It’s time to party like it is 1922.
All year the Cinematheque has been featuring programming to highlight the 90th Anniversary of the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood boulevard, and the week for the big celebration is finally here with a screening of the first ever movie to get a Hollywood Premiere, a Masquerade ball and screenings of rare silent films.
It’s also October, so with Halloween right around the corner there are plenty of horror movies to be seen with an Alfred Hitchcock classic and a night of scares featuring THE MUMMY.
THE EGYPTIAN – 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 – 7:30pm
Director Rob Cohen will be on hand for a Q&A between movies.
ALEX CROSS (2012, Summit; Directed by: Rob Cohen)
Tyler Perry best known for writing and directing films – notably the Madea series – and for television series like HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS steps into the role of Detective Alex Cross featured in a series of best-selling novels by James Patterson. Directed by Rob Cohen, this first in what is more-than-likely being set up as a new movie franchise has Cross discovering that a family member has been murdered and vows to track down the serial killer responsible (named Picasso and played by Matthew Fox) then finds himself in a much deeper mystery.
This is a chance to see this new Summit Entertainment release a couple of days early as it opens wide in theaters on Friday the 19th.
DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY (1993, Universal; Directed by: Rob Cohen)
Rob Cohen directed this 1993 bio-pic about iconic Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee from his early days through to his rise to superstardom on television as Kato in THE GREEN HORNET and classic films such as ENTER THE DRAGON and FISTS OF FURY.
Starring Jason Lee, Lauren Holly and Robert Wagner, Director Cohen makes this bio-pic stand out as a cut above the usual Hollywood life-story as actor Lee is shown battling Inner demons and is more visually interesting than most in the genre.
Also notable is the great score by composer Randy Edelman with a main theme that has been used in many a movie trailer since (most notably FORREST GUMP).
THE TRAILER for ALEX CROSS:
THE TRAILER for DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY:
Thursday, October 18th – 7:30pm
The Egyptian at 90
ROBIN HOOD (1922, United Artists; Directed by: Allan Dwan)
Relive an important moment in Hollywood history as the year-long celebration of the Egyptian theater’s 90th anniversary turns into an all-out party,
On October 18th, 1922 the Egyptian theater was the location of the first ever Hollywood premiere for this silent movie starring Douglas Fairbanks. Yes the theater may have been restored and the interior and seats may not be exactly the same as they were 90 years ago, but imagine yourself transported back to a brand-spanking new Hollywood in the days when Motion Pictures were a new thing sitting in the brand new Egyptian theater surrounded by legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks himself about to see this exciting motion picture for the very first time.
I used to work on the Burbank Warner Bros. lot, and every single day that I walked around I imagined passing by Warner legends such as Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, James Cagney and James Dean made even more alive when Warner added plaques to every sound stage detailed the films shot within. I have that same feeling every time I walk on a studio lot or enter Grauman’s Chinese theater or stroll around Hollywood Boulevard or Beverly Hills. This is the sort of thing that brings true movie lovers to Los Angeles, their love of film and the history of a business that has defined this amazing city.
Who knows – maybe 90 years from now people will be doing the same thing for George Clooney, Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise. Regardless, keeping those Hollywood memories alive through films on the big screen at a venue like this with an audience is truly an awesome experience.
Friday, October 19th, 2012 – 7:30pm
Halloween at the Cinematheque 2012 - 4 Films Back-to-Back
October means Halloween which means horror movies and here is a marathon of one of Universal’s premiere movie “monsters”, THE MUMMY.
Boris Karloff played the original Mummy in 1932, but here are 4 Mummy sequels from the 40s (none of which star Karloff, but a couple of them feature archival footage from the original film). Out of these 4 films, Lon Chaney, Jr. plays Kharis, The Mummy in 3 of them.
Universal turned this classic series into a very lucrative franchise in the 90s with Brendan Fraser and is about to get another more modern reboot. Here is a chance to see some very fun black-and-white “horror” movies to help you get in the mood for Halloween.
