We have finished programming Culture Vulture, our long-running weekly film series of fine art, theater, opera, music and more, for the rest of the year. Have a look! The screenings are every Monday evening and Tuesday matinee at the Laemmle Claremont, Glendale and Monica Film Center. After a hiatus over the holidays, we’ll bring the series back in 2024, likely with additional screening days and venues. Nice! More opportunities to apply the balm of beauty against the burn of our harsh world. Keep an eye on our social media and weekly newsletter for updates.
November 6-7: Klimt & the Kiss: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of the most recognized and reproduced paintings in the world. It is perhaps the most popular poster on student dorm walls from Beijing to Boston. Painted in Vienna around 1908, the evocative image of an unknown couple embracing has captivated viewers with its mystery, sensuality and dazzling materials ever since it was created. But just what lies behind the appeal of the painting – and just who was the artist that created it?
November 13-14: I Went to the Dance: The seminal film on the history of the foot-stomping, toe-tapping music of French Southwest Louisiana. Features many Cajun and Zydeco greats, Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Canray Fontenont, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard.
November 20-21: Jeff Koons: A Private Portrait: This is not just a documentary but an amazing journey inside the mind of the most controversial artist of our time. Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most influential, popular and disputed artists of the last 30 years. This film shows the hidden mechanisms lying behind the person, the artist and the Koons brand. It’s an intimate exploration of Jeff Koons’ consciousness, aiming to discover what motivates him and shapes his incomparable vision.
November 27-28: Recordially Yours, Lou Curtiss: Yale Strom explores the life and work of Lou Curtiss – creator of the San Diego Folk Festival, audiophile, folklorist, author, raconteur, radio host and proprietor of Folk Arts Rare Records, a mecca for some of the most celebrated American roots musicians in America (Jack Tempchin, Jason Mraz, Tom Brousseau, A.J. Croce, George Winston, Sue Palmer, Alison Brown, Tomcat Courtney, Tom Waits, Gregory Page, Mike Seeger and many others). Archival footage, live interviews and music tell the story of this American icon.
December 4-5: Titanic: The Musical: Five-time Tony Award winner Titanic: The Musical is ‘breathtaking’ (The Guardian) and ‘magnificent’ (The Telegraph). A stunning and stirring production recounting the hopes, dreams and aspirations of her passengers, from the wealthy first class to the third class dreaming of a new life in America.
December 11-12: Ever Deadly weaves together intimate concert footage of Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq alongside moving personal reflections, stunning sequences filmed in Nunavut, and hand-drawn animation by Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona to seamlessly bridge history, landscapes, stories, and songs with pain, anger, and triumph – all through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
December 15-21 at the Royal, December 18-19 at the Claremont, Glendale and Monica Film Center: Godard Cinema with Trailers of the Film that Will Never Exist: ‘Phony Wars’: Jean-Luc Godard is synonymous with cinema. With the release of Breathless in 1960, he established himself overnight as a cinematic rebel and symbol for the era’s progressive and anti-war youth. Sixty-two years and 140 films later, Godard is among the most renowned artists of all time, taught in every film school yet still shrouded in mystery. One of the founders of the French New Wave, political agitator, revolutionary misanthrope, film theorist and critic, the list of his descriptors goes on and on. Godard Cinema offers an opportunity for film lovers to look back at his career and the subjects and themes that obsessed him, while paying tribute to the ineffable essence of the most revered French director of all time.
We’ll screen Godard Cinema with Godard’s final work, Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: ‘Phony Wars.’ At the time of his death in September 2022, Jean-Luc Godard had been in the midst of planning another feature, an adaptation of Belgian author Charles Plisnier’s 1937 novel Faux Passports. Though the film was never produced, the intricate and beautiful “trailer” that Godard put together in preparation now stands as his final work, a complex collage of history, politics, and cinema constructed of paper and glue, paintings and photographs, sound and silence.
Godard often transformed his synopses into aesthetic programs. His swan song follows in this tradition and will remain as the ultimate gesture of cinema, which he accompanies with the following text: “Rejecting the billions of alphabetic diktats to liberate the incessant metamorphoses and metaphors of a necessary and true language by returning to the locations of past film shoots, while keeping track of modern times.”