THE REAGAN SHOW co-writer Josh Alexander will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:30 PM screenings at the Playhouse on Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1. Dan Fierman of MTV News will moderate on Friday and Akiva Gottlie of the International Documentary Association will moderate on Saturday.
FOOD EVOLUTION filmmaker Scott Hamilton will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:30 PM screening at the Monica Film Center on Friday, June 30 and after the 10:45 AM show at the Playhouse on Saturday, July 1. He will be joined by Pam Ronald (Professor, Plant Pathology & the Genome Center, UC Davis) at the Santa Monica screening and Dr. Emma Naluyima (Ugandan smallholder organic farmer & veterinarian) at both screenings.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a star-spangled double feature on the 4th of July in the popular monthly Twofer Tuesdays program – the 75th anniversary of Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), paired with the 55th anniversary of The Music Man (1962). Both films represent unabashed celluloid tributes to the American spirit.
And so you won’t miss fireworks, we screen the double feature (two films, one admission) as a special holiday matinee on July 4 at three locations: Ahrya Fine Arts, NoHo 7 and Pasadena Playhouse 7. Yankee Doodle Dandy at 1:00 pm; The Music Man at 3:30 pm. Presented on blu-ray.
Click here for tickets.
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY is the musical biopic of Broadway showman George M. Cohan, showcasing the Oscar-winning performance of screen legend James Cagney (Best Actor). The rousing patriotic musical was released during the early months of WWII, and was designed to lift the American psyche, which it accomplished resoundingly.
The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Director (Michael Curtiz), and Supporting Actor (Walter Huston, playing Cohan’s vaudevillian father). Roger Ebert noted, “the greatness of the film rests entirely in Cagney’s performance. While he’s in full sail, as in “Give My Regards to Broadway” or “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” it’s like regarding a force of nature.” And Cohan himself, still alive at the time, is reputed to have said of Cagney’s performance, “My God, what an act to follow.”
THE MUSIC MAN is the colorful screen adaptation of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning Broadway musical, preserving the triumphant stage performance of Robert Preston in the greatest role of his career. Pauline Kael aptly observed, “the star, Robert Preston, has a few minutes of fast patter—conmanship set to music—that constitute one of the high points in the history of American musicals.”
Critics and public alike at the height of the Cold War embraced the ebullient celebration of early twentieth-century small town Americana, and the film was a box-office smash. Produced and directed by Morton Da Costa (Auntie Mame), with Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold and a future Oscar-winning director, seven year old Ron Howard. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Both films feature the craftsmanship of Warner Bros. staff composer and musical arranger Ray Heindorf, who won his first Academy Award for Yankee Doodle Dandy, and his third and final Oscar for The Music Man twenty years later. Additionally, the two musicals were inducted into the National Film Registry for “historical, cultural, and aesthetic significance.” Here is a rare opportunity to see them back on the big screen.
The gifted British actor Stephen Fry first came to the attention of American audiences with his role as the title character in the 1997 bio-pic Wilde. He has enjoyed a brilliant career ever since, and not just in films. One of his novels has just been adapted into a feature film.
The Hippopotamus is the story of a poet who is summoned to his friend’s country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles. Three-time Olivier Award-winner Roger Allam (Endeavor, The Queen, V for Vendetta) stars as the disgruntled, cantankerous, semi-famous poet Ted Wallace who is hired to investigate strange doings at Lord and Lady Logan’s country manor, Swafford Hall. Golden Globe Winner Matthew Modine (Stranger Things, Short Cuts, Full Metal Jacket) plays the stupendously rich and gregarious Lord Michael Logan. Fiona Shaw (five Harry Potter movies) co-stars as the doting mother Lady Logan. Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill, Game of Thrones) plays the flamboyant and gullible theater director Oliver Mills. The film is directed by John Jencks and produced by Jay Taylor and Alexa Seligman.
Each The Hippopotamus screening will include an exclusive post-screening Q&A with Stephen Fry, actor Roger Allam, and director John Jencks which was captured live on May 28, 2017. The Hippopotamus screens at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 28th at the Playhouse, Town Center, and Ahrya Fine Arts. Click here for tickets.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics series present two of the less frequently revived films from the Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock: a 75th anniversary screening of the World War II-era thriller, SABOTEUR, and a 45th anniversary screening of one of his final films, FRENZY. See two films for the price of one on June 6th at the Ahrya Fine Arts, NoHo 7, and Pasadena Playhouse 7. Presented on DCP.
