SISTER AIMEE Q&A’s following the 7:40 pm show with Anna Margaret, Bettina Barrow, Michael Mosley and moderated by Lily Rabe on Friday, 9/27; with Marie Schlingmann, Samantha Buck, Anna Margaret, Michael Mosley, Amy Hargreaves and moderated by Danielle DiGiacomo on Saturday, 9/28 and with Marie Schlingmann, Samantha Buck, Bettina Barrow; moderator TBD.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest offering in their monthly Abroad program with 25th anniversary screenings of the American release (and Oscar winner) of the delightful Spanish comedy BELLE EPOQUE. The Academy Award winner for foreign-language film will play at three Laemmle locations: West Los Angeles, Glendale, and Pasadena on September 18.
Starring Penelope Cruz (Oscar winner for Vicky Christina Barcelona) in only her second film, the period pastorale is set in 1931 with the beginning of the disruptive Spanish Civil War, chronicling the amorous adventures of a young Army deserter, Fernando (Jorge Sanz), who seeks refuge in the country house of a reclusive old anarchist painter, Manolo (Fernando Fernan Gomez). After finding employment as the household cook, Sanz also finds his carnal appetites stimulated by Gomez’ four daughters, played by Maribel Verdu, Ariadna Gil, Miriam Diaz-Aroca, and Cruz. As the youngest of the siblings, Cruz impatiently awaits her turn as the amorous partner of Sanz. As the sexual games seemingly reach a climax, the return of the opera singer family matriarch from a world tour with her manager-lover brings the plot to a boil.
Writer-director Fernando Trueba (co-scripting with Rafael Azcona and Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez) concocts the right recipe of food and sex, with a soupçon of political commentary, and the result charmed the Academy, audiences, and critics of the day.
Roger Ebert noted how the film celebrated sensuality and the human body: “Here is a film so inviting you would love to sit in the sun with old Manolo and his friend the priest and talk about the great matters of life.”
Leonard Maltin found the film a “delightfully earthy, cheery comedy.”
Upon receiving the Oscar, Trueba paid tribute to his inspiration in his acceptance speech, “I would like to believe in God in order to thank him, but I just believe in Billy Wilder, so …thank you, Mr. Wilder.”
Our 25th anniversary presentation of BELLE EPOQUE screens on Wednesday, September 18th at 7pm in Glendale, Pasadena, and West LA. Click here for tickets.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present this month’s installment in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program: one of the most popular and entertaining foreign films of the 1960s, Philippe de Broca’s action romp, THAT MAN FROM RIO.
De Broca, the director of intimate, character-driven films like The Five-Day Lover, shifted gears with this bigger-budget comic thriller. Two top stars of French cinema, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Francoise Dorleac (the sister of Catherine Deneuve who died tragically in an auto accident just three years later), added to the film’s allure.
The action begins when Dorleac is kidnapped as part of a museum heist of a valuable statuette, and Belmondo follows her kidnappers to Brazil to save her life and find the treasure. There he battles international criminals, assassination attempts, and even a hungry crocodile on the Amazon.
The film was designed in part as a spoof of the James Bond movies that were catching fire all around the world. De Broca’s tongue-in-cheek approach to the genre, along with a series of spectacular action set-pieces, led to box office success wherever the film was shown. The film was also nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. De Broca wrote the script with Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, and Daniel Boulanger. Veteran actors Jean Servais and Adolfo Celi co-star.
Along with the wit of the script and the skill of the performers, the film benefited from lush cinematography (by Edmond Sechan) of Paris, Rio, Brasilia, and other South American locations. The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther acknowledged the film’s homage to silent comedy: “Jean-Paul Belmondo is dandy as a fast, fearless modern-day Harold Lloyd.” He added that de Broca “uses the actual locations so vividly and artistically that they generate a kind of excitement that blends superbly with the dazzle of the plot.”
The New Republic’s Stanley Kauffmann also praised de Broca: “he has wit, tenderness, dexterity, a superb eye for composition and color, a prodigious sense of rhythm and movement, a perfect command of the medium.” Time magazine noted that the film was “shrewdly calculated to make the customer laugh out loud at all the lousy movies he has ever seen and at the same time have a wild and wonderful time watching them again.”
Join us for a perfect piece of lighthearted summertime entertainment with two of the most engaging international stars ever to grace the screen. Belmondo remained at the center of French film culture for decades, and de Broca went on to direct one of the most popular of all arthouse movies, King of Hearts.
Our 55th anniversary presentation of THAT MAN FROM RIO screens on Wednesday, August 21st at 7pm in Glendale, Pasadena, and West LA. Click here for tickets.
Art in the Arthouse presents a fascinating exploration of local cityscapes and nearby landscapes in our latest art show in North Hollywood. Don’t miss photographer Gerard Burkhart’s exhibit NOHO & SHIMMERING SKY, now extended through 2020. All of the art is for sale and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Laemmle Foundation and its support of humanitarian and environmental causes in Los Angeles.
