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

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of an February Calendar!

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Series programmed by: Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Caitlin Robertson/20TH CENTURY FOX; Amy Lewin/ MGM REPERTORY.

 

 

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 $10 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 1 - 2, 2008 >>>

The Neo Noir World of the Coen Brothers

 

This series is an Egyptian Theatre exclusive!

Of modern filmmakers working today, The Coen Brothers have steadfastly remained the most loyal to the moviemaking values and aesthetics of the past while still manifesting the totally up-to-date, highest standards of contemporary film production. In their unique partnership of co-writing, co-directing and co-producing their projects, Joel and Ethan Coen consistently evoke the ephemeral, the esoteric and the eccentric, embodying a mordantly dark humor, solid storytelling and deeply etched characters. Nowhere are these qualities more evident than in the Brothers’ darkest efforts, their neo-noirs. Reaching perhaps their ultimate zenith in their latest, the hardboiled adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, this self-assured pair of filmmakers had already laid the groundwork in an astonishing quartet of masterpieces: BLOOD SIMPLE, MILLER’S CROSSING, FARGO and BARTON FINK.

 

 

Friday, February 1 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BLOOD SIMPLE, 1984, MGM Repertory, 99 min. Hangdog Texas bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) hires a corrupt and corpulent detective (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill Abby, his unfaithful wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). What follows from this simple, familiar noir premise is one of the most assured moviemaking debuts from the 1980s. It’s Joel and Ethan Coen’s first feature film, and it’s a doozy, full of memorably poisonous one-liners as well as several guaranteed-to-give-goosebumps suspense setpieces. "…it's the noir-style humor, not the violence, that makes this tribute to James M. Cain and Alfred Hitchcock so good." – Desson Thomson, The Washington Post; "Grisly, stylish and often weirdly funny, BLOOD SIMPLE is a reminder of how rarely an original artistic sensibility is announced to the world and how much better movies are when that sensibility is allowed to keep going its own way." – Anne Hornaday, The Baltimore Sun

 

FARGO, 1996, MGM Repertory, 98 min. One of Joel and Ethan Coen’s most acclaimed films (they won Oscars for their screenplay and Frances McDormand got one for Best Actress). Cool, calm, collected (and pregnant!) policewoman Marge (McDormand) tracks the kidnappers of a used car salesman’s wife in North Dakota’s snow-covered wasteland. Salesman Jerry’s (William H. Macy) inept plot to get out of debt by staging the hoax unravels in gory fashion when his two bizarrely mismatched henchmen (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) have a falling out. That hulking Stormare’s nonchalant, bloodcurdling use of a woodchipper at the climax emerges as both chilling and hilarious testifies to the Coen’s complete mastery of tone in the filmmaking process. "…an illuminating amalgam of emotion and thought. It glimpses into the heart of man and unearths a blackly comic nature, hellishly mercurial and selfish, yet strangely innocent. If it weren't so funny, it would be unbearably disturbing." – Arnold Wayne Jones, The Dallas Observer; "A crime gem that is darkly funny even when it's chilling -- and certain to become a classic." – Peter Stack, The San Francisco Chronicle

 

Saturday, February 2 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

MILLER’S CROSSING, 1990, 20th Century Fox, 115 min. Joel and Ethan Coen’s brilliant, atmospheric tribute to 1930s gangster melodramas is full to the brim with sarcastically venomous one-liners and a catalogue of characters worthy of any pre-WWII, James Cagney/Warner Bros. epic. Bitter Gabriel Byrne is adviser to sentimental but tough gang boss, Albert Finney, in a small Northeastern town. But their complacently corrupt burg is about to erupt in violence when nouveau-riche newcomer Jon Polito and his merciless, grim reaper of an enforcer (J. E. Freeman) make a play for the big time. There are echoes of other genres here, including Kurosawa’s YOJIMBO and Leone’s A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS – however, those two films, themselves, owe a huge debt to Dashiell Hammett’s gang war saga, Red Harvest. Bernardo Bertolucci had wanted to lense Hammett’s novel for years, but it never came to pass. This Coen Brothers masterpiece remains the closest in style, feeling and frissons to that, as-yet-still-unfilmed, hardboiled magnum opus. The supporting cast – including Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro -- is superb, all getting to voice some of the most-clipped, vitriolic dialogue this side of the 1950s SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. "The Coens are artists too, and their cool dazzler is an elegy to a day when Hollywood could locate moral gravity in a genre film for grownups." – Richard Corliss, Time; "…a Dashiell Hammett-style jigsaw of hard-boiled argot, dame troubles and existential dread…as disturbing and densely beautiful as its opening image, a lofty forest that dwarfs the gangsters as they laugh over their kill. There is an uncompromising magic about this primeval setting, until it comes over you like a wolf's shadow that this is where the brutal truly belong." – Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

BARTON FINK, 1991, 20th Century Fox, 116 min. In the Depression Era, na´ve and ridiculously idealistic New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro, in a tour-de-force performance) is brought out to tinseltown by an egocentric movie mogul (hilarious Michael Lerner) to write a "wrestling picture for Wallace Beery." Joel and Ethan Coen engineer an escalating case of existential dread for Fink in his quiet hotel room when he is afflicted with a terrifying case of writer’s block. The few people Fink meets fuel his mushrooming paranoia: a William Faulkner-type writer (John Mahoney) too drunk to work, the writer’s tragic mistress (Judy Davis) and last, but not least, the only guy he’s been able to make friends with – a sweet-natured traveling salesman (John Goodman) from next door who may just turn out to be the notorious serial killer, Madman Muntz. "What RAISING ARIZONA was to baby lust, BARTON FINK is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms." – Rita Kempley, The Washington Post; "Creepily beautiful, acted with relish…a savagely original work. It lodges in your head like a hatchet." – David Ansen, Newsweek; "…a comic nightmare that will stir your imagination like no film in years." – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone