Nov 3, 2012


We’re heading into movie awards season which means there are plenty of prestige movies hitting theaters between now and the New Year.  The Cinematheque has a sneak peek at one – HITCHCOCK – that is sure to be on several of those lists and it also kicks off a retrospective of the Master of Suspense’s work.

The 2012 AFI fest concludes at the Egyptian, the exclusive run of A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY based on the writings of late Monty Pythoner Graham Chapman continues at the Aero, there are some concert films and a retrospective of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s work and he pays a visit to the Aero to discuss his work before a screening of MAGNOLIA that is already sold out.

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

Monday, November 5th – Wednesday, November 7th

The American Film Institute continues at the Egyptian theater this week with screenings for the 2012 AFI FEST through Wednesday.

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.

Thursday, November 8th, 7:30pm

With a Hitch: New, 70mm, 3-D & TV Hitchcock!

The fascination with the Master of Suspense never seems to dim and especially now as in the past few weeks there has been an elaborate 15 movie Blu-ray box set released of his films, an HBO movie entitled THE GIRL and there is a Fox Searchlight feature HITCHCOCK coming soon to theaters (see below as it is screening as part of this series) starring Anthony Hopkins. 

ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS was a TV anthology series covering material very similar to Hitchcock’s feature films.  Actor Norman Lloyd, who directed and appeared in several episodes, will be on hand for a discussion (following the third episode) of his work on the series and his interactions with the man himself, Alfred Hitchcock.

How’s this for irony – when this show was on the air Movie studios and theaters were trying to keep audiences from staying home to watch TV for free, now you get to go to a movie theater to see a TV show.

This screening is free to the public with a suggested donation of $10.

The episodes that will be screened are as follows:

The Jar” (1964, 48 min). Norman Lloyd directs this episode about a jar containing a mysterious mass of… something. Based on a story by Ray Bradbury.
Man From the South” (1960, 26 min). Norman Lloyd directs this macabre episode set in a Las Vegas casino, starring an unbeatable duo of Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre. Based on a story by Roald Dahl.
The Little Man Who Was There” (1960, 25 min). Evangelical locals think the Little Man (Norman Lloyd) might be the Devil incarnate.
Incident in a Small Jail” (1961, 25 min). Norman Lloyd directs this bone-chilling episode following a suspected serial killer and a salesman stuck in the same house - with a lynch mob waiting outside.
Maria” (1961, 25 min). Norman Lloyd stars as Leo Thorby, a fellow who mistakenly thinks he buys a chimp, when in fact his purchase is a woman, Maria, in a monkey costume. Things get iffy when Maria seems to be out to ruin Leo’s marriage.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Friday, November 9th and Saturday, November 10th, 7:30pm – Spielberg Theater

ALL AGES: THE BOSTON HARDCORE FILM (2012; Directed by: Drew Stone)

Director Drew Stone brings his documentary exploring the Boston hardcore music scene (from 1981 – 1984) to the Cinematheque for 2 screenings in the Spielberg theater on Friday and Saturday night.  The director as well as musicians featured in the film and the music supervisor will be on hand both nights for a discussion following the film.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Friday, November 9th, 7:30pm

All-new Rolling Stone Docs.


Catch some vintage Rolling Stones concerts on the big screen.  First, this documentary covers the Stones as they tour Ireland in 1965 with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage that gives an outlook of the band rarely seen.

Followed by…

This is a treat for Stones fans, a never-before-seen concert movie shot on 16mm in 1978 at Fort Worth, Texas that has been upgraded to High Definition with a 5.1 Stereo surround mix.  Not to be missed.



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Saturday, November 10th, 10:30am


One of the tours to take in Los Angeles is 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, November 10th, 7:30pm

With a Hitch: New, 70mm, 3-D & TV Hitchcock!

HITCHCOCK (2012, Fox Searchlight; Directed by: Sacha Gervasi)

Sacha Gervasi’s new movie about Alfred Hitchcock during the making of his classic film PSYCHO won’t be in limited release in US theaters until November 23, but here is a chance to catch an advance screening with Director Gervasi in person for a post-film discussion. 

Sure to be a big title during this year’s award’s season, Gervasi’s film focuses on the relationship with Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville (played by Helen Mirren).  It also covers the struggles Hitchcock had with the studio (Paramount) to get the movie made and as we all know how it has become a classic. 

