FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: JUNE 30, 1998

CONTACT: MARGOT GERBER

Tel.: 213/466-FILM ext. 115

 

AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE TO PRESENT AUDIENCE FAVORITES SELECTED FROM 1993 - 1998 FILM SERIES, DURING SUMMER "GREATEST HITS" FINALE AT RALEIGH STUDIOS

Weekends July 17 - August 22, 1998

 

HOLLYWOOD – As the final program at Raleigh Studios (before re-opening in December at the Egyptian Theatre), the American Cinematheque presents THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE’S GREATEST HITS 1993 - 1998, a six weekend (July 17 - August 22) retrospective that revives audience favorites. Cinematheque members contributed to the selection of many of the titles in this series by voting for their favorite films. Directors (who have been subjects of Cinematheque tributes), appearing in-person with their films include: Budd Boetticher (RIDE LONESOME); Monte Hellman (TWO-LANE BLACKTOP); Robert Wise (THE SET-UP); Vincent Sherman (THE HARD WAY); Curtis Harrington (WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN); and Andre de Toth (PLAY DIRTY).

Highlights of this eclectic series include: episodes of John Cassavetes’ 1959 television series JOHNNY STACCATO; Budd Boetticher’s Randolph Scott western RIDE LONESOME (1959); Olivier Assayas’ COLD WATER (1994), a portrait of troubled teens in 1970’s France; Italian horror maestro Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA (1977); Sam Fuller’s controversial WHITE DOG (1982) starring Kristy McNichol; Monte Hellman’s cinemascope road film TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971); Werner Herzog’s LESSONS OF DARKNESS (1992), shot during the raging oil fires in Kuwait; Hideo Gosha’s Japanese samurai masterpiece GOYOKIN (1969); Lina Wertmller’s politically charged SWEPT AWAY (1974); Spanish director Agustn Daz Yanes’ shattering thriller NOBODY WILL SPEAK OF US WHEN WE’RE DEAD (1995), starring Victoria Abril as a hooker on the run from a hitman; BEST OF QUEER SHORTS, a program of gay & lesbian themed short films; Wim Wenders’ A TRICK OF THE LIGHT (1996), a look at early movie-making; a program of episodes from the world of Sid & Marty Krofft, including "HR Pufnstuf" and "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters;" Andre de Toth’s film noir CRIMEWAVE (1954) and his war film PLAY DIRTY (1969); Georges Franju’s mystical serial thriller JUDEX (1964); Robert Wise’s THE SET-UP (1949), starring Robert Ryan as a two-bit prizefighter; Vincent Sherman’s THE HARD WAY (1942) starring Ida Lupino; THE DELICATE ART OF THE RIFLE (1996) and THE LAST BIG THING (1997) from the Alternative Screen Independent Film Showcase; and many, many more revivals of the unusual fare that can only be seen at the

American Cinematheque

1800 North Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028

(tel) 323.466.3456 Y (fax) 323.461.9737 & On the web!!! http:/www.americancinematheque.com

 

 

 

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American Cinematheque. Also included in the series is the first public screening in the U.S. in 25 years of Mario Bava’s TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (1971). (This granddaddy of slasher flicks was not available during our last two Bava retrospectives so we are pleased to finally be able to show it now!). All films are in English unless noted. All screenings are at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater (5300 Melrose Avenue between Bronson & Van Ness) in Hollywood except for QUEER SHORTS which will be presented at the Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village Theater at Ed Gould Plaza (1125 North McCadden Place).

 

Weekend 1: Friday, July 17th & Saturday, July 18th, 1998

The Friday, July 17th program begins at 7:15 PM with a Brand-New 35 mm. Print! of THE PARTY, (1968, MGM/UA, 98 min.), Blake Edwards’ brilliant mod-60’s comedy, with Peter Sellers in perfect pitch as an awestruck Indian actor who disrupts a chic Hollywood gathering. Guitar-strumming waif Claudine Longet gets to sing "Nothing To Lose," against Henry Mancini’s effervescent, ultra-lounge score. Print courtesy of MGM/UA - !! [Peter Sellers Series - April ‘93] Special Introduction by British humorist Martin Lewis who will present long-lost Sellers rareties! Discussion following with actor Steve Franken. Following at 9:30 PM is GOLDEN BALLS (HUEVOS DE ORO), (1993, 92 min.), from Spanish director Bigas Luna, the director of THE TIT & THE MOON, JAMON JAMON and the upcoming CHAMBERMAID ON THE TITANIC. This ferocious comedy of food, sex, surrealism and real estate speculation is about Benito (Javier Bardem), a handsome young man who believes that because he has (literally) two huevos, he deserves two of everything else: Rolexes, cars, women, whatever. Bigas Luna’s caustic portrait of kitsch and the new rich has something to offend everyone. "The sex is delicious, over-the-top and often funny ... Luna drives the story forward with such velocity that nine years pass in the blink of an eye" -- F.X. Feeney, L.A. Weekly. In Spanish with English subtitles. [Bigas Luna Tribute/Recent Spanish Cinema - March ‘94]

