Purchase a ticket to #TogetherTogether at Laemmle starting April 23 and see an exclusive pre-recorded intro and Q&A with Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, and writer-director Nikole Beckwith on the big screen! Get your tickets today.
After more than a year of mandated closure, Laemmle Theatres is reopening on Friday. Tickets are up for sale and we have a bouquet of wonderful films to see and share as they were meant to be seen and shared …on the big screen! We can do this safely because we are following epidemiologist-approved #CinemaSafe protocols, including reserved seating to ensure physical distancing. We’ve revamped our ticketing system to allow for reserved seating, and you are now able to choose your seats on our site or, if you prefer, at our box offices beginning Friday. We have created step-by-step how-to instructions for those new to online ticketing. You can check out the guide here and we’ll have printed copies available at the theaters.
Friday also marks the opening (not reopening) of our brand-spanking-new Laemmle Newhall Theater, which was completed during the pandemic. We are thrilled to bring great movies to northern L.A. County, and happy for all the SCV residents who will no longer have to make the long drive to Encino or NoHo for non-mainstream films. For those who would like to join in the opening, we will be livestreaming the ribbon cutting ceremony which is scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM on Friday morning. You’ll also be able to see patrons coming for our first set of shows. For details, please join the theatre’s Facebook followers here (https://www.facebook.com/laemmlenewhall) for all updates on this new venue.
Among the films you’ll get to enjoy are many of the 2021 Oscar nominees, including three of the Best International Film nominees, ANOTHER ROUND with Mads Mikkelsen, QUO VADIS, AIDA? from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN from Tunisian-born director Kaouther Ben Hania. COLLECTIVE, nominated for both Best International Film and Best Documentary is coming next week. We also have two of the Best Feature Documentary nominees, MY OCTOPUS TEACHER and CRIP CAMP, five of the Best Picture nominees, NOMADLAND, MANK, MINARI, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN and SOUND OF METAL, and all of the Oscar-nominated Live Action, Animated, and Documentary shorts. We are also opening the magical WOLFWALKERS, nominated for Best Animated Feature. Among the non-Oscar contenders are FRENCH EXIT, featuring a never-better Michelle Pfeiffer; the gorgeous Italian-set documentary, THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS; the intimate portrait of the gifted pop star BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY; the intense gay-themed South African drama MOFFIE; and the French film SLALOM, a drama set in the world of downhill racing. And if you’re in the mood for some monster movie escapism, we’ve got that for you too with the spectacular GODZILLA VS. KONG.
For those who are still unsure about returning to indoor public spaces, I want you to know that we are still offering films for streaming via the Laemmle Virtual Cinema platform. In fact, a number of the films that we have in theatre this weekend will also be available for at-home viewing. But a few titles that are only available via VOD include MALNI – TOWARDS THE OCEAN, TOWARDS THE SHORE, GRANNY NANNY, THE MALI-CUBA CONNECTION/AFRICA MIA, IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, LOOKING FOR A LADY WITH FANGS AND A MOUSTACHE, and 15 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BIGFOOT. I hope you’ll check them out.
The pandemic has been hard. Hard for businesses that had to be closed. Hard for the essential workers who kept things going while risking their health. And hardest for those who lost loved ones, had to endure illness, and are still dealing with lingering health issues caused by the virus. If we’re sounding upbeat, please know that we don’t want to paper over any of that pain and grief. But things really do seem to be improving here in L.A. Vaccinations are up. Infections are down. And by and large, people are still following guidelines about continuing to mask up and maintain social distancing. The time is right to slowly and safely begin to return to public spaces, and we aim to be part of that long-sought “return to normalcy.”
Thank you for all the support over the months of the pandemic, and I look forward to seeing you soon at the movies.
Until then, we have Laemmle Virtual Cinema to tide us over. (And we’ll continue LVC after April 9 for those who can’t make it out to the theaters.) Leading the pack this week are the always amazing 2021 OSCAR SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY. The five nominees this year are A Love Song for Latasha: A portrait of a 15-year-old girl whose shooting death sparks the ‘92 L.A. Uprising. Do Not Split: The story of the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Filmed from inside therapeutic feeding centers in war-torn Yemen, Hunger Ward documents two health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation. Colette: Resistance took courage in Nazi-occupied France. Seventy-five years later, facing one’s ghosts may take even more. A Concerto is a Conversation: A jazz pianist and composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
In the winning comedy SHIVA BABY college student Danielle must cover her tracks when she unexpectedly runs into her sugar daddy at a shiva — with her parents, ex-girlfriend and family friends also in attendance. THE OUTSIDE STORY is a comedy about an introverted editor (Brian Tyree Henry) on a tight deadline who gets locked out of his apartment. In order to get back inside, he’s forced to do something he always avoids, interacting with his neighbors. NINA WU, which earned its director a nomination for the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, follows a struggling actress who finally gets her big break with a leading role in a spy thriller set in the 1960s, until her psychological resolve begins to crack under the pressure.
When her village is threatened with forced resettlement due to reservoir construction, an 80-year-old widow at the center of THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION finds a new will to live and ignites the spirit of resilience within her community. In CENTER STAGE Maggie Cheung embodies tragic screen siren Ruan Lingyu, known as the ‘Greta Garbo of China,’ in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan. In SOUL ECLIPSE a gold digger is coerced into a spiritual quest for enlightenment by a shaman, a man with dark secrets of his own.
Finally, we are delighted to have French New Waver Eric Rohmer’s restored Four Seasons tetralogy, A TALE OF SPRING (1990), A TALE OF WINTER (1992), A TALE OF SUMMER (1996) and A TALE OF AUTUMN (1998). In SPRING, a burgeoning friendship between philosophy teacher Jeanne and pianist Natacha is strained by jealousy, suspicion, and intrigue. WINTER is about a woman trying to choose between two men five years after losing touch with the love of her life and the father of her young daughter. In SUMMER amateur musician Gaspard travels to a seaside resort in Dinard, on the coast of Brittany, where three women each offer the possibility of romance, if he can overcome his inability to make a decision. AUTUMN is set in the Rhone Valley, the final film of the series concerns simultaneous schemes to find a new love for reserved winegrower and widow Magali.
Now that L.A. County’s health department has announced we have left the purple tier and entered the red, we are thrilled to announce that we will reopen on April 9, 2021 at 25% capacity! If the County is in the orange tier at that time, we’ll go with 50% capacity. Our veteran general managers have returned, like cavalry coming over the hill, to ready our theaters and make sure the reopening will be safe. We’ll share the big date with you shortly. Go to www.laemmle.com/reopening for details on venues, films, advance ticketing, and more.
For those who are hesitant about returning, we understand. Consider, however, that a recent study — reported by the New York Times yesterday — showed that there has been a negative bias in national media coverage of the pandemic. International and U.S. local and regional coverage has been markedly more balanced. The virus is still an issue and we must not drop safety practices, but we want to share that there is good news, and not just regarding the resumption of commercial activity.
For now, virtual cinema is still all we are offering. And as always, we have some terrific new films available via Laemmle Virtual Cinema, starting with The Mole Agent, the warm, funny, Oscar-nominated feature documentary about an 83-year-old man who poses as a resident in a Chilean nursing home to investigate allegations of abuse. The powerful documentary Francesco portrays Pope Francis as he confronts gigantic issues such as the climate crisis, the refugee crisis, peace and religious intolerance, economic inequality, and more. Based on a real-life 1972 experiment, The Marijuana Conspiracy is a beautifully-made ensemble drama about an outlandish study on the effects of ever-increasing doses of tetrahydrocannabinol on young women. William Shatner and Jean Smart star in the Palm Springs-set Senior Moment. He plays a retired NASA test pilot fighting to regain his driver’s licence and impounded car who meets Smart’s character on a bus. Kuessipan is a Canadian film about two girls in a Quebec Innu community whose longtime friendship is shaken when one of them falls for a white boy. Her Name is Chef spotlights six bad-ass, inspiring, sheroes of the restaurant industry. We’re also screening Charles Gounod’s Faust, filmed lived at the famed Teatro Real in Madrid in 2018. Finally we’ll have two gallery experience films: Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water, which recounts the story of Monsieur Claude’s groundbreaking series of paintings of Giverny, and The Prado Museum: A Collection of Wonders, which offers viewers a spell-binding experience through the works of Vélazquez, Rubens, Titian, Mantegna, Bosch, Goya, El Greco and more.
