LAist Film Calendar: Genius Janitors, Terrible Trolls & Killer Kurosawa

philosopherkings.jpg American Dinosauuuuuur! | Photo courtesy of Transcendental Media

University students turn to their professors for education, but whom should they look to for wisdom? According to The Philosopher Kings, they would do well to leave the classroom and head for the janitor's closet. The wonderful documentary goes behind the wet floor sign of college custodians, and illustrates the dynamic personalities who deliver a clean campus amid spotty life experiences.

Some persevere through tragedy. Luis Cardenas at CalTech loses an arm to a drunk driver, but proves his valiance by remaining on the front for his family and the CalTech community. Josue Lajeunesse slaves away at Princeton all year to feed his family in Haiti, and then works tirelessly during his time back home to establish clean water programs in his village. Others use their surroundings to create their own opportunities outside of academia. Corby Baker elects employment at Cornish College of the Arts' galleries to soak up the students' inspiration to perfect his own pieces.

Each interviewee's emotional core is raw & real. The personal passions behind such thankless jobs inflame every frame, and the subjects' aptness for their day-jobs is apparent with each gorgeous location shot. Clocking in at a tidy 70 minutes, The Philosopher Kings never stoops to schmaltz. It shows real people and real stories, which is why it's so powerful and inspirational. The film premieres Friday at Downtown Independent, with filmmakers and philosophers at the Friday & Saturday shows.

troll2.jpg My Ex Smiles for the Camera | Photo courtesy of Best Worst Movie

Of course, the wisest advice one can give is the simplest: don't make bad movies. Unless they're so bad that they create a cult following. Troll 2 certainly earns that dubious distinction. It screens Friday at midnight in a rare 35mm screening accompanying the Nuart's run of making-of-movie-unmaking-of-reputation Best Worst Movie. In stark contrast, the Egyptian Theatre closes out its celebration of Akira Kurosawa's centennial with programs of Rashomon & The Hidden Fortress, the late color epic Kagemusha, and both Yojimbo & Sanjuro.

For an infinitely-more graceful exercise in children and creatures, the Egyptian also hosts Jim Henson Family Day, honoring his memory with a revival of his rare rainforest special The Song of the Cloud Forest, Fraggle Rock shorts, and the next generation of Muppet shows. Another celluloid vigil gets underway across town, when the New Beverly and Cinefamily join forces with Quentin Tarantino for a whopping 12-film tribute to the late David Carradine. Godspeed, Mr. Frankenstein.

All Week
Best Worst Movie (2010) (Nuart Theatre)
City Island (2009) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Devil Within (2009) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Everyone Else (2009) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
The Father of My Children (2009) (The Landmark)
Harry Brown (2009) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
Here and There (2009) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
Holy Rollers (2010) (The Landmark)
The Human Centipede (2009) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Kites (2010) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
The Little Traitor (2007) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)
The Living Wake (2007) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Looking for Eric (2009) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7) (Laemmle's Sunset 5) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)
The Oath (2010) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Philosopher Kings (2009) (Downtown Independent)
Princess Kaiulani (2009) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)

Thursday 5/20
Americana (1983) / The Long Riders (1980) (New Beverly Cinema) (David Carradine Tribute in Association w/ Cinefamily)
Chinatown (1974) (Aero Theatre)
Desperate Living (1977) / Wild At Heart (1990) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups)
Iron Man 2 (2010) (Arclight Hollywood) (Arclight Pasadena) (21+ screening)
The Father of My Children (2009) (free event) (Melnitz Movies)
Kagemusha (1980) (Egyptian Theatre) (Centennial Celebration: The Films of Akira Kurosawa)
PXL This 19 (w/ founder and filmmaker Gerry Fialka) (Echo Park Film Center)
Robin Hood (2010) (Arclight Sherman Oaks) (21+ screening)

Friday 5/21
Best Worst Movie (2010) (w/ filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson and film subject George Hardy at 7:30pm and 9:55pm shows) (Nuart Theatre)
Boogie Nights (1997) (The Bay Theatre)
Bound for Glory (1976) / The Serpent's Egg (1977) / Boxcar Bertha (1972) (New Beverly Cinema) (David Carradine Tribute in Association w/ Cinefamily)
Eggshells (1968) (midnight drive-in screening) (Steve Allen Theater)
Holy Rollers (2010) (w/ Jesse Eisenberg at 7:30pm show) (The Landmark)
J.T. (1969) / The Wiz (1978) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Big Blue Marble)
Laurel and Hardy Festival (Old Town Music Hall)
Midnight (1939) (w/ author Ira M. Resnick and Michael Schlesinger, consultant at Sony Pictures Entertainment) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Archive Treasures)
The Oath (2010) (w/ director Laura Poitras at 7pm show) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Philosopher Kings (2009) (w/ filmmakers and cast at 7:30pm and 10pm screenings) (Downtown Independent)
Rashomon (1950) / The Hidden Fortress (1958) (Egyptian Theatre) (Centennial Celebration: The Films of Akira Kurosawa)
Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) / Deadline at Dawn (1945) (LACMA) (The Noir Cinematography of Nicholas Musuraca)
Tommy (1975) (w/ director Ken Russell) (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)
Troll 2 (1990) (w/ Paul Stephenson and George Hardy) (Nuart Theatre) (Cine-Insomnia Midnight Movie)
Zabriskie Point (1970) / If... (1968) (Aero Theatre)

Saturday 5/22
The Bad Seed (1956) / Kathy O' (1958) (w/ Patty McCormack) (Aero Theatre)
Best Worst Movie (2010) (w/ filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson and film subject George Hardy at 7:30pm and 9:55pm shows) (Nuart Theatre)
Born to Be Bad (1950) / The Woman on Pier 13 (1950) (LACMA) (The Noir Cinematography of Nicholas Musuraca)
Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Chasing Legends (2010) (w/ director Jason Berry and producer Ken Bell) (Egyptian Theatre)
The City of Your Final Destination (2009) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Death Race 2000 (1975) / Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) (New Beverly Cinema) (David Carradine Tribute in Association w/ Cinefamily)
Happiness Runs (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Holy Rollers (2010) (w/ Jesse Eisenberg at 7:30pm show) (The Landmark)
Jim Henson Family Day (Egyptian Theatre)
Laurel and Hardy Festival (Old Town Music Hall)
Mellodrama (2008) (w/ director Dianna Dilworth, and a live Mellotron performance by Brian Kehew) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (Saturday Night Showcase)
The Message (2009) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Recent Popular Cinema of Mainland China)
Mondo Macabro Kiddo feat. Lost In The Desert (1970) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (HFS: Fucked-Up Kids' Movies)
Night of the Living Dead (1968) (New Beverly Cinema) (New Beverly Midnights) (Co-Presented by Shock Till You Drop)
The Oath (2010) (w/ director Laura Poitras at 7pm show) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Philosopher Kings (2009) (w/ filmmakers and cast at 5:30pm, 7:30pm and 10pm screenings) (Downtown Independent)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Sins O' The Flesh Midnight Show) (Nuart Theatre)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Midnight Insanity Midnight Show) (Warner Grand Theatre)
The Shining (1980) (Regency Academy) (Insomniac Cinema Midnight Movie)
The Thing (1982) (Hollywood Forever Cemetery) (Cinespia Screenings)
Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008) (free event) (Skirball Cultural Center) (Passport Screenings)

Sunday 5/23
Blonde Venus (1932) (w/ talk by Mark A. Vieira) (Egyptian Theatre)
Boogie Nights (1997) (The Bay Theatre)
Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
The City of Your Final Destination (2009) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) / A Town Called Panic (2009) (New Beverly Cinema)
Gladiator (2000) (w/ production designer Arthur Max) (Aero Theatre)
Happiness Runs (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Laurel and Hardy Festival (Old Town Music Hall)
ONE Queer Film Fest (Downtown Independent)
Potter-Belmar Labs (Los Angeles Filmforum) (Egyptian Theatre)
Quentin Tarantino presents: David Carradine Tribute Weekend Closing BBQ (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (David Carradine Tribute in Association w/ New Beverly Cinema)
Spring Subway (2002) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Recent Popular Cinema of Mainland China)
Super Typhoon (2008) (w/ director Feng Xiaoning and actor Liu Xiaowei) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Recent Popular Cinema of Mainland China)
Yojimbo (1961) / Sanjuro (1962) (Egyptian Theatre) (Centennial Celebration: The Films of Akira Kurosawa)

That's all for this week. OH MY GOD!

Article compiled by Edward Yerke-Robins (and family!)