The Saturday, July 18th program begins at 7:15 PM with RIDE LONESOME (1959, Columbia, 73 min.) starring Randolph Scott as a sheriff-turned-bounty hunter, using a young desperado to flush out his murderous older brother. Scott’s final act of absolution at the Hanging Tree ranks with John Wayne’s last moments in THE SEARCHERS as one of the high points of the American Western. Pernell Roberts and James Coburn also star in director Budd Boetticher’s magnificent, CinemaScope Western. [Budd Boetticher Series - May ’94]. Discussion following with Budd Boetticher. Following at 9:15 PM is a double feature of two acclaimed French films. First is Agnes Varda’s CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 (CLEO DE 5 A 7), (1961, CineTamaris, 90 min.), a portrait of two hours in the life of a hopelessly pretty pop singer (Corinne Marchand), who may or may not be dying of cancer. Varda’s breakthrough film, CLEO ranks with BREATHLESS and THE 400 BLOWS as one of the seminal works of the French New Wave. "The streets of Paris are filmed like they have never again been filmed." -- Telerama. In French with English

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subtitles. [Agnes Varda Series - June ‘97]. Next on the same bill is COLD WATER (L’EAU FROIDE), (1994, Polygram U.K., 92 min.), director Olivier Assayas’ entry in the highly-acclaimed "Tous Les Garons et Les Filles de Leur Age" television series. Each director was invited to do a story about when they were sixteen, and Assayas made something awesome out of what might have been an autobiographical mood piece -- you don’t need to have been a teenager in the 70’s in France to appreciate this tough, physically overpowering movie that soars like an eagle. Gilles (Cyprien Fouquet) starts off stealing albums from a department store. When he and his girlfriend Christine (Virginie Ledoyen) are about to get nabbed, they make a break for it:. He crashes through the window, and she gets caught and hauled off to the police station, and is soon committed to a mental institution. The film alternates between stand-offs with adults and rituals of off-handed desecration and defiance, culminating in a stunning extended party sequence that has an almost indescribable power -- Kent Jones. In French with English subtitles. [Olivier Assayas Series - January ‘98]

 

Weekend 2: Friday, July 24 th & Saturday, July 25th, 1998

The Friday, July 24th program begins at 7:15 PM with THE DELICATE ART OF THE RIFLE (1996, 94 min.), an independent film that was part of our Alternative Screen series. Loosely based on a real sniper incident, this seriocomic tale follows Jay (David Grant), an awkward, computer-nerdish college freshman – at a loss to find comfort in his own skin -- who can’t believe that the roommate (Stephen Grant) he looks up to, could be the crazed gunman firing lethal shots onto the campus quad. As he ascends the 27 floors to the top of the dorm he encounters an amorous girl obsessed with frosting cupcakes, a sleep-deprived psychology major sacked out in the elevator, a band of computer hackers and their psychotic leader and a doomed agri-major. Then on the roof top, there is Walt who reveals a conspiracy theory about a mysterious virus that is erasing people from history… "…comic, dramatic, satiric, psychological, symbolic, thriller-esque, It's the unusual mixing of these elements, especially the folding of a spooky, and allusive psychodrama inside the skin of a realistic action drama that marks the movies' vibrant originality. Godardian, Kafkaeque, a conspiracy theory that would make Oliver Stone proud." -- Godfrey Cheshire, Variety. "An astute political satire about the irrational nature of violence in American life." -- Emmanuel Levy, Daily Variety. [Alternative Screen - November ‘96]. Director Dante Harper will appear in-person following the screening. Following at 9:15 PM is a Dario Argento Double Feature!!. First is SUSPIRIA, (1977, 20th Century Fox, 100 min.) with Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett and Udo Kier. Inspired by an essay by 19th-century opium eater Thomas De Quincey, Argento’s magnum opus mixes witchcraft, nubile young flesh and expressionist set design into a truly hellish brew. "We were trying to reproduce the color of Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE" -- Argento. With music by Goblin. Next on the same bill is INFERNO (1980, 20th Century Fox, 107 min.) with Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle and Dario Nicolodi. Unreleased in the

