American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series Compiled by: Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Fritz Herzog and Snowden Becker/THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Harry Guerro; Amy Lewin, Emily Horn and Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Julie McLean and Quentin Tarantino.

 

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 available 30 days in advance. 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 magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< April 21 - 23, 2006 >>>

Much of Madness, More of Sin - The Classic Italian Giallo Thriller

 

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

Portions of this program will also take place at the Aero Theatre.

 

As any self-respecting lover of cult cinema knows, giallo is the term used to describe the wonderfully lurid, sexy and bloody suspense shockers that suddenly began appearing from Italy (usually as co-productions with Spain or Germany) in the late sixties. Originally named after the yellow color (that’s giallo in Italian) of the covers of the racy mystery paperbacks at Italian bookstalls, Mario Bava is credited with helming the first two gialli – THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1963) and BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964). But it was not until Romolo Guerrieri’s SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH (1968), starring Carroll Baker, that the genre really took off as a self-sustaining phenomenon, first at European, then international box offices. Once the floodgates opened, scores of gialli made it into cinemas every few months, going like gangbusters and only slowing down to a casual, but constant trickle in the early 1980’s. Some were brilliant, some so-so and some just terrible. But all were entertaining in a very special way, re-inventing the mystery thriller in a deliriously twisted universe of black-gloves-and-trenchcoat-clad killers, saucy and often volatile heroines, bizarrely convoluted & perverse subplots, and, last but not least, legions of so many red herrings it could make even the most devoted fan’s head spin. Directors who went onto gorier, more notoriously infamous fare – such as Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino, Lucio Fulci (to name but a few) – learned their craft and made some of their finest films in the giallo genre. Please join us for this frissons-filled weekend with some of the best of the very hard-to-find prints available, including Argento’s BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and ultra-rare FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET. (Please note: Because these are all original 35mm prints from the era, though in reasonably good condition, there has been some slight fading of color.)(All films are dubbed-in-English.)

 

 

Friday, April 21 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (L’UCCELLO DALLE PIUME DI CRISTALLO), 1970, UMC, 96 min. Director Dario Argento’s debut feature film was a huge success all over the world and served to codify the classic giallo thriller formula like no picture before or since. Visiting American writer, Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) witnesses an attempted murder when he becomes trapped in the foyer of a small art gallery. Although our hero has failed to glimpse the assailant’s face, the black-clad killer nevertheless starts dogging his trail when not busy dispatching beautiful, young women. Suzy Kendall, as Musante’s girl, is stupendous as always, and a great catalogue of character actors join in the fun, including disturbed gallery owner Eva Renzi, hitman Reggie Nalder and itinerant, cat-loving painter Mario Adorf. A pure giallo lover’s delight from beginning to end, with perhaps Ennio Morricone’s all-time greatest giallo score.

THE DEAD ARE ALIVE (L’ETRUSCO UCCIDE ANCORA), 1972, National General, 105 min. Is embittered, alcoholic archeologist, Alex Cord, the unseen murderer slaughtering people in the vicinity of an Etruscan burial site? Or is it an ancient, demonic deity? Or could it perhaps be gay, hippie theatrical producer, Horst Frank? Cord’s estranged wife (Samantha Eggar), who is living with a hot-tempered orchestra conductor (John Marley) in his lush villa, also seems to be not too far away whenever the murders occur. Director Armando Crispino (AUTOPSY) skillfully keeps the red herrings coming as well as the goose-pimply atmosphere in this rarely-screened suspense shocker.

 

 

Saturday, April 22 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE PSYCHIC (SETTE NOTE IN NERO), 1977, Group 1, 90 min. Twenty years after watching her mother commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, clairvoyant Jennifer O’Neill has visions of a walled-up woman inside the unused summer villa belonging to her husband (Gianni Garko). But who is the killer, and is it a vision from the past, the future, or maybe both? Lucio Fulci (LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN) directs one of his creepiest pictures, building the terror inexorably in an escalating atmosphere of claustrophobic doom. With Marc Porel, Gabriele Ferzetti. NOT ON DVD.

PARANOIA (ORGASMO), 1968, Commonwealth United, 91 min. Dir. Umberto Lenzi. Superbly entertaining Euro-trash psychodrama with love-starved widow Carroll Baker victimized by an unscrupulous, smart aleck playboy (Lou Castel) and his vixenish, bi-sexual "sister" (Colette Descombes) in an escalating series of mind games. A tremendously enjoyable mix of Hitchcockian suspense and VALLEY OF THE DOLLS-style histrionics, fueled by Baker’s wonderfully uninhibited performance. NOT ON DVD.

 

Sunday, April 23 – 6:30 PM

Mimsy Farmer Double Feature:

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (4 MOSCHE DI VELLUTO GRIGIO), 1971, Paramount, 104 min. Dir. Dario Argento. Michael Brandon is a rock drummer who thinks he may have accidentally killed the strange man who was following him, but he’s not sure. Mimsy Farmer is his high-strung wife (in a truly unnerving portrayal), and Bud Spencer (part Thoreau and part Paul Bunyon) is "God," Brandon’s opinionated best pal who lives in a shack by the river. Soon a homicidal maniac blackmails Brandon with photos of the "killing," and begins murdering people in horrible ways, all set to the tune of a creepy Ennio Morricone score. One of Argento’s all-time best, this last entry in his "Animal" trilogy is also the hardest-to-see of all his pictures. (It’s never had a legitimate video release anywhere!) Don’t miss this super-rare screening! "A remarkable view of the sexual world as some kind of nasty moebius strip." – Maitland McDonagh, Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento. NOT ON DVD.

AUTOPSY (MACCHIE SOLARI), 1975, 100 min. Mimsy Farmer, one of the stressed-out coroners in a busy city morgue, is so overworked she’s starting to hallucinate that her deceased charges are coming back to life. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A rash of suicides, rumored to be caused by sunspots, is plaguing the city, and the girlfriend of Mimsy’s playboy father (Massimo Serato) has turned up dead. Enter the brother, a hot-tempered, ex-race-car-driver-turned-priest (!) (Barry Primus) who thinks his sister’s death was murder. And just what does Mimsy’s rich, sexist, hippy beau (Ray Lovelock) have to do with all this? Director Armando Crispino has a way of amping up the nightmarish dread that waits just around the corner like few other filmmakers and deserves much wider recognition. Stylish, sick and expertly plotted from start to nervewracking finish, with another eerie Morricone score.