LIVES WELL LIVED filmmaker Sky Bergman will participate in Q&A’s at the Monica Film Center after the 7:30 PM show on Friday, April 20 screening and at the Playhouse 7 after the 5:20 PM show on Saturday, April 21.
ART IN THE ARTHOUSE invites you to view our newest exhibit in Pasadena from photographer, musician, and cultural anthropologist Yale Strom. All works in THE STROM PROJECT: FRAGMENT exhibit are for sale and on display until June 14, 2018.
About the exhibit
Forty years ago, musician and cultural anthropologist YALE STROM trekked to Eastern Europe. He came across Jews living in cities, towns and tiny villages, often reminiscent of a pre-war shtetl environment. He bore witness to a dwindled Jewish population with some areas completely devoid of Jewish life. But he also found that a few larger cities were quite populous, and had actually exhibited an increase in numbers.
On his journey, Strom discovered a rich tapestry, including remnants of Hasidic and Orthodox worlds, Jews who were greatly devoted to communism, and parents who were fervently seeking better lives for their children and their children’s children.This photographic exhibition is a small window into a large field of conditions as they were, as they are, and perhaps as they will remain. Strom seeks out the moment with an artist’s hyperawareness, capturing it with an emotion and tone that is singular and authentic. The artist expresses a quality of relaxed spontaneity in his work, an organic, natural approach that never feels preset. The shots were taken with a 35mm Nikon FE camera using Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W film.
Strom’s career has been incredibly multi-disciplinary. In the klezmer world, he is celebrated as a leading scholar, ethnographer, virtuoso violinist and bandleader. Remarkably, he is a writer of 12 books, a musician/composer of 15 recordings and a documentarian of 9 films.
His newest film, American Socialist: The Life & Times of Eugene Victor Debs, starts Friday, May 4th in Pasadena and Santa Monica. The film traces the history of American populism with the man who inspired progressive ideas– from FDR’s New Deal to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.
– Joshua Elias, CURATOR
ROGERS PARK actors Christine Horn (‘American Crime Story’) and Jonny Mars (‘A Ghost Story’) and director Kyle Henry will participate in Q&A’s at the Playhouse after 7:40 PM screenings Friday-Sunday, April 6-8.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program, a 50th anniversary screening of Gillo Pontecorvo’s memorable and still timely political drama, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS.
The film was an Oscar nominee for best foreign language film of 1966, but it was not released in the United States until 1968, when it received additional nominations for best director and for best original screenplay by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas. The film was considered so inflammatory that it was not shown in France until 1971.
The picture, filmed in black-and-white to approximate the look of a newsreel, dramatizes Algeria’s war of independence against France. It focuses on the years from 1954 to 1957, when the National Liberation Front began to organize in the Casbah of Algiers to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians as well as the French army. This led to a fierce and brutal counter-insurgency by the French, which meant the battles dragged on for years.
To insure authenticity, Pontecorvo cast the film mainly with non-professional actors recruited in Algeria. The film’s one professional actor, Jean Martin, gave a vivid performance as the complex, intelligent French officer who understands the grievances of the Algerians even as he fights ruthlessly to defeat them. The film’s urgency was heightened by the score of Ennio Morricone.
The film’s influence extended well beyond the cinema. It became a sort of handbook of revolutionary techniques that was studied by many radical groups over the years. Yet in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon also screened the movie in order to better understand the civil war unleashed in that country.
Many prominent filmmakers–including Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone–all testified to influence of Pontecorvo’s movie on their own work. Critic David Elliott of the San Diego Union Tribune called The Battle of Algiers “perhaps the finest political film of the 1960s.” The LA Weekly’s Ella Taylor agreed that it was “a classic of politically engaged filmmaking.”
Our 50th anniversary screening of THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (1968) screens Wednesday, April 18 at 7pm in Encino, Pasadena, and West LA. Click here for tickets.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present two Fred Astaire musicals in the popular Twofer Tuesday program this Easter holiday season, the 65th anniversary of THE BAND WAGON (1953) paired with, appropriately, the 70th anniversary of EASTER PARADE (1948). Astaire is considered the most influential actor-dancer in the history of motion pictures and television, and both films showcase his bountiful talent and artistry from the Golden Age of the movie musical.
Astaire was coaxed out of retirement to replace an injured Gene Kelly as the lead in Easter Parade, co-starring Judy Garland, who plays a chorus girl he grooms for stardom to take the place of his former dancing partner (Ann Miller in her MGM debut). The period musical comedy, set in 1912, features the Irving Berlin songbook, including such joyful tunes as “Shaking the Blues Away,” “Stepping Out with My Baby,” “A Couple of Swells,” and the title song.