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U.S., INFERNO was the second part of a never-finished trilogy (with SUSPIRIA) about the Three Mothers, who rule the world with "sorrow, darkness and tears." Here, Argento delights in the orchestration of elements -- bloody hands on curtains, dusty volumes of arcane knowledge -- transforming INFERNO’s apartment building into a demonic theatrical tableux. "Argento’s world is a lushly horrific one, painted with broad stripes of lurid color, housed in labyrinthian mansions and peopled by beings whose senses quiver and tense at the evils ordinary humans can’t perceive" -- Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly. Both films are dubbed in English. [Dario Argento Series - October ‘94]

The Saturday, July 25th program begins at 7:15 PM with TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971, Universal, 101 min.) directed by Monte Hellman. Two motorheads in a supercharged ‘55 Chevy (singer James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson) take on Warren Oates and his monstrous Pontiac GTO in a cross-country race. Haunted by the vast, open spaces of the Midwest and an addictive sense of speed, TWO-LANE is the essential American road movie -- Hellman calls it "the last movie of the Sixties." Plus, George Hickenlooper’s documentary portrait, MONTE HELLMAN - AMERICAN AUTEUR (1997, 14 min.). [Monte Hellman Series - September ‘96]. Discussion following with Monte Hellman. Following at 9:45 PM is a Sam Fuller Double Feature!!. First is a New 35 mm. CinemaScope Print! of FORTY GUNS (1957, 20th Century Fox, 80 min.). Fuller had to sacrifice his original title, WOMAN WITH A WHIP, for FORTY GUNS, but he kept everything else -- from Barbara Stanwyck’s black-leather dominatrix gear to the film’s naked gun-lust (Her: "May I feel it?" Him: "It might go off in your face.") Forty years later, FORTY GUNS is still the most subversively entertaining Western ever made, a surreal dreamscape in which nothing is motivated by natural laws. "It’s not even really a Western -- I don’t know what it is ... FORTY GUNS doesn’t care." -- Martin Scorsese. With Barry Sullivan and Gene Barry. Twentieth Century Fox struck this new 35 mm print for our Fuller Retrospective last August. Next on the same bill is the Uncut European Version of Sam Fuller’s WHITE DOG (1982, Paramount, 89 min.) starring Paul Winfield and Kristy McNichol. Is there a greater lost film than WHITE DOG? Unreleased, virtually unseen outside of a few retrospective screenings, WHITE DOG is the story of a "four-legged time bomb," a powder-white German shepherd trained to attack black people. Producer Jon Davison will provide this print of the complete version of WHITE DOG (unseen during our Fuller Retro), which has numerous major and minor restored cuts!! [Sam Fuller Series - August ‘97]

 

Weekend 3: Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1, 1998

The Friday, July 31st program begins at 7:15 PM with a John Cassavetes & Gena Rowlands Double-Feature!! Two stunning episodes from the short-lived JOHNNY STACCATO television series (1959-60, Universal TV, 25 min. each), starring and directed by John Cassavetes, playing a N.Y.-based jazz pianist/gun-for-hire. Obsession runs deep in "A Piece of Paradise," where Staccato enters a

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shadowy world of taxi dancers and crippled jockeys. Then, "Solomon" -- our candidate for the most subversive piece of TV ever made: Elisha Cook Jr. stars as a psychotic attorney in love with accused murderess Cloris Leachman. Stark, expressionistic, totally outrageous. [Television Noir Series - August ‘96] Next on the same bill, Gena Rowlands and Cassavetes team up for KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATER - "Won’t It Ever Be Morning?" (1965, Kraft Foods, 60 min.), a gripping, complex story of an insecure jazz singer (Rowlands) and her demented manager (Jack Klugman), who is accused of murdering a young girl. Cassavetes co-stars as the local lawyer who takes on Klugman’s defense. Directed by David Lowell Rich. [Gena Rowlands Series - September ‘93]. Following at 9:30 PM is a double feature of two Spanish language comedies – one from Mexico and one from Spain. First, is LOVE IN THE TIME OF HYSTERIA (SOLO CON TU PAREJA) (1990, IMCINE, 90 min.), the first feature from Alfonso Cuarn, director of the much-acclaimed A LITTLE PRINCESS. LOVE IN THE TIME OF HYSTERIA is a savagely-twisted black comedy of the modern age, when the threat of AIDS shadows promiscuous sexual activity. One of Mexico’s finest young actors (Cacho) gives an energetic performance as an advertising copywriter who can’t find sexual satisfaction -- until he falls for another man’s woman. With Daniel Gimnez Cacho, Claudia Ramirez, Luis de Icaza and Astrid Hadad. In Spanish with English subtitles. [Hecho En Mexico Series - February ‘94]. Following is HI, ARE YOU ALONE? (HOLA, ESTAS SOLA?) (1995, 90 min.). Actress Icar Bollain (EL SUR, LAND AND FREEDOM) steps behind the camera for the first time for this charming, refreshingly realistic look at two young women (Silke and Candela Pea) bumming their way across Spain. Fighting over boyfriends and mothers and coming to terms with their own fears and strengths, the two make a memorable pair -- Thelma and Louise in their early 20’s. In Spanish with English subtitles. [Recent Spanish Cinema - March ‘97]

