24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Susan King

Around Town: Snow White, Casablanca at Oscars Outdoors

June 14, 2012 |  6:00 am


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduces its "Oscars Outdoors" screening series  Friday evening with the 1942 Oscar-winning romantic classic "Casablanca," followed by Walt Disney's seminal 1937 animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,'' Saturday evening.

The screenings take place at the academy's new open-air theater on its Hollywood campus. All of the June screenings are sold out, but there will be a standby line the day of the event.  http://www.oscars.org

Cinespia's outdoor screening series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is in full swing this summer with Cheech and Chong's highly combustible 1978 comedy, "Up in Smoke," scheduled for Saturday evening. http://www.cinespia.org

New Beverly Cinema kicks off the weekend with the antic 1944 Frank Capra comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace," based on the long-running Broadway hit. The film, which stars Cary Grant, screens Friday and Saturday.

With Woody Allen's latest, "To Rome with Love," opening next week, the New Bev presents two of the his "early funny ones" Sunday and Monday: 1975's "Love and Death" and 1972's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)." http://www.newbevcinema.com

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's celebration of Universal's 100-year anniversary presents the granddaddy of all-star disaster films, 1970's "Airport," on Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater. George Seaton wrote and directed this Oscar-best-film nominee based on the novel by Arthur Hailey about a suicidal bomber (Van Heflin) aboard a transatlantic flight. Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg and Helen Hayes, who won the supporting actress Oscar as a stowaway, are among the many stars. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Veronica Gelakoksa, author of "Pig 'n  Whistle," and Los Angeles Magazine columnist/preservation and vintage culture expert Chris Nichols will talk about the famed L.A restaurants of the 1920s-'40s after a screening Saturday afternoon of the 1945 film noir classic "Mildred Pierce" at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. Joan Crawford won her Academy Award for her role.

The 1945 theme continues early Sunday evening at the Egyptian with the Art Directors Guild Film Society's screening of MGM's lavish all-star musical "Ziegfeld Follies," which was directed by several of the studio's directors, including Vincente Minnelli. Guests include Oscar-nominated costume designer Bob Mackie and cinematographer Michael Lonzo.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre's latest installment in its "Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema" continues Wednesday with the 2009 drama "Altiplano." http://www.americancinematheque.com

Oscar-winning composer and sometimes actor Paul Williams will be on hand Friday evening at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's tribute, which features two films for which he composed the scores: 1979's "The Muppet Movie," which includes the tune "The Rainbow Connection," and 1974's "The Phantom of Paradise."

Cinefamily also celebrates the 45th anniversary of the milestone Monterey International Pop Music Festival with a screening Sunday evening of D.A. Pennebaker's 1968 classic documentary "Monterey Pop." The film's producer, Lou Adler, and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas (who appear in the film) will be on hand. http://www.cinefamily.org

Los Angeles Filmforum presents Peter Greenaway's 2007 drama "Nightwatching," starring Martin Freeman as Rembrant, Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre. http://www.lafilmforum.org

The Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats present a 1942 Mexican comedy "Los Tres Mosqueteros," starring the legendary Mario Moreno — best known to the world as Cantinflas — Wednesday evening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. There will also be a pre-show panel. http://www.laconservancy.org


"Movie academy goes casual with plan for outdoor summer screenings"



Susan King

Photo: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" screens Saturday at "Oscar Outdoors." Credit: Disney.



Around Town: Return to 'Brokeback Mountain'

June 7, 2012 |  6:00 am



Oscar-winning director Ang Lee and producer James Schamus will be on hand at the Film Independent at LACMA screening Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater of their seminal 2005 drama "Brokeback Mountain."

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana also earned an Oscar for the screenplay adaptation of Annie Proulx' short story about the love affair that develops between two young cowboys (Heath Ledger, who was nominated for lead actor Oscar, and supporting nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). Gustova Santaolalla won the Oscar for his haunting score.

