24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Susan King

Around Town: 'Mean Streets' pays tribute to Fellini film

May 17, 2012 |  6:00 am


 "I Vitelloni," a 1953 semi-autobiographical drama about five male friends living in a small Italian town, is considered one of the watershed moments in Federico Fellini's career. The film is screening Friday through Wednesday at the New Beverly Cinema with a variety of second features that all tip their hats to "I Vitelloni."

Martin Scorsese's 1973 "Mean Streets"  is on tap Friday and Saturday. Another coming-of-age film from 1973, George Lucas' "American Graffiti" joins the Italian drama on Sunday and Monday. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, Barry Levinson's nostalgia-tinged 1982 buddy movie "Diner," screens with the Fellini film. http://www.newbevcinema.com

The Art Directors Guild Film Society and the American Cinemathque celebrate the guild's 75th anniversary and its 2012 Film Series with 1929's "The Iron Mask," Douglas Fairbanks' last silent film, early Sunday evening at the Egyptian Theatre.

Allan Dwan helmed this sequel to "The Three Musketeers," which features the production design of Maurice Leloir. Fairbanks went to Paris to cajole the then-74-year-old Leloir to come to Hollywood to do the film. The only 35-millimeter print known to exist, restored by Kevin Brownlow, is being flown in from London for the event. http://www.americancinematheque.com

On Thursday evening, Film Independent at LACMA's monthly "100 Years of Paramount Pictures" presents two films starring a young Michael Caine: the original 1969 version of the caper flick "The Italian Job" and 1966's "Funeral in Berlin," which marked the British actor's second outing as British spy Harry Palmer. And on Sunday, Film Independent is presenting a sneak preview of Wes Anderson's latest film, "Moonrise Kingdom." This event is sold out, but there will be a stand-by line. http://www.lacma.org

Though critics and audiences weren't exactly enthused about the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp version of "Dark Shadows," the director and actor have hit pay dirt with a number of their collaborations. Screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander will be chatting about their experiences working with Burton and Depp on the 1994 charmer "Ed Wood," after a screening of the film Thursday evening at the Egyptian Theatre. Their discussion is followed by a screening of the first collaboration between Burton and Depp -- 1990's "Edward Scissorhands."

The intimate Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre presents the 1917 silent serial "The Mystery of the Double Cross" this weekend. The first eight chapters will be shown on Friday evening, the remaining seven on Saturday evening. "Double Cross"  is one of just a few serials from the silent era that still exist in complete form. 

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre continues its "The Poetry of Precision: A Robert Bresson Retrospective." Two of his earliest films screen Saturday evening: 1943's "Les Anges du Peche," based on the Diderot novel, and 1945's "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne," which was penned by Jean Cocteau. http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Echo Park Film Center presents "PXL: This 21" Thursday night. The 21st annual toy camera film festival features Pixelvision films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 camcorder.http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org.

A traveling exhibition of new Czech films is visiting Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre. The opening night program Thursday evening is 2010's "Walking Too Fast." Director Radim Spacek will do a Q&A after the screening of the movie, followed by "Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer." http://www.cinefamily.org

Historian and author Miles Kruger will chat about the 1936 version of the Oscar Hammerstein II-Jerome Kern musical "Showboat" on Sunday afternoon at the Billy Wilder Theater as part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's centennial celebration of Universal. Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan star. James Whale of "Frankenstein" fame directed.

The archive's Wednesday evening programming at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles presents two collaborations between director Nicholas Ray and Humphrey Bogart: 1949's "Knock on Any Day" and the 1950 film noir classic "In a Lonely Place," with Gloria Grahame and Frank Lovejoy. http://cinema.ucla.edu

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents "The Development of the Digital Animator" on Monday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The 18th Marc Davis Celebration of Animation evening will be moderated by animator and historian Tom Sisto.  http://www.oscars.org

REDCAT presents "New Day at 40: A Community's Celebration" on Monday evening. The program honors the 40th anniversary of indie New Day Films with a screening of work by two of its L.A. members: Anayansi Prado and Adele Horne. http://www.redcat.org


"Douglas Fairbanks' 'Thief of Bagdad," "Iron Mask" to screen at Samuel Goldwyn Theater"


 -- Susan King

Photo: Robert DeNiro (left) and Harvey Keitel star in "Mean Streets" Credit: Warner Bros.

John Waters and documentary 'Vito' to open Outfest

May 16, 2012 | 11:44 am

Jeffrey Schwarz's "Vito," a documentary about the late gay activist Vito Russo, author of "The Celluloid Closet," will be the opening-night gala presentation at the 30th edition of Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

The oldest film festival in Los Angeles and the nation's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival takes place July 12 to 22. "Vito" will screen at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Outfest also announced Wednesday morning that filmmaker John Waters of "Pink Flamingos" and the original "Hairspray" will be receiving the 16th annual Achievement Award in recognition of a body of work that has "made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media."

Waters will also be performing his show "The Filthy World: Gayer and Filthier" July 11 at Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge.

For more information go to Outfest's website.


Obituary: Vito Russo, writer on homosexual issues

Book review: 'Role Models' by John Waters

 -- Susan King

Photo: John Waters will receive the 2012 Outfest Achievement Award. Credit: Los Angeles Times

'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.

Around Town: The Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' gets a makeover

May 10, 2012 |  6:00 am


The 1968 animated Beatles musical "Yellow Submarine" has just been restored frame by frame and will screen Friday evening and Sunday afternoon at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre. The Beatles introduced the tune "All Together Now" in the movie that was penned by a team that included "Love Story" author Erich Segal.

The Cinematheque' Egyptian Theatre presents a centenary salute to writer-director Richard Brooks on Saturday evening with a double bill of gritty dramas.

Brooks earned Oscar nominations for director and adapted screenplay for 1967's "In Cold Blood" based on Truman Capote's bestseller starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock.

"Blood" is followed by the solid 1952 newspaper drama "Deadline U.S.A." with Humphrey Bogart as a newspaper editor. Kim Hunter, Ethel Barrymore and Ed Begley also star.

The Aero Theatre kicks off the weekend with "The Poetry of Precision: A Robert Bresson Retrospective." The French filmmaker's 1956 "A Man Escaped," based on resistance leader Andre Devigny's story of how he escaped a Nazi prison just before he was to be executed, as well Bresson's own tale of his 18 months in a German POW camp, screens Thursday evening.

The festival continues Saturday with 1959's "Pickpocket" and 1983's "L'Argent." Sunday's double bill opens with 1966's "Au Hasard Balthazar" about a Christ-like donkey and 1967's "Mouchette." 

Three of the "children" from the 1965 Oscar-winning "The Sound of Music" — Charmian Carr, Angela Cartwright and Kym Karath — will be introducing a screening of the film and signing "The Sound of Music Scrapbook"  late afternoon Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre.


Film Independent at LACMA presents Russian auteur Aleksei German's 1998 film, "Khrustalyov, My Car!," Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater.

LACMA also kicks off its "High and Low: Postwar Japan in Black and White" retrospective Friday evening with Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1966 drama "The Face of Another," followed by Susumu Hani's 1968 drama "Nanami: The Inferno of First Love." Screening early Saturday evening is Nagisa Oshima's 1969 drama "Diary of a Shinjuku Thief," with Akira Kurosawa's 1949 noir "Stray Dog" screening later in the evening.


UCLA Film & Televison Archive and Outfest's continuing series "NQC@20: Revisiting Queer Cinema" features Todd Haynes' first film, 1991's "Poison," Saturday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater.  Haynes will appear along with scholar B. Ruby Rich.

Two years before collaborating on the classic "Bonnie & Clyde," director Arthur Penn teamed with Warren Beatty for the underrated 1965 noir "Mickey One." That film screens at the archive's Wednesday evening presentation at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The second feature is the rarely seen 1961 noir, "Blast of Silence," directed by Allen Baron.


Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial 1976 epic "1900" screens Saturday and Sunday at the New Beverly Cinema. The theater is showing the 1991 uncut edition rated NC-17.  http://www.newbevcinema.com


REDCAT's International Children's Film Festival continues Saturday and Sunday. Films to be screened include "A Journey Beyond," "Fire and Ice" and "Fight Delighted." http://www.redcat.org


"Beatles Buffed, Polished in a Vibrant Yellow"


— Susan King


 Photo: "Yellow Submarine." Credit: Subafilms LTD/AP.