The Saturday, August 1st program begins at 7:15 PM with a selection of popular short films from previous programs. The films will not necessarily screen in the order listed here. The films are: Bianca Bob Miller's "Number One Local," 8 min. - A portrait of New York City's favorite subway conductor Harry Nugent, whose humorous, insightful commentaries and underground theatrics kept grumpy riders smiling for twenty years. Frank Novak's "Domestic Disturbance," 22 min. - An alumni of New Directors New Films, New York, this audience favorite features the "dysfunctional" antics of a couple breaking up. Copious beer-bellies, high drama and a car crash will have you laughing and cringing. Relah Eckstein's "Oatmeal," 8 min. - This surreal, experimental treat features a woman attempting to poison her husband over breakfast. Maya Deren's, "Meshes of the Afternoon," 14 min - Made in 1943, Deren's most influential film is a surreal exploration of the inner experiences of a woman as revealed through a dream. A pioneer of the American avant-garde movement, Deren’s influence can be seen in many current films, music videos and commercials. The film stars Deren herself and is set in the Hollywood Hills of the 1940's. Sherry Breyer's "Dresden," 10 min. - An unforgettable journey to one of Los Angeles's last great lounges,

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featuring the musical stylings of Marty & Elaine. Tom Gilroy's "Touch Base," 20 min. - A tour-de-force performance by Lili Taylor (RANSOM, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL) anchors this harrowing, funny film about the anxiety of middle-management. Tyron Montgomery's "Quest," 12 min. - This 1996 Oscar Winner in the Animated Short Film category is a stop-motion animated stunner. Directors Sherry Breyer, Relah Eckstein and Frank Novak will appear in-person for discussion following the screening. Following at 9:30 PM is a Werner Herzog Double Feature. First is LESSONS OF DARKNESS (LEKTIONEN IN FINSTERNIS) (1992, Premiere, 50 min.). Back by popular demand (for the second time!), Herzog’s sublime meditation on the apocalypse might be called "documentary sci-fi": an unseen alien floats serenely over the oil-well fires of Kuwait, to the tune of Mahler and Verdi. Next on the same bill is GESUALDO - DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES (1996, RM Assoc., 60 min.) in which Herzog returns with this morbidly funny documentary portrait of 16th-century Italian composer Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa. Gesualdo’s music anticipated the work of Wagner and Stravinsky -- but his life was a demonic canvas of murder and insanity, culminating in the ruthless slayings of his wife and son. Herzog’s camera prowls the abandoned remains of the Prince’s castle, while the Gesualdo Consort of London performs the composer’s gorgeous, swirling madrigals. [Werner Herzog Series - September ‘95/New Films From Germany - January ‘97]

 

Weekend 4: Friday, August 7 & Saturday, August 8, 1998

The Friday, August 7th program begins at 7:15 PM with the Spanish film NOBODY WILL SPEAK OF US WHEN WE’RE DEAD (NADIE HABLARA DE NOSOTRAS CUANDO HAYAMOS MUERTO) (1995, President Films, 97 min.). An alcoholic whore (Victoria Abril, in possibly her finest performance) witnesses a blood bath in Mexico City, and flees back to Spain with a notebook containing the key to a fortune in laundered drug money. What begins as a thriller evolves into a devastating parable of damaged lives, as Abril is pursued by a God-fearing hitman (Federico Luppi, from CRONOS) and confronted by her fierce, embittered mother-in-law (Pilar Bardem). Directed by Agustn Daz Yanes. In Spanish with English subtitles. [Recent Spanish Cinema - February ‘96]. Following at 9:30 PM is a Hideo Gosha and Don Siegel Action Double Feature. First is GOYOKIN (OFFICIAL GOLD) (1969, Fujisankei, 124 min.), director Hideo Gosha’s samurai masterpiece. This unrelenting vision of driven snow and pillars of fire, ravens screeching and swords flashing in the darkness stars Tatsuya Nakadai as a conscience-stricken samurai, tortured by his involvement in a past massacre and determined to prevent another. Gosha was forced to re-shoot half the film when co-star Toshiro Mifune walked out (apparently because of the cold!) -- and in truth, the cold in GOYOKIN is fierce, all-consuming, freezing hands to swords. A bold, beautiful film, completely devoid of pity. With Tetsuro Tamba. In Japanese with English subtitles. [Hideo Gosha Series - June ‘96]. Next on the same bill is DIRTY HARRY (1971, Warner Bros., 103 min.) in which director Don Siegel turns San Francisco, 60’s hippie mecca, into an unforgettable 70’s war zone of bank robbers and

