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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Film

Look East Korean film fest: 'Poetry,' 'The Host' in 3-D top lineup

June 4, 2012 | 12:13 pm


Ten films from South Korea, including 2010's acclaimed "Poetry" and 2009's Park Chan-wook vampire drama "Thirst," will screen as part of the inaugural Look East: Korean Film Festival, which will take place at Grauman's Chinese Theatre June 23-24, organizers announced Monday.

The lineup includes the 2005 film "A Bittersweet Life," starring Lee Byung-hun, who will appear in person for a Q&A and who will be among the first Korean performers in the history of the legendary Hollywood movie palace to have his handprints and footprints added to the theater's courtyard.

Also showing at the festival will be the 1958 drama "Flower in Hell" and the 1949 film "A Hometown in My Heart," both U.S. premieres; 2004's "3 Iron" from respected auteur Kim Ki-duk; "Poetry," from Korean writer-director Lee Chang-dong and starring the acclaimed actress Yun Jung-hee; and Todd McCarthy's 2007 documentary "Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema." French filmmaker and champion of Korean cinema Rissient will be on hand for a Q&A.

A 3-D version of the 2006 horror film "The Host," directed by Bong Joon-ho, also will be included in the lineup.

For a complete list of films, information about tickets to screenings and other events related to the festival, go to www.LookEastFestival.com


L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival expands to Long Beach

L.A. film festivals to celebrate Korean, Czech movies

— Susan King

Photo: Yun Jung-hee stars in "Poetry." Credit: Kino International.


Around Town: Marilyn, Lucy and Kristy McNichol hit the big screen

May 31, 2012 |  6:00 am

James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood star in "Rebel Without a Cause."

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting a two-day retrospective, "Grand Designs: Mid-Century Life in the Movies," at the Leo S. Bing Theater, in conjunction with the closing weekend of the exhibition "California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way."

The festival opens Friday with the 1957 romantic comedy "Desk Set," with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, about the computer age invading a TV network, followed by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as newlyweds honeymooning in an Airstream in Vincente Minnelli's 1954 comedy "The Long, Long Trailer."

On tap for early Saturday evening is the English-language version of Jacques Tati's Oscar-winning 1958 comedy "My Uncle," in which Mr. Hulot encounters an uber modern world in French suburbia.

The evening concludes with Nicholas Ray's classic 1955 tale of disenchanted youth "Rebel Without a Cause," starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo and the Griffith Park Observatory.


The indie film festival "Dances With Films" celebrates its 15th anniversary Thursday evening through June 7 at the Mann's Chinese 6. The festival includes features, shorts, documentaries and music videos. The opening-night programs are "Attack of the Bat Monsters" and "Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life." The closing night feature is "Eye of the Hurricane," with Campbell Scott. http://www.danceswithfilms.com

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, is also commemorating  the 86th birthday of the late Marilyn Monroe with a weeklong film festival that begins Friday evening with Billy Wilder's 1959 gender-bender comedy "Some Like It Hot." Screening Saturday is 1954's "There's No Business Like Show Business," followed by 1953's "How to Marry a Millionaire" on Sunday; 1955's "The Seven Year Itch" on Monday; 1956's "Bus Stop" on Tuesday; and 1961's "The Misfits," her final film, on Wednesday. http://www.chinesetheatres.com

Film Independent at LACMA presents a preview screening Thursday of Corinna Betz's documentary, "Gerhard Richter Painting," which profiles the 80-year-old German painter.

And on Tuesday evening, Film Independent at LACMA welcomes screenwriter and USC professor Howard A. Rodman to chat about Sam Fuller's controversial 1982 drama "White Dog" at the 30th anniversary screening of the film about an actress (played by Kristy McNichol) who adopts a stray white German shepherd only to discover it has been trained to attack African Americans. http://www.lacma.org

Before he "Made 'Em Laugh" in 1952's "Singin' in the Rain," Donald O'Connor was a teen idol who appeared in several youth-oriented musicals at Universal in the 1940s. UCLA Film & Television Archive's current centennial celebration of the studio presents a new print Sunday afternoon at the Billy Wilder Theater of his 1944 musical comedy "Chip Off the Old Block," which also stars Peggy Ryan.