Directed by Charles Walters (Lili), written by Sidney Sheldon and the husband and wife team of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (The Thin Man, Father of the Bride). Also starring Peter Lawford and Jules Munshin. Produced by Arthur Freed (Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, Gigi). Oscar winner for Best Score of a Musical. Dance legend Gene Kelly later asserted, “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire.”
Astaire missed out on working with Cyd Charisse when she bowed out of Easter Parade, and was replaced by Ann Miller. But Astaire and Charisse got a second chance in 1953 with The Band Wagon, in which Astaire plays a “washed-up” movie star who pairs with a temperamental ballerina (Charisse) in creating a Broadway show. Producer Arthur Freed followed up his paean to the movies, Singin’ in the Rain, with that film’s writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who teamed this time with Broadway lyricist Alan Jay Lerner to concoct a sophisticated backstage musical confection. Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant play characters based on Comden and Green, and are comically supported by Jack Buchanan as a maniacal director.
The memorable score showcases the songs of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, which include “By Myself,” “Shine on Your Shoes,” Dancing in the Dark,” and the show business anthem, “That’s Entertainment.” Deftly directed by Vincent Minnelli (An American in Paris, Gigi). Bosley Crowther, reviewing the film in The New York Times, praised all the assembled talent, “this witty and literate combination delivers a show that respectfully bids for recognition as one of the best musicals ever made.” Added to the National Film Registry in 1995. The Band Wagon, according to Leonard Maltin, “improves with each viewing.”
Here is a chance to see it back on the big screen in our Twofer Tuesday (two for the price of one) double bill with Easter Parade. Both films will play one day only, April 3, at Laemmle Theatres in NoHo, Pasadena, and West L.A.
For tickets to the 4:45pm EASTER PARADE and the 7pm THE BAND WAGON, click here.
For tickets to the 7pm THE BAND WAGON and 9:15pm EASTER PARADE, click here.
On Friday April 13th at the Playhouse AARDVARK actor Zachary Quinto will participate in a Q&A following the 7:20 PM show. On Saturday, April 14th at the Monica Film Center Mr. Quinto will sit for a Q&A following the 7:20 PM show. The moderator for the latter Q&A will be actor-producer Matt Bomer and they will also be joined by AARDVARK producer Neal Dodson.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program: a 55th anniversary presentation of the Oscar-winning film of 1963, TOM JONES.
Tony Richardson’s spirited comic romp was the first all-British production to be named best picture by the Academy since Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet in 1948. The film won three other Oscars—best director for Richardson, best adapted screenplay by award-winning British playwright John Osborne, and best musical score by a gifted new composer, John Addison. The film received six other nominations, including a record-tying five acting nods—Albert Finney for best actor, Hugh Griffith for best supporting actor (he had won in this category four years earlier, for Ben-Hur), and an unprecedented three nominations in the supporting actress category—for Diane Cilento, Edith Evans, and Joyce Redman.
Up to this point, Richardson was best known for hard-hitting social protest dramas filmed in black and white—Look Back in Anger (based on Osborne’s hit play), A Taste of Honey, and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. For his new film, adapted from Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel, Richardson made his first period piece, his first comedy, and his first film in color, with superb lensing by Walter Lassally. The director took a playful approach to the material, experimenting with a variety of film techniques, including a silent film opening, and a number of moments when characters broke the fourth wall to address the camera. Yet Richardson and Osborne retained the essence of Fielding’s picaresque tale of a young orphan adopted by a rich nobleman but then thrown into jeopardy by scheming enemies.
The film is remembered for several striking set pieces, including a savage hunt sequence and an erotic eating scene that commingled lust and gluttony. The outstanding cast also includes Susannah York, David Warner, Joan Greenwood, and Peter Bull.
In addition to its Oscar win, the film was named best picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle. The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther called Tom Jones “surely one of the wildest, bawdiest and funniest comedies that a refreshingly agile filmmaker has ever brought to the screen.”
Time magazine also extolled “a way-out, walleyed, wonderful exercise in cinema” but added that the film was not completely different from Richardson’s gritty earlier films. As the magazine noted, “It is also a social satire written in blood with a broadaxe.” Audiences turned the innovative film into a box office smash.
TOM JONES screens at 7:00pm on Wednesday, March 21st in Pasadena, Encino, and West LA. Click here for tickets.