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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 an September Calendar! 
Series compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Chris D with the assistance of Pauline Pallier.

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Special Thanks to:  Marilee Womack/ WARNER BROS.; Pauline Pallier.

 

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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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<< September 1 - 6, 2006 >>>

The Delirious Poetry of Vincente Minnelli

 


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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

 

Vincente Minnelli (1903-1986) came up through the theater, working as a set designer and costumer on Broadway during the depression before graduating to art director at hallowed Radio City Music Hall. He finally made his debut as a director for the stage in 1935, shortly before leaving for Hollywood. After an aborted contract at Paramount failed to bear any fruit, he was courted by Arthur Freed to join MGM. Once ensconced at the MGM dream factory, Minnelli reportedly devoted himself to learning the ropes in each department on the lot the entire first year he was there. He toiled behind-the-scenes working his magic on many movies, including the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland vehicle, Busby Berkeley’s BABES ON BROADWAY (1941) before being entrusted with his directorial film debut, CABIN IN THE SKY in 1943. He made one of his enduring, pantheon masterpieces MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS only a year later, certainly one of the greatest, most heartfelt musicals ever made. More stunning musicals followed in the ensuing decade, including AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and THE BAND WAGON. But versatile Minnelli also made comedies (FATHER OF THE BRIDE, DESIGNING WOMAN) and dramas as well. His dramas especially, from MADAME BOVARY and THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL to THE COBWEB, LUST FOR LIFE, SOME CAME RUNNING, HOME FROM THE HILL and TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN, employ the same kind of detailed production design and sense of painting on a grand canvas as his most lavish musicals, lending the fiery, often tragic pyrotechnics on display a phantasmagorical quality that is distinctly, uniquely Minnelli. Please join us for this all-too-brief tribute to one of the grand masters of American cinema, an artist who painted his pictures with a camera instead of a brush.

 

 

Friday, September 1 – 7:30 PM

Minnelli Musical Double Feature:

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, 1951, Warner Bros., 115 min. Director Vincente Minnelli’s most popular musical and 1951’s Oscar Best Picture winner features irrepressible Gene Kelly as a struggling-to-make-it painter in Paris, caught between the romantic aspirations of a wealthy patron (Nina Foch) and his true love, the young Leslie Caron. Kelly sings, dances and cracks wise with his smart-aleck buddy, pianist Oscar Levant while trying to decide what to do. Also received Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Score, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

THE BAND WAGON, 1953, Warners Bros., 112 min. Dir. Vincente Minnelli. Brilliant backstage musical from the pen of Comden and Green (including "That’s Entertainment" and "Dancing In The Dark"), starring Fred Astaire as a washed-up dancer who joins forces with megolomaniac producer Jack Buchanan (a true delight) and gal-pal Nanette Fabray. Arguably the most modern and inventive of the great MGM musicals – climaxing in the simply mindblowing "Girl Chase" ballet between Astaire and vamp Cyd Charisse!

 

 

Saturday, September 2 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, 1952, Warners Bros., 118 min. Known more for his stylish MGM musicals, director Vincente Minnelli pulled out all the stops for this classic melodrama about a ruthless film producer - Kirk Douglas as one of the movies’ great detestable characters - who alienates all of those around him. Betrayals and misunderstandings in the festering underbelly of Hollywood. Also starring are Lana Turner, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan and Gloria Grahame. Somewhere between Good and Evil, life and cinema, Minnelli rises to the top!

THE COBWEB, 1955, Warners Bros., 124 min. Dir. Vincente Minnelli. At a psychiatric sanitarium, the wife (Gloria Grahame) of the head doctor (Richard Widmark) decides the site’s library is in need of new drapes. This seemingly insignificant change sparks a conflict amongst not only the staff members (including stubborn Lillian Gish) but with the talented, profoundly neurotic patient (John Kerr) who was to have originally designed the curtains. A metaphoric look at society where boundaries disappear between what is important and inconsequential, normal and foolish. An outstanding story, with a talented cast that also includes Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer and Susan Strasberg. Another of Minnelli’s cocktails of subtleties.

 

 

Sunday, September 3 – 7:30 PM

Judy Garland Double Feature:

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, 1944, Warner Bros., 113 min. Director Vincente Minnelli. Life seems perfect in St. Louis on the brink of the 1904 World’s Fair for the four sisters of a working class family, until the father reveals they have to leave for New York. Adapted from a series of short stories by Sally Benson, originally published in the New Yorker, this gem of cinematic, picture-postcard Americana and youthful romance marked the beginning of the golden age of MGM musicals. And the golden age for Minnelli as well. He married Judy Garland the following year. The songs became standards (remember "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"?), and the feature was one of MGM’s biggest successes after GONE WITH THE WIND.

THE CLOCK, 1945, Warner Bros., 90 min. Director Vincente Minnelli’s take on the universal boy-meets-girl story. Off-duty soldier Robert Walker meets Judy Garland in New York. Some sightseeing and a day later, they fall in love. One of those rare films in which Judy didn’t sing at all proved she was also capable of carrying a purely dramatic role.

 

 

Wednesday, September 6 – 7:30 PM

MADAME BOVARY, 1949, Warner Bros. 130 min. The second of the three film versions of Gustave Flaubert’s classic - after Renoir’s and before Chabrol’s - is probably the best of the lot. Vincente Minnelli wanted Lana Turner for the role of the tragic, female iconoclast ruined by scandal in provincial, 19th century Paris. But Jennifer Jones, recently married to the picture’s producer David O’Selznick, triumphed over her. And she excels admirably at being a desperate, romantic heroine, equal parts willful and vulnerable, and bent on following her desires, consequences be damned. The irresistible James Mason, the suave Louis Jourdan and the long-suffering Van Heflin are the men in her life. Minnelli’s visionary adaptation is beautiful, moving and technically striking.