And on Sunday, the archive and Outfest present the 1991 drama "The Hour and Times," directed by Christopher Munch about a holiday John Lennon took with the Beatles' gay manager Brian Epstein. Director Munch and actor Ian Hart will appear. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Director Whit Stillman will appear to take part in the Cinefamily Pajama Party screening Saturday of his 1998 comedy drama "The Last Days of Disco" at the Silent Movie Theatre.

Cinefamily 's Wednesday silent movie is a real rarity -- 1928's "The Showdown," a romantic soap opera set in South America starring George Bancroft, Fred Kohler and Evelyn Brent. http://www.cinefamily.org

The Assn. of Moving Image Archivists UCLA Student Chapter presents its monthly screening Sunday and Monday at the New Beverly Cinema with "These Are the Damned," the 1963 sequel to "Village of the Damned" and the 2011 British cult film "Attack the Block." http://www.newbevcinema.com

The Skirball's free Tuesday matinee features 1949's "The Barkleys of Broadway," the glossy MGM musical that reunited Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in a tale about a bickering show business couple. http://www.skirball.org

Geena Davis is scheduled to appear at the Los Angeles Conservancy's "Last Remaining Seats" screening Wednesday evening of the 1982 comedy "Tootsie," in which she had one of her first major roles. The film, which earned 10 Oscar nominations and won supporting actress for Jessica Lange, will screen at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. http://www.laconservancy.org


"Review: 'California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way' at LACMA"

--Susan King

Photo: James Dean, left, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood star in "Rebel Without a Cause." Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures 

'Casablanca' to screen on Facebook Wednesday

May 15, 2012 | 11:28 am


As part of the 70th birthday celebration for "Casablanca," Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will sponsor a free screening of the Oscar-winning World War II melodrama on the movie's Facebook page on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.

One must begin watching the film before 9 p.m. Pacific time and only one screening per Facebook account is allowed.

Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid and Claude Rains star in the classic that features such beloved  lines as "Here's looking at you kid" and that made a memorable hit of the 1931 tune "As Time Goes By." Besides the best film Oscar, "Casablanca" also won Academy Awards for director Michael Curtiz and screenwriters Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch.


PHOTOS: Johnny Carson through the years

'Inside the Script' offers illustrated ebooks about films

Classic Hollywood: Gene Kelly tribute includes famous fans

-- Susan King

Photo: "Casablanca," with Dooley Wilson, left, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Credit: Warner Bros., First National Pictures.

Dick Clark's brief film career: 'Spy Kids,' 'Killers Three' psycho

April 18, 2012 |  6:00 pm

Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at 82, is best known for his starring roles on the small screen from "American Bandstand" through to "New Year's Rockin' Eve," but he did make a handful of appearances on the big screen early in his 60-year career.

Most were dramatic turns, showing Clark's effort to avoid being pigeonholed in the teen music genre. His first film role came in the 1960 youth drama “Because They're Young,” directed by Paul Wendkos, about a young high school teacher who tries to help the troubled students at the school. In 1961, he starred as one of the titular "Young Doctors," alongside Fredric March and Ben Gazzara, in a story about romance and lifesaving decisions at a hospital.

Perhaps his most unusual role came in the low-budget 1968 crime drama "Killers Three," in which Clark played a backwoods psycho killer. He also served as a producer and writer on the film.

PHOTOS: Stars react to the death of Dick Clark

Clark had only one more movie role, which came decades later in 2001's family movie "Spy Kids," in which he played a nameless "financier."


PHOTOS: Dick Clark | 1929-2012

Dick Clark: Chaperone to generations of music-loving teens

Dick Clark: From 'American Bandstand' to 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' [video]

— Ben Fritz and Susan King

Around Town: Steve McQueen, the King of Cool, rides again

March 29, 2012 |  6:00 am


The American Cinematheque celebrates the legacy of King of Cool Steve McQueen at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood from Thursday through Sunday.

"Low Rider: The Super Charged Cinema of Steve McQueen" opens with one of his quintessential films, the 1968 detective thriller "Bullitt," in which he plays the unflappable, Mustang-driving San Francisco detective Frank Bullitt. Directed by Peter Yates, the film features one of the seminal car chase sequences ever put on film. Following "Bullitt" is McQueen's disappointing final film, 1980's "The Hunter," which was released shortly before his death.

