Oct 28, 2012

HALLOWEEN GOES 3-D AT THE CINEMATHEQUE – October 29 – November 4, 2012

It’s Halloween and there are some great scares to be had – especially at the Aero which has a DRACULA double feature and a very exciting screening of the 1954 CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in 3D on Halloween night.  All treats, no tricks.

There is an evening with Oliver Stone in person presenting episodes of his new Showtime series, an exclusive week-long run of a new Monty Python effort and the AFI fest takes over the Egyptian.

THE EGYPTIAN – 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA  90028

The American Film Institute invades the Egyptian theater this week with screenings for the 2012 AFI FEST

This year’s AFI Fest is looking to be a stellar event with some very high profile galas of anticipated movies like HITCHCOCK, Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI, Dreamworks Animated RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, RUST AND BONE, ON THE ROAD as well as the world premiere of Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN starring Daniel Day-Lewis.  Something tells me we’re in Awards season.


There are plenty of special screenings like SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and WEST OF MEMPHIS (both primed to be Awards contenders), Midnight screenings, breakthrough and new talent screenings, shorts and special presentations such as the 1950 Billy Wilder classic SUNSET BOULEVARD.

The Egyptian is just one of the venues (screenings will also be held the Chinese theaters down the street) and screenings here include HOLY MOTORS, A ROYAL AFFAIR, THE HUNT and a special screening of Lloyd Bacon’s 1933 Warner Bros. classic 42nd STREET.

A full list of screenings as well as Tickets and Information can be found HERE.

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

Monday, October 29th, 7:30pm

Halloween at the Cinematheque 2012

This is a blood-sucking double feature that will also have a Q&A with special guests as well as a comic book and book signing in the lobby before the presentation.

DRACULA (1931, Universal; Directed by: Tod Browning)

Bela’s Lugosi’s DRACULA became the look that set the standard for Vampires – the black cape, the hair, etc. – and was his most iconic role until he pretty much faded into obscurity before being momentarily resurrected from career death by B-movie (that’s an understatement) director Ed Wood (and Lugosi was played to Oscar winning perfection in Tim Burton’s ED WOOD movie). 

Here in the days leading up to Halloween is DRACULA, one of the crown jewels of the Universal monster series that defined the studio in the 1930s.  Directed by Tod Browning (FREAKS) this may not be the scariest of horror movies from what we’re used to in modern horror filmmaking, but still has a creepy tone and feel that is enhanced by the bygone era the movie was made in.   Even more interesting is the fact that Universal had a crew on the same sets shoot a shot-for-shot Spanish version of the movie with a different cast simultaneously (but just to be clear, that isn’t screening as part of this program).

And the best part is these vampires are not only actually threatening and scary, but they don’t sparkle in the sunlight!

Followed by…

HORROR OF DRACULA (1958, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Terence Fisher)

We go from one great DRACULA movie to another. 

The Hammer Film studios – like Universal in the 1930s – was best known for a series of horror movies made around the 1950s, 60s and 70s.  Here is their take on DRACULA with Hammer regular Christopher Lee in the role as the Count and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing well before he blew Alderaan to bits and became the highest profile victim of the Death Star destruction.

This 1958 film was a huge success (as were most of the Hammer horrors) and HORROR OF DRACULA (renamed so US audiences wouldn’t confuse it with the Lugosi version) is one of the best thanks to its Gothic tone and Lee’s chilling performance. 



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Wednesday, October 31st, 7:30pm

Halloween at the Cinematheque 2012

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON [3D] (1954, Universal; Directed by: Jack Arnold)

Forget the street parties happening on Santa Monica and Hollywood Boulevards, this is the best Halloween event going on in L.A. 

The 1954 Universal classic CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON with that striking and iconic musical theme for the creature and the bathing beauty constantly being terrorized is being shown in its original 3-D format.  Especially great is a scene where the beauty (Julie Adams) is swimming and the creature is following her underneath mirroring her moves and just watching and (I would assume) lusting creepily.  This movie just got the Blu-ray 3D treatment in the Universal Monster’s box set that came out on October 2nd, but here it is on the big screen jumping out at you like it was always meant to be seen.  There will be moments of terror when the creature reaches from beyond the screen for you so you might want to bring someone along for protection.

