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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am
I figured it was time to make a sister thread to the long-running New York repertory cinema discussion, as the greater Los Angeles area has had an explosion of revival screenings at various nonprofits like the American Cinematheque and Cinefamily, museums (including, hopefully soon, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences') and the hopefully eternal New Beverly.

But beyond L.A., there are lots of great screenings in the Bay Area (the Pacific Film Archive and Castro Theatre), Portland and Vancouver, and this is the place to share heads-up on those as well.

In April, the American Cinematheque is honoring Walter Hill with an in-person retrospective, which includes a screening of Geronimo in 70mm. Fans of Hill can also see Hickey and Boggs at the New Beverly. Later in the month, the Aero is hosting a Bill Paxton tribute which includes A Simple Plan, Tombstone and One False Move.

The Cinefamily is having an encore screening of Bo Widerberg's Adalen 31 and Bruno Dumont is coming for two nights at the end of April.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive's series on refugees includes El Norte, Ann Hui's Boat People and La Promesse


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Figured I should chime into this thread and hopefully keep it alive. At this point in my life, four out of five films I see in the theater and have a personal connection to many of the cinematheques in Los Angeles.

There's a few things worth sharing that beamish13 missed. Cinefamily started there Rock 'n Roll Fascism series with Pink Floyd's The Wall last week and are continuing along with Wild in the Streets and Privilege. It was fun seeing The Wall as a midnight as they properly blasted the film, insuring that I wouldn't fall asleep after working a 50+ hour week. Also, the very fun Messiah of Evil is programmed for sometime next month. Though their programming seems to be over-stuffed with runs of popular arthouse fare, there's still gems like these that pop-up.

UCLA Film and Television Archive continues their programming that exists only for the most hardcore of cinema goer by not only being in a part of town where traffic is a blackhole and parking can often be $20 before 6pm, but by having very particular and rare programming. This month is a series of Japanese silent films (all from archival prints) paired with American films they are influenced by, including a rare screenings of Ozu's Days of Youth and von Sternberg's Docks of New York. Opening night is a film I haven't seen, Orochi, with a real life benshi performing over the film with a small ensemble of Japanese instruments. Tomorrow is a program of rare Vitaphone shorts I sadly have to miss. I'll also throw in here that two of the best films I saw this year were courtesy of UCLA: two films by an independent filmmaker I had never heard of before, Juleen Compton. The films were Stranded and The Ballad of Norma Jean, the first being an excellent personal film that would've felt more at home in the late-90s indie scene and the latter being something of a dreamlike masterpiece with a gorgeous Michel Legrand soundtrack. They also arguably have the best 35mm projection and prints in town.

Because The New Beverly is 100% subsidized by Quentin Tarantino, films no one has seen or heard of are programmed fairly often and box office numbers don't matter much to them. More than any other cinematheque in town, I've made many new discoveries here in the last two years including recently seeing a chunk of Frank Perry's films including a rare print of his made-for-TV movie Dummy, the relentless sleaze-o thriller Vice Squad, Ivan Passar's first American film Law and Disorder (a new personal favorite), Michael Cimino's Year of the Dragon, William Friedkin's Bug, and Richard Lester's Royal Flash. It's always nice to be guaranteed two 35mm prints for only $8 with some of the cheapest concessions in town. Highlights this month include Ringo Lam's balls-to-the-wall City on Fire which screens Tuesday and a 80s Demme comedy double of Married to the Mob and Something Wild next Wednesday and Thursday. Also, El Coyote is across the street for a pre-movie margarita.

I want to like the American Cinematheque, but their programming is often unadventurous. Plus it doesn't help that both of their theaters are located in places where parking is nearly impossible. Hollywood Blvd., where the Egyptian is located, is a tourist trap and a war zone on weekends with puking and stumbling adults stepping out of bars and clubs, cops on every corner waiting to pull you over for any reason, and smoke shop after smoke shop. On the plus side, Musso and Frank's is across the street and serves the best Manhattan in Los Angeles. Alternatively, the Aero is located in the richest part of town where parking is non-existent for you unless you have a city permit. It was by the Aero where I saw a city parking sign that said "36 minute parking". What other fucking city but Santa Monica would pull shit like that? But it's worth it for the 70mm screenings they'll do every few months or last December when 35mm prints of Uncle Boonmee and Syndromes and a Century screened with Weerastakul in person. But they rarely play prints anymore and always go for DCPs. I was told once that they believe any type of print damage or dirt hinders the experience and isolates modern audiences.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:24 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
For anyone who's curious, a friend and I have been compiling a list of all repertory screenings in the LA area for the past couple of months. It's a hefty undertaking so some stuff definitely slips through the cracks but it should have most of the major bases covered and a few off-the-beaten-path theaters as well. If anyone wants to be added to the mailing list to find out when it gets released each month, PM me!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:32 pm
Film on Film is a pretty useful website for LA/Bay Area screenings as well.

I miss when LACMA had more film screenings but I guess that's gonna be the Academy Museum's role in the future.

Just a quick note about parking for the Egyptian: Hollywood Blvd is a nightmare but at least it's really close to the Hollywood/Highland red line stop. I almost always park at the station closest to me and then take the metro.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
The aero and Egyptian don't play prints because projectionists are a dying breed, literally. And because few places will rent prints anymore and those that do have fairly meticulous standards, one volunteer projectionist (who has forgotten most of what he remembered from his high school job) breaking a print is enough to get you on the academy's shit list and then, No more prints for you from that source.