In conjunction with the exhibition, "Fracture: Daido Moriyama," LACMA is continuing its "High and Low: Postwar Japan in Black and White" this Friday and Saturday. The series begins Friday evening with 1962's "Pigs and Battleships," directed by Shohei Imamura, followed by Imamura's 1966 "The Pornographers." Saturday's offerings are Toshio Matsumoto's 1969 "Funeral Parade of Roses" and Akira Kurosawa's 1963 thriller "High and Low," starring Toshira Mifune. http://www.lacma.org

The fourth annual Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival continues through Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre. The festival highlights both feature-length and short films from up-and-coming filmmakers from the South American country. Admission is free for the majority of films, but reservations have to be made online at http://www.hbrfest.eventbrite.com

The New Beverly presents two Martin Scorsese rock documentaries -- 1978's "The Last Waltz," featuring the Band, and 2008's "Shine a Light," starring the Rolling Stones. http://newbevcinema.com

UCLA Film & Television Archive's celebrating of Universal Pictures' 100th anniversary is presenting a new print Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater of James Whale's landmark 1931 horror film "Frankenstein," starring Colin Clive as the not-so-good doctor and Boris Karloff in his star-making role as the monster. Karloff also scares up some frights in the second feature, 1932's "The Mummy," directed by Karl Freund, who later became the cinematographer on "I Love Lucy." Historian James Curtis, author of "James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters," will be on hand. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Starting Friday, Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is presenting a week-long engagement of a new 35mm print of the 1974 Jacques Rivette French classic "Celine and Julie Go Boating," starring Dominique Labourier and Juliet Berto. http://www.cinefamily.org

Gregory Peck stars as the title character in 1950's "The Gunfighter," Henry King's landmark Western, screening Saturday at the Autry. http://www.theautry.org

Laura Dern, Cuba Gooding Jr., Greg Kinnear and Mena Suvari are scheduled to present at the 39th Student Academy Awards, Saturday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The ceremony honors outstanding filmmakers from both the United States and abroad. Past award winners include Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter, Pete Docter and Trey Parker. Tickets are free but must be reserved at http://www.oscars.org

Long before he became Tim Burton's muse, Johnny Depp played one of the victims of villain Freddy Krueger, who wears a glove adorned with razors, in Wes Craven's 1984 horror favorite "Nightmare on Elm Street." It screens Saturday evening at Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. http://cinespia.org/calendar

Richard Linklater's cult favorite, 1993's "Dazed and Confused," screens Saturday evening at Devil's Night Drive-In in downtown Los Angeles. http://www.devilsnight.com/drivein.htm

Grauman's Chinese Theatre is offering movies at the legendary movie palace for just 25 cents on Monday evenings in celebration of the theater's 85th anniversary. This Monday, the Chinese Theatre is screening the 1960 epic "Spartacus." Before the screening, star Kirk Douglas will be on hand for the unveiling of his refurbished hand/foot/chin prints and sign copies of his new book, "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist." http://www.chinesetheatres.com 

The third annual New Media Film Festival visits the Landmark Theatre in West Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday. Among the opening night films is the Los Angeles premiere of the short "Ray Bradbury's Kaleidoscope." The author, who died on Tuesday, was to have been there in person to receive the Legend Award.  http://www.newmediafilmfestival.com

The Skirball's free Tuesday matinee features the 1946 Warner Bros. romantic melodrama "Humoresque," with Joan Crawford as a wealthy socialite who sets her sights on a young violinist (John Garfield). http://www.skirball.org

Pat Boone will be on hand along with author Roland Kibbey to sign copies of "Pat Boone: The Hollywood Years"  before the screening Wednesday at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre of his 1962 musical romance "State Fair." Boone and his white bucks will chat about his experiences after the film.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre serves up the L.A. premiere Wednesday of the 2010 documentary "Music from the Big House," which follows Canadian blues singer's Rita Chiarelli's journey to the birth of the blues -- Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, a.k.a. Angola Prison. There will be a performance and discussion with Chiarelli after the screening. http://www.americancinematheque.com


Can 'Brokeback Mountain' move the heartland?

-- Susan King

Photo: "Brokeback Mountain" screens Thursday at LACMA. Photo: Kimberly French / Focus Features

Despite new film role, Jane Fonda says she was 'never a hippie'

June 7, 2012 |  5:00 am

Jane fonda peace love misunderstanding
Now 74 and in her self-described “third act,” Jane Fonda is clear-eyed, focused, fit, relaxed — and busier than ever.

Her new film, “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding,” opens Friday in limited release, with Fonda playing an aging Woodstock hippie named Grace. Directed by Bruce Beresford (“Driving Miss Daisy”), the movie revolves around Grace, who is thrilled when her conservative attorney daughter Diane (Catherine Keener), whom she hasn’t seen in 20 years, arrives at her doorstep with her two teenage children. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Jude, a local musician who had an affair with Grace and then falls in love with Diane.

