|Special Events in December:
Wednesday, December 1 7:30 PM
An Evening With Kim Basinger
With her Academy Award-winning performance in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, Kim Basinger
firmly established herself as one of the most compelling and accomplished actresses in
modern American cinema. She began her feature film career in the early 1980s, and
quickly earned recognition in dramas such as THE NATURAL, FOOL FOR LOVE and NADINE, along
with Tim Burtons blockbuster BATMAN. Shes recently worked with filmmakers from
Robert Altman (PRET-A-PORTER) to her L.A. CONFIDENTIAL director, Curtis Hanson, in the
blistering 8 MILE. Please join us for a special tribute to Ms. Basinger, featuring her
THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR, 2004, Focus Features,
111 min. Adapted from John Irvings novel, "A Widow For One Year", director
Tod Williams supplies a frank, riveting character study of Long Island couple,
Marion (Kim Basinger) and Ted (Jeff Bridges) as they go through the
agonizing aftermath of the death of their two sons. Dysfunction mushrooms in
tragedys wake as both characters deal with their despondency in different ways and
try desperately to find a path back to "normalcy". With Mimi Rogers, Jon Foster.
"Extraordinary in every way, from the pitch-perfect performances to the delicate
handling of explosive subject matter
" Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, 1997, Warner Brothers, 138
min. Director Curtis Hanson brings James Ellroys epic, muckraking crime novel
to vivid life, zeroing in on murder, scandal-mongering and police corruption in 1950s Los
Angeles. A white hot slab of ensemble acting adds to the fireworks including Russell
Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito and Kim
Basinger, who won a much-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.
One of those all too rare movie literary adaptations that matches the quality of the
original book. Discussion between films with actress Kim
Friday, December 3 7:30 PM
A Night with Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon started her career in show business very early. After modeling, TV
commercial roles, and winning her first State Talent Show award at 10, she starred at 15
as Dani Trant in Robert Mulligans MAN ON THE MOON (1991). After taking time off to
study English Literature at Stanford University, she returned with James Foleys FEAR
(1996), and Matthew Brights FREEWAY (1996), a film that was a transgressive cult
phenomenon and put her on the map as a performer to watch. Real stardom came in the late
1990s with critically acclaimed pictures such as PLEASANTVILLE (1998), CRUEL
INTENTIONS (1999) and ELECTION (1999) and finally superstar status with her role in the
box-office hit LEGALLY BLONDE (2001) which earned her a Golden Globe Nomination.
Shes continued her success with SWEET HOME ALABAMA, LEGALLY BLONDE II, and her
latest VANITY FAIR.
VANITY FAIR, 2004, Focus Features, 137 min. One of
Americas most popular stars, Reese Witherspoon, unites with acclaimed
director Mira Nair to bring to the screen author William Makepeace Thackerays
classic character, Rebecca (Becky) Sharp. The daughter of a starving English artist and a
French chorus girl, Becky is orphaned at a young age. Even as a child, she yearns for a
more glamorous life than her birthright promises. As she leaves Miss Pinkertons
Academy at Chiswick, Becky resolves to conquer English society by any means possible. She
deploys all of her wit, guile, and sexuality as she makes her way up into high society
during the first quarter of the 19th century.
ELECTION, 1999, Paramount, 103 min. Reese Witherspoon
gives one of her finest comic performances in director Alexander Paynes
(SIDEWAYS, ABOUT SCHMIDT) savage satire of high school politics. Tracy Enid Flick
(Witherspoon) always runs unopposed for class president, and this year looks no different
-- until unhappily married teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) decides everyone
will benefit from a little democratic competition. Discussion
in between films with actress Reese Witherspoon.
Saturday, December 4
6th Anniversary of the Grand Re-Opening
of the Egyptian Theatre
Egyptian Theatre Historic Tours & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
10:30 AM Behind The Scenes Tour
11:30 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
Saturday, December 4 5:00 PM
Memorial Tribute to Janet Leigh
Bright, beautiful, equally adept at lighthearted comedy or darkly disturbing drama,
actress Janet Leigh graced the American screen for over five decades. Although best
known for her "trilogy" of unnerving B&W masterpieces TOUCH OF EVIL,
PSYCHO and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE Leigh gave dazzling performances in a number of
other genres, including westerns and musical comedy. A frequent guest at the American
Cinematheque, Leigh was always generous in sharing her memories of a brilliant career.
