Aug 26, 2012

Fritz Lang, Herzog and Avatar – Screening at the American Cinematheque – August 26 – September 3, 2012

Where did summer go? Here we are in the last week of it leading into the Labor day weekend which means that THE EGYPTIAN is invaded by the yearly CINECON event which is not programmed by the Cinematheque. Cinecon is a chance to connect with collectors and aficionados of classic cinema including rare screenings of films that have been hiding in vaults or personal collections for years. These are titles you are unlikely to see anywhere – including on DVD or streaming services like Netflix. With a dealer's room at the Hollywood Roosevelt, it's a classic movie lover's dream come true.

The Cinematheque still has some great programming going on over at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. There is a Fritz Lang double Feature and some movies that employ 3D cinema in astounding ways – Werner Herzog's documentary CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS and James Cameron's groundbreaking AVATAR.

Thanks to it being the Labor Day long weekend, I have included Monday's programming as well.

THE EGYPTIAN – 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028


Thursday, August 30th – Monday, September 3rd


As mentioned above, Cinecon is not programmed by the American Cinematheque but if you're a fan of hard-to-see classic films and meeting other fans, then this annual Hollywood film festival is for you.


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


Monday, August 27th – 7:30pm

Mystery Mondays – A Fritz Lang Double Feature

THE BIG HEAT (1953, Columbia; Directed: Fritz Lang)


Glenn Ford is a good but very angry cop. The force he works for is dirty and run by a vicious gang led by Lee Marvin. When a colleague commits suicide and a bomb intended for him misses the mark, Ford makes it his personal mission to take them down even going so far as to employ the big man's girlfriend (Gloria Grahame).

There are very few movies directed by Fritz Lang that I don't like. I keep coming across these great gems – including this one which I saw on TCM this past Spring – and my admiration for Lang's work grows. Just wait until the coffee scene. It will make you gasp with it's very violent and unexpected explosiveness.

Followed by…

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1944, International Pictures; Directed by: Fritz Lang)


If there is anything Film Noir has taught us, getting mixed up with the wrong woman can lead to men doing unthinkable things. Here we have Edward G. Robinson meeting a woman who is the subject of a painting he admires, and this chance meeting leads to murder and blackmail.  Welcome to Noir land Mr. Robinson.

Robinson played a similar role in Lang's fantastic SCARLET STREET, an older man meeting with a younger woman and getting in over his head. Both SCARLET STREET and WOMAN IN THE WINDOW have paintings and bad boyfriends at the center of them. Hard to say which one I liked more as I think I like them both equally.





Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 – 7:30pm

Barry Sullivan Centennial

Jenny Sullivan (Daughter of Barry) and author Alan K. Rode will be on hand for a Q&A between the movies.

THE GREAT GATSBY (1949, Paramount; Directed by: Elliott Nugent)


The release of the Baz Luhrmann version of THE GREAT GATSBY with Leonardo DiCaprio originally scheduled for this December has moved to 2013, but here's a chance to catch an earlier and much different take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic.

This very rarely screened version features Alan Ladd and is a Film Noir treatment of the material. Not available on DVD, this movie screened as part of the Noir City festival this past spring and that screening was sold out fast so here is another opportunity to catch this rare and exciting gem.

Followed by…

THE GANGSTER (1947, Allied Artists; Directed by: Gordon Wiles)


Barry Sullivan plays a gangster, whose obsession with a woman clouds his judgment allowing a local hoodlum to make a move on his territory that he must now fend off. Scripted by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo.




Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Thursday, August 30th – 7:30pm

3-D as Art

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (2010, Sundance Selects; Directed by: Werner Herzog)

Hollywood has embraced 3-D movies almost completely – and it's odd given that most consumers (although almost every 3-D opening I have attended has been packed) complain about it.

Here though is a movie that embraces 3-D in a new and exciting way. Werner Herzog explores early cave paintings discovered in the south of France, and employs his unique visual approach to allow audiences to experience them in their natural setting. Using 3-D to further enhance the paintings proves that not all 3-D outings are purely commercial cash grabs, it can used to great effect in an artistic film as well.



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Friday, August 31st – 7:30pm

3-D as Art

AVATAR (2009, 20th Century Fox; Directed by: James Cameron)

"The King of the World" James Cameron unleashed this huge box office hit that revolutionized 3-D cinema as only Cameron can do. No matter what you think of AVATAR (and the film has its share of critics) the experience of seeing this on a big screen in 3-D is something to behold.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Saturday, September 1st – 7:30pm & Sunday, September 2nd – 7:30pm

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (2003; Directed by: Thom Andersen)


I don't believe there is any city that has more recognizable cinematic landmarks that Los Angeles – which makes sense given that Hollywood is the center of the movie universe. Sure runaway production sees most films shot in Toronto or Vancouver these days, but usually those places are dressed to look like other spots, and neither is as unique or identifiable as Los Angeles (anyone who has been to Toronto can tell you how utterly bland it is).

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF highlights the city's history on film. It screens regularly at the Cinematheque, and you have 2 chances to see it over the labor day long weekend.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Monday, September 3rd – 7:30pm

Eastwood Westerns

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966, United Artists; Directed by: Sergio Leone)


There is usually no reason to like a Monday, but not this one given that it's a day off and the Cinematheque kicks off a series of westerns featuring iconic Clint Eastwood. And what a beginning to the series too starting with one of his most popular titles, the Sergio Leone Man With No Name Spaghetti Western entry THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

I don't think there is anyone who doesn't recognize the main title theme by Ennio Morricone.  When I think about this film I am instantly taken to the great scene near the end of Eli Wallach running around a graveyard with Morricone's score excellently enhancing the visuals.

This is the more recent extended edition of the film. 



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.