Scarlett Johansson plays PSYCHO star Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel is Vera Miles and James D’Arcy is Anthony Perkins.  I have to say I always find that weird listing actors as playing other actors.

Followed by…

PSYCHO (1960, Paramount via Universal; Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock)

You saw the dramatic recreation of the behind-the-scenes making of, now see the classic movie itself as Janet Leigh checks into the Bates Motel where checking out isn’t a sure thing.  Showering at this place isn’t recommended. 

Most people know the details but just in case - Anthony Perkins is the conflicted Norman Bates with extreme mother issues and Vera Miles is Leigh’s sister who knows something is not quite right about that eerie motel and the seemingly innocent Mr. Bates.

Thankfully this is not the shot-by-shot remake directed by Gus Van Sant.



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Sunday, November 11th, 7:30pm

Free to members, regular pricing for non-members.

SNEAKERS (1992, Universal; Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson)

Robert Redford leads a group of misfit all-star cast hackers on a job filled with deception, betrayal, revenge and plenty of secrets and codes to decipher. 

SNEAKERS is one of those movies that caught me by surprise when it came out as to just how good it is (and it is extremely good) and the cast is outstanding: Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sidney Poitier.  It also features a fantastic score by James Horner.

Director Phil Alden Robinson and screenwriters Larry Lasker and Walter Parkes will be on hand for a discussion following the film.

Followed by…

FIELD OF DREAMS (1989, Universal; Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson)               

If you screen it, they will come.

The Major League Baseball season may be over (and I really don’t feel like discussing the final outcome thank you very much – stupid Giants) but Baseball lives on at the Cinematheque.

FIELD OF DREAMS takes the national pastime and paints it in a light that you never thought possible for any sport.  Baseball in this film is a mythic yet simple game.  Here legends of Baseball’s past return to an Iowa cornfield to play the game they love so much on a field built by farmer Kevin Costner on the advice of an ethereal voice – much to the chagrin of everyone around him.  If you build it, they will come became a memorable movie line from a film that can’t be described as just a “baseball movie”.  A sleeper hit, it grabbed one of the 5 slots for Academy Award Best Picture nominations that year, losing to DRIVING MISS DAISY.

James Horner’s beautiful score along with an epic speech by James Earl Jones that is one of the finest written pieces of dialogue of 80s Cinema will give you goose bumps, and perhaps even make you forget for a while that the NFL has surpassed Baseball in terms of a national sport (for the record, I will always prefer Baseball over football.  Go Dodgers!).



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

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

Monday, November 5th – Wednesday, November 7th, 7:30pm and 9:30pm; Thursday, November 8th, 6:00pm

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 BIOGRAPHY 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.

Monday, November 5th and Thursday, November 8th, 8:00pm

With a Hitch: New, 70mm, 3-D & TV Hitchcock!

DIAL M FOR MURDER [3-D] (1954, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock)

The Hitchcock retrospective kicks off in style with a rare screening of DIAL M FOR MURDER in 3-D as it was originally intended to be seen.

Ray Milland comes up with what he thinks is the perfect way to murder his wife Grace Kelly.  Of course this is a Hitchcock film so a murder is bound to never go off as perfectly as planned.

Hitchcock played around a lot with different gimmicks and formats like shooting ROPE with one long continuous shot for instance, and here he dabbles in 3-D for the first and only time.  This has been restored by the studio as a digital print - and was recently issued as a Blu-ray 3-D release a couple of weeks ago.  Of course seeing it on the big screen is always better and you have two chances to catch it as it screens on Monday with an encore on Thursday.

Remade in 1998 as A PERFECT MURDER by Warner Bros. with Michael Douglas, Gwenyth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen.


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Friday, November 9th, 7:30pm

Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema

OUR CHILDREN (2012; Directed by: Joachim Lafosse)

The ongoing series of Belgian Cinema continues and will be followed a Q&A with director Joachim Lafosse and a Belgian Beer reception in the lobby (which has accompanied each film screened).

