The L.A. Rep-port: 5/26 to 6/1, by Scott Nye

25 May

The American Cinematheque, through their Egyptian and Aero Theatres, are showing a couple of knock-down bonafide classics on film this weekend – Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954, 35mm) shows Friday at the Egyptian in Hollywood, while David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 70mm) shows in its famous gigantic print on Sunday at the Aero.

Cinefamily kicks off their “Fairy Tales for Adults” series with Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987, 35mm) late Saturday night. I’ve actually never seen The Lost Boys, but it sure seems to be a thing for a great many people.

Somewhat more reputably, they’re also embarking on a large retrospective of Lina Wertmüller’s work. She hasn’t quite cemented her reputation yet, but back in the 1970s, she was famous enough to be impersonated on Saturday Night Live, if you can imagine such a thing. I’ve only seen a couple of her movies, but boy are they a perverse blast. Cinefamily begins their series with her most famous film, the newly-restored Swept Away (1974, DCP), on Friday and Saturday night, before moving onto Seven Beauties (1975, DCP) on Sunday and Love & Anarchy (1973, DCP) on Thursday. All are newly-restored.

The New Beverly is celebrating Elaine May with, wouldn’t you know it, the two of her four films I’ve seen, A New Leaf (1971, 35mm) and Ishtar (1987, 35mm). A New Leaf belongs in any conversation of the flat-out funniest films ever made, with Walter Matthau giving a performance for the ages as a middle-aged trust fund brat whose wealth suddenly vanishes. He decides the only reasonable move is to marry a wealthy woman, and sets his sights on and awkward introvert (played by May). The hijinks…oh how they ensure.

If you’ve spent any time on Film Twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing how secretly-brilliant Ishtar is, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you the movie doesn’t have problems. I will say that it has its share of brilliance, and I would gladly put it on a list of required viewing just so we can all speak a common, very odd, language.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Bev answers my prayers by showing a double bill of two early Robert Zemeckis films I’ve wanted to see for years – I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978, 35mm) and Used Cars (1980, 35mm). I am quite excited to finally see what the hype’s all about.

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