This Friday Laemmle’s Glendale, Santa Monica, North Hollywood and Pasadena venues will open THE WILD GOOSE LAKE, acclaimed director Diao Yinan’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to his 2014 Berlinale winning neo-noir BLACK COAL, THIN ICE. Toppling box office records in Diao’s native China, the film “cements his status as a master filmmaker with another ingenious crime epic” (Little White Lies).
When smalltime mob leader Zhou Zenong (Chinese superstar Hu Ge) accidentally kills a cop, a dead-or-alive bounty is placed on his head, forcing him on the lam from both the police as well as dangerous gangsters out for the reward. Hiding out in China’s densely populated (and deeply divided) Wuhan province, Zhou becomes entangled with a beautiful, enigmatic woman, who has mysterious intentions of her own. Featuring gorgeous, neon-drenched cinematography and bursts of shocking, expertly choreographed action, THE WILD GOOSE LAKE is “spellbinding” (Rolling Stone), “brilliant” (Indiewire) and “downright Hitchcockian” (AV Club).
Some of the copious praise for the THE WILD GOOSE LAKE:
“Diao Yinan cements his status as a master filmmaker with another ingenious crime epic. THE WILD GOOSE LAKE is another assured, exhilarating tale of criminality and the havoc it wreaks on interpersonal connection, with everything impressive about its predecessor – attentive procedural detail, curious experiments with colour and shadow, action set pieces that’d make Michael Mann envious – raised to the Nth degree. There’s not a single false step in its two hours; every edit, every shot setup, every movement of the camera maximises the raw cinematic effect. There’s power in Diao’s more subdued passages, but when he really lets loose and the fists (or bullets, or strategically concealed booby-traps) start flying, this film’s greatness transforms from the kind that sneaks up on you to the kind that blows you away.” ~ Charles Bramesco, Little White Lies
“Like a beautifully constructed puzzle box, THE WILD GOOSE LAKE‘s various layers unfold in satisfying ways. With elegant violence, emotional richness and a complex yet coherent storyline, this is a rare bit of crime thriller treat that truly pays off. Above all, it’s a highly entertaining film that doesn’t for a moment eschew aesthetics, crafting a world of shadow and subterfuge that’s terrific. THE WILD GOOSE LAKE is a hoot, a Chinese crime thriller that proves Diao Yinan is a new master of dark, thrilling noir.” ~ Jason Gorber, Slash Film
“Diao Yinan’s twisting and turning nocturnal noir is full of moody attitude and glorious cinematography.” ~ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“Diao Yinan’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE starts with a rainy night, a guy on the lam, a dame who sidles up to him and murmurs, “Got a light?” In other words, this Chinese gangland thriller kicks off in classic noir style, and gets progressively noirer and more nocturnal as it goes on. The fourth feature from writer-director Diao, who made a major impression with 2014’s investigative drama BLACK COAL, THIN ICE, this hyper-stylish manhunt drama laces slow-burn atmospherics with abrupt outbursts of staccato action, and boils down characterisation to the leanest of bare bones, making for minimalist existentialism in the style of Jean-Pierre Melville.” ~ Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
“Diao Yinan delivers a definitive Chinese crime noir, in which the ravishing style and inventive staging form the substance.” ~ Jessica Kiang, Variety
“In a movie where just about every scene contains some inventive technique or choice, I was most taken with the way Diao boldly abstracts some of his action: a close-quarters fight that unfolds entirely through associative close-ups; a stabbing conveyed through the scattering of bills; a cop discovering one of his colleagues is dead when a dollop of blood lands on his face. Some of these moments are downright Hitchcockian, giving us the implication of violence without always actually showing it.” ~ A.A. Dowd, AV Club
“While Chinese director Diao Yinan’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE hardly reconfigures the crime thriller afresh, it does pare it down to the essentials to exhilarating effect, progressively jettisoning the whys and wherefores of plot to focus on little more than two bodies moving through any number of ravishing, noirish spaces.” ~ James Lattimer, Sight & Sound
“This enjoyable and elegantly styled noir thriller is … awash with wonderful set-pieces and exquisite visual moments which skillfully echo China’s gilded past and leave us in no doubt of its contemporary criminality and territory wars.” ~ Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia
“Like the waters lapping up against the shores of its murky titular setting, Diao Yinan’s fugitive thriller THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (Nan Fang Che Zhan De Ju Hui) is a film that doesn’t hit you like a tidal wave as much as it gradually washes over you, leaving in its wake a series of memorable set-pieces and a dense, dark web of violence and fatality.” ~ Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s a spellbinding pulp noir with a stylish edge and a sui generis fatalism. (12 Best Movies at the Toronto Film Festival)” ~ David Fear, Rolling Stone