Screening Saturday is the 1973 prison epic "Papillon" and the rarely seen 1963 comedy drama "Soldier in the Rain" with Jackie Gleason. McQueen's first wife, Neile Adams, will be on hand to sign her book "My Husband, My Friend" before the screening Saturday of 1963's classic World War II action-adventure "The Great Escape," which made McQueen a superstar.

The series concludes Sunday with Norman Jewison's sophisticated 1968 romantic caper thriller "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Faye Dunaway and 1972's thriller "The Getaway," directed by Sam Peckinpah, and also starring Ali MacGraw, who became the actor's second wife.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre wants you to pass the time by "playing a little solitaire" Thursday evening with a 50th anniversary screening of the iconic political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate," directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and an Oscar-nominated Angela Lansbury.

With the Farrelly brothers' take on the venerable comedy team "The Three Stooges" opening on April 13, the Cinematheque gets into the "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" spirit Sunday at the Aero with a double bill of Stooges slapstick -- 1962's "The Three Stooges Meets Hercules" and 1965's "The Outlaws Is Coming," which also features Adam West and several daytime kiddie TV hosts who showed Three Stooges shorts.

The Aero's "Wednesdays with Robert Altman" series kicks off with his 1971 revisionist western, "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" with Warren Beatty and an Oscar-nominated Julie Christie. www.americancinematheque.com

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' "Inside the Booth: A Journey Through Projection," kicks off Thursday evening at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Presented by the academy's Science and Technology Council, the series -- hosted by the academy's chief projectionist Marshall Gitlitz and silent film historian and projectionist Joe Rinaudo -- is a three-week exploration of the evolution of the motion picture camera.

The opening program, "The Birth of Projection," shines the spotlight on the works of such film pioneers as George Eastman and George Melies, features a demonstration of hand-cranked films and a screening of Buster Keaton's 1924 classic "Sherlock Jr.," in which he plays a projectionist who wants to become a detective. Though the event Thursday is sold out there will be a stand-by line.

Besides the series, there is also an exhibition, "Tech Art 2: The Projection Story," at the venue that features 30 color images of projection equipment shot by photographer Vince Gonzales, as well as projectors and other equipment. 

The series continues April 19 and May 4. www.oscars.org

Jason Reitman presents "The Big Lebowski," his final installment in his "Live Read" series for Film Independent at LACMA, on Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theatre. The event is sold out but there will be a stand-by line.

Animation historians and authors Jerry Beck and Adam Abraham will be on hand Friday evening at LACMA for "Madcap Modernism: Mid-Century Cartoons from UPA and Beyond," which features two programs of innovative theatrical animation shorts from the 1950s.  LACMA's Tuesday matinee series at the Leo S. Bing Theatre presents one of the jewels in Preston Sturges' comedic crown: the 1942 romantic comedy "The Palm Beach Story," starring Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor and Rudy Vallee. www.lacma.org

UCLA Film &Television Archive's "Spencer Tracy: The Natural Thing" comes to a close Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater with the actor's final film, 1967's "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," which also stars Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton.  Karen Kramer, the widow of producer/director Stanley Kramer, will be the special guest.

The archive's Wednesday evening series at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles features two thrillers from William Castle: 1964's "Strait-Jacket," starring Joan Crawford and 1961's "Homicidal." www.cinema.ucla.edu

New Beverly Cinema showcases the Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") Friday and Saturday with screenings of her most recent film, 2011's "We Need to Talk About Kevin," in which she plays the mother of a disturbed son and Sally Potter's 1992 version of Virginia Woolf's novel, "Orlando." www.newbevcinema.com

Film at Redcat presents "Narrative Bodies: Films and Videos by Abigail Child," Monday evening. Child will be appearing in person at the program, which features many of her avant-garde films including 1977's "Peripeteia I" and 1986's "Perils." www.redcat.org

 Paul Mazursky and actor George Segal will be reminiscing about "Blume in Love," the filmmaker's 1973 romantic comedy starring Segal and Kris Kristofferson, after a screening Tuesday evening at the Skirball Center. www.skirball.org

Silent screen legend Harold Lloyd would have been 119 on April 20, and the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is celebrating his birthday Wednesday with a screening of two of his comedies: 1926's "For Heaven's Sake" and 1923's "Why Worry?" His granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd, will introduce the screening.  www.cinefamily.org


Regal Cinemas, country’s largest theater chain, will play 'Bully'

'Hunger Games': Should Jennifer Lawrence really look hungrier?