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psycho-killers, governed only by the long gun of the law -- in the form of magnum-toting Clint Eastwood. A master of minimalism, of packing the fiercest punch into the fewest moves, Siegel transformed the genre film like no other American director. With Andy Robinson. [Don Siegel Series - December ‘93]

The Saturday, August 8th program begins at 7:15 PM with the Italian film SWEPT AWAY BY AN UNUSUAL DESTINY IN THE BLUE SEA OF AUGUST (TRAVOLTI DA UN INSOLITO DESTINO NELL’AZZURRO MARE D’AGOSTO) (1974, 125 min.). Director Lina Wertmller’s most controversial film, SWEPT AWAY is still a force to be reckoned with and argued over – not to mention its power as a very funny comedy. Giancarlo Giannini stars as a scruffy, bug-eyed sailor, forced to endure the constant bitching of Mariangela Melato’s gorgeous aristocrat ("While we’re waiting for the revolution, let’s try and have pasta al dente for once."). When they’re blown off course and stranded on a remote island, Giannini turns the tables and takes brutal revenge in the name of the working class. There are more outrageous insults and obscenities in SWEPT AWAY than in all of Scorsese combined. In Italian with English subtitles. [Lina Wertmller Series - November ‘97]. Following at 9:30 PM is an Ultra-WideScreen Double Bill featuring two rarely-seen Twentieth Century Fox films in glorious cinemascope prints! First is BIGGER THAN LIFE (1956, 20th Century Fox, 95 min.) from director Nicholas Ray. A brilliant companion piece to Ray’s REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, this savage portrait of suburban 1950’s America centers on a teacher (James Mason) who becomes addicted to cortisone, and experiences tyrannical, visionary delusions that shock and frighten his colleagues and family. Like few directors before or since, Ray was capable of imbuing his films with the violent, contradictory impulses of his own personality -- about BIGGER THAN LIFE, Ray’s wife Susan later told him, "this is your life before you lived it." Also with Barbara Rush and Walter Matthau. [Nicholas Ray Series - February ‘94]. Next on the same bill is ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS (1957, 20th Century Fox, 85 min.), an ultra-tense, underrated creature film (one of the best of the 1950’s) about a Yeti-hunting expedition whose members are slowly destroyed by their own fears. Director Val Guest and screenwriter Nigel Kneale (who wrote the original QUATERMASS series) balance tight Hawksian action against an eerie, insistent sense of the supernatural. With evocative B & W photography by veteran Hammer cameraman Arthur Grant. Also with Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker. [Hammer Films Series - October ‘95]

 

Weekend 5: Thursday, August 13; Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15, 1998

The Thursday, August 13th program begins at 8:00 PM with BEST OF QUEER SHORTS at the Gay & Lesbian Center Village Theater -- Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place. Films will not necessarily screen in the order listed below. The films are: Tag Purvis' "America the Beautiful," 3 min. - An inspiring expression of homosexual intimacy. Tommy O'Haver's "Catalina," 15 min. - This charming, funny look at a young man's unrequited crush on a straight guy was the launching point for O'Haver's soon-

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to-be-released feature film, BILLY'S HOLLYWOOD SCREEN KISS. Russell DeGrazier's "Goulet's Sick?," 28 min. - A love story between two hesitant participants: A transvestite who adores Jackie O and a writer. Gloria Steinem and Robert Goulet also figure into this warm, bittersweet film set in Los Angeles. Kevin Duffy's "Cheap Flight," 5 min. - In this "morning after" scenario, two guys and a girl go for the bagels. Greg Sax's "27," 4 min. - An ironic tone defines this inventive film about a generation in which death is now banal. Joshua Rosenzweig's "Scream Teen, Scream," 37 min - Jackie Beat (Kent Fuher), Alexis Arquette and Robert Ring star as three teenage "girls" determined to have fun at their Halloween slumber party, despite the terror of a lurking serial killer stalking chubby girls. With Sherry Vine as "mom." Stewart Main's "Twilight of the Gods," 15 min - Set in the 19th Century, this gorgeous film from New Zealand follows a Maori warrior's encounter with a wounded British soldier. Their relationship arcs from the antagonistic to the erotic. Directors Tommy O’Haver, Russell DeGrazier and Greg Sax will appear in-person following the screenings.