Next, Fonda will be appearing in a recurring role in Aaron Sorkin’s new TV series, “The Newsroom,” which premieres June 24 on HBO. Jeff Daniels stars in the series as a news anchor at a fictional Atlanta cable station. Fonda plays the mogul who runs the conglomerate (an interesting turn, considering Fonda was previously married to Ted Turner, founder of Atlanta-based CNN).

She also recently returned to France to star in the French film, “... And If We All Lived Together,” about five old friends who move in together as an alternative to living in a retirement home. In July, she’ll start shooting Lee Daniels’ new film, “The Butler,” in which she will play former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

The two-time Oscar winner recently talked about her “third act” over an ice tea at the Four Seasons.

Continue reading »

Nobody does it better: Celebrating 50 years of James Bond films

June 4, 2012 |  3:58 pm


It's a Bond, James Bond, weekend in Los Angeles.

With Ian Fleming's dashing, debonair and sexy British spy marking 50 years on the silver screen, the American Cinematheque and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are celebrating the longevity of the film franchise, which has endured five decades, 22 films (the 23rd, "Skyfall," with Daniel Craig, is due this fall) and almost as many leading-man incarnations as Dr. Who.

The celebration begins with the American Cinematheque's "007 at 50: The Complete James Bond Retrospective." The fun starts Friday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with the very first Bond film, "Dr. No," starring Sean Connery as 007, and 1963's "From Russia With Love." The retrospective moves Saturday to the Aero in Santa Monica with a double bill of 1964's "Goldfinger" and 1965's "Thunderball." The series continues at both theaters through June 24. http://www.americancinematheque.com

The exhibition "... Is James Bond," presented by LACMA and co-organized with Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television, opens Saturday and continues through Sept. 9 at LACMA's Art of the Americas Building. The presentation will feature all 22 unique, boldly graphic and often erotic film title sequences thematically grouped and displayed on a series of 40-inch monitors.

Fourteen of those title sequences were designed by the late Maurice Binder, who was succeeded by Daniel Kleinman for 1995's "GoldenEye."

Film Independent at LACMA will screen a Bond double bill every Thursday evening in July and September. http://www.lacma.org


James Bond through the years

James Bond's exciting adventure in Turkey

-- Susan King

Photo: Sean Connery in "From Russia With Love." Credit: MGM Home Entertainment

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.


'SNL' funnyman Bill Hader returns as host of TCM movie series

June 1, 2012 |  7:30 am

"Saturday Night Live” funnyman Bill Hader is known for his crazy characters, such as Stefon, Weekend Update's flamboyant New York City correspondent. He also does uncanny impressions of Vincent Price, Alan Alda, Clint Eastwood and other Hollywood personalities. So it's little surprise to find that he is a serious film fan.

Last summer, he hosted TCM's 13-week series "Essentials, Jr.” which featured classic films that appeal to families. And now he’s back for his second stint beginning this Sunday with Sidney Lumet’s 1957 drama “12 Angry Men.”

Other films the series will be screening this summer include 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz”; Howard Hawks’ 1959 Western epic “Rio Bravo” and his 1941 comedy “Ball of Fire”; the 1933 musical “42nd Street”; James Whale’s 1933 horror film “The Invisible Man”; and the 1943 boy-and-his-dog classic “Lassie Come Home.”

During a break last month from rehearsing the season finale of “SNL,” Hader talked about his love of film and why “Essentials, Jr.” appeals to him.

Q: How did you become a film buff?

A: It comes from my parents. They watched a lot of movies, and watching movies became kind of our No.1 family activity. It kind of drew me to wanting to host this because I related to it.

Q: Did you have a say in what films would be programmed over the 13 weeks or does TCM just make the decision?

A: They give you a list of 20 movies and say we can do 13 of these and what do you think? I would say this will be great, but I would really like to do a W.C. Fields movie. And they would say that’s great how about ["The Bank Dick"]? I said I would like to do a Powell-Pressburger movie and they said "Thief of Bagdad." You just kind of mix and match a little bit. There were a couple of films I saw for "Essentials, Jr." like "Lassie Come Home" I hadn’t seen. They said we really want to do "Lassie Come Home" and I said, great, can you send me a copy?

