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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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Series compiled by: Grant Moninger and Gwen Deglise.

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Special Thanks to: Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Emily Horn/PARAMOUNT; Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; MIRAMAX; LIONS GATE; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Michael Schlesinger/SONY REPERTORY; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.

 

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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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<< February 8 - 18, 2007 >>>

Buddy Films: The Art of Playing Off Each Other


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This Series is an Aero Theatre exclusive!

 

 

Ever since the dawn of film, the "buddy" picture as a genre seems to have been a tried-and-true staple and a guaranteed audience draw. From the comic antics of Laurel and Hardy and later Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to the pairing of literary (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson), radio (The Lone Ranger and Tonto) and comic strip (Flash Gordon and Dale Arden) heroes; from detectives (William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles of THE THIN MAN series) to lovable rogues (Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell in MACAO and HIS KIND OF WOMAN) to lawmen (John Wayne and Dean Martin in RIO BRAVO and later John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in EL DORADO) to gamblers (Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in SOME CAME RUNNING) to bumbling, over-the-top adversaries (Jack Lemmon and Walther Matthau in THE ODD COUPLE, THE FORTUNE COOKIE and BUDDY, BUDDY), the idea of wisecracking "buddies" playing off each other on celluloid has been a favorite device of directors and screenwriters up until the present day. Please join us for some of the best latter-day buddy movie teams, including Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin (MIDNIGHT RUN), Paul Newman and Robert Redford (THE STING; BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID), Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn (MADE; SWINGERS), Robert Culp and Bill Cosby (HICKEY AND BOGGS), Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy (48 HOURS) and more!

 

 

Thursday, February 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

MIDNIGHT RUN, 1988, Universal, 126 min. Dir. Martin Brest. This superb action comedy teams bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert DeNiro) and former Mafia accountant, Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin) on a madcap cross country roadtrip. Exchanging insults, fighting off feds and thugs alike, Grodin and De Niro's chemistry is unmatched. Director Brest keeps the anarchic humor and hilariously foulmouthed dialogue coming at a lightning pace. Memorable support from the hysterically profane Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, John Ashton and a sunglasses-wearing Yaphet Kotto.

UP IN SMOKE, 1978, Paramount, 86 min. Cheech and Chong, the Abbott and Costello of the 1970's get stoned, paranoid and chased by a boisterously over the top Stacy Keach as uptight cop, Sgt. Stadanko. Featuring perhaps the world's strangest smuggling plot, with a van built entirely out of marijuana. From California to Mexico to a battle of the bands at the Roxy night club (featuring punk legends, The Dils), music legend Lou Adler directs this cult favorite that has never gotten the respect it deserves. With great cameos by Tom Skerrit as "Strawberry" and Strother Martin and Edie Adams as Chong's parents.

 

 

Saturday, February 10 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE STING, 1973, Universal, 129 min. Dir. George Roy Hill. Circa 1936, con-artist Robert Redford goes to his mentor Paul Newman for help when their mutual friend is whacked by the henchmen of numbers racketeer, Robert Shaw. Newman decides to get together a gang that will put a complex scheme in play to fleece homicidal high-roller Shaw of a small fortune. The sterling cast includes Charles Durning, Ray Walston and Eileen Brennan. This epitome of the 1970’s buddy film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay (by David S. Ward), Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction and Best Music (Marvin Hamlisch, adapted from Scott Joplin’s ragtime tunes).

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, 1969, 20th Century Fox, 110 min. "Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?" drawls blue-eyed, laid back train robber Robert Redford to his equally charming partner-in-crime Paul Newman, in director George Roy Hill’s soulful, hilarious and wildly romantic look at the infamous Hole in the Wall gang. Comparatively straight-laced Katherine Ross is Etta Place, the girl in their life, a loyal friend as well as paramour. When the Pinkerton detective agency and a railroad owner turn up the heat, the boys flee all the way to Bolivia to escape. But it may not be far enough. Brilliantly scripted by William Goldman, and photographed in luminous, painterly beauty by the late, great master Conrad Hall.

 

 

Thursday, February 15 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BONNIE AND CLYDE, 1967, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir. Arthur Penn. "They're young...they're in love...and they kill people." Director Arthur Penn's Depression-era gangster picture remains both a masterwork of the New Hollywood and a cultural touchstone. Despised by the New York Times' soon-to-retire Bosley Crowther for its "blending of farce with brutal killings" and hailed by the New Yorker's Pauline Kael because it "brings into the almost frighteningly public world of movies things that people have been feeling and saying and writing about," BONNIE AND CLYDE soon became more than a dramatization of the true-life, criminal exploits of Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunnaway), Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty), his brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and the rest of the Barrow gang in the Depression-era Midwest. Before the sixties spun out in the devastation of My Lai, Memphis, Kent State and the Ambassador Hotel, Penn’s masterpiece lucidly projected the dark, hopeless days ahead.