THE MUMMY’S HAND (1940, Universal; Directed by: Christy Cabanne)
Tom Tyler is Kharis the Mummy who is awakened to terrorize a couple of hapless archeologists who seek to dig up an Ancient Egyptian Princess – something that the Mummy isn’t so keen on happening.
THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1942, Universal; Directed by: Harold Young)
Lon Chaney, Jr. is the Mummy who is taken to America by a High Priest seeking revenge on those that desecrated the Ancient Egyptian Princess’s tomb from the previous movie.
THE MUMMY’S GHOST (1944, Universal; Directed by: Reginald Le Borg)
A high priest heads to America to reclaim the Ancient Egyptian Princess and Kharis (again Lon Chaney, Jr.) only to discover that the Princess has reincarnated into another body. The Priest kidnaps a woman who resembles the Princess, loses control of the Mummy and the usual horrific chaos ensues.
THE MUMMY’S CURSE (1944, Universal; Directed by: Leslie Goodwins)
Kharis (Lon Chaney, Jr.) has been buried in quicksand for 25 years. However thanks to the digging of an irrigation project he is unearthed and returns to again terrorize those that dare disturb his grave.
A TRAILER for THE MUMMY’S HAND:
A TRAILER for THE MUMMY’S TOMB:
A TRAILER for THE MUMMY’S GHOST:
A TRAILER for THE MUMMY’S CURSE:
Saturday, October 20th, 2012 – 6:30pm
THE EGYPTIAN THEATER 90TH ANNIVERSARY MASQUERADE BALL
They’ve been leading up to it all year, but the moment has finally arrived to celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Egyptian Theater in style.
The Cinematheque wants to take you back to 1922 when moving pictures were silent and Hollywood was mainly orange groves. The theater opened with a lavish premiere of ROBIN HOOD starring Douglas Fairbanks (which is being screened a few days earlier to commemorate the actual date) and Hollywood as the center of the Motion Picture industry was born.
The Egyptian is an important landmark in Hollywood, keeping alive the rich history of watching movies and transporting audiences to new and wonderful locations, getting lost in fantastic stories. The American Cinematheque has kept this alive through their restoration of the building, monthly tours and regular screenings of classic, foreign and newer movies.
The Cinematheque team has put together a fantastic evening which kicks off at 6:30pm, and in the spirit of Halloween it is also a Masquerade ball. There are screenings, live entertainment, tours, food, drinks, a speakeasy gambling den and more.
Below is the description of the evening from the American Cinematheque website. I am hoping to blog about this more later on this week.
6:30PM: FILM PROGRAM
To start off the evening, have a seat in our main auditorium for a compilation of short films! The following films will screen (screening order to be determined):
"The Ince Studio Tour 1920 - 1922" (1922, 20 min). A tour of the Thomas H. Ince Studios, the 14-acre lot on Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles.
"Cops" (1922, 22 min). Through a series of misunderstandings, Buster Keaton winds up with a man’s wallet, a family’s furniture, an anarchist’s bomb and an army of cops chasing after him.
"A Trip To Paramountown" (1922, 20 min.) Through the magic of the camera lens, we visit one of Hollywood's most famous studios and meet its stars.
"Mud and Sand" (1922, 29 min ). Stan Laurel stars as matador Rhubarb Vaselino, who must go head-to-horns with the deadliest bull in Spain.
"Magic Mummy" (1933, 7 min). Police officers Tom and Jerry (not the famous cat and mouse duo) are in hot pursuit of a mummy thief.
"Egyptian Theatre THE IRON HORSE Footage" (1925, 6 min.) See some amazing silent footage of the Egyptian Theatre in 1925. Theatre impresario Sid Grauman performs a publicity stunt for the film THE IRON HORSE by running a Southern Pacific locomotive down Hollywood Boulevard with cowboys and indians aboard!
