CON ARTIST is a punk-fueled docu-comedy which follows the superstar of the frantic 1980's New York art world. Mark Kostabi, who unapologetically signed and sold thousands of paintings made by painters and laborers who hadn't seen Kostabi himself paint in years. A shrewd critique of valuation and the question for "cash and glory," CON ARTIST contains interviews with art world figures and vintage clips of Kostabi's TV appearances. Director Michael Sladek's camera candidly captures the man who h as been called, "the black hole of irony." CON ARTIST opens at Laemmle's Sunset 5 on Friday, April l.
ORGASM, INC. is filmmaker Liz Canner's shocking, yet entertaining documentary which explores the strange science of female pleasure revealing, in the process, the often-warped mentality of the pharmaceutical and medical industries. Hired to edit an erotic video for promotion of the first female "Viagra," she discovers that, far from treating a 'disease' the motivation is to exploit women and potentially endanger their health. ORGASM, INC. is a nine-year odyssey into the world of big Pharma and medical device manufacturers the promice of "normal" sexual function is superceded by the quest for billions of dollars in profits. With wry humor, interviews with activists, doctors and medical experts, ORGASM, INC. is a powerful, timely, and enlightening take on how we view sexuality. ORGASM, INC. opens at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on Friday, April 1st.
BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK follows famed Schwinn bike-riding cultural anthropologist and chronicler of fashion trends and high society soirees, NY Times fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham. Featuring comments from uptown fixtures Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller, and Anna Wintour, to downtown eccentrics, BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK is a delicate, funny, poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace. BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK opens, Friday, April 1st at Landmark's Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., in West LA.
SUPER is filmmaker James Gunn's definitive tale of self-reflexive superheroes. An outlandishly dark comedy about sad-sack, Frank, (played by Rainn Wilson), who loses his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) to a drug dealer. Under the guise of "The Crimson Bolt," he takes his fight to the streets, complete with a handmade suit, a wrench and a sidekick named Boltie (played by Ellen Page). SUPER opens on Friday, April 1st at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood.
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER is a gripping, gorgeous, romantic period drama from veteran filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier. Based on Madame de Lafayette's 1622 novella, it is set during the reign of Charles IX in France as Catholoic/Protestant religious wars rage and passionate rivals vie for the heiress to one of the kingdom's greatest fortunes. Forced into the isolation of an arranged marriage, she is left in the care of an aging nobleman who disdains warfare, but finds his own desires awakened. THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER opens Friday, April 15th at Laemmle's Royal Theatre, 1523 Santa Monica Blvd. in West L.A.
MY PERESTROIKA is an intimate and lovingly-crafted documentary following five classmates from the last generation of Soviet children brought up behind the Iron Curtain. Witnessing the joy and confusion of Glasnost, they reach adulthood as the world changes around them. Through verite footage, vintage home movies and candid, first-person testimony, MY PERESTROIKA reveals a Russia rarely seen. Honest and person, it transcends ideology as history progresses one day at a time. MY PERESTROIKA opens on Friday, April 15th at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
THE 15th ANNUAL CITY OF LIGHTS, CITY OF ANGELS FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL (COLCOA) runs April 11th through 17th at the Directors Guild, 7920 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Offering over 34 features, 26 shorts, as well as World and US premiers. KPFK Film Club members can choose from one of the following highlights:
The 317th PLATOON which follows a French unit trapped behind enemy lines during the French IndoChina War. Digitally restored, this winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes in 1965, it was one of the first realistic depictions of the Vietnam War. Shot by iconic cinematographer Raoul Coutard, it provides an intimate look at the daily agony of the men involved. Screens on Friday, 4/15 at 1;30 pm.
JO'S BOY follows a former rugby champion who mourns the loss of his wife while raising his son alone and introducing him to the family profession. Screens on Saturday, 4/16 at 1:15 pm.
THE CLINK OF ICE is a daring Black comedy about the triumph of love over death. Charles, an award-winning writer, separated from his wife and son, attempts to drinks his life away, but finds his bleak existence interrupted by a disturbing stranger who introduces himself as Charles' cnacer, proceeding to follow him like a shadow. Screening is followed by a discussion with the film's directors. Screens on Thursday, April 14th at 8:30 pm.
WHAT LOVE MAY BRING is filmmaker Claude LeLoch's sweeping drama in which the stepdaughter of a film projectionist who is involved with the Resistance during WWII, sets aside her father's politics and follows her own passions and the men she loves unconditionally, suffering betrayal and hardship.
LE QUATTRO VOLTE traces the cycle of life beginning with the daily rituals of an old shepherd in the hills of Calabria in Southern Italy. Inspired by Pythagoras' belief in the four-fold transmigration of the soul, passed from human to animal to vegetable to mineral. Michelangelo Frammartino's wondrous documentary is a poetic vision of nature which tells the story of one soul that moves through four successive lives. A.O. Scott of the NY times says LE QUATTRO VOLTE has an eye for comedy and mystery which produces compositions so strange and memorable that they seem to reinvent the very act of perception." LE QUATTRO VOLTE opens on Friday, April 15th for a one-week engagement at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA.
