Laemmle Theatres is pleased to announce that veteran film critic Stephen Farber’s popular REEL TALK WITH STEPHEN FARBER screening series is moving to Laemmle’s Monica Film Center this fall! See a variety of outstanding films from the U.S. and around the world, including many top awards contenders. Then meet the filmmakers for provocative and revealing discussions led by Stephen. The first screening — CALL JANE — will be October 17 and special guests will be announced soon. Visit laemmle.com/reeltalk for updates.
Recent films and speakers at Reel Talk have included:
MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS, with director Anthony Fabian;
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN, with actors Christian Lees and Jonah Lees;
HAPPENING, with director Audrey Diwan and actress Anamaria Vartolomei;
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, with director/co-writer Tom Gormican and co-writer Kevin Etten;
OPERATION MINCEMEAT, with screenwriter Michelle Ashford;
FIDDLER’S JOURNEY TO THE BIG SCREEN, with producer Sasha Berman and co-writer Michael Sragow;
AS THEY MADE US, with writer-director Mayim Bialik.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series are proud to present this month’s installment in our popular Anniversary Classics Abroad program: Akira Kurosawa’s unique Shakespearean adaptation, Throne of Blood. The Japanese auteur was always an admirer of the Bard. His late film Ran offered a variation on King Lear. The power, majesty and craftsmanship of a film like Throne of Blood can only fully appreciated in a theatrical setting: with an audience, with a big screen, and sound you can feel. We’ll be showing a DCP.
For many years Kurosawa dreamed of adapting Macbeth, and he put the film together in 1957, with his favorite actor Toshiro Mifune starring as the ambitious, murderous leader. Isuzu Yamada co-stars as the Lady Macbeth character, with Takashi Shimura as the equivalent of Shakespeare’s Macduff. Kurosawa wrote the screenplay with Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Ryuzo Kikushima. They transposed the story from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan and Kurosawa came up with striking visual concepts to revitalize the classic story. The castle exteriors were filmed on the slopes of Mount Fuji and the memorable climax—with a massive array of arrows aimed at the deranged protagonist—remains one of the greatest images in any Kurosawa movie.
Writing of this climactic scene, The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane declared,“No stage production could match Kurosawa’s Birnam Wood, and, in his final framing of the hero — a human hedgehog, stuck with arrows — he conjures a tragedy not laden with grandeur but pierced, like a dream, by the absurd.” British critic Derek Malcolm of the Guardian acclaimed Throne of Blood as “a landmark of visual strength… possibly the finest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to the screen.”
On its original American release, Time magazine praised the film as “a visual descent into the hell of greed and superstition.” In his four-star review, Leonard Maltin called the film a “graphic, powerful adaptation of Macbeth in a samurai setting.” It was not simply film critics who endorsed the film. Renowned literary critic Harold Bloom said that Throne of Blood was “the most successful film version of Macbeth.”
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 35th anniversary screening of Stanley Kubrick’s savage anti-war drama Full Metal Jacket, which scored a box office success in 1987 and also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Kubrick, celebrated Vietnam author Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford adapted Hasford’s 1979 novel, The Short-Timers. The acclaimed cast includes Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, Dorian Harewood, and R. Lee Ermey. D’Onofrio will join for a Q&A after the 7 PM screening at the Royal on Tuesday, September 13.
Kubrick came late to the Vietnam war movie cycle, after such Oscar-winning films as Coming Home, The Deer Hunter, and Platoon. But he added his own sardonic and biting slant to his dissection of the terrible war. One of Kubrick’s early celebrated movies was his 1957 drama Paths of Glory, set during World War I. And his 1964 Oscar nominee, Dr. Strangelove, took a unique black comic approach to the terrifying subject of nuclear annihilation. Some of the same dark humor freshens Full Metal Jacket, though it also contains deadly serious depictions of brutal basic training as well as the horrors of a misguided, doomed war.
The first section of the film dramatizes the basic training of a platoon of Marine recruits at Parris Island, South Carolina. Former real-life drill instructor R. Lee Ermey portrays the savage sergeant in charge of the soldiers’ training. Ermey improvised much of the scathing and scatological dialogue, based on his own personal experience as a sergeant during the Vietnam War. He bullies and brutalizes all of the recruits but takes special pleasure in tormenting the overweight soldier played by D’Onofrio, whom he nicknames Gomer Pyle. Modine tries to protect D’Onofrio, with little success.
When the action shifts to Vietnam during the Tet offensive, it retains its hard-edged, nihilistic spirit. The entire film was actually shot in England, but Kubrick and his technical crew did an extraordinary job of recreating an American military base and the cities and jungles of Southeast Asia without ever leaving the English countryside.
Critical reactions to the film were very strong. Gene Siskel called Full Metal Jacket “a great piece of filmmaking.” The Los Angeles Times’ Sheila Benson wrote, “Aiming for minds as well as hearts, Kubrick hits his target squarely.” The Chicago Reader’s Jonathan Rosenbaum raved, “This is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove, as well as the most horrific.” The New York Times’ Vincent Canby called it “a film of immense and very rare imagination.” Canby’s Times colleague Janet Maslin added, “No one who sees Full Metal Jacket will easily put the film’s last glimpse of D’Onofrio, or a great many other things about Kubrick’s latest and most sobering vision, out of mind.”
