The Many Sides of Robert Wise: A Centennial Tribute
Wednesday, September 3 - Thursday, September 11 - Aero and Egyptian Theatres
A consummate Hollywood professional, Robert Wise (September 10, 1914 - September 14, 2005) earned Oscars for WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC and later served as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ president. But the director was so much more than those classic musicals. From psychological horror (THE HAUNTING) to taut crime dramas (ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW) and science fiction (THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN), Wise made his mark on nearly every film genre.
Wise spent his early years at RKO Pictures, working as an editor on a succession of films, most famously Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. Promoted to director halfway through production on THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE, Wise learned fast, combining elements of Val Lewton’s gothic romanticism with Welles’ density of characterization. His 1949 masterpiece THE SET-UP is a synthesis of all these and more: Played out in real time, it traces the physical fall and spiritual emancipation of fighter Robert Ryan, making his grim last stand in the aptly named Paradise City boxing ring.
In Robert Wise’s best films, a beautiful control of craft collides with the lives of people who refuse to hand themselves over to fate. Susan Hayward in I WANT TO LIVE!, Steve McQueen in THE SAND PEBBLES, even the whole human population in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL - Wise depicts their struggle against fate with intelligence and the dignity of the human spirit.
Series programmed by Gwen Deglise, Grant Moninger and John Hagelston.
Wednesday, September 3 - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
THE HAUNTING (1963)
“Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone…" Paranormal researcher Richard Johnson leads a team of clairvoyants (Julie Harris, Claire Bloom) to determine if the notorious, bad karma-filled Hill House is truly haunted. What he doesn’t bargain for is intensely neurotic Harris developing an unhealthy sensitivity to the mansion’s evil-charged atmosphere. Based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House, this is one of the all-time classics of the genre. In supernatural CinemaScope! With Russ Tamblyn.
THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)
Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi’s final film collaboration is this horror thriller adapted (by producer Val Lewton under a pseudonym) from a Robert Louis Stevenson short story set in 19th-century Edinburgh. When medical researcher Wolfe MacFarlane runs short of human cadavers, he turns to grave robber John Gray (Karloff, superb here). But as the doctor’s assistants (Lugosi and Russell Wade) learn, Gray doesn’t always wait until the bodies have been buried.
Thursday, September 4 - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
THE SAND PEBBLES (1966)
This sweeping tale of gunboat diplomacy in 1920s China was a longtime passion project for director Robert Wise, who shot THE SOUND OF MUSIC during the film’s pre-production delays. In his only Oscar-nominated performance, Steve McQueen plays Jake Holman, a Navy machinist’s mate plunged into simmering racial and political tensions when he is transferred to the U.S.S. San Pablo. The star-studded cast includes Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen and Mako.
Friday, September 5 - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
Christ-like alien Michael Rennie arrives in Washington, D.C., with a one-eyed robot to try to curtail Earth’s weapons of mass destruction before they can jeopardize the universe. Patricia Neal turns in a memorable performance as one of the only human beings attempting to understand him in this still relevant anti-war, anti-nuclear proliferation masterpiece. With Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe.
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (1971)
This sci-fi thriller (adapted from Michael Crichton’s breakthrough novel) stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid and David Wayne as scientists racing to stop a deadly microorganism brought to Earth on a satellite. Special effects by Douglas Trumbull.
Saturday, September 6 - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
The irresistible, triumphant musical tale of a nun (Julie Andrews) who becomes the nanny for the seven children of the widowed Austrian Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), winning their hearts and eventually their father’s as well. As the Nazis take control of their homeland (where “the hills are alive with the sound of music”), the family finds comfort in each other and in song. An Oscar winner for Best Picture and Robert Wise’s flawless direction. Featuring “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” and more of your favorite songs! Co-starring Eleanor Parker, Anna Lee, Marni Nixon and Angela Cartwright, with a wonderful script by Ernest Lehman.
Thursday, September 11 - 7:30PM Egyptian Theatre
THE SET-UP (1949)
Robert Ryan stars as Stoker Thomson, a two-bit fighter making his grim last stand in the aptly named Paradise City boxing ring. Certain his boxer will lose, manager Tiny (George Tobias) accepts a gambler’s payoff - without bothering to tell Stoker to take a dive.
ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959)
Bigoted ex-convict Robert Ryan’s mistrust of partner Harry Belafonte undermines the heist plans of their ex-cop leader (Ed Begley) in this searing, underrated crime drama. Great atmospheric, on-location New York ambience fills every exterior shot. With Shelley Winters and Gloria Grahame.
Desperado with a Camera: The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez
EL MARIACHI (1992) / ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO (2003)
Tonight - Wednesday, August 27 - 7:30PM Egyptian Theatre
EL MARIACHI - Robert Rodriguez’s feature directorial debut was famously made on a shoestring for the Mexican home video market before being picked up for distribution by Columbia Pictures. Carlos Gallardo stars as the title musician, thrown into the fight of his life when he is mistaken for a ruthless criminal who also carries a guitar case. In Spanish with English subtitles.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO - The final installment of director Robert Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy stars Antonio Banderas as the gunslinging El Mariachi, hired by a CIA agent (Johnny Depp) to kill a renegade general (Gerardo Vigil) working with a drug-lord (Willem Dafoe) to overthrow the Mexican government. Like the Leone Westerns that helped inspire it, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO is packed with larger-than-life characters and bravura action sequences. With Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes and Mickey Rourke.
Three movies to rule them all, One Audience to watch them, One Trilogy - extended editions - to lose yourself in a magical, fantastic cinematic world for one of the best Saturday’s spent in a dark room, ever!
