FEELINGS ARE FACTS filmmaker Jack Walsh will participate in Q&A’s after both screenings at the Fine Arts February 13 and 14.
A real life 19th century American western adventure story, CARVALHO’S JOURNEY tells the extraordinary story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, and his life as a groundbreaking photographer, artist and pioneer in American history. We’re screening it this Monday, January 30 at 7:30 PM and Tuesday, January 31 at 1 PM at the Claremont 5, Playhouse 7, Fine Arts, Town Center 5 and Monica Film Center as part of our ongoing Culture Vulture series.
Daguerreotypist Robert Shlaer is featured in CARVALHO’S JOURNEY as an interviewee and also on location, re-creating daguerreotypes along the route Carvalho traveled in 1853. He will participate in Q&A’s after the Pasadena screening on Monday night and the Beverly Hills screening on Tuesday afternoon. Filmmaker Steve Rivo will participate in Q&A’s after the Beverly Hills screening on Monday night and after the Encino screening on Tuesday afternoon.
“Today, Rivo makes his own movies. He’s founder and owner of Down Low Pictures, an independent documentary production company based in Brooklyn. When he was offered a project about the painter and daguerreotypist Solomon Carvalho, a Sephardic Jew from Charleston, South Carolina, who accompanied legendary explorer John Fremont on his 1853 Fifth Western Expedition, the story’s resemblance to “The Frisco Kid” helped win him over.
“He talked about the resulting documentary, CARVALHO’S JOURNEY, on the phone from his studio in New York.”
Q. Did repeated viewings of “The Frisco Kid” give you an insight into Carvalho’s story?
A. That was kind of my only frame of reference. The comedic situations involved in having a rube on the trail, and not just any rube, but a classically Jewish character who has Jewish anxieties. Those elements of the Carvalho story were fun to play with. He was an observant Jew, so he couldn’t eat certain foods even when they were starving. And he wasn’t good at a lot of outdoorsy stuff like the rest of the party. He was a 38-year-old city slicker artistic type.
Q. The hardships of his trip were not so funny, though. More like “The Revenant.”
A. It is always surprising how physically difficult, challenging, and a little bit crazy it would be to get in a wagon and try to cross the country in the middle of winter. It’s inconceivable to us today. We get on an airplane and complain.
Q. What do you think viewers will take away from this film other than a new appreciation for air travel?
A. There are a lot of different things people have responded to — American Jewish history, Western expansion, the birth of photography, and a personal story of an artist. What attracted me was that it was a little bit of biography, but it was also kind of a travel story, and an adventure story through which you could talk about other things, the experience of outsiders in American culture. It’s a film about someone we didn’t know anything about.
Q. I understand you just finished a 10-part series for the True TV network on Hollywood comedies. Did you get to include “The Frisco Kid?”
A. I jokingly raised the possibility, but so few people have seen that movie. It’s the Solomon Carvalho of Jewish Western comedies.
Dear opera, ballet, fine art and live theater buffs, we have completed the schedule for our weekly Culture Vulture series, January, February and March 2017 and we have got some wonderful things to show you. As you may or may not know, we screen these every Monday night at 7:30 and Tuesday afternoon at 1 at the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, the Town Center 5 in Encino, the Claremont 5 in Claremont, the Ahyra Fine Arts and the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica. The full schedule is below and at https://www.laemmle.com/culturevulture.
January 9 & 10: THE GOLDEN AGE from the Bolshoi Ballet
A satire of Europe during the Roaring 20s, THE GOLDEN AGE makes for an original, colorful, and dazzling show with its jazzy score and music-hall atmosphere. This ballet that can only be seen at the Bolshoi has everything to it: mad rhythms, vigorous chase scenes, and decadent cabaret numbers. With its passionate love story featuring beautiful duets between Boris and Rita, the Bolshoi dancers plunge into every stylized step and gesture magnificently.
January 16 & 17: NO MAN’S LAND from the National Theatre
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart star Sean Mathias’ acclaimed production of NO MAN’S LAND, one of the most brilliantly entertaining plays by Harold Pinter. One evening, two aging writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst’s stately house nearby. As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories more unbelievable, the conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the intrusion of two sinister younger men.
