Tag Archives: American Cinematheque

PASOLINI AT THE AERO

Ahead of the belated Los Angeles release of Abel Ferrara‘s ingenious Pasolini biopic, the American Cinematheque and Luce Cinecittà celebrate the great Italian filmmaker in the program The Passion of Pier Paolo Pasolini.

The director—a radical public intellectual who embraced a vivid cinematic treatment of fable-into-allegory as a means to circulate his poetry to a wider audience—made twelve features before his death at age 53. Nine of them will screen at the Aero, all in 35mm.

Pasolini’s epic “Trilogy of Life” is here—THE DECAMERON, THE CATERBURY TALES, and ARABIAN NIGHTS—as well as his earlier mythology series: OEDIPUS REX, TEOREMA, MEDEA (with Maria Callas), and the rarely screened PIGSTY, starring Pierre Clémenti and Jean-Pierre Léaud.

The retrospective will open with SALÒ—Pasolini’s polarizing take on Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom—and close with perhaps the most straightforward Christ-story ever told, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (1964).

SALÒ and PIGSTY

Thursday, May 16, at 7:30 pm.

THE DECAMERON and OEDIPUS REX

Friday, May 17, at 7:30 pm.

THE CANTERBURY TALES and TEOREMA

Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 pm.

ARABIAN NIGHTS and MEDEA

Sunday, May 19, at 7:30 pm.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW

Monday, May 20, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Pier Paolo Pasolini, from top: The Decameron; Silvana Mangano and Terence Stamp in Teorema (2); Maria Callas and Pasolini (right) in 1969 on the set of Medea; Pierre Clémenti in Pigsty; Pier Paolo Pasolini, Trilogia della vita, edited by Giorgio Gattei (Bologna: Cappelli, 1975), still from Arabian Nights on the cover, courtesy and © Cappelli; Pasolini as Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, reading Boccaccio’s Il Decameron; Salò.

ASSAYAS DOUBLE BILL AT THE AERO

To mark the release of NON-FICTION—the new film from Olivier Assayas—the American Cinematheque presents a double feature of Assayas’ 1996 cult film IRMA VEP and a 35mm presentation of his 2008 masterpiece SUMMER HOURS. Both screen on Thursday.

NON-FICTION will screen the following night.

IRMA VEP and SUMMER HOURS

Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 pm.

NON-FICTION

Friday, May 3, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep; Jérémie Renier (left) and Olivier Assayas on set, Summer Hours; Édith Scob and Juliette Binoche in Summer Hours; Renier, Dominique Reymond, and Charles Berling in Summer Hours; Jean-Pierre Léaud (right) and Cheung in Irma Vep.

MIKE LEIGH — THE EARLY YEARS

The early film and television work of Mike Leigh extended so-called “kitchen sink realism” into the Thatcher era, and no one examined the decimation of Britain’s working class in the 1980s with the rigor and humor of Leigh in Meantime, High Hopes, and Life is Sweet.

Leigh reached an artistic apotheosis of sorts in 1993 with Naked, and an breakthrough in the United States with his follow-up Secrets & Lies (1996).

In their weekend series Bleak But Never Boring—Life According to Mike Leigh, the American Cinematheque brings these defining films to the Aero for three double-feature programs.

NAKED and MEANTIME

Friday, April 5, at 7:30 pm.

SECRETS & LIES and VERA DRAKE

Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 pm.

LIFE IS SWEET and HIGH HOPES

Sunday, April 7, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Tim Roth in Meantime (1983); Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Timothy Spall in Secrets & Lies (1996); David Thewlis in Naked (1993); Ruth Sheen and Phil Davis in High Hopes (1988); Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet(1990).

MIKE LEIGH IN LOS ANGELES

Mike Leigh—England’s greatest living filmmaker—will be in Los Angeles to present his new film PETERLOO, the story of events leading up to the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, an event that forever changed Great Britain’s electoral system and journalistic practice.

Following an American Cinematheque screening to launch its upcoming retrospective Bleak But Never Boring: Life According to Mike Leigh, the director will participate in a conversation moderated by Jim Hemphill.

PETERLOO

Monday, April 1, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1321 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Peterloo (2019), directed by Mike Leigh. Images courtesy Cornerstone Films.

AGNÈS

“Each film has its history, its beauty or not beauty, and its meaning.  The meaning can change over the years for people who watch the film, because there is a lot of evolution in the sense of history, the sense of understanding.  But when you speak about 35 millimeter or DCP or video, it’s unimportant. The film is what it is, but what is different are the people who made the film…

“I change.  I wouldn’t do the same film today about Cuba or about the Panthers or about women.  Each film has a date glued to it.  And what we try is to overcome the date and make a meaning that can be more than 1962 or 1961 or whatever.” — Agnès Varda

Varda—mother of the nouvelle vague—was born outside Brussels, made some of her most important films in California, and died this morning at her home in Paris.

Active into her late eighties, local audiences remember many of her recent trips to Los Angeles, presenting retrospectives at the American Cinematheque and LACMA, giving talks at the AFI festival, and receiving a Governor’s Award from the Academy in 2017.

Varda—who directed Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in 1961—and her husband Jacques Demy (1931–1990) first came to Los Angeles in 1966, Demy eventually directing Model Shop (1969) and Varda making shorts—Uncle Yanco, Black Panthers—in preparation for her first California feature, the remarkable Lions Love (… and Lies) (also 1969). Varda’s final completed work is the soon-to-be-released documentary Varda par Agnès.

From top: Agnès Varda on the set of Lions Love (… and Lies); Varda shooting her second feature Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in the early 1960s, photograph by Roger Viollet; Anouk Aimée (left), Jacques Demy, and Varda in Los Angeles during the shoot of Demy’s Model Shop; scene from Varda’s Black Panthers (1968), shot in Oakland; Sabine Mamou (right) and Mathieu Demy—Varda and Demy’s son—in Varda’s feature Documenteur (1981), shot in Los Angeles; Venice Beach scene from the documentary Mur Murs (1981); Varda and Jane Birkin on set, Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988), photograph by Jean Ber; Varda in Varda par Agnès (2019). Images courtesy Ciné-Tamaris.