Claude Francois biopic 'My Way' opens City of Lights, City of Angels

--Susan King

Photo: Steve McQueen, left, and Robert Vaughn in "Bullitt." Credit: File photo

Around town: Malcolm McDowell's film legacy

March 15, 2012 |  6:00 am

Clockwork Orange
This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

Pugnacious, daring British actor Malcolm McDowell is not only getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, but he is also being feted by the American Cinematheque.

McDowell is scheduled to appear Friday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood after a screening of one of his seminal films -- Stanley Kubrick's 1971 "A Clockwork Orange." After his talk, the Egyptian will screen the sweet 1979 romantic fantasy "Time After Time," in which he plays author H.G. Wells.

The retrospective moves to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Saturday evening with a screening of Lindsay Anderson's 1968 drama "If....," which was released here in 1969. McDowell came to fame as Travis, a boarding school rebel. Also screening is 2004's "Evilenko," in which he plays a Kiev-based serial killer.  The festival ends Sunday evening a the Aero with a rare screening of Anderson's "O Lucky Man!," the director's sequel to "If....," with McDowell re-creating his role of Travis. Helen Mirren and Rachel Roberts also star.

Charles Laughton directed only one film -- the 1955 thriller "The Night of the Hunter" -- which screens Thursday evening at the Aero. Robert Mitchum received great acclaim for his performance as a sadistic wandering preacher with the words "love" and "hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Preston Neal Jones, author of "Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter," will introduce the screening and show outtakes.

On Friday, the Aero offers the latest edition of its silent comedy shorts program. Among the comedies screening are Charlie Chaplin's  "The Cure" (1917), Georges Méliès'  "The Untamable Whiskers" (1904) and Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle's 1917 slapstick farce "Coney Island." www.americancinematheque.com

Maverick animator Ralph Bakshi ("Fritz the Cat") will appear Thursday evening at the Film Independent at LACMA screening at the Leo S. Bing Theater of his 1977 fantasy "Wizards."

At 7 p.m. Monday, LACMA presents the documentary "David Hockney: A Bigger Picture," with director Bruno Wollheim appearing in person to discuss the film. www.lacma.org

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing" festival features two of his finest comedic performances Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater: 1950's "Father of the Bride," directed by Vincente Minnelli, for which he was nominated for a lead actor Oscar, and 1953's "The Actress," directed by George Cukor.

Sunday evening's double bill starts with Fred Zinnemann's 1944 World War II thriller, "The Seventh Cross," followed by John Sturges' 1955 mystery thriller, "Bad Day at Black Rock," for which Tracy earned yet another lead actor Oscar nod. And on Wednesday, the archive screens 1958's "The Last Hurrah," which marked Tracy's first collaboration with director John Ford since the actor made his feature debut in Ford's 1930 film "Up the River."

The archive's "Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov"  screens Saturday evening with "Three Songs of Lenin" and  "Lullaby." The archive's latest movie at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles is Martin Scorsese's seminal 1976 film  "Taxi Driver," for which Robert De Niro earned his first lead actor Oscar nomination. It screens Wednesday evening.

The New Beverly Cinema pays homage to the late actor Ben Gazzara on Friday and Saturday with Otto Preminger's acclaimed courtroom thriller "Anatomy of a Murder." Besides Gazzara,  the Oscar-nominated film also stars Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick and George C. Scott.  On Tuesday, the New Beverly's Grindhouse Film Festival presents "Eastern Grind: Classic Hong Kong Cinema" -- 1989's "Burning Ambition" and "Operation Pink Squad."

CineFamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a free screening of Whit Stillman's ("Barcelona") latest film, "Damsels in Distress," on Sunday evening. Stillman will be appearing at the program. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis and you must go to the theater's website to register.

