|Special Events in April:Some events will repeat at
the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Wednesday, April 12 7:30 PM
DALECARLIANS (MASJÄVLAR), 2005, 98 min. Winner of Best
Film, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress at the Swedish Film Awards and
Swedens 2005 box office success story. Director Maria Bloms film is a
comedy about small-town bickering as well as a powerful family drama. Mia, the youngest of
the family, returns home to Dalecarlians province to join the celebration of her
fathers 70th birthday, only to find that she doesn't have much in common with her
two older sisters Eivor, as 'perfect' and unpleasant as usual, and recently
divorced, but still happy Gunilla... As the party progresses, old family intrigues and
local conflicts come back to life, presenting Mia with many unpleasant moments. Presented
in association with the Consulate General of Swedens "Beyond Blonde"
Filmmakers in the indie, experimental, foreign, avant-garde or,until
very recently, documentary fields desperately need critics. Lacking money for a
promotional campaign and forced to rely on word-of-mouth, these filmmakers have found no
better friend over the past 40-plus years than Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times.
Hard to believe there once was a time in antediluvian Los Angeles
when major critics shunned anything with subtitles. And drive-in movies were certainly
beyond the pale. So it fell to Kevin to alert Angelenos to the French New Wave and to such
giants as Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti and Andrei
Tarkovsky. He also discovered talented newcomers doing interesting work in films from
Roger Corman and American International Pictures. Indeed, he was the first journalist to
interview a young actor named Jack Nicholson.
His love of avant-garde and experimental films led him to be the
only Los Angeles Times critic to review films by Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol.
Since 1984 his "Special Screenings" column in the Los Angeles Times has
been the lifeblood for venues that exhibit films for brief runs or even one night. In
short, no one in the Los Angeles critical establishment has done more to create an
awareness and appreciation of film culture than Kevin Thomas.
-- Kirk Honeycutt, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Wednesday, April 19 7:30 PM
Film Critic Kevin Thomas Favorites:
Kevin Thomas has picked his ten favorite films to be screened at the
Aero dont miss this monthly occasion to revisit these classics, including
SUNSET BOULEVARD, LOLA MONTES, A STAR IS BORN and many other wonderful movies.
Homage to Shelley Winters
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER,
1955, Sony Repertory, 93 min. Actor Charles Laughtons one excursion behind
the camera gave birth to this pantheon movie marvel, Laughtons simultaneous debut
and swan song as a film director. Robert Mitchum is astonishing as a wandering
sociopathic preacher who uses his fire-and-brimstone fundamentalism to mask his schemes to
bilk money from gullible yokels, and when that doesnt work, to blithely rob and
murder. Puritanical Shelley Winters, left alone with her son and daughter after
husband Peter Graves is sent to jail for robbery, is a perfect target for smooth-talking
Mitchum who has gotten wind of the hidden loot. Lillian Gish is rock-solid as the
elderly matron who shelters the children when they flee with homicidal Mitchum in pursuit.
A genuine work of cinematic poetry and a trenchant allegory on the hypocrisy and evil
waiting just below the surface in seemingly harmonious communities. Introduction to film by Shelley Winters friend, Kevin Thomas.
Thursday, April 20 7:30 PM
BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (LUCCELLO
DALLE PIUME DI CRISTALLO), 1970, UMC, 96 min. Director Dario Argentos debut
feature film was a huge success all over the world and served to codify the classic giallo
thriller formula like no picture before or since. Visiting American writer, Sam Dalmas (Tony
Musante) witnesses an attempted murder when he becomes trapped in the foyer of a small
art gallery. Although our hero has failed to glimpse the assailants face, the
black-clad killer nevertheless starts dogging his trail when not busy dispatching
beautiful, young women. Suzy Kendall, as Musantes girl, is stupendous as
always, and a great catalogue of character actors join in the fun, including disturbed
gallery owner Eva Renzi, hitman Reggie Nalder and itinerant, cat-loving painter Mario
Adorf. A pure giallo lovers delight from beginning to end, with perhaps Ennio
Morricones all-time greatest giallo score. Additional
Italian Giallo thrillers will screen at the Egyptian Theatre.
Friday, April 21 7:30 PM
Ronald Neames In Person
Birthday Celebration with Actress Stella Stevens In Person:
Ronald Neame has certainly had one of the most amazing careers in moviedom, with
credits that run the gamut from producing David Leans GREAT EXPECTATIONS and OLIVER
TWIST to directing Alec Guinness in two of the actors finest, THE HORSES MOUTH
and TUNES OF GLORY. Please join us for this birthday celebration of a great showman.
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, 1972, 20th
Century Fox, 117 min. Director Ronald Neame and producer Irwin Allens
literally titanic disaster epic features a Whos Who of acting talent Gene
Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Jack Albertson, Roddy McDowall,
Stella Stevens and more -- all doing their best to stay alive in the hellish inferno
of capsized ocean liner, the S.S. Poseidon. Special kudos to Shelley Winters for
her unforgettably ballsy performance, and to special effects expert L.B. Abbott and stunt
coordinator Paul Stader for some of the most spectacular disaster scenes in movie history,
including the famous upside-down Ballroom. Birthday cake at
6:30 pm and discussion following film with director Ronald Neame. Actress
Stella Stevens will appear for a post screening discussion.
Saturday, April 22 7:30 PM
Homage to Chris Penn - Double
Chris Penn, brother to Sean and a Los Angeles homeboy, was a consummately professional
actor, constantly working in his chosen profession, always delivering spot-on performances
and enhancing everything he appeared in. He will be sorely missed.
