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 March Schedule!
Series compiled by:  Dennis Bartok, Gwen Deglise, John Palmer.


Special Thanks to: Christian Juhl Lemche/DANISH FILM INSTITUTE; Melissa Holloway and James Ferrera/LIONS GATE FILMS; Elizabeth Rosen/NATIONAL FILM SCHOOL OF DENMARK; Anne Katrine Anderson/TRUST FILM SALES; Henriette May Bjorn Nielsen/DK TV; David Schwartz/AMMI; Susan Robertson/FOCUS FEATURES; MIRAMAX FILMS; Jennifer Stott/NEW LINE CINEMA; Stephanie Friedman/JANUS-CRITERION.


SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.




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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SCHEDULE (by date)
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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<<< March 16-28, 2004 >>>

Brave New Auteur: A Retrospective Tribute to Lars Von Trier


"A film should be like a rock in the shoe." – Lars von Trier.

Beginning with an auspicious series of award-winning student films in the early 1980’s, Danish director Lars von Trier’s career swiftly took flight and caught the attention of audiences and critics worldwide. His debut feature, THE ELEMENT OF CRIME, made a notable splash at the Cannes Film Festival, and a string of astonishing and important film and television works followed – including MEDEA, EUROPA, RIGET (THE KINGDOM), BREAKING THE WAVES, THE IDIOTS, DANCER IN THE DARK, and his most recent DOGVILLE. Acclaimed for his mastery of unsettling melodramatic tension, raw character-driven emotion, and bold visual style, von Trier has situated himself as a major force in contemporary cinema – not only for his own films, but also for the visionary Dogme95 manifesto he co-authored (with Thomas Vinterberg), which calls on filmmakers to renew cinema through a "Vow of Chastity" that includes shooting on location, eschewing special lighting or props, and giving up the director’s personal credit.

We are very pleased to present a retrospective tribute to Dogme95 founding member Lars von Trier, featuring a special sneak preview of his latest film DOGVILLE (which will be released theatrically on March 26th by Lions Gate Films).


Tuesday, March 16 – 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview!

DOGVILLE, 2003, Lions Gate, 177 min. Dir. Lars von Trier. The beautiful fugitive Grace (Nicole Kidman), arrives in the isolated township of Dogville on the run from a team of gangsters. With some encouragement from Tom (Paul Bettany), the self-appointed town spokesman, the little community agrees to hide her and in return, Grace agrees to work for them. However, when a search sets in, the people of Dogville demand a better deal in exchange for the risk of harboring poor Grace and she learns the hard way that in this town, goodness is relative. But Grace has a secret and it is a dangerous one. Dogville may regret it ever began to bare its teeth... With Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Blair Brown, James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Ben Gazzara, Chloe Sevigny, Stellan Skarsgård. [DOGVILLE will be released theatrically on March 26th by Lions Gate Films.]


Friday, March 19 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

MEDEA, 1987, DK TV, 75 min. Director Lars von Trier’s visually astounding adaptation of "Medea" (based on an unproduced script by Carl Th. Dreyer) is set in desolate Danish marshlands and grass-covered dunes, where water reflects the sky like liquid pools of mercury. The glorious, haunted images and epic drama of kings and heroes laid low by their lustful pride brings to mind Welles’ OTHELLO. Kirsten Olesen delivers a staggering performance as the wounded, grieving Medea, with Udo Kier equally good as her faithless husband. Among many unforgettable images: a poisoned horse charging blindly through underground passages, only to burst outside and die fearfully on the wet sand.

Uncut Version! BREAKING THE WAVES, 1996, Focus Features, 159 min. Dir. Lars von Trier. A gritty, heart-breaking masterpiece, starring Emily Watson in an absolutely stunning film debut, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Watson plays Bess McNeil, a disturbed young woman from a strict, religious town in remote Scotland. Shortly after Bess marries her new love – oil rigger Jan (Stellan Skarsgard) – tragedy strikes, bringing with it startling consequences. Note: We will be screening the uncut Danish version of the film, with over 6 minutes of footage not seen in the U.S. theatrical version!


Saturday, March 20 – 5:00 PM

Uncut Version! THE IDIOTS, 1998, Focus Features, 117 min. Director Lars von Trier’s bizarre comedy-drama follows in near-mockumentary style the adventures of a motley collective of middle-class truthseekers attempting to get in touch with their "inner idiot." Veering wildly from absurdist vignettes to stinging, bared-to-the-bone drama, von Trier impishly examines the variety of, and motivations behind, civilized conventions and what happens when they’re stripped away, leaving the impulsive, instinctive ego beneath. With jawdropping performances by Bodil Jorgensen as Karen and Jens Albinus as Stoffer. Note: We will be screening the uncut, Danish version of the film. [Because of sexual content, no one under 17 will be admitted to this screening.]