CIRCO, Aaron Shock’s acclaimed documentary, follows the family-run “Circo Mexico” as they struggle to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audience and a simmering family conflict. Performing on the back roads of Mexico since the 19th century, the Ponce family is lead by Tino, the ringmaster, who is driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to greater success. With a troubled marriage and a century-old family tradition hanging in the balance, CIRCO bringing the viewer into the luminous world of a traveling circus while examining universal themes of family bonds, filial responsibility, and the weight of cultural inheritance. With a musical score by Calexico, CIRCO opens on Friday, April 8th for a limited engagement at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd, in West LA.
FOOTPRINTS, the feature film debut of award-winning writer Steven Peros, follows a young woman who wakes up in the footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre with no idea who she is or how she got there. Her dream-like journey of self-discovery through Hollywood spans one day from sunrise to sunset, through the celebrity impersonators, Scientologists, tour-guides, shopowners, and the local eccentrics. Featuring poignant performances from Hollywood veterans Pippa Scott and H.M. Wynant, FOOTPRINTS open on Friday, 4/15 at Laemmle's Sunset 5, Film Club members are invited to an exclusive premier at noon on Wednesday, April 13th at Graumann's Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY utilizes archival footage, digital animation and candid interviews to capture the rebellious, outrageous spirit of the late comedian, Bill Hicks, whose uncompromising approach challenged injustice, meeting with controversy and resistance while opening minds and inspiring millions. In 1993, on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream audience, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which eventually took his life, but his timeless material is still revered by fans and fellow comedians. Opening on Friday, April 15th at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
9th Annual Indian Film Festival (IFFLA), running April 12-17th at the Arclight in Hollywood, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd, is the pre-eminent, longest running showcase of contemporary Indian cinema in the country, from Bollywood to documentaries and shorts, the fest celebrates, captivates, and connects, featuring panels, opening and closing night galas, singers, dancers, as well as delicious food. Film club members can call the front desk for a pair of tickets to one of the following films:
PEEPLI LIVE, from first-time filmmaker Anusha Rizvi, giving a satirical spin on the tragic farmer-suicide epidemic plaguing Indian villages for the past decade.
THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, a documentary about an unforgettable detective who faces the tragic circumstances of his wife's illness with perseverance and some great dance moves.
GANESH WONDER BOY, in which a young boy who looks like the elephant-headed god he is named after longs to lead the normal life of his dreams.
VIRGIN GOAT, in which a farmer, having lost most of his ancestral land and livestock finds salvation in the last remaining goat in his possession.
COPPELIA (lived broadcast on 3/28 and rebroadcast on 4/2) continues the extraordinary classical ballet cinema series, performed by the Paris Opera Ballet. With choreography by Patrice Bart, this mythic tale fo the doll who comes to life is imbued wtih fantasy, doubles, illusions and the superlative artistic vision of the Paris Opera Ballet. COPPELIA plays at Laemmle theatres throughout the Los Angeles area.
MARS NEEDS MOMS tells the tale of Milo, who gains a new appreciation for his mother when aliens arrive on Earth and whisk her away. Directed by Simon Wells ("Prince of Egypt") and starring Seth Green and Joan Cusack, from the team who brought you Polar Express, comes another animation triumph in 3D, playing at the Majestic Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd. MARS NEEDS MOMS opens Friday, March 11th.
REDLAND is writer/director Asiel Norton’s story of the eternal laws of survival and existence, how one act can begin the dissolution and rebirth of a family. As a backhills rural family struggles to survive during the Depression, their daughter’s secret affair begins a journey into the unknown. REDLAND was a 2010 Spirit Award Nominee and Asiel Norton has been deemed one of 25 new faces to watch by Filmmaker magazine. Jane Campion calls REDLAND, “harsh, poetic, and shockingly beautiful,” while the Montreal Gazette says REDLAND is “visually and sonically ravishing, awful in the Biblical sense and flat-out unforgettable.” REDLAND opens at Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on Friday, March 11th.
THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER, is Director Eran Riklis' much-lauded dramedy. Jerusalem's largest bakery is accused of indifference when an employee is killed in a suicide bombing. Separated from his wife and distanced from his daughter, he is sent to the victim's hometown in romania to make amends. On a mission to honor a woman he didn't even know, but has somehow grown to admire, he discovers his own humanity and ability to truly care for human resources. The winner of 5 Israeli Academy Awards and featuring fearless performances by a comedic ensemble. THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER opens Friday, March 11th at Landmark's Regent Theatre, 1045 Broxton Avenue, in LA
OF GODS AND MEN explores the deepest questions of spiritual existence in the midst of a violent world. It recounts the true story of French monks who find their bucolic existence threatened when faced with Islamic extremists and a pressuring military regime during the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s. Their harmonious relationship with their Muslim neighbors forces them to face a harrowing decision: flee or stand their ground and fulfill their spiritual and humanist mission. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize, OF GODS AND MEN was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and was also France's official selection for Best Foreign Lanaguage Film for the Oscars. OF GODS AND MEN plays at Laemmle Theatres.