RESERVOIR DOGS, 1992, Miramax, 99 min. Director Quentin
Tarantinos self-assured feature debut pits five criminals of different
temperament, strangers to each other, brought together by an elderly mastermind (perfectly
cast Lawrence Tierney) against an undercover cop who sabotages their jewelry store
heist. A riveting saga told in disjointed time with bravura characterizations, spotlighted
in the fraternal bonding of Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth),
the sadistic antics of psychotic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), the foul-mouthed
comments of Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) and last, but not least, the versatile Chris
Penn as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot, Tierneys faithful son.
THE FUNERAL, 1996, Focus Features, 99 min. One of the
all-time greatest, most underrated efforts by director Abel Ferrara (BAD
LIEUTENANT). Elder Christopher Walken and seething Chris Penn are gangster
brothers lamenting the death of their youngest sibling, Johnny (Vincent Gallo) and
trying to figure out just who will pay for his untimely demise. A real tour de force in
every respect, especially in its relentless, probing focus on characters, with a
cumulative effect at the climax that is awe-inspiring. An ensemble piece, finely written
by Ferrara and Nicholas St. John, and performed faultlessly by a fine cast, including Annabella
Sciorra as Jean, the rational conscience of the family, Isabella Rossellini,
Benicio Del Toro, Gretechen Moll. Arguably Chris Penns most nuanced and
Sunday, April 23 6:30 PM
Ray Bradbury and Ray
Harryhausen in person!
THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, 1953, Warner
Bros., 80 min. Dir. Eugene Lourie. A giant prehistoric creature called a
rhedosaurus is awakened from his icy slumber by nuclear testing and travels to New York
City, where he takes his bad temper out on the stunned population. Based on a short story
by longtime Ray Harryhausen pal Ray Bradbury (they met years earlier as
members of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, along with Forrest Ackerman!) Starring
Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Kenneth Tobey, Steve Brodie.
SHE, 1935, Warner Bros., 95 min. Dirs. Lansing C. Holden
and Irvin Pichel. "I am Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." Producer
Merian C. Cooper (KING KONG) tries his hand at the oft-adapted adventure fantasy classic
by H. Rider Haggard and comes up with what remains, to this day, the most entertaining,
eye-popping version. Unlike the enjoyable mid-1960s Hammer studios take on SHE
starring Ursula Andress, which recast its tale in the African desert, this mesmerizing
escapist fare is set in the Arctic, with intrepid explorer, Randolph Scott
encountering man-eating cannibals before coming up against the even more formidable She
Who Must Be Obeyed. Helen Gahagan is the imperious, goddess-like ruler of the lost kingdom
of Kor, a woman haunted by her immortality after bathing in the flame of eternal life and
waiting eons for the man of her dreams Scott! With Nigel Bruce, Helen Mack. Introduction by legendary writer, Ray Bradbury and special effects
wizard, Ray Harryhausen.
3 PM at Every Picture Tells A Story (1311-C
Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 - (310) 451-2700), lifelong friends RAY BRADBURY and
RAY HARRYHAUSEN debut their latest projects! RAY HARRYHAUSEN returns to sign his brand new
book, The Art of Ray Harryhausen and new limited edition Harryhausen giclee prints. RAY
BRADBURY joins us to introduce a new limited edition, signed and numbered giclee print of
his original painting, The Halloween Tree -- and to sign his many classic books.
Wednesday, April 26 7:30 PM
The second installment in a monthly series featuring screenings and
conversations with moviemakers, featuring the human, real-life stories of people
who make movies. This time out, actor/comedian Kevin Pollak joins
host Ed Crasnick.
Kevin Pollak in Person!
THE USUAL SUSPECTS, 1995, Sony Repertory, 106 min. What
began as a movie poster idea with five men in a police lineup, became director Bryan
Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie's highly stylized, snakelike pilgrimage into
one of the most thickly plotted thrillers of the last two decades. Five criminals,
mysteriously hauled in for questioning then released by the New York cops, try to discover
who exactly has fingered them. But, unbeknownst to them, someone unseen is pulling all
their strings. The ensemble cast includes Kevin Spacey in an Oscar winning role and
smashing turns by Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Pete Postlethwaite, Stephen Baldwin
and Kevin Pollak as ill- tempered thug, Todd Hockney. Singer manipulates his
characters and the film's multiple twists with deceptive ease, combining elements of film
noir, humor, and conspiracy theory. What makes the film so extraordinary is that fact and
fiction never emerge as concrete entities, piling enigmas on top of enigmas to perplex the
viewer. In the end, Mr. Pollaks character is the only person alive that can answer
the seemingly unanswerable question "Who is Keyser Soze?" Discussion following the film with actor, Kevin Pollak.
27 - 7:30 PM
This screening is
free for American Cinematheque Members. Show
your membership card at the box office!
STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, 2004, 90 min. Two
American soldiers (Scott MacDonald & Ryan Francis) desert, flinging themselves into
unknown geographical and emotional territory in rural WW II France. Director Jeff Burr
captures the surrealism of war and the contrast between identity in peacetime and who we
become in war, with this hard-hitting drama about survival and the fleeting beauty and
innocence of life. With David Warner (CROSS OF IRON). Discussion following with director Jeff Burr, actors Scott
MacDonald and Ryan Francis, producers Chuck Williams and Will Huston.
"Strikingly original and eerily compelling" LA Times
"A heady brew of redemptive themes...from the playbooks of Orson Welles and Sam
"A descent into madness worthy of Goya" -- Kansas City Star.