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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 July Calendar!
Compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger.Some program notes by Jim Hemphill and Chris D.

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Jessica Rosner/KINO INTERNATIONAL; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.

 

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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.

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Tickets are $10 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 7 - 9, 2007 >>>

Swing Time: Musicals from the 1930's

 


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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

 

 

The synchronicity of the simultaneous advent of the Depression era and the sound movie sparked something unique in the history of film – the first movie musicals. There really is nothing like that initial burst of euphoric escapism that blossomed on the silver screen, giving eveyday moviegoers bludgeoned by financial hard times and bread lines an outlet that enabled them to forget their problems – if only for a couple of hours. Join us for some of the finest, including SWING TIME, 42ND STREET, TOP HAT with such stars as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and a made-in-France Josephine Baker double feature (ZOU-ZOU and PRINCESS TAM TAM).

 

 

 

Friday, September 7 – 7:30 PM

Josephine Baker Double Feature!

ZOUZOU, 1934, Kino International, 92 min. Dir. Marc Allegret. A box office smash for France in 1934, ZOUZOU is the magnificent Josephine Bakers foray into talkies and what a marvelous introduction it is. Baker is the free-spirited Zouzou, a Creole girl who carries a torch for her adoptive brother, the ex-sailor electrician Jean played by that lion of classic French cinema, Jean Gabin. Raised in the circus as part of an exotic sideshow act, Jean and Zouzou head for Paris with their adoptive father where they find work as hired hands at a music hall. What follows is part screwball comedy, part backstage musical, and part unrequited love triangle culminating in several spectacular Busby Berkley-esque showstoppers. The film is a grand tour de force for Baker who not only spellbinds with her legendarily sensuous dancer’s presence but also exudes a playful, positively Chaplin-esque exuberance for physical comedy.

PRINCESS TAM-TAM, 1935, Kino International, 77 min. Edmund T. Gréville, who straddled the English Channel directing in both France and the UK from the 1930’s through the 1950’s, helmed this delightful vehicle for expatriate American music star, Josephine Baker. Baker made her leap to international fame via the club-hopping nightlife of the 1920’s Parisian demi-monde. French novelist, Max (Albert Préjean), exhausted by his social whirlwind of a wife, takes a solitary vacation to Tunisia to unwind. There, he meets a barefoot sheperdess named Alwina (Baker). When Max hears of his wife’s dalliances with a maharajah, he decides to work "Pygmalion"-style magic on the uneducated girl, giving her a crash course in civilized manners and returning to Paris with her to pass her off as an exotic princess.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 8 – 7:30 PM

Berkeley & Ginger Rogers Double Feature!

SWING TIME, 1936, Warner Bros., 103 min. Dir. George Stevens. One of the best loved of the Astaire-Rogers musicals; a Depression-era escapism at its most fizzy and delightful. Fred Astaire plays "Lucky" Garnett, a bandleader who swears off the life of a hoofer doing the tour circuit for the more "respectable" future of life with his girl-next-door fiancé (Betty Furness) and an overbearing father-in-law looming in the distance (Landers Stevens, the father of the film’s director, George Stevens). After his band mate buddies sabotage the wedding, Fred, dressed to the nines in top hat and tails, hitches a ride on a freight train headed for the Big Apple hoping to prove to his girl back home that he can make a cool $25,000 to prove himself responsible. Once there he meets cute with Ginger Rogers, playing a no-nonsense dance instructor named "Penny" Carroll, and soon enough these two are creating stardust memories made in movie musical heaven. Featuring several classic song-and-dance numbers including "Pick Yourself Up," "The Way You Look Tonight," "A Fine Romance" (with lyrics by Jerome Kern) and a charmingly offbeat turn from Victor Moore as Astaire’s loopy pal with sticky fingers, SWING TIME is a ball.

42ND STREET, 1933, Warner Bros., 89 min. Dir. Lloyd Bacon. An aging Broadway director puts on one last show and ably handles constant complications -- including a last-minute replacement when the star of his production breaks her ankle. The most famous of the Warner Bros.' musicals is also one of the fastest and funniest, thanks to expert work by Ginger Rogers and a plethora of Warner’s contract players. Optimistic and sexy yet sharply aware of the Depression's ravages, this beautifully choreographed -- by Busby Berkeley -- classic influenced later films from ALL THAT JAZZ to BOOGIE NIGHTS.

 

 

Sunday, September 9 – 3:00 PM

Family Matinee:

THE WIZARD OF OZ, 1939, Warner Bros., 101 min. Dir. Victor Fleming. Judy Garland is Dorothy in this sublime, candy-colored adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s favorite, one of the most beloved film classics of all time. Take a surreal stroll down the yellow brick road with Dorothy as she encounters the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), Glinda, the Good Witch (Billie Burke) and the Wicked Witch Of The West (Margaret Hamilton). With the amazing Frank Morgan doing multiple duties in a variety of roles, including the Wizard. Song "Over The Rainbow" was an Oscar winner. Watch out for the Flying Monkeys! Join us at Every Picture Tells A Story at 2 PM for story time and snacks!

 

 

Sunday, September 9 – 7:30 PM

Fred Astaire Double Feature:

THE GAY DIVORCEE, 1934, Warner Bros. 107 min. Dir. Mark Sandrich. The first of the great Astaire-Rogers musicals features terrific tunes (Cole Porter's "Night and Day," Conrad and Magidson's "The Continental"), pitch-perfect performances (including the always reliable Edward Everett Horton in a supporting role), and elaborate choreography that Astaire makes look effortless. The prototypical Astaire-Rogers musical, it established the formula that would define all of the team's subsequent collaborations: a slim but expertly crafted plot (after falling in love at first sight, Fred Astaire pursues Ginger Rogers all over England while she tries to finalize her divorce); an elegant upper-class milieu where matters of the heart are the only concern; and dance numbers in which the performers' physical agility is celebrated and accentuated by fluid camerawork and editing.

TOP HAT, 1935, Warner Bros. 107 min. Dir. Mark Sandrich. Astaire and Rogers achieve sheer cinematic perfection as a pair of strangers who meet in a London hotel and are nearly broken apart by confusion over mistaken identities. Supported by an infectious Irving Berlin score, the greatest couple in the history of Hollywood musicals dance their way through a smart and hilarious American masterpiece that's got as many quotable lines as it does catchy songs. Witty, stylish, and paced like a rocket, this may be the duo's finest film.