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN is Sergei Eisenstein's indisputable Silent Soviet masterpiece. Widely considered one of the most influential films ever made, it is set in 1905 in Odessa, as the crew of the armored cruiser "Potemkin" consider mutiny. Raising the red flag of revolution, the sailors' revolt becomes the rallying cry for a Russian populace ground under the bootheels of the Czar's cossacks. This all-new restoration is the result of a 20-yr. project. Long subject to censorship and re-cutting, film historian and collector, Enno Patalas, restores dozens of missing shots, returning the definitive 1926 score and the bold vision of its creator. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIM screened at the Nuart in West LA.
THE LAST LIONS is a stirring, suspense-filled tale of a determined lioness risking everything to save her cubs from enemies and rivals to become a leader of a powerful new pride. Fleeing a raging fire and a rival pride, she and her cubs make their periolous escape by swimming a crocodile-infested river in Botswana's Okavango Delta. Written and directed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert and narrated by Jeremy Irons, THE LAST LIONS is an epic cinematic adventure of wonder, a personal love letter to a legendary pride of lions they've come to feel a part of. THE LAST LIONS screened at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
EVEN THE RAIN stars Gael Garcia Bernal as an idealistic film director who comes to Bolivia with his Spanish film crew and his cynical producer, Cost, (played Luis Rosar) to make a revisionist epic about the conquest of Latin America. In this film-within-a-film, a local, cast as a 16th century native, protests his community's deprivation of water at the hands of mutli-national corporations. Michael Moore has called EVEN THE RAIN a brilliant, moving, enthralling movie. "Variety" called it "a powerful, richly layered indictment of the plight of Latin America's dispossessed." EVEN THE RAIN is currently playing at Laemmle Theatres.
16TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL, running March 16th through March 20th at Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose avenue in Hollywood, will screen more than 85 films from around the world. Opening with "Cafe", starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, the festival focusses on family and childrens' films from around the globe. This year, the festival honors the legendary voiceover artist Bill Farmer, who gave life to Disney's beloved Goofy, as well as Warner Brothers' cartoon favorites like Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn. For further info and a full roster of films, go to iffilmfest.org.
SAINT MISBEHAVIN’: THE WAVY GRAVY MOVIE, chronicles the amazing life story of supreme clown, philanthropist, poet, artist and activist for peace, Hugh Nanton Romney, aka Wavy Gravy. Celebrating his 75th year on planet Earth, this pop culture icon and founder of such organizations of Winnarainbow, the Seva foundation and the Hog Farm commune, Wavy Gravy is a one-of-a-kind servant to humanity. Director Michelle Esrick has spent ten years documenting his adventures and stories from California to the Himalayas with an extraordinary array of fellow travelers, revealing that he is much more than a Ben & Jerry’s flavor, the man Paul Krasner describes as “The illegitimate son of Harp Marx and Mother Theresa, conceived one starry night on a spiritual whoopee cushion.” Featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie, Odetta, Steve Earle, the Grateful Dead, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and many more, SAINT MISBEHAVIN’ opens at Laemmle’s Monica-4 Plex on Friday, March 11th.
THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART tells the incredible story of a treasure trove of banned Soviet art worth millions of dollars stashed in a far-off desert of Uzbekistan, and how art survives in times of oppression. A small group of artists remaining true to their vision despite threats of torture, imprisonment and death inspires a young painter named Igor Savitsky to rescue 40,000 forbidden fellow artists' works creating a museum in the desert far from the watchful eye of the KGB. Ben Kingsley, Sally Field, and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists, intercut with archival footage and recollections. THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART opens Friday, March 18th at Laemmle's Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.
THE POWER OF THE POWERLESS, narrated by Jeremy Irons and featuring form Czech President Vaclav Havel, dramatically portrays 1989's "Velvet Revolution" in Czechslovakia. Ten days of street protests toppled the Communist regime without the loss of a single life. Havel's leadership and his uncompromising advocacy for human rights through non-violence and willingness to go to prison for his beliefs, have particular resonance today. Distributed by People in Need to encourage dissidents seeking freedom through nonviolent means, THE POWER OF THE POWERLESS has been called by director Rod Lurie, "a calamity of emotion that will anybody watching it shaken," while the film's director calls it a cautionary tale of what can happen when we let our fears immobilize us." THE POWER OF THE POWERLESS opens Friday, March 11th at Laemmle's Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills.