January 23 & 24: THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMOUS BOSCH from the Noordbrabants Museum
Who was Hieronymus Bosch? Why do his strange and fantastical paintings resonate with art lovers now more than ever? THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMOUS BOSCH features the critically acclaimed exhibition ‘Visions of a Genius’ at the Noordbrabants Museum in the southern Netherlands, which brought the majority of Bosch’s paintings and drawings together for the first time to his home town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and attracted almost half a million art lovers from all over the world.
January 30 & 31: CARVALHO’S JOURNEY
A real life 19th century American western adventure story, CARVALHO’S JOURNEY tells the extraordinary story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, and his life as a groundbreaking photographer, artist and pioneer in American history.
February 6 & 7: SAMSON ET DALILA from l’Opéra de Paris.
Based on the biblical story, Saint-Saëns’s 1877 opera would not be performed at the Palais Garnier until fifteen years later. This first Parisian performance in 1892 included the hitherto unperformed “Dance Of The Priestesses.” Nevertheless, it became one of the most performed French operas in the world, together with Faust and Carmen. Conducted by Philippe Jordan, this new production brings back a repertoire masterpiece that has not been performed at the Paris Opera for twenty-five years.
February 13 & 14: FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER
Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer chronicles the defiant, uncompromising, and highly influential ideas of postmodern choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. Over the course of her career, she revolutionized modern dance, generated what later became known as performance art, and changed the basic tenets of experimental filmmaking – all during a time when women were largely ignored in the art world.
February 20 & 21: AMADEUS from the National Theatre
Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, captured live at the National Theatre, and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.
February 27 & 28: I, CLAUDE MONET
From award-winning director Phil Grabsky comes this fresh new look at arguably the world’s favorite artist – through his own words. Using letters and other private writings I, CLAUDE MONET reveals new insight into the man who not only painted the picture that gave birth to impressionism but who was perhaps the most influential and successful painter of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
March 6 & 7: UN BALLO IN MASCHERA from the Bayerische Staatsoper
The Bavarian State Opera’s former music director Zubin Mehta returned to the fabled house, where his image in bronze adorns one of the foyers, to celebrate his 80th birthday by conducting Verdi’s middle-period masterpiece for the first time in a staged production. His remarkable cast includes soprano Anja Harteros singing Amelia for the first time and “filling every note with Verdian intensity;” tenor Piotr Beczala as a “visually and vocally dashing Riccardo;” and George Petean as an “exemplary” Renato (Neue Musikzeitung).
March 13 & 14: WOOLF WORKS from the Royal Opera House Ballet
The first revival of Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet triptych to music by Max Richter, inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf and starring Alessandra Ferri and Mara Galeazzi.
March 20 & 21: SAINT JOAN from the National Theatre
Joan: daughter, farm girl, visionary, patriot, king-whisperer, soldier, leader, victor, icon, radical, witch, heretic, saint, martyr, woman. From the torment of the Hundred Years’ War, the charismatic Joan of Arc carved a victory that defined France. Bernard Shaw’s classic play depicts a woman with all the instinct, zeal and transforming power of a revolutionary. Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying masterpiece.
March 27 & 28: THE ARTIST’S GARDEN: AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM from the Florence Griswold Museum
American impressionism took its lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet but followed its own path that over a thirty-year period reveals as much about America as a nation as it does about a much-loved artistic movement. The story of American impressionism is closely tied to a love of gardens and a desire to preserve nature in a rapidly urbanizing nation. Traveling to studios, gardens and treasured locations throughout the Eastern United States, UK and France, this mesmerizing film is a feast for the eyes.
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborne’s modern classic THE ENTERTAINER conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford directs Kenneth Branagh as Archie Rice in the final production of the Plays at the Garrick season.
“Branagh rises to the occasion with a performance that is never less than thoroughly arresting. [Four out of five stars.]” (Paul Taylor, Independent)
Prepare for a wealth of high art this April, May and June because we’ll be projecting some excellent stuff on screens at our Claremont, Beverly Hills, Encino, Pasadena and now Santa Monica locations as part of our ongoing Culture Vulture series.
