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

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of April Schedule!
Series programmed by:   SHORT SHORTS: Marleise Schneider.

QUEER SHORTS: Andrew Crane & Kirsten Schaffer.

LAST DANCE:
Margot Gerber

Special Thanks to:

BRAKHAGE: Eric Sherman

SHORT SHORTS: City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department, The Japan Foundation of Los Angeles & The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. QUEER SHORTS: Alec Wilder/IN Magazine Los Angeles.

LAST DANCE: Mirra Bank, Kelly Hargraves.

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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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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<<< April 2003 >>>

Special Events & Limited Engagements in April

 

Tuesday, April 8 – 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview – Actor Kirk Douglas In Person!!

IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY, 2003, MGM Pictures. Dir. Fred Schepisi. Alex Gromberg (Michael Douglas) is a man caught in the middle. Trying to avoid the mistakes his father made while coming to terms with the ones he’s already passed on to his own sons, Alex is navigating the tricky roles of father, son and husband. Onscreen together for the first time in their careers, Michael Douglas and Kirk Douglas join their real-life relations (Cameron Douglas, Diana Douglas) and a talented cast (Bernadette Peters, Rory Culkin) in a story about the loving, frustrating, reassuring, insane and ultimately inescapable bonds of a family. Introduction with actor Kirk Douglas (schedule permitting).

 

Thursday, April 10 – 7:30 PM

Stan Brakhage Tribute

Stan Brakhage (1933 - 2003) passed away on March 9th. perhaps the most influential filmmaker of the avant-garde.

Starting in 1952 at the age of nineteen, Brakhage created over 300 films that ranged in length from a few seconds to several hours, during the course of his career. The Boulder, CO based filmmaker was constantly and consistently redefining the shape of film art. He taught at the University of Boulder, mentoring many young filmmakers. LA TIMES film critic Kevin Thomas wrote, "Brakhage was a master of cinematic stream-of-consciousness, creating meaning from a flow of highly eclectic images that seem to be linked only by free association. What...emerges in his films is an intensely rhythmic vision of the universe as powerful as it is personal. Brakhage had a special gift for bringing viewers in touch with nature and, therefore, themselves."

To celebrate his life and work, the documentary film BRAKHAGE (1999, Zeitgeist Films, 75 min.) directed by Jim Shedden will be shown as a companion to two of Brakhage's own films, "Window Water Baby Moving" (1959, 12 min.) and "Dog Star Man: Part 1" (1962, 30 min.) (which was one of the first of 10 films to be listed in the Library of Congress National Film Registry).

BRAKHAGE (1999, 75 min., Canada) explores the depth and breadth of the filmmaker's genius, the exquisite splendor of his films, his personal charm, and the influence that his work has had on generations of other creators. While touching on significant moments in Brakhage's biography, the film celebrates his visionary genius, and explores the extraordinary artistic possibilities of cinema.

BRAKHAGE combines excerpts from Brakhage's own films as well as those of his contemporaries (George Kuchar, Jonas Mekas, Willie Varela, Bruce Elder and others), plus interviews with Brakhage, his friends, family, colleagues, and critics; archival footage of Brakhage spanning the past thirty-five years.

BRAKHAGE is directed by Jim Shedden and produced by Alexa-Frances Shaw (who worked together on MICHAEL SNOW UP CLOSE) and executive produced by Ron Mann (TWIST, COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL). An original score was composed by long-time Brakhage associate and noted avant-garde composer James Tenney.

Following the feature documentary five of Brakhage's own films will be screened:

These first 4 shorts are from the private collection of Cinematheque Board of Trustees Member Eric Sherman who was a personal friend of Stan Brakhage. He will introduce the program and provide some commentary on the films.

BLACK ICE:  1994, 2.5 minutes
I lost sight due to a blow on the head from slipping on black ice (leading to eye surgery, eventually); and now (because of artificially thinned blood) most steps I take outdoors all winter are made in frightful awareness of black ice.  These "meditations" have finally produced this hand-painted, step-printed film.

BLOSSOM GIFT/FAVOR:  1993, 30 seconds. Dedicated to Doug Edwards
All titles dominate linguistically; in that sense, any film would be better left unnamed.   This little hand-painted work attempts to BE a visual "flowering," and as it is (as Film is) a continuity art, it would seek some visual corollary of the whole growth process (root, stem, leaves, blue sky and the bloody-gold growth of the meat/mind electricity of the filmmaker) - but without mimic of either flower or thought process ... clear through to Film's clear "blossoming" in the passage of light.

