeply - The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder

ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (1974, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)





ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL is probably Fassbinder's best known film (well, in my circle of friends at least) and most liked.  It tells the story of a younger Moroccan guest worker who falls in love with and marries a Woman 20 years older.  Not only do they have racial prejudice from others working against them, but the age gap as well.  Talk about double jeopardy!  How does a couple with so much against them in their pursuit to be happy survive the intense pressures from a society that say they shouldn't be together?

Followed by...

MOTHER KUSTERS GOES TO HEAVEN (1975, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




Nobody takes a layoff as bad as Herrmann Kusters who handles the news by killing his supervisor than committing suicide.  His children are no help to the grieving widow at all being completely cold and self-involved and while the German media preys upon the news in the only way the media knows how to do - sensationalize it - Frau Kusters finds refuge with some friends who are German Communist party members.

A CLIP from ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL:




A CLIP from MOTHER KUSTERS:




Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Friday, June 1st - 7:30pm

Short Film Programs 2012




The Cinematheque continues their program of short films with another night of silent comedies featuring Georges Méliès, Our Gang (a.k.a. THE LITTLE RASCALS), Buster Keaton and couple of Charlie Chaplin shorts.  This is a lineup that can't be beaten.

From the Cinematheque website:


Join us for our monthly program of favorite early comedians and pranksters, presented with live musical accompaniment. Included in the program:
Cops” (1922, 18 min.) Buster Keaton gets chased by a city’s entire police force!
Young Sherlocks” (1922, 20 min.) The adorable rascals of Our Gang imagine a tale of kidnapping and a magical land called Freetown.
The Black Imp” (1905, 4 min.) A man gets pranked by a mischievous demon in this magical short by Georges Méliès.
The Tramp” (1915, 32 min.) The first of Charlie Chaplin’s iconic Tramp adventures finds the little fellow on a farm and falling for the girl of his dreams.
Soap Bubbles” (1906, 3 min.) Bubble wizardry with Georges Méliès!
The Adventurer” (1917, 31 min.) Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp has a busy day: He escapes from prison, saves two damsels in distress and creates chaos at a swanky party.
Live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, June 2nd - 2:00pm

EXPLORING THE BUSINESS AND ARTISTRY BEHIND HOLLYWOOD AND HORROR




Horror is a genre that gets a lot of attention, especially given it has so many iconic elements, characters and titles.  Who doesn't like going into a dark room only to spend the next 80 - 120 minutes being scared to death?  Not to mention, there are so many people out there who are huge fans and others who pretty much only watch Horror movies (my cousin is one of them, it's literally ALL she watches - oh that and Spongebob).

This panel examines the creative artistry and business elements behind one of Hollywood's most popular genres.

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, June 2nd - 7:30pm

A tribute to the recently departed author Maurice Sendak who recently passed away.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (2009, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Spike Jonze)




One of the most popular and most iconic children's books ever written gets the big screen treatment from director Spike Jonze.

I don't know anyone who hasn't read or been read this book as a child.  It's a rite of passage for growing up.

This movie has such an interesting production history as well.  First the monster suits (made by The Henson Company) had maneuverability problems, then a very unhappy studio wanted Spike to re-shoot the entire movie but ended up increasing the budget for some additional shooting instead.  There was also a point where this was almost an animated film.  The magic of this story is that a real boy ends up interacting with giant monsters, and the live-action aspect I think more suits the material than animating it.

Through all that, the film finally was completed and released in the fall of 2009 and here it is for your enjoyment at the Aero.

Followed by...

LAST DANCE (2002, First Run Features; Directed by: Mirra Bank)




Outstanding documentary about the very rocky collaboration between a dance company and Maurice Sendak to bring a holocaust story to the stage.

Entertainment has churned out some of the most legendary stories of tempers, egos and difficulties in bringing creative works of art to life, and this is a very personal and intimate look at one of those rocky collaborations.

THE TRAILER for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:






NO TRAILER for LAST DANCE.

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, June 3rd - 7:30pm

Cruelly, Madly, Deeply - The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder


EFFI BRIEST (1974, Janus Films; Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder)




I have to admit that I have yet to see this movie, so here is what the Cinematheque website has to say:

Adapted from Theodor Fontane’s novel of the same name, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s richly textured period piece showcases the director’s ability to give traditional source material his own iconoclastic edge. In this 19th century-set tale, 17-year-old Effi Briest (Hanna Schygulla) lives with the older Baron von Instetten in a spookily isolated Baltic manor. Left alone much of the time and with a newly born daughter, Effi begins to enjoy the “company” of handsome Major Crampas (Ulli Lommel), but it is only a matter of time before the baron’s suspicions escalate to violent consequences. Winner of the 1974 InterFilm Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and named one of the 1,000 best films of all time by the New York Times. In German with English subtitles.


NO TRAILER AVAILABLE.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.


Next week - more Fassbinder and OO7 begins!