Please join us in remembering this true American star, with three of her finest
THE NAKED SPUR, 1953, MGM (Warner Classics), 91 min.
Dir. Anthony Mann. Desperate bounty hunter, James Stewart, pairs up with
"morally unstable" cavalry officer Ralph Meeker (KISS ME DEADLY) as they
track down killer Robert Ryan and his hot-tempered girlfriend Janet Leigh. A
raw, strange, double-dealing piece of business, the film was (God bless em) recently
entered into the National Registry of Greatest American Films by the Library of Congress.
One of the best of director Manns classic James Stewart westerns, featuring a
terrific, unpredictable performance from Leigh. Introduction
to screening by Janet Leighs daughter, Kelly Curtis. Discussion following the
screening with Kelly Curtis, Betty Garrett, Margaret O'Brien, Tommy Rall. Moderator: Miles
Saturday, December 4 7:15 PM
Memorial Tribute to Janet Leigh - Newly Restored 35mm Prints!!
BYE, BYE BIRDIE, 1963, Columbia, 112 min. Dir. George
Sidney. A famous, Elvis-like rock star is drafted and, as a public relations stunt,
decides to give a public farewell kiss to the small town girl chosen as his most zealous
fan. Adapted from the original Broadway hit, this hellzapoppin musical comedy stars Dick
Van Dyke as a stressed-out press agent, Janet Leigh as his longsuffering
girlfriend, Ann-Margret as the ultimate in sweet, sexy teenagers and Paul Lynde
(!) as her justifiably anxious dad.
MY SISTER EILEEN, 1955, Columbia, 108 min. Dir. Richard
Quine. Incredibly entertaining musical comedy about two Ohio girls (Janet Leigh,
Betty Garrett) heading to the Big Apple and finding all manner of hijinks at their
eccentric Greenwich Village apartment building. Jack Lemmon co-stars and Bob
Fosse dances in this, the first movie he choreographed on his own. Introduction to MY SISTER EILEEN by actress Betty Garrett between
Sunday, December 5
6th Anniversary of the Grand Re-Opening
of the Egyptian Theatre
Egyptian Theatre Historic Tours & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
10:30 AM Behind The Scenes Tour
11:30 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
Sunday, December 5 5:00 PM
Count Yorga Double Feature
Actor Robert Quarry In Person!
In the early 1970s, when the world had gone psychedelic but monsters had gone
Gothic-stuffy with imported Hammer horrors, Count Yorga was hip. Current. Cool.
With his elegant wit and calm disdain for the clumsy mortals trying to stake his undead
heart, there had never been a vampire quite like Yorga, so memorably portrayed by horror
icon Robert Quarry. Now Yorga and Quarry are back with a rare double feature
tribute, hosted by writer/director/Yorga acolytes Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK
REDEMPTION) and Tim Sullivan (2001 MANIACS).
New 35mm print! COUNT
YORGA VAMPIRE, 1970, MGM/UA, 90 min, Dir. Bob Kelljan. Originally conceived
as a nudie film entitled "The Loves of Count Iorga", COUNT YORGA was revamped as
a serious fright fest and went on to become AIPs highest grossing film at the time.
One of the first films to feature a vampire in a modern context, COUNT YORGA still packs a
wallop with its unbridled thrills and ferocious performance by Robert Quarry in the
title role. With Michael Murphy, Roger Perry, Donna Anders.
RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, 1971, MGM/UA,
97 min, Dir. Bob Kelljan. You cant keep a good ghoul down! Yorga (Robert
Quarry) is back to terrorize Mariette Hartley and a small orphanage where he
sets up shop to control his vampire brides. Much noted for its supernatural take on
Charles Manson and his "family", RETURN is that rare sequel: just as good as the
first! Also starring Roger Perry, George Macready. Discussion
in between films with actor Robert Quarry and Yorga acolytes Frank Darabont and Tim
Sullivan. Forrest J. Ackerman, Bruce Campbell and the stars of 2001 Maniacs to attend the
tribute as well. Robert Quarry will sign autographs following the screening.
Click below to read Tim Sullivans interview with Robert Quarry:
Tuesday, December 7 7:30 PM
Gonzo Japanese Cinema Night
Takashi Miike vs. The Giant Calamari!!
