MR. GAGA director Tomer Heymann will participate in a Q&A after the 7:20 PM screening at the Monica Film Center on Saturday, February 11.
From Indiewire: “’I am not the father of neorealism on screen, you are,’ said director Roberto Rossellini to novelist, playwright and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol, one of the most prolific artists in the early years of cinema. Now, many will soon be able to watch one of Pagnol’s defining works in his career: the epic ‘Marseille Trilogy,’ a saga of love, labor and good food in 1930’s France, which will return to theaters in a brand-new 4K restoration this January 27 at the Royal in West L.A.
“The series follows young barkeep Marius (Pierre Fresnay) who is in love with the cockle monger Fanny (Orane Demazis), but cannot quell his wanderlust. Stretching out over years, their romance plays out amidst many provincial characters, like Marius’ father César (Raimu), who struggles to keep his family and community together, and Honoré Panisse (Fernand Charpin), the aged widower vying for Fanny’s hand.
“Though directed by three different filmmakers, the trilogy is written by Pagnol and thus governed by his distinctive voice and style. The first film “Marius,” directed by Alexander Korda, follows Marius and Fanny when they’re young and destined to marry, but Marius cannot get over his urge to voyage on the open sea. The second film “Fanny,” directed by Marc Allégret, follows Fanny’s grief after Marius’ sudden departure and her sudden pregnancy. The third film “César,” directed by Pagnol, takes place twenty years after “Fanny” and follows Fanny’s son Césariot (André Fouche) and his search for identity.
“The restored trilogy will premiere at the Film Forum in New York City on January 4 and at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angeles on January 27, courtesy of Janus Films.” ~ Vikram Murthi, Indiewire
MARIUS: Marius and Fanny, two young shopkeepers on the harbor front of Marseille, always seemed destined to marry, but Marius cannot overcome his urge to break free and voyage on the open sea. His father, César, is oblivious to the crisis, as is Honoré Panisse, the aged widower who is also vying for Fanny’s hand—until Fanny, knowing Marius’s happiness lies in the balance, changes their lives forever.
FANNY: Picking up moments after the end of Marius, this film follows Fanny’s grief after Marius’s departure—and her realization that she’s pregnant. Panisse continues courting her and embraces the baby’s impending arrival as a gift, so long as its paternity remains a secret. Fanny and Panisse wed, but after her baby’s birth, Marius returns unexpectedly and demands what he believes is still his.
CESAR: Twenty years have passed: Fanny’s son, Césariot, is in a military academy, and Panisse is on his deathbed, where the local priest demands that he tell his son about his biological father. Panisse refuses and dies; Fanny then divulges the secret, sending Césariot on a search for his own identity and for Marius, whose life has been fraught with calamity and poverty. Now free to follow her love, Fanny seeks out Marius as well, and with César’s help resolves their star-crossed destinies.
Writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Cronk, said, “Opening on Jan. 27 at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles is a new 4K digital restoration of “The Marseille Trilogy,” three classic French films from the dawn of the sound era scripted by renowned playwright Marcel Pagnol. Inspired by the growing popularity and possibilities of the moving image, Pagnol proposed a cinematic adaptation of his 1928 play, Marius, to Paramount Studios, who agreed to fund the project and enlist director Alexander Korda to helm the production. Released in 1931, Marius would prove an instant success, so much so that Pagnol’s and Korda’s neorealist-stoking depiction of the French coastal town and a pair of daydreaming shopkeepers would soon inspire two sequels, Fanny and César, made in relatively quick succession throughout the ’30s. Fanny, directed by Marc Allégret, follows Marius’ now-pregnant girlfriend as she copes with her lover’s absence and the advances of an older widower named Panisse, while César, directed by Pagnol himself, picks up 20 years later, following Fanny’s son as he investigates his past and attempts to learn the identity of his true father. Totaling nearly seven hours, “The Marseille Trilogy” unfolds with an uncommon level of intimacy and nuance, veering from comedy to melodrama in one of the era’s most expansive family sagas.”