About the Exhibit
As a NoHo resident from 1999 to 2001, Photographer Gerard Burkhart viewed his neighborhood as his own personal Cuba – an island in the vast sea of Los Angeles untouched by a larger outside world, waiting to be opened. Years later, Burkhart produced Shimmering Sky as an artist-in-residence for the Mojave National Preserve Foundation, living in a canvas bell tent at Hole in the Wall Campground. Despite a government shutdown and the 2018 drought, Burkhart explored the soul nurturing inventiveness that desert isolation encourages.
States the artist, “Arguably, visual art is an indulgence of perception. We can use our interior landscape of experience to filter and decode the world we inhabit. As a photojournalist, it is a prism that sees the outside world with a critical eye for accurate and fair storytelling images. As an artist, it is a fertile realm rich with the possibilities of creation. The NoHo and Shimmering Sky projects represent a 20-year development crossing back and forth through both those territories. The North Hollywood Neighborhood Project was made with a keen eye toward community engagement with a pure photojournalistic ethic. Shimmering Sky was a near-transcendent journey struggling with the constraints and celebrations of photography’s realism. Spiritually, they both contain the same DNA.”
Burkhart’s photos have been published in Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, the Washington Post, the New York Times and internationally through the Associated Press. He worked at the Los Angeles Times for six years where his photos were included in three collaborative Pulitzer Prize winning editions.
– Sheryl Myerson, curator
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present this month’s installment in our popular Anniversary Classics Abroad program, Ang Lee’s delectable 1994 comedy, EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN. Lee had directed two previous films that earned acclaim, but this 1994 film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and propelled his career to a new level of esteem and success.
Made in Taipei, the film centers on a widowed master chef, Mr. Chu (played by Sihung Lung), who has weekly feasts for his three unmarried daughters (Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-Lien Wu, Yu-Wen Wang), during which he tries to oversee their personal lives along with their eating habits. An ensemble piece in the spirit of movies like Love, Actually and The Joy Luck Club, the film interweaves the personal and professional stories of the three daughters, along with the issues facing their father, who also embarks on a new romantic adventure during the course of the movie. Winston Chao (who starred in Lee’s earlier film, The Wedding Banquet) and Sylvia Chang co-star.
The script by Lee, James Schamus, and Hui-Ling Wang etches all the characters with wit and finesse. Equally important to the film’s success are the lovingly photographed scenes of an abundance of Chinese delicacies, which led the movie to be compared to other memorable movies about food, including the Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast, Tampopo, and Like Water for Chocolate. Time magazine’s Richard Schickel wrote, “Like the cuisine it celebrates, this movie is tart, sweet, generous and subtle.” The New York Times’ Janet Maslin called the film “wonderfully seductive, and nicely knowing about all of its characters’ appetites.”
Variety’s Leonard Klady summed up the film’s achievement: “The overall result is a cinematic feast that will have audiences returning for Lee’s next movie meal.” Those words proved to be prophetic. Lee’s next film, Sense and Sensibility, released in 1995, was nominated for Best Picture, and over the next several years, he produced an extraordinary body of work, including the international blockbusters Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life of Pi. Lee won two Oscars for Best Director — for Brokeback Mountain as well as Life of Pi — and is now universally regarded as one of the leading auteurs of our time. His remarkable journey was prefigured by his early achievement with Eat Drink Man Woman.
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN screens Wednesday, July 24, at 7 PM in Glendale, Pasadena, and West L.A. Click here for tickets.
More than 40 years before RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Queen, the groundbreaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant, introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event. Organized by LGBT icon and activist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol and his superstars Edie Sedgwick and Mario Montez. But perhaps most memorable is an epic diatribe calling out the pageant scene’s racial bias delivered by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to form the influential House of LaBeija, heavily featured in Paris is Burning (1990). A vibrant piece of queer history, The Queen can now be seen in full resplendence thanks to a new restoration from the original camera negative.
HOW IT BEGAN by Si Litvinoff, Producer
After twelve years, I left my law practice at Barovick, Konecy and Litvinoff to concentrate on my hopes for film production. I had recently produced the Broadway play, Hail Scrawdyke, directed by Alan Arkin. Before that, while practicing law full time, I had co-produced several Off-Broadway plays such as Leonard Bernstein’s Theater Songs, Lonny Chapman’s Cry of the Raindrop, and David Belasco’s Girl of the Golden West, but I wanted to move on to film. I had already optioned novels like Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, John Barth’s End of the Road, and Saul Bellow’s Henderson and the Rain King.
I had taken a suite of offices at 65 East 55th Street with one office designated for my friend and ex-law client, Terry Southern, who was now to be my partner in hopefully many film ventures. Terry had gotten hot as the screenwriter of Dr. Strangelove, The Cincinnati Kid, and The Loved One, amongst others.