After the silent short films and vaudeville acts featuring Will Ryan on the one and ONLY genuine Humidophonic Stradivarius Ukulele known to exist and professional magician Mark Paskell, join us for an evening of 1922-style entertainment including, dancing to premier vintage orchestra Dean Mora’s Modern Rhythmnists, make your own Hollywood Screen Test, 1920s libations, a buffet fit for King Tut, gaming in our speakeasy gambling den, docent-led tours of the Egyptian's private spaces, Mystics, a 1920s fashion parade, Paper Moon Vintage Photos and more exotic entertainment than you can fathom - including performances by Princess Farhana and DeVilla who will provide a vintage-style floor show, recreating the glamour of Old Hollywood and the "orientalist" fantasies of silent films, the Victory Variety Hour burlesque troupe who will perform "Egyptian Epic," and a close-up magician!
Musso & Frank, The Varnish and Sadie will create special vintage-inspired cocktails for the evening.
It's a costume party! Come as your favorite Hollywood icon of the 1920s, an Egyptian fresh off the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or an early 20th century explorer of Egypt! Visit our list of costume resources to find out where you can get special discounts on costume rentals when you mention the Egyptian Theatre 90th Anniversary.
Dressing 1920s for Ladies: The Way We Wore has some beautiful photos of actual 1920s clothing. Since 1920s silhouettes have been revived in fashion by many labels in the recent past, after you take a look at these photos you might realize that you have something in your closet that has a 1920s flair to it! Add a long beaded necklace, t-strap shoes and some red lipstick and you'll be all set to Charleston the night away on the dance floor! Or, if you want the dress from THE ARTIST, shop Le Luxe. The Art Deco Society cautions that all over fringe and feather boas are not actual 20s looks. Check their links for clothing resources.
Dressing for Gentlemen: Men's evening attire hasn't changed all that much in 90 years! If you want to dress in evening attire (tuxedo) check out The Black Tie Guide for pictures of formal menswear of the 1920s. And remember, you can always come in pith helmet and khakis (a la Howard Carter, discoverer of King Tut's tomb) as an Egyptian Explorer or as an Egyptian or even a Mummy!
Sunday, October 21st, 2012 – 7:30pm
The Egyptian at 90
Rare Houdini photographs and footage, and multimedia presentation on Houdini by professional magician Mark Paskell, who will conclude the lecture with an attempted escape from a regulation straitjacket. Bonus drawing for free magic lesson and other prizes!
You have had a night to remember at the Masquerade ball the evening before, and perhaps are suffering slightly from the great time you had. Best way to relax and recuperate is of course with more movies to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Egyptian theater.
Here are a couple of silent thrillers starring that famous escape artist and magician Harry Houdini.
This is what I love about movies the chance to go back to a time well before I was born and experience and see things and places I only have been able to read or hear about from other people. This is a world without smart phones, the Internet or even traffic that some of us can’t even possibly imagine brought back to life thanks to the magic of motion pictures.
THE MAN FROM BEYOND (1922, Kino International; Directed by: Burton L. King)
Harry Houdini is a man thawed from a 100 year stint frozen in ice that meets a woman he believes is the reincarnation of his past love and then must rescue her abducted father. Features some fantastic stunts performed by the man himself including one that takes place at the edge of Niagara Falls. Remember, no CGI or stunt doubles here. One wrong move means death that would have been captured on film.
TERROR ISLAND (1920, Famous Players-Lasky; Directed by: James Cruze)
Houdini is an inventor who travels to a South Seas Island to track down some priceless pearls and a woman’s lost father. While there he comes up against cannibals and some unscrupulous treasure hunters.
A couple of reels of this film have been lost over time but it is still worth checking out this 92 year-old treasure from the past.
A CLIP from THE MAN FROM BEYOND:
THE AERO – 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Wednesday, October 17th – 7:30pm
Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema
NORTH SEA TEXAS (2011; Directed by: Bravo Defurne)
While the Egyptian takes you to the cinematic past, the Aero brings you to the present with films from Belgium. Here are movies from a country that North Americans probably haven’t been exposed to, and seeing these are a journey of discovery that is just as important as seeing movies from Hollywood’s past.