After his breakthrough performance in Full Metal Jacket, D’Onofrio went on to co-star in such films as Mystic Pizza, JFK, The Player, Ed Wood, The Whole Wide World, Men in Black, Jurassic World, and Steal This Movie, in which he played Abbie Hoffman. He had a ten-year run in Law and Order: Criminal Intent. More recently he has appeared in the series Daredevil, Godfather of Harlem, and Ratched. Last year he had a major role as Jerry Falwell in the Oscar-winning The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Celebrate moviegoing and enjoy some monetary time travel this Saturday, September 3 by participating in National Cinema Day when movie theaters across the nation will charge prices circa 1980 — three bucks per ticket! This applies to any film at any time on Saturday, from François Ozon’s latest, Peter Von Kant, to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Version, from the new A24 comedy about the underground comics scene, Funny Pages, to Javier Bardem’s Goya-winning The Good Boss. Catch the summer sleepers Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Fire of Love, RRR or Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song while they’re still on big screens.
We all know of the tragedy that is happening in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Thousands of civilians are dying in the streets while as of today 3,000,000 people are fleeing the country.
Film exhibitors around the country want to do their small part. Working with filmmaker Oles Sanin, who is currently in Ukraine, we have banded together to screen his 2014 Ukrainian film The Guide and will donate 100% of the proceeds to help his fellow Ukrainians. We’ll begin screening the film this Friday at the Monica Film Center. The Guide follows an American boy named Peter and and a blind minstrel, Ivan, who are thrown together by fate during the Stalin-perpetrated genocide in 1930s Ukraine.
Here’s the official website: STAND WITH UKRAINE THROUGH FILM
Here is a message from the director that will precede the screenings:
Here is the film’s trailer:
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present one of the screen’s most iconic romances, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961), with a 60th anniversary screening on November 10 at the Royal Theatre in West LA. Audrey Hepburn stars as Holly Golightly, and besides the image of Hepburn in that famous black Givenchy dress, the most enduring legacy of the movie is the song “Moon River,” composed by Henry Mancini for Hepburn, and a “melody of a lifetime.”
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S was adapted from a popular Truman Capote novella and brought to the screen by director Blake Edwards and writer George Axelrod, with considerable alterations to the story about a flighty call girl from the country aspiring to the high life in New York City. Capote had envisioned Marilyn Monroe in the role, but it was Audrey Hepburn who immortalized Holly Golightly for the screen. Henry Mancini provided the Oscar and Grammy-winning soundtrack that accompanied her amorous adventures. TIFFANY’S was a box office hit and nominated for five Academy Awards, including Hepburn for Best Actress and Axelrod for Best Screenplay. Mancini and lyricist Johnny Mercer wrote one of the most popular songs of the twentieth century, “Moon River,” and the pair won an Oscar (double winner Mancini also won for his score).
New York magazine epitomized the praise for the movie, which helped launch the Fabulous Sixties in American culture, by stating, “a film that not only captures the sedate elegance of a New York long gone, but that continues to entrance as a love story, a style manifesto, and a way to live.” Our guest, author Sam Wasson, reinforces that notion by titling his book about the making of the movie, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman. He will discuss the film in a Q&A before the screening, and the newly revised edition of his critically lauded book will be available for purchase and signing. The New York Times cited it as “a bonbon of a book…as well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” Wasson is also the author of the acclaimed best seller The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood.
The 60th anniversary of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, also starring George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney, and Buddy Ebsen, will screen on Wednesday, November 10, at 7:30 PM at the Royal Theater in West Los Angeles. Tickets on sale now at Laemmle.com/ac
On July 5th, 1968, The Doors lit up the storied stage of the Hollywood Bowl with a legendary performance that is widely considered to be the band’s finest captured on film. Performing on the back of their 3rd album release “Waiting For The Sun” and the US #1 single “Hello, I Love You,” the quartet had been honing their live performances over the previous two years and were in absolute peak form.
Now, on November 4th, 2021, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Doors final studio album L.A. WOMAN (1971), The Doors: Live At The Bowl ’68 Special Edition will transform movie theaters into concert venues, giving Doors fans around the world the closest experience to being there live alongside Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, who stated, “the magic that has been done to enhance the picture and sound quality of this show will make everyone feel as though they have a front row seat at the Hollywood Bowl.”
In celebration of L.A. WOMAN, this special event includes a brand-new musical performance and a conversation with John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Doors Manager, Jeff Jampol, filmed exclusively for the big screen. Here’s a clip:
This theatrical “Special Edition” release creates an in-cinema experience for fans like no other. The film has now been remastered in stunning Dolby ATMOS® (where available) and 5.1 surround sound by Bruce Botnick, the original engineer & mixer for The Doors who recorded the live performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968 and co-produced L.A. WOMAN. Here’s another clip:
Meticulously restored from original camera negatives and remixed and mastered using original multi-track tapes, The Doors: Live At The Bowl ’68 Special Edition features the concert in its entirety, including “Hello, I Love You”, “The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)”, “Light My Fire” and “The End.”