“A dizzying, frenetic plunge into the winding and over-populated working-class districts of the city, THE WILD GOOSE LAKE is an exceptional auteur film and noir. Each and every shot is well worth the detour in this sea of coup de force visuals (a very special mention goes to Director of Photography Jingsong Dong), on which the plot never lingers; instead, it takes them in as it twists and turns torrentially (as written by the filmmaker himself), blasting its way through a three-day period, broken up by some nice atmospheric moments where all the actions slows. It makes for a dazzling, labyrinthine journey through a criminal underworld. Here, violence plays an eternally cathartic role and sometimes bursts with black humour, making great use of the laconic and darkly romantic charisma of the two main actors and confirming the immense, fascinating and highly entertaining talent of Diao Yinan.” ~ Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa
“More even than on its strengths as an expertly directed piece of entertainment, Diao’s latest impresses for its scathing, and unexpected, indictment of societal ills—for how the filmmaker recognizes the extent to which the contours of a sordid genre film appropriately express realities of Chinese life.” ~ Sam Mac, Slant Magazine
“…this film is fascinating because of how those genre thrills are complicated by these off-kilter, idiosyncratic formal choices that trigger not just a lurid dreamscape and uncomfortable humor… but also a vulnerability in the face of alienation and suffering. Watching THE WILD GOOSE LAKE feels like watching a society crumble in real-time, the architecture itself decaying and being painted over while people’s baggage and experiences become more and more exposed….” ~ The Film Stage
“…I thought Diao Yinan’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE had something of Eisenstein about it, the percussive directionality and suggestiveness of each edit, the way violence happened by implication because a cut is made from a violent instrument to a blood stain. It’s a film of sensual tension wrung from its cinematic touchstones….” ~ Scout Tafoya, RogerEbert.com
“[THE WILD GOOSE LAKE] offers some of the most thrillingly original fight scenes you’ll see onscreen this year.” ~ Nate Jones, Vulture.com
From Kenneth Turan’s February 14, 2020 Critics Choice column in the Times:
“Independent films were not an invention of Sundance, they existed in the golden age Hollywood as well, and one of the most unusual, and the most gorgeous, was 1951’s Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. It was directed by Albert Lewin and starred James Mason and, looking especially beautiful, Ava Gardner in a pleasantly surreal supernatural tale of a cursed sea captain and a heedless young woman who lives only for pleasure. Or so she thinks.
“Gardner looked as photogenic as she did because Pandora’s cinematographer was the great Jack Cardiff, famous for works like Black Narcissus, and because the film was shot in the knockout process known as three-strip Technicolor.
“Restoring Pandora to its original glory has taken more than a dozen years, with the Cohen Media Group ultimately funding a glorious 4K version, which included more than 700 hours of digital restoration lavished on 177,120 frames of the film. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Jump below to find out more about our hosts.
Can you believe it’s the 12th year of our Christmas Eve FIDDLER SING-ALONG!? Join us in coming together as a community to celebrate the song, shtick, and shenanigans of Laemmle’s legendary Christmas Eve experience.
For 2019, this ever-popular event will be occurring in several of our neighborhood venues (see below for full listing and ticket links). PLUS, due to the convergence of Xmas and Chanukah (3rd night!), we’ll be celebrating the Festival of Lights with candle lighting and song.
In addition to 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? Or perhaps this is the year you’ll be given an opportunity to do your best Tevye or Golde impression? That will be up to the emcee. Indeed, each location will feature its own host (to be announced).
As Greg Laemmle is fond of saying “Christmas Eve isn’t just Chinese food!” He elaborates, “This is your once-a-year chance to be the star of the shtetl. Join with friends and neighbors and sing your heart out alongside Fiddler’s screen legends. 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 be late! Those who wish to attend the program are advised to purchase tickets in advance as the program has traditionally sold to capacity. We welcome all those in the community who are looking for an alternative Christmas Eve.
See you in the shtetl…
General – $18
Senior 62 & Over / Child 11 & Under – $15
Premiere Card General – $15
Premiere Card Senior 62 & Over / Child 11 & Under – $12
Note: Premiere Card pricing not available at the Fine Arts Theatre or Lumiere Music Hall.