In the New York Times, Ben Kenigsberg wrote of the Trilogy, “Often remade and revisited but never equaled, Pagnol’s Marseille trilogy — consisting of Marius and Fanny, Pagnol plays that were made into films by Alexander Korda in 1931 and Marc Allégret in 1932, and the straight-to-screen César, directed by Pagnol himself in 1936 — remains a classic of poetic French cinema. With cumulative emotional force, the three films, showing Jan. 4-12, tell the story of a gentle bar owner, César (the hulking, powerfully moving Raimu); his son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), who loves Fanny (Orane Demazis) but can’t resist the siren call of the world away from home; and the widower Panisse (Charpin), a sailmaker who wishes to marry Fanny.”
Michael Sragow of Film Comment gushed, “The ‘girl woos boy, girl loses boy’ plot at the center of Marius (1931), Fanny(1932), and César (1936), playwright-turned-filmmaker Marcel Pagnol’s seriocomic Marseille Trilogy, is the steam engine that drives a marvelous old-school carousel. What makes this tragicomic merry-go-round so intoxicating is not its speed or pace (slow and steady), but the beauty of its weather-streaked, hand-carved figures as they chug up and down and come full circle.”
NERUDA star Luis Gnecco will participate in a Q&A after the 7:10 PM screening at the Royal on Saturday, January 7. Caroline Miranda of the Los Angeles Times will moderate.
Ahrya Fine Arts
Cantor Phil Baron – of Valley Beth Shalom – BUY TIX
BONUS! – BARBARA ISENBERG will be on hand to sign copies of her book TRADITION!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical.
Cantor Paul Buch – of Temple Beth Israel – BUY TIX
Jump below to find out more about our hosts.
Will the matchmaker make you “the perfect match?” There’s only one way to find out … join us this year for our 9th Annual Fiddler on the Roof Christmas Eve Sing-a-Long … plus FIRST NIGHT OF CHANUKAH CELEBRATION!
The rare concurrence of Christmas Eve and the first night of Chanukah adds a new wrinkle to our tradition this year, enabling the community to come together in celebration of the Jewish holiday. “This year we can sing from the rooftops … and light the Chanukah Menorah!” comments Greg Laemmle.
To accommodate demand, the popular Fiddler program has been extended to six venues including the newly re-opened AHRYA FINE ARTS art deco movie palace in Beverly Hills.
In addition to exuberant movie and song, the evening will feature TRIVIA with PRIZES being awarded to Fiddler buffs with the quickest recall. Dressing in COSTUME is not required, but highly encouraged! Who knows, perhaps the best costume will garner a prize? That will be up to the emcee.
We’re excited announce several new hosts this year. These include Broadway performer Susan Edwards Martin, Klezmer musician Gustavo Bulgach, comedian and star of YidLife Crisis, Eli Batalion, and community leader Jason Moss. Returning are Cantor Paul Buch of Temple Beth Israel and Cantor Phil Baron of Valley Beth Shalom, the latter to be master of ceremonies at the Ahrya Fine Arts.
Jump down to get more info on each of our hosts.
Our own Greg Laemmle is enthusiastic as ever about the Fiddler experience, declaring that “Christmas Eve isn’t just Chinese food anymore!” Furthermore, “We welcome all those in the community who are looking for an alternative Christmas eve experience … and this year, a different first night of Chanukah to boot!”
He continues, “This is your once-a-year chance to be the star of the shtetl. Join voices with friends and neighbors and sing your heart out alongside Fiddler’s screen legends,” he continues. “And it’s okay if you haven’t memorized all the songs. We provide the lyrics.”
Song highlights include the iconic “TRADITION”, “IF I WERE A RICH MAN”, “TO LIFE”, “SUNRISE SUNSET”, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” and “ANATEVKA”, among many, many more.
Don’t miss the buggy! Those who wish to attend the program are advised to purchase tickets in advance as the program has traditionally sold to capacity.
Fiddler Hosts – 2016
Cantor PHIL BARON at the Ahrya Fine Arts (Beverly Hills)
Cantor PHIL BARON of Temple Valley Beth Shalom in Encino comes to us courtesy of community partner JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY (JHS) and the BREED STREET SHUL. Baron is the son of a violinist and the grandson of a Vilna rabbi. Before becoming a cantor, he took a successful detour into children’s entertainment, where he had over 300 original songs recorded – nearly 200 of these by the Walt Disney Co. He co-created two television series for Jewish children, Bubbe’s Boarding House, and the multiple award-winning series Alef…Bet…Blast-off! As a vocalist he has been featured with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New Orleans Philharmonic.