NOW AND LATER, a new indie feature directed by Cinema Libre's Philippe Diaz, mixes sex, politics and American culture into a combustible combination. Angelia is an undocumented Latina living in LA, who takes in a disgraced banker on the run. Through passionate sex, soul-searching conversations ranging from politics to philosophy, Angela introduces him to another worldview, causing his life to take an abrupt and unexpected turn. NOW AND LATER challenges America's neo-puritanical relationship with sexuality on the screen, especially when juxtaposed against the violence so prevalent throughout media and society. The New York Times says, "Liberally sprinkled with gleaming, groovy, graphic sex, NOW AND LATER exudes an amiably accessible vibe that softens the edges of its freewheeling explicitness. NOW AND LATER plays at Laemmle Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS, and LIVE ACTION SHORTS features animated shorts from Germany, Australia, France and the US, along with live action shorts about a boy making his first confession, a schoolboy in love, civil war in Burundi, and a fifteen year old with one last wish before facing death. Playing at Laemmle Theatres.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT DOCUMENTARIES features a rich and compelling range of topics including the true cost of terrorism, to an apple-pie cheerleader turned Iraqi War machine gunner, the relocation of environmental refugees, a school in Tel Aviv where no child is a stranger and a remote village in China fights the poisoning of their water and air by a chemical company. Playing at Laemmle Theatres.
TRANSCENDANT MAN is a film about humans merging with our machines within the next 35 years. Chronicling the life and ideas of Ray Jurzweil, an inventor and futurist who has been called the rightful heir to Thomas Edison, it presents his bold vision of the Singularity, a point when technology will be changing so rapidly that we will have to enhance ourselves with artificial intelligence to keep up. Bill Gates call him "the best person I know at predicting the future." and Time Magazine's recent cover story on him is entitled "2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal." Deemed "one of the top ten documentaries of the Year" by the Intl. Documentary Association and Aint' it Cool News says, "Not only is TRANSCENDENT MAN the must-see film of 2011, it might just change your life forever." Powerfully directed by Barry Ptolemy, with a mesmerizing score by Philip Glass, TRANSCENDENT MAN screened in LA for two nights only Feb. 16th and 17th at Laemmle's Royal.
GNOMEO AND JULIET, is Shakespeare's tale of woe retold of star-cross garden gnomes (voiced by Emily Blunt and James McAvoy) caught in the classic feud between neighbors, amidst pink flamingos and lawnmower races. Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Dolly Parton and Patrick Stewart (as Bill Shakespeare himself) lend their voices to this CGI animated film from Touchstone Pictures, featuring songs performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga. GNOMEO AND JULIET opens Friday, February 11 at the Crest Majestive Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
TROUBADOURS interweaves the intriguing story of the historic LA club, which was the performance epicenter for the folk movement in the 60's and '70s and the singer/songwriters who were a part of it. Run by a mercurial impresario, Doug Weston, the Troubadour launched the careers of Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and so many others. As turbulent times gave rise to a new style marked by vulnerable introspection, raw emotion and intimate personal reflection, backed by little more than an acoustic guitar or piano, these talents reflected the voice of a generation. Inspired by a series of landmark reunion concerts, TROUBADOURS traces the enduring spirit, camaraderie and creativity of a remarkable group of artists. TROUBADOURS is currently playing at Laemmle Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
TRUE GRIT, a mythic western based on Charles Portis' classic novel, is given the inimitable Coen Brothers treatment in a stirring adaptation (nominated for 10 Academy Awards) which captures the plain-spoken humor, bold storytelling, and rough beauty of this tale of vengeance and valor. Fourteen year-old Mattie Ross, played by Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld, enlists the help of a Texas Ranger, played by Matt Damon, and a hard drinking, trigger-happy, ruthless U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn played by Jeff Bridges in an Oscar-nominated performance. With a stellar class that also includes Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper, TRUE GRIT runs Feb. 4th through 10th at the Crest Majestic Theatre at 1262 Westwood Blvd.
CITIZEN RUTH and FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, part of Cinefamily's "When Indies Rocked" series features (schedules permitting) in person appearances by two of our finest filmmakers today, Alexander Payne ("Sideways") and David O. Russell ("The Fighter"). Alexander Payne's provocative ensemble comedy about abortion, CITIZEN RUTH, stars Laura Dern as the not particularly likeable pregnant mother who doesn't quite fit into the prescribed "family values" framework. Skewering sacred cows on both sides of the pro-choice, pro-life debate, Payne elucidates cutting edge subject matter through hilarious, intelligent storytelling. FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, written and directed by David O. Russell stars Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Mary Tyle Moore, George Segal and LilyTomlin in a comedy about a young father's search for his biological parents. CITIZEN RUTH and FLIRTING WITH DISASTER screen on Friday, Feburary 4th ONLY at 7:30 pm at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., in Hollywood.