PENN & TELLER GET KILLED, 1989, Warner Bros., 89 min. Director Arthur Penn helmed this shamefully overlooked vehicle for those bad boys of magic, Penn Jillette and Teller. A very dark, anarchic black comedy (and buddy movie) following Penn & Teller on their cross country antics, focusing on what happens when Penn publicly muses how he would find it interesting to have his life threatened. Predictably, scores of offers roll in. "Mr. (Arthur) Penn has his own taste for ghoulish wit, but the film of his that is most strongly recalled here is ALICE’S RESTAURANT, with its artfully meandering style and its success in weaving some sort of drama around a previously known quantity… The film's way of piling up morbid gags accelerates markedly as it reaches a conclusion that, while inevitable in view of the title, still manages to hold a few surprises. Whatever else might be said about the ending, it's enough to make Teller talk." – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

 

Friday, February 16 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE FISHER KING, 1991, Sony Repertory, 137 min. Jeff Bridges pulls out all the stops as a shattered radio dee-jay trying to escape self-pity and remorse, and Robin Williams is the sanity-challenged homeless vagabond who helps him in director Terry Gilliam’s modern fable of love and redemption. "I had doubts that I could do it – although, just uttering those words sealed my fate." – Jeff Bridges. Co-starring Mercedes Ruehl (who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), Amanda Plummer, Harry Shearer. "THE FISHER KING is grand lunacy and wisdom of the highest order, graced by two Oscar-caliber performances from Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges…A demanding concoction, rife with dense weirdness and radical amazement…For those not up on medieval legend, the Fisher King was the guardian of the Holy Grail..." Hollywood Reporter

FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, 1998, Universal, 118 min. Director Terry Gilliam’s psychedelic kaleidoscope of bad vibes as seen through the twisted prism of writer, Hunter S. Thompson (Johnny Depp) and walking pharmaceutical factory, Dr. Gonzo (a scary Benicio Del Toro) as they sojourn in Las Vegas circa 1971. Consumer culture and the gaudy artifice of middle class gaming resorts are mercilessly skewered in Gilliam’s trenchant adaptation of Thompson’s notorious book. Tons of great bits from a potpourri of stars including Tobey McGuire, Christina Ricci, Harry Dean Stanton, Lyle Lovett, Cameron Diaz, Gary Busey, Mark Harmon, Ellen Barkin, Penn Jillette, Flea, et. al.

 

 

Saturday, February 17 - 7:30 PM

Jon Favreau Double Feature:

MADE, 2001, Lions Gate, 94 min. Director and writer Jon Favreau also stars as a ne’erdowell boxer with a single-mother/stripper girlfriend (Famke Janssen) and a lousy career doing small-time errands for Los Angeles mob boss, Peter Falk. When Favreau roughs up a "goombah" who comes onto Janssen too strongly, he finds he must make good with boss Falk by doing a "drop" on the east coast. But his predicament seems to only get worse when he takes along wannabe-gangster pal, Vince Vaughn, a guy with a perpetual foot in his big, foul mouth. "Favreau, who wrote "Swingers," has now directed and written the hilarious MADE, which re-teams him with Vaughn. The two play off each other so well that they recall fond memories of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau." – Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times


SWINGERS,
1996, Miramax, 96 min. Dir. Doug Liman. A sweet comedy set in the back streets and clubs of Hollywood about male twenty-somethings searching out romance and non-stop parties. Trent (the hilarious Vince Vaughn) tries to cheer up Mike (SWINGERS writer, Jon Favreau) who moved to Los Angeles to try his luck as an actor, leaving his east coast girlfriend behind. A fun low budget film about nightlife, friendship and the retro-swing dance movement in Hollywood. The film that put Favreau on the map as an up-and-coming filmmaker, and Vaughn’s debut as a new kind of leading man. Discussion in between films with director Jon Favreau and producer Peter Billingsley.

 

 

Sunday, February 18 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

HICKEY AND BOGGS, 1972, MGM Repertory, 111 min. Dir. Robert Culp. An uncompromisingly realistic detective noir with two world-weary private eyes -- Robert Culp and Bill Cosby (already veterans of the great buddy, secret agent TV show, "I Spy") – whose search for a missing girl opens a Pandora’s box of death and destruction in smoggy, sunbaked Los Angeles. Sharp, sardonic dialogue peppers Walter Hill’s violent screenplay, and there’s some amazing footage on display of a bygone City of The Angels. Look for young Michael Moriarty and James Woods as particularly slimey villains.

48 HRS, 1982, Paramount, 98 min. Director Walter Hills profane, hellzapoppin, non-stop crime action opus with generous doses of humor reinvigorated the buddy picture like no other film from the 1980’s, creating spontaneous, combustible chemistry between stars Nick Nolte as a brutal, hard-nosed cop and Eddie Murphy (in a star-making debut) as a wisecracking, small time thief. After a particularly bloody shootout, Nolte tracks escaped killers (the very scary James Remar, Sonny Landham and David Patrick Kelly) with the help of the temporarily-paroled Murphy. With Annette O’Toole. "A streetwise, savage, hilarious film…" – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner Discussion in between films with actor Robert Culp.