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November 5, 2018

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

IN FABRIC (2018)

dir. Peter Strickland

November 11, 11:59 PM

In Fabric

TCL Chinese 6 (MAP)

This one is a trip — a blackly comic, dramatically dizzy attack on the idea of building identity through consumerism. It’s also literally a movie about a killer dress. Director Peter Strickland already has a great track record for using ‘70s genre aesthetics to do more than simply imitate; see previous films Berberian Sound Studio (2012) and the brilliant The Duke of Burgundy (2014) for evidence. In Fabric is giallo-tinged, and also a bit like an Amicus Productions anthology in its use of the dress to link the stories of several characters in their own semi-isolated stories.

The great Marianne Jean-Baptiste dominates with a performance that consistently resides in the “real” even when Strickland throws total insanity at the screen. There are automaton-like retail workers, freakily sexual black magic rituals, and a couple of bank managers who seem to get off on the most mundane conversations. But In Fabric is no cheeky romp: it is consistently impressive and challenging. A24 will release the movie some time next year, but AFI Fest has helpfully programmed two shows for right now. (See info link below for date and time of the encore.) 


THE WORLD (2004) / STILL LIFE (2006)

dir. Jia Zhangke

November 7, 5:30 PM

The World

Billy Wilder Theater (MAP)

Jia Zhangke, who critic Manohla Dargis aptly called “a modern master of postmodern discontent,” gets the full retrospective treatment as part of the 4th China Onscreen Biennial. He’s a leading voice in China’s “Sixth Wave” of filmmakers — those who produced films, often underground and typically critical of China’s race towards capitalism, in the wake of increased state censorship beginning in the 1990s. The World is set in a real Beijing theme park which recreates Western monuments, and follows the backstage lives of the park’s workers, who change costumes to replicate citizens of far-flung parts of the world they’ll never visit. Still Life reunites Jia with actress Zhao Tao, who appeared in earlier films from the director,  and observes the lives of residents of a small town on the Yangtze River which is about to be destroyed by rising waters held by the Three Gorges Dam.

The director’s latest film, Ash Is Purest White, also shows at the Wilder on November 10. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be a standby line. (If it’s anything like the standby line for the recent screening of Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, show up early for the best chance to score a seat.)

35mm |  INFO | Free

THE RIDER (2017)

dir. Chloé Zhao

November 10, 7:30 PM

The Rider

Laemmle Music Hall (MAP)

An encore of Chloé Zhao’s latest film on the big screen! Zhao follows her sublime feature debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, with this portrait of a rodeo rider, Brady, whose lifestyle and livelihood are derailed by injury. Adrift without his connection to horses, Brady tries to peer through a fog of fear to find his new life. Both of Zhao’s features were shot on the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota; together, they offer a unique view of a community too often hidden from mainstream American view. As with her first movie, Zhao populates her film with non-actors, primary among whom is the star, Brady Jandreau, a real horse wrangler. The Rider plays as part of the 23rd RNCI Red Nation International Film Festival, which celebrates and promotes filmmakers and stories from across the spectrum of Native American cultures. This fest, which runs November 5-16, has a lot of great programming; check our calendar page for many more films. 




EL ANGEL (2018)

dir. Luis Ortega

November 6, 7:00 PM - USC Ray Stark Family Theatre (MAP)

An aesthetically gorgeous based-on-a-true-life portrait of a teen criminal and killer whose rebelliousness and hormonal amorality curdled into theft and violence in 1970s Buenos Aires. If you miss this one, El Angel opens at the Nuart on November 9




dir. Howard Hughes, James Whale, Edmund Goulding

November 6, 1:00 PM - Bing Theater @ LACMA (MAP)

Once again we trumpet the great programming at LACMA’s Tuesday Matinee series. November is all Jean Harlow pictures. The pre-code aerial war movie Hell’s Angels opens the run, which is fitting: it also opened Harlow’s career. Producer/director Howard Hughes hired her to replace the film’s original lead when he revamped the project as a talkie part way through a very long production timeline. Frankenstein and The Invisible Man director James Whale also got his first American studio shot on this film, directing sound dialogue scenes.




dir. Carlos Vilardebo

November 8, 8:00 PM - Bob Baker Marionette Theater (MAP)

Benefit for the Bob Baker Marionette Theater! In the 1920s, Alexander Calder built a miniature circus featuring exquisitely engineered little performers made of wire, which replicated all the facets of a full-size circus. This presentation of Carlos Vilardebo’s short doc about Calder’s work, now housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be paired with the Bob Baker’s own circus marionette performance.

Format N/A | INFO



dir. Nietzchka Keene

November 10, 4:00 PM - Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

A decade before Dancer in the Dark, and even before launching her mono-monikered solo career, Björk Guðmundsdóttir starred in this minor-key supernatural drama from American writer/producer/director Nietzchka Keene. With witchcraft and a Bergman-like austerity, it’s basically a prototype A24 horror film. This restoration plays as part of the Cinema’s Legacy program at AFI Fest.



ROMA (2018)

dir. Alfonso Cuarón

November 10,7:00 PM - Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

We probably don’t have to tell you about Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and the upper-middle-class Mexico City family which employs her as a maid in 1971. Since it’s a Netflix movie, however, we do want to point out a few opportunities to see the black-and-white film in a real theater at one of two AFI Fest shows, or the screening at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater on November 26. (Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, from the Coen Brothers, is also at AFI and the James Bridges. Check our calendar page for details.)


More Marquee L.A. newsletters:

October 29
October 22
October 15

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

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