Also audiences do prefer DCPs, most audiences are okay with film prints but especially foreign prints these days, I'd almost always rather see a DCP, 15 years ago, I saw most of the canon on 35mm at the aero and Egyptian and unless it was a new print, 1/3 of the subtitles were guaranteed unreadable.

A resource I've used for years is film radar which sends out a weekly newsletter of basically everything screening in Los Angeles.

Also, the academy used to have he absolute best screening serieses in town bar none, until fucking michael govan took over LACMA deliberately destroyed their film programming department and then "partnered " with the academy which meant they basically ended all of their public screenings program at their theatre and did one tenth of their previous total of public screenings at lacma instead.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:19 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:29 pm
Location: Los Angeles CA
Those places are all good, but that's not complete.

I run Los Angeles Filmforum, which shows experimental and avant-garde work - non-commercial, artist-driven work.
www.lafilmforum.org

There are also the Echo Park Film Center and REDCAT. And Veggie Cloud. And some galleries run things.
USC also runs things actually, but parking at USC is a pain.
The Downtown Independent runs primarily contemporary independent films.
No end of film festival year around, usually small and specialized.

The Filmforum email list (which I do) not only sends out notices of our shows, but once or twice a month I compile other screenings that I think will be of interest of other cinema experimental & alternative screenings.
Film Radar is probably the easiest way to round up all the screenings. And the LA Weekly print edition listings.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am
The problem with the New Beverly today is that under Tarantino's stewardship, quality control is no longer
in place, and they frequently screen horrendous, color-depleted prints from his collection that should never be shown. I often won't go unless they expressly note that a studio archive, I.B. Technicolor or fresh from the lab print is being screened.

It really is a shame about LACMA. They had a great Japanese new wave series and they hosted the massive Oshima Nagisa series that toured a few years ago. Plus, they're 70mm capable. UCLA can run 70mm as well, although they very seldom do so; they did show Richard Brooks' Lord Jim in that format a while back.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
beamish13 wrote:
The problem with the New Beverly today is that under Tarantino's stewardship, quality control is no longer
in place, and they frequently screen horrendous, color-depleted prints from his collection that should never be shown. I often won't go unless they expressly note that a studio archive, I.B. Technicolor or fresh from the lab print is being screened.

It really is a shame about LACMA. They had a great Japanese new wave series and they hosted the massive Oshima Nagisa series that toured a few years ago. Plus, they're 70mm capable. UCLA can run 70mm as well, although they very seldom do so; they did show Richard Brooks' Lord Jim in that format a while back.


The Tarantino print problem is far less frequent than you believe. You see it more with rare genre films or rare oddities. Seems most of the prints are loaned or rented lately. As of the last month, I've seen Blond Venus, Only Angels Have Wings, Kuroneko, Diary of a Mad Housewife, and a Czech double feature (plus plenty more) with excellent prints. Their calendar or website often makes no reference to the print source either. IB Tech or archival doesn't always denote quality either. When I saw Hollywood or Bust there five years ago, the colors were gorgeous, but the print was beaten pretty badly. Recently they ran the only existing print of Last Summer from an Australian archive, and it was a faded, chopped-up, (maybe) partially censored version of the film made from multiple sources and converted to 16mm.

And it's a real shame about LACMA. I went to that Oshima series (the less avant-garde ones played at the Egyptian to an audience of mostly ten people, myself included) and would regularly go when they had double-features on Fridays and Saturdays. The Cinematheque still runs 70mm every few months and has an exclusive license to be the only venue allowed to screen 2001: A Space Odyssey on 70mm for the next five years or so. They recently ran Inherent Vice, The Master and The Hateful Eight on 70mm.

I love the Bing Theater at LACMA and get sad at the idea of it being torn down. But walking around it, you get the feeling they don't care much about it. The same video installation piece has been there for years, the office upstairs seem dirty and a lot of the building could use a nice polish. I've gone to the Tuesday matinees the last three weeks (von Sternberg/Dietrich films with beautiful prints) to small crowds of old folks and walk-in tourists, and it seriously made me re-evaluate the theater I used to take for granted. Now that it's essentially only open for the matinees, I can see how gorgeous the theater is with the seating arrangement, the ornate red curtain covering the screen and the wood paneling inside that makes me nostalgic for my youth. I'm not really looking forward to the thousand seat theater that's replacing it at the Academy Museum.

I was also going to initially post about the LA Film Forum, but saw there was only one screening coming instead of a notice for a full series. I certainly didn't forget it!

Also worth noting is Locarno in Los Angeles is this weekend. Unfortunately, the ones I want to see the most (The Human Surge and The Challenge) are playing on a day where I'll be working all day.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
Yeah the destruction michael govan has wrought on lacmas film program is really disheartening, the bing is a great theatre and used to have great programming. But govan passionately hates commercial film and thinks anything that is not a museum specific/exclusive film installation has no place in a museum.

At least his backward looking (and scornful of LA) architectural ode to smog and sprawl that zumthor designed for him has officially been tossed in the garbage. I love that zumthor and govans blobby "I hate Los Angeles!" lacma design has failed and been discarded.

Now govan is promoting a similar zumthor design that is an Incan fortress for the elites, a museum designed to keep folks out, designed to not display art and designed to alienate the local community with its brooding hulk. This one might succeed, though, which is a shame.


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