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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 April 2009 Calendar!
Series compiled by: Gwen Deglise.

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Special Thanks to: Bruce Goldstein/FILM FORUM; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; MARK HELLINGER PRODUCTIONS; RIALTO PICTURES; Caitlin Robertson/20TH CENTURY FOX.

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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 $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 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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<<< May 15 - 17, 2009 >>>

A Tribute to Jules Dassin

 

http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

An Aero Theatre Exclusive!

Director, screenwriter, and actor Jules Dassin first gained recognition for a series of tough, realistic urban action movies during film noir’s glory years: the prison thriller BRUTE FORCE (1947), the police docudrama THE NAKED CITY (1948) and the riveting crime picture THIEVES’ HIGHWAY (1949). One of Dassin’s best films was NIGHT AND THE CITY, a 1950 classic starring Richard Widmark as a shady wrestling promoter; unfortunately, it was also the director’s final film before his exile from Hollywood. The blacklist sent Dassin, who had old ties to the Communist Party, to Europe for the rest of his career. Barely able to speak French, Dassin relocated to Paris in 1953 and helmed the masterful heist film RIFIFI (1954); in 1955, he won a directing award for the film at Cannes. Other classics followed, including the comedy NEVER ON SUNDAY (1960) and another heist classic, TOPKAPI (1964). Dassin’s work was marked by a blend of gritty reality and poetic expressionism; as critic J. Hoberman wrote in the New York Times, "Dassin’s characteristic movies combine Pop Front sentimentality and pulp fiction violence; his directorial style is at once overtly theatrical and cannily neo-realist. The hybrid was his forte." The Aero will screen six of Mr. Dassin’s most acclaimed films.

 

 

Friday, May 15 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE NAKED CITY, 1948, Mark Hellinger Productions, 96 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. A landmark crime movie, producer Mark Hellinger's hardboiled tribute to his beloved Big Apple peels away all the stylistic melodramatics of noir to present Hollywood's first true policier. The scrupulously researched script by Malvin Wald and vivid location photography by William Daniels (an Oscar winner) combined to make this one of the most influential Hollywood films of the 1940s. With Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Don Taylor, Dorothy Hart and a very scary Ted de Corsia. Trailer

NEVER ON SUNDAY, 1960, MGM Repertory, 97 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. The formerly blacklisted expatriate also wrote, produced and starred as Homer Thrace, the philosophizing Connecticut. Yankee who finds himself in the court of the Greek siren, the ancients here embodied in the shapely form of prostitute Ilya, played by Melina Mercouri. Her vivacious performance as a headstrong Galatea who remains undaunted by the local males won her Best Actress at Cannes. She and Dassin would later marry. With Giorgos Foundas, gorgeous Greek locales and an Oscar-winning title song by Manos Hadjidakis. Trailer

 

 

Saturday, May 16 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

RIFIFI, 1955, Rialto Pictures, 122 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. Back from the pen, tough guy Jean Servais rejoins his cronies and freshly imported safecracker César the Milanese (Dassin himself, billed as Perlo Vita) for a little jewel store smash-and-grab job -- but Servais wants the whole works! The central heist is an edge-of-your-seat 30-minute sequence without dialogue or music, so detailed that it provided a feasible blueprint for real-life pros. "A vivid exercise that more or less invented the idea of French Film Noir... For the French, RIFIFI had Hollywood pizzazz; for Americans, it had continental sophistication. For both, it seemed to possess an authoritative naturalism." – J. Hoberman; "The best film noir I have ever seen. A marvel of skill and inventiveness." – François Truffaut Trailer

TOPKAPI, 1964, MGM Repertory, 119 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. Melina Mercouri and lover Maximilian Schell, backed by a hand-picked team, find their carefully laid plans to heist emeralds from the Topkapi museum in Istanbul laid low by the bumblings of hanger-on Peter Ustinov -- in an Oscar-winning performance (Supporting Actor) -- then decide to go ahead anyway. Pioneer of the heist genre Dassin keeps his tongue firmly in cheek but the suspense taut in this adaptation from intrigue titan Eric Ambler. The high-tech heist has been appropriated by everything from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE to WALLACE & GROMIT! "As playful and lighthearted as Dassin's RIFIFI is stark and somber, TOPKAPI demonstrates that the director could make a heist picture in any manner he chose."– Time Out New York; "Remains unsurpassed for breathless suspense in its depiction of the jewel heist to end all jewel heists." – Terrence McNally, The New York Times Trailer

 

 

 

Sunday, May 17 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

NIGHT AND THE CITY, 1950, 20th Century Fox, 96 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. A stunning print of the most baroque and bleak film noir of them all. The greatness of this film -- besides Richard Widmark's devastating portrayal of the maniacal, pathetic con man and small-time promoter Harry Fabian -- is its stubborn refusal to allow even the tiniest ray of light into Harry's headlong descent into hell. Featuring an unforgettable supporting rogue's gallery, including Googie Withers, Herbert Lom, Francis L. Sullivan, Mike Mazurki, Stanislaus Zbyszko -- and the gorgeous Gene Tierney (LAURA) as Widmark’s heartbroken sweetheart.. With a screenplay by Jo Eisinger from the novel by Gerald Kersh. Trailer
THIEVES’ HIGHWAY, 1949, 20th Century Fox, 94 min. Tough-as-nails Richard Conte returns from the war to find his trucker-father crippled by a shady "accident" and heads for San Francisco to take his revenge on corrupt produce broker Lee J. Cobb. Complicating matters even more, he must choose between cool blonde WASP Barbara Lawrence and earthy European refugee Valentina Cortese. Director Jules Dassin’s leftist leanings (which would lead to his ouster from Hollywood) found their most subtle outlet in this fabulous noir, written by A.I. Bezzerides (ON DANGEROUS GROUND, KISS ME DEADLY). Trailer