The theater's Charlie Chaplin festival continues Wednesday evening with a screening of his restored 1931 masterpiece "City Lights," which has one of the truly emotional endings in cinema history. www.cinefamily.org

You must remember this -- on Wednesday, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a 70th anniversary screening in nearly 500 theaters of the Oscar-winning classic "Casablanca" with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Some theaters will also have matinees.  fathomevents.com

The Skirball's "Through a Glass Brightly: A Paul Mazursky Retrospective" features the underrated nostalgic 1976 comedy-drama "Next Stop, Greenwich Village" on Wednesday evening. The veteran filmmaker and Mazursky's longtime collaborator Leon Capetanos will talk after the screening. www.skirball.org

[For the record, 5 p.m. March 15: A previous version of this post said that LACMA will present the documentary "David Hockney: A Bigger Picture" on Friday. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. March 19.]


Israel Film Festival kicks off in L.A. with 'Restoration'

Pola Negri, Jean Harlow, Jean Arthur: Kenneth Turan's DVD picks

'Clockwork Orange': Malcolm McDowell finally appreciates classic

-- Susan King

Photo: Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange" Credit: Warner Bros.

SXSW 2012: Unusual buzz-building with 'frankie go boom'

March 11, 2012 |  8:02 pm

Charlie Hunnam and Chris O'Dowd in "frankie go boom"

Is is possible for a movie to peak with its description in a film festival announcement? That was the question in Austin on Saturday night at South by Southwest going into the premiere of the "frankie go boom," screening as part of the Narrative Spotlight section.

The film had begun generating buzz when it was first announced for the Texas festival, not because of filmmaking pedigree or talent attached, but rather for the oddly worded, quizzically spelled, poorly punctuated and slightly vulgar description that accompanied it -- "A flick by bruce about his little brother frank who's a crybaby ... who shouldn't do ... embarrassing ... if he dozn't want people to 2 see it." For anyone who has had it with another family reunion/weekend wedding/road trip log-line, it was just weird enough to be refreshing. 

"Welcome to my mid-life crisis," said writer-director Jordan Roberts, a longtime screenwriter whose credits include the narration to "The March of the Penguins," while introducing the film. With an enviable cast that includes Chris O'Dowd, Charlie Hunnam, Lizzy Caplan, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth and Whitney Cummings, one might expect a packed red carpet, but none of the cast were in attendance.

"I'm sorry the actors aren't here," said Roberts, "but they are all working. They don't hate me."

The story centers on two brothers, Frankie and Bruce. Frankie (Hunnam) is trying to live down the disgrace of not only finding out that his fiancee had been cheating on him as their wedding was underway, but also that his brother Bruce (O'Dowd) posted a video of his subsequent meltdown on the Internet. Bruce is struggling to overcome addiction issues and reenters Frankie's life just as Frankie is meeting a woman (Caplan) he might have a real chance with. When Bruce uploads another video and complications ensue.

The wild farce went over well in the room. Citing "Borat," "Flirting With Disaster" and "Some Like It Hot" as his main influences in writing the story, Roberts said during the post-screening Q&A that, "I wanted to make a comedy about second chance, in love, second chance in whatever the thing you got slapped down at, and I was fascinated by humiliation and challenging humiliation." 

The inevitable question about whether he has a real-life sibling yielded an interesting response, given that the film centers around two brothers, one an addict, as well as a colorful and tender transgender character played by Ron Perlman.

"I have a brother who is now my sister, or a sister who used to be my brother," said Roberts, "and I have a brother who is no longer with us. So there is addiction in our family, and that's definitely in play here. I feel like these two characters are as much me as they are my brother and I. I am both a rabid, despicable, hungry, voracious quester for fame and I am also a shy, withholding guy who wants to be in the background. So I'm both Frank and Bruce."


SXSW 2012: Two sides of opening night with 'Cabin' and 'Babymakers'

SXSW 2012: 'Gimme The Loot' a freewheeling inner-city adventure

SXSW 2012: 'Jeff' explores Dahmer's effect on Milwaukee

-- Mark Olsen, reporting from Austin, Texas


Photo: Charlie Hunnam and Chris O'Dowd in "frankie go boom." Credit: Courtesy of South by Southwest Film Festival

Cannes 2012: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' to open fest

March 8, 2012 |  9:44 pm

Bruce Willis in "Moonrise Kingdom"

For the second year in a row, the Cannes Film Festival is opening with an American comedy: The festival has announced that Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" will kick off the annual cinephile gathering May 16.

Unlike last year's opener of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," however, this year's  film will come from a director who's never brought a feature to the Croisette. Anderson, the Texas-raised auteur known for offbeat comedies such as "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," typically opens films in the fall and brings them to late-summer and early autumn film confabs. Focus Features brings out "Moonrise" on May 25 in the U.S., with the film coming out in France the same week as its Cannes bow.

