The L.A. Rep-port: 9/16 to 9/22, by Scott Nye
70mm double feature alert! Here at the Rep-port, we’re big fans of seeing films on film, and the opportunity to see big commercial releases on 70mm is a rare one indeed. Such events were not so unusual in the 1970s, 80s, and even 90s, when big event movies (ranging from expected stuff like Star Wars to The Muppet Movie and Grease 2) were blown up from their 35mm negatives. While the advantages of a 35mm-to-70mm conversion may seem minor, the prints in question tend to be treated better in storage and by time, as they are screened less frequently. Consequently, if one were to see Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), the Egyptian’s 70mm program is where it’s at. The show starts Friday at 7:30, and includes a discussion between the films with Undiscovered Country director Nicholas Meyer and other members of the cast and crew.
The 70mm fun continues Saturday at 7:30 with The Master (2012). I doubt I need to convince BP readers of the value of Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece, or the pleasure of seeing it in 70.
The UCLA Film & Television Archive was relatively low-key last week, but they come out swinging with some top-notch programming this weekend. Their series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of documentary distributors Kartemquin Films hosts the Los Angeles premiere of Raising Bertie (2016, DCP) on Friday and archival screenings of The Chicago Maternity Center Story (1976, digital video) and Home For life (1966, 16mm) on Saturday. Both programs start at 7:30.
Their Kirk Douglas series continues on down with a killer (literally) noir double bill of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946, 35mm) and Out of the Past (1947, 35mm) on Sunday at 7:00. Out of the Past is, rightly, considered a major work, and should be an incredible dreamlike experience on film, on the big screen, but it’s worth showing up on time for Martha Ivers, too. Though it fits handily into film noir, it was a fairly big-budget, A-list production, and boasts an ornate, gothic atmosphere that lets it play like a marginally-trashier Sunset Boulevard. Douglas is more of a supporting role, but with Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Lizabeth Scott along for the ride, who could complain.
Last week, I put Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Dekalog (1988, DCP) at the top of my recommendations, and, now 4/5ths of the way through it, I can firmly say I made the right call there. I still have chapters V and VI to go, and IX has been the unparalleled highlight so far, but it’s been a truly wonderful, thought-provoking week at the cinema because of the whole series. If you haven’t yet gotten to it, or have any gaps to fill in, Cinefamily’s running the whole thing again this weekend over Saturday and Sunday. The expanded versions of chapters V and VI – A Short Film About Love and A Short Film About Killing – screen Monday.
Their Frederick Wiseman series also continues with Hospital (1970, 35mm). They also have a few final(?) opportunities to catch the new restoration of Belladonna of Sadness (1973, DCP) late night Friday-Sunday. That is truly a singular experience.
Their Hangover Matinee series on Paris-set musicals continues with Silk Stockings (1957, 35mm) on Sunday at 1:00, and I really could not regret more that I’ll have to miss it. With Rouben Mamoulian directing, Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire dancing, and Cole Porter on the soundtrack…on 35mm…yeah, no, I really can’t go on thinking about the pure joy in which I simply cannot take part. For those who can, please do, and please enjoy. These films have been a blast so far.
For those with a little cash in their pocket ($25 to be exact), Cinefamily is doing an off-site event at the lovely Barnsdall Park showcasing some landmark experimental shorts, all on 16mm. There’s a wine tasting in it for you, too.
The New Beverly’s J. Lee Thompson tribute gives them an opportunity to dip into the Planet of the Apes series with Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972, 35mm) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973, 35mm) on Friday and Saturday at 7:30. I’m a sinner who’s only seen the first one, but this is one of those series that sounds like it gets so wacky so quickly that I’ve long wanted to plunge into more. I doubt starting with the final films in it are the way to go, so I will exercise some patience.
For more Thompson, I’ve heard extremely exciting things about Sunday and Monday’s Tiger Bay (1959, 35mm) / Ice Cold in Alex (1958, 16mm) double bill. I may be able to wander down for the back end one of those nights, but it’s not looking good, and I’m preemptively jealous of those of you who can.
Also exciting is their Claude Lelouch double feature on Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30. The Bev only plays a couple foreign language films each month, and such nights are worth supporting already – that these seem like a fine pair of crowd-pleasers makes it all the better (both 35mm).
The Aero’s Studio Ghibli series continues with Spirited Away/Grave of the Fireflies on Friday, Princess Mononoke/Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind on Saturday, My Neighbor Totoro on Sunday afternoon at 3:00, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya/Pom Poko Sunday evening. All films except Pom Poko (35mm!) screen on DCP, and all except Totoro are in Japanese with English subs. Except the afternoon Totoro, all programs start at 7:30.
If you’re fortunate enough to have your Tuesday afternoons free, LACMA is screening Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (1982, 35mm) at 1:00. This is, of course, the three-hour theatrical version, not the five-hour television version, but this is a rare chance to see some Bergman on 35mm. Aside from the Aero’s mini-retrospective four years ago and a TCM Fest screening of The Seventh Seal in 2013, I can’t think of the last time you could.