24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Cowboy movies

Around Town: Marvel legend Stan Lee hosts 'Avengers' screening

May 3, 2012 |  6:00 am

Stan2

Marvel Comics' guru Stan Lee will be honored with the Ronald Reagan Foundation's "Great Communicator" award and will host a screening of "The Avengers," which is opening theatrically this weekend, at the Catalina Film Festival. The festival, which runs Friday through Sunday at the venerable Avalon Theatre, will feature more than 75 films.

The opening night program is the North American premiere of Rob Reiner's "The Magic of Belle Isle" with Morgan Freeman. Other films include the North American premiere of "Bel Ami" with Robert Pattinson. http://www.catalinafilm.org

The South East European Film Festival kicks off Thursday at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles with the Romanian romantic comedy "Hello! How Are You?" and the animated short "Five Minutes Each." The festival, which continues through Monday, will feature 33 films including "Balkan Melodie" and "Do Not Forget Me Istanbul." The closing evening feature, "Future Lasts Forever," screens at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA.  http://www.seefilmla.org

The L.A. Harbor International Film Festival at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro kicks off Thursday evening and continues through Sunday. The non-competitive festival highlights films that deal with harbor life, including shipping, fishing, water sports and sailing. http://www.laharborfilmfest.com

Three years before she became a sensation in Josef von Sternberg's 1930 German blockbuster "The Blue Angel," Marlene Dietrich played a wealthy party girl named Emi in the silent film "Cafe Electric," directed by Gustav Ucicky. The film will be screening Thursday at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre with Gehard Gruber performing musical accompaniment on the piano.

Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg will discuss his late mother, actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, at the screening of two of her film noirs from 1946, "Three Strangers" and "Nobody Lives Forever," Saturday at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre.

Veteran director Arthur Hiller will be on hand Tuesday at the Aero Theatre for a talk after the screening of his popular 1979 comedy "The In-Laws," which starred Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. After the discussion, there will be a screening of Paul Mazurksy's 1988 comedy "Moon Over Parador" with Richard Dreyfuss. http://www.americancinematheque.com

In conjunction with its current exhibition, "Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States," the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents "Female Surreal Cinema: Animation," followed by "Female Surrealist Cinema: Performance and Montage," Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater.

LACMA's Tuesday matinee is Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 dark comedy "The Trouble With Harry," which marked the feature film debut of Shirley MacLaine. http://www.lacma.org

The New Beverly Cinema presents John Frankenheimer's nightmarish 1966 thriller "Seconds," with Rock Hudson in one of his most well-received performances, on Friday evening. James Wong Howe did the black-and-white cinematography. The second bill is John Woo's 1997 "Face/Off" with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. Screenwriters Mike Werb and Michael Colleary are scheduled to appear in person. http://www.newbevcinema.com

The Autry presents two films Saturday afternoon starring the museum's namesake-singing cowboy,  Gene Autry: 1941's "Down Mexico Way" and 1949's "The Big Sombrero."  http://theautry.org

UCLA Film & Television Archive is collaborating with the California State Parks Foundation and Environmental Media Assn. to present The ParkFilm Fest, a daylong festival of movies Saturday at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount lot in Hollywood.  The festival, which celebrates the use of California state parks as locales in films, will present a marathon screening of the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films directed by Gore Verbinski. http://www.calparks.org/filmfest.

The archive's current celebration of Universal's centenary at the Billy Wilder Theatre features two of the studio's silent film classics Sunday evening: 1919's "Blind Husbands," starring Erich von Stroheim, who also made his directorial debut with the hit, followed by the 1925 version of "The Phantom of the Opera" starring Lon Chaney in his seminal role.

The archive's Wednesday night programming at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown L.A. presents Billy Wilder's classic 1959 gender-bender comedy "Some Like It Hot," with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Hollywood Heritage Museum's Evening @ the Barn presents a look at "Homes of the Stars in Hollywood and Beverly Hills" Wednesday evening. Author Mike Oldham will show his vintage postcards in a video presentation.  http://www.hollywoodheritage.org

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's Wednesday evening vintage flick is an early one from William Wyler -- the 1929 romantic comedy "The Love Trap" -- plus Vitaphone shorts. http://www.cinefamily.org

RELATED:

Stan Lee to host 'Avengers' screening at the Catalina Film Festival

-- Susan King

Photo: Stan Lee will be receiving an award at the Catalina Film Festival this weekend. Photo: Matt Sayles/Associated Press


'Cowboys & Aliens' hosts a genre marriage [Trailer]

April 15, 2011 |  2:41 pm

There's a quiet, almost soulful moment at the beginning of the new trailer for "Cowboys & Aliens," when an amnesiac Daniel Craig has dropped in from another world, that suggests an intimacy you don't often find in summer-blockbuster filmmaking. It's not long before it gives way to the necessary quick-cut explosions. In-between, at least, we do get glimpses of a story, which apparently has to do with Harrison Ford's character's family being kidnapped by the aliens and Olivia Wilde's character fearing what the interplanetary interlopers will do to her people, challenges Craig's Jake Lonergan is tasked with when he's not trying to remember who he is.

It's still too soon to tell if the mash-up of westerns and science-fiction conventions will come off as interesting  or incongruous.  What does emerge from the trailer is that the movie doesn't skimp on the western atmosphere — something we suspect will play a lot better in a post-"True Grit" world — and that there isn't as much humor in Jon Favreau's July release as there was in the director's "Iron Man" movies. Still, the western cliche of a horse chase is nicely subverted with pursuit from an alien craft, and at the end there's even a nod to Ford's Indiana Jones shoot-the-swordsman moment from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when Craig one-ups bad guys with a more sophisticated weapon.

 

— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT 

RELATED:

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Hero Complex: Jon Favreau's popcorn primary

Comic-con 2010: Harrison Ford gives Cowboys & Aliens an otherworldly feel

 

 


Could Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon be shining their cowboy boots?

March 24, 2010 | 12:56 pm

Exclusive:  Could Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon be saddling up for a ride together?

Word in the development community has the A-listers eying the lead roles in "Paper Wings," a love story set in the world of rodeo that's being developed at Sony. Cruise would take the role of a rodeo champ who falls for an up-and-coming country singer, played by Witherspoon.

Cruise

The actress has taken several rides into country-and-western territory, of course, with her Oscar-winning turn as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" and, most recently, signing on for Sony's "The Pioneer Woman," the story of a woman who falls in love with a cowboy while on a cross-country road trip and winds up living on an Oklahoma ranch. Cruise, as far as we know, has never played a cowboy.

The project has been around for some time -- it was set up at New Line before it came to Sony -- but the Cruise and Witherspoon interest could turn it into an arm jerker (yes, we had to look that one up).

Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment is producing the project, which has led producers to talk to Gabriele Muccino  about directing; the Italian film maker and Smith favorite also directed Overbrook's underrated drama "Seven Pounds" and Oscar nominee "The Pursuit of Happyness." Several other directors are also in the mix.

Rodeo-set stories haven't exactly been hugely popular in Hollywood -- one of the most well-known is 1994's "8 Seconds," which starred Luke Perry and Stephen Baldwin, which tells you something. But with "Crazy Heart's" breakout success, unlikely love stories set in the country-and-western world now seem to be in vogue. Or are, um, chasing the cans.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Tom Cruise. Credit: Alberto Rodriguez / Getty Images


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