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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

Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a April Calendar!
Series Compiled by: Gwen Deglise.

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Special Thanks to: Sarah Finklea/JANUS FILMS; Martine Boutrolle and Marie Bonnel/MAE; Ian Birnie and Jeremy Sheldon/LACMA

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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

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

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

 

 

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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<<< April 28 - 30, 2006 >>>

The Blood of A Poet: A Tribute to Jean Cocteau


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Presented in Association with the French Film and TV office of the French Consulate in Los Angeles.

Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) was a poet, novelist, painter, illustrator, set designer, playwright, critic, fashion plate, and aesthete who is best known outside France as a gifted filmmaker. His small but unique body of films may be his most important artistic legacy. His first film, the legendary avant-garde film THE BLOOD OF A POET (1931), was followed in the 1940’s and 1950’s by a series of screenplays, adaptations of his own plays and novels, and original works that expressed his main obsessions: the poet's struggle to transcend death and the magical and fantastic realm that lies hidden in reality. Cocteau became one of France's greatest celebrities and seemed to be omnipresent: hobnobbing with Modigliani, Apollinaire, and Max Jacob in Montparnasse; collaborating with Stravinsky and Picasso on Diaghilev's ballet Parade; founding the satirical journal Le Mot; staging the plays Orphee (1926) and La Voix Humaine (1929); publishing the novels Thomas L'Imposteur (1922) and Les Enfants Terribles (1929); completing his memoir Opium (1930) with its numerous drawings; and premiering the film THE BLOOD OF A POET (1931). Do not miss the classic fantasy masterpiece BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on the big screen! [Notes courtesy of Ian Birnie, LACMA]

 

Friday, April 28 – 7:30 PM

Restored print! BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (LA BELLE ET LA BETE), 1946, Janus Films, 93 min. The first feature directed by Jean Cocteau was a labor of love that attests to the imagination and perseverance of Cocteau and his entire production team in the face of severe deprivations posed by the Occupation. Its Gustave Doré sets and costumes by Christian Berard, its Vermeer-inspired compositions by Henri Alekan (whose cinematography Cocteau characterized as having the "soft gleam of hand-polished old silver"), the Beast's subtle makeup, the fantastic park and architecture of the Beast's castle, the Chateau de Raray, and the delicate beauty of Josette Day all conspired to produce one of the most enchanting films ever made.

 

Saturday, April 29 – 7:30 PM Tribute to Jean Cocteau – Double Feature: ORPHEE, 1949, Janus Films, 109 min. In the myth of Orpheus, the unlucky poet is forbidden to gaze upon his beloved Eurydice lest she be banished to the underworld. Jean Cocteau's version makes brilliant use of 1940’s Paris—the beatnik cafes of the Left Bank, bombed-out buildings from World War II, cryptic radio signals, and leather-clad motorcyclists—to convey the fractious literary world of the poet and the fearsome "Zone" he must navigate in pursuit of his lost love. Among the film’s most startling effects is Orphee's passage through the mirror that separates life from death. With Jean Marais, Maria Casares, Francois Perier, Juliette Greco. "ORPHEE is one of the triumphant examples of the use of film to intensify and extend fantasy."—Francis Steegmuller.

THE BLOOD OF A POET (LE SANG D'UN POETE), 1933, Janus Films, 60 min. Dir. Jean Cocteau. Though open to innumerable interpretations (all of which Cocteau rejected), his first film, financed by the Vicomte de Noailles, is a mesmerizing attempt to use pure imagery to evoke the unseeable, namely the birth of poetry in a speck of time symbolized by the crumbling of a brick tower that frames "the action." Neither surrealist nor strictly autobiographical, though Cocteau incorporates personal mythology and a narration spoken by himself, THE BLOOD OF A POET betrays the exhilaration of an artist who in his own words, "knew absolutely nothing about the art of movies. I invented it for my own use and employed it like a designer who dips his finger in India ink for the first time and then stains his paper with it."

 

Sunday, April 30 – 6:30 PM

Tribute to Jean Cocteau - Double Feature: THE BLOOD OF A POET (LE SANG D'UN POETE), 1933, Janus Films, 60 min. Dir. Jean Cocteau. [See description – Aero Theatre, April 29]

THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS (LE TESTAMENT D'ORPHEE), 1960, Janus Films, 83 min. Made at the age of 70, three years before his death, Jean Cocteau's final film is an "inner self-portrait" in which the poet, led by the painter Edouard Dermit, encounters figures from mythology and history while exploring events from his own life. Though Cocteau acknowledged that this blend of "truth and fable, realism and unrealism . . . would be tiresome would it become a genre," he was thrilled that the film found enthusiastic supporters among the younger generation, including Alain Resnais, who wrote, "What a lesson in freedom you give all of us!" With Jean Cocteau, Claudine Auger, Jean Marais, Charles Aznavour.