It all starts with a “fishing” trip to find an ancient creature from the deepest darkest part of the Amazon Jungle, and bring it back to civilization to study.  As we’ve seen with movies like KING KONG, this type of expedition never goes well.

Next to BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE INVISIBLE MAN, this is my favorite of the Universal monster movies.  It’s so very 50s in a good way and there is something haunting about the black-and-white photography.  I have never seen it in 3-D, so this for me would be a must see – especially on Halloween!


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Thursday, November 1st, 7:30pm

Oliver Stone in Person

One of the most political filmmakers (also one of the most “controversial” - depending on how you look at it) takes his view of American history with a new Showtime series which premieres on November 12.  That filmmaker is Oliver Stone known for making movies such as JFK, (my favorite movie from the 1990s), NIXON and the Vietnam trilogy of PLATOON, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and HEAVEN & EARTH to name a few. 

The work of Oliver Stone has always fascinated me and he is one of the filmmakers who inspired me to take movies more seriously especially with JFK which quite literally blew me away (no pun intended).  I still get chills watching it, and can easily sit through the 3 hour plus running time and still be amazed.

When I first moved to Los Angeles and was attending film school, I interviewed for an internship at Mr. Stone’s (then) company IXTLAN.  I didn’t get the gig, but sitting in the lobby staring at the WALL STREET poster I couldn’t help but feel I was Bud Fox going to see my Gordon Gekko (although obviously I was interviewed by one of his development minions and not him directly) all that was missing was the box of cigars.

I’m excited to see what he does with this show – and here 2 episodes will be screened – CHAPTER I: WORLD WAR II, THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, ROOSEVELT, CHURCHILL, STALIN and CHAPTER 3: THE BOMB

You would think since JFK is now 21 years old (yikes) that maybe some of the violent reactions people have had to his work have simmered over time.  No matter what you think about Mr. Stone, his films or his politics, be prepared to do something not a lot of films or television make you do – think.

There will be a Q&A with Mr. Stone following the screenings, and he and co-creator Peter Kuznick will be signing copies of the companion book in the lobby.

Also note, there will be no admission price charged for this screening, but instead there is a “suggested” donation of $10 – and admission is first come, first served.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Friday, November 2nd – Thursday, November 8th, 7:30pm and 9:30pm

A Liar’s Autobiography: Special 3-D Engagement

A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE UNTRUE STORY OF MONTY PYTHON’S GRAHAM CHAPMAN (2012, Brainstorm Media; Directed by: Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett)

It has been 23 years since Monty Pythoner Graham Chapman passed away, but before he did he recorded himself reading his own autobiography which is the title of this film – A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.  Thanks to the efforts of his cohorts from the Monty Python troupe, Chapman comes back to life through these recordings in this 3-D animated feature which is getting an exclusive run at the Aero.

A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY takes over the theater on Friday and will run through until next Thursday with screenings at 7:30pm and 9:30pm (with the exception of Thursday, November 8 when it screens at 6:00pm only).

This is a fantastic chance to see this one-of-a-kind film reuniting Monty Python in the most unique and creative way possible.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Saturday, November 3rd, 4:00pm

SESAME STREET PRESENTS: FOLLOW THAT BIRD (1985, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Ken Kwapis)

There’s a part of me that wonders if the Cinematheque is screening this thanks to Mitt Romney’s comments about government funding for PBS and shows like SESAME STREET during one of the Presidential debates (the election is only just over a week away, and this screens will only be 2 days before it).  If not, it’s a great coincidence.

Following in the footsteps of Jim Henson’s other movie stars The Muppets, SESAME STREET gets the big screen treatment complete with Hollywood names such as Chevy Chase and John Candy appearing with Big Bird who is trying to get back to Sesame Street after being sent to Illinois to live with some Dodos by a Social Worker.  The result is a perfect Sunday afternoon screening for the whole family.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.