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


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SNEAK PEEK AT AUGUST!
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Series compiled by:compiled and program notes by Domenic Priore and Chris D.
Special Thanks to: 

Rachelle Spector and Hal Lifson/PHIL SPECTOR PRODUCTIONS; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Gail Zappa; Eric Spilker; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL.

 

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. Aero Theatre: Barry King.

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<<< July 31 - August 6, 2009 >>>

Riot on the Sunset Strip Vol. II: Slight Return (To 1966)

 

An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

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Author and man-about-town Domenic Priore brings together the roots of Hollywood night life and their eventual tumble into bohemia, folk-rock and the invention of the psychedelic music scene... created here in L.A., folks, not in San Francisco, London or New York. Just take a gander at the psychotronic monster-au-go-go stage of the Haunted House, (originally Sardi's on Hollywood Boulevard during the '30s), the primary set for IT’S A BIKINI WORLD (featuring The Animals, The Castaways, The Toys and The Gentrys). Cut to the conglomeration of Bo Diddley, Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles and The Byrds on stage at The Moulin Rouge (in THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW), soon to be the Hullabaloo and previously Earl Carroll's Vanities (A NIGHT AT EARL CARROLL’S). You may remember it as the Aquarius, Kaleidoscope or Nickelodeon on Sunset? Think earlier. Of course, the main point of the book on which this series is based (Domenic Priore's Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood) is the talent that emerged from this town very quickly during the 1965 and 1966 daze. Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention are but one example, featured Sunday in the hard-to-see UNCLE MEAT. But it was the overall aesthetics of an inspired scene that lifted the level of local creativity, a cross-pollination between jazz, folk, R&B, garage punk bands and even world music (Ravi Shankar) in the context of a Tijuana Brass vibe. Los Angeles created something unique during the mid-'60s, and its environment during that time allowed for this kind of wide-openness to happen. Other highlights include the late-‘60s Hollywood bad-trip movie ANGEL, ANGEL, DOWN WE GO, the incredibly underrated hellzapoppin’, all-star, psychedelic sex comedy CANDY, plus there’ll be slide shows, book signings with Domenic, special guests and more!

 

 

 

Friday, July 31 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

A NIGHT AT EARL CARROLL’S, 1940, Universal, 62 min. Dir. Kurt Neumann. The Wayback Machine now takes you back to the late '30s for a peek inside Hollywood's most glamorous club ever... Earl Carroll's Vanities. From the same stage that later brought you THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW, this venue on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine was an Art Deco palace created by Carroll had for his high-class girlie show. The theater was emblazoned with cement slab movie star autographs (much like Grauman's Chinese) and a huge neon sign of dancer Beryl Wallace surrounded by the incantation "Through These Portals Pass the Most Beautiful Girls in the World." This, of course, was a bold move to surpass Carroll’s main competitor back in New York, Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies. Variety recognized the film for what it was, "a national plug for his layout by way of an extended trailer that focuses attention on his briefly clad and shapely girls in the stage ensemble." In 1965, this would be appreciated for its camp value; in '09, it becomes a Hollywood preservation artifact and a glorious example for those with an interest in the revival of burlesque. Released one week after FANTASIA, this musical stars Ken Murray with Rose Hobart, plus radio stars Brenda & Cobina (Blake Steward and Elvia Allman) and songs by Hobart, William Brady, Mary Lou Cook, Lillian Cornell and an old vaudeville dance by Lela Moore. The thin plot revolves around Earl Carroll (playing himself) being kidnapped by mobsters at a mayor's convention. Plus two Earl Carroll's Vanities newsreels! Intro with Domenic Priore and Alan Boyd.