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, part of Cinefamily's "Vive L'Amour" series, is Director Jaques Demy's 1964 luminous classic, starring a beautifully angelic Catherin Deneuve. The story of a thwarted and unfortunate love between a car mechanic and a shopgirl, all set to Michel Legrand's masterful music, it is a shower of visual design and poignant romanticism. THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG screens Thursday, February 3 ONLY at 8:00 pm at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax, in Hollywood.
HIS MAJESTY THE AMERICAN, stars silent movie superstar Douglas Fairbanks, in the first film under the United Artists banner. Famous for his boundless, swashbuckling energy and daring, Fairbanks plays a wealthy, bored young Manhattanite who, after trying his hand at amateur fighting and seeking adventure with Pancho Villa in Mexico, travels to a fictional European kingdom to single-handedly restore order to a riot-ridden landscape. One of the most rip-roaring romps ever created, it's Fairbanks at his manic, "fire-eating, speed-loving, space annihilating" bests. HIS MAJESTY THE AMERICAN is preceded by a screening of the 1916 drug comedy/detective spoof, "The Mystery of the Leaping Fish," with author/historian Jeffrey Vance offering opening remarks on Fairbanks' career. HIS MAJESTY THE AMERICAN screens on Wednesday, February 3 ONLY at 8:00 pm at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax, in Hollywood.
A THOUSAND CLOWNS, stars Jason Robards in one of his most beloved roles, as Murray, a former television writer who drops out of conventional society while struggling to come to terms with having to grow up in order to retain custody of his adopted son, Nick (played by a precociously talented Barry Gordon). Based on the Broadway hit by Herb Gardner, this comic jewel also features Martin Balsam in his best supporting actor turn as Robards' brother, and Barbara Harris as the social worker who falls for Murray's devil-may-care charm. A THOUSAND CLOWNS screens on Thursday, Jan. 27 ONLY at 8:00 pm, at the Silent Movie Theatre, with an in-person appearance by Barry Gordon.
GISELLE, the quintessential romantic ballet, recounts the moving story of a peasant girl whose everlasting love transcends death. With new choreography by Yuri Grigorovich and music by Adolph Adam, GISELLE, one of the most popular and enduring works in the dance canon, is presented in a special live broadcast by the Royal Ballet at Laemmle Theatres ONLY on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m.
VIVA RIVA follows the exploits of a small-time operator who returns to his hometown of Kinshasa with a fortune in hijacked gasoline after a decade of being away. With cash in-hand and out for a good time, he is entranced by Nora, a nightclub denizen and kept woman of a local gangster. Pursued by an Angolan crimelord seeking the return of his stolen shipment, his dream soon becomes a nightmare. VIVA RIVA opens on Friday, June 10th at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West L.A.
LA SKINS FEST presents REEL INJUN and AMERICAN INDIAN ACTORS, a fascinating look at contemporary and traditional roles of American Indians in Hollywood film and TV from the perspective of American Indian actors and filmmakers. Presented in conjunction with SAG Affirmative Action and Diversity committees and Rezolution Pictures, this special program screens on June 23rd at the Wells Fargo Theatre at the Autry Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, near Griffith Park.
COMPANY, the brillliant Stephen Sondheim Broadway hit, was filmed last April as a part of the NY Philharmonic's Spring Gala. Neil Patrick Harris leads an all-star cast including Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, Craig Bierko and Martha Plimpton. Composed of a series of vignettes COMPANY revolves around Bobby (a single man unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let along marriage), the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends linked by a celebration of Bobby's 35th birthday. COMPANY screens four times only, opening June 15th at the Bigfoot Majestic Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd., in Los Angeles.
2011 GREEK FILM FESTIVAL celebrates its 5th year, June 9-12 at Laemmle Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, wtih an amazing selection of films from Greece and Greek filmmakers, including features, documentaries and shorts, along with three world premiers. From the opening night documentary, "PELICAN'S WATCH," to closing night at the Writers' Guild with "BURNING HEADS", other highlights include:
DEATH I DREAMED OF, a horror tale based on a true story, follows a group of teenages as they encounter a mysterious stranger who gathers them in a celebration of the occult.
KNIFER, in this artful B & W account of a decaying middle class, Nikos moves in with his brutish uncle to guard his dogs, but soon finds out that he must pull himself together in order to set things right.
HARISMA. When an unsophisticated bus driver, Haris, thrusts himself into the seemingly controlled life of a young teacher, Ismini, both have to abandon their safety nets in order to find true love in this light-hearted comedy.
BILOBA, engineer Peter sets off to a build a power generator fueled by toxic waste on an uncharted island, but unexpectedly finds magic amongst the backward islanders and is faced with a difficult choice.