Set in the 1960's, "Kingdom" centers on two young lovers who run away, with the small town they left behind in a tizzy about their disappearance.

Anderson mainstays Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman star in "Moonrise Kingdom," as do Anderson newbies Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton. The young couple is played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

The opening-night slot proved golden for "Midnight," which turned out to be a huge crossover hit. This year, world cinema observers will be keen to see how the Europeans react to Anderson's dry, often absurdist wit, though the local press will no doubt be enthralled by the large number of stars who can walk the opening-night carpet.

Anderson is coming off a somewhat odd career stretch, most recently making a foray into animation with "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and previously directing the tepidly received India travel tale "The Darjeeling Limited."

In a statement, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux announced that "Wes Anderson is one of the rising powers of American cinema, to which he brings a highly personal touch, particularly in 'Moonrise Kingdom,' which once again is a testimony to the creative freedom in which he continues to evolve. Sensitive and independent, this admirer of Fellini and Renoir is also in his own right a brilliant and inventive filmmaker."

The Cannes Film Festival runs through May 27, and this year is also expected to include a roster of other renowned U.S. filmmakers. The full slate will be announced April 19.


Nanni Moretti to head Cannes jury

When Woody Allen got funny at the Oscars

New Wes Anderson movie coming to theaters

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Bruce Willis in "Moonrise Kingdom." Credit: Focus Features

Around Town: The Sherman brothers' 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

March 8, 2012 |  7:00 am

"Duck Soup"

The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre's "A Night at the Movies: The Marx Brothers on the Big Screen" retrospective begins Thursday with 1937's "A Day at the the Races" and 1941's "The Big Store." Friday's offerings are 1935's "A Night at the Opera" and 1938's "Room Service," with 1933's "Duck Soup" and 1930's "Animal Crackers" on tap for Saturday and 1931's "Monkey Business" and 1929's "The Coconuts" scheduled for Sunday.

The Egyptian also continues its "Wednesday with Orson Welles" series with 1948's film noir "The Lady From Shanghai," with his soon-to-be-ex-wife Rita Hayworth, and 1955's bizarre, intriguing "Mr. Arkadin," which is also known as "Confidential Report."

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre festival "Through a Lens Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman" screens one of the Swedish filmmaker's best productions, 1957's "Wild Strawberries," which stars Victor Sjostrom, who was a famous film director during the silent era, and 1966's drama "Persona" with Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann.

And on Sunday, the Aero presents a family matinee of the big-budget 1968 musical fantasy "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," which features a score by the late Robert Sherman and his brother Richard. Dick Van Dyke stars.

Acclaimed British director Terence Davies, whose latest film "The Deep Blue Sea" opens March 23, will be visiting the Aero on Sunday for a screening of his 1992 drama "The Long Day Closes." The Aero also will be screening his 1983 "The Terence Davies Trilogy" on Monday evening. www.americancinematheque.com

UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing," currently in its third month at the Billy Wilder Theater, continues Sunday evening. On tap are two of the films the actor made with his frequent co-star and long-time companion Katharine Hepburn and directed by George Cukor: the 1942 drama "Keeper of the Flame" and the classic 1949 comedy "Adam's Rib."

And the archive's Wednesday evening programming at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles serves up a Marilyn Monroe double bill: 1953's musical comedy "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," directed by Howard Hawks, and the 1956 romantic drama "Bus Stop," directed by Josh Logan, which also stars Don Murray and Arthur O'Connell in their Oscar-nominated performances. www.cinema.ucla.edu

Film Independent at LACMA shines the spotlight on award-winning German director Wim Wenders on Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater with a screening of his 1977 film noir "The American Friend" and his offbeat 1982 short "Chambre 666."

