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From Cinema Classics To New Indie Releases: Movies To Catch In L.A. This November
A month effectively shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday usually means the repertory theaters play it safe with their programming, but with some eclectic rarities and the ongoing PST: LA/LA, there's still plenty to see this month in Los Angeles. Don't settle for the two (ugh) comic book movies coming out this month.
Also, hate it or love it, awards season is upon us. While November means prestige dreck hits the multiplexes later in the month, it also means AFI FEST is just around the corner—check back soon for recommendations at this year's edition of the festival!
AT REPERTORY THEATERS:
Takashi Miike In Person
Since he began his career in 1991, cult auteur Takashi Miike has led an eclectic career veering from extreme violence to lighthearted children's fare. With the release of his 100th film, Blade of the Immortal, set for this Friday (it opens at the Nuart in West Los Angeles), the American Cinematheque and Beyond Fest has the Japanese director in-person for a talk. The Egyptian Theatre will screen his bonkers musical/comedy/horror/romance The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) and the disturbing Visitor Q (2001) (Nov. 2). Don't say you haven't been warned for what's in store. The event features a discussion between films with Miike, with The Happiness of the Katakuris screening on 35mm.
The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. (323) 461-2020. Tickets, $15, $13 for American Cinematheque members.
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
The city-wide celebration of Latin American art rolls on, and this includes the multiple screening series that are a part of PST. Highlights from the UCLA Film & Television Archive's extensive retrospective "Recuerdos de un cine en español" include the recently rediscovered Romance tropical (1934) (Nov. 4), the first sound feature ever made in Puerto Rico, and a double-feature of the Mexican vampire film El vampiro (1957) with the "erotic jungle adventure" Sombra verde (1954), starring Ricardo Montalbán (Nov. 18 at the Downtown Independent).
Over at the Academy, PST: LA/LA focuses on Latin American cinema from 1960 to the present. Highlights from this series include Lucrecia Martel's modern classic La Ciénaga (2001) (Nov. 6, with Martel in appearance), Los Pequeños Gigantes (1960), a recounting of the story of the 1957 Mexican team that won the Little League World Series (Nov. 18, featuring members of the team in appearance), and Stand and Deliver (1988), the biopic of East Los Angeles math teacher Jaime Escalante (Nov. 18, with actors Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips scheduled to appear).
For those with a more adventurous palate, Los Angeles Film Forum continues their series "Ism, Ism, Ism," which explores experimental film in Latin America. Program highlights include "Poets, Artists, and Anarcho-super8istas" (Nov. 9 at MOCA), which shines a spotlight on the Super 8 filmmakers who lived under Brazil's military regime, and Venezuelan filmmaker Diego Rísquez's Bolivar, a Tropikal Symphony (1979), the first film of a trilogy about the mythical and historical past of Latin America (Nov. 18 at the Downtown Independent and co-presented by Acropolis Cinema—on 35mm!)
Check links for more information on individual screenings.
Weekday Matinees at The New Bev
A truly eclectic November at Quentin Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema, ranging from classic Westerns to films released just this past year (Dunkirk, Baby Driver). This month, the theater expands their weekday matinees to also include a Thursday series highlighting hand-picked rarities from Tarantino's own collection. The "Forgotten Vintage Jewels" starts off with two adventures, the high seas pirate tale A High Wind In Jamaica (1965), starring Anthony Quinn and James Coburn (Nov. 2), and the African savannah adventure The Last Safari (1967) (Nov. 9). Underrated comedy genius Frank Tashlin's rarely screened Susan Slept Here (1954), a battle of the sexes starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds, is one not to be missed (Nov. 16).
On Wednesdays, the "Afternoon Classics" this month have a wartime theme, with highlights including John Frankenheimer's action masterpiece The Train (1964) (Nov. 8), and the coming home classic The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) (Nov. 22), which features the finest work of Citizen Kane cinematographer Gregg Toland's career.
The New Beverly Cinema is located at 7165 Beverly Blvd. near the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. (323) 938-4038. Tickets $8, $6 for matinees.
OPENING IN THEATERS:
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Winner of the Queer Palm at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Robin Campillo's BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a love story set amidst the activism of the Paris branch of ACT UP, an advocacy group for victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Campillo himself is a veteran of ACT UP-Paris, and shoots the film documentary-style to give the story a fresh sense of urgency.
BPM (Beats Per Minute) opens Friday, Nov. 3 at the Laemmle Royal (11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.) and Nov. 10 at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 (673 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena).
On The Beach At Night Alone
Despite their critical acclaim and the presence of a major Korean theater chain, the films of ever-prolific writer-director Hong Sang-soo rarely see a release in Los Angeles. Thanks to Acropolis Cinema, one of his more recent (and best) efforts will screen at the Downtown Independent on Nov. 21 and 24. One of his most personal works, On The Beach At Night Alone stars his muse Kim Min-hee as an actress reeling in the aftermath of an affair with a film director. The film draws from Hong and Kim's own relationship, which caused a media sensation back in South Korea. This brilliant, raw and emotionally earnest film earned Kim Min-hee a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for best actress earlier this year.
On The Beach At Night Alone screens Nov. 21 and 24 at the Downtown Independent (251 S. Main St., downtown Los Angeles). Tickets available through Acropolis Cinema, $12.
In Porto, two strangers (Lucie Lucas and Anton Yelchin, in one of his final performances) who shared one intimate night with each other reflect back on that moment in time and examine the profound impact it left. Executive produced by Jim Jarmusch, Porto is made by first-time director and former film critic Gabe Klinger and shot on a mix of film stocks (8mm, 16mm and 35mm) to evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing. The Nuart presents the film on 35mm for select screenings.
Porto opens Friday, Nov. 24 at the Nuart Theatre (11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.). Director Gabe Klinger will hold Q&As for the 7:30 screenings on Friday and Saturday.
Carman Tse is a diehard Giants fan living in Los Angeles as well as a freelance arts and culture writer and former editor-in-chief at LAist. Follow him on Twitter at @CarmanTse.
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