NUREMBERG: ITS LESSONS FOR TODAY was initially commissioned by the U.S. War Department. Written and directed by Stuart Schulberg, a veteran of the OSS Field Photogrpahic Branch/War Crimes Unit that was charged in 1945 with locating Nazi film evidence to be shown in the courtroom at Nuremberg, showing how international prosecutors built their case against top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis own films and records, it established the basis for all subsequent trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and was suppressed in the U.S. for political reasons. The film was shelved and the original picture elements lost or destroyed. In 2003, Schulberg's children discovered documents about the making of NUREMBERG and began a five-year effort to restore the film. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, the film ends with Justice Jackson's stirring words, "Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war." NUREMBERG: ITS LESSONS FOR TODAY [THE SCHULBERG/WALETZKY RESTORATION] played June 3 - 10 at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West L.A.
THE BIG UNEASY is the first documentary from long-time "mockumentarian" and satirist Harry
Shearer, perhaps best known for "Spinal Tap" and voiceovers on "The Simpsons." THE BIG UNEASY hits close to home as he follows three remarkable people - the leaders of two scientific investigation teams and one whistleblower - as they reveal the true story of why New Orleans flooded and why it could happen again. THE BIG UNEASY opened on May 20th at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
THE ABDUCTION OF ZACK BUTTERFIELD, a beautiful, but disturbed young woman returns fromcombat as an American mercenary in Iraq and abducts a 14-year-old New York boy, holding him prisoner in her isolated country home as a bizarre romantic relationship develops. THE ABDUCTION OF ZACK BUTTERFIELD opens on May 27th at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES continues the saga of Captain Jack Sparrow as he crosses paths with a woman from his past. Unsure whether it's love or if she's a ruthless con artist, who is using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, Jack finds himself in an unexpected adventure aboard the ship fo the formidable pirate, Blackbeard, not knowing whom to fear most Blackbeard or his long lost love. Starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES plays at the Bigfoot Majestic Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
COPPELIA continues Laemmle's extraordinary classical ballet film series, with the tale of the doll come-to-life. Performed by the world renowned Bolshoi Ballet in a special one-time broadcast on Saturday June 4 at various Laemmle theatres throughout the Los Angeles area.
NEW FILMMAKERS OF LOS ANGELES launches a new monthly screening series with two great programs, screening at Sunset-Gower Studios, 6040 Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles. On Saturday, May 21st, screening and celebration of the Best of the 2011 On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project, an insider's perspective into LA's diverse, cosmopolitan city and neighborhoods. On Friday, May 27th at 9:30 pm, a screening of "THE ITALIAN KEY" a romantic fairy tale of a 19-yr.-old orphan who gets, as her sole inheritance, an antique key that unlocks both an old villa in Italy and the mysteries of her family history. Further info available at www.nfmla.org.
DUMBSTRUCK is a humorous and heartfelt documentary about a group of ventriloquists, following them as they take their acts around the world. At the major annual ventriloquism convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, writer/director Mark goffman discovers five extraordinary characters straight out of a Christopher Guest film, but the characters are real and their stories deeply touching. Included are a beauty queen an introverted 13-yr.-old, a female 6 ft. 5 inch former security guiard who takes her dummmies into senior homes and Wal Marts, and Terry, who struggled for decades as a small-time performer who finally hit it big in America's Got Talent. DUMBSTRUCK opens on Friday, May 27th at the Regent, 1045 Broxton in Westwood.
BLOODWORTH (played by Kris Kristofferson), having abandoned his wife and sons for a life on the road, returns forty years later to face the aftermath of his departure. With his wife mentally destroyed and his three sons soured by years of anger, his only solace is a budding relationship with the grandson he never knew. With an all-star cast, including Frances Conroy, Val Kilmer, and Dwight Yokam, BLOODWORTH plays through Thursday, May 26th at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood.
HEY, BOO unravels some of the mystery surrounding its author Harper Lee, including why she never published again. Fifty years after "To Kill A Mockingbird" won the Pulitzer Prize, it remains a bestseller and beloved Oscar-winning film classic starring Gregory Peck in the performance of his life as Atticus Finch. HEY, BOO features rarely heard audio of Harper Lee herself, along with interviews with her sister and new biographical information, including her friendship with Truman Capote. Andrew Young, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Anna Quindlen and others reflect on the novel's powerful influence and popularity and how it shaped their lives, bringing to light the history and social changes of the Deep South. HEY, BOO opens May 13th at Laemmle's Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills.
THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS is a hilarious, heartfelt documentary examining George Lucas and the "Star Wars" cultural legacy. The passion which the original Star Wars trilogy inspired in its fans is unparalleled, as is the complicated love-hate relationship they have wiht the filmmaker himself. With interviews and fan footage, stop-motion animation, Super 8 action figure films and puppet rants, THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS takes a hard look at the man behind the most popular franchise in film history. THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS played May 13 through 20th at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., in West LA.