The Friday, August 14th program begins at 7:15 PM with a Chris Marker & Wim Wenders Double Feature. First is a Super-Rare 35 mm. Print of LA JETEE (1964, Argos Films, 30 min.) director Chris Marker’s most famous film (and his only work of pure fiction). LA JETE is an agonizing cry of love to a world gone by, the story of a man drawn through time by the image of a woman standing on the jetty at Orly Airport. A candidate for one of the greatest films ever made; certainly, it’s the most romantic. Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS was based on this poetic, sci-fi montage. (This is Marker’s preferred version with English voice-over.) [Chris Marker Series - September ‘97]. Next on the same bill is Wim Wenders’ A TRICK OF THE LIGHT (DIE GEBRDER SKLADANOWSKY) (1996, Wim Wenders Produktion, 80 min.) with Udo Kier. Directed by Wim Wenders (with help from 19 students from the Munich Film Academy), TRICK recreates the exploits of the Brothers Skladanowsky, three fairground showmen/inventors who developed their own movie camera at the same time as the Lumieres and Edison. Shot with a 1920’s handcranking camera in the style of the silents, TRICK is Wenders’ playful and poetic valentine to the movies. "Evokes the magic of the cinema as it was being invented with an infinite charm" -- Kevin Thomas, L.A. Times. In German with English subtitles. [Wim Wenders Series - September ‘96]. Following at 9:30 PM is an Andre de Toth Double Feature!! First is CRIMEWAVE (1954, Warner Bros., 74 min.). L.A. noir doesn’t get any better than this: ex-con Gene Nelson gets sucked back into a life of crime, while toothpick-chewing cop Sterling Hayden tries to set him straight (his favorite phrase is "ya slob.") Shot in stunning deep-focus black-and-white by cinematographer Bert Glennon, CRIMEWAVE barrels from one crackling action sequence to another -- Jean-Pierre Melville loved it enough to steal the ending for SECOND BREATH. Also with Phyllis Kirk and Charles Bronson. Next on the same bill is a screening of a New 35 mm. Print! of Andre de Toth’s PLAY DIRTY (1969, MGM/UA, 118 min.). Pragmatism and Cynicism are pushed to their furthest extremes here. Michael Caine stars as an

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inexperienced officer leading his team on a very eccentric and deadly mission to blow up German fuel dumps in North Africa. A film about the sheer mechanics of survival in alien territory (against sand-storms, land-mines and your own commanding officers), and so sharp and nasty you could cut your hand on it! With Nigel Davenport. [Andre de Toth Series - April ‘97] Discussion between films with Andre de Toth.

The Saturday, August 15th program begins at 7:15 PM with four episodes of ‘70s Saturday Morning TV shows from fifth generation puppeteers SID & MARTY KROFFT. The surreal masters of Saturday morning kids’ shows are back -- bringing their day-glo gallery of lovable dragons, singing insects and prehistoric Sleestak with them. If you missed our two previous sold-out tributes to the Kroffts -- you missed one of the wildest shows in town! Join us as we welcome Sid and Marty Krofft in-person, with episodes of "H.R. PUFNSTUF," "THE BUGALOOS," "SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS," and "LAND OF THE LOST" (1969-74, 25 min. each.) [Sid & Marty Krofft Tribute - Feb./June ‘95]. Following at 9:30 PM is a Curtis Harrington & Georges Franju Double-Feature. Curtis Harrington will appear In-Person to present a New 35 mm. Print of his WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? (1971, MGM/UA, 101 min.). Picture this: Shelley Winters as a latent-lesbian dance teacher, Debbie Reynolds as a platinum-blonde Jean Harlow clone, and Agnes Moorehead as a Bible-thumping evangelist - ! Harrington’s personal favorite among his films, WHAT’S THE MATTER is a creepy, delirious whirl of religious fervor, romantic obsession, and hundreds of little girls who all want to be Shirley Temple. The Brand-New 35mm Print of the film -- straight off the U.K. negative -- is courtesy of MGM/UA [Curtis Harrington Series - February ‘97] Discussion following with Curtis Harrington. Next on the same bill is a screening of an Ultra-Rare 35mm Print of JUDEX (1964, 95 min.). Director Georges Franju transports the 1960’s back to 1914 for this spellbinding, mystical serial-thriller -- think of it as an Art Nouveau version of BATMAN, where caped crusader Judex (Channing Pollock) goes up against gorgeous, cat-suited Francine Berg and family. Of all Franju’s films, JUDEX pulls us deepest into that "haunted void" where nightwalkers climb sheer walls and white doves flutter magically back to life. [Georges Franju Series - May ‘97]

