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

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Programmed by: Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Jack Hill; Elijah Drenner; Todd Wieneke/MPI MEDIA/DARK SKY FILMS; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Scott Watts/MIRAMAX.

 

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 $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 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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<<< September 21 - 22,  2007 >>>

Spider Baby: Two Nights with Director Jack Hill

 

 

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

This is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

There were many well known, acclaimed filmmakers who graduated from Roger Corman’s "learning-by-doing-it" school of hard knocks and low-budget moviemaking - Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante -- to name but a few. Director Jack Hill is another of the great showmen who got his start as assistant director on numerous Corman pictures. He helmed second unit on the Corman-produced debut feature by Coppola, DEMENTIA 13 and co-wrote THE TERROR starring Jack Nicholson and Boris Karloff (and is rumored to have co-directed the picture, uncredited, along with Corman and other assistants Coppola and Monte Hellman). The legendary horror comedy SPIDER BABY starring Lon Chaney Jr. and the completely gonzo drag race opus PIT STOP were the first two films Jack could really call his own as a director, and they are just as entertaining, fresh and vital now as they were upon their initial release. Perhaps even more so, because today they have attained not just a cult reputation, but a truly celebrated place in the pantheon of visceral no-budget cinema that transcend genre and financial restraints. We’ll be screening these in rare, nearly pristine prints from Jack’s private archive. Jack went on to direct the groundbreaking lensed-in-the-Philipines women’s prison pictures THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and THE BIG BIRD CAGE (that introduced the world to Pam Grier) as well as major portions of the four Mexican co-productions (THE SNAKE PEOPLE, etc.) that represent Boris Karloff’s last films. In 1973 - 1974, Jack directed his biggest hits - both with Pam - in the ultra-violent, no-holds-barred COFFY and FOXY BROWN. In 1975, he made one of his last, but most memorable films as director, the girl gang celebration, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS. Because of poor distribution and marketing, it was his only movie that ever lost money. But it was rediscovered by cult films maven Johnny Legend and re-released by Quentin Tarantino in the late 1990’s to renewed acclaim and popularity. Please join us for two nights with this immortal legend of the cinema In-Person, a man who deserves much wider recognition for his influence and contribution to transgressive genre moviemaking worldwide. We’ll be celebrating the upcoming DVD re-release of SPIDER BABY with a cast reunion as well as giving out free copies to certain lucky members of the audience!

Read a Filmmonthly interview with Jack Hill.

 

Friday, September 21 – 7:30 PM

Jack Hill In-Person & DVD Release Celebration – Double Feature:

Rare! Archival Print! SPIDER BABY, 1968, 81 min. Writer/director Jack Hill’s endearingly odd, unique, scary and funny low budget masterpiece only gets better with each repeated viewing. Lon Chaney, Jr. is Bruno, a lovable old chauffeur who is saddled with looking after the disturbed young progeny of his late employer in a dilapidated Southern California mansion. Cousins Carol Ohmart (HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL) and Quinn Redeker, along with Redeker’s girlfriend Mary Mitchell (DEMENTIA 13) arrive with family attorney Shlocker (Karl Schanzer) on a visit to the macabre household. That they don’t know what to make of their strange teenage relatives (Jill Banner, Beverly Washburn, Sid Haig of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) is putting it mildly. All of them seem to be refugees from a Charles Addams cartoon! What no one except Bruno knows is that the family suffers from a hereditary disease causing gradual retardation, eventually regressing to cannibalism. Director Hill expertly balances the scares with laughs in this one-of-a-kind classic. Compares favorably to James Whale’s OLD DARK HOUSE and is everything the big budget ADDAM’S FAMILY movies should have been but were not.

 

Rare! Archival Print! PIT STOP, 1969, 92 min. This unsung masterpiece from writer/director Jack Hill is very possibly the greatest film ever made about drag racing. It delivers on all fronts, providing chills and spills in some of the most demented, dangerous race track footage ever shot (keep your eyes peeled for the nocturnal, out-of-control ‘Figure 8’ sequences that have to be seen to be believed). Richard Davalos (James Dean’s brother Aaron in EAST OF EDEN) is the brooding, alienated lone wolf driver taken under the wing of hardboiled racing promoter, Brian Donlevy (in his last role). Davalos decides to grab first place and topple manic motormouth (and homicidal) king of the track Sid Haig, as well as steal Haig’s main squeeze Beverly Washburn. Ellen Burstyn (ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) is exceptional in one of her earliest roles as a lonely driver’s wife whom Davalos also seduces. And keep yours ears open for the blistering, fuzz-drenched, way-ahead-of-its-time rock score by legendary John Fridge and The Daily Flash. Discussion in between films with director Jack Hill, actors Sid Haig, Beverly Washburn, Quinn Redeker, Karl Schanzer and cinematographer Al Taylor. A limited number of copies of the new SPIDER BABY DVD release will be given away at the screening!

 

 

Saturday, September 22 – 7:30 PM

Jack Hill In-Person – Double Feature:

SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, 1975, Miramax, 91 min. Due to various distribution shortfalls, Jack Hill’s tongue-in-cheek tribute to the world of the girl gang sank with barely a trace on its first theatrical release. Rediscovered first by Johnny Legend, then Quentin Tarantino, the film took on a new life in the mid-1990’s, and has been collecting an ever-growing fanbase since. A band of feline delinquents led by teeth-gritting Lace (Robbie Lee) is an auxiliary of the macho boys gang that lords it over the local high school. When newcomer Maggie (Joanne Nail) comes on the scene, dynamics are set in motion that will cause the girls to break off from their male counterparts and, at one point, join a gang of black Marxist female guerillas led by Marlene Clark! But internecine strife promoted by jealous one-eyed Patch (Monica Gayle) will soon cause the gang to splinter into bloody chaos. "Hill, one of the best exploitation directors ever…makes his serious points so deftly that he doesn't have to ask you to take his pictures themselves seriously… a violent urban myth that comes full circle with the working out of a complex, ever-shifting relationship between two tough young women who meet in a fast-food joint in a decaying neighborhood… a terrific example of efficient, resourceful filmmaking…" – Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times; "…a Shangri-Las’ anthem cranked up to full volume." – Charlotte O’Sullivan, Sight And Sound

COFFY,1973, MGM/UA, 91 min. Jack Hill had already directed the ferocious Pam Grier in the women-in-prison pix THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and THE BIG BIRD CAGE, but this was the first time they worked together on home turf, and the result is one of the most spectacularly satisfying black action films ever made. Nurse Coffy (Pam Grier), her sister nearly dying from tainted heroin and her cop friend murdered by pushers, is transformed into a one woman hit squad bent on exterminating every hardcore drug dealer in Los Angeles. Mindbending! With Robert Doqui, Linda Haynes, Sid Haig and Allen Arbus. Discussion between films with director Jack Hill.