Thursday, May 01, 2008

DELTA TAU CHI 30th ANNIVERSARY



Here’s just a quick note that this weekend director John Landis will introduce a brief series of his comedies at the Aero in Santa Monica for the American Cinematheque. On tap Saturday, May 3 are Trading Places and Three Amigos. And Sunday the Aero features The Blues Brothers paired with the movie that secured Landis on the cultural landscape, National Lampoon’s Animal House, which was released 30 years ago come July 28 of this year.

Being that it is the 30th anniversary of the summer (and the fall) that belonged to the Delta House, this will not be the last time you’ll hear mention of this particular title here at SLIFR. I have something special planned to coincide with the anniversary cooking right now, and hopefully it’ll be ready right around time for the end of July. More details to follow, of course. But don’t try to squeeze any info out of me before I'm ready. If you try any kind of extortion tactics, well, you know…

18 comments:

Ali Arikan said...

Trading Places AND Animal House on the silver screen? With a fun crowd? With John Landis introducing? That ain't fair!

How about I try to bribe you for some info? You want some beef jerky? There's plenty, you know...

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I prefer a cheeseburger I can inhale in one bite, with perhaps a golf ball plucked from a soup pot and a hastily slurped Jell-o shooter for afters.

Peet Gelderblom said...

John Landis--cool! Doesn't Into the Night count as a comedy, though? I seem to be the only one who loves that movie. And The Three Amigos...

Jonathan Lapper said...

I may have to come up with an animated banner featuring Dennis Cozzalio walking about Delta House. Oh of course I will. It's a given. Your cameo shall be celebrated high above the posts on Cinema Styles on that day sir.

aaron said...

Funny, Dennis, as you were just telling me in line for the Dante thing that there oughta be an ANIMAL HOUSE 30th anniversary screening someTIME this year. I hope to read a hefty amount of reportage from this event.

And as for INTO THE NIGHT, it's my favourite of Landis', and I've been working off/on on an essay about it for the past few months (I call it his 8 1/2). For me, it's THE seminal Los Angeles movie.

I know Dave Kehr's written about it (collected in a a recently released book on Landis, edited by Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan), and Joe Dante mentions it as his fave in the same book.

Larry Aydlette said...

Peet, you're not alone. INTO THE NIGHT is definitely my favorite Landis.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I may have to watch Into the Night again. I remember being completely unmoved when I first saw it in the theater, and a couple of shots at it on video didn't seem to improve matters. I think this was the movie where he started that affectation of casting movie directors in cameo and supporting roles, right? I remember J. Hoberman's review in the Voice when it came out. He was annoyed at the stunt casting and said something along the lines of, "Are we supposed to dissolve in laughter upon recognizing Costa-Gavras standing near a curtain?"

That said, I will watch it again. I trust y'all's taste, and my recent experience with Days of Thunder convinced me that Larry's instincts must be reckoned with.

aaron said...

Dennis, even if INTO THE NIGHT ends up not striking your fancy, I'm sure you'll contend that the glam (David Bowie) vs. rockabilly (Carl Perkins) knife-fight over the image of Abbott & Costello is a keeper.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I take it that Oscar and The Stupids will not be part of the retrospective.

Have a good time with your frat buds, Dennis.

driveindude said...

INTO THE NIGHT rocks.

OK, so if you have something planned you know I gotta try and guess what it might be.

So, is it an interview with John Landis?

Is it a pilgrimage back to the scene of the crime to document your involvement with Animal House?

Is it a special screening arranged by your new friend Joe with Landis as the guest speaker?

Is it a recreation of the same scene that you appeared in alongside your college cohort?

Is it your graduation ceremony?

Is it a recital with you singing "I gave my love a story..."

Will you stand up before a large crowd of strangers and shout "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor"?

I think of more later.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Is it a recital with you singing "I gave my love a story..."

That gets my vote.

christian said...

INTO THE NIGHT is wonderful and defintely one of the best movies about LA. I even have the soundtrack...

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Peter: Your assumption is quite correct! (I could name quite a few other Landis films that might reasonably be excluded too-- Spies Like Us, anyone? I didn't think so.)

DID, JL: I remain unmoved. You'll get nothing from me. Nothing!

Christian: Okay, I promise, Into the Night is at the top of my Netflix queue. The soundtrack is great. But in the remaining hours before I see it again, I'll just say that I seem also to recall thinking there was a flatness about it that seemed like an outcropping of the kind of deadpan style that made The Blues Brothers so deadly. By the time he got around to Into the Night, I remember thinking that the deadpan had started to morph into a directorial signature, one that I didn't think worked all that well. (And in a movie like Spies Like Us or Blues Brothers 2000, the fine line between style and a generalized numbness and torpor seems too fuzzy to figure.)

But these are thoughts that are based on memories that are at least 20 years old. You guys have convinced me that I should see it again, particularly Aaron. Something good has to be happening when David Bowie and Carl Perkins intersect!

J.D. said...

ANIMAL HOUSE is one of those rare comedies that holds up after repeat viewings. I can watch it any time and it always makes me laugh. Between that and THE BLUES BROTHERS, Landis is immortalized. So many quotable lines.

Great post, btw. I look forward to reading more about ANIMAL HOUSE in July.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Hey, J.D., thanks for stopping by. I'd have to agree about Animal House. For me, it is one of those movies that, even as it has moved from contemporary hit to classic comedy, has never gotten old. One of the things I'm going to do this year is go back and figure out exactly how many times I saw it just between 1978 and 1981 (my college years). The count, as I recall, as somewhere around 20, though by now it's surely higher than that.

driveindude said...

Are you going to change your Delta Tau Chi name to Wordman?

Or are you going to slip in your college visage at the end of the film where the title card will read something like: DENNIS COZZALIO - FILM BUYER AT THE NEW BEVERLY CINEMA (and dating BARBARA SUE JANSEN)

Jonathan Lapper said...

Ask for Babs.

J.D. said...

Dennis: Oh man, trying to recount all the times I've seen ANIMAL HOUSE. Geez, there's the many times I've got it on TBS/TNT right in the middle and ended up watching the rest... That could easily go in the double digit figures. But I know what you mean about seeing a film a number of times during a concentrated period o' time. Have you read Chris Miller's book about his real-life experiences that provided the basis for the film? A helluva read...