Dustin Hoffman directorial debut 'Quartet' acquired by Weinstein

May 4, 2012 | 11:20 am

Dustin Hoffman

The Weinstein Co. announced Friday morning that it had acquired the U.S. and Latin American rights to "Quartet," which marks the official feature directorial debut of two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman ("Kramer vs. Kramer," "Rain Man").

Though "Quartet" is his directorial debut, it is not his first time behind the camera. Hoffman was the first director on the gritty 1978  drama "Straight Time," in which he also starred. But after some difficulties on set at Folsom Prison, he had Ulu Grosbard step in and take over the directorial reins.

(Hoffman also directed the 1974 Broadway play "All Over Town," which ran for 233 performances.)

Similar to "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which opened Friday, "Quartet" is geared to an older audience. The comedy stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and Pauline Collins. It revolves around a home for retired opera singers. Each year, the home puts on a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday.

Ronald Harwood ("The Dresser"), who won an Oscar for 2002's "The Pianist," penned the script.

There is no release date set.


"Big screen or small, Dustin Hoffman feels 'Luck'-y"

— Susan King

Photo: Dustin Hoffman. Credit: Brian van der Burg/Los Angeles Times.

Tony Curtis documentary to open the L.A. Jewish Film Festival

May 2, 2012 |  8:30 am


"Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom," a new documentary on the late actor born Bernie Schwartz in the Bronx, opens the 7th annual Jewish Film Festival on Thursday evening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Several participants in the documentary, including actresses Theresa Russell, Mamie Van Doren and Sally Kellerman, and Curtis' widow, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, will participate in a discussion at the screening. 

The festival, which attracts some 4,000 people, will screen 26 features, documentaries and shorts through May 10 at various locations.

"There is something for everyone and in every area," said Hilary Helstein, executive director of the festival.

She admitted that people often confuse the L.A. Jewish Film Festival and the Israel Film Festival, which took place in L.A. in March.

"The Israel Film Festival showcases works from Israel. Our mission is to showcase works that deal with Jewish subjects, Jewish issues, Jewish culture, Jewish matters," she said. "They can come from anywhere."

But she said her goal is to program films that will be of interest not only to a Jewish audience but also to a broad group of filmgoers.

One of the anticipated films in the festival -- at least for cineastes -- is Michael Curtiz's 1924 silent Austrian epic on the exodus of Jews from Egypt, "The Moon of Israel." The director came to Hollywood shortly after making the film and went on to make such classics as "Casablanca," for which he won the Oscar. Penelope Ann Miller of "The Artist" will introduce the film Sunday evening at the Saban in Beverly Hills.

Other films of note are "Shoah: The Unseen Interview," which features interviews and outtakes not featured in Claude Lanzmann's nine-hour epic documentary "Shoah"; the documentaries "The Price of Kings: Shimon Peres" and "Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story"; and the drama "Wunderkinder," about gifted young musicians during World War II.

There will also be comedies, including 2009's "OSS-117: Lost in Rio," (from "The Artist's" Oscar-winning team of director Michel Hazanavicius and actor Jean Dujardin), and "Dorfman" with Sara Rue and Elliott Gould, which closes the festival.

For more information on screenings and venues go to lajfilmfest.org.


Tony Curtis' ever-hot career

Elliott Gould on Groucho Marx, Ingmar Bergman and acting

--  Susan King

Photo: Tony Curtis, left, appears with Sidney Poitier in a scene from "The Defiant Ones." Curtis is the subject of a new documentary opening the L.A. Jewish Film Festival.

Film Independent announces lineup for Los Angeles Film Festival

May 1, 2012 | 10:00 am

"Magic Mike" at L.A. film fest

"Magic Mike," Steven Soderbergh's dramatic comedy set in the world of male strippers, will have its world premiere as the closing night program of the Los Angeles Film Festival next month.

The film, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, opens theatrically on June 29.

The festival, June 14-24 at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas downtown as well as at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and REDCAT, announced its lineup Tuesday morning.

Film Independent, which presents the festival, previously had announced the opening night presentation (Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love") and its three galas ("Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Middle of Nowhere" and "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World").

The fest, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, will screen more than 200 features, shorts and music videos. [For the record: An earlier version of this post mistakenly had the number of films as more than 300.]