Ultra-Rare! THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW, 1966, Phil Spector Productions, 93 min. Dir. Larry Peerce. Phil Spector took over as musical director for THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW in 1965, held at the Moulin Rouge (soon to become the Hullabaloo) on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine. Youth culture and social consciousness would bond that year with the passing of the civil rights bill and the emergence of folk-rock, but the amped-up spirit of THE T.A.M.I. SHOW had thankfully held on. Beginning with the clang and chime of Spector’s production for MFQ’s "This Could Be the Night," the viewer is thrust into the finest visual representation of excitement on Sunset Strip during 1965 and 1966. The editing conveys the idea of motion, and movement from destination to destination. The Ronettes’ mock ballet in front of the Chateau Marmont. The Lovin’ Spoonful ramble in front of a nightspot leaping, frolicking and running toward the camera. Bo Diddley’s bass player Chester "Dr. Boo" Lindsey teases the crowd and laughs. Donovan and Joan Baez warm up backstage, while The Byrds are seen standing outside Moulin Rouge in the sunny Southern California daylight. Roger Miller beams a campy wave to the kids; Ray Charles evokes power backed by his tremendous orchestra. The dancers shake in a rehearsal hall wearing black nylons, white go-go boots, heavy kiss-curl bangs and thick eyeliner. There’s a nighttime shot of glittering neon signs at Ben Frank’s and the Trip. Among all these greats of "Rock ‘n’ Roll - Folk Rock - Rhythm & Blues - Country & Western" (as advertised on the poster), two stand-out moments arrive via Petula Clark’s brilliantly Spectorized live version of "Downtown" and a rocket-shot closer by Ike & Tina Turner that is a match for James Brown’s set the previous year. The credits of the film admonish the viewer to "be sure to tune in for next year’s show," but next year never came; also organized in L.A., MONTEREY POP would fill the super-bill void two years later. THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW captures that final, tantalizing moment of early rock ’n’ roll energy. (Screened from a digital source) NOT ON DVD Introduction to THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW in between films by Rachelle Spector, Hal Lifson (publicist for Phil and Rachelle Spector) and Domenic Priore.

 

 

Saturday, August 1

Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! IT’S A BIKINI WORLD, 1967, MGM Repertory, 86 min. Set the Wayback Machine to 1966, where you actually get to go inside the notorious Haunted House club on Hollywood Boulevard. Originally a Schindler-designed L.A. version of the Broadway theater watering hole Sardi’s (’30s), then the incredible Zardi’s Jassland (’50s), the Haunted House is definitely the star of this movie. The psychotronic monster-au-go-go stage featured shimmy-shake dancers and bloodshot eyeballs that rotated while "smoke" (dry ice) was snorted onto a packed dancefloor (eat your heart out, Led Zep). Not a bad effect when orbing The Animals, who groove to "We’ve Gotta Get Outta This Place," teen garage punk godz The Castaways ("Liar Liar"), R&B girl group The Toys and Chicano rock ’n’ rollers Pat & Lolly Vegas. For good measure, The Gentrys of "Keep on Dancing" fame perform some great mid-‘60s slop at a beach pad with Pop Art on the walls. The Mike Curb soundtrack features an early Moog cut plus a kinetic surf instrumental theme by Bob Summers. Also featuring Sid "Spider Baby" Haig as Daddy (a takeoff on hot rod king Ed Roth), monster-mashin’ Bobby "Boris" Pickett, Disney teen geek Tommy Kirk and beach flick starlet Deborah Walley (as Delilah) in a quasi-feminist plot; she competes with Kirk at the drag strip, in skateboard races and other dares thought up at Wil Wright’s Ice Cream Parlor. Directed by Stephanie Rothman, who later got auteur cred for GROUP MARRIAGE, THE VELVET VAMPIRE and the women’s-prison flick TERMINAL ISLAND. Rothman would say of this film, "I became very depressed after making IT’S A BIKINI WORLD." Perhaps it was the crud culture, or the instinct that the world would never be as cool again. NOT ON DVD

New 35mm Print! ANGEL, ANGEL, DOWN WE GO (aka CULT OF THE DAMNED), 1969, MGM Repertory, 103 min. Robert Thom (writer of WILD IN THE STREETS) scripted and directed this jaw-dropping hymn to purple prose and psychedelic nihilism. Washed-up star Astrid (Jennifer Jones), her jaded millionaire spouse (Charles Aidman) and their searching-for-meaning daughter (Holly Near) all have the misfortune to meet Machiavellian pop star Bogart Peter Stuyvesant (Jordan Christopher) who worms his way into the household with his band, The Rabbit Habit (!), in tow. While occasionally belting out catchy songs by Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil (more WILD IN THE STREETS alumni), and with the help of plenty of LSD, he alternately charms and intimidates everyone in this dysfunctional family. Imagine a remake of Pasolini's TEOREMA done in the American International drive-in mindset, and you’ll get some idea of what to expect. An absurdly tasteless vision of the evil flipside of the late ‘60s Hollywood counterculture. Be sure to look for Roddy McDowall and Lou Rawls in Jordan Christopher’s spaced-out entourage! NOT ON DVD Introduction to the screening by Domenic Priore. Special appearance by Sid Haig.

