|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 hes 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
(1933 - 2003) passed away on March 9th. perhaps the most influential filmmaker of the
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).
(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
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.
"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
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 Reeds 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: "Youre 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 Zweimans "The Breakfast Club" The brat pack is packing! Homos and Sapphos stay after school. (From the
Gay Propaganda Series, 5 min., video.) Meredith Kadlecs "On Gay Golden Pond"
(From the Gay Propaganda Series, 2 min., video.) A warm, re-telling of this classic. J.D.
Disalvatores "Taxi Lesbian" (From the Gay Propaganda Series, 2
min., video.) This is one cabbie you do not want to mess with. Pascale Simons "You
2" (25 min., video.) Warm, funny, coming out story set in the Surinamese
community in Amsterdam. Wonderful script by Jenny Mijnhijmer. Rodrigos
Bellotts "Sexo" (9 min., video.) A funny, ironic, non-pornographic
film about pornographic practices by pornographic audiences. Alan Browns "O
Beautiful" (29 min., video.) L.A. PREMIERE! Powerful,
award-winning, Sundance 2003 selection about homophobia, desire, forgiveness and
acceptance. Abigail Severances "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 Dignams "Chicken"
(3 min., 35mm.) Sometimes, taking a risk can change everything. Cath Le Coteurs
"Starched" (6 min., 35mm.) Crisp, sexually charged comedy with gorgeous
Discussion to follow screening with
filmmakers 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
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
"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
Japans 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 Paynes
"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
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
Nick Spanos "QIK2JDG" (5 min., USA). A judge
confronts his own humanity through a bizarre experience. Kenya Shimizus
"Ikesu" (3 min., Japan). Whimsical, claymation tale of love in a fish
tank. Benjamin Avilas "La Gotera" (The Leak, 13 min.,
Argentina/Cuba). As Marta looks back on her life on New Years Eve, she decides she
has had enough. Andrew Hornes "Splatterfly" (1 min., Australia).
Animation based on the work of Australian comic strip artist Michael Leunig. Frederic
Ledouxs "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 Tammemagis "Night Out" (8 min.,
35 mm). Atmospheric animation with thrills, spills and a little romance. Gonzalo
Zonas "El Espantapájaros" (The Scarecrow, 9
min., Spain). This beautiful short features a scarecrow whose partner is a little
difficult to talk to. Robin Walters "The Platform" (4 min., New
Zealand.) The story of a train that never arrives and the man who discovers why. Paolo
Amelis "Rosso Fango" (13 min., Italy) Haunting story of an English
soldiers brush with world destiny during WW1. Koji Yamamuras "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 Paynes Carmen" (18 min., USA). Acclaimed
directors (ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT) first short, which involves a dimwitted gas
station attendant, Ding Dongs and taco sauce. Keichiro Kyumas "Suzuki"
(1 min., Japan) A mechanical lover takes precedence over his human counterpart. Jeremy
Weinsteins "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 Hornes
"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 Custers
last stand. Powerful argument against violence. Orlando Mesquitas "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").