Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

sister-act-2-DI
7/23 - 2PM
$12/free for members

Most sequels go the way of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo or Speed 2: Cruise Control. Some, when you get that delicious alignment of talent, inspiration, and a dose of gonzo, take the Gremlins 2: The New Batch path. Sister Act 2 – a strange, beautiful, hilarious movie – belongs in the latter category.

It was a different world when the Sister Act franchise arrived in cinemas in the early 90′s. We had no idea that Whoopi Goldberg would one day helm The View, while Harry Potter‘s Minerva McGonagal was just a twinkle in Maggie Smith’s eye. Deloris (Whoopi)’s singing career is soaring in Vegas, is recruited by Smith for a classic “one last ride” rejoin the nuns in rescuing a declining San Francisco public school from closure. Fish-out-of-water hijinks ensue, while a lurid batch of musical numbers – including arrangements of Marvin Gaye and Supremes tunes – are exemplary of the ambitious, entrepreneurial cinema of the era. Oh, and it also launched the careers of Lauryn Hill and Jennifer Love Hewitt! Director Bill Duke (who’d helmed episodes of Miami Vice and a number of hard-boiled crime flicks, in between acting turns in Car Wash and Predator) notched a historical touchstone by being the first African American to helm a blockbuster sequel – and doing so with bravura style.

Dir. Bill Duke, 1993, 35mm, 107 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Série noire

serie noire
7/23 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Patrick Dewaere, one of the most talented French comic actors of the 70s, may have the saddest face in cinema. Known in the US mainly for his terrific performances in Bertrand Blier’s hit absurdist comedies Going Places and Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Dewaere was a human “Pierrot” (the iconic sad clown of French theatre and Italian Commedia dell’arte) who found a neurotic humor in his own very real fragility; tragically, Dewaere’s own battles with depression culminated in his eventual suicide in 1982. This makes Série noire one of the most simultaneously emotionally affecting and tragic of Jim Thompson’s adaptations (by Georges Perec, no less). In the Thompson cavalcade of misanthropists, nihilists, and misogynists, one feels Dewaere’s desperation to be a hero, as he ends up just another pathetic sucker, impotent against the fates and destined to be eaten by bigger and smarter fish, with no morals, instead of few. A rare screening on 35mm of an overlooked gem.

Dir. Alain Corneau, 1979, 35mm, 111 min.

Kuso

kuso3
7/23 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

“The grossest movie ever made.” –The Verge

“Those who walked out were completely right to do so… Kuso is destined to be legendary.” –The Film Stage

“I tried to warn folks.” –Flying Lotus

Get ready for Kuso, Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus’ film debut, and the latest entry in midnight movie history – a challenging, perverse, free-jazz, body horror psycho-scape of epic and disgusting proportions. In a series of sketches featuring a cast of funkadelic freakazoids and comic maniacs – from George Clinton to Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress – and with animations by Newgrounds pioneer David Firth, Kuso is a visual feast – just a rotting, putrid, and otherworldly one that that would make Matthew Barney queasy. Only playing at midnight.

Dir. Flying Lotus, 2017, DCP, 105 min.

Watch the trailer!

Stalker

stalker 3
7/24 - 8PM
$12/free for members

“Perhaps it was in Stalker that I felt for the first time the need to indicate clearly and unequivocally the supreme value by which, as they say, man lives.” – Andrei Tarkovsky

One of the greatest films of all time – and perhaps the single greatest science fiction film – Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker has long been both a rarity and a touchstone. Smartly flipping a common trope of post-nuclear anxieties, the film follows three men – known simply as Stalker (Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy), Writer (Anatoliy Solonitsyn), and Professor (Nikolai Grinko) – into a government-controlled lockdown zone in search of a room capable of granting its visitors’ innermost desires. With stunning visuals and almost impossible philosophical scope, Tarkovsky enshrouds religious allegory and political anxieties in quiet realism, constructing a dialogic meditation on art, faith, religion, and love. Thanks to a new restoration from Janus Films, this staple of the cinematic canon once again graces the big screen.

Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, DCP, 161 min.

Watch the trailer!

Kuso

kuso1
7/24 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

“The grossest movie ever made.” –The Verge

“Those who walked out were completely right to do so… Kuso is destined to be legendary.” –The Film Stage

“I tried to warn folks.” –Flying Lotus

Get ready for Kuso, Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus’ film debut, and the latest entry in midnight movie history – a challenging, perverse, free-jazz, body horror psycho-scape of epic and disgusting proportions. In a series of sketches featuring a cast of funkadelic freakazoids and comic maniacs – from George Clinton to Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress – and with animations by Newgrounds pioneer David Firth, Kuso is a visual feast – just a rotting, putrid, and otherworldly one that that would make Matthew Barney queasy. Only playing at midnight.

Dir. Flying Lotus, 2017, DCP, 105 min.

Watch the trailer!

Batmanimation: A History of Batman in Cartoons feat. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

mask of the phantasm1
7/25 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Co-presented by Warner Archive in celebration of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’s Blu-ray release!

Ask any Batman fan what they consider the definitive take on the caped crusader, and 9 out of 10 will name Bruce Timm’s groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series. At its peak in 1992, the team of Timm and Eric Radomski brought the series’ beautifully realized noir aesthetic to the big screen with the feature-length Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, delivering what is now held up as a canonical and essential Batman story. Series regulars Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (who would have imagined Luke Skywalker would make for the ideal Joker?) carry over their impeccable voice over work, aided by superlative character voices Stacy Keach, Dana Delaney , Abe Vigoda, Hart Bochner and Dick Miller, bringing to life the story of Batman’s psychologically-charged showdown with a terrifying new enemy, Phantasm. And if being treated to what is arguably the best big screen Batman isn’t enough, famed animation historian and regular Cinefamily guest curator Jerry Beck will be presenting clips from the award-winning series along with the Dark Knight’s other cartoon outings and conducting a lively lecture on his storied history in the animated medium. To the Batcave, aka Cinefamily!

Dirs. Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski, 1992, 35mm, 76 min.

Kuso

kuso2
7/25 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

“The grossest movie ever made.” –The Verge

“Those who walked out were completely right to do so… Kuso is destined to be legendary.” –The Film Stage

“I tried to warn folks.” –Flying Lotus

Get ready for Kuso, Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus’ film debut, and the latest entry in midnight movie history – a challenging, perverse, free-jazz, body horror psycho-scape of epic and disgusting proportions. In a series of sketches featuring a cast of funkadelic freakazoids and comic maniacs – from George Clinton to Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress – and with animations by Newgrounds pioneer David Firth, Kuso is a visual feast – just a rotting, putrid, and otherworldly one that that would make Matthew Barney queasy. Only playing at midnight.

Dir. Flying Lotus, 2017, DCP, 105 min.

Watch the trailer!

Kuso

kuso3
7/26 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

“The grossest movie ever made.” –The Verge

“Those who walked out were completely right to do so… Kuso is destined to be legendary.” –The Film Stage

“I tried to warn folks.” –Flying Lotus

Get ready for Kuso, Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus’ film debut, and the latest entry in midnight movie history – a challenging, perverse, free-jazz, body horror psycho-scape of epic and disgusting proportions. In a series of sketches featuring a cast of funkadelic freakazoids and comic maniacs – from George Clinton to Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress – and with animations by Newgrounds pioneer David Firth, Kuso is a visual feast – just a rotting, putrid, and otherworldly one that that would make Matthew Barney queasy. Only playing at midnight.

Dir. Flying Lotus, 2017, DCP, 105 min.

Watch the trailer!

The Untamed

THE UNTAMED
7/27 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

With a DJ set by the Chulita Vinyl Club

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (Off-site at The Standard Hollywood)

TheWall
7/27 - 8:30PM
Free w/ RSVP

This event will take place at The Standard Hollywood, 8300 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Screening begins at 8:30pm; early arrival suggested.

Holy shit, ‘Floyd fans – if you’ve never seen Pink Floyd: The Wall, now’s the time to take the pill; as the film is more than a video album, more than a rock operetta, more than the sticky makeout party known as Laser Floyd at the Science Center. Director Alan Parker takes classic-rock-giant Pink Floyd’s eleventh (and most contentious) studio album and adds dimension after visual dimension to its iconic composition, slowly revealing the plummeting and heartbreaking internal depths of The Wall’s unexplored stories.

Following young Pink through a childhood of turmoil and hostility, The Wall is a visually rich yet morally devoid bildungsroman of mounting anxiety, as Pink struggles for connection and expression in an uncaring, violent world. Written by Roger Waters, based on the life of rock ‘n roll’s arguable persephone Syd Barrett, and rife with psychedelia, the film hypnotizes us deeply into the psychological sub-terrains of a soul’s disconnection from society – in only the way Waters can be our Virgil. With animation by Gerald Scarfe that brings an interplanar breadth to this sludgy, woeful musical epic of postwar algos, Waters has crafted a crucial forewarning – perhaps now more relevant than ever – of the psychosis of a human kept behind a wall.

Dir. Alan Parker, 1983, digital presentation, 95 min.

NOTE: To help track attendance, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Kuso

kuso1
7/27 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

With a set by DJ Mishka and DJ Harley (KXLU).

“The grossest movie ever made.” –The Verge

“Those who walked out were completely right to do so… Kuso is destined to be legendary.” –The Film Stage

“I tried to warn folks.” –Flying Lotus

Get ready for Kuso, Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus’ film debut, and the latest entry in midnight movie history – a challenging, perverse, free-jazz, body horror psycho-scape of epic and disgusting proportions. In a series of sketches featuring a cast of funkadelic freakazoids and comic maniacs – from George Clinton to Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress – and with animations by Newgrounds pioneer David Firth, Kuso is a visual feast – just a rotting, putrid, and otherworldly one that that would make Matthew Barney queasy. Only playing at midnight.

Dir. Flying Lotus, 2017, DCP, 105 min.

Watch the trailer!

Step (Free sneak peek with special guests!)

2017 Sundance Film Festival Portraits, Los Angeles Times
7/28 - 7:30PM
Free w/ RSVP

Presented by Women of Cinefamily

With special guests Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon, Gari “Coach G” McIntyre, and Paula Dofat in person!

“You mess with my sisters and you mess with me!” That’s the chant of the “Lethal Ladies” of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, the all-girls high school competitive step dance team that is about to rock your world and move you to tears, in the most inspiring documentary of the year. These young women are part of the founding class of a non-profit college prep school – whose stated goal is that EVERY participant be accepted to and graduate from college; for many of the girls, they will be the first in their family to do so. Amanda Lipitz’s Step brings you along on their journey, skillfully interweaving the tales of three girls in particular, in this uplifting tribute to the world’s greatest moms, sisterhood, and the indomitable spirit of young girls when they stick together.

Dir. Amanda Lipitz, 2017, DCP, 83 min.

NOTE: To help us track attendance, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat.

Cinefamily is a non-profit. All of our donating 1-year “Black Card” members get priority entry to our free shows. Donating for a Cinefamily membership is the perfect way to both support the theater, and to gain access to the early-entry line.

Friday Night Frights: Freaks

Freaks
7/28 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

Presented by Friday Night Frights

A whole generation of midnight moviegoers and cult film fans were weaned on this most disturbing of visions, and the true feather in the horror hat of Tod Browning (director of Dracula). Browning employed real “sideshow professionals” to tell this tale of betrayal and murder in the world of carnival freakshows. Here the freaks take center stage, and the result is startling, provocative and wholly sympathetic to its titular creatures. From cavorting microcephalic “pinheads” to a limbless human torso slithering under a carnival wagon en route to a murder, Freaks packs a wallop that still holds up even in our cynical, seen-it-all times.

Dir. Tod Browning, 1932, 35mm, 64 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Moral Tales: Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon
7/29 - 5PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

With a DJ set by Jim Smith from The Smell

“I dream of a life comprised of first loves and last loves…” muses Bernard Verley’s satiated Parisian lawyer in Rohmer’s final Moral Tale – at once the funniest, most probing, and arguably greatest of the series. Verley assures us, of course, that his wandering eye is purely part of his escapist routine, much like his beloved novels: fancies and fancies alone, that ultimately affirm his fidelity. That is, until his will is tested by après-midi encounters with Chloé, played by the iconic model and socialite Zouzou, whose free-wheeling, laissez-faire lifestyle offers an escape hatch from his comfortable bourgeois existence. Rohmer and his trusted cinematographer Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven, frequent Truffaut collaborator) working at the height of their powers, marry refined classicism with the post-Nouvelle Vague‘s loose naturalism – a collection of stolen moments and cinematic reveries, like the story itself. After years of investigating the nature of male lust, Rohmer reaches a peace with monogamy in the film’s climax: that though we can’t stop ourselves from wanting what we don’t need, we may be surprised at how much we need what we don’t want.

Dir. Éric Rohmer, 1972, 35mm, 97 min.

Print courtesy of the Institut Français. Special thanks to the Cultural services of the French Embassy.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Super Tight

st_3_3_
7/29 - 10PM
$12/free for members

SUPER TIGHT is a wild and wonderful party that showcases the most fantastical elements of art, comedy, music, and magic in a dizzying and immersive night of discovery, community, and indulgence. Come join the cult and let your freak flag proudly fly.

Featuring:
Cameron Esposito
Iliza Shlesinger
Mystiki
Hott MT
Vinyl Williams
Ian Abramson

& more TBA! Line up subject to change.

From Convent to Counterculture: Sister Corita and Inquiring Nuns

SisterCorita
7/30 - 7PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by Corita Art Center

Join us for a closing reception on our patio featuring a gallery show of works by Sister Corita Kent!

“I think maybe one of the most important rules about looking at films that I can think of is that you should never blink, that you should really keep your eyes straight on the film and never miss anything.” – Sister Corita Kent

Baylis Glascock’s 1967 documentary We Have No Art opens with these instructions from radical artist-teacher-nun Sister Corita, whose politically and spiritually-charged silkscreens were often compared to Andy Warhol’s, and continues to explore her progressive teaching methods and ideas at the former Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Paired with Glascock’s Mary’s Day 1964, which documents Corita’s experiment in contemporizing the traditional springtime ceremony with Pop Art, the two films stand in clear admiration of the unorthodox nun, whose experimental practices attracted such luminaries as Charles & Ray Eames, Alfred Hitchcock, John Cage, and Buckminster Fuller to teach alongside her.

Echoing Jean Roach and Edgar Morin’s seminal documentary Chronicle of a Summer, Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner’s Inquiring Nuns wants to know “Are you happy?” Set to a Philip Glass score (his first for film!), this simple but disarming question is repeated over and over again by two wide-eyed young Sisters as they roam the streets of Vietnam War-era Chicago, approaching everyone from Sunday morning churchgoers to legendary comedian Stepin Fetchit to members of psych-rock duo “The Bubblegum Orgy.” The responses they receive range from rational to philosophical to frankly sexual, but what’s most striking about this 1968 time capsule is the recurring humanistic desire for a more peaceful planet.

We Have No Art, dir. Baylis Glascock, 1968, 16mm, 26 min.
Mary’s Day, dir. Baylis Glascock, 1964, digital presentation, 12 min.
Inquiring Nuns, dirs. Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner, 1968, 16mm, 66 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Untamed

THE UNTAMED
7/30 - 10PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

Comrade Detective (Free sneak peek!)

Comrade Detective
7/31 - 7:30PM
Free w/ RSVP

Join us for a free sneak peek of a new Amazon original series!

“In the thick of 1980′s Cold War hysteria, the Romanian government created the country’s most popular and longest-running series, Comrade Detective, a gritty and sleek police drama that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel and Iosef Baciu investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionesco and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by what else but the greatest enemy: Capitalism. Though the beloved show was sadly forgotten about after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has been rediscovered and digitally remastered, now with its main heroes voiced by Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.”

Got that? If you can’t seem to figure out how you ever missed this Romanian hit – have no fear; before our sneak peek of the show’s first two episodes, creators Rhys Thomas (Documentary Now) and Brian Gatewood will present a clip history of some the rarer anti-American propaganda that influenced Comrade Detective, including some of the uncanny TV they found behind the Iron Curtain.

NOTE: To help us track attendance, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat.

Cinefamily is a non-profit. All of our donating 1-year “Black Card” members get priority entry to our free shows. Donating for a Cinefamily membership is the perfect way to both support the theater, and to gain access to the early-entry line.

The Untamed

the-untamed (2)
7/31 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

Secret Honor (with Philip Baker Hall in person!)

SHon3
8/1 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

After the screening, Philip Baker Hall will be in conversation with Sam Fragoso, host of Talk Easy.

A loaded revolver, a bottle of whiskey, a tape recorder, and a fleet of surveillance monitors: these are Nixon’s only friends in one of Robert Altman’s criminally underseen masterpiece. Phillip Baker Hall’s Nixon broods, sputters, and rants – recounting with frustration and paranoia his life and disgraced career – in a single, unbroken monologue (interrupted chiefly by Dick telling his inanimate interlocutor, “Roberto, erase that” as he rambles into absurdist tangents). Originally written for the stage by a political dramatist and a former NSA and DOJ lawyer, Secret Honor counter-mythologizes Nixon, imagining him as a paid shill for a greater American political conspiracy, with Watergate as the public-facing controversy which hid from view the “real” corruption behind the throne. A favorite of Paul Thomas Anderson (who later cast Hall in Sydney, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia), Altman’s enrapturing investigation of power is also an ancestor of the independent film movement – shot on a shoestring budget for his filmmaking class at the University of Michigan – a visual exercise in space, pacing, and restraint.

Print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Dir. Robert Altman, 1984, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer

A Life in Waves (Suzanne Ciani doc + Q&A w/ producer Bradford Thomason)

Portrait_28_1333491558_crop_550x400
8/3 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Presented by Don’t Knock the Rock and Boiler Room

Whether you know it or not – you’re familiar with the work of Suzanne Ciani. Her accolades range from “pioneering electronic musician” to “America’s first female synth hero” to being the first solo female composer to soundtrack a Hollywood film (Lily Tomlin’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman, that is) but that doesn’t even begin to cover her most widely distributed work – ads. Ciani was an incredibly talented artist, crafting lush, romantic, classically-influenced electronic music during what was the heydey of Tangerine Dream and the period that marked the emergence of “New Age” as a category, but she was also a savvy business woman, and funded her creative endeavors with the production of sounds for advertisements and products – from the famous Coca-cola “pop and pour” to pinball games galore. Brett Whitcomb’s intimate, reflective portrait takes us through Suzanne’s career – from her first encounters with a piano to her relationship with her beloved Buchla synthesizer – all to the tune of Ciani’s own compositions.

Dir. Brett Whitcomb, 2017, DCP, 74 min.

The Untamed

the-untamed (4)
8/3 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

An Evening w/ Ben Barenholtz featuring Martin

Martin
8/4 - 7:30PM
$15/free for members

Co-hosted by filmmaker Nicolas Refn

If you love “cult” films and underground cinema, if you care more about what screens after the mainstream fare has shuttered and real film freaks come out at night, then bow down ye fellow Cinefamilians, ‘cause the pope is coming to town. Producer, distributor, and showman Ben Barenholtz — who ran New York’s legendary Elgin theatre in the early 70s — is the man who literally invented the midnight movie, creating the time-slot as a marketing stunt for the original release of El Topo (“A Film Too Heavy To Be Shown Any Other Way” was his incredible tagline). Oh right, did we mention he discovered El Topo? And distributed Eraserhead when no one else would? And produced movies for George Romero and the Coen Bros? And now he’s directed his first feature at the age of 89? There are more great stories from this man than could fit in one capsule, so come meet him personally, as we celebrate one of the great behind-the-scenes forces in movie history!

Martin

“Don’t worry, I’m always careful with the needles,” advises the troubled Martin to a female victim as he injects her with a sedative. In a dim train car, he embraces her unconscious body and uses a razor blade to open her veins and drink her blood. With this unforgettable opening, Martin finds George Romero taking vampire lore into devastating waters, with the same precision and down-to-earth gusto found in his previous studies of zombies, witchcraft, and urban paranoia. The teenage Martin (John Amplas) lives with his stern uncle, who claims that Martin is actually an ancient, traditional vampire who stalks the streets at night; the viewer is never completely sure about the true nature of Martin’s identity, with eerie gothic flashbacks reinforcing the uneasy coexistence between past and present in his family. Plus, the violence is tastefully handled, with startling bursts of blood suddenly pooling out of characters who seem all too human. The kind of film that horror buffs adore, Martin is Romero’s true masterpiece, a perfect example of his personal expression as a filmmaker, and very rarely screened.

Dir. George Romero, 1977, digital presentation, 95 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Tenant

the tenant
8/4 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

Of Roman Polanski’s noted apartment trilogy – which also includes Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, his 1976 capper The Tenant is often given the least attention, which is a shame as it may be his most personal and harrowing. A Kafkaesque descent into madness and paranoia, the film concerns the claustrophobic apartment-based interactions of a Parisian transplant, played by an uncredited Polanski himself, and the neighbors who may or may not be conspiring against him. Aside from the flop-sweat-inducing tension and palpable sense of escalating panic, the film is a dizzying whirlwind of subtext, both sexual and political – and the sort of perfectly focused tonal pastiche that only a master with Polanski’s skill could pull off. With Melvyn Douglas, Shelly Winters, a bewitching Isabelle Adjani, and a shock ending that is as hilarious as it is horrifying, The Tenant will take up permanent residency in your shattered nerves.

Dir. Roman Polanski, 1976, 35mm, 126 min.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Origins

SMC Origins
8/5 - 11AM
$10/free for members & kids under 14

This month we’re going back into the archives and looking at origins – that means pilot episodes, first appearances of our favorite characters, and the origin stories that formed the worlds we love. Saturday morning ‘toons were foundational for so many of us, so we’ll be revisiting our own origins too, as we travel back to when we first let cartoons into our hearts and minds. This celebration of firsts will feature notable beginnings like the first Adventure Time, the first Daffy Duck cartoon, the first time Sylvester bests Tweety, and the origins of Popeye and Olive Oyl’s relationship.

As always, pajamas encouraged. Come hungry, for our complimentary all-you-can-eat cereal bar.

Alina (w/ Ben Barenholtz and Darya Ekamasova in person)

Alina
8/5 - 7PM
$14/free for members

Part of our tribute to Ben Barenholtz, creator of the midnight movie!

From film programmer of the legendary Elgin theatre, to indie film distributor par excellence (Libra Films put out everything from Guy Maddin to Melville), to producer for the Coen Bros and George Romero, Ben Barenholtz has already had a full life and legacy. Now, he begins a whole new phase, at the age of 80 making his debut as a feature film director! Starring the talented Darya Ekamasova (featured on FX’s The Americans), Alina draws upon Barenholtz own experience as an immigrant to tell the tale of a young Russian woman coming to America in search of her lost father – with only a 25-year-old photo to guide her. Ultra-low budget, independent as all hell (as always for Ben!), fiery, and moving, Alina shows that it’s never too late to start making movies. Come celebrate with this special sneak preview. Q&A to follow with Ben Barenholtz and Darya Ekamasova.

Dir. Ben Barenholtz, 2016, digital presentation, 89 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Untamed

the-untamed
8/5 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

El Topo with Ben Barenholtz (Off-site at the Vista)

el topo
8/5 - MIDNITE
$14/free for members

This event will take place at the Vista, located at 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

The original midnight movie – “A film too heavy to be shown any other way.”

If you mixed Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, and a heavy dose of psilocybin in a blender, you might arrive at something close to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “acid western” masterpiece, El Topo. Part spaghetti western, part surreal philosophical allegory, the film – starring the director himself as the black leather-clad, vision-questing gunslinger – is a crystallization of his peccadilloes, including explosive, blood-gouting violence, deformed and/or mutilated characters working in tandem, nudity, and, most crucially, Eastern themes and Judeo-Christian imagery. And yet somehow, despite all the craziness, the film is an expanding, spiritual journey that is as entertaining as it is resonant – a feat Jodorowsky would repeat in his equally miraculous Holy Mountain. It’s easy to see why midnight movie trippers embraced El Topo and made a countercultural icon of Jodorowsky – you don’t have to be high to get it, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

With Ben Barenholtz – the man who literally invented the midnight movie, as a marketing stunt for El Topo’s original release! – in person.

Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970, DCP, 125 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Barton Fink (w/ Ben Barenholtz in person)

bartonfink1
8/6 - 7PM
$14/free for members

Part of our tribute to Ben Barenholtz, creator of the midnight movie!

Inspired by Clifford Odets’ bitter experience of Hollywood, Joel and Ethan Coen produced a modern classic with Barton Fink — cleaning up at Cannes with the Palme d’Or, and both Best Director and Best Actor prizes. John Turturro delivers one of his greatest performances as Barton Fink, a successful New York playwright dubiously fixated with writing for the “Common Man,” who reluctantly enters the seedy, corrupted rabbit hole of the 1940s film industry. Suckered into moving to a crumbling Hollywood hotel, with audibly peeling wallpaper, and penning a mediocre wrestling pic, he quickly develops writer’s block and and falls into a noirish murder investigation. Aside from the thinly veiled characterization of Clifford Odets, the film is a densely woven tapestry of Hollywood gossip, legend, and apocrypha from Faulkner to Louis B. Mayer, with dashes of religious and literary references thrown in for good measure. The Coen brothers clearly had a field day skewering both the writer and the nightmarish characters that surround him, with the offbeat sensibility that’s made so much of their work essential.

Dir. Joel Coen, 1991, 35mm, 116 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Untamed

the-untamed (1)
8/6 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

The Untamed

THE UNTAMED
8/7 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

The Untamed

the-untamed (2)
8/8 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

Take a healthy dose of sexually charged interpersonal drama, mix in some Lovecraft by way of Zulawski’s Possession and stew in a broth of Mexican mysticism and you have Amat Escalante’s The Untamed. Following up his critical darling Heli, Escalante, a supernova among Mexico City’s new wave of rising star directors, has a flawless sense of tone, deftly balancing the light and dark of his character’s explosive personal lives with shocking cosmic weirdness, body horror, and graphic sex. In exploring the interplay between machismo, homophobia and closeted homosexuality, as framed in Latin culture, the film becomes both a literal and metaphorical monster movie, its tentacled, pleasure-offering creature a corporeal manifestation of the characters’ tortured quest for satisfaction of both body and spirit. More than mere provocation, Escalante’s vision is every bit as honest as it is horrifying and beautiful, a bold cinematic voice that is sure to find an international audience.

Dir. Amat Escalante, 2016, DCP, 100 min.

Targets (w/ director Peter Bogdanovich in person)

Targets
8/9 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Regarded as one of the 70s most celebrated auteurs, it’s easy to forget that Peter Bogdanovich made his bones on the midnight movie circuit with the Roger Corman produced Targets. Keying into the high-profile political shootings of the 1960s (though shot before MLK and Robert Kennedy were killed) as well as the Charles Whitman clock tower killing spree, Bogdanovich – who also plays a small role – deftly weaves parallel narratives; one a thriller involving a clean-cut but unstable Vietnam vet, the other a drama concerning an elderly 1930s horror star (Boris Karloff in a meta role) struggling to find his place in late 60s Hollywood. Smartly co-written by his at-the-time partner Polly Platt and shot by the inimitable Laszlo Kovacs, Targets shows incredible assurance for a first time director, proving that Bogdanovich’s years as a critic and student of cinema were merely a precursor to the awakening of a major talent. Too challenging for general audiences upon release, Targets’ prescient subject matter found resonance with counter-culturally minded movie fans, who, still reeling from the assassinations of their heroes, granted it a second life as a surprise midnight movie hit.

Dir. Peter Bogdanovich, 1968, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Zanzibar Opening Night Party (with Jackie Raynal in person)

ACEPHALE_3
8/10 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

An almost-lost, eccentric period of French film history, the Zanzibar films mark a spurt of ingenuity borne of a revolutionary time, and are ripe for rediscovery. Film programmer, editor, and filmmaker Jackie Raynal joins us for an evening of rare clips and images that will take us on a tour through the Zanzibar moment. From Philippe Garrel and model-muse Zouzou to artist Danielle Pommereulle, the Zanzibar scene was a cast of characters as much as it was a film movement, and Raynal was at the center of it all.

Reefer Madness

ReeferMadness
8/10 - 11PM
$12/free for members

“Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter…or yours…or YOURS!”

Heed this, curious cinephiles, or you too may join the ranks of pink-eyed, late-night loonies indoctrinated by this mythic midnite rite of passage! Over 80 years after its release, Reefer Madness remains one of cinema’s first and greatest unintentional gutbusters, and its most uproariously absurd example of anti-drug propaganda. Beginning its life as a righteously sincere morality play (theories accredit its funding to either a wealthy church group or, more juicily, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics), it soon wound up in the hands of proto-exploitation icon Dwain Esper, who played up its seedy sordidness to capitalize on a widespread Green Scare hysteria. It then seemed fated for obscurity, if not for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) founder Keith Stroup. Recognizing it for the unwitting satire it was, Stroup purchased a print from the Library of Congress in the early 70s and toured it around smoky college auditoriums nationwide, using the ticket sales to support his crusade against similarly absurd drug laws. Thus a midnight mainstay was born, and it’s not hard to see why bleary boys and girls kept coming back to crack up between coughs. Join your fellow “undesirable people” (as the film’s Dr. Alfred Carroll calls us) and get hooked on the hilarious habit you’ll never kick!

Dir. Louis J. Gasnier, 1936, 35mm, 66 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Inner Scar & Chromo Sud (with Jackie Raynal in person)

inner-scar
8/11 - 10PM
$14/free for members

The Inner Scar

A film like no other, The Inner Scar (La cicatrice intérieure) is a seductive and mysteriously existential ramble through various barren landscapes, helmed by Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico (who provides songs for the film), Pierre Clementi, director Philippe Garrel himself (with whom she had a ten year relationship), and even Nico’s son. You’ll recognize the cover the 1970 album Desertshore as being plucked from this gorgeous, primal moan of a film.

Dir. Philippe Garrel, 1972, DCP, 60 min.

Chromo Sud

Though he only made three films, Etienne O’Leary’s work is an impactful feat of editing. Peripheral to the Zanzibar group, but an ideal companion, Chromo Sud is a pulsing, psychedelic drug fueled freakout in which shots from the barricades of May ‘68 protests become a single, layered, flashing, collage for 21 vital minutes.

Dir. Etienne O’Leary, 1968, 16mm, 21 min.

The Evil Dead

EvilDead
8/11 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

Some of the finest seat-jumping moments ever put on film are present in this pure, gut-wrenching horror experience that only gets better with age. In an unrelenting roller coaster ride of pure cinema, Sam Raimi splatters across the screen a tale of five college students who unwittingly unleash demons while vacationing at an isolated cabin. Star Bruce Campbell summed it up best when he recalled Evil Dead’s filmmaking credo: Often mistakenly thought to be a Michigan experience (due to Raimi and Campbell’s background), but in reality filmed in the hallowed woods of Tennessee, Evil Dead is a powerhouse of ingenuity and style in the face of inexperience and impossibly low funding. Without this film, not only would we not have Raimi’s hyperkinetic output, but there would also be no Coen Brothers (who grew from being early Raimi collaborators into masters in their own right) — and most likely, way fewer over-the-top Hong Kong fantasy films.

Dir. Sam Raimi, 1981, 35mm, 85 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Variete

variete
8/12 - 2PM
$12/free for members

Featuring live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick

Adapted from a 1921 novel by Felix Hollaender, Variete is a gem extracted from the golden age of twenties German silent film. The film follows a trapeze artist – accompanied by “unleashed” acrobatic camera work to match. Presented in a new DCP restoration!

“This is a production which not only shows the way in which a story should be unfurled, but impresses one with the magic of the camera in picturing effects, such as the torrent of thoughts rushing through a maddened mind, and the views of the audience from the eyes of a hurtling trapeze performer.” – Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times

Dir. Ewald André Dupont, 1925, DCP, 95 min.

An Evening with Jackie Raynal featuring Deux Fois

HERO-Deux Fois Jackie Raynal
8/12 - 7PM
$14/free for members

“Tonight will be the end of meaning. Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.”

Join us for an evening with core Zanzibar figure, filmmaker, editor, and programmer Jackie Raynal, featuring a screening of her wildly experimental film, Deux Fois.

While Jackie Raynal is best known as the former programmer of two of New York’s premiere art cinemas—the Carnegie Hall and the Bleecker Street—she began her career in film nearly forty years ago in Paris, where by 1964 she was the youngest film editor in France, editing for Éric Rohmer among others. Challenged by Zanzibar patroness Boissonnas to stop editing other people’s films and make her own, Raynal traveled to Barcelona, where she completed Deux Fois (translated as Two Times, or playfully, Twice Upon a Time) in a single week. One of the most enigmatic of the Zanzibar films, it is composed of a series of unconnected episodes, some of which are repeated. The film begins with a prologue in which Raynal (carefully made-up and fashionably dressed) is seated, head lowered and hands joined in prayer, before both her dinner and her film. While Deux Fois lays claim to the Surrealist legacy of Buñuel and Cocteau, it gained critical recognition as a pioneering work within the burgeoning feminist cinema. —Sally Shafto

Dir. Jackie Raynal, 1968, digital presentation, 65 min.

Harold and Maude

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8/12 - 10:30PM
$12/free for members

“Harold is death, Maude life, and they manage to make the two seem so similar that life’s hardly worth the extra bother.” —Roger Ebert

“Harold is a young man who doesn’t want to live. Maude is an older woman who has a talent for living. They meet at a funeral and the fun begins there. The quirky and intelligent Hal Ashby (Being There, Coming Home) made a poignant, romantic film that wasn’t initially a hit but became the very definition of a cult classic” (Greg Proops). This heavy dose of black comedy and romantic existentialism is a must in the midnight-canon.

Dir. Hal Ashby, 1971, 35mm, 91 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Pink Flamingos (Off-site at the Vista)

PinkFlamingos
8/12 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

This event will take place at the Vista, located at 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

“Kill everyone now! Condone first-degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!” — Divine, Pink Flamingos

Long before reality shows and sex tapes, drag goddess par excellence Divine showed the world how to become the most notorious celebrity in the world with John Waters’ taboo-demolishing Pink Flamingos. Here she’s on the lam as trailer trash crime queen Babs Johnson, who will stop at nothing to beat a competing couple and earn the crown of “Filthiest Person Alive.” Watch as Divine shoplifts, murders, and castrates her way into your heart! Gasp at Divine’s proto-punk sense of fashion! Marvel at her show-stopping finale with a canine co-star! If you still haven’t seen this all-time shock value champ on the big screen — with an appalled audience at your side — then you really haven’t lived at all.

Dir. John Waters, 1972, 35mm, 92 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

How to Build a Time Machine (Q&A with director Jay Cheel moderated by Matt Gourley of Drunk History)

timemachine.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge
8/13 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

An investigation of childhood obsession, movie magic, and the pursuit of space-twisting, inter-dimensional crusades. Rob Niosi, a stop-motion animator, has spent over a decade building an exact replica of Rod Taylor’s device in 1960′s H.G. Wells adaptation The Time Machine. Dr. Ron Mallett, a physics professor at the University of Connecticut (and subject of a long-gestating Spike Lee film), was moved by Wells’ novel to go back in time and save his father from a fatal heart attack. How to Build a Time Machine traces the lives of these men – their processes, fixations, and dreams – and the divergent paths that Wells’ work inspired them to take. Much like Room 237 – the 2012 doc about Stanley Kubrick conspiracy theorists – How to Build a Time Machine explores how our lives intertwine with movies just as much as it considers the prospect of shooting lasers into space.

Dir. Jay Cheel, 2017, DCP, 82 min.

Watch the trailer!

The Inner Scar + Chromo Sud

La cicatrice intérieure (1972).mkv_snapshot_10.26_[2014.11.09_19.16.08]
8/13 - 8:15PM
$12/free for members

The Inner Scar

A film like no other, The Inner Scar (La cicatrice intérieure) is a seductive and mysteriously existential ramble through various barren landscapes, helmed by Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico (who provides songs for the film), Pierre Clementi, director Philippe Garrel himself (with whom she had a ten year relationship), and even Nico’s son. You’ll recognize the cover the 1970 album Desertshore as being plucked from this gorgeous, primal moan of a film.

Dir. Philippe Garrel, 1972, DCP, 60 min.

Chromo Sud

Though he only made three films, Etienne O’Leary’s work is an impactful feat of editing. Peripheral to the Zanzibar group, but an ideal companion, Chromo Sud is a pulsing, psychedelic drug fueled freakout in which shots from the barricades of May ‘68 protests become a single, layered, flashing, collage for 21 vital minutes.

Dir. Etienne O’Leary, 1968, 16mm, 21 min.

Get Rollin' (with director J. Terrance Mitchell in person!)

get rollin
8/16 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Co-presented by Cinespia

This joyous and fascinating tribute to the glory days of roller disco in Brooklyn’s black community was nearly lost for almost 40 years, but is now ripe for rediscovery. Independently made by a young black director (J. Terrance Mitchell), Get Rollin made the NY Times Top 10 list, but after a botched release, it missed the disco craze, and sank into obscurity. Looking at it now, Get Rollin is more vibrant than ever: an eclectic potpourri of neon-drenched documentary snapshots that capture the scene around the famed Empire Rollerdome, and a fantastic portrait of vintage New York – including street crap games, Bed-Stuy pool halls, and a custom van show. All this is staged around a kitchen-sink storyline starring “Pat the Cat,” a self-made roller disco cowboy, and a caseworker named Vinzerelli, who wants to be the Muhammad Ali of roller boogie – and to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first roller skater to make a million dollars. “But then,” he tells the camera from inside his shag-carpet-ensconced, airbrush-laden hippie van, from the other side of rose-lensed aviators, “I realized, ‘but I can’t skate.’” It’s all outrageously fun, and filled with a spirit as optimistic as this magical time and place where it was cool and sexy to do synchronized dance moves and wear sunglasses indoors.

Dir. J. Terrance Mitchell, 1980, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

ABD presents: Fritz the Cat + Down and Dirty Duck

fritz-the-cat-movie-poster
8/17 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Presented by Animation Breakdown. Down & Dirty Duck director Charles Swenson in person!

The 70s spree of subversion left no stone unturned, and when it came for animation it set its sights on the adored animal idols of yesteryear. Dig if you will a picture of the US Air Force raining napalm on a ghetto riot as the silhouettes of Mickey and Donald cheer them on. The scene belongs to Fritz the Cat, animation auteur Ralph Bakshi’s revolutionary 1972 debut, and sums up the deviant detours toons would take in years to come. Loosely based on R. Crumb’s beloved drugged up, sex obsessed, miscreant meower but heavily baring Bakshi’s own brand, the film follows the crude and callous kitty as he cruises for lays, runs afoul of the fuzz, dabbles with radical politics, and gets mixed up with a fascist biker gang – tokin’ and jokin’ all along the way. Its X-rating, animation’s first, increased its legend but obscured its nature. Abundantly raunchy but far from porn, Bakshi succeeded in creating the urban “documentary of the 60s” he set out to, savagely satirizing race relations, free love, and politics by way of equal opportunity offending. 45 years later and more transgressive than ever, the gruff n’ heady cult classic has lost none of its barbarous bite.

Soon after Fritz grossed a surprising $90 million worldwide, young animator Charles Swenson (later co-director of Twice Upon A Time) approached Roger Corman with an idea for his own filthy fauna freakout. Corman gave the thumbs up and just $110,000 to create the hand drawn feature that would become Down & Dirty Duck, surely the 70s scruffiest, strangest and greatest animated oddity and one that feels like it ONLY ever screened after midnight. Fresh from animating the stand-out Dental Hygiene Dilemma segment for Zappa’s 200 Motels, Swenson recruited the Mothers of Invention’s Flo & Eddie (né Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of The Turtles) to lend their voices, songs and warped brains to the mostly improvised film. What resulted was a stream of consciousness, offend-everyone-possible tale about a morose insurance co. flunky, the ribald humanoid duck he unwittingly inherits, and their surreal and smutty misadventures. All this combined with Swenson’s strikingly psychedelic style (shaggy doodles+cutouts+collage) puts Duck even further in the comix-esque vein than Fritz. Come discover what LA Times critic Charles Solomon once called “a sprawling undisciplined piece of sniggering vulgarity that resembles nothing so much as animated bathroom graffiti” – music to the ears of the midnight movie mindset!

Fritz the Cat, dir. Ralph Bakshi, 1972, 35mm, 78 min.
Down and Dirty Duck, dir. Charles Swenson, 1974, 35mm, 75 min

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Get Rollin'

get rollin 2
8/18 - 10PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by Cinespia

This joyous and fascinating tribute to the glory days of roller disco in Brooklyn’s black community was nearly lost for almost 40 years, but is now ripe for rediscovery. Independently made by a young black director (J. Terrance Mitchell), Get Rollin made the NY Times Top 10 list, but after a botched release, it missed the disco craze, and sank into obscurity. Looking at it now, Get Rollin is more vibrant than ever: an eclectic potpourri of neon-drenched documentary snapshots that capture the scene around the famed Empire Rollerdome, and a fantastic portrait of vintage New York – including street crap games, Bed-Stuy pool halls, and a custom van show. All this is staged around a kitchen-sink storyline starring “Pat the Cat,” a self-made roller disco cowboy, and a caseworker named Vinzerelli, who wants to be the Muhammad Ali of roller boogie – and to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first roller skater to make a million dollars. “But then,” he tells the camera from inside his shag-carpet-ensconced, airbrush-laden hippie van, from the other side of rose-lensed aviators, “I realized, ‘but I can’t skate.’” It’s all outrageously fun, and filled with a spirit as optimistic as this magical time and place where it was cool and sexy to do synchronized dance moves and wear sunglasses indoors.

Dir. J. Terrance Mitchell, 1980, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Visa de censure n° X + Vite

500full-visa-de-censure-n°-x-screenshot
8/19 - 7PM
$12/free for members

Visa de censure n° X

Best known for his roles in Belle de jour, Sweet Movie, and many more, Pierre Clementi was also the architect behind a transgressive, high-minded, and disorienting cinema. Like an acid-soaked freefall, Visa de censure n° X is a rush of nudity, color, and sound from one of France’s most seductively watchable actors.

Dir. Pierre Clementi, 1968, digital presentation, 44 min.

Vite

In 1969, the painter-sculptor Daniel Pommereulle made his third film, this one financed by Sylvina Boissonnas. Although only a short, Vite was one of the most costly of all the Zanzibar productions. It features, for instance, shots of the moon taken by a state-of-the-art telescope, the Questar, that Pommereulle first saw while visiting Marlon Brando in southern California in 1968. In Rohmer’s La collectionneuse, Pommereulle and his friend Adrien philosophize on how best to achieve le vide (emptiness) during their summer holidays. Three years later, Pommereulle would transform the word “vide” to “vite” (quickly), signifying his profound disenchantment with the aftermath of the revolution of May ’68. —Sally Shafto

Dir. Daniel Pommereulle, 1969, digital presentation, 37 min.

Get Rollin'

get rollin 3
8/19 - 10PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by Cinespia

This joyous and fascinating tribute to the glory days of roller disco in Brooklyn’s black community was nearly lost for almost 40 years, but is now ripe for rediscovery. Independently made by a young black director (J. Terrance Mitchell), Get Rollin made the NY Times Top 10 list, but after a botched release, it missed the disco craze, and sank into obscurity. Looking at it now, Get Rollin is more vibrant than ever: an eclectic potpourri of neon-drenched documentary snapshots that capture the scene around the famed Empire Rollerdome, and a fantastic portrait of vintage New York – including street crap games, Bed-Stuy pool halls, and a custom van show. All this is staged around a kitchen-sink storyline starring “Pat the Cat,” a self-made roller disco cowboy, and a caseworker named Vinzerelli, who wants to be the Muhammad Ali of roller boogie – and to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first roller skater to make a million dollars. “But then,” he tells the camera from inside his shag-carpet-ensconced, airbrush-laden hippie van, from the other side of rose-lensed aviators, “I realized, ‘but I can’t skate.’” It’s all outrageously fun, and filled with a spirit as optimistic as this magical time and place where it was cool and sexy to do synchronized dance moves and wear sunglasses indoors.

Dir. J. Terrance Mitchell, 1980, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Liquid Sky (Off-site at the Vista)

LiquidSky
8/19 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

This event will take place at the Vista, located at 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

One of the coolest, funniest, and freakiest distillations of the ‘80s post-punk underground, Liquid Sky is pure madness: blending drugs, UFOs, death by orgasm and a cacophony of searing synths into a jagged neon time capsule that still thrills. In a dual role, Anne Carlisle plays Margaret (a damaged lesbian fashion model) and Jimmy (a gay junkie fashion model), who collide in NYC’s robotic New Wave netherworld. When aliens happen to land on Margaret’s roof in a pint-sized flying saucer (on a mission to extract the life force from the human orgone), they vaporize her many lovers in a dogpile of kaleidoscopic nuttiness. Russian emigré director Slava Tsukerman, himself out of place in the alien world of the ‘80s Lower East Side arthole, has big fun piling on the primitive video abstractions, fractured music, and overwrought melodrama in order to deliver a skewering satire of a weird, weird world.

Dir. Slava Tsukerman, 1983, 35mm, 112 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Harder They Come

TheHarderTheyCome
8/23 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

Co-presented by Hydro Studios

The epochal cultural moment that gave America its first true taste of Jamaica — and the film that made Jimmy Cliff an international superstar! Four decades on, The Harder They Come is still electric with the feeling of cinematic discovery right from its opening moments. This rare blend of crime drama and musical forms a kind of island Scarface, as Cliff’s country-boy-in-search-of-fame worms his way through Kingston in the successive guises of laborer, recording artist, convict, ganja dealer, and finally, outlaw folk hero on the lam. Amongst its perfectly balanced mix of police shootouts, love story tenderness, lush scenery, music biz vérité, and dirt-under-the-fingernails street-level reality, the film also comes fully-equipped with one of the most fantastic soundtracks in movie history — one that finds Cliff at the peak of his creative powers. Before The Harder They Come, our collective American perception of a “foreign film” was narrowly limited to the Bergmans and the Kurosawas of the cinematic sphere; this game-changer blew the doors off of that notion, and still hasn’t lost a single drop of its cool, its edge, and its ability to make you dance.

Dir. Perry Henzell, 1972, 103 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Viva la Muerte

VivaLaMuerte
8/25 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

For fans of Jodorowsky’s transgressive surrealism and taboo-defying imagery, experimental Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal’s work will be an exciting discovery. The two of them, along with artist Roland Topor (who created Fantastic Planet, as well as the credit sequence to this film) founded the Panique art movement — because they thought the Surrealist movement had become too mainstream. Viva la Muerte (“Long Live Death!”), Arrabal’s debut film, is a highly personal tale set during the Spanish Civil War, fueled by bizarre images of violence, sexuality, and biting political commentary.

It is more high-minded and challenging than one expects from typical midnight movie fare — it was probably only programmed by distributors chasing the success of El Topo — and a disturbing, striking tour-de-force considered by many critics to be the pinnacle of Spanish avant-garde filmmaking.

Dir. Fernando Arrabal, 1971, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Detruisez-vous + Acéphale

www.closeupfilmcentre
8/26 - 6PM
$12/free for members

Detruisez-vous (Destroy Yourselves)

The first of the Zanzibar films, Détruisez-vous was also the debut work of Serge Bard, a student of ethnology at the University of Nanterre who had become disenchanted with the university system and abandoned his studies. Like Godard’s La Chinoise, which featured Anne Wiazemsky (herself a student at Nanterre at the time), the film is set in Nanterre where, just weeks before the student uprising in May 1968, Bard returned to shoot. Prefiguring the mounting militancy, Bard casts Alain Jouffroy as a professor and has him lecture in a nearly empty classroom on the necessity of revolution. —Sally Shafto

Dir. Serge Bard, 1969, digital presentation, 70 min.

Acephale

With its title taken from Georges Bataille’s journal Acéphale (literally, a headless man, but figuratively expressing the need to go beyond rational ways of thinking), Deval’s film is the most literary of the Zanzibar works. The film opens with an illustrative image: a head in the process of being shaved, in close up. This image is accompanied not by the sound of an electric razor but an electric saw, suggesting the need to achieve a tabula rasa by radical means. The story follows the adventures of a young man and his friends as they wander through a barely recognizable post–May 1968 Paris. In documenting the by-gone expressions and gestures of the ’68 generation in France, Acéphale becomes something of an anthropological film that reveals the rites and beliefs of the ideological novitiates. —Sally Shafto

Dir. Patrick Deval, 1968, digital presentation, 65 min.

Night of the Living Dead (Off-site at the Vista)

NightoftheLivingDead
8/26 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

This event will take place at the Vista, located at 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Join us to celebrate the sadly-departed master with his essential contribution to the midnight movie canon.

Romero’s ‘68 masterpiece, elegant in its simplicity and stark in its depiction of an American populace sleepwalking through the Vietnam era, remains the template for the modern zombie film, even after all these years. Even if you think you know the film inside and out — when’s the last time you actually sat down and watched it? In 35mm? Come give it another whirl with us, and rediscover its brutal beauty.

Dir. George Romero, 1968, 35mm, 96 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

A Rocky Horror Mixtape w/ Sal Pirro and Larry Viezel

RockyHorror2
8/27 - 7:30PM
$15/free for members

No midnight movies retrospective would be complete without addressing the longest running (still playing theatrically after four decades at the Nuart theatre in West LA), cult-iest, most audience-engaging late night flick of all time… The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky is more than just a film, it’s a phenomenon. We’ve invited Sal Pirro (founding member of the Rocky Horror Picture Show fan club and member of the first shadow cast ever at the original Waverly Theatre) and super fan and collector Larry Viezel to help us host an evening of rare video clips, photographs, and other ephemera, to recreate and retell the story of how it all happened.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Le révélateur (w/ live score by Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler)

Garrel_Le-Révelateur_Chodov-750x400
8/31 - 7:30PM
$18/free for members

For those who favor the hallucinatory and the abstract, start revving your psychedelic engines for a dose of French master Philippe Garrel’s potent, shimmering physicality. Tragically unknown in the U.S. despite a significant global following, Garrel has charted an unlikely course from avant-garde provocateur to festival favorite in a revelatory four-decade career. Tonight, one of his earliest, most incendiary shorts is live-scored by harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler, whose albums for the Thrill Jockey label (Slant of Light and The Withdrawing Room) weave an elaborate web of picturesque synthscapes. Le révélateur — made during Garrel’s youthful Zanzibar period spent on the Paris ‘68 frontlines and named for the revealing of images by film developer — “is a fractured and elliptical, but instinctive, elemental, and haunting rumination on the process of awakening, maturation, psychological trauma, and transformation of childhood memory” (Strictly Film School)

Dir. Philippe Garrel, 1968, digital presentation, 67 min.

Friday Night Frights: Plan 9 from Outer Space (w/ Larry Karaszewski & Dana Gould)

Plan9
9/1 - MIDNITE
$12/free for members

Presented by Friday Night Frights

For the uninitiated, Mr. Wood was a filmmaker who pooled all his resources to make movies in the 1950s and 60s; the thing is, the films aren’t very good. In fact, they’re legendarily “bad,” at least by any conventional definition—glued together with the no-budget, eager showmanship that later gave him the unfair title of Worst Director Ever and a fervent cult following from Danzig to Tim Burton. But let’s destroy the “so-bad-it’s-good” term. Ed Wood made lovable movies with strong atmosphere, awkward dialogue, implausible plots, and a static style that is as strange and seductive as it is hilarious. It’s been 50+ years since he made his magnum opus, Plan 9 from Outer Space — with an all-star cast of Tor Johnson, Vampira, Criswell, Bela Lugosi — and we’re here to celebrate with a rare 35mm screening!

Dir. Ed Wood, 1959, 35mm, 79 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

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