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December 17, 2018

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

COLD WAR (2018)

dir. Pawel Pawlikowski

Opens December 21

Cold War

Laemmle Royal (MAP)

If Doctor Zhivago is a sprawling forest then Cold War is a bonsai: The romantic epic pruned and cultivated to the point where every single shot is rich with thematic intent. Director and co-writer Pawel Pawlikowski delivers a master class in storytelling economy. Cold War spans more than a decade in Poland’s post-war years, through the rise and corruption of Communism, and constantly keeps its finger on the emotional pulse of two characters whose love (or obsession) for one another pulls them across borders, through ideologies and into incredible danger. The fact that it is all but a musical makes it even more impressive; this film understands not only the emotional power of music, but the ways in which song can create and disguise identity — and the ways that power can be co-opted.

DCP |  INFO + TICKETS

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

dir. Frank Capra

December 23, 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM

It's a Wonderful Life

Aero Theatre (MAP)

It's a Wonderful Life is the American Dream inflated into total fantasy: the idea that all our aspirations can be realized if they are pure, and that the difference between success and failure might be the presence of a single good-natured person. This film is concentrated sentimentality leavened with just enough pragmatism (and/or cynicism) that, at least once a year, we're willing to believe every shred of it. And why not? Jimmy Stewart’s revived banker George Bailey running joyously through the streets of his home town inspires a pure rush of emotion. While we’re noting the Aero’s presentations of the movie on December 23, it’s playing at quite a few places around town this week, in various formats. Check our Calendar page for more.

DCP |  INFO | TICKETS

AND MORE

 

BATMAN RETURNS (1992) / GREMLINS (1984)

dir. Tim Burton / Joe Dante

December 20, 7:30 PM - Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

Every couple years there’s a push to crown the latest unexpected Christmas classic. And so the tinsel-wrapped baton passes to Batman Returns. Tim Burton’s superhero sequel is kind of a miracle, an unreservedly bizarre big-budget spectacle that could only happen after a massive success like Burton's 1989 Batman. The sequel cemented Michelle Pfeiffer’s status as an icon and revamped the Penguin, often a goofy comic book villain, as a perverse, vulnerable, and even sympathetic figure.

35mm/DCP | INFO | TICKETS

 

GREMLINS 2 (1990)

dir. Joe Dante

December 22, 11:59 PM - Vista Theater (MAP)

What the hell, the holidays are a time of indulgence as well as reflection, so let’s go for the Gremlins two-fer. Gremlins 2 is one of the most ridiculous studio films ever made, the product of Joe Dante and friends running riot when Warner Bros. said — as Dante put it — “If you agree to do this we'll let you do whatever you want.” Reader, he did.

35mm | INFO + TICKETS

 

THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1982) / THE ORACLE (1985)

dir. Jeffrey Obrow / Roberta Findlay

December 23, 7:30 PM - Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

The key attraction in this Christmas horror double is Roberta Findlay’s The Oracle, which is perched right at the intersection of exploitation and outsider art. It's a low budget and very over-the-top possession story rooted firmly in New York, from an utterly pragmatic director who was far more interested in making a living than in creating horror. 

35mm | INFO | TICKETS

 

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971)

dir. Norman Jewison

December 24, 7:30 PM - All Laemmle Theaters

For a decade, Laemmle theaters have offered an “alternative Christmas eve,” with a sing-along presentation of the catchy and ultra-charismatic Fiddler on the Roof. Each theater has its own host for the show, to encourage the audience to belt out the songs. Note: The 7:30 show at Town Center is sold out, but a 4:30 PM has been added.

DCP | INFO + TICKETS

More Marquee L.A. newsletters:

December 10
December 3
November 26

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

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