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

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Series Compiled by:

Chris D.

Special Thanks to: Amy Lewin and Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA REPERTORY (SONY); Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL.

 

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.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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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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<<< February 17 - 19, 2006 >>>

Valentine's Week - Amour Fou and Offbeat Love Stories In The Cinema

 

 

Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

Some screenings in this series will also take place at the Aero Theatre February 8 - 12!

 

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we present seven very different love stories with one thing in common – offbeat, delirious depictions of unrequited amour, troubled relationships and/or doomed affairs, all done in a most entertaining and gratifying fashion. From the unfulfilled desire and emotional immolation of Max Ophuls’ gem, LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN and Jean Negulesco’s HUMORESQUE (with Joan Crawford and John Garfield at their best), to mental illness, May-December romance and Oedipal obsession in Robert Aldrich’s AUTUMN LEAVES, to the adultery, class values and family dynamics of Douglas Sirk’s WRITTEN ON THE WIND and THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW, to the perverse, phantasmagorical fire of forbidden love in Sidney Lumet/Tennessee Williams’ THE FUGITIVE KIND (with the combustible pairing of Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani!) and David Lynch’s WILD AT HEART – these romantic tragedies, surreal dreamlike reveries and soul-baring dramas are the flipsides of the candy-coated marketing of romance on Valentine’s Day. And, much more than the saccharine sentiments on greeting cards, these things are often what love is all about.

 

 

Friday, February 17 - 7:30 PM

Doomed Lovers Double Feature:

New 35 mm print! LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, 1948, Paramount, 86 min. Was there ever a more swooningly romantic film than genius French director Max Ophuls’ American masterpiece? And a love story that sidesteps all the sentimental Hollywood contrivances too often afflicting movie romances of the era? Shy young girl, Lisa (Joan Fontaine) grows into womanhood while nurturing a lifelong love-from-afar for debonair composer and worldly lothario, Stefan Brand (Louis Jourdan) who lives upstairs in her building. Even after she enjoys a brief tryst with Brand, Lisa’s dreams seem destined to evaporate into thin air. Ophul’s device of Brand, finally learning of Lisa’s deep feelings from a letter to him, as he readies for a duel-at-dawn, bookends the narrative with a tragic anguish that is extremely moving.

HUMORESQUE, 1946, Warner Bros., 125 min. Jean Negulesco directs one of the most emotionally complex and psychologically rich love stories of the 1940’s. Joan Crawford gives one of her greatest performances as Helen Wright, a beautiful but lonely, tormented society matron who falls for younger violin virtuoso, Paul Boray (John Garfield). Garfield’s Boray returns her affections, but his prodigious talent and demanding career, his concerned mother (Ruth Nelson) and adoring friend, Gina (Joan Chandler) slowly cause Helen to lose her self-assurance. Believing herself unlovable and jaded by experience, Helen’s personality gradually unravels in a noirish spiral of self-destruction. With one of the most deliriously devastating climaxes you’ll ever undergo in a film.

 

Saturday, February 18 - 6:00 PM

AUTUMN LEAVES 1956, Columbia (Sony), 108 min. "In the dark, when I feel his heart pounding against mine - is it love? or frenzy? or terror?" Joan Crawford is a middle-aged typist, long out-of-circulation after taking care of an invalid father. When young Cliff Robertson comes along to sweep her off her feet, it seems too good to be true. And, after a whirlwind courtship and Mexican wedding, Joan finds it is. Robertson is mentally unstable and a pathological liar, tortured by his previous marriage to vixen Vera Miles and creepy, unspoken things about his virile dad (Lorne Greene). Will Joan stick by her man as he slips down the rabbithole of burgeoning schizophrenia? Director Robert Aldrich (KISS ME DEADLY, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?) looks at the deep, psychological scars of both Crawford’s and Robertson’s characters, visually supplying subtle hints of loneliness, Oedipal fixations and incest. An underrated gem ripe for rediscovery. NOT ON VIDEO!

 

Saturday, February 18 - 8:30 PM

Two Guys With Snakeskin Jackets:

THE FUGITIVE KIND 1959, UA (Sony Repertory), 121 min. Director Sidney Lumet conjures a sensual fever dream from Tennessee Williams’ southern gothic Orpheus Descending. Itinerant hustler Marlon Brando is the ultimate snakeskin-clad loner who drifts into a redneck backwater town and falls into a torrid affair with fellow outcast Anna Magnani, the middle-aged immigrant wife of hate-crippled Victor Jory. Sparks fly from a pyrotechnic cast that also includes Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton.

WILD AT HEART, 1990, Samuel Goldwyn (Sony Repertory), 124 min. Blending elements of THE WIZARD OF OZ (!) with a catalogue of film noir subplots, director David Lynch leads us on an intoxicating, bizarrely perverse Southwestern odyssey with romantic ex-con and Elvis fan Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) and his teen girlfriend Lulu (Laura Dern) as they flee psycho matriarch Diane Ladd (Dern’s real-life mom). With an unforgettable Willem Dafoe as demonic slimeball Bobby Peru. Also starring Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rosselini.

 

Sunday, February 19 – 6:00 PM

Douglas Sirk Double Feature:

WRITTEN ON THE WIND, 1956, Universal, 99 min. Commonly acknowledged as one of pantheon director Douglas Sirk’s most sublime masterworks, this tale of two friends – rich, alcoholic Robert Stack and poor, sensible Rock Hudson (who also works for him) runs the gamut of emotions, examining the consequences of the pair’s mutual love for radiant Lauren Bacall. But Sirk doesn’t stop there as he subtly explores, through back story and character, the loneliness and spiritual degradation caused by unchecked materialism. He also manages to skillfully sidestep soap opera cliches while still delivering glossy, superior popular entertainment. Dorothy Malone won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Stack’s promiscuous sister with a long-unrequited yen for Hudson.

THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW, 1956, Universal, 84 min. Hard-working toy manufacturer, Cliff (Fred MacMurray) thinks he has a fairly idyllic family life until old flame, Norma (Barbara Stanwyck) blows back into town, still carrying the torch. Cliff suddenly realizes his wife (Joan Bennett) and teenage kids (William Reynolds, Gigi Perreau) alternate between being insensitive, judgemental and oblivious to him, and that his own inner emotional life is decidedly barren. Maestro Douglas Sirk brilliantly and compassionately looks at a common mid-life crisis and draws a heartbreaking picture, showing just how painful inner growth can be and what maturity is all about. NOT ON VIDEO!