Friends of Cinefamily Fundraiser: Truth & Soul, Inc. - The Films of Robert Downey, Sr. (a prince)



“I just think he’s one of our great American directors” — P.T. Anderson


Putney Swope was my first big inspiration.” — Louis CK


“After being thrown out of the house, four schools and the United States Army, I discovered that I was on the right track.” — Robert Downey, Sr.


Underground filmmaker, midnight movie maven, existential cosmic joker and surrealist film freak extraordinary — Robert Downey, Sr. was the clown prince of the Beat Cinema scene in its golden age.  Inspired equally by the Marx Brothers and Samuel Beckett, Downey’s absurdist wit and jazz film style made him a critics’ darling and audience favorite in the 1960s New York arthouse scene, and later a cult movie sensation in the 1970s with classics like Putney Swope and Greaser’s Palace.  These early works are as barbed as Lenny Bruce, as absurd as Alfred Jarry, and as out-to-lunch as Eric Dolphy.  Rough around the edges and all-around hilarious, Downey’s first films stand as landmark works in the history of American independent cinema.


TICKETS (Dec. 5-7: fundraiser ticket prices vary. Dec. 8: free for Cinefamily members +1. Showtimes subject to change):
Fri 12/5, 8:00pm: CINEFAMILY FUNDRAISER, DAY 1 – An Evening with Robert Downey, Sr. (hosted by Robert Downey, Jr., feat. Chafed Elbows & Two Tons of Turquoise To Taos)


Sat 12/6, 7:00pm: CINEFAMILY FUNDRAISER, DAY 2 – Downey & The Midnight Movie (hosted by P.T. Anderson, feat. Greaser’s Palace and Pound)


Sun 12/7, 2:00pm: OFFSITE @ ACE HOTEL / CINEFAMILY FUNDRAISER, DAY 3: Downey: Clown Prince of the Underground (hosted by Louis CK, feat. Putney Swope)
Premium Seating (Day Three)
General Admission Seating (Day Three)


Mon 12/8, 7:30pm: MEMBERS-ONLY FREE SCREENING (w/ pre-registration): Show & Tell w/ Robert Downey, Sr. (feat. No More Excuses and Rittenhouse Square)



Watch the trailer for “Truth & Soul, Inc.”!


TRUTH & SOUL, INC: DAY ONE - An Evening With Robert Downey, Sr. (hosted by Robert Downey, Jr., feat. “Chafed Elbows” & “Two Tons of Turquoise To Taos Tonight”)


12/5 - 8PM

Join us for an intimate, career-spanning conversation between father and son, touring the early life and work of Robert Downey, Sr. The evening features never-before-seen rare clips, ephemera and other surprises, along with screenings of some of Downey’s best work. The night includes a beautiful 35mm restoration by Anthology Film Archives of his breakthrough underground hit Chafed Elbows, and a rare screening of Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight, Robert Downey, Jr.’s personal favorite of his father’s work.

Chafed Elbows Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1966, 35mm, 63 min. (print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives with the support of The Film Foundation)
Two Tons of Turquoise To Taos Tonight Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1975, digital presentation, 56 min.



TRUTH & SOUL, INC.: DAY TWO - Downey and the Midnight Movie (hosted by P.T. Anderson, feat. “Greaser’s Palace” & “Pound”)


12/6 - 7PM

For lovers of all things Downey, this is the night of deep cuts. Not only have the Friends Of Cinefamily struck a brand-new 35mm print of Downey’s “acid western” Greaser’s Palace — a classic of the ‘70s midnight movie circuit (named by the Coen Brothers as one of their favorite films of all-time) that’s been out of theatrical circulation for decades. Following is a celebration of the music Robert Downey made with Charlie Cuva and Jack Nitzsche, a reunion of his cast-‘n-crew extended family”, and a rare screening of his never-on-DVD (heck, never-even-on-VHS) Pound.

Greaser’s Palace Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1972, 35mm, 91 min.
Pound Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1970, digital presentation, 92 min.



OFFSITE @ ACE HOTEL / TRUTH & SOUL, INC: DAY THREE - Downey, Clown Prince of the Underground (hosted by Louis CK, feat. “Putney Swope”)


12/7 - 2PM

LOCATION: The Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, 90015. This event does not take place at the Silent Movie Theater location.

The Coen Brothers, Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle and Paul Thomas Anderson are all known to be big fans — Jane Fonda declared it a masterpiece on “The Tonight Show” in 1969 — De La Soul sampled it, the Beastie Boys rapped about it and Louis CK cites it as “the first film that inspired me as a filmmaker.” For the Sunday afternoon event, we share with you the film that made Robert Downey, Sr. famous. It’s his funniest and most irreverent work, and his crossover hit: Putney Swope. See this legendary cult comedy classic with a huge appreciative audience at the Ace Hotel’s gorgeous United Artists movie palace.
Putney Swope Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1969, digital presentation, 84 min.

NOTE: there are two different ticket pricing tiers for this event. The ticketing link attached to the “Buy Tickets” icon is for the Premium Seating tier.

BUY TICKETS (Premium Seating)
BUY TICKETS (General Admission)



MEMBERS-ONLY / TRUTH & SOUL, INC.: DAY FOUR: Show & Tell w/ Robert Downey, Sr. (feat. “No More Excuses” & “Rittenhouse Square”)


12/8 - 7:30PM
free for Cinefamily members +1 (first-come, first-served w/ pre-registration)

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

For the final night of our retrospective, it’s a special evening just for our Cinefamily members: an evening of conversation and rarities, odds ‘n ends, and bits ‘n pieces with Robert Downey, Sr. Not only will he present rarely-screened works like Rittenhouse Square (his 2005 impressionistic, music-filled documentary about a small Philadelphia park) and an Anthology Film Archives restoration of 1968’s No More Excuses (a compilation of Downey’s earliest shorts and assorted improprieties), but also various films he loves, and films he’s been working on — and maybe even a few surprises.

No More Excuses Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 1968, 35mm, 62 min. (Print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives with support from The Film Foundation)
Rittenhouse Square Dir. Robert Downey, Sr., 2005, digital presentation, 92 min.



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