UPDATE Thursday 2/4/2010 4:01 p.m. Tonight’s screening of Inglourious Basterds predictably sold out probably within a few minutes of being announced. But if you call the Museum of Tolerance number provided on the poster below you will be directed to a number where you can put in a reservation request for an additional screening (presumably with a similar panel of ready to discuss the film again) scheduled for this coming Monday, February 8, at the Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
UPDATE Thursday 2/4/2010 4:08 p.m. See below for a correction of an important oversight made by Yours Truly on this week’s Los Angeles revival scene.
UPDATE 2/4/2010 11:07 a.m. Just heard about this one: The Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles will be hosting a special screening of Inglourious Basterds tonight at 7:00 p.m. A after-film discussion will be moderated by Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder Rabbi Marvin Hier, with participation by SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Basterds producer Lawrence Bender and Dan Adler of Media Eagles. Comments from Quentin Tarantino will also be featured. The screening is free to Museum of Tolerance members, but everyone needs to RSVP at (310) 772-2527. I'll be on the lookout for reports on the discussion and will relay anything I hear back to these pages.
On the Los Angeles revival scene this week, lots of terrific choices. The New Beverly Cinema has their usual eclectic range of choices, including the Austrian thriller Revanche (2008) doubled with Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (1960); Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1986), just in case His Bow-tied Majesty's new live show stirs memories of Tim Burton’s classic feature debut, along with a line-up of socially irresponsible Three Stooges shorts; and a Grindhouse Night tribute to the late Dan O’Bannon, prolific genre screenwriter (Alien, Dark Star, Blue Thunder) and director, featuring one he wrote—Tobe Hooper’s genuinely loony Lifeforce (1985)-- and his own directorial effort, the punk-tinged cult classic Return of the Living Dead (1985), starring James Karen, Linnea Quigley and New Beverly regular Clu Gulager, who, I’d bet the farm, will be in the audience.
(Let Mr. Peel enumerate the reasons as to why seeing Lifeforce on the big screen is a good idea.)
The Cinefamily kicks off their February “Art of Exploitation” series on Friday with Poor Pretty Eddie (1975) starring Slim Pickens and Leslie Uggams, paired with The Loners (1972) featuring Dean Stockwell and (!) Gloria Grahame.
Perhaps a more sedate evening will be had at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Armand Hammer, where the 20th anniversary tribute to Iranian Cinema continues with Bahman Ghobadi’s well-regarded documentary-style drama No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009). And the Tartovsky retrospective concludes at LACMA with a Friday screening of Chris Marker’s homage to the Russian filmmaker entitled One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (2000) and Saturday with Tartovsky’s The Sacrifice (1986). That same evening LACMA screens a preview of Marco Bellocchio’s newest film, Vincere (2009), which impressed audiences at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, a dark descent into the horrors of fascism as experience by Mussolini’s first wife, Ida Dalser, who is imprisoned by the Fascist government and eventually rises against it.
But this week’s SLIFR Revival Pick, a three-fer (or, really, a 10-fer, and then some), comes courtesy of the American Cinematheque, which really has the horror-fantasy bases loaded over the coming seven days. One week from tonight, Wednesday, February 10, the Cinematheque will welcome director Richard Blackburn to the Egyptian Theater for a very rare screening of his ethereal and influential vampire classic (and his only feature), Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973). An erotic fairy tale daydream influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen and J. Sheridan Le Fanu, exploitation star Cheryl “Rainbeau” Smith falls under the spell of the vampire Lemora (Lesley Gibb). The Cinematheque notes describe it as “a live-action Coraline 40 years ahead of its time.” Blackburn will receive questions about the movie after the screening.
Lemora is paired with another Le Fanu-influenced bit of vampire erotica, Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses (1960), which ought to look spectacular on the giant Egyptian screen.
The ultimate movie nerd marathon returns to the Aero in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 6. You’ll need to get started on your pilgrimage to this wonderful Montana Avenue enclave early to get a seat for back-to-back-to-back screenings of the three films comprising Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) begins at 12:00 noon, followed by the extended version of The Two Towers at 4:00 p.m. The multiple Academy Award-winning The Return of the King will screen in its theatrical version beginning at 8:00 p.m. According to the American Cinematheque, perhaps because Montana Avenue isn’t particularly fast-food friendly (or maybe just because te management cares), “Breaks for Hobbit snacks and Middle Earth rituals are built into the schedule” so worries about loading up on lunch and dinner won’t be too much of a concern. For those of you on the fence as to just how wonderful a Rings trilogy marathon might be, I refer you to David Edelstein’s account of his attending the "Trilogy Tuesday” celebration that led up to the release of The Return of the King over the Christmas 2003 holiday. If this doesn’t convince you to give this 12-hour butt-buster a go, nothing will!
Finally, One of the big highlights of this week (and next) is happening at the Nuart Theater, where Rialto Pictures’ Best of British Noir Festival will be commencing this Friday, February 5, and extending through the following Thursday, February 11. The series includes familiar masterworks by directors Carol Reed, John Boulting, Robert Hamer and Michael Powell, including the Los Angeles revival premiere of a restored 35mm print of John Boulting’s Brighton Rock (1947), based on Graham Greene’s novel and starring Richard Attenborough as an unhinged teenage gang leader who marries a waitress in order to tie up the loose ends of a nasty crime. Robert Hamer’s rediscovered classic It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) is a masterpiece, according to director Bertrand Tavernier: “Hamer demolishes the (typical noir) plot, transforming it into a brilliantly written choral work in which the destinies of a multitude of characters crisscross." The series also includes a chance to see Michael Powell’s notorious Peeping Tom (1960) on the big screen, along with the two most famous collaborations between director Carol Reed and screenwriter Graham Greene: The Fallen Idol (1948), starring Ralph Richardson and Michèle Morgan, and the most celebrated British film noir of them all, presented in a brand new 35mm print struck for its 60th anniversary, The Third Man (1949), starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles as black marketer Harry Lime.
The full schedule for the Best of British Noir Festival is as follows:
2/5-6: Brighton Rock* 3:30, 7:30
The Third Man 1:30, 5:30, 9:35
2/7-8: It Always Rains on Sunday* Sun: 3:30, 7:30; Mon: 7:30
Peeping Tom Sun: 1:30, 5:30, 9:35; Mon: 5:30, 9:35
2/9: The Fallen idol 7:30
Brighton Rock * 5:40, 9:35
2/10: The Fallen Idol 7:30
The Third Man* 5:30, 9:35
2/11: Brighton Rock * 7:30
It Always Rains on Sunday* 5:40, 9:35
* indicates a newly struck 35mm print
Please refer to the Nuart schedule for more information.
Click on the links below for complete calendars for the American Cinematheque at the Aero and the Egyptian theaters, the Art Theater in Long Beach, the Billy Wilder Theater at the Armand Hammer Museum, the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, the Downtown Independent, the New Beverly Cinema and the Nuart.