Second Looks w/ Illeana Douglas



When actress/filmmaker Illeana Douglas (Grace Of My Heart, Ghost World, To Die For, Easy To Assemble and many, many more) recently hosted/programmed the repertory film series Second Looks on Turner Classic Movies, she revealed a side of herself that made us at Cinefamily feel that she was truly “one of us.” Full of contagious enthusiasm, Illeanna brought to the airwaves a slate of overlooked, forgotten and underappreciated films that deserved another spin.


Illeana says: “Part of the fun of ‘Second Look’ films is that, long after critics have given the thumbs-up or thumbs-down, we movie fans continue to debate the merits of films we cherish and need to champion. I myself once broke up with someone who didn’t appreciate Barry Lyndon. Clearly he was wrong — and I was right. You may like the choices, you may disagree with them, you may have never heard of them, but we encourage you to have an opinion about them.


“The fun of this series is that everyone has a ‘Second Look’ movie. To start off the whole monthly residency, writer/director Michael Tolkin will join me to screen Nightmare Alley, screen icon Tyrone Power’s notorious Forties noir flop which some consider an underrated masterpiece. Throughout, we’ll also have more contemporary films that you didn’t know existed, like Adam Carolla’s The Hammer, or great rep picks like Alan Parker’s Shoot the Moon, and the completely forgotten work of Joan Micklin Silver, which includes Chilly Scenes of Winter and Between the Lines.”


SECOND LOOKS: An Unmarried Woman (hosted by Illeana Douglas & James Ponsoldt!)

3/29/2014 - 5PM

“One of the funniest, truest, sometimes most heartbreaking movies I’ve ever seen.” — Roger Ebert

The afternoon’s film pick, screened from an archival 35mm print, is curated by filmmaker James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed!) One of Paul Mazursky’s greatest critical and commercial triumphs, An Unmarried Woman is, in the words of one of the film’s own characters, “Ingmar Bergman meets Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” — radiantly capturing the fears and desires of the Carter-era “Seventies heading into the Eighties” zeitgeist, while also providing actress Jill Clayburgh with the most important role of her career. The ability to accurately render instantly believable characters is one of Mazursky’s greatest cinematic strengths, and in this film, he provides Clayburgh (whose work here was Oscar-nominated) and a bevy of her onscreen female friends with dialogue and situations that feel all too real — especially pertaining to her recent ex-husband (Michael Murphy) and her new boho lover (Alan Bates.) Amongst An Unmarried Woman’s pointillistic emotional victories amongst the singles bars, uptown galleries and the shrink’s office, Clayburgh’s performance is a truly electric work of art, one which you won’t be able to take your eyes away from.
Dir. Paul Mazursky, 1978, 35mm, 124 min. (Archival print courtesy of Fox Archive)

Watch the trailer for “An Unmarried Woman”!
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SECOND LOOKS W/ ILLEANA DOUGLAS: The Hammer (co-hosted by Adam Carolla!)

1/10/2014 - 7:30PM

Tonight’s film is co-hosted by co-writer/star Adam Carolla! Illeana Douglas says: “You wouldn’t think a movie about an amauter boxer-turned-loser-turned-handyman-turned-boxer would work, but resting on the stooped shoulders of Adam Carolla, The Hammer is a heartfelt comedy that totally deserves a Second Look. This kindler, gentler Adam Carolla is — dare I say it — loveable? Most of the time you want to give Jerry Faro (Carolla’s on-screen alter ego) a big hug. ‘You’re one of those 95-percenters who never quite gives it everything you got.’ Ouch. He’s taken so many lefts in life, he’s begging for a right. His dreams may look like they’re in the rearview mirror of his broken-down truck, but with the help of his sidekick, played by the hilarious Oswaldo Castillo (the Nicaraguan immigrant who Adam worked with on real-life construction jobs during the ‘80s), Jerry Faro may be an unlikely contender in the boxing ring — and finally, a contender in his own life.” This touching, endearing sports comedy had a too-brief theatrical run back in 2007 — so catch this rare 35mm screening with Adam in person.
Dir. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, 2007, 35mm, 88 min.

SECOND LOOKS W/ ILLEANA DOUGLAS: Nightmare Alley (co-hosted by Michael Tolkin!)

The sordid carnival life!
1/9/2014 - 7:30PM

Tonight’s film pick is curated/co-hosted by novelist/filmmaker Michael Tolkin (The Player, The Rapture, The New Age.) Both an intensely funky noir and a lurid tale of the carny life(!), Nightmare Alley is a total must-see. Illeana Douglas says: “I chose Nightmare Alley to highlight the underappreciated work of matinee idol Tyrone Power, and because it represents the kind of provocative film that Hollywood could indeed make once upon a time. Fresh off the success of the existential, uplifting The Razor’s Edge, Power and director Edmund Goulding teamed again to explore the dark underbelly of the carnival milieu. In contrast to his typical swashbuckling roles, Power plays ‘The Great Stanton’, a sideshow huckster who reaches for the stars. This film was Tyrone’s baby: he purchased the rights to the source material, and he fought with Fox’s Darryl Zanuck to keep the integrity of the book’s darkest elements. Lucky for us that he did, for it pushes the boundaries of sex, scams and sordidness, plus with an ending, I promise, that’s not easily forgotten. Released in ‘47, reviews at the time harped on the despicable nature of all the characters, particularly Powers’ lead, saying his sinister portrayal had no redeeming qualities. I know! That’s why I love it!”
Dir. Edmund Goulding, 1947, 35mm, 110 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Nightmare Alley”!