We begin April with a new production The Damnation of Faust, Berlioz’s légende dramatique. Director Alvis Hermanis grapples with the complexity of bringing Faust to modern audiences, asking us to identify the Faust of our times. Seeing a modern equivalent to Faust’s intellectual rigor in the fascinating mind of Stephen Hawking, Hermanis sets Berlioz’s work on the futuristic eve of mankind’s first settlement on Mars.
Next we’ll have the Bolshoi Ballet’s The Taming of the Shrew. Many suitors dream of marrying the lovely, docile Bianca, but her father will not let anyone marry her before her elder sister, the ill-tempered shrew Katharina, is herself married. French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot lands a coup with his adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy tailored specifically to the Bolshoi dancers, and achieves a magnetic two hours of breathtaking, nonstop dance unlike any other, portraying the Bolshoi’s audacity and energy in a completely new way.
Subsequent to that: Oscar Wilde’s much-loved masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the most enduring plays in British theatre. Performed shortly before Wilde fell foul of society’s unbending condemnation, this farcical comedy fizzes with wit as Wilde delights in debunking social pretensions and piercing the hypocrisy and pomposity of the Victorian Era. Recorded live from the Vaudeville Theatre on 8 October 2015.
After that we will screen Florence and the Uffizi Gallery, a multi-dimensional journey through the city that was the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. Get an exclusive tour through the most beautiful and representative works of art of the period from Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, to Leonardo and Botticelli, with a detailed central chapter dedicated to the treasure house containing their masterpieces: the Uffizi Gallery.
We’ll start May with Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov. Following the death of the Tsarevich Dmitry, Boris Godunov is persuaded to become Tsar of Russia. Boris, however, seems plagued by guilt. A greedy aristocrat and a restless young monk each plot to turn Boris’s fears to their advantage. Musorgsky based Boris on the play of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, published in 1831 but the censorial ban on which was only lifted in 1866. Pushkin’s play was loosely inspired by the true story of Boris Godunov, Tsar of Russia from 1598 to 1605.
Then we are excited to host screenings of a dance/sculpture/music hybrid, Journey in Sensuality: Anna Halprin & Rodin. Auguste Rodin said, “the world will only be happy when all people have the souls of artists.” After the international success of Breath Made Visible, Journey in Sensuality brings new insight into Halprin’s influential artistic work. Auguste Rodin’s sculptures and Halprin’s creative process come together with the music of composer Fred Frith in this poetic film of dances in nature.
Based on the calls and email we’ve been getting, our most hotly anticipated Culture Vulture screening is Les Liaison Dangereuses. Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France follows former lovers the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont, who now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cecile de Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.
After that we’ll have Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood. Heir to Velázquez, hero to Picasso, not only a brilliant observer of everyday life and Spain’s troubled past, Francisco Goya was a gifted portrait painter and social commentator par excellence. Discover Spain’s celebrated artist based on the National Gallery’s must-see exhibition Goya: The Portraits, originally captured as part of the acclaimed Exhibition on Screen series.
At the end of May we’ll screen Concerto: A Beethoven Journey. Filmmaker Phil Grabsky is renowned for bringing some of the world’s most important art exhibitions to cinemas. Also famous for his In Search of… classical music documentaries, he has now returned his lens to the world of classical music with Concerto: A Beethoven Journey. Filmed over four years, Grabsky followed leading concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’s attempt to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written: Beethoven’s five piano concertos.
As we do at the beginning of each month, we’ll start June with an opera, in this Turandot. No man shall ever possess her – the Chinese princess Turandot sets three riddles for every man that comes to woo her. So far none have been able to solve the riddles, and have paid with their heads. Then an unknown prince achieves the impossible: he correctly answers all three questions. But Turandot is still unwilling to surrender to him. So the Prince is ready to lay down his life if she can find out his name by morning. Throughout the night, no one may sleep: everyone must try to discover his name…
We follow opera with dance: A sensational new dance event from the acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne and his Dance Company New Adventures, The Car Man is loosely based on Bizet’s popular opera (CARMEN) and has one of the most thrilling and instantly recognizable scores in classical music, brilliantly arranged by Terry Davies. The familiar 19th century Spanish cigarette factory becomes a greasy garage-diner in 1960’s America where the dreams and passions of a small-town are shattered by the arrival of a handsome stranger.