Click here to buy tickets to the 5pm show of SABOTEUR, admission to the 7:20pm FRENZY is included. Click here to get tickets to the 7:20pm show of FRENZY, admission to the 9:45pm SABOTEUR is included.
Both films are variations on one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes, that of the wrong man in jeopardy—a story that he first explored in one of his early British classics, The 39 Steps, and that he reworked in such American films as Spellbound, Strangers on a Train, and North by Northwest.
In Saboteur Robert Cummings plays a munitions factory worker suspected of setting a destructive industrial fire and forced to go on the lam to prove his innocence. The tart and witty screenplay was penned by Peter Viertel, Joan Harrison, and Dorothy Parker and centers on a conspiracy by a group of softspoken but sinister American Fascists. The Statue of Liberty finale is one of Hitchcock’s memorable set pieces. Priscilla Lane, Otto Kruger, and Norman Lloyd costar. The New York Times called it “a swift, high-tension film.”
In Frenzy, Hitchcock filmed in his native England for the first time in more than two decades. Jon Finch plays the innocent man accused of a series of grisly murders by the notorious “Necktie Strangler.” British actors Barry Foster, Anna Massey, Billie Whitelaw, Alec McCowen, and Vivien Merchant costar. This thriller was written by acclaimed playwright Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth) and received the best reviews of Hitchcock’s late career. Roger Ebert noted that “Frenzy is a return to old forms for the master of suspense,” and Leonard Maltin declared, “All classic Hitchcock elements are here, including delicious black humor, several astounding camera shots.”
Laemmle’s Art in the Arthouse is delighted to present THE PASADENA ART SHOW ’17. Please join us to celebrate our local artists in an intimate theatre setting. Our special event features a slide show on the big screen, artist talks, and of course, the wine, cheese and conversation Art in the Arthouse is known for. Meet the artists and stay for the art!
About the Exhibit
Our third annual Pasadena community show brings together a diverse group of artistic talent culled from the surrounding community. Beyond the inherent eclecticism, there is a shared commitment to create compelling work, zoomed in on aesthetics in what might be considered a bluntly un-aesthetic time. The pieces vary from drawings and digital manipulations to refined paintings and musings through the spirit of animals. Through it all, the intentional act of “making art” – in contrast to the ephemeral and self-absorbed social mediaimagery that pervades our culture – inform the group’s collective conscience.
Art in the Arthouse celebrates these unique 20+ artists and salutes them for having the courage to see, and allowing others to see, in new ways. The exhibit runs for several months, with sales benefitting the Laemmle Foundation and its support of humanistic and environmental efforts in the L.A. region. Enjoy!
– Joshua Elias, Curator
Laemmle Playhouse 7
Thursday, June 1, 6-9pm
Refreshments will be provided
The great Polish director Andrzej Wajda‘s completed his last film just before his death last October. Poland’s official submission for this year’s Oscars, AFTERIMAGE (Powidoki) is a passionate biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (brilliantly played by Polish superstar Boguslaw Linda), who battled Stalinist orthodoxy and his own physical impairments to advance his progressive ideas about art. Wajda said this about his movie:
“I wanted to film the story of an artist – a painter, for a very long time now. I decided to bring Władysław Strzemiński to screen because he is one of the most accomplished Polish artists, and he has been wiped out of the public memory by the consequent actions of the Communist government. Strzemiński understood the path of modern art. He explained it in his book entitled “Theory of Vision.” The conviction that the abstract art is the only option left to an artist, because thematic painting and post-impressionism have already said everything, gave him a strength to oppose the Communist authorities. He was an exceptional teacher, as well as a founder of the Museum of Modern Art in Łódź in 1934, second modern art museum in the world.
“AFTERIMAGE is a portrait of an unbroken man – a man confident of decisions he has taken; a man fully dedicated to art. The film depicts four grave years 1949 – 1952, when the “Sovietisation” of Poland took the most radical form, and the socialist realism became the obligatory style of artistic expression. I wanted to show a conflict of a distinguished individual with the Socialist state attempting to control every aspect of human life. How a human being can stand against the state apparatus? What is the price one has to pay for freedom of expression? What are the choices each individual faces in a totalitarian country? Although we thought these are questions of the past, they are slowly starting to haunt us also today, and we should not forget what we already know about how to answer them.”
With a career spanning over 60 years, Wajda’s contribution to cinema has been recognized by the Academy Awards (Honorary Oscar in 2000), European Film Awards (Lifetime Achievement, 1990), Berlin Film Festival (Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement, 2006), and many others. Four of his films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: THE PROMISED LAND (1975), THE MAIDS OF WILKO (1979), MAN OF IRON (1981), and KATYŃ (2007). MAN OF IRON won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Wajda has directed films from many genres, but he began his career with a trilogy of anti-war films: A GENERATION (1954), KANAŁ (1957, Cannes Special Jury Prize) and ASHES AND DIAMONDS (1958). He has made many films set during or dealing with post-World War II, including KORCZAK (1990), a story about a Jewish-Polish doctor who cares for orphan children, HOLY WEEK (1995) specifically on Jewish-Polish relations, and KATYŃ (2007) about the Katyń massacre, in which Wajda’s own father was murdered.
Wajda’s commitment to Poland’s Solidarity movement was manifested in Palme d’Or winner MAN OF IRON with Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa appearing as himself. The director’s involvement in this movement would prompt the Polish government to force Wajda’s production company out of business. Three decades later, Wajda made the biopic WALESA, MAN OF HOPE (European Film Awards – FIPRESCI Prize of the Year). Wajda’s other credits include 1983’s post-French Revolution epic DANTON, starring Gérard Depardieu, 1980’s THE ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR, starring John Gielgud; 1983’s A LOVE IN GERMANY featuring Hanna Schygulla, and 1988’s THE POSSESSED based on Dostoyevsky’s novel.
Award-winning director of photography Paweł Edelman has been one of Wajda’s great collaborators. They worked together on several films, including AFTERIMAGE ; WALESA: MAN OF HOPE; PAN TADEUSZ; SWEET RUSH (Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009); and Wajda’s 1994 film version of Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot.
Wajda was born in 1926 in Suwałki, Poland, the son of a school teacher and an army officer. Wajda’s father was murdered by the Soviets in 1940 in what came to be known as the Katyń Massacre. In 1942 he joined the Polish resistance and served in the Armia Krajowa. After the war, he studied to be a painter at Kraków’s Academy of Fine Arts before entering the Łódź Film School.
After his apprenticeship with director Aleksander Ford, Wajda was given the opportunity to direct his own film: A GENERATION (1955). Throughout his film career, Wajda has simultaneously worked as a director in theater. His acclaimed productions include versions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Antigone and a unique interpretation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. He passed away October 9, 2016 in Warsaw.
On Friday we’ll open the winning documentary HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY at the Monica Film Center, Playhouse 7, and Town Center 5. It is a fascinating account of the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson, two unsung heroes of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Although they worked on hundreds of classic films and were responsible for some of Hollywood’s most iconic examples of visual storytelling, their contributions remain largely uncredited. This film chronicles their remarkable marriage and careers through six decades of movie-making history.
To get a sense of how special this film is, read the April 28, 2017 the New York Times ‘critic’s pick’ review by Monica Castillo: ‘Harold and Lillian’ Introduces a Hollywood Power Couple and then come see the film. Several screenings will feature Q&A’s, including some with Mrs. Michelson.
“Harold and Lillian Michelson’s names may not sound familiar, but you’ve most likely seen their work in “West Side Story,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Birds,” among many other films. Harold, the storyboard artist husband, and Lillian, the film researcher wife, were a prolific team whose careers are being profiled in Daniel Raim’s documentary “Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story.”
“Through charming animated sketches and interviews with the couple and some of their friends, like Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and Danny DeVito, the documentary reflects on the couple’s work together — often with Mrs. Michelson’s findings inspiring her husband’s art.
“Mr. Michelson, who died in 2007, climbed the industry ladder as a storyboard artist, eventually becoming an art director and production designer. Not wanting to stay at home, Mrs. Michelson volunteered at a studio library and became a sought-after film researcher.
“Their behind-the-scenes influence on filmmakers was far-reaching. Mr. Michelson’s storyboards show sketched versions of memorable scenes, like the parting of the Red Sea in “The Ten Commandments” and Anne Bancroft’s raised leg overshadowing Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.” Mrs. Michelson excitedly recalls interviewing women at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles about traditional costumes for “Fiddler on the Roof” and questioning a drug kingpin for “Scarface.”
“The stories are told out of order to make room for personal tangents, including the challenges of raising an autistic son in the 1960s. Like flipping through misplaced leaves in a photo book, the documentary maintains a freeflowing tone as it uncovers the work that went into creating some of the indelible scenes in Hollywood history.”