Saturday, March 20 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

L.A. Premiere! D-DAY, 2000, Trust Film Sales, 66 min. An experimental, interactive television project, D-DAY was co-directed by Lars von Trier and fellow Dogme95 filmmakers Thomas Vinterberg (THE CELEBRATION), Soren Kragh-Jacobsen (MIFUNE) and Kristian Levring (THE KING IS ALIVE). On New Year’s Eve, 1999, five different groups of actors were set loose in Copenhagen with accompanying video crews; the four filmmakers were able to direct their actors and crews from a central control booth, and the results were broadcast live on seven different TV channels. Full of raw energy and unexpected twists and turns, D-DAY is a fascinating example of the Dogme95 approach adapted for live television. (This is an edited version of the five separate stories.)

DANCER IN THE DARK, 2000, Fine Line, 139 min. Dir. Lars von Trier. Musical wünderkind Björk stars in von Trier’s unsettling story of ultimate sacrifice. Selma (Björk) is an immigrant factory worker trying to make ends meet in an unidentified northwestern town in 1960s America. As she begins to lose her vision due to a genetic defect, Selma attempts to save her young son from the same fate. Through imagined movie musical routines (penned and performed by Björk), Selma escapes the monotony – and tragedy – of her daily life. Featuring Catherine Deneuve as Selma’s co-worker and friend.


Sunday, March 21 – 5:00 PM

Double Feature:

THE ELEMENT OF CRIME (FORBRYDELSENS ELEMENT), 1984, Janus/Criterion, 104 min. Director Lars von Trier’s debut feature film, ELEMENT established him as a cinematic visionary. In this mesmerizing neo-noir thriller, mysterious detective Fisher becomes obsessed with capturing serial killer Harry Grey, and begins a first-person psychological investigation, inspired by his mentor Osburne’s book, The Element of Crime. With astonishing – and almost entirely monochromatic – cinematography, a nocturnal, post-apocalyptic underworld of nightmares and illusions is brought terrifyingly to life. Winner of the Technical Grand Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

EUROPA (aka ZENTROPA), 1991, Miramax, 112 min. Director Lars von Trier’s stunning noir phantasmagoria stars Jean-Marc Barr as Leo, an American taking a job as a sleeping car conductor in postwar Germany. Narrator Max Von Sydow navigates Leo through a series of gradually more nightmarish encounters with a rogue’s gallery of shady passengers, including railroad heiress Katharina (Barbara Sukowa), who may be involved with neo-Nazi saboteurs. Von Trier employs old-fashioned moviemaking as well as groundbreaking mixed-media effects in this deliciously skewed, darkly humorous thriller. With an amazing cast that includes Udo Kier and Eddie Constantine. Discussion following with actors Jean-Marc Barr & Udo Kier (EUROPA) (schedule permitting).


Thursday, March 25 – 7:30 PM [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

Lars von Trier Student Films:

NOCTURNE, 1980, 8 min. Director Lars von Trier’s tense, experimental look at a woman who is disrupted by shattered glass and afraid of sunlight recalls the work of avant-garde pioneers Maya Deren and Luis Buñuel. A mysterious phone call and circling flock of birds accentuate the visual poetry and establish the compelling emotional upset and narrative tension of which von Trier would later become master. Made while at the National Film School of Denmark, NOCTURNE won von Trier the Best Film Award at the 1981 Munich Film Festival.

BEFRIELSEBILLEDER (IMAGES OF A RELIEF), 1982, 57 min. Dir. Lars von Trier. A letter from a soldier, gunshots, a lone bird, Nazi soldiers, and Greek-size tragedy fill the controlled frames of this elegiac film about a German officer fleeing his internment after Denmark’s liberation, searching for his lost love. Breathtaking, surreal imagery and awe-inspiring cinematography mark an impressive early achievement for von Trier. Von Trier’s graduation film at the National Film School of Denmark, IMAGES also earned him the Best Film Award at the 1982 Munich Film Festival.

Followed by an encore screening of:

MEDEA, 1987, DK TV, 75 min. Dir. Lars von Trier. [See 3/19 for description.]


Saturday, March 27 – 5:00 PM [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

RIGET (THE KINGDOM), 1994, Focus Features, 279 min. Dir. Lars von Trier, Morten Arnfred. Something is not quite right at Kingdom Hospital – could it be the preening, egotistical head doctor? the overworked staff? the maltreated patients? Or is there something much more sinister stalking the halls of Denmark’s least healthy hospital ..?? Originally made for Danish television, THE KINGDOM is arguably the best 8-hour medical satire/supernatural horror story ever …! Starring Ernst-Hugo Jaregard, Kirsten Rolffes, Holger Juul Hansen, Udo Kier. [Part II screens 3/28.]


Sunday, March 28 – 5:00 PM [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

RIGET II (THE KINGDOM Part II), 1997, Focus Features, 286 min. Dirs. Morten Arnfred and Lars von Trier. [See 3/27 for description.]