Around Town: Anime and the real Mae
The American Cinematheque gets highly anime-ted with its "Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli" retrospective, which begins Thursday at the Aero in Santa Monica with a new 35-millimeter print of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1992 "Porco Rosso," set in World War II Italy.
Friday evening’s program is a new 35-mm print of Miyazaki’s 2001 masterwork "Spirited Away," which won the Academy Award for best animated feature.
The festival moves Saturday evening to the Egyptian in Hollywood with 1984’s "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind," also in a new 35mm print, directed by Miyazaki. On tap for Sunday at the Aero is a family matinee of his charming 1988 release "My Neighbor Totoro," followed in the evening by 1995’s "Whisper of the Heart."
On Saturday, the Aero pays tribute to character actor Bill McKinney, who died in December at 80, with a screening of two iconic films in which he appeared: 1972’s “Deliverance” and 1974’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.”
And Wednesday at the Aero, director Henry Jaglom and actor Zack Norman will lead the tribute to film producer-political activist Bert Schneider, who also died in December at 78, with a screening of “Hearts and Minds,” the controversial, Oscar-winning 1974 documentary produced by Schneider and directed by Peter Davis.
The Cinematheque’s Egyptian continues its tribute to the late audacious British filmmaker Ken Russell on Friday with his X-rated 1971 gothic melodrama “The Devils,” starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave as a crazed hunchback nun. Sunday’s offering is “Tommy,” Russell's 1975 adaptation of the Who’s rock opera.
The Cinematheque and the Art Deco Society present the first and best film Buster Keaton made at MGM, 1928’s “The Cameraman,” on Sunday afternoon at the Egyptian. The film was shot on the streets of the City of Angels during the height of the Deco era.
Wednesday’s presentation at the Egyptian is “3 Superstars in Berlin,” featuring three opera greats -- Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott and Jonas Kaufman -- performing at Waldbuhne, Berlin’s open stage.
For more information: http://www.americancinematheque.com
Film Independent at LACMA kicks off its new series, “100 Years of Paramount Pictures,” on Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater with a rare screening of the 1971 comedy “A New Life,” starring, written and directed by Elaine May, with Walter Matthau. It's followed by Mae West’s pre-code 1933 delight “She Done Him Wrong,” which also stars Cary Grant and was nominated for the best picture Oscar.
A special screening of the 2001 Mexican drama “The Other Conquest” is scheduled for Friday at the Bing Theatre. And this week's Tuesday matinee is Frank Capra’s rollicking 1931 comedy “Platinum Blonde,” with Jean Harlow and Robert Williams, who died of a ruptured appendix just days after the premiere of the film.
For more information: http://www.lacma.org
Jean-Luc Godard’s latest picture, “Film Socialisme,” continues Thursday at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre. Beginning Friday for a one-week engagement is Kenneth Lonergan’s lengthy drama “Margaret,” which was on the shelf for six years before it was released inSeptember in a handful of theaters. Though a lot of reviews were very dismissive of the film starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo, it ended up being declared the best film of 2011 by LA Weekly and earned some critics’ awards.
Late Saturday, the Silent Movie Theatre is presenting a "Jean Harlow Pajama Party," with a screening of one of her best films, the 1933 comedy “Bombshell,” followed by drinks on the patio at the theater and courses on how to make pin curls.
Saturday’s afternoon offering is another installment in the Los Angeles Filmforum’s “Alternative Projections: Experimental Films in Los Angeles, 1945-1980” with a program called “Optical Manipulations."
On Wednesday, the Silent Movie Theatre presents two cross-dressing comedies: Charlie Chaplin’s 1915 short “A Woman” and 1926’s “What Happened to Jones?” with Reginald Denny.
For more information: http://www.cinefamily.org
UCLA Film andTelevision Archive’s “Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing” series continues Wednesday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater with a screening of the 1932 drama “Disorderly Conduct,” in which the actor plays an honest cop who nearly becomes a crooked one. At the archive’s Wednesday night double feature at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles are two good-old-boy comedies directed by Hal Needham and starring Burt Reynolds: 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit,” which was the second-highest-grossing film of the year behind “Star Wars," and 1981’s “Stroker Ace."
For more information: http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The New Beverly Cinema visits the gentle comedy of New Wave French filmmaker Eric Rohmer on Thursday evening with new 35mm prints of 1986’s “Summer” and 1987’s “4 Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle.” Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn team up for two 1938 comedy gems on Friday and Saturday: “Bringing Up Baby,” directed by Howard Hawks, and “Holiday,” helmed by George Cukor. Friday’s midnight show is the 2010 comedy “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and Saturday’s flick is the 1986 “Psycho III,” with Anthony Perkins back as everyone’s favorite mama’s boy, Norman Bates. Sunday through Tuesday’s offerings are two Bill Murray comedies: 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” directed by Ivan Reitman, and 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” directed by Harold Ramis.
For more information: http://www.newbevcinema.com
-- Susan King
Top photo: Cary Grant, Mae West in "She Done Him Wrong." Credit: Universal City Studios.
Bottom photo: Buster Keaton in "The Cameraman." Credit: UCLA Film and Television Archive