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS:   1981, 2.5 minutes
This film (related to MOTHLIGHT) is a collage composed entirely of montane zone vegetation.  As the title suggests it is an homage to (but also argument with) Hieronymous Bosch.  It pays tribute as well, and more naturally, to "The Tangled Garden" of J.E.H. MacDonald and the flower paintings of Emil Nolde.

and "Polite Madness" 1996, 2 1/2 minutes. A hand-painted elaborately step-printed film which begins in blues and greens with golden geographic-beseeming continents which evolve into symmetricals and dark passages (including a whirling tunnel) whitening to create many bas-relief (photographic solarization) fragments of these previous forms that then flicker vibrantly in a field of ever whitening light.
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"Window Water Baby Moving" (1959) 16mm, color, silent, 12 min. "... Brakhage's treatment of the birth of his daughter. Here he unleashes the full power of his technique, so apt to become abstractly unintelligible when left to his own devices, on a specific subject. The result is a picture so forthright, so full of primitive wonder and love, so far beyond civilization in its acceptance that it becomes an experience like few in the history of the movies." -- Archer Winstein, New York Post

"Dog Star Man: Part I" (1962) 16mm, color, silent, 30 min. "Following a cycle of seasons as well as the stretch of a single day as a man slowly makes his way up a mountain, the film features multiple superimpositions and includes traces of splice marks, painting, and scratches on the film emulsion as some of its densely woven textures. Mythological, cosmological, and physiological, like much of Brakhage's work during this period, it can be seen as one of the most ambitious lyrical films ever made..." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader

 

Thursday, April 17 – 7:30 PM

Special Screening and Booksigning with David Thomson In Person!

Our guest, British film critic and historian David Thomson, is anxious to show that film noir is not just American, nor a creature of the years after 1940. To that end, he will show an extract from the television adaptation of Charles Dicken's 1865 novel Our Mutual Friend, as well as the magnificent Irish noir:

ODD MAN OUT, 1947, MGM/UA, 115 min., directed by Carol Reed and starring James Mason as an IRA gunman who gets wounded and lost on a raid. His last hours in the city are as beautiful and halliucinatory as they are tragic. Is Johnny dogged by bad luck? Is fate pursuing him? Or is he actually staggering towards the light? The power of this extraordinary film has lasted, along with the insolubility of its political problem. The film was written by R.C. Sherriff and F.L. Green, from the latter's novel. The cast includes Robert Newton, Fay Compton, Robert Beatty, Cyril Cusack, F.J. McCormick and Kathleen Ryan, but just as important is cameraman Robert Krasker, who would get an Oscar two years later for his work on Reed’s THE THIRD MAN.

There will be a booksigning at 6:45 PM prior to the screening with acclaimed film critic and historian David Thomson of his New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

 

Monday, April 21 – 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview – Screenwriter Doug Jung and actor Brian Van Holt In Person!

CONFIDENCE, 2002, Lions Gate, 98 min. Dir. James Foley. With Andy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman. The latest film from director James Foley (GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, AT CLOSE RANGE), CONFIDENCE stars Ed Burns as a sexy, cocksure grifter named Jake Vig. When one of his classic scams ends up leaving one of his crew dead, Vig finds himself beholden to eccentric - some would say flamboyant - crime boss Winston King ("The King"), played by Dustin Hoffman. It's clear The King has a thing for Vig: "You’re a good grifter, man -- it's hard to tell when you're lying," he says, which is maybe why The King fronts Vig hundreds of thousands of dollars to set a con in motion that will relieve a banker with deep ties to organized crime (Robert Forster) of over $5 million. Vig's crew: inside man Gordo (Paul Giamatti); Shills Miles (Brian Van Holt); two corrupt LAPD officers - Lloyd Whitworth (Donal Logue) and Omar Manzano (Luis Guzman). But with so much riding on the outcome, Vig brings in Lily (Rachel Weisz), a brazen pickpocket who's sudden decision to become a red-head may or may not precipitate an unlucky and potentially deadly chain of events that go down on the big day. Discussion following with screenwriter Doug Jung and actor Brian Van Holt (schedule permitting).