I could make something up and pretend like I’ve seen it, but I believe the Cinematheque website says it best so their description follows:

Emilie Dequenne received a Best Actress Un Certain Regard award at Cannes 2012 for her extraordinary performance as a young mother caught between two men (Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup, both stars of Jacques Audiard's A PROPHET) and driven to the unthinkable in this stranglehold psychological drama. Based on true events from a Brussels suburb in 2007, the film stars Dequenne as schoolteacher Murielle, so emotionally frittered by her manipulative husband and his authoritarian surrogate father that she murders her four children in cold blood with a kitchen knife. Belgium's official entry for the 2013 Best Foreign-Language Oscar."Turning a gruesome real-life incident into an arresting portrait of one woman¹s gradual slide towards the unspeakable, OUR CHILDREN, an Un Certain Regard film, represents another tightly wound study of domestic malaise from Belgian auteur Joachim Lafosse (PRIVATE PROPERTY)... In one of her strongest leading roles to date, Dequenne (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, ROSETTA) does a remarkable job depicting Murielle’s wavering psychological states as she heads for oblivion." - The Hollywood Reporter. In French and Arabic with English


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Saturday, November 10th, 7:30pm

The Young Master: A Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective

BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997, New Line Cinema; Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson)

I remember one Saturday afternoon in 1997 sitting at in the General Cinema at the Hollywood Galaxy complex (now an L.A. Fitness center) for a matinee screening of this movie with 4 other people in the theater.  It had been out for a week or so, and a group of giggling kids had snuck in to see it – but they were thankfully thrown out very quickly.  Even that disruption though could not diminish the impact of this film.

I can’t think of anyone who could have handled this in such a masterful way as to make the porn industry almost seem…normal.  Ok maybe normal is the wrong word, but here was have a group of misfits in the 1970s San Fernando Valley (the capital of the porn industry) who come together as a family led by father figure Burt Reynolds.  They seem to think they are just like anyone else, and the movie has such a great approach as to make this all seem like a legitimate part of society, even though in reality what these people do is considered tasteless and immoral. 

Mark Wahlberg electrifies the screen as Dirk Diggler, a man with a gift and that gift is a very large penis which launches a successful adult film career.  With a cast that includes Julianne Moore, Heather Graham (as “Roller Girl”), Phillip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, Luis Guzman and Phillip Baker Hall, there is an energy within this movie that never lets up during the entire 155 minute running time.  You can see the influences of other directors such as Martin Scorsese (there is a definite GOODFELLAS / CASINO vibe here) but Paul Thomas Anderson’s unique talent is on display in full force.

This retrospective of the very young career of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s work kicks off as his newest movie THE MASTER is at the tail end of its run in theaters.

Followed by…

PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (2002, Sony Pictures; Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson)

Adam Sandler shows he can act beyond his usual brand of SNL-like movie characters in his performance as a novelty supplier falling for an equally lost British Woman while being extorted by a Phone-sex line and battling his own personal demons.

With the exception of BOOGIE NIGHTS, I have always found myself rejecting Anderson’s work upon first viewing only to embrace it wholeheartedly later (see MAGNOLIA below) and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE is one of those movies I have been revisiting and have found a new appreciation for – especially when you look at Sandler’s body of work which hasn’t been all that stellar (THAT’S MY BOY and JACK AND JILL are the biggest offenders).    



Link to Tickets and Information HERE.

Sunday, November 11th, 7:30pm

The Young Master: A Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective


MAGNOLIA (1999, New Line Cinema; Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson)

Paul Thomas Anderson will be live at the Aero to discuss his work and no surprise here that this screening sold out fast!

It was Christmas week, 1999 and I just had arrived back home to Los Angeles from my parent’s house in Canada and went to that same Hollywood Galaxy General Cinema listed above where I first saw BOOGIE NIGHTS and was ready for some more Paul Thomas Anderson magic.  The 3 plus hour running time unfolds and all I can think of is wow, what a self-involved pretentious mess.  Thankfully time and repeat viewings reveal that on that night in that sold out theater December, 1999 I was being an idiot.

MAGNOLIA is a sprawling epic powerhouse of a movie that captivates from moment one.  With intersecting stories featuring some of the most amazing performances seen on screen (Tom Cruise in particular) it is screen story telling at its finest. 

I revisit MAGNOLIA every so often (and had just re-watched it a few weeks ago right before I saw THE MASTER) and even with the long running time, I never find myself bored except for some reason that initial screening.  Was I on crack?  Tired from the holidays?  Looking to hate it to go against the tide?  Who knows, all I know is thankfully I have seen the light and wish I had a ticket for this event. 


Link to Tickets and Information HERE.