History of Hollywood

Friday, January 19 at 1:30pm

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF

Thom Andersen (U.S. 2003) 169 min. DCP.

Thom Andersen’s landmark documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself explores the tangled relationship between the movies and their fabled hometown – as seen entirely though the films themselves. In this dazzling work, Andersen takes viewers on a whirlwind tour through the metropolis’ real and cinematic history, investigating the myriad stories and legends that have come to define it, and meticulously revealing the real city that lives beneath.

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Friday, January 26 at 2pm

DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME

Bill Morrison (U.S. 2017) 120 min. DCP.

This meditation on cinema’s past from Decasia director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre true history of a long-lost collection of 533 film prints from the early 1900s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896, became the center of the Canadian Gold Rush, and was the final stop for a distribution chain that sent films to the Yukon. Morrison draws on these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, pairing them with archival footage, interviews, historical photographs, and an enigmatic score, to depict the unique history of this Canadian Gold Rush town.

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Friday, February 2 at 1:30pm

ALIAS JIMMY VALENTINE

Maurice Tourneur (U.S. 1915) 50 min. 35MM. With Robert Warwick, Robert Cummings, Alec B. Francis. With live musical accompaniment!

This tale of a crook trying to go straight, adapted from an O. Henry story, is one of the finest of early American features thanks to subtle performances and brilliant direction from veteran Tourneur (The Last of the Mohicans). Preserved by the Library of Congress.

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Friday, February 9 at 2pm

BOMBSHELL

Victor Fleming (U.S. 1933) 95 min. 35MM. With Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Franchot Tone.

This satire will have its cheesecake and eat it too, lampooning the selling of sex appeal while offering up the luscious Jean Harlow in braless satin or a tenuous towel. She plays Lola, a platinum blonde superstar who has had enough of being exploited. Harlow brilliantly manages Lola’s volatile persona, comically shifting from guttersnipe snarl to haughty mid-Atlantic drawl as befits the occasion, and reveling in the script’s double entendres and relentless verbal sparring. Adapted from Pacific Film Archive notes.

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Friday, February 16 at 2pm

REBECCA

Alfred Hitchcock (U.S. 1940) 130 min. With Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders.

Hitchcock’s first American film adapts Daphne du Maurier’s best-selling fable of a young bride whose marriage is haunted by the spirit of her husband’s first wife. The labyrinthine Manderly mansion where her brooding groom takes her, presided over by his menacing housekeeper, sets the stage for a Gothic ghost story-cum-psychological thriller.

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Friday, February 23 at 2pm

THE SEARCHERS

John Ford (U.S. 1956) 119 min. DCP. With John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles.

John Ford’s 1956 epic Western is a captivity narrative mixed with a revenge tale, as former Confederate soldier John Wayne returns briefly to his family before setting out for years in search of a niece abducted by Comanches. Arguably Ford’s greatest work, and subject of imitations and homages from Star Wars to Taxi Driver, The Searchers’ Monument Valley setting and early VistaVision Technicolor cinematography demand the big screen.

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Friday, March 2 at 2pm

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

Charles Laughton (U.S. 1955) 93 min. DCP. With Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish.

A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, The Night of the Hunter stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling “preacher” (his knuckles tattooed with “love” and “hate”) whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow (Winters) are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil.

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Friday, March 23 at 2pm

THIS IS CINERAMA – Restoration!

Merian C. Cooper & Robert L. Bendick (U.S. 1952) 127 min. DCP.

On the evening of September 30, 1952, the shape and sound of movies changed forever with the introduction of Cinerama, in This is Cinerama. Travel around the world from Venice to Madrid, from Edinburgh Castle to the La Scala opera house in Milan, and conclude with a fight across America in the nose of a B-25 bomber. Presented in a unique “Smilebox” curved screen simulation!

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Friday, March 30 at 2pm

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

Steven Spielberg (U.S. 1977) 137 min. DCP. With Melinda Dillon, Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Francois Truffaut.

One of the best films ever made about alien visitation to Earth, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind gives recurring visions to a power repairman (Dreyfuss) who encounters a strange spacecraft while out on a call. Desperate to understand what he has experienced, he finds an ally in a single mother (Dillon) who believes her son has been abducted by the aliens. Meanwhile, an international group of scientists search for a breakthrough in human-alien communication.

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Friday, April 6 at 2pm

STRANGER THAN PARADISE

Jim Jarmusch (U.S./West Germany 1984) 89 min. 35MM. With John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson.

Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema. With deadpan humor and dramatic nonchalance, Stranger Than Paradise follows rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (Lurie), his pal Eddie (Edson) and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Balint), as they aimlessly traverse the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland and an anonymous Florida suburb.

“While Stranger Than Paradise may be a comedy, an experiment in cinematic story-telling, and a deeply ironic fable, it’s also a film about America and the people who live there. It’s about those people’s relationships to one another, and their relationships to the rooms they inhabit, the city streets, the suburbs, diners and highways. And it’s made by someone who knows there may be truth in poetry…” — Geoff Andrew for the Criterion Collection

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Friday, April 13 at 2pm

DO THE RIGHT THING

Spike Lee (U.S. 1989) 120 min. 35MM. With Danny Aiello, Lee, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee.

Set on a single block in the heart of Brooklyn on the hottest Saturday of the summer, Do the Right Thing is a funny, stylized, visceral portrayal of simmering racial tensions on New York’s streets. With an extraordinary cast, Spike Lee created a lasting cinematic and social cry of alarm.

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