The L.A. Rep-port: 5/12 to 5/19, by Scott Nye

12 May

The Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the city.

On Saturday, The Silent Treatment at Cinefamily is showing my favorite silent Ozu film (and one I actually wrote about for this very site), Tokyo Chorus (1931, 35mm). I’ve been waiting so very long for a chance to see Yasujiro Ozu on film (and yeah, I know I had my chance a few weeks ago with the even-rarer Days of Youth, but sorry, I was busy), and short of one of his color masterpieces, this is as lovely an opportunity as could await. The film is about an insurance salesman forced to juggle his dignity at the office with his responsibility to bring home a paycheck. It’s a lovely mix of comedy and drama, beautifully performed, and really brings into stark relief how direct the influence of Western culture was in Japan – they not only wear Western-style clothes and play Western sports, but the Great Depression was hitting there too at the same time.

On Tuesday, they’re running Maren Ade’s Everyone Else (2009, 35mm). Ade made quite a splash last year with Toni Erdmann, but I may even prefer the former, though I haven’t seen it since its release. It’s about a couple on vacation who come to compare their relationship to others, and all the trouble that creates. Ade studies it intensely, but subtextually, rarely allowing them to have a sort of “state of the relationship” discussion and instead relaying her story through their gaze and her almost-Hitchcockian camerawork, which dwells exquisitely in the suspense of everyday life.

On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the New Beverly wheels out one of Otto Preminger’s less-discussed films (perhaps due to its 3.5-hour running time), Exodus (1960, 35mm). Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, and Lee J. Cobb star in the story of the founding of modern Israel.

On Monday, UCLA presents a very rare opportunity to see Fritz Lang’s You and Me (1938, 35mm), on nitrate film at that. The film is only available on DVD, as far as I can tell, from Germany. Despite being a Paramount production, UCLA bills this as a “Brechtian part-musical social drama with songs by [Brecht collaborator] Kurt Weill.” Works for me. Plus is stars Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Harry Carey, and Robert Cummings!

Oliver Stone appears in person at the Aero on Thursday to show my favorite of his films, Nixon (1995, DCP), which I’m sure won’t be at all cathartic or of marginal interest today. How weird is it that Oliver Stone once made an over-three-hour film about Richard Nixon on a budget comparable to that of Apollo 13? The ‘90s were wild. Though I guess almost nobody went to see it, so it goes to show…something, I’m sure.

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