THE ROBBER is a suspenseful, true story of Austria's most famous bank robber known as "pump-gun Ronnie" because of his weapon and the Ronald Reagan mask he slips on during stickups. An obsessive loner and a champion marathon runner leads a double-life as a serial bank robber in the 1980's, sprinting between heists (and away from police cars) as many as 3 times a day. Benjamin Heisenberg's thriller is a lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion, featuring a riveting performance by Andreaas Lust. THE ROBBER opened on Friday, May 6th, for a one-week engagement at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., in West LA.
POETRY tells the story of an elegrant, beautiful women in her 60's who moves gracefully through life caring for her ungrateful grandson and an elderly gentleman paralyzed by a stroke, who still responds to her charms. Enrolling in a poetry class to express her feelings, she struggles with the early onset of Alzheimer's and her reaction to the discovery of a monstrous crime. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune calls POETRY one of the heartening glories of the film-going year. POETRY opens at Laemmle's Royal and Pasadena Playhouse on May 6th and at Town Center Encino on May 13th.
LA SKINS FEST "KISSED BY LIGHTENING", a special screening on May 19th at 7:00 pm at the Autry Museum in celebration of Women's Night, 4700 Western Heritage Way. KISSED BY LIGHTENING follows a Mohawk painter living in Canada, who must face the challenge of moving on with her life while dealing with the memory of her late husband whose stories of the Iroquois Peacemaker inspired her popular paintings. A discussion with the filmmaker and cast members follows the screening.
SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL (SEE FEST), ran April 28 through May 2nd at the Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, in Los Angeles. Opening with a screening of "Shelter" a slice-of-life gem from Bulgaria and closing with "Gypsy Spirit" at UCLA James Bridges theatre, a musical journey following world gypsy virtuoso musicians to India explore their musical roots. Offering a wide variety of topical, quality films from Cyprus, Serbia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Romani, Slovenia, and other countries throughout South Eastern Europe. The SEE Festival promotes diversity and fosters cultural exchange through its annual presentation of quality, politically topical and artistically challenging films.
FLAMES OF PARIS, part of Laemmle's cinematic ballet series of live broadcasts and classic ballets, is a stunning Soviet-era "revolutionary ballet" presented by the Bolshoi Ballet in a one-time screening on Saturday, May 7th at 10:30 a.m. at Laemmle theatres throughout the Los Angeles area.
THE SECOND ANNUAL TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES FILM FESTIVAL, April 28th through May 1st, and Graumann's historic Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian and other venues, celebrates Music and the Movies with an opening night screening of the 60th Anniversary restoration of "An American in Paris," with tributes to George & Ira Gershwin, Roy Rogers, Buster Keaton, Bernard Hermann and also honoring legendary actors Peter O' Toole (who will also have a ceremony putting his footprints in Graumann's Chinese) and Kirk Douglas (with a screening of "Sparatus.") Featuring over 70 films, including a 70th anniversary world premier restoration of "Citizen Kane", the festival offers guest appearances and panel discussions featuring Leslie Caron, Debbie Reynolds, Marnie Nixon, Angela Landsbury and many, many more, along with resident TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz. Throughout various Hollywood venues, including Grauman's Chinese & Egyptian Theatres, the historic Roosevelt Hotel and Mann Cinemas, it is not to be missed. A limited number of passes were made availalbe to KPFK Film Club listeners.
NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT finds master director Patricio Guzman, famed for his political documentaries of Chile, travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where the sky is so translucent that astronomers from all over the world father to observe the stars, right to the boundaries of the universe. The harsh heat also preserves human remains: pre-Columbian mummies, 19th century explorers and miners and the remains of political prisoners who disappeared after the military coup of 1973. As astronomers examine the most distant galaxies, at the foot of the mountains surviving relatives search for the remains of their loved ones, melding a celestial quest with an earthly one. NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT opened on Friday, April 22 for a one-week engagement at the Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West L.A.
AN AFRICAN ELECTION charts the anatomy of the 2008 Presidential elections in Ghana. In a world plagued by stolen elections, secret government agendas and exploitation of African natural resources, what value does democracy offer? For Ghana, it could be the difference between peace and prosperity or murderous chaos under a military coup. Director Jarreth Merz captures the intrigue of electioneering, the intensity of vote-counting, as well as the emotions and ethical decisions that either threaten or maintain the integrity of the democratic process. The Paley Center for Media, located at 465 N. Beverly Dr., in Beverly Hills, presentws a special screening of AN AFRICAN ELECTION on Thursday, April 21st at 7:00 pm, with the filmmaker in attendance.
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE MOVIE is bigger, better, and more absorbent than ever. Kids of all ages will enjoy this wild and wacky future classic in which Spongebob takes leave from the town of Bikini Bottom to track down King Neptune's stolen crown. A guaranteed good time for the whole family, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE MOVIE is part of the Bigfoot Majestic Crest Theatre's Saturday morning cartoon series, screened on Sautrday, May 7th at 1262 Westwood Blvd., in Los Angeles.