Claremont – Get Tickets
The Fine Arts in Beverly Hills – Get Tickets
Lumiere Music Hall – Get Tickets
North Hollywood – Get Tickets
Playhouse in Pasadena – Get Tickets
Royal in West L.A. – Get Tickets
Town Center in Encino – Get Tickets
Fiddler Hosts – 2019
Mike Stein at the Town Center 5 (Encino, 7:30pm show)
Cantor and world renowned performer, composer and recording artist MIKE STEIN will be our 7:30pm host at the Town Center 5 in Encino. A GRAMMY AWARD WINNER (cELLAbration) and nominee (Dreamosaurus), his songs have been recorded by the late PATSY MONTANA and have been included in many films. He has recorded fiddle for artists such as MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER and TOM PAXTON. Stein also serves as the cantor at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, California. He has taught extensively in communities in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Poland. He has produced albums for the late THEODORE BIKEL, the Abayudaya and the Lemba Jews of Zimbabwe. Stein is the father of three sons who are accomplished musicians of their own. Together with his wife, Kelley, they perform nationally with their group, The Rolling Steins. Stein’s appearance will benefit our community partner, the JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. BUY TIX
STEVE SASS at the Town Center 5 (Encino, 4:30pm Show)
Community leader STEPHEN SASS currently serves as President of the JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. As founding president of the BREED STREET SHUL PROJECT, he has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization of one of L.A’s earliest synagogues built in 1915 in Boyle Heights. He co-wrote and executive-produced “Meet Me at Brooklyn & Soto” an award-winning documentary on East L.A.’s Jewish Heritage. What’s more, Sass is the chair of the L.A. COUNTY HISTORICAL LANDMARKS AND RECORDS COMMISSION, appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. In professional life, he is the Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs for HBO. Sass’ appearance will support our partner, Jewish Historical Society of Southern California. BUY TIX
Cantor AVIVA ROSENBLOOM at the NoHo 7 (N. Hollywood)
Creator of the FEMINIST SHABBAT at Temple Israel of Hollywood and female cantor pioneer AVIVA ROSENBLOOM headlines proceedings at Laemmle’s NOHO 7. An anti-war activist and veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosenbloom’s life trajectory changed after a transformational trip to Israel. With the realization that Jewish music was her calling, her journey soon led her to become the first full-time woman Cantor in Los Angeles. She served as Cantor at TEMPLE ISRAEL OF HOLLYWOOD for over 30 years from 1975 to 2008. She is also a songwriter, with several recordings of Jewish music to her credit, including the career retrospective “Viva Aviva: A Life in Song.” BUY TIX
KENNY ELLIS at the Fine Arts Theatre (Beverly Hills)
Known as “The Man Behind the Matzoh Ball,” cantor and comedian KENNY ELLIS will be our host at the Fine Arts Theatres in Beverly Hills. He appears in support of our partner, the LOS ANGELES JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL. As a cantor and comedian, Ellis has entertained audiences all around the globe. His television credits include recent appearances on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM as well as LAW & ORDER. Ellis achieved further success with HANUKKAH SWINGS! a recording that broke new ground as the first ever big band Hanukkah album. Large YouTube audiences have enjoyed “Swingin’ Dreidel” and other tracks from the hit record. BUY TIX
JUDY SOFER at the Playhouse 7 (Pasadena, 4:30pm Show))
Cantor JUDY SOFER is the Cultural Arts Program Coordinator of the JEWISH FEDERATION of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valley’s Cultural Arts program, as well as the Cantor at TEMPLE BETH SHALOM of Long Beach. She began her music and theatre studies at UC Irvine. While living in Israel from 1974-1985, she performed at Tel Aviv’s CAMERI THEATER and appeared in a number of programs for Israeli educational television. Sofer also toured the country with her own children’s theater and taught music and piano. Upon her return to California, she received the Award for Excellence in Children’s Theater for her play, A Journey to Noteland. She is well known for conducting Adult and Teen Choirs, and producing/directing concerts and show throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. BUY TIX
JASON MOSS at the Playhouse 7 (Pasadena, 7:30pm Show))
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 recently launched JLife SGPV, a lifestyle magazine celebrating Jewish life in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. BUY TIX
ISAAC WADE at the Royal (West L.A.)
Laemmle’s very own ISAAC WADE is the General Manager of our Monica Film Center location and has been working with the company for over 16 years. He will be hosting at the LAEMMLE ROYAL. Wade is the former GM of the storied LAEMMLE SUNSET 5 in W. Hollywood as well as the company’s signature ROYAL venue in West L.A. Additionally, the talented Wade is an accomplished thespian, working overseas and with several local companies such as the L.A. THEATRE ENSEMBLE and cARTel: THE ARTS COLLABORATIVE. During his youth in Kansas, he performed the role of TEVYE in the Galena High School production of Fiddler. Laemmle audiences who love and appreciate Wade in his role as theater manager are in for a treat as he reveals yet another facet of his dynamic persona. BUY TIX
DAN MESSINGER at the Lumiere Music Hall (Beverly Hills)
World-class baker and entertainer DAN MESSINGER will be our host at the Lumiere Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Messinger is the owner of Bibi’s Bakery and Café and the founder of The Kosher Cookie Company. Prior to entering the world of baking, Dan was a writer, producer and standup comic, performing for audiences across North America. He is a longtime fan of Fiddler on The Roof and is so delighted by Sholem Aleichem that he sings a song about him every Friday … he is also a loyal member of “Team Horse.” BUY TIX
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 sixth year as our Fiddler host in Claremont! BUY TIX
Joseph Losey’s MR. KLEIN (1976), a long-unseen masterwork from the director of The Servant and Accident and writer Franco Solinas (The Battle of Algiers), starring Alain Delon, with a special appearance by Jeanne Moreau, opens Friday, October 11 at Laemmle’s Playhouse/Pasadena, Royal/West L.A. and Town Center/Encino.
MR. KLEIN was blacklisted American director Losey’s first film in French, with a screenplay by Solinas and assistant director Fernando Morandi, and an uncredited Costa-Gavras (Z), who was originally to direct. In a full-length article in a recent issue of the New Yorker, critic Anthony Lane calls Rialto Picture’s reissue of MR. KLEIN “an event” and adds that “all good films come to those who wait.” Lane compares MR. KLEIN to another film about the Occupation, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows, which Rialto released in the U.S. for the first time in 2006.
An indictment of French complicity on the eve of the infamous Vélodrome d’Hiver roundup, with Claude Levy (one of the chief interviewees in Marcel Ophüls’ The Sorrow and the Pity) as historical consultant, MR. KLEIN was received coldly by French audiences, who objected to its depiction of wartime collaboration. Yet it still went on to represent France for the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and would win three Césars (French Oscars) for Best Film, Director, and Production Design by the legendary Alexandre Trauner, whose remarkable credits include everything from Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise and Jules Dassin’s Rififi to Orson Welles’ Othello and Billy Wilder’s The Apartment.
Occupied Paris, 1942. Alain Delon’s Catholic Robert Klein seems to be sitting pretty, with attractive mistress Juliet Berto (Rivette’s Céline and Julie Go Boating), and an apartment crammed full of expensive paintings, sculpture, tapestries — and mirrors — most of which he’s bought at fire sale prices from Jews eager to emigrate/flee. But then he finds a Jewish newspaper delivered to his doorstep, and the protests and desperate search for his Aryan heritage begins, so desperate that his attempts to establish his identity start to come second to a frenzied search for his doppelgänger, a search that comes to an unforeseen, but perhaps inevitable end.
“For hunters of rarities and students of wartime oppression, the emergence of MR. KLEIN will be an event to match that of another fierce appraisal of Occupied France, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows, which finally arrived on American screens in 2006, thirty-seven years after it was made. All good films come to those who wait.”
— Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“MR. KLEIN remains as strong and thought-provoking a film as it was over 40 years ago.” — Mitchell Abidor, Jewish Currents
“Long unseen and worth revisiting…a historical reconstruction with a modernist tone, evoking both Kafka and Borges.” — J. Hoberman
“Played off Losey’s acquired paranoia from the McCarthy days…it has insidious things to say about the bonhomie of collaboration…Delon’s KLEIN, numb but deeply intelligent, cut off from society by some masquerade but then through the discovery of alienation itself, is extraordinary…It is a film of frozen, listless faces, the perfect currency of occupation.” — David Thomson