 

Tuesday, April 22 - 7:30 PM QUEER SHORTS:

Co-presented with Outfest.

Sponsored by IN Magazine Los Angeles.

We are excited to present our annual survey of the best of gay and lesbian images in the short film form. We have a couple of Los Angeles premieres, comedies, parodies, serious dramas… something for everyone. Do not miss the discussion with several of the filmmakers after the screening.

Jessica Zweiman’s "The Breakfast Club" The brat pack is packing! Homos and Sapphos stay after school. (From the Gay Propaganda Series, 5 min., video.) Meredith Kadlec’s "On Gay Golden Pond" (From the Gay Propaganda Series, 2 min., video.) A warm, re-telling of this classic. J.D. Disalvatore’s "Taxi Lesbian" (From the Gay Propaganda Series, 2 min., video.) This is one cabbie you do not want to mess with. Pascale Simon’s "You 2" (25 min., video.) Warm, funny, coming out story set in the Surinamese community in Amsterdam. Wonderful script by Jenny Mijnhijmer. Rodrigo’s Bellott’s "Sexo" (9 min., video.) A funny, ironic, non-pornographic film about pornographic practices by pornographic audiences. Alan Brown’s "O Beautiful" (29 min., video.) L.A. PREMIERE! Powerful, award-winning, Sundance 2003 selection about homophobia, desire, forgiveness and acceptance. Abigail Severance’s "Come Nightfall" (17 min., 16 mm.) A boy gets tangled up in his own curiosity about an old cowboy with an unusual fetish. An official selection of the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Barry Dignam’s "Chicken" (3 min., 35mm.) Sometimes, taking a risk can change everything. Cath Le Coteur’s "Starched" (6 min., 35mm.) Crisp, sexually charged comedy with gorgeous images.

Discussion to follow screening with filmmaker’s Jessica Zweiman (Breakfast Club), Meredith Kadlec (On Gay Golden Pond), J.D. Disalvatore (Taxi Lesbian) & Abigail Severance (Come Nightfall).

 

Thursday, April 24 - 7:30 PM

LAST DANCE (2002, First Run Releasing, 84 min., USA) Filmmaker Mirra Bank had the incredible opportunity to go behind-the-scenes during a unique collaboration between two iconoclastic artistic forces with very different approaches to creating their art. Maurice Sendak, the celebrated, Caldecott winning children's book author-illustrator (Where the Wild Things Are) considers himself first and foremost, a storyteller. The innovative Connecticut based Pilobolus Dance Theatre creates in a spirit of improvisational collaboration.

At the heart of this film is the evolution of artistic conflict into a powerful piece of theatre (entitled "A Selection"). Bank's camera captures the moments of disagreement as well as the exhilarating moments of perfect harmony as the two forces spend months trying to tell a Holocaust inspired story, while remaining true to their own visions. It is also fascinating to watch the elderly, Holocaust haunted Sendak, cane in hand, processing the art of dance as he struggles to assign meaning to segments of improvised acrobatics and conceptual movement performed by the young dancers. In turn they are obviously in awe of the intricate costume drawings he presents to them (later there is a classic scene of Sendak hand painting the groin area of his stars' sheer bodystocking costume while Otis is wearing it).

You don't need to be a dance enthusiast to be thoroughly enthralled by LAST DANCE -- although the dance segments are certainly a treat to marvel at. It seems that at every moment, every muscle in the Pilobolus dancers' incredibly toned bodies are morphing and molding with the fluidity of aquatic weightlessness - all the while conveying a myriad of emotions, playfulness and an intimate involvement with the other dancers - you have to remind yourself that these are real people flawlessly executing these often daring acrobatic physical feats - LIVE! As a side note, Pilobolus is scheduled to perform at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on May 2 and 4. (www.pilobolus.com)

"Bank does a superb job capturing the dramatic forces and the chaos of the creative process..." (THE SOUTHAMPTON PRESS)

"The dancer's eloquently convey Sendak's pain and passion. They are like human paintbrushes expressing Sendak's feelings about how the death camps destroyed families... It's a rare window on an artistic collaboration." (PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER)

"Savor the LAST DANCE -...the creative process that unfolds could not be more spectacular...moments of pure discovery...inspire awe. This is an important contribution to the understanding of the creative process, and a damn entertaining saga to boot." (SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER)

The short film "American Life" (7 1/2 min., 2002) directed by Justin Adams will precede the feature. Adams has composed a stirring montage of archival footage presented chronologically from the year 1900 to 2002, set to a spiritually charged piano score by Moby. One hundred years unfolds in seven and a half minutes as human beings engage in the activities of life: from work to play; from birth to death; from invention to war and everything in between. Filmmaker Justin Adams will be present for a post-screening discussion.

