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November 12, 2018

Marquee L.A. is a curated weekly newsletter highlighting exceptional films, screenings, and film events in the Greater Los Angeles area.

LEAVE NO TRACE (2018) / WINTER’S BONE (2010)

dir. Debra Granik

November 16, 7:30 PM

Leave No Trace

Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

Jennifer Lawrence’s rapid ascent to superstardom quickly became the axis around which the Winter’s Bone conversation turned, but this year’s Leave No Trace was a potent reminder that Debra Granik is a skilled director with a specific and valuable point of view. Leave No Trace pushes even further away from commercial templates than the low-budget Ozarks-set Winter’s Bone, which at least kind of resembled a thriller. The new film has no villain or violent conflict; Granik relies on sparse dialogue and rich performances from Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, as a veteran suffering from PTSD and his teen daughter. This double-feature highlights the filmmaker, her socially-realistic films, and — yes — her ability to highlight talent and potential that others have missed. Granik will take part in a conversation and Q&A between films, moderated by critic April Wolfe.

DCP |  INFO | TICKETS

WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994)

dir. Wes Craven

November 16, 11:59 PM

New Nightmare

Nuart Theatre (MAP)

Conventional wisdom says Wes Craven shocked horror back to life in the ‘90s with 1996’s Scream. That’s half-right. The writer-director was a key figure in the genre’s revitalization, but the new wave really began two years earlier with this self-reflexive meta-sequel in which Craven and his A Nightmare on Elm Street stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Robert Englund appear as versions of themselves, all haunted by the specter of villain Freddy Krueger. Craven & Co. wiped away the cartoonish, jocular tone adopted by the Elm Street sequels, while at the same time questioning the personal and creative effects of selling images of violence. The other Elm Street sequels can be fun, but this is the most essential film in the series aside from the original. The Nuart’s midnight show is a 35mm print, with actor Langenkamp and producers Marianne Maddalena and Jeffrey Fenner in attendance.

35mm |  INFO | TICKETS

WINGS OF DESIRE (1987)

dir. Wim Wenders

November 18, 7:30 PM

Wings of Desire

Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

4K restoration! Wings of Desire is the captivating centerpiece of Wim Wenders’ career. Unsurprisingly for the German director, it embraces cinema as a fundamental metaphor. Angels fly over Berlin, unseen except by children and specially-attuned people such as the actor Peter Falk (played by Peter Falk). Separated from humans and uninvolved in our affairs, the angels are effectively the audience to our lives. When Damiel (Bruno Ganz) falls in love with a circus performer, he begins to dream of shedding his angelic nature in order to experience mortal life. As photographed by Henri Alekan, who shot Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, the film’s Cold War-era Berlin is a stifled city in which gauzy black and white images occasionally flare into vibrant color as Damiel reaches towards a suppressed humanity.

DCP |  INFO | TICKETS

AND MORE

 

FUGUE (2018)

dir. Agnieszka Smoczyńska

November 14, 4:30 PM - TCL Chinese 6 (MAP)

Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s astonishingly weird debut The Lure (which we mentioned a couple weeks back) immediately marked her as a major new director. This second feature hinges on an amnesia plot in which Alicja, played by screenwriter Gabriela Muskała, walks out of the woods after two unexplained years away, and tries to re-assume her place in a very confused family. Fugue is much less *out there* than The Lure, but Smoczyńska’s refusal to fall back on the pyrotechnics of her debut makes her even more interesting.

DCP | INFO + TICKETS

 

LITTLE DARLINGS (1980)

dir. Ronald F. Maxwell

November 16, 7:30 PM - Billy Wilder Theater (MAP)

Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal play Angel and Ferris, tomboy and debutante, whose initial antagonism warms to friendship as they compete to be the first to lose their virginity at summer camp. The script by Kimi Peck and Dalene Young approaches early sexual experience frankly and tenderly, and McNichol’s performance helped establish her as a gay icon decades before she came out. Music licensing issues have long tripped up home video distribution for the movie, so screenings like this one are the best way to see it. Presented in conjunction with Outfest and curated by 2018 Outfest Achievement Award winner Angela Robinson.

35mm | INFO | TICKETS

 

SHOCKING DARK (1989) / ROBOWAR (1988)

dir. Bruno Mattei

November 16, 7:30 PM - Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian (MAP)

Italian exploitation cinema has a rich tradition of marketing movies as sequels to others, whether or not those ties actually exist. (The Demonsseries” is the best-known example.) These two pieces of sci-fi/action schlock were never properly released in the U.S. thanks to their explicit and very unauthorized attempt to cash in on bigger, better movies: Shocking Dark was marketed as a Terminator sequel (even though it mostly cribbed from Aliens) while Robowar is a flat-out remake/rip-off of Predator. We’re not going to tell you these movies are good, but they might be a lot of fun.

Format N/A | INFO | TICKETS

 

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES (1987)

dir. John Hughes

November 16, 11:59 PM - Vista Theatre (MAP)

The best movie John Hughes directed features the greatest acting of John Candy’s career. The helmer initially invites us to align with snooty ad exec Neal (Steve Martin), as he desperately tries to get home for Thanksgiving, only to flip the script as Candy’s boisterous, too-friendly traveling salesman Del is revealed to be a layered and tragically optimistic figure. A DCP also plays the Aero on November 21.

35mm | INFO + TICKETS

 

THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS (2017)

dir. Rob Curry and Tim Plester

November 18, 2:00 PM - Zebulon (MAP)

In 1979, the world fell apart for English folk singer Shirley Collins, whose recording career had begun in the ‘50s with American archivist Alan Lomax. She effectively retired, only to make a triumphant return to recording in 2016, at age 82. Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary never played on the big screen in Los Angeles, making this screening a local premiere of sorts. Bart Davenport, Miranda Lee Richards, and Christof Certik will perform.

Digital | INFO | Free

 

TOKYO GODFATHERS (2003)

dir. Satoshi Kon

November 20, 7:30 PM - Arclight Sherman Oaks (MAP)

In late anime master Satoshi Kon’s most approachable film, three homeless people find a newborn baby abandoned in garbage on Christmas Eve. The discovery spurs an attempt to find the infant’s parents — and through an almost impossible string of coincidences, the film’s lead trio reconnects with elements of their own lost families. Also plays the Arclight Hollywood on December 3 and Arclight Culver City on December 5. Meanwhile, Kon’s more challenging 1997 film, Perfect Blue, plays the Nuart on November 23 and 25.

DCP | INFO | TICKETS

More Marquee L.A. newsletters:

November 5
October 29
October 22

Click here for more upcoming screenings and events in L.A.

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