 

Weekend 6: Friday, August 21 & Saturday, August 22, 1998

The Friday, August 21st program begins at 7:15 PM with Italian horror maestro Mario Bava’s TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (1971, 90 min.), which has not been seen in 25 Years!! The Holy Grail for Mario Bava fans, TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE was unavailable for our past two Bava series. We have tracked down (with the help of the British Film Institute) the sole surviving 35mm print of the film at the Cinmathque Municipale de Luxembourg!! Forget SCREAM, HALLOWEEN and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER -- TWITCH is the great granddaddy of slasher movies, with 13 oversexed Italians slaughtering each other in amazingly inventive ways in a remote mansion. "Unreels like a macabre, ironic joke ... an Elizabethan tragedy as Tex Avery might have written it" -- Bava expert Tim Lucas. Also with

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Claudine Auger and Claudio Volonte. Dubbed in English. [Mario Bava Series - October ‘93/August ‘96]. Following at 9:15 PM is a Robert Wise and Vincent Sherman Double Feature with both directors In-Person!! First is Robert Wise’s THE SET-UP (1949, RKO (Warner Classics), 72 min.), one of the sublime masterpieces of 40’s noir, THE SET-UP stars Robert Ryan as Stoker Thomson, a two-bit fighter making his grim last stand in the aptly-named Paradise City boxing ring. Directed with chilling, flawless control by Wise, THE SET-UP is the highlight of his early career at RKO. THE SET-UP is Wise and Ryan in their very prime -- muscular, desperate, simply unbeatable. With Audrey Totter and Phil Pine. [Robert Wise Series - June ‘93]. Next on the same bill is THE HARD WAY (1942, Warner Classics, 102 min.), the runaway hit of our Vincent Sherman retrospective. THE HARD WAY stars Ida Lupino as a magnificent, domineering Svengali who bullies THE ENTIRE MOVIE into believing her younger sister is a star -- and by the end, we believe it too. Inspired by Ginger Rogers’ early career, THE HARD WAY won Lupino the N.Y. Film Critics Award for Best Actress (even though she fought with Sherman all during shooting.) Watch also for James Wong Howe’s crack photography, and an excellent supporting cast led by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson. [Vincent Sherman Series - December ‘96] Discussion between films with Robert Wise and Vincent Sherman.

Our final program until we re-open at the Egyptian is on Saturday, August 22nd. The program begins at 7:15 PM with THE LAST BIG THING (Stratosphere, 1996, 98 min.), a revival pick from our ALTERNATIVE SCREEN INDEPENDENT FILM SHOWCASE. If you've ever wanted to shove your fist down the throat of the next pathetic LA scenester you bump into at a party, who wants nothing more than to be the media's "next big thing," then this movie will warm your heart. The film's writer/director, Dan Zukovic, also stars in this devilishly smart, satiric skewering of every hyped up modern medium; from music videos to stand-up comedy; from modeling to the retro-hip twentysomething worship of bad 70s TV shows and their icons. Zukovic is Simon Geist a mysterious figure who has teamed up with an angst-ridden trust fund baby to carry out a mysterious "agenda" from head quarters in a suburban tract home ("the perfect anti-statement") 30 miles from Los Angeles. As Geist begins to believe that he truly is "the last major figure of the milennium," an intelligent model (Pamela Dickerson) and "the new hunk of night time television" (Mark Ruffalo) enter the picture, and the agenda really begins to mutate... "Dan Zukovic is as mesmerizing as he is acerbically funny as Simon Geist..., Darla's (Susan Heimbinder) hyperkinetic nervousness is a great foil for Zukovic's unnerving physical intensity and intellectual superciliousness." -- Brad Schreiber, Entertainment Today. Plus, Lela Lee’s "Angry Little Asian Girl" (4 episodes totaling 6 min., video) – Watch what you say to her! You don’t want to get her "offended and mad!" Director Dan Zukovic will appear in-person following the screening. [Alternative Screen - May ‘97/April ‘98]. Following at 9:15 PM is a Samurai vs. Spaghetti Western Double-Feature!! First is the Japanese film SWORD OF DOOM (DAIBOSATSU TOGE) (1966, Toho (Kit Parker), 122 min.), a breathtakingly beautiful samurai film starring