One day, I received a phone call from the artist, Sven Lukin, and the cinematographer, Frank Simon, asking to see me ASAP. We met, and they described to me what was to be the 1967 Drag Queen Miss America contest at Town Hall in New York City, and would I be interested in producing a film documentary of the event? They showed me the formal printed announcement of the event. The event was sponsored by George Raft, Huntington Hartford, (the Woolworth heir,) and Edie Sedgwick, both of whom I knew. If that wasn’t enough, it stated “For the benefit of The Muscular Dystrophy Association of America; Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Honorary Chairman.” It was described to me as “Ziegfeld’s psychedelic re-write of Helzapoppin’…a satirical happening.”
Obviously, I was hooked. It sounded outrageous and sensational. I asked Frank, who was to be the director and, Sven, who was to do sound, to arrange a meeting with the owners immediately, as the show was to be on very soon. I met Jack Doroshow. His Nationals Academy puts on these shows, and he also emcees in drag under the name of Flawless Sabrina. I liked Jack and we agreed on terms and I excitedly went back to my office and drafted a contract.
My first movie had come out of the blue and despite the fact that I knew people in Hollywood through my law practice, I was sure that Hollywood would not finance this project. Money was needed now for the Nationals, for raw stock, for equipment rentals, additional cinematographers, etc. I had another problem. I had never produced a film, let alone an independent film without the support of a Hollywood studio. I solved one problem by giving co-producer credit to a theater investor, who rented an office in my suite, in exchange for the front money I needed. Next, I phoned my friend, Lewis Allen who had produced an independent film of the play The Connection, (written by my former law client, Jack Gelber and directed by my former law client, Shirley Clarke,) to see if he would produce it with me. He excitedly agreed and provided his recent knowledge and more investors. Thanks to The Connection, he had gained relationships and credit all over town. Terry was excited and wanted to be an interviewer and judge. He got our friend, the artist Larry Rivers to also serve as both interviewer and judge. Another interviewer was Jay Presson Allen, Lew’s wife, the playwright and screenwriter of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hitchcock’s film, Marnie, Cabaret, Funny Lady, etc… We also got Bernard Giguel, the US head for Paris Match do interviews. I then set out to get the rest of the judges. I contacted former law clients. Artists, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, rock legend Jerry Leiber, authors Bruce Jay Friedman and George Plimpton all agreed to be judges. Frank got a crew together.
Rehearsals and the show itself were marvelous and Frank captured it all. When I saw the rough cut, I decided that though it was not the convention, the film flowed better without seeing the interviewer asking the question but with just the answer. Lew and Jay agreed. We made a distribution deal with the publisher, Grove Press, which had established a film division and was enjoying a successful start with I Am Curious (Yellow).
The film opened at the Kips Bay Theater in New York City to unanimous rave reviews and broke box office records and did the same all over the country. It was invited to screen at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival. Roman Polanski, in his autobiography “Roman,” referred to it as “the toast of Cannes.” He and fellow jury member Truman Capote had intended to award it a special jury prize, but unfortunately, the festival ended after one week when the entire country of France went on strike.
“[A] riveting chronicle of a 1967 drag competition.” – Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice
“A gutsy, funny… really very moving documentary.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times
“Makes gender itself seem like an urgent performance.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Extraordinary.” – Renata Adler, The New York Times
ART IN THE ARTHOUSE proudly presents COLOR, LANGUAGE, TEXTURE & TONE featuring works by Joyce Elias and Bea Husman in Glendale. The art is for sale and on display till October 2019. Sales benefit the Laemmle Foundation and its support of humanitarian and environmental causes in Los Angeles. Stop by our gallery – no need to buy a movie ticket to view.
About the exhibit
JOYCE ELIAS: Living near Lake Michigan in an area known for sultry skies and dreary days, one might expect Joyce Elias to express her work in various shades of gray. Most mornings, Elias travels to the edge of that lake and photographs the waters and moody heavens that surround it.“The connection between art and nature intrigues me,” says Elias. In this series, “limiting the size and shapes in the works allows me more freedom to experiment with the unusual color combinations found in the natural world”.
Color bounds out of her evenly painted tempera works – flat, rounded forms gyrate as they intersect the plane. Influenced by Josef Albers and Sonia Delaunay, artists who deeply explored color from 1900 to the late 1970s, Elias’ nuanced shades dance between semi-circle shapes. Color is a funny thing; it grabs us in the darkest of times. The artist’s choice of language is born out of tone and vibration. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Elias later earned a teaching degree at the School of Art Institute in Chicago
BEA HUSMAN: Fellow Chicagoan, Bea Husman uses a language that stems from texture, tone and archaeology. An iconoclast inspired by her world travels, she created cultured works where color acts as a ploy and texture creates dimension, even within a silkscreen print. Husman remained productive until her last days at 96 years of age.
PAPI CHULO stars Alejandro Patiño and Wendi McLendon-Covey will participate in a Q&A following the 4:40 pm show on Saturday, 6/15.