The summer solstice finds us in London’s West End for Hangmen. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey, The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what’s the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they’ve abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman, Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn, Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit.
We’ll end the first half of 2016 with one of the great masters: Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius in Milan. Based on “Leonardo 1452- 1519,” one of the most decisive exhibitions ever to be held on Leonardo and the result of six years work by leading experts, Pietro Marani and M. Teresa Fiorio, divided into 12 sections, retracing with scientific rigor the multiple paths traveled by the mind of the genius: the foundation of drawing, the role of nature and science, comparison between the arts, reflection on the ancients, the utopian projects, anatomy and mechanics, the unity of knowledge, images of the divine, and more.
Last month the thought of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch, one of the most exciting British actors of his generation, starring in the new West End production of Hamlet, crowded our theaters with people eager to see him take on the ultimate role in English-language drama. Thus, some encore screenings are in order. We’ll screen it again at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, January 27 at our Fine Arts, Claremont, Playhouse and Town Center venues. Click here to purchase tickets.
Writing in the New York Times, theater critic Ben Brantley wrote of Cumberbatch, “For the monologues…he is superb, meticulously tracing lines of thought into revelations that stun, elate, exasperate and sadden him. There’s not a single soliloquy that doesn’t shed fresh insight into how Hamlet thinks.”
Equally exciting news for fans of the Bard: on February 3rd at those same theaters we’ll have Janus Films’ beautifully restored version of Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight. The crowning achievement of his later film career, Chimes has been unavailable for decades. This brilliantly crafted Shakespeare adaptation was the culmination of Welles’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff, the loyal, often soused childhood friend to King Henry IV’s wayward son Prince Hal. Appearing in several plays as a comic supporting figure, Falstaff is here the main event: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero played by Welles with towering, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created an unorthodox Shakespeare film that is also a gritty period piece, which he called “a lament . . . for the death of Merrie England.” Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence as impressive as anything Welles ever directed—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its center.
Dean of film criticism Pauline Kael wrote of the film, “[Welles] has directed a sequence, the Battle of Shrewsbury, which is unlike anything he has ever done, indeed unlike any battle ever done on the screen before. It ranks with the best of Griffith, John Ford, Eisenstein, Kurosawa—that is, with the best ever done.” And Welles was very proud of Chimes, saying, “If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up. I think it’s because it is, to me, the least flawed . . . I succeeded more completely, in my view, with that than with anything else.”
We’re excited to screen the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of THE WINTER’S TALE as part of our Culture Vulture series January 18th and 19th at select Laemmle locations. To celebrate we’re giving away a poster signed by Kenneth Branagh himself!
THE WINTER’S TALE screens Monday, January 18th at 7:30PM and on Tuesday, January 20th at 1PM at the Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills, The Town Center 5 in Encino, the Claremont 5 in Claremont, and the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. Click here for tickets.
Enter to win the signed poster using the form below (no purchase necessary). The more tasks you complete, the more chances you have to win.
Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption is re-imagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh. The Winter’s Tale stars a remarkable group of actors, featuring Judi Dench as Paulina, alongside Tom Bateman (Florizel), Jessie Buckley (Perdita), Hadley Fraser (Polixenes), Miranda Raison (Hermione) and Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.
Have you partaken in one of our weekly screenings of opera, ballet, theater and fine art exhibitions or would you like to know more? For a taste, check out this new trailer we’ll be running on all Laemmle screens starting Friday:
You can enjoy one of these screenings every Monday evening at 7:30 and every Tuesday afternoon in far-flung corners of Los Angeles County: from the Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills, the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, the Town Center 5 in Encino, to the Claremont 5 in, uh, Claremont and early next year we’ll likely add the long-awaited, hotly-anticipated Monica Film Center to that list. We’ll announce the early 2016 program soon but for now here’s where you can always find our Culture Vulture slate and what we’ve got coming up as 2015 draws to a close: www.laemmle.com/culturevulture. (Hot tip: those December 21 and 22 screenings of HAMLET star one of the most exciting actors of his generation, Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch. Get your tickets while they last.)