Q: I haven’t seen the introductions you’ve taped. Are they geared for children?

A: It is more like if I was a kid it would be the kind of information that I would want. It is not like talking down to anyone. I lay it out for you, give you a sense of the time and give you some cool little tidbits and then after comment on some of the stuff in the movie.

Q: It would be great if "Essentials, Jr." gets families to watch movies like "12 Angry Men" and "Ball of Fire" rather than the latest "Transformers."

A: There is nothing wrong with watching "Transformers." You should watch everything. But you should get a bigger view. I don’t want these movies to go away and be unnoticed. You want a generation of people to appreciate it and also know they are good -- they are not, like, boring. The pace is not "Transformers" and what they are used to -- the pace is a little slower -- but I feel like the storytelling in these old films is so clean and so nice. It is it geared to: What’s the story? There are still great movies like that now that tell a great story. But I was never motivated to watch movies because a specific actor was in or a specific person was in the movie, it was more like: What’s the idea? What’s the story behind it?

Q: Do you think Stefon will be tuning in and watching any of these?

A: No. He’s probably asleep behind a dumpster some place.

For a list of the movies, click here.  


Turner Classic Movies Turns 15


-- Susan King

Photo: Bill Hader, left, with Seth Rogen in "Superbad," hosts TCM's "Essentials Jr." Credit: Melissa Moseley / Sony Pictures

‘A Cat in Paris’ animated film draws on French roots

May 31, 2012 | 10:52 am

A cat in paris gk kids

DreamWorks’ lavish, CG-animated farce “Puss in Boots” wasn’t the only feline-themed comedy nominated for the animated feature Oscar this year. Also lurking among the category’s five nominees was a 67-minute, hand-drawn French film, “A Cat in Paris,” which follows the adventures of Dino, a house cat who leads a double life.

Both movies lost the Academy Award to Paramount’s western spoof, “Rango,” but Dino is continuing to charm audiences around the world. He makes his way to the U.S. on Friday as “A Cat in Paris” opens at the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles.

A film noir that tips its tail to such purr-fect crime classics as “Goodfellas,” “White Heat,” “Night of the Hunter” and “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Cat in Paris” marks the feature directorial debut of Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, who previously had directed 14 shorts for the French animation company Folimage.

“We wanted to do a police thriller,” said Gagnol, speaking by phone with the help of a translator from Bourg-les-Valence, where Folimage is located. “We love police thrillers.”

And cats?

The idea of using a feline as the lead character came from Gagnol observing cats from his kitchen window as they prowled rooftops at night. “I was wondering where they were going,” said Gagnol, who wrote the script for the roughly $7.5-million film.

Continue reading »

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 

Around Town: 'Paper Moon' shines on downtown festival

May 24, 2012 |  6:00 am

  "Paper Moon"
The Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats festival that showcases the historic movie palaces on Broadway in downtown L.A. returns this Wednesday with Peter Bogdanovich's 1973 comedy "Paper Moon." The movie, which stars Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum, who won the supporting actress Oscar for the role, screens at the 1931 Los Angeles Theatre. Bogdanovich will be on hand to introduce the film.

Last Remaining Seats continues Wednesdays through June. Other features on tap include a 30th anniversary screening of "Tootise," June 6 at the 1926 Orpheum Theatre, and 1922's "Robin Hood," with Douglas Fairbanks, scheduled for June 27 at the Orpheum. http://www.laconservancy.org/remaining/2012.php

The UCLA Film and Television Archive's Wednesday programming at the Million Dollar Theater downtown features the archive's restoration of 1948's "The Red Shoes," Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Technicolor romantic drama set in the world of ballet. The series will go on hiatus in June and return in July. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

The New Beverly Cinema ushers in Memorial Day weekend with a retrospective of films by iconoclastic director David Lynch, beginning Friday and Saturday with his first feature, the 1977 cult favorite "Eraserhead," followed by his Oscar-nominated 1980 drama "The Elephant Man," with Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt.

Scheduled for Sunday and Monday are his controversial 1986 thriller "Blue Velvet," with Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern, and Lynch's only G-rated film, the 1999 "The Straight Story," starring Richard Farnsworth in his Oscar-nominated role as an elderly man who goes on an epic journey on a lawnmower.

Tuesday and Wednesday's offerings are 1997's "Lost Highway" with Bill Pullman and Robert Blake, and the award-winning 2001 noir "Mulholland Drive" with Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. http://newbevcinema.com

Steven Spielberg earned his second best director Oscar for his powerful 1998 World War II drama, "Saving Private Ryan," which screens Thursday evening at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in honor of Memorial Day. Steven Jay Rubin, author of "Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010," will be signing copies and leading a discussion before the film with actor Adam Goldberg.

A new digitally restored print with eight minutes of never-before-seen footage of Richard Donner's 1978 blockbuster "Superman" soars into the Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre on Friday evening. Also screening is Richard Lester's "Superman II," which was released in Europe in 1980 and in the U.S. in 1981. http://www.americancinematheque.com

.The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's "The Sun Sets in the West: Mid-Century California Noir" festival continues Friday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theatre with the 1950 Joan Crawford noir favorite "The Damned Don't Cry," directed by Vincent Sherman. Crawford plays Ethel Whithead, an ambitious woman who goes from housewife to gangster moll. David Brian also stars.

Two seminal Universal horror flicks directed by James Whale -- 1933's "The Invisible Man," which marked the film debut of Claude Rains, and 1935's "The Bride of Frankenstien" -- are set for LACMA's Tuesday matinee. http://www.lacma.org

Audrey Hepburn earned her second best actress Oscar nomination as the title character in "Sabrina," Billy Wilder's 1954 romantic comedy about two wealthy brothers (Humphrey Bogart and William Holden) who fall for the daughter of the family's chauffeur. It screens Saturday evening at Cinespia's outdoor series at Hollywood Forever. http://www.cinespia.org

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater presents "T.J. Miller's Hangover Matinee" Sunday morning with brunch on the patio, live entertainment, a screening of vintage shorts followed by W.C. Fields' 1940 comedy "The Bank Dick."

On tap for Wednesday evening is the latest installment of comic Doug Benson's "Movie Interruption." This time around, Benson and his friend wax comedic during a screening of this year's box office dud, "John Carter." http://www.cinefamily.org

The Aero Theatre hosts the Rural Route Film Festival Shorts program Wednesday that features "films by and about rural people and places." http://www.americancinematheque.com


"A tribute to Peter Bogdanovich"

"Mind &  Body: Five Questions"

--Susan King

Photo: "Paper Moon" opens Last Remaining Seats festival. Credit: Paramount Pictures


Filmmaker finds creative stride with gritty cop tale 'Polisse'

May 21, 2012 | 11:46 am


The whippet-thin former model Maïwenn has the sort of life story that could easily inspire a movie.

The daughter of French actress Catherine Belkhodja, Maïwenn began acting well before age 10 — her first two films, 1981’s “Next Year If All Goes Well” and the 1983 thriller “One Deadly Summer,” both starred Isabelle Adjani. In 1991, when she was just 15, she began a love affair with director Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita”) and gave birth to a daughter, Shanna, two years later.

The couple split in the late ’90s, and Maïwenn tried her hand at stand-up comedy, writing and performing her own one-woman show. Although she continued acting, she transitioned behind the camera in 2006 with “Pardonnez-moi,” and it’s as a director that she says she’s finally found her creative calling.

Critics would appear to agree. Her third feature, “Polisse,” which opened in Los Angeles on Friday, is a gritty ensemble drama that has earned kudos for its strong performances and semi-documentary style storytelling. The story revolves around the dedicated police officers in Paris’ Child Protection Unit who fearlessly and obsessively track down pedophiles, molesters and parents who exploit their children.

“I spent a lot of time looking for myself,” Maïwenn, 36, said, during a recent visit to Los Angeles, speaking primarily in English but also with the aid of a translator. “I have done paint school, fashion school, photography school. ... I discovered with directing, I can put everything I love into one art.”

Although Maïwenn appears on camera in “Polisse” as a photographer who has been assigned to follow the unit and who strikes up a close relationship with another officer, played by French rap superstar Joeystarr, she described her work behind the scenes as the most gratifying.

She was inspired to write the script, which she completed with collaborator Emmanuelle Bercot, after watching a television documentary about the Child Protection Unit and its work. She obtained an “internship” with the unit and tried to use the experience to inform her screenplay, but she found herself at odds with the officers. “At first, they were not really kind to me,” she said. “They were suspicious. ... First of all, I am a woman and a woman who is going to do a movie about cops. It was like, ‘Oh-oh.’”

Continue reading »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: