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January 21, 2019

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

Click here for Marquee's complete calendar of screenings and events.

DRESSED TO KILL (1980) / TENEBRAE (1982)

dir. Brian De Palma / Dario Argento

January 26, 7:30 PM

Dressed to Kill

Egyptian Theatre (MAP)

This week the Egyptian presents three double features exploring the ways in which Brian De Palma and Dario Argento processed and expanded the influence of Alfred Hitchcock, even as they played off one another. The Suspiria/Carrie and Blow Out/Inferno lineups are great, but this pairing is the best — and most problematic — part of the program.

Dressed to Kill, De Palma’s first giallo, and Tenebrae, Argento’s return to the genre he helped define, were dismissed and even hated upon release. These visually dazzling movies are deliberately button-pushing when it comes to sex and violence; they’re smirking dismissals of the performative Reaganite morals of the early ‘80s. But De Palma and Argento both whiff a few big swings as they try to smash stuff; Dressed to Kill’s big reveal was groaningly regressive even in 1980. Despite the frequent posturing, both films stand as acknowledgements of criticisms aimed at each director — and sometimes, primarily in Argento’s more introspective movie, even an acceptance of shots fired. Dressed to Kill star Nancy Allen will appear for a conversation between films.

35mm |  INFO | TICKETS

THIEVES LIKE US (1974) / OLD BOYFRIENDS (1979)  

dir. Robert Altman / Joan Tewkesbury

January 25, 7:30 PM

Thieves Like Us

Billy Wilder Theater (MAP)

UCLA’s Liberating Hollywood program (told you we’d circle back to it!) opens with this abbreviated history of Joan Tewkesbury, a dancer and theater director who became a screenwriter and film director. “Abbreviated” in part because it omits her best-known work — Nashville, directed by Robert Altman and based on Tewkesbury’s script — to focus on films that came before and after that early highlight. 

Tewkesbury’s association with Altman goes back to 1970. With Altman as her mentor, she observed the editing of Brewster McCloud and worked as the script supervisor on McCabe & Mrs. Miller before adapting Edward Anderson’s novel Thieves Like Us for the filmmaker. Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray had previously filmed the book (as They Live by Night) but the Tewkesbury and Altman version is a totally different beast: a pitch-perfect period recreation and languid, emotionally open gangster movie. Altman had already chosen actors like Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall, so Tewkesbury had the benefit of writing for specific voices. 

Old Boyfriends, a different sort of road movie, is Tewksbury’s transition into directing, and gave Talia Shire her first real leading role. Shire’s character tries to stave off an impending breakdown by reconnecting with three old flames, played by Richard Jordon, John Belushi and Keith Carradine.

35mm |  INFO | TICKETS

AND MORE

 

LA RELIGIEUSE (1966)

dir. Jacques Rivette

Now Playing at Laemmle Royal
January 23, 7:00 PM - Laemmle Glendale, Playhouse, Claremont, Town Center

Preservation efforts have made the adventurous and literary films of Jacques Rivette more accessible of late, and this restoration of his second movie is a welcome counterpoint to his better-known narrative challenges such as Celine and Julie Go Boating and the 13-hour Out 1. Anna Karina stars as a novice nun who is coerced into taking her vows — then suffers under the control of several Mothers Superior. Karina’s performance and Rivette’s film seethe with anger at the cruelty and command of unassailable power structures.

DCP | INFO + TICKETS


SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA (1928)

dir. Franz Osten

January 22, 7:30 PM - Laemmle Theaters

The silent film Shiraz, restored by the British Film Institute with a score by Anoushka Shankar, goes all-out to reimagine the history of Mumtaz Mahal, the 17th-century Mughal empress for whom the emperor Shah Jahan built an elaborate mausoleum: The Taj Mahal. Produced by and starring Himansu Rai, who was at the forefront of Indian film development, Shiraz features amazing access to locations and resources, many of which were reportedly contributed by the wealthy landowners whose palaces became settings for the film.

DCP | INFO

 

RASHOMON (1950)

dir. Akira Kurosawa

January 26, 11:00 AM - Vista Theatre (MAP)

In 1945, Akira Kurosawa said Japanese films had “lost their youth, vigor and high aspiration,” as much a dismissal of nationalist, right-leaning Japan as it was specifically a film critique. And Kurosawa could back up his talk. Rashomon, in which multiple perspectives offer conflicting accounts of a rape and murder, rejects the staid and conservative in all respects. From the opening shots, which reveal Kyoto’s grand but ruined Rashomon Gate as a symbol of Japan’s cultural foundation, to the confident storytelling, this movie is immediate and daring — and ultimately unsettling as it explores how truth bends to ego and desire. 

35mm | INFO + TICKETS

 

Kinoslang: Hand to Mouth

January 26, 8:00 PM - Echo Park Film Center (MAP)

Why — WHY — would a retail chain ask Jean-Luc Godard to make a commercial? In 1987, when the French electronics retailer Darty expressed a nearly Olympic level of corporate self-assurance by hiring Godard, there was every reason to understand that the filmmaker, working with partner Anne-Marie Miéville, would submit footage emphasizing the moral and philosophical relationship between consumer and consumerism. As an ad it was a bomb: Darty buried the result. See the film (The Darty Report) here, along with four other shorts about “hunger, work, exploitation, commodities, unemployment, consumer control, employment, production, theft, life, death, and love.”

Digital | INFO

 

ELLA CINDERS (1926)

dir. Alfred E. Green

January 27, 2:30 PM - San Gabriel Mission Playhouse (MAP)

The comic strip Ella Cinders was derived from Cinderella long before Walt Disney got to the story. This silent film version is led by bob-haired flapper superstar Colleen Moore as the put-down Ella. Plot-wise it’s pretty routine stuff, but almost a hundred years later Moore is still one hell of a screen presence, with a luminous charisma that carries the picture.

Format N/A | INFO | TICKETS

 

CLASH OF THE WOLVES (1925)

dir. Noel M. Smith

January 26, 2:00 PM - Autry Museum of the American West (MAP)

Born on a French battlefield during World War I, Rin Tin Tin was adopted by a U.S. gunnery corporal, Lee Duncan, who brought the dog home to California after the Armistice. Duncan believed the German Shepherd could do more than perform — he thought he could act. Clash of the Wolves, one of the six surviving silent films featuring the canine star (out of 23 originally produced) argues that point pretty successfully. “Rinty” climbs trees, outruns horses, has a stand-off with a rival leader, and generally creates the illusion of thought and planning at least as well as his human co-stars.

35mm | INFO | TICKETS

More Marquee L.A. newsletters:

January 14
January 7
December 31

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