Ten films are featured in the Narrative Competition category, including several world premieres:

"Breakfast With Curtis," from writer/director/producer Laura Colella

"Dead Man's Burden," from writer/director Jared Moshe

"Four" from writer/director Joshua Sanchez

"Pincus" from writer/director David Fenster

"Red Flag" from writer/director/producer Alex Karpovsky

There are also several world premieres in the Documentary Competition category, including "Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives," "The Iran Job:,"  "A Band Called Death,"  "25 to Life,"  "Sun Kissed" and "Vampira and Me."

Among the15 films in the International Showcase are France's "The First Man," based on Albert Camus' autobiography; Argentina's "The Last Elvis," Switzerland's "Sister," which won the Silver Bear in Berlin, and "Summer Games"; and France's "Unforgivable," from veteran director Andre Techine.

The Summer Showcase programming includes the documentary "About Face," featuring fashion models from the last 60 years; "Celeste and Jesse Forever," with Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg; the documentary  "Neil Young Journeys," directed by Jonathan Demme; and "Robot and Frank," directed by Jake Schreier and starring Frank Langella.

Classic films will also be screened at the festival, including 30th anniversary presentations of Steven Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

There's also a "'Dirty Dancing Dance-A-Long," the world premiere of "Ballads, Blues and Bluegrass," a 1961 impromptu concert film that had not been released until now and the newly restored 1950 classic drama "The Breaking Point," with John Garfield and Patricia Neal, based on Ernest Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not."

Rounding out the festival are shorts programs, a future filmmakers showcase and music videos.

For a complete list, go to http://www.lafilmfest.com


"'To Rome With Love" to open the L.A. Film Festival

— Susan King

Photo: Alex Pettyfer, left, Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum star in "Magic Mike." Credit: Glen Wilson/Warner Bros.



Around Town: Legendary films and Herb Ritts photos

April 26, 2012 |  6:00 am

In conjunction with its current photography exhibition, "Herb Ritts: L.A. Style," the Getty presents a new film series, "What Becomes a Legend," which opens Saturday afternoon with the famed 1921 romance "The Sheik," starring silent screen heartthrob Rudolph Valentino in one of his seminal roles.

Another iconic figure from the silent era, Louise Brooks, headlines the evening's feature, G.W. Pabst's 1929 classic, "Pandora's Box," in which Brooks plays the sexual gadfly Lulu.

Sunday afternoon's offering is 1930's romantic melodrama "Morocco," Josef von Sternberg's first film in the U.S. with his muse, Marlene Dietrich. She received her first and only best actress Oscar nomination for the film, which also stars Gary Cooper.

The evening screening is the 1946 film noir "Gilda," starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. The series continues May 5-6.  http://www.gettyedu.

The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre celebrates "Midnight in Paris: A Tribute to Jacques Prevert and Marcel Carne." Screenwriter Prevert and director Carne introduced "poetic realism" to French cinema in the 1930s. The three-film festival opens Friday with the 1960 short film "Paris la belle," co-written by Prevert and directed by his brother Pierre, and one of Prevert and Carne's memorable collaborations, 1938's "Le Jour Se Leve," starring Jean Gabin as a foundry employee who ends up committing murder.

Saturday evening the Aero presents the L.A. premiere of the newly restored 1945 "Children of Paradise," which is Prevert and Carne's best-known work. "Paradise" is a three-hour plus epic set in 19th century France about a theater troupe. Jean-Louis Barrault stars as an ill-fated mime named Baptiste. http://www.americancinematheque.com

The New Beverly Cinema celebrates the comedic genius of Peter Sellers on Sunday and Monday with two comedies he made in 1968: Blake Edwards' "The Party" and "I Love You, Alice B. Toklas," which was written by Paul Mazursky & Larry Tucker.


It's animation domination this weekend at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Film Independent at LACMA at the Leo S. Bing Theater continues its "100 Years of Paramount Pictures" retrospective with a look at the studio's animation division. First up is the Oscar-nominated 1999 comedy "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," followed by several shorts, from the Fleischer Studios' "Betty Boop" cartoons to George Pal's Puppetoons.