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY - Extended Editions
Saturday, August 30 - 1:00PM Aero Theatre
Directed by Peter Jackson
Director Peter Jackson and a brilliantly talented cast and crew brought to cinematic life J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure of good against evil.
There will be 20-minute intermissions after the first and second features, when you can visit the Meat In The Middle food truck parked outside the theatre! TheOneRing.net will also offer trivia games.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
The epic begins as young Hobbit named Frodo (Elijah Wood) leaves the shire with a powerful ring, and begins the quest becoming only hope for saving Middle Earth from the evil eye of Sauron.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (2002)
The journey to Mount Doom continues as the Fellowship is split up, and Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) are joined by the scheming Gollum who just wants his precious back.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003)
The final battle for Middle Earth begins as the fellowship prepare and Frodo faces his biggest challenge yet - destroying the One Ring once and for all.
Winner of 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay.
Screening format: DCP | Special Triple Feature Ticket Prices: $10 Member, $12 Student/Senior, $15 General. No vouchers accepted for this or any other specially-priced program.
"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!"
THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) - 70mm
Tonight (Aug. 25) - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
Celebrate Sean Connery Day - the Los Angeles way - with the film that won him a Best Supporting acting Oscar, in 70mm, on a double feature with the 1965 Bond classic, THUNDERBALL (1965).
"Oh, I travel… a sort of licensed troubleshooter."
Today is Sean Connery day. Celebrate it properly with (obviously) a Bond film, THUNDERBALL, and see the role that landed him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) - in 70mm.
Tonight (August 25) 7:30PM Aero Theatre.
Samuel Fuller Double Feature
PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953) / WHITE DOG (1982)
Tonight (August 22) - 7:30PM Egyptian Theatre
Introduction by Sam Fuller’s daughter, Samantha Fuller.
PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET - Archival print! Pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) lifts a stolen military microfilm from the mistress of a Communist spy. Next thing the lowlife wharf rat knows, he’s the hottest thing in the Big Apple, with the Commies and the feds all trying to kill him. A former New York crime reporter, director Sam Fuller knows how to make a backlot feel like the real thing; in his sweaty subways, skid row tenements and waterfront dives, the heroes aren’t the do-gooder feds, but nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. In Fuller’s world, loyalty vies with self-interest, and tenderness battles brutality to a standstill every step of the way. With Jean Peters, Richard Kiley and an Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter.
WHITE DOG - Virtually unseen outside of a few retrospective screenings, this film is the story of “a four-legged time bomb,” a powder-white German shepherd trained to attack black people. In a fit of inspired casting, teen queen Kristy McNichol (TV’s “Family”) stars as the dog’s owner - but the film really belongs to Paul Winfield as an Ahab-like animal trainer, obsessed with de-programming the dog. Music by spaghetti Western composer Ennio Morricone.
"Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery. That’s why I never even started anything like that… that’s why I never will."
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)
Tonight (August 22) - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
Saddle up with the seven Samur…I mean…Magnificent Seven tonight at the Aero Theatre. I dare you to try and not hum the iconic theme music upon leaving the theater.
"In our service it is essential to bury the past very quickly and very securely."
OUR MAN IN HAVANA (1959)
Tonight (August 21) - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
Part of a double feature with TUNES OF GLORY (1960)
Directed by Carol Reed (THE THIRD MAN) and adapted from Graham Greene’s novel, this amusingly droll soufflé of a film received only lukewarm reviews upon its initial release, but is more impressive with each passing year. Alec Guinness is single father Jim Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-Castro Cuba trying to bring up his teenage daughter. When asked by fellow Englishman Hawthorne (Noel Coward) to spy for his country, the strapped-for-money Jim accepts, but proves inept at recruiting contacts. On the advice of a friend (Burl Ives), he comes up with a list of made-up characters - and before he knows it, pleased UK bosses send him a secretary (Maureen O’Hara), and rival Soviet agents begin trying to eliminate him. A great, knowing satire about the unreliability of intelligence-gathering, something more prescient today than ever. With the great Ernie Kovacs as the smoothly sinister captain of police.
THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (2013)
GRIT AND WHIMSY V: THE BEST OF RECENT BELGIAN CINEMA
Screening + Belgian Beer Reception!
Tonight (August 20) - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
Presented by the American Cinematheque and the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles, in cooperation with Flanders Image and Wallonie Bruxelles Images, and with the support of Costco.
Belgian beer reception to follow.
Don’t let Belgium’s soccer defeat of the USA squad during the World Cup get you down. Come and grab some Belgian beer and catch some recent Belgian cinema. Plus, you can always just irritate them by calling it “soccer” instead of “football”. It’s the little things….
2013, Bac Films, 102 min, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Dir: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Dan Kristensen (Klaus Tange) returns from a trip to discover his wife has vanished from their Brussels apartment. As the police scratch their heads, Dan questions some strange fellow tenants - who only lead him further down the rabbit hole. Drawing inspiration from classic giallos, this dreamlike mystery drips with style as well as blood. In French, Danish and Flemish with English subtitles.
August 25 is Sean Connery day…
THUNDERBALL (1965) / THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) - 70mm!!
Monday, August 25 - 7:30PM Aero Theatre
Don’t even think of bringing a knife to a gun fight for this double feature celebrating all things Connery…Sean Connery.
First Connery is THE James Bond in THUNDERBALL as he races to find a pair of stolen nuclear weapons, and engages in a massive (and awesome) underwater battle with SPECTRE henchmen.
Then Connery joins Kevin Costner’s THE UNTOUCHABLES, battling notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro) and winning a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his efforts.
Here endeth the lesson…