American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of November Schedule!
Series compiled by:   Dennis Bartok. Additional program notes by Chris D.


This series is co-presented with the LA/Australian Film & TV Association. LAAFTA members receive $2.00 off tickets (2 maximum per program) to all programs.

Special Thanks to:




Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< November 7 - 12, 2003 >>>


Co-Presented with LAAFTA (Los Angeles Australian Film & Television Association)

"I like to think that people get their money’s worth [in my films], that I’ve entertained them … There’s this cartoon upon my wall of an old lady at a ticket box window saying, ‘I want my sense of wonder back.’ I like that idea." – Peter Weir.

A suburban Everyman finds that his entire life is a televised lie … an obsessed inventor tries to build an ice house in the jungle. A middle-class lawyer discovers that he is the harbinger of the apocalypse … a trio of Victorian schoolgirls vanish into thin air one beautiful summer day … The films of Australian director Peter Weir are a breathtaking gallery of heroic visions and untold mysteries, including PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, GALLIPOLI, THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, THE MOSQUITO COAST, THE TRUMAN SHOW and his upcoming epic MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD. Like the Aboriginal caves that lurk beneath the surface of modern-day Sydney in THE LAST WAVE, Weir’s best films reveal a world of unseen wonders – and often terrors – nestled within the life we only think we know.

Born in 1944 in Sydney, Weir grew up fascinated with comic books, movie westerns and adventure serials: "I had very little interest in our literature and history – I always felt that the grand events and the grand adventures lay outside this country. The image of that ship sailing out summed it up: the world lay elsewhere," he once observed. After a stint in the mid-1960’s selling real estate like his father, Weir worked briefly in television, where he made his first short "Count Vim," while acting in satirical, Python-esque stage revues on the side. He directed the short feature HOMESDALE in 1971, followed several years later by THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS and PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK. PICNIC’s international success played a major part in the revival of the Australian film industry, and catapulting Weir into the forefront of international cinema, where he’s remained for the past three decades.

We’re thrilled to welcome director Peter Weir to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian for the first major Los Angeles Retrospective of his work – including a special Sneak Preview of his upcoming film, MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, soon to be released by 20th Century Fox - !


Friday, November 7 – 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview – Peter Weir In Person:

MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, 2003, 135 min., 20th Century Fox. Three-time Academy AwardŽ directing nominee Peter Weir and OscarŽ winner Russell Crowe join forces to create an epic, emotional adventure. Set during the legendary Napoleonic Wars, Crowe is novelist Patrick O’Brian’s Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, renowned as a fighting captain in the British Navy, and Paul Bettany is ship’s doctor Stephen Maturin. Their ship, the Surprise, is suddenly attacked by a superior enemy. With the HMS Surprise badly damaged and much of his crew injured, Aubrey is torn between duty and friendship as he pursues a high-stakes chase across two oceans, to intercept and capture his foe. It’s a mission that can make his reputation – or destroy Lucky Jack and his crew. Discussion following with director Peter Weir (schedule permitting).

Special Ticket Price of $25.00 General, $20.00 Students/Seniors and $15.00 Cinematheque Members for this show only.


Saturday, November 8 – 5:00 PM

GALLIPOLI, 1981, Paramount, 110 min. Director Peter Weir’s heartbreaking portrait of friendship during a time of death and destruction stars Mel Gibson and Mark Lee as a pair of young Australian soldiers during WWI whose intertwined destinies lead them to the bloodstained trenches at Gallipoli. "In a sense the ‘three acts’ of the film took place in three deserts: the Australian desert, the Egyptian desert, then the desert of Gallipoli – and over each was that clear blue sky." – Peter Weir.


Saturday, November 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, 1975, Cowboy Pictures, 115 min. With Rachel Roberts, Dominic Guard, Vivian Gray. Weir’s breakthrough film is a mesmerizing, open-ended mystery about three Australian schoolgirls who suddenly vanish during a summer outing in 1900. To create an intoxicating, almost dream-like state for the audience, Weir mixed the sound of earthquakes into the track, and shot the film at varying camera speeds. "It was never of interest to me whether it had happened literally or not … It was a metaphor of some kind for [author] Joan Lindsay. People disappear. And what is it to be ‘disappeared;’ to be neither alive nor dead?" – Peter Weir.

THE LAST WAVE, 1977, Cowboy Pictures, 106 min. Director Peter Weir’s haunting supernatural parable stars Richard Chamberlain as a lawyer hired to defend an Aboriginal man accused of murder. As he delves deeper and deeper into the case, Chamberlain starts experiencing hallucinatory dreams and premonitions of a terrible impending disaster in which he plays a pivotal role. "Most of my films have been left incomplete, with the viewer as the final participant … One is constantly left wondering and I love it when that’s done to me in a film." – Peter Weir.


Sunday, November 9 – 4:00 PM

THE MOSQUITO COAST, 1986, Warner Bros., 117 min. Working from a Paul Schrader script adapted from the Paul Theroux novel, Peter Weir directs an uncompromising, complex character study of spiritual crisis teetering over the brink into madness. Harrison Ford gives one of his finest performances as an egocentric inventor determined to realize his utopian ideal in the backwaters of Central America, even if it destroys his family (Helen Mirren is his wife, River Phoenix his eldest son). A harrowing journey into a modern heart of darkness.


Sunday, November 9 – 6:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, 1982, Warner Bros., 117 min. Dir. Peter Weir. Mel Gibson is Guy Hamilton, a complacent journalist in 1965 Indonesia whose life is upended when the behind-the-scenes struggle between President Sukarno’s forces, Islamic rebels, communists and covert CIA operatives comes to an explosive head. Sigourney Weaver’s performance as his diplomat lover is both intelligent and casually sensual while Linda Hunt won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her transgender portrayal of Billy Kwan, Gibson’s mercurial, mysteriously wise cameraman.

WITNESS, 1985, Paramount, 112 min. Harrison Ford shines in one of his best dramatic roles as a Philadelphia cop who hides out in an Amish community – and finds himself falling in love with widow Kelly McGillis. "The visual look [of WITNESS] comes very much from Flemish and German painting." – Peter Weir.


Wednesday, November 12 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

FEARLESS, 1993, Warner Bros., 122 min. Dir. Peter Weir. Jeff Bridges is stunning as Max Klein, one of the sole survivors of a catastrophic air crash, who suddenly becomes addicted to risking his life as he tries to attach meaning to the randomness of fate. When he discovers that another survivor, Carla (Rosie Perez, at her very best) has lost her child in the crash and is near catatonic, he tries his devoted wife’s (Isabella Rosselini) patience attempting to pull the grieving mother out of her shell. With John Turturro, Tom Hulce.

THE TRUMAN SHOW, 1998, Paramount, 103 min. Weir’s brilliant satire of individual freedom vs. corporate omnipotence stars Jim Carrey as a lovable Everyman who discovers his entire life has been an elaborately staged television show, broadcast to a worldwide audience of billions. Ed Harris co-stars as the visionary, megalomaniac director who has created Truman’s life in god-like fashion. "I would have loved to have had a video camera installed in every theatre the film was to be seen. At one point the projectionist would cut the power and could cut to the viewers in the cinema, then back to the movie!" – Peter Weir.