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Tatsuya Nakadai (GOYOKIN, THE WOLVES) in his most famous role, as an utterly psychotic swordsman consumed with the pure joy of killing. Director Kihachi Okamoto was one of Toho’s mainstay directors in the 1960’s, renowned for his muscular, hard-hitting style -- SWORD OF DOOM is easily his masterpiece. "The sword is the soul ... an evil mind, an evil sword." With Toshiro Mifune, Michiyo Aratama. In Japanese with English subtitles. [Outlaw Masters of Japan - July ‘97]. Next on the same bill is CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES (1968, 90 min.). Our series closes with one of the greatest lost Spaghettis, director/actor Robert Hossein’s dark, fiercely lyrical Western. Humiliation, murder, revenge: CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES has a dreamlike, diabolical quality straight out of Mario Bava. An almost purely visual experience (there are maybe two dozen lines of dialogue in the whole film), CEMETERY stars Hossein as a leather-clad killer, drawn into a tragic kidnap/murder plot by his love for former flame Michele Mercier. Shown for the first time in the U.S. at the Cinematheque, this print also marks the only time a Spaghetti has ever been screened IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES - !! Listen for Scott Walker’s ultra-swinging theme song, "The Rope & The Colt." [Spaghetti Western Series - November ‘96].

A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.

k BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS AND PRESS KITS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST k

 

PRESS PASSES ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE DURING THE FESTIVAL AS MOST SCREENINGS WILL BE SOLD OUT. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

THEATRICAL PRESS SCREENINGS WILL BE SET UP FOR SOME TITLES. PLEASE CALL FOR DATES AND TIMES. SOME FILMS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON VIDEOTAPE AT THE OFFICES OF THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE or at JERRY'S VIDEO (LOS FELIZ). CALL 323.466.3456 ext. 115 or 116 TO SCHEDULE SCREENINGS. BELOW IS A LIST OF AVAILABLE FILMS AS OF THIS DATE (Some have English subtitles):

At the American Cinematheque: At Jerry's Video (Los Feliz):

CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 SUSPIRIA

COLD WATER INFERNO

DELICATE ART OF THE RIFLE WHITE DOG

TWO LANE BLACKTOP DIRTY HARRY

GESUALDO - DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES THE PARTY

BEST OF SHORTS PROGRAM JUDEX

GOYOKIN (OFFICIAL GOLD) THE SET UP

SWEPT AWAY BY AN UNUSUAL DESTINY IN THE BLUE SEA OF AUGUST

QUEER SHORTS PROGRAM TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE

CRIMEWAVE

PLAY DIRTY

SWORD OF DOOM

CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES

THE LAST BIG THING may not be available for review as a commercial release is scheduled for Fall ’98.

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v Members may purchase tickets over the phone by calling 213.466.3456, ext. 3 from Monday at noon until Thursday at 3:00 pm. Non-members may purchase tickets at the door the night of the event or in advance any time that the Cinematheque box office is open. The box office is open one hour prior to the first screening of the evening on Friday and Saturday nights and on Thursdays when the Alternative Screen has events. Tickets are $7 General Admission and $4 for members. Ticket prices may vary for certain performances. Please list (323) 466-FILM (3456) ext. 2 for program and ticket information and ext. 3 for member ticket sales!

The American Cinematheque will not present public programming between August 23, 1998 and December 5, 1998. We will re-open at the Egyptian Theatre with a 75th anniversary presentation of Cecil B. DeMilles’s 1923 version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Acclaimed musicologist Gillian Anderson will conduct the orchestra performing the live original score. A press preview of this presentation will take place in early December. Tickets will be available in the Fall for the December 6th, 7th & 8th performances. The Cinematheque will resume its normal weekly programming (increased to five days per week) at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood) in January 1999. Planned series will be announced later this year. Journalists wishing to cover the opening of the Egyptian should contact Margot Gerber at 213.466.3456, ext. 115 immediately for more information.

 

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which ranges from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of rare works, special prints within our series, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences.

The American Cinematheque is currently renovating the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, which, when open in 1998, will become the American Cinematheque's permanent home and offer daily, year-round programming.

For information about this film program call 323/466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

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