 

 

Sunday, August 2 – 7:30 PM

UNCLE MEAT, 1987, 100 min. Frank Zappa began directing The Mothers of Invention’s one and only movie, UNCLE MEAT, less than two years after the group debuted at the Action on Santa Monica Boulevard (Halloween weekend, 1965), but it did not see release until 1987. Colorful footage from their "Absolutely Free"-era residency at the Garrick Theater in New York, and from the Sgt. Pepper/psychedelia-mocking "We’re Only in it for the Money" album cover shoot is mixed with orchestral bits from a 1968 concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The running monster gag stars band keyboardist Don Preston with office gal Phyllis Altenhaus; they eventually get into the shower for a hamburger massage. Zappa’s soundtrack (packaged in 1969 with a telling Cal Schenkel assemblage) set the agenda for art rock, its torque showing the consequences of reducing people to objects – the system treating human labor (therefore, life, aka "meat") as a commodity. Footage of early Mothers Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black, James "Motorhead" Sherwood, Ansley Dunbar, Billy Mundi, Artie Tripp, Lowell George, Bunk Gardner and Ian Underwood winds up presaging Richard Linklater’s 1991 flick SLACKER, plus you get Rodney Bingenheimer, Linda Ronstadt and others along for the ride at the legendary Hollywood Ranch Market on Vine Street. Bitchin’ camerawork by director of photography Haskell Wexler. Special Guests Gail Zappa and Pamela DeBarres (subject to availability).

"Cafe L.A.: The Beat Generation in Los Angeles" Approx. 60 min. Produced by Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester. This now-updated 850-image slideshow brings you inside the coffeehouses and jazz joints of the greater Los Angeles area during the 1955-1965 era. Done with a local geography spin, the presentation is inspired by KNXT's "Ralph Story's Los Angeles" and Mike Salisbury's visual montage work in the Los Angeles Times' old (1966-1972) West magazine supplement. We go from Santa Barbara to Laguna Beach down the coastline, then north through Tustin, Buena Park, Pasadena, into Silver Lake, downtown L.A., a bit over to Western Avenue, South Central, up Fairfax and La Cienega and out to Sunset Strip. Beatniks in Venice, jazz and R&B pioneers downtown, pop artists on Restaurant Row and the earliest stages of folk-rock and psychedelia on the Strip are all captured, with a final run at the end of the artists on the L.A. scene. Introduction and live slideshow narration by Domenic Priore, author of Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood and Beatsville.

 

 

 

Thursday, August 6 – 7:30 PM

Ultra-Rare Screening! Only Surviving 35mm Print!

CANDY, 1968, 120 min. Dir. Christian Marquand. One of the most wildly underrated films of the 1960s, CANDY uses the pornographic adventures of an innocent teenage sexpot (played by Swedish bombshell Ewa Aulin) on an odyssey across America as an opportunity to satirize the military, 1960s hippie idealism, middle-class morality and more. When Candy arrives in Hollywood at the climax, nothing will ever be the same again! Loosely inspired by the centuries-old classic Candide, DR. STRANGELOVE writer Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg wrote the notoriously ribald novel (adapted here by THE GRADUATE screenwriter Buck Henry). CANDY features an amazing gallery of supporting players: Marlon Brando as Grindl the Guru; James Coburn as the hilariously homicidal surgeon, Krankheit; Ringo Starr as the Mexican gardener Emmanuel; Richard Burton as a drunken Welsh poet (promoted as a rock star to Candy’s high school class); John Huston as a lecherous hospital administrator; Walter Matthau as a rabid anti-Commie general; and John Astin plays a dual role as Candy’s prudish single father and libidinous uncle! Keep your eyes peeled for a bevy of beautiful European actresses – Elsa Martinelli as Candy’s swinging aunt, Anita Pallenberg (PERFORMANCE) as a demonic nurse and Florinda Bolkan (LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN), Marilu Tolo (DJANGO KILL) and Nicoletta Machiavelli (NAVAJO JOE) as Starr’s murderous, motorcycle-riding sisters. Songs by The Byrds and Steppenwolf, along with Dave Grusin’s amazingly good pop-psychedelic score. Introduction to the screening by Domenic Priore and Chuck Zigman (a mentee of Terry Southern). Trailer