L.A. Premiere! ANDROMEDIA,
1998, Pathfinder Pictures, 109 min. Director Takashi Miikes
action-packed, sci-fi teen tragicomedy focuses on a young girl, Mai (Hiroko Shimabukuro,
singer for J-Pop girl group, Speed)) who dies in a traffic accident but is reincarnated on
a data chip when her computer whiz dad (Tsunehiko Watase) cant let go of her memory.
Soon goofy, virtual-reality overlord Soccer (played by noted cinematographer Christopher
Doyle, of Wong Kar Wai fame) dispatches his screw-loose hitman to steal scientist
Watases secret at any cost. But Mais boyfriend rescues her laptop incarnation
and the chase is on, with Mais girlfriends (fellow Speed band members Eriko, Hitoe
& Takako) lending a hand against the bad guy pursuers. A sweet, bizarre,
full-of-CGI-nuttiness epic and unmistakably Miike!
THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, 2004, Pathfinder
Pictures, 95 min. Director Minoru Kawasaki, a veteran of the ULTRAMAN TIGA TV
series, likes to call himself "Ed Wood, Jr. with talent" and "Japans
Roger Corman". This funny, charmingly gonzo wrestling comedy proves his descriptive
self-promotion more than apt as a terminally-ill wrestler, with the help of a Buddhist
priest, transcends "wordly desires" (read: lust for his ex-grlfriend, Miyako) by
transforming into a man-sized squid! A squid who is still obsessed with becoming a
champion wrestler, we might add. But backstabbing promoters, unrequited love, and the
challenge of the Octopus Wrestler and the "insectoid" Squilla Boxer stand in our
heros way. With Osamu Nishimura, Kana Ishida.
Wednesday, December 8 7:00 & 9:15 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
"WOMEN IN SHORTS" Our sixth-annual
program of recent short films that feature female protagonists and themes. There are
several Los Angeles premieres in this exciting program of hard to see, award-winning
shorts from some of the most talented new directors. Don't miss the Q & A to follow
with several of the filmmakers.
L.A. Premiere! Lisa Leones "Exactly" (10 min).
Rosie Perez and Sarita Choudhury star in this cautionary tale about acting
before you think about the consequences. L.A. Premiere! Jean Strauss
"Triumvirate" (13 min). Powerful, tear-inducing documentary about the
filmmakers search for her birth mother and the amazing discovery beyond that quest.
Genevieve Andersons "Olas Box of Clovers" (10 min). In this
moving tale told with rod-manipulated puppets, the filmmaker learns of her
grandmothers unfulfilled dreams. Terri Edda Millers "Dysenchanted"
(8 min). Let us peek in on the group therapy session for such female storybook icons as
Snow White, Cinderella and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Sikander Goldaus "Fragile"
(20 min). Hauntingly beautiful mini-masterpiece about a woman looking back at her life.
L.A. Premiere! Andrea Arnolds "Wasp" (23 min.)
Astoundingly tense and harrowing multi-award winning short about a young single mother
with four kids. After seeing this short, Lars Von Trier gave Arnold one million euros for
her first feature film. Jean Strauss
("Triumvirate"), Genevieve Anderson ("Olas Box of
Clovers") and Terri Edda Miller ("Dysenchanted") will join us for
a post-screening discussion after the 7:00pm program.
Thursday, December 9 7:30 PM
A Tribute to Legendary L.A. Punk Filmmaker, David Markey
World Premiere!! (THIS IS KNOWN AS) THE BLUES SCALE, 2004, We Got Power
Films, 40 min. David Markey, director of 1991: THE YEAR PUNK BROKE, presents a film
of rare, never-before-seen outtakes from that groundbreaking chronicle of the fabled Sonic
Youth/Nirvana tour. A cinematic postscript that is just as entertaining and
stimulating as its movie parent, with Sonic Youth singer/guitarist and all-round-rabble-
rouser Thurston Moore proving a devilishly funny ringmaster to the circus of backstage
antics. Featuring more performance footage of Sonic Youth and Nirvana as well as pungent
commentary by Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Dave Grohl, et. al.
DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS, 1984, We Got
Power Films, 50 min. Following somewhere on the trail blazed by John Waters and George
Kuchar, director David Markey conjures an endearing homage to Russ Meyers
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS with this story of three teenage runaways (Hilary Rubens,
Jennifer Schwartz and Janet Housden) who form "the hottest all-girl band of all
time"- !! But rival all-girl gang The She Devils and their leader, Tania Hearst
(Tracy Lea), have it in for our heroes, as do annoying mothers and psych-ward doctors. A
super-charged, home-made, originally-shot-on-Super-8 tribute to rock band films, "an
epic film of true teenage brattiness
"(Craig Lee, L.A. Weekly.) Music
by Red Kross, Nip Drivers, The Bags and more! "A legendary underground
classic." (Patrick Goldstein, L.A. Times.)
LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR - FULLY REALIZED, 2004
(orig. 1986), We Got Power Films, 82 min. David Markey revitalized his 1986 sequel
to the original LOVEDOLLS film in this newly mixed and transferred version, bringing the
outrageously transgressive Lovedolls back to life for more encounters with fanatical
cults, brain-damaged followers, jealous rivals and homicidally obsessive fans. With Janet
Housden, Jennifer Schwartz, Kim Pilkington, Tracy Lea, Steve & Jeff McDonald. With
cameos by Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Jello Biafra (The Dead Kennedys) and Sky Saxon
(The Seeds). Music by Red Kross, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, The Dead Kennedys and more! "Any
rock film that mixes references to Billy Jack, Charles Manson and Jim Jones is all right
with me." Psychotronic Video Guide. Discussion
following first film with director David Markey.
Special Engagement December 10 16 [Spielberg
INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS, 2004, Eden Rock Media,
94 min. A hilariously offbeat comedy/pseudo-documentary about an expedition that goes
awry. Led by renowned director Werner Herzog (FITZCARRALDO, AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD), a
group of filmmakers set out to debunk the myth of the Loch Ness monster and havoc ensues. Premiere
Magazine's Mark Salisbury calls the film: "rip-roaringly funny, glorious and
wonderfully inventive! A gem!" Influenced by the films of Christopher Guest, and such
improvisational and naturalistic TV series as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and
"The Office," director Zak Penn pokes fun at Hollywood with subversive delight
while remaining one of its most successful insiders. Discussion
following the 7:30 PM screening on 12/10 with director Zak Penn, legendary filmmaker
Werner Herzog, producer Thomas Augsberger, cinematographer Gaby Beristain (schedules
Friday, December 10th - 7: 30 pm* & 9:45 PM
Saturday, December 11 - 3:00 PM &
Sunday, December 12 - 3:00 PM & 5:00 PM
Wednesday, December 15 - 7:30 PM
Thursday, December 16 - 7:30 PM
Friday, December 10 7:30 PM
Remembering Russ Meyer
Kitten Natividad In Person!
Watching the films of the late, great Russ
Meyer brings to mind what might have happened if the likes of Sam Fuller, Frank
Tashlin, Erskine Caldwell, R. Crumb and Henry Miller had put their libidos (and brains)
together to create a Parallel Universe inhabited by luscious, loving angels and
cat-scratching vixens, bitter old drunks and borderline psychotics. A combat photographer
during WWII (he landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day), Meyer brought a surefire directness
and ferocious sense of humor to his films, from the stark, savage FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL!
KILL!, to the Day-Glo weirdness of BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. Few filmmakers looked
as long and hard at the kinky games people play as Meyer did or had as much fun
watching. A frequent guest at the American Cinematheque over the past several years, Meyer
was a treasured part of the Los Angeles film scene and an inspiration to many younger
filmmakers and musicians. He will be sorely missed. Please join us in celebrating his
unhinged genius with two of his finest films:
FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!, 1966, RM Films, 83
min. Dir. Russ Meyer. The ultimate Meyer paean to big breasts, aggressive females
and ultra-violence. A trio of hard-drinking, car-racing do-anything-for-kicks strippers
led by the robustly exotic Tura Satana terrorize everyone in sight including poor
waif Susan Bernard and twisted rich cripple Stuart Lancaster. The voluptuous villainesses
are finally consumed by greed, lust and hate in an orgy of bloodthirsty self-destruction.
Achingly funny and exhilarating from start-to-slambang finish in one of the true
masterpieces of 1960s pop cinema. With an amazing score by unsung greats Paul
Sawtell and Bert Shefter. Also starring Lori Williams, Haji.
BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE ULTRA-VIXENS, 1979,
RM Films, 93 min. Dir. Russ Meyer. The incredibly exuberant Kitten Natividad
is Lavonia, a frustrated housewife masquerading as stripper alter-ego, Lola Langusta to
prove to her studying-to-be-an-accountant hubby, Lamar that there are more ways to skin a
cat than just going through the backdoor. Abounding with such libidinous characters as the
super-stacked psalm-singing faith healer of the airwaves Eufaula Roop (Ann-Marie), dental
hygienist Flovilla Thatch (Sharon Hill) and Lamar's demanding boss, Junkyard Sal (June
Mack) in one of Meyer's most densely-populated and popular live action cartoons. Kitten Natividad will introduce the program prior to the first feature.
Official Russ Meyer Website.
Saturday, December 11 7:00 PM
A Night with Mark Ruffalo
Actor Mark Ruffalo has been active in film and theatre since 1993, but success in the
public eye finally arrived when he met mentor/filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan. Reprising the
part of Terry Prescott from Lonergans play This Is Our Youth in the feature
film version YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (2000). finally highlighted his talent to the
ticket-buying audience. Since acclaimed as one of the most gifted young actors of his
generation, Ruffalo is still devoted to theatre and independent movie projects, something
born out by his last film, the Kaufman/Gondry production, ETERNAL SUNSHINE AND THE
SPOTLESS MIND (2004), where he starred opposite Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a
scientific assistant trying to cope with a bizarre memory-eraser machine. Director John
Currans WE DONT LIVE HERE ANYMORE, Ruffalos latest, followed at the
close of 2004. We are proud to present a one-night tribute to this young, promising
WE DONT LIVE HERE ANYMORE, 2004, Warner
Independent, 101 min. Dir. John Curran. Adapted from two short stories by Andre
Dubus, a brilliant study of friendship amongst married couples and how infidelity upsets
its delicate balance, causing long-suppressed emotion and hurtful truths to emerge.
Mark Ruffalo is excellent as a frustrated young man trying to reinvent himself by
ignoring his past, but soon realizing life is much more complex than he had ever imagined.
With stunning support from Laura Dern as his wife Terry, Naomi Watts as
Edith and Peter Krause as Hank.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, 2000, Paramount Classics,
111 min. Nominee and winner of countless critical accolades (amonst them the LA Film
Critics Association New Generation Award to Mark Ruffalo), this beautifully
realized meditation on sibling love-and-rivalry was written and directed by Kenneth
Lonergan. Reserved, responsible Samantha (superb Laura Linney) experiences
mixed feelings when her neerdowell younger brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) wanders back
into her life. With Matthew Broderick. Discussion
between films with actor Mark Ruffalo.
Sunday, December 12 7:00 PM
A Tribute to Cannes International Film Festival
West Coast Premiere!!
EPREUVES D'ARTISTES (WORDS IN PROGRESS), 2004, 52
min. The American Cinematheque is proud to present the most intimate and revealing
documentary yet on the worlds largest film festival, the Festival du Cannes
directed by Gilles Jacob, head of the Festival for many years. EPREUVES
DARTISTES is an invitation to see and hear great filmmakers meet each other, admire
each other, answer each other and share common ideas, witnessed by a director who feels
great affection for them. Jean-Luc Godard (to whom the film is dedicated) reflects
on contemporary art, Martin Scorsese quotes Welles and Ozu, Francis Ford Coppola
does not see time passing although Time has not forgotten him Abbas
Kiarostami is found in good company, next to Fellini, as is Tarkovsky, next to
Bresson. Director Jacob is also president of the Cannes Film Fest and all the more apt to
reveal the backstage secrets and unknown truths of the most famous celebration of world
A discussion will follow the screening on the social,
cultural and filmic importance of the Film Festival with film critics Scott Foundas, Kirk
Honeycutt, Todd McCarthy, FX Feeney and writer of the book Hollywood on the Riviera,
Thursday, December 16 7:30 PM Alternative Screen Independent Film Showcase
Sneak Preview! BLUE IN GREEN, 2004, Unica, 92 min., USA. M. David Melvin directs an ensemble cast in this
exploration of the human desire to feel completeness in our lives. How often do we say,
If only I had X, my life would be complete? At Colleens (Elizabeth
Logan) 35th birthday party her friends gather to meet Dan, the man she has
determined is the love of her life. As the night wears on and he has not arrived, his
conspicuous absence begins to have an effect on all of the guests. M. David Melvin
directed the actors and the three cameras were directed by Kevin K. Shah and Zak Forsman.
The project is a collaboration of the film collective Unica. Discussion
following with Unica filmmakers.