INSIDIOUS reinvents the haunted-house genre for a new generation, paying tribute to such horror classics as “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist”. Starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson as a young couple who sense a sinister presence in their new home, which escalates into supernatural attacks. As their son slips into a mysterious coma, they abandon their ghost-ridden home, attempting to heal their broken family by turning to an unorthodox expert in supernatural occurrences, only to discover that it’s not the house that’s haunted. INSIDIOUS opens Friday, April 1st at the Majestic Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd., in Los Angeles.
HEARTBEATS is a tough-minded, farcical exploration of the inherent insanity of love and desire. Centering on two close friends who meet a striking young man with irresistible mystique which leads to comic obsession. Xavier Dolan’s study of the descent into poetically passionate love received the Youth Prize at Cannes. Deemed a wildly talented, carelessly extravagant filmmaker whose film, according to Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal, couples high comedy with spiritual solitude. It’s a cockeyed triumph.” HEARTBEATS opens on Friday, March 4th at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 in West Hollywood.
GISELLE, presented by the Bolshoi Ballet, screened ONLY on Saturday, January 29 at 10:30 a.m. of LAEMMLE Theatres.
THE SON OF THE SHEIK stars the legendary Rudolph Valentino in his final performance in a dual role at the fiery, tempestuous Ahmed (and Ahmed, Jr.). This sequel to the original 1921 film, "The Sheik" finds Valentino gallivanting through desert disasters and delicious dilemmas, enamored of a beautiful dancer played by Vilma Bankey. Trading in his tango shoes and Latin lover image for flowing robes, THE SON OF THE SHEIK features the dangerous elegance that was Valentino's stock and trade, tempered by gentle humor and artful cinematography. THE SON OF THE SHEIK screen ONLY on Wednesday, January 19, at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax in Los Angeles.
DHOBI GHAT (MUMBAI DIARIES) is Kiran Rao's directorial debut set in the teeming metropolis of Mumbai where four people, separated by class and language, are drawn together in compelling relationships. The film stars Aamir Khan, one of India's most popular actors, as well as an award-winning director/producer. DHOBI GHAT (MUMBAI DIARIES) opens on Friday, January 21 at Laemmle's Fallbrook cinema in West Hills.
EVERYDAY, starring Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt and Brian Dennehy, is a story of a family struggling to survive life's curveballs. A TV writer finds his life is turned upside down when his wife's estranged father comes to live with their family. The film is an honest look at an ordinary family making it through life's challenges together. EVERYDAY opens Friday, January 14 at Laemmle Sunset Five in Hollywood.
BIUTIFUL stars Oscar-winner Javier Bardem in an extraordinary performance as a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt, and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds while his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Written and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, in perhaps his most powerful film to date, BIUTIFUL examines social issues and personal challenges with rare insight. BIUTIFUL opens on February 7 at AMC Century City.
AN EVENING WITH BRUCE DERN. Over the course of his illustrious career, Bruce Dern has portrayed memorable movie villlains with complexity and sensitivity burning his way into our consciousness. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents two unique evenings with Bruce Dern with in-person discussions and reminiscences with the man himself. On Saturday, January 14th, a screening of perhaps his most celebrate dramatic role, "The King of Marvin Gardens" following by the wickedly sordid "Tattoo." On Sunday afternoon a triple-feature of "Smile," "Silent Running," and "Diggstown."
AN EVENING WITH TOM NOONAN features a screening of his 1994 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, "What Happened Was..." followed by a discussion with the actor/director who is perhaps best known for his roles as TV and movie villains. An Obie award-winning playwright, teacher, and Yale Drama grad, Noonan has made his mark in the indie film world as both actor and director. "What Happened Was..." is a described as a "bleakly funny and raw portrait of two lonely, frightened adults that is likely the most nuanced 'first date' on film."
COUNTRY STRONG stars Gwyneth Paltrow as a country music superstar on the comeback trail battling her demons, the bottle, and old ghosts amidst romantic entanglements with a promising young singer/songwriter. Further complicating things is her husband's promotion of an up and coming beauty queen turned singer. COUNTRY STRONG also stars Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester. Currently playing at Regal Theaters throughout Los Angeles.
QUEEN OF THE LOT, written and directed by Indie icon, Henry Jaglom, follows the further adventures of B-list action-star actress Maggie Chase (first introduced in Jaglom's "Hollywood Dreams") in her desperate attempt to claw her way to the top, obsessively monitoring her Google points and spinning her DUI's into tabloid gold with bad-boy movie star boyfriend Dov Lambert (played by Chris Rydell) on her arm. In her quest for the two things she craves most, real fame and true love, she encounters Hollywood royalty and comlications when her boyfriend's brother, a failed screenwriter with dark secrets of his own, sees behind her ingenue facade. Starring Tanna Frederick and Noah Wylie and other Jaglom perennial favorites, QUEEN OF THE LOT is currently playing at Laemmle Theatres.