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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

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Series Compiled by: Grant Moninger & Gwen Deglise.

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Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

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Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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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 newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<<< May 20 - 27, 2006 >>>

Alien Madness!


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This Series is Exclusive to the Aero Theatre!

 

In Association with the Visual Effects Society

Although there had been alien invaders from outer space savaging vast numbers of the human population since the turn of the 20th Century via literature (H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds to name only one novel) and by way of plenty of pulp magazine sagas starting in the 1920’s, it wasn’t really until 1951, with Howard Hawks’ THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, that the cinematic dam broke. With that film’s enormous popularity, a celluloid plethora of alien creatures in all manner of shapes and sizes flooded theatres and drive-ins, playing on subconscious fears of war, armageddon and domestic unrest. From the messianic would-be savior played by Michael Rennie in Robert Wise’s cautionary THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL to Walter Pidgeon’s Id monster (courtesy of the long-dead Krell) in FORBIDDEN PLANET to the Martian vampire in Edward L. Cahn’s IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE - that subsequently (and startlingly!) evolved into the insectoid, reptilian raptors of the ALIEN franchise - to John Carpenter’s underrated remake of THE THING, alien invaders have proved irresistible to international movie audiences. Please join us for a delightful, shuddery handful of the some of the best of this still mushrooming genre.

 

 

 

Saturday, May 20 - 7:30 PM 

ALIEN, 1979, 20th Century Fox, 117 min. From its cool, sinister textures to its (literally) stomach-churning special effects, director Ridley Scott’s ALIEN reinvented the monster-from-space movie as something mesmerizing, inescapable and strangely beautiful. It also introduced the American action heroine in Sigourney Weaver’s tough-as-nails Ripley, going head-to-head with the H.R. Giger-designed Alien. With Tom Skeritt, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright. Jeff Bond (Executive Editor CFQ) to introduce and moderate Q&A with Ronald Shusset (co-writer/producer) afterwards.

 

 

Sunday, May 21 - 6:30 PM

20th Anniversary!
ALIENS, 1986, 20th Century Fox, 137 min. Seven years after Ridley Scott’s original ALIEN, James Cameron returned with this sinister, explosive WWII-movie-in-space, about a platoon of U.S. Marines stranded on planet LV-426. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is darker and richer here -- haunted by alien nightmares, going face-to-face with her deepest fears. Watch for Cameron’s flawless feel for detail and pacing in ALIENS, the way he builds suspense scene-by-scene (the creatures don’t even appear until almost 50 minutes into the movie!) For added realism, Cameron hired Marine Corps vet Al Matthews as platoon sergeant -- "If one of the actors dropped their rifle, he’d run over and scream in their face ‘Your rifle is your life, soldier! Give me fifty!" - James Cameron. With Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser. Dennis Skotak (Visual Effects Director of (Photography/ Co-supervisor) and Pat McClung (Miniatures Supervisor).  Paul Taglianetti (VES) will moderate.

 

 

Thursday, May 25 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, 1951, Warner Bros., 87 min. Dir. Christian Nyby. Produced by the great Howard Hawks. The first alien invasion film and arguably the first modern horror film. A prototype for everything that would follow, from ALIEN to FRIDAY THE 13th to HALLOWEEN. A fast moving freight train of a movie, filled with Hawks trademark snappy, overlapping dialogue and some of the scariest moments ever on film. It's the STAGECOACH of horror films. Featuring "Gunsmoke's" James Arness as the THING. It also demonstrates the dangers of electric blankets. With Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan.

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, 1958, Sony Repertory, 69 min. Director Edward L. Cahn was one of the legendary, underrated masters of the grade-Z movie, wringing suspense, well-orchestrated action and authentic cheap thrills from drive-in staple material. IT! is no exception, and is his most famous contribution to genre film history. A reptilian Martian vampire stows away on a rocketship bound for Earth, and the crew has to use every trick in the book to kill it before it kills them. This chilling nailbiter is the film most often credited as inspiring ALIEN. With Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith.

 


Friday, May 26 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

FORBIDDEN PLANET, 1956, Warner Brothers, 98 min. Dir.  Fred Wilcox. The movie that launched a thousand ships, from STAR TREK to STAR WARS. One of the most influential films ever made, the first big budget science fiction blockbuster is a space opera with its roots in Freud, Jung and Shakespeare.  It’s also a landmark of production design and special effects, and features the first all-electronic music score. Starring Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielson (as the prototype for Captain Kirk) and the beautiful, future Miss Honey West (Anne Francis) as the mini-skirt-wearing, skinny-dipping object of all the men's affection. Also with Robby The Robot - need I say more?

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, 1951, 20th Century Fox, 92 min. Dir. Robert Wise. Christ-like alien Michael Rennie arrives in Washington, D.C. with a one-eyed robot to curtail Earth’s weapons of mass destruction before they can jeopardize the universe. Patricia Neal turns in a memorable performance as one of the only human beings attempting to understand him. With Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe. Steven Rubin (author) to introduce the films and speak in between with actor Billy Gray (who played the little boy in the film as a child).

 

 

Saturday, May 27 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:
LIFEFORCE
, 1985, Sony Repertory, 101 min. Sex-starved space vampire Mathilda May terrorizes the world while looking for something to wear, in director Tobe Hooper’s gleeful, over-the-top sci-fi flick – one of the great pulp movies of the 1980’s. Steve Railsback co-stars as the lovestruck astronaut dazzled by May’s charms, with help from Frank Finlay and Patrick Stewart.

THE THING, 1982, Universal, 108 min. Director John Carpenter re-imagined the 1951 sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD as something darker, fiercer and altogether more disturbing, pitting sombrero-wearing helicopter pilot Kurt Russell and a crew of Arctic scientists against a ravenous, shape-shifting alien being. From the haunting opening shots of a sled dog fleeing across the snow, to the apocalyptic, fire-and-ice ending, this ranks with Ridley Scott’s ALIEN as one of the finest and most beautifully-crafted sci-fi films of the past 25 years. Discussion in between films with director Tobe Hooper, moderated by Mark A. Altman (Co-publisher/Editorial Director CFQ Magazine).