 

SHORT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL

April 30 – May 1, 2003

Japan’s largest and most famous short film festival , the Short Shorts Film Festival celebrates its second annual event at the American Cinematheque. Two programs of award-winning films from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia will make their Los Angeles premieres. In keeping with its tradition of presenting shorts by world-renowned feature filmmakers, Short Shorts is especially proud to present Alexander Payne’s "Carmen", which he made as a student at UCLA Film School. Founded in 1999 to introduce the short film format to Japanese audiences, Short Shorts continues to honor short films as a fertile arena for new cinematic talent and to raise public awareness of the format as powerful entertainment in and of itself, not merely an appetizer before the feature.

ALL LOS ANGELES PREMIERES! Your ticket enters you into a drawing for a trip to Japan, a Beverly Hills Spa Day or a gift bag given out each night before the beginning of the screening courtesy of the Short Shorts Film Festival.

All films are subtitled in Japanese and all non-English language films are subtitled in English.

Wednesday, April 30 - 7:30 PM

SHORT SHORTS – PROGRAM A

Nick Spano’s "QIK2JDG" (5 min., USA). A judge confronts his own humanity through a bizarre experience. Kenya Shimizu’s "Ikesu" (3 min., Japan). Whimsical, claymation tale of love in a fish tank. Benjamin Avila’s "La Gotera" (The Leak, 13 min., Argentina/Cuba). As Marta looks back on her life on New Year’s Eve, she decides she has had enough. Andrew Horne’s "Splatterfly" (1 min., Australia). Animation based on the work of Australian comic strip artist Michael Leunig. Frederic Ledoux’s "Jour De Chance" (Lucky Day, 16 min., Belgium). It is just another ordinary day for a homeless man who suffers the contempt of "normal" society. Jason Tammemagi’s "Night Out" (8 min., 35 mm). Atmospheric animation with thrills, spills and a little romance. Gonzalo Zona’s "El Espantapájaros" (The Scarecrow, 9 min., Spain). This beautiful short features a scarecrow whose partner is a little difficult to talk to. Robin Walter’s "The Platform" (4 min., New Zealand.) The story of a train that never arrives and the man who discovers why. Paolo Ameli’s "Rosso Fango" (13 min., Italy) Haunting story of an English soldier’s brush with world destiny during WW1. Koji Yamamura’s "Mt Head" (10 min, Japan.) Animated short about a stingy man who has an amazing experience after eating cherry seeds.

Discussion to follow screening with filmmaker Nick Spano ("QIK2JDG"); IKESU Director Kenya Shimizue
Producer Hiroki Motomori.

 

Thursday, May 1 - 7:30 PM

SHORT SHORTS – PROGRAM B

Alexander Payne’s Carmen" (18 min., USA). Acclaimed director’s (ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT) first short, which involves a dimwitted gas station attendant, Ding Dongs and taco sauce. Keichiro Kyuma’s "Suzuki" (1 min., Japan) A mechanical lover takes precedence over his human counterpart. Jeremy Weinstein’s "Q" (3 min., Australia) L.A. residents will identify with this tale of endless lines. Gaelle Denis’ "Fish Never Sleep" (6 min., UK) Surreal look at insomnia and fish. Gustavo Moraes’ "Baseado Em Estorias Reais" (Based on True Stories, 15 min., Brazil) Andrew Horne’s "Supermarket Trolleys" (1 min., Australia) Ron Dyens’ "Paroles, Paroles" (4 min., France) Tragic farce details a bad balloon ride. Gabe Torres’ "Last Stand" (22 min., USA) A new angle on Custer’s last stand. Powerful argument against violence. Orlando Mesquita’s "The Ball" (5 min., Mozambique) In a small village, little boys create a new use for condoms.

Discussion to follow with filmmaker Gabe Torres ("Last Stand"); and "SUZUKI" Director Keiichiro Kyuma &
Producer
& Gustavo Moraes ("Based on True Stories").