LACMA's "Ellsworth Kelly Selects" series continues Friday with Jean Renoir's 1939 masterwork "Rules of the Game," in which he also appears, and Jacques Becker's 1952 tragic romantic tale "Casque D'or," which stars Simone Signoret. www.lacma.org

The New Beverly Cinema features Audrey Hepburn in two of her most iconic films this Friday and Saturday -- 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and 1953's "Roman Holiday," the romantic comedy also starring Gregory Peck for which she won the best actress Oscar as a princess on the lam. newbevcinema.com

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's Charlie Chaplin retrospective continues Wednesday evening with a restored print of his 1936 classic comedy -- and his last silent film -- "Modern Times." www.cinefamily.org


Wim Wenders 'Pina' and 3D

Marx Bros. at American Cinematheque

'Rules of the Game,' 'Casque d'Or': Kenneth Turan's pick of the week


-- Susan King

Photo: "Duck Soup" screens at the Egyptian Theatre. Credit: Paramount Pictures  

Adam Sandler dominates the Razzie nominations

February 25, 2012 |  6:00 pm

Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earns Razzie nods


In a dubious achievement, Adam Sandler broke all records Saturday evening, earning 11 Razzie nominations for his various work as an actor, a writer and a producer on three 2011 movies: "Jack and Jill," "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" and "Just Go With It."

The nominations for the 32nd annual Razzie Awards, honoring the worst accomplishments in film, were announced on the eve of the Academy Awards. The Razzies have traditionally been presented the day before the Oscars, but co-owners John Wilson and Mo Murphy have moved the ceremony this year to April Fool's Day to give the Razzie voters “additional time to see the dreck" before casting their ballots.

Sandler's gender-bender comedy "Jack and Jill" — in which he portrays both title roles — earned 12 nominations, including worst film, actor and actress for Sandler, supporting actress for Katie Holmes and supporting actor for Al Pacino (yes, you read that correctly).

Rounding out the worst film nominees are "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," which Sandler co-wrote; "New Year's Eve"; "Transformers: Dark of the Moon";  and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1."

Sandler earned a second worst actor nomination for "Just Go With It" and will compete against Russell Brand for "Arthur," Nicolas Cage for three films — "Drive Angry 3-D," "Season of the Witch" and "Trespass" — Taylor Lautner for "Abduction" and "Breaking Dawn," and Nick Swardson for "Bucky Larson."

It was a good year (or perhaps a very bad one) for men in drag at the movies. In addition to Sandler, a few other actors earned nominations in the actress categories. David Spade is up for worst supporting actress as Monica in "Jack and Jill," while Martin Lawrence is nominated for worst actress in "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," and Brandon T. Jackson from that film is in contention for supporting actress. 

Joining Sandler and Lawrence in the worst actress category are Sarah Palin in "Sarah Palin: The Undefeated," Sarah Jessica Parker for both "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "New Year's Eve," and Kristen Stewart for "Breaking Dawn."

Rounding out the supporting actress category after Spade, Jackson and Holmes are Nicole Kidman for "Just Go With It" and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Competing with Pacino for worst supporting actor are Patrick Dempsey in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," James Franco for "Your Highness," Ken Jeong for four movies — "Big Mommas," "The Hangover: Part II," "Transformers" and "Zookeeper" — and Nick Swardson for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It."

Vying for worst screen ensemble are the casts of "Bucky Larson," "Jack and Jill," "New Year's Eve," "Transformers" and "Breaking Dawn."

Worst director nominees are Michael Bay for "Transformers," Tom Brady for "Bucky Larson," Bill Condon for "Breaking Dawn," Dennis Dugan for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It," and Garry Marshall for "New Year's Eve."

Nominated for worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel are "Arthur," "Bucky Larson," "The Hangover: Part II," "Jack and Jill" and "Breaking Dawn."

Vying for worst screen couple are Cage and "anyone sharing the screen with him in any of his three 2011 films," Shia LaBeouf and Huntington-Whiteley in "Transformers," Sandler and either Jennifer Aniston or Brooklyn Decker in "Just Go With It," Sandler and either Holmes, Pacino or himself in "Jack and Jill" and Stewart and either Lautner or Robert Pattinson in "Breaking Dawn."

Worst screenplay nominations went to Sandler, Allen Covert and Swardson for "Bucky Larson"; Steve Koren and Sandler with story by Ben Zook for "Jack and Jill"; Katherine Fugate for "New Year's Eve"; Ehren Kruger for "Transformers"; and Melissa Rosenberg from the novel by Stephenie Meyer for "Breaking Dawn."


Movie Review: Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' is a drag 

Movie Review: 'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

— Susan King

Photo: Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earned 12 Razzie nominations. Credit: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures 


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