Thursday, December 10, 2009


Blecch. The hack is back. The Thanksgiving vacation cold I hoped would be long gone by now has, as I feared it might, this week taken a swerve left toward bronchitis, which explains why I’ve been relatively silent of late. I’ve got lots of stuff to write about and plenty of time, but damned little in the way of energy to do so. But I promise to end the year right, once this cursed cough lets me be, including a year-end wrap-up (alongside the loooong list of 2009 movies I have yet to see), the obligatory best-of-the-decade list and quite a few other items that hopefully won’t seem quite so obligatory.

Until then, there’s another return engagement on the Los Angeles independent film scene that is far more welcome than my nasty sick, and I very much encourage you to clear your calendars at midnight Friday this week so you can see it for yourself.

A few months ago it was my pleasure to see and then write about director-scenarist Marion Kerr’s debut feature Golden Earrings. The movie is a compelling psychological thriller which takes you to some unexpected places (a simple thing, yet fairly rare, even among independently-oriented films such as this), and it has at its center a towering performance by Julia Marchese which is among the best I’ve seen this year. (If you attend the New Beverly with any regularity you’ll know Julia as the sparkling and lovely force behind the theater’s special events programming, and she’s probably sold you a ticket now and again as well.)

When I initially wrote about Golden Earrings my enthusiasm was tempered slightly by a kind of worry over when I would get a chance to see it again, and I talked to several people who were frustrated that they had missed what they assumed would be the only chance to see the movie on a big screen. Well, everyone is going to get at least one more chance after all. The New Beverly has slotted Golden Earrings for a midnight screening this coming Friday, December 11, and again the admission to the screening is free. Even if it’s raining, the trip out to see this film will be worth the effort. I strongly encourage you, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and even if you have, to come out and support the fine work of this up-and-coming filmmaker and her superb cast. Marchese’s slippery, intense work is truly awesome, and she anchors a cast of supporting players—among them John T. Woods Lauren Mora, Teddy Goldsmith, Anthony Dimaano and Kerr herself—who are more than up to the standard set by their lead actress.

Ironically, I will probably, when all is said and done, not be able to attend the midnight screening myself, and not just because I feel like a bag of rocks right now. I have a date that same evening to take my daughter to the New Beverly to see Sullivan’s Travels and The Palm Beach Story, so we’ll be exiting the theater just before the Golden Earrings screening begins. Midnight is far too late for the young one, and the movie is far too scary, and beyond her experience as well. So I’m hoping instead to score one of the movie-only DVDs that Marion is going to have available for sale at the theater on Friday night as a sort of consolation prize. After seeing the movie you may want one too, so make sure to get one while you can, as Marion has hinted there will only be a limited supply on hand. The more fully rounded DVD, complete with extras, will hopefully be available sometime in 2010.

Again, I sincerely encourage anyone in the Los Angeles area looking to see a solid, well-crafted, intelligent drama to come out to the New Beverly Friday at midnight to see Marion Kerr’s lovely and chilling Golden Earrings.