This ongoing series continues with NORTH SEA TEXAS which will be followed by the usual Belgian Beer reception. I sadly don’t know anything about this movie (putting it and the others very much on the top of my list to see) so here is the description from the Cinematheque website.
Introverted Pim is on the verge of adolescence, and spends his spare time drawing pictures and daydreaming of Gino, the motorcycling older boy next door. Pim's mother, Yvette, is similarly restless, tired of their Belgian coastal village, and imagines escaping the tedium of suitors and small town life. With the arrival of Zoltan, a handsome outsider who rents a room in their house, Yvette and Pim find their dreams colliding with an immediacy neither could have predicted. Winner of the Silver Zenith Award and the Fipresci International Press Award at the 2011 Montreal World Film Festival. In Dutch with English subtitles.
Friday, October 19th – 7:30pm
BLOW-UP (1966, MGM; Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni)
BLOW-UP is one of those movies that must not only been viewed over-and-over again and studied. It’s an enigma of a movie that will keep your attention riveted even as you try to decipher what exactly it is that you are seeing.
David Hemmings is Thomas, a popular and fashionable London Photographer whose life is full of pop music, drugs and easy sex. After taking a photograph of a mysterious beauty in a park, a blow up of it reveals that he may have stumbled upon a murder. Intrigued by the puzzle that this photograph presents, he goes on a quest to find the reality from within the picture.
BLOW OUT (1981, Filmways; Directed by: Brian De Palma)
Brian De Palma takes a different direction using themes from BLOW-UP with John Travolta as a sound effects artist who accidentally records a car accident which may or may not be a political assassination. Travolta, like Hemmings in BLOW-UP, digs deeper into the truth of his recording and finds himself in the middle of a grand conspiracy with danger lurking at every turn.
THE TRAILER for BLOW-UP:
THE TRAILER for BLOW OUT:
Saturday, October 20th – 7:30pm
Halloween at the Cinematheque 2012
PSYCHO (1960, Paramount Pictures via Universal; Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock)
What can I say about Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO that hasn’t already been said? The Master of Suspense’s most famous movie that like Spielberg had people afraid to go into the water in the 70s with JAWS, made people skittish about taking showers without keeping one eye open for knife-wielding killers.
Janet Leigh steals some money, goes to a hotel run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins – the screen’s ultimate and very creepy Mamma’s boy) takes a shower to the iconic strains of Bernard Herrmann and the rest is history.
Notoriously remade shot-for-shot by Gus Van Sant in 1998 this is a movie that cemented itself as a cinematic classic from the first moment it was projected.
Below find one of the best teasers ever made where Alfred Hitchcock takes the audience on a tour of the Bates Motel.
DRESSED TO KILL (1980, Filmways; Directed by: Brian DePalma)
Like the double feature of BLOW-UP paired with BLOW OUT, here we have De Palma taking themes from Hitchcock’s PSYCHO and crafting his own brand of thriller about how a woman’s extramarital affair turns into a murder with a high-priced call girl being the only witness that turns her into a suspect as well as a target. De Palma even throws in a shower scene to help connect the 2 films.
It stars Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen.
THE TRAILER for PSYCHO:
THE TRAILER for DRESSED TO KILL:
Sunday, October 21st – 7:30pm
Andrew McCarthy will sign copies of his new memoir The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down at 6:30 PM in the Aero lobby.
LESS THAN ZERO (1987, 20th Century Fox; Directed by: Marek Kavievska)
Actor Andrew McCarthy will be on-hand to sign his memoir (listed above) as well as discuss this movie from 1987 that features him as an 18 year-old who returns home during Christmas break from college to discover that his ex-girlfriend is involved with his closest friend who now has a nasty cocaine habit.
80s excess at its finest with rich young people messing up their lives. Interesting especially with a very young Robert Downey, Jr. who himself went through a difficult period with drugs, etc. (now he’s on top of the world).