SUSAN EDWARDS MARTIN at the NoHo 7 (N. Hollywood)
Broadway star SUSAN EDWARDS MARTIN will represent partner Temple Beth Hillel at our NoHo 7 venue. A star of Broadway, Martin is an accomplished singer, musician, actress and comedienne who originated the role of ‘Lady Blue’ in HARVEY FIERSTEIN’s Tony Award-winning play “Torch Song Trilogy.” She has also appeared in many other Broadway and Off-Broadway productions such as “Bubbling Brown Sugar,” “The Suicide,” and the long-running musical comedy “Scrambled Feet.” Numerous television credits include a recurring role on “Days of our Lives,” and guest appearances on “NYPD Blue,” “Designing Women,” and “Columbo,” among many others. Martin is currently creating a new original musical, “Unlimited” based on her personal story of growing up in Long Island and her ensuing life in show business.
JASON MOSS at the Playhouse 7 (Pasadena)
Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys JASON MOSS will be our host at the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. Under his leadership, the Federation has doubled its programming with the creation of such programs as the Cultural Arts Program, PJ Library, a nationally recognized program to reach and connect with unaffiliated Jewish families. In addition, Moss will soon launch JLife SGPV, a lifestyle magazine celebrating Jewish life in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.
ELI BATALION at the Royal Theatre (West L.A.)
Star of comedy web series Yidlife Crisis, ELI BATALION will be our host at the Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles. Created with co-star JAMIE ELMAN, Yidlife Crisis is a love letter about modern Jewish identity set in Yiddish (with English and French subtitles), that uses comedy as a vehicle for inclusiveness. Batalion is a multi-faceted talent, at once writer, producer, actor, and composer for film TV and stage. His many projects have ranged from award-winning horror musical films (including the recently release “Stage Fright” starring Minne Driver and Meat Loaf) to touring musical comedy productions and live comedy shows such as the cult hit “J.O.B The Hip-Hopera.”
GUSTAVO BULGACH at the Town Center (Encino)
Accomplished Klezmer musician and bandleader GUSTAVO BULGACH will be our host at the Town Center 5 in Encino. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Bulgach was inspired at an early age by the religious and secular life of the Argentine community. Now based in L.A., Bulgach travels the globe uplifting audiences with a vibrant, soulful Klezmer he terms the “soundtrack of the Diaspora.” Bulgach has been a longtime member of the House of Blues Foundation house band backing artist such as LITTLE RICHARD, TAJ MAHAL, and THE WAILERS. His own outfit, KLEZMER JUICE, was featured in the Hollywood mega hit movie THE WEDDING CRASHERS featuring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
Cantor PAUL BUCH at the Claremont 5 (Claremont)
Cantor PAUL BUCH has served Temple Beth Israel in Claremont since 2003. He came to the cantorate after a 25 year career in TV and film production in Los Angeles, New York, and Portland. In addition to his cantorial duties, Buch is President of the Claremont Interfaith Council and serves on the Faith-Based Roundtable of the Pomona Unified School District. He is also Chair of the City of Claremont’s Human Relations Committee and serves on an advisory committee at the Claremont School of Theology. This will be his third consecutive year as our Fiddler host in Claremont!
SLASH actors Michael Johnston, Hannah Marks, and Angela Kinsey, writer-director Clay Liford and producer Brock Williams will participate in a Q&A after the 7 PM screening at the NoHo 7 on Friday, December 17.
HOOLIGAN SPARROW filmmaker Nanfu Wang will participate in a Q&A at the Monica Film Center after the 11 AM screening on Saturday, December 10.
BAD KIDS directors Keith Fulton & Lou Pepe will participate in a Q&A after the 7:10 PM screening at the NoHo on Friday, December 16.
STEVIE D opens this Friday at the Music Hall. Here’s the Q&A schedule:
Friday, after 7pm showing: Director/Writer/Actor Chris Cordone, Actor Spencer Garrett, Actor John Aprea;
Saturday, after 7pm showing: Director/Writer/Actor Chris Cordone, Actor Phil Idrissi, Actor John Aprea;
Sunday, after 7pm showing, Director/Writer/Actor Chris Cordone, Actor Hal Linden.