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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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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a February Calendar!

Series Compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Chris D., with the assistance of Martina Palaskov-Begov.

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Special Thanks to:

Mike Schlesinger & Susanne Jacobsen/COLUMBIA REPERTORY (SONY); RIALTO PICTURES; Mary Tallungan/DISNEY; Dennis Doros/MILESTONE FILMS.

 

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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<<< February 15 - 26, 2006 >>>

A Matter of Life And Death: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

 

An Aero Theatre Exclusive!


Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

Michael Powell called their partnership "a marriage without sex," and Emeric Pressburger said, "Ours is an ideal way of working together, and at the same time, working separately." It was an unlikely pairing of the lean, unmistakably British Powell and the stocky, worldly Hungarian Pressburger that resulted in some of the most intelligently written, beautifully conceived and photographed, and gloriously romantic films in cinema history, including BLACK NARCISSUS, I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. Born in 1905 in Bekesbourne, near Canterbury, England, Powell abandoned a career as a banker in the mid-1920’s to pursue filmmaking, first as assistant to expatriate American director Rex Ingram in France, and later as a still photographer on Alfred Hitchcock’s CHAMPAGNE. Powell got his own chance to direct in the early 1930’s, churning out a series of "quota quickies" before breaking out with his first truly personal picture, THE EDGE OF THE WORLD. Born in 1902 in Miskolc, Hungary, the young Pressburger moved to Berlin in 1925, where he worked as a film critic until director Robert Siodmak, impressed by some of his reviews, gave him a job as screenwriter at the U.F.A. Studios. After Hitler’s rise to power, Pressburger fled first to Paris, then London, where he continued working as a writer. (Sadly, Pressburger’s mother and most of his extended family died in the Nazi concentration camps.) Brought together in 1939 by producer Alexander Korda to work on THE SPY IN BLACK, Powell and Pressburger immediately recognized each other as kindred spirits. Beginning in 1943 with THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, and continuing on a total of 13 feature films through ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT in 1957, they took the unique collaborative credit of "written, produced and directed by" both men – although by their own admission, Pressburger concentrated primarily on screenwriting (with Powell’s creative input), while Powell handled most of the actual on-set directing. This series is an opportunity to see some of Powell and Pressburger’s best known (and rarest) films as a team and individually.

 

 

Wednesday, February 15 - 7:30 PM

Restored 35mm print! BLACK NARCISSUS, 1947, UA (Sony), 99 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Powell and Pressburger’s exquisite (and surprisingly erotic) drama of spiritual devotion and earthly temptation stars the luminous Deborah Kerr as a nun nearly overwhelmed by the physical beauty of her new Himalayan home, and the worldly charms of rugged David Farrar. Widely hailed as one of the most visually stunning films ever made (courtesy of d.p. Jack Cardiff’s Oscar-winning cinematography). Co-starring Sabu, Jean Simmons, Flora Robson. "Color, sex, exotic locations – it was a big hit in austerity-stricken England!" – Michael Powell.

 

Thursday, February 16 - 7:30 PM

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (aka STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN), 1946, Columbia (Sony), 104 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. This breathtaking meditation on the mercies of love and the cruelties of fate stars David Niven as a WWII pilot pleading his case in Heaven, claiming that he was not meant to die and should be allowed to return to lovely Kim Hunter on earth. Roger Livesey co-stars as the doctor who becomes Niven’s solicitor on the astral plane, with the delightful Marius Goring as a dandified angel.

 

Friday, February 17 - 7:30 PM

This screening is dedicated to Moira Shearer who passed away in January.

THE RED SHOES, 1948, UA (Sony), 133 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A delirious, shimmering Technicolor dream of a movie starring Scottish dancer-turned-actress Moira Shearer (in her film debut) as an aspiring ballerina caught between the maniacal, domineering passion of impresario Anton Walbrook and the equally controlling love of composer Marius Goring. An awesome, superbly fluid blending of music, dance and cinematography (courtesy of the great Jack Cardiff).

"The flaming red-headed dancer who starred in the most famous ballet movie is dead. Moira  Shearer died Tuesday at the age of 80. KPCC's John Rabe reports.

In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer plays a beautiful and talented ballerina torn between the composer she loves and the manipulative and jealous ballet company manager who wants her. The movie was was a huge international hit and was nominated for best picture. It's considered one of the ten best British films.

It's inspired generations of dancers and balletomanes, but it was Shearer's first film. She was born in Scotland and became principal dancer at London's famous Sadler's Wells in 1942. Though she took roles in later films, Shearer remained ambivalent toward movies, preferring to focus on dance.

If you've never seen The Red Shoes, made in 1948, it's showing at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Tuesday the 17th, as part of a Powell retrospective."

-- John Rabe, 89.3-KPCC

 

Saturday, February 18 - 7:30 PM

PEEPING TOM, 1960, Rialto Pictures, 101 min. Dir. Michael Powell. Almost universally reviled by critics on its initial run, but now looked on as a masterpiece of psychological horror, PEEPING TOM all but killed Powell’s career when it was released. In an unforgettably creepy and affecting performance, Carl Boehm stars as a shy, gentle photographer, who is really a tormented serial killer filming his female victims at their moment of death. Boehm’s crush on boarding house tenant Helen (Anna Massey) brings on a crisis that can result only in redemption or destruction. Insightful and subversive, PEEPING TOM poses difficult questions about the universal desire for voyeuristic thrills and the very nature of watching film.

 

Sunday, February 19 - 6:00 PM

New Restored 35mm Print! AGE OF CONSENT, 1969, Columbia (Sony), 103 min. Dir. Michael Powell. James Mason is at his crotchety, hard-drinking best as rabelaisian artist, Bradley Morrison, sojourning on a remote isle off the Great Barrier Reef to try to jumpstart his dried-up muse. He finds inspiration unexpectedly in the form of nubile free spirit, Cora Ryan (a delightful, gorgeous Helen Mirren in one of her earliest roles), an outspoken teenager living with her alcoholic harridan of an aunt (Neva Carr-Glynn). With a great turn by Jack MacGowran (CUL-DE-SAC, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS) as Mason’s ne’er-do-well friend and Harold Hopkins as Mirren’s smitten, wanna-be beau. Mason’s Morrison character was based on painter, Norman Lindsay, famous for his sumptuous paintings of voluptuous nudes in natural settings. NOT ON VIDEO!

 

Wednesday, February 22 - 7:30 PM

GONE TO EARTH, 1950, David O. Selznick Prod. (Walt Disney Co.), 110 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. One of Powell and Pressburger’s most gloriously mystical films stars the enchanting Jennifer Jones as an orphaned country girl, who lives surrounded by magic, superstition and wild forest animals. David Farrar (BLACK NARCISSUS) co-stars as the aristocratic squire who finds himself bewitched by Jones’ charms. Released in a tragically-shorted version in the U.S. as THE WILD HEART, this is a restored print of the full-length British version! NOT ON VIDEO!

 

Thursday, February 23 - 7:30 PM

THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, 1937, Milestone Films, 73 min. Dir. Michael Powell. A major rediscovery, recently restored by the British Film Institute and Milestone Films, THE EDGE OF THE WORLD was Michael Powell’s first truly personal picture, as well as one of his most wildly poetic. Set on the remote, rocky crag of Foula (called in the film "Hirta") in the Scottish Shetland Islands, EDGE OF THE WORLD follows three young friends (Niall MacGinnis, Eric Berry and Belle Chrystall) struggling against the inevitable end of their ages-old way of life. The weather on Foula was so fierce that young director Powell and crew had to be airlifted off after two weeks of storms – but not before he captured some of the most unforgettably lovely black-and-white images ever put to film.

 

 

Saturday, February 25 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING, 1945, UA (Sony Repertory), 124 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Along with Jean Vigo’s L’ATALANTE, this is our choice for the most heartbreakingly romantic film ever made. The great Wendy Hiller stars as a girl determined to marry for money, not love – until she finds herself trapped by high seas in a small Scottish town with local laird Roger Livesy. As the days go by, Hiller becomes more and more desperate to leave – not realizing that her life’s destination has already, magically, irreversibly, changed.

CANTERBURY TALE 1944, UA (Sony Repertory), 124 min. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A beautifully told, and surprisingly intricate interweaving of the stories of four contemporary "pilgrims" – an American and a British soldier, a British "Land Girl," and a local magistrate/historian – in the village of Canterbury during World War II. A CANTERBURY TALE is filled with Powell and Pressburger’s marvelous, worldly humor – along with one of their most bizarre and disturbing characters in the form of the mysterious "Glue Man," pouring paste into the hair of young girls as they sleep! (Interestingly, Powell himself was born not far from Canterbury, and educated at King’s School there.) Starring Thomas Colpeper, Alison Smith and Bob Johnson. (Released in the U.S. in a shortened 95 min. version, this is the original 124 min. U.K. version.)

 

Sunday, February 26 - 6:00 PM

THIEF OF BAGDAD, 1940, UA (Sony Repertory), 106 min. Dir. Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan (and, uncredited, Alexander Korda, Zoltan Korda and William Cameron Menzies). One of the greatest fantasies ever made: rascally young thief Sabu helps deposed Prince Achmad regain the rightful throne of Bagdad, with the help of a massive genie (Rex Ingram), a flying horse, an all-seeing jeweled eye, and the love of a beautiful Princess (June Duprez). Conrad Veidt co-stars as the wicked usurper Jaffar, who uses every means at his disposal to stop our brave heroes. Soaring score by Miklos Rozsa, with photography by Georges Perinal (THE LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP).