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Your Can't-Miss Film Events For The Week
Los Angeles is the center of the universe when it comes to movies, so not only does that mean there's a star-studded premiere of a new Hollywood film every week, but also enough repertory and independent theaters across town to fill up your week. With practically no first-run theaters in the county projecting celluloid anymore, these theaters are often your only way of seeing works projected on film—as they were meant to be seen. With programs ranging from Hollywood classics on 35mm all the way to the latest avant-garde works from cutting edge filmmakers, there's something for every type of cinephile in Southern California. Let us be your guide for the best film events this week.
A clip from Chris Marker's The Koumiko Mystery
EXPERIMENTAL PIONEERS ON 16MM: Your top film event of the week is a double-feature tonight at the Echo Park Film Center, as they present two rare films on 16mm from Jean Epstein and Chris Marker. Epstein was an important figure in French cinema not only for making over forty films from 1922 to 1948 and being a key figure in what is coined the "first cinematic avant-garde," but also as a film theorist and critic. His lasting legacy is the concept of photogénie, which you can read about here. First on the bill is Epstein's short documentary, Mor'vran (1931), which is best summed up by film preservationist Henri Langlois: "[O]ne of the most beautiful documentaries in the history of French film, a true poem about Brittany and the sea."
The second film of the double-feature is Chris Marker's The Koumiko Mystery (1965), where he follows around a woman he finds in the crowd of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as she contemplates life. The film doubles as both a city symphony and a personal examination on the place of the individual in the modern world. Marker, who is best known for 1962's La jetée (later remade by Terry Gilliam into 12 Monkeys), would famously revisit Japan in his travelogue Sans soleil (1983).
Cinefamily's trailer for Blonde Death
DIY QUEER: Cinefamily presents a collection of works from the WeHo-based EZTV, a production company/video art collective/exhibition space/whatever founded in 1979. The compilation of works includes music videos, shorts, and a screening of their feature Blonde Death (1984). This D.I.Y. queer crime melodrama directed by James Robert Baker features a hardcore punk soundtrack of local bands and was partially shot inside Disneyland in secret before it was cool to secretly shoot movies in Disneyland. I Want My EZTV is co-presented with ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in conjunction with their EZTV: Video Transfer exhibition.
The trailer for Two Men In Manhattan
FEMME FETALES AND MOODY MEN: The American Cinematheque and the Film Noir Foundation return this Friday night for the 16th annual Noir City Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Ever the timeless genre, this year's lineup includes the usual mix of favorites and obscure gems, along with international takes on film noir, including Jean-Pierre Melville's Two Men In Manhattan (1959), British Film Institute's 15th greatest British film of all time Brighton Rock (1947), and the Italian neorealist Ossessione (1943).
A clip from Richard Newton's "coming into the 'vine" (1969)
RICHARD NEWTON IN THE HOUSE: Los Angeles Filmforum, ever dedicated to alternative and experimental works, hosts a program from the Southern California-based artist Richard Newton. Active for over forty years, his work includes installations, performances, and films that "[confront] the laws of the land or the rules of good taste." Richard Newton: Flying with the Angels spans the artist's career and includes new works. The artist himself will appear in person for the program.