In conjunction with LACMA's "California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way" exhibition, LACMA and the Center for Visual Music present two avant-garde programs Friday evening: "Optical Poetry: An Oskar Fischinger Retrospective" and "Color and Form: Modernist Animation in California." http://www.lacma.org

The Alex Film Society's latest presentation, Alfred Hitchcock's birds-run-amok 1963 thriller "The Birds," screens Saturday afternoon and evening at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The film's star, Tippi Hedren, will be on hand for the evening presentation. http://www.alexfilmsociety.org 

UCLA's Film & Television Archive's Wednesday programming at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown L.A. features two early Brian DePalma films -- 1973's "Sisters," a thriller starring Margot Kidder as Siamese twins separated at birth, and "Phantom of Paradise," his 1974 rock twist on "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Paul Williams.  http://www.cinema.ucla.edu



"Noir City: Hollywood, 14th Annual Festival of Film Noir," American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. http://www.americancinematheque.com

"UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema," Billy Wilder Theater. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

-- Susan King


 "Classic Hollywood: Getty Research Institute honors Fred Zinnemann"

Photo: Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper star in "Morocco," screening Sunday at the Getty. Credit: File photo


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

April 24, 2012 | 12:34 pm

Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre will host two international film festivals.

"Look East: Korean Film Festival" will be June 23-24 at Grauman's. The festival will feature new and classic films from Korea including features directed by Kwon Taek Im, Jee-woon Kim and Chang-dong Lee.  And for the first time in the legendary Hollywood movie palace's history, Korean performers, including actor Byung-hun Lee, will have their handprints and footprints added to the theater's courtyard.

A schedule of the films and events will be released in the coming weeks.

For more information, go to http://www.LookEastFestival.com

The Czech Filmfest 2012 will take place May 16-24 at the Cinefamily's Silent Movie Theatre. The inaugural festival opens with the 2010 thriller "Walking Too Fast"  from director Radim Spacek, who will participate in a Q&A session.

Other films include 2012's "Four Suns," from director Bohdan Slama, and the 2011 animated  "Alois Nebel."

The closing night presentation moves to the Italian Cultural Institute, where "Rhythm on My Heels," a 2009 musical set in 1950s Czechoslovakia, will be shown. For more information, go to http://www.cinefamily.org/films/czech-film-fest-2012.


"No Surrender"

"Czech Film Fest Reflections Surroundings"

—Susan King

[For the record: A photo on an earlier version of this post was not of Byung-hun Lee.]

Photo: Byung-hun Lee will participate in a footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre during the Look East: Korean Film Festival in June. Credit: Look East: Korean Film Festival.

Beverly Hills International Film Festival opens with 'Black Tulip'

April 23, 2012 |  2:17 pm

The 12th edition of the Beverly Hills International Film Festival begins Wednesday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater with the U.S. premiere of “The Black Tulip,” a drama from Afghanistan that was the country’s official Oscar submission in the foreign-language film category in 2010. The film, directed by Sonia Nassery Cole, is set in 2001 and revolves around a family that decides to open a restaurant for artists and poets to express themselves after the Taliban is vanquished.

Another 49 feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated movies in the five-day festival will screen at the Real D Theater (formerly the Clarity Theatre) in Beverly Hills. 

According to its founder, Nino Simone, the festival is all about the “love, the passion” for movies.

“We have a knack for discovering some really unique pieces and showcasing them,” said Simone. “Instead of being a mega festival where there are 250,000 attendees and the filmmakers get lost in the shuffle, we decided to focus on a limited amount of films.... We decided to keep it nice and compact and focus on high-end pieces that could move people.”

Other highlights of the festival include the world premieres of the psychological thriller “Sofia,” with Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland; the documentary “Beyond 360,” about sailing champion Dee Caffari’s circumnavigation of the globe; and “Uprising: Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots,” executive produced by Snoop Dogg. The last will air on VH1 on May 1.

The festival concludes Sunday at the Four Seasons with a gala and awards show. Anne Archer (“Fatal Attraction”) is set to receive the fifth annual Legends Award. USC professor Mardik Martin, who wrote the screenplay for “Raging Bull,” will receive the 2012 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award, presented annually to underrated artists. 

For more information go to beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com


Steve Carrell's 'Seeking a Friend' to premiere at L.A. Film Fest

Port Theater in Corona del Mar to star at Newport film festival

Beijing Film Festival attracts Hollywood movers and shakers

— Susan King


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: