Cinefamily Editions Presents


Original Cinefamily Editions merchandise available here!

Fox and His Friends

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6/8/2017 - 7:30PM

For those who prefer their trenchant class commentary served with a side of beefcake, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends drops a rags-to-riches Cinderella tale into the singular milieu of the 1970s Munich gay scene. After a blue-collar bathroom cruiser and erstwhile circus freak (played with deep empathy by Fassbinder himself) wins a small fortune on the lottery, the sudden boost in social status that this fortune affords places him among company far more treacherous than the crooks, queens, and hustlers he knew on the street.

With painterly compositions (featuring a cheekily phallocentric mise-en-scène) and a brilliant tone at once deadpan and melodramatic, Fox and His Friends extracts curious humor and sincere humanity from a fall to ruin as heartbreaking as it is ultimately predictable. You’re likely to watch this nightmare of a love story through parted fingers, waiting to flinch.

Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975, 35mm, 123 min.

Original Cinefamily Editions merchandise available here!

Watch the trailer!

Messiah of Evil

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5/25/2017 - 7:30PM

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Messiah of Evil was my view of the San Fernando Valley… That bleak high street? If you walk through the San Fernando Valley at night, that’s what you saw.” – Willard Hyuck

Messiah Of Evil is one of the great lost films. Made by screenwriting team Willard Hyuck and Gloria Katz right before their breakout success writing American Graffiti, it details the unsettling relationship between a girl, her mysterious painter father, and a Northern California town full of bloodthirsty catatonic everyday people. There are standout zombie attacks in a supermarket and a movie theatre, as well as an appearance by ‘70s gay film icon Michael Greer – making the film an off-kilter killer.

Dir. Willard Hyuck, 1973, 35mm, 85 min.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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5/11/2017 - 7:30PM

“The Bomb overshadowed global politics. It was a kind of ultimate hole card in a game where the stakes were life on earth. Then Kubrick’s film opened with the force of a bucketful of cold water, right in the face.” – Roger Ebert

Dr. Strangelove arrived three years after Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: two works that cleaved a bold path of satire and savagery through the Cold War thicket of the early 1960′s. From the “you can’t fight in the War Room” War Room to the not-at-all-subtle phallic cigar chomping military officers, Strangelove skewers with pure wit until arriving at the only logical conclusion: nuclear annihilation (though, in the context of the movie, even that is pretty funny). With one of cinema’s all-time greats in the director’s chair, and a lineup that included Peter Sellers, Sterling Hayden, Terry Southern, and Slim Pickens, Strangelove is one of those rare moments in movie-culture when, to put it bluntly, the stars aligned.

Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964, DCP, 94min

California Split

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2/23/2017 - 7:30PM

Nobody captures the smoggy, smoked-out hangover that is Los Angeles better than Robert Altman did in the ‘70s. With his shaggy ambling muse Elliot Gould along for the ride, Altman mapped the sunburnt terrain with a bemused, amused accuracy that makes any L.A. stoner sigh with satisfaction. Gould and George Segal bounce wildly off one another in California Split – an exploration of compulsive gambling that ranks alongside Nashville and McCabe & Mrs. Miller as one of Altman’s finest works. Gould is the devil-may-care wild man, living on couches and a diet of cereal; Segal is a successful magazine publisher, the man with something to lose. Working with one of his most finely-tuned acting ensembles (including Bert Remsen, Gwen Welles and a very young Jeff Goldblum), Altman captures the sumptuously seedy side of the Southland without ever sacrificing the grace and dignity that these poor souls deserve. A feast of detail and subtle characterization, California Split is best experienced in the theater, where, like the gaming floor, you never really know what time of day it is.

Dir. Robert Altman, 1974, 35mm, 108 min.

Zodiac

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2/9/2017 - 7:30PM

Steeped in one of California’s most notorious unsolved serial murder cases (and we have a few) is Zodiac, the understated but terrifying psycho-thriller from old pro David Fincher (Se7en, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Knitting the swinging pastiche of a liberated 60s San Francisco – Haight Ashbury, anyone? – with the little we know of the gruesome murderer who taunted police and press from the anonymity of assumed bohemia, Fincher deals in both truth and fiction in his retelling of the story of a newspaper cartoonist (lamp-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal, of course) whose amateur quest to find the Zodiac may prove to be a path of no return.

With an ensemble cast of knockouts (Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, and Mark Ruffalo), sweeping visual odes to classic California, and a near-perfect score that collides bright cozy oldies with plenty of uneasy piano, Zodiac lifts the gilded petals of flower power and slowly exposes the quiet, sodden evil that crept beneath all that peace and love – reminding us (and years of cipher-breaking Redditors) that not all killers will be caught.

Dir. David Fincher, 2007, 35mm, 157 min.

Naked

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1/26/2017 - 7:30PM

Like a fiery street preacher, Naked barges into your space and your psyche, insistently haranguing you and demanding attention. In Mike Leigh’s all-too-human miserablist drama/void-black comedy, crude misanthrope Johnny (David Thewlis) squats at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and lambasts his way through the streets of London, ranting about space, God, evolution, The Odyssey, the Apocalypse – anything to anyone who’ll listen, especially if they have cigarettes. It’s a fascinating portrait of a deeply intelligent, horribly cruel and pessimistic character – at home in a film that sulks in theatrical existentialism and kitchen sink realism. Thewlis’s mesmerizing performance and Leigh’s top-notch storytelling are almost able to humanize this ugly outcast – not with redemptive clichés, but with rare and shocking emotional integrity most artists would flinch at.

Dir. Mike Leigh, 1993, 16mm, 126 min.

Jean Renoir: A Biography book release + La Grande Illusion (with Peter Bogdanovich and Pascal Mérigeau in person!)

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1/12/2017 - 7:30PM

“Sophistication at the service of innocence, not cynicism or chic: That’s the glory of La Grande Illusion as a narrative, a showcase for transcendent acting, a piece of philosophy in action, and a leap into pure cinema.” – Michael Sragow, The New Yorker

Pascal Mérigeau’s definitive biography Jean Renoir: A Biography (originally published in France in 2012 and winner of the Prix Goncourt) is now available in English for the first time, courtesy of RatPac Press. Join us to celebrate the launch of this most exhaustive book of its kind with a screening of a 35mm print of Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece, La Grande Illusion – the greatest war film ever made without a lick of combat!

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon) and author Pascal Mérigeau, and a book signing.

Dir. Jean Renoir, 1937, 35mm, 114 min.

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The Heiress

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12/29/2016 - 7:30PM

Struck from the 1947 play of the same name, which was in turn drawn from Henry James’s Washington Square—James did pen so much of the best fodder for adaptations—The Heiress exemplifies the Hollywood adaptation at its best. Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland, in a virtuosic and heartbreaking turn) is the unwed daughter of a widowed father (a loving yet painfully condescending Ralph Richardson), who falls wildly in love with man her father does not approve of. Wyler sees the nuanced and complex Catherine incur the scars of disappointment, as she transforms from anxiety ridden and hopeful to bitter and broken, in what may be the pinnacle of pre-method, old Hollywood acting. Forget Breaking Bad, this is the real deal—Walter White doesn’t have an inch on Catherine Sloper.

Dir. William Wyler, 1949, 35mm, 115 min.

Preceded by Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy
Dir. Martin Arnold, 1998, 16mm, 15 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Birth

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12/8/2016 - 7:30PM

Co-presented by Memory

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Moving beyond the trappings of typical paranormality, Jonathan Glazer’s followup to Sexy Beast only builds on the filmmaker’s career-defining resistance to giving audiences what they think they want. Equally unsettling and entertaining, Glazer’s polarizing Birth uses simple elements—a camera angle, a particular cut within a shot—to dig deeper than the film’s visual starkness first suggests, cutting both emotionally and intellectually through subjective character experiences to explore concepts of doubt, faith, denial, and love within the rigid confines of Manhattan’s stuffy, upper class elite. Penned in cahoots with frequent Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), lensed by the late, great Harris Savides, and featuring subtle performances from Anne Heche, Ted Levine, Lauren Bacall, and a career-best turn from Nicole Kidman, Birth posits that once the walls of knowing have been taken apart, you can’t unlearn that which you’ve discovered.

Dir. Jonathan Glazer, 2004, 35mm, 100 min.

Birth will be preceded by the short film Happy Anniversary.
Dirs. Jean-Claude Carrière & Pierre Étaix, 1962, 35mm, 15 min.

Watch the trailer!

Tampopo

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11/23/2016 - 7:30PM

Co-presented by Ways & Means

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A bowl of ramen consists of various ingredients: shinachiku roots, pork, spring onions. However, in order to obtain the true essence of the dish, you must observe the whole bowl first. Jûzô Itami’s Tampopo is a gastro-lucid, pygmalion-esque “Ramen-Western”—a visual, culinary cornucopia where food, life, death, and sex simmer into one singular broth. On the film’s glossy surface, it’s a slow cooked tale about two slick truckers who act as svengalis to a struggling noodle shop owner, yet, much like chopsticks rotating through the soup, Tampopo throws out parallel storylines like pinches of flavor-enhancing salt. The main ingredients include: a symphony of noodle slurping at an etiquette class, a stylish gangster and his partner passing egg yolk back and forth mid-kiss, and a store owner trying to catch a habitual “Food-Fondler.” Heavily influenced by genre-visionaries like Sergio Leone, Itami’s absurdist and downright Dada-inflected scenes also follow the leads of Luis Bunuel and Robert Downey Sr.—good down to the last slurp, and on our menu for one night only!

Dir. Jûzô Itami, 1985, DCP, 114 min.

Watch the trailer!

One-Eyed Jacks

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11/10/2016 - 7:30PM

Co-presented by The Marlon Brando Trust

One-Eyed Jacks is a epic, technicolor tale of deception and deceit in the West, told through the eyes of someone… heavily influenced by Freud. Rio/”Kid” (Brando) is hellbent on seeking revenge against his former partner in crime, Dad Longworth, who left him for dead when a bank robbery went south. After years of searching up and down the California coast, he finds his bounty, only to fall in love with Longworth’s daughter. Brando got his lucky seat in the director’s chair when the studio fired Stanley Kubrick and he volunteered himself up. A box office disaster when it was released, the film required Brando to star in five additional movies to pay off the tab alone, giving him second thoughts about ever taking another turn as director. One time deal. Don’t miss it.

Dir. Marlon Brando, 1961, DCP, 141 min.

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