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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 Dec. 2007 Calendar!
Compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger.

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Special Thanks to: Sarah Finklea & Brian Beloverac/JANUS FILMS; Helena Dametka/FILMOTEKA NARODOWA; Deborah Kolar and Jan Kean/PREMIER PR; Pascal Ladreyt and Melissa Lavabre/ELMA.


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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 $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero by date)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
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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<< December 15 - 16, 2007 >>>

The Last of the Titans: Classics from Legendary Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda


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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

Presented in association with Akson Studio, Telewizja Polska S.A., Polish Film Institute and ELMA, European Languages and Movies in America and with promotion support from the Skirball Cultural Center.

Born in Suwalki, Poland in 1926, Andrzej Wajda lived a relatively idyllic life with his family until shortly before WWII, when his father, a Polish Infrantry captain, was killed in the 1939 Katyn massacre. Wajda survived the era of Nazi-occupation in Poland, living hand-to-mouth along with his mother and brother. Post-WWII, Wajda studied painting in Krakow, then switched his interests to motion pictures in 1950, gravitating to the High Film School in Lodz and studying under filmmakers Aleksander Ford and Jerzy Toeplitz. He made his feature film debut as director with A GENERATION in 1955, the first of his post-war trilogy chronicling the Polish Resistance’s fight against the Nazis. But he felt the picture was somewhat compromised by his superiors’ movie-by-committee mindset (all emblematic of life under a Communist regime.) The two sequels, KANAL (1957) and ASHES AND DIAMONDS (1958), completed the trilogy and were internationally acclaimed. Wajda continued making movies throughout the 1960’s. In 1975, his feature THE PROMISED LAND, a critique of 19th Century Polish capitalism (which was also an allegory of Communist massacres of Soviet and Polish workers in the sixties) was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Wajda made yet another scathing indictment of tyrannical bureaucracy in 1977 with MAN OF MARBLE, an analysis of the destruction by political propaganda of a famous labor leader who strayed too far from the party line. Wajda’s follow-up, MAN OF IRON (1981), continued to unmask the ruthless Communist machinations behind the scenes intended to disrupt labor leader Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement. 1983 saw the release of one of Wajda’s most lauded pictures, the Polish-French co-production of DANTON, starring Gerard Depardieu as the doomed hero of the French Revolution. It remains one of the most astute historical period epics and most stimulating political thrillers ever made. Wajda served as President of the Polish Film Association between 1978 – 1983, and was also a member of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Council (1981 – 1989). He won an honorary Academy Award in 2000 for his contribution to world cinema.

All films in Polish with English subtitles.



Saturday, December 15 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature.

ASHES AND DIAMONDS (POPIÓL I DIAMENT), 1958, Janus Films, 105 min. Director Andrzej Wajda’s indubitable masterpiece. The film is the last in a magnificent trilogy (A GENERATION and KANAL) that proclaimed the Polish director as one of the most astounding new talents in postwar Eastern Europe. Working on a variety of levels and set during the last days of WWII, when the Germans and the-soon-to-dominate Russian Communists were fighting over Poland, Wajda not only focuses on the confusion and the transformation of his country, but bravely pictures the consciousness-raising of a generation. Here that generation is embodied by an incredible Zbigniew Cybulski, who critics soon denoted as the James Dean of the East. Wajda’s mastery in lessons learned from the Italian Neorealists and his collaboration with cinematographer Jerzy Wojcik (a rare example of a perfect intellectual marriage) make this a must- see!

MAN OF MARBLE, 1977, 160 min. Dir. Andrzej Wajda. Film as an act of bravery. One of a very small handful of films that can rightfully be called "important." Dynamic young polish filmmaker Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda) investigates the disappearance of mythical Stalinist bricklayer hero Birkut (Jerzy Radziwilowicz). A CITIZEN KANE-like journey into the past via newsreels, shady nightclubs and government agents. More than a clenched fist, more than a history lesson, MAN OF MARBLE is a funny, sexy, powerful masterpiece. Plus a Clip presentation of Andrzej Wajda’s latest film KATYN.



Sunday, December 16 – 7:30 PM

Newly Restored!

THE PROMISED LAND, 1975, 115 min. Dir. Andrzej Wajda. A sweeping, epic masterpiece. Three industrialist friends in 19th century Lodz, Daniel Olbrychski (THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING), Wojciech Pszoniak (Robespierre in Wajda’s DANTON) and Andrzej Seweryn (SCHINDLER’S LIST) dream of building a factory and making their fortune. Never has a time or a city been captured so well on film. You can feel the mud, the smoke and the greed. Adapted by Wajda from Nobel Prize winning author Stanislaw Reymont's novel. With an amazing score by Wojciech Kilar.

KANAL, 1957, Janus Films, 95 min. Based on a story by Jerzy Stawinski, the second film of director Andrzej Wajda's renowned trilogy is definitely the darkest and won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1957. A WWII Polish resistance group based in the sewers of Warsaw fights against the Nazi Occupation. Starting from the darkness of the sewers, the belly of the town, the murkiness of ignorance, these fighters jumpstart the rebirth of the nation. The underground also serves as metaphor for a people hiding their true credo in freedom and peace, battling against despotic insanity. "Aside from political reservations, there were also artistic doubts. A film set in the darkness of the sewers wasn't likely to be a cinematic success, but I was not afraid of this." -- Andrzej Wajda.