Tag Archives: Billy Wilder Theater

RIVER’S EDGE

On a weekend of UCLA Film and Television Archive screenings curated by Sandi Tan—publisher, film critic, and director of the acclaimed doc Shirkers (2018)—a standout is Tim Hunter’s cult eighties noir RIVER’S EDGE.

Favorably compared to In Cold Blood by Roger Ebert, the film centers on the non-reaction by a group of teens to a dead body in their midst, and stars Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Crispin Glover, and Dennis Hopper. (Skye will join Tan for an onstage discussion.)

RIVER’S EDGE will be preceded by Leos Carax’s 1999 shocker POLA X.

POLA X and RIVER’S EDGE

Friday, June 21, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Keanu Reeves in River’s Edge (1986); Ione Skye; Crispin Glover; River’s Edge cast; Dennis Hopper.

NINA MENKES

“QUEEN OF DIAMONDS is my very personal portrait of the United States: an over-enlarged, profit-motivated core surrounded by mute and arid alienation. The female protagonist is both deeply estranged and psychically powerful. Her loner position is the backside of centuries of Western Heroes: she stands in the center as watcher and victim of a system which is starting to crack.” — Nina Menkes

The UCLA Film and Television program Nina Menkes, Cinematic Sorceress features a double-bill of two of Menkes’ key works—both starring her sister Tinka Menkes—including the 4K restoration of QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (1991). The filmmaker will be on hand to discuss her work.

QUEEN OF DIAMONDS shares not only the formal sophistication and structural rigor of Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman (1975) but also their themes: female alienation and the ways that passivity, muteness, and a refusal to engage can serve as forms of resistance to patriarchal oppression. Ironically, these same themes helped to eclipse the three works—and many others like them—for too long.” — Sarah Resnick

QUEEN OF DIAMONDS and THE BLOODY CHILD

Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

See Bérénice Reynaud on Menkes.

From top: Tinka Menkes in Queen of Diamonds (5); Tinka Menkes in The Bloody Child (2). Images courtesy and © Nina Menkes and Arbelos Films.

FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD

“My head is splitting! The wine last night, the music, the delicious debauchery!” — Charles Laughton, as Emperor Nero, in The Sign of the Cross

The sensual freedom that constituted much of the imagery of Hollywood’s silent period persisted into the sound era for four more years until a nationwide morals crusade reached critical mass in 1934, and strict enforcement of the Hays Code began.

Small-town church-goers were pushed to the brink by The Sign of the Cross (1932)—Cecil B. DeMille‘s notorious epic—which purloined a “Christian” story and served up nudity, violence, a lesbian dance sequence, and Emperor Nero as a raging queen. Needless to say, big city audiences responded to DeMille’s decadence with curiosity and enthusiasm, flocking to cinemas wherever it was playing.

In its Forbidden Hollywood—When Sin Ruled the Movies program, the UCLA Film and Television Archive is screening The Sign of the Cross in a 35mm print restored from DeMille’s personal nitrate copy.

Also on the bill: John M. Stahl‘s Only Yesterday (1933)—Margaret Sullavan‘s film debut—depicting out-of-wedlock childbirth, feminist and socialist advocacy, and an openly gay couple (Franklin Pangborn and Barry Norton)—scenarios that would disappear from Hollywood scripts for the next thirty years.

Mark A. Vieira will sign copies of his book Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era before the screening.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS and ONLY YESTERDAY

Friday, April 26, at 7:30.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Fredric March and Claudette Colbert in The Sign of the Cross (1932); Charles Laughton (left), Colbert, and March in The Sign of the Cross; Laughton (right) with George Bruggeman in The Sign of the Cross; Margaret Sullavan and John Boles in Only Yesterday (1933); Sullavan (left) and Billie Burke in Only Yesterday; Burke (left), with Reginald Denny, and Sullavan (right) in Only Yesterday. Colbert, Laughton, and March photographs © Paramount Pictures, courtesy of the studio and Photofest. Sullavan, Boles, and Burke photographs © Universal Pictures, courtesy of the studio and Photofest.

GOLDEN STING

Join director Radim Špaček for the U.S. premiere of GOLDEN STING, which follows the young members of a Czechoslovakian basketball team navigating Hitler’s rise, postwar liberation, and the Czech coup d’état of 1948, when the Communist Party took control of the country.

The film stars Filip Březina and Zdeněk Piškula, and opens the UCLA Film and Television Archive series Czech That Film.

GOLDEN STING

Friday, April 5, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Zdeněk Piškula (right) in Golden Sting (2018); Filip Březina and Piškula; on the court in Golden Sting (2).

THE HOURS AND TIMES

In the early 1990s, Ian Hart played John Lennon in two movies.* The first—THE HOURS AND TIMES (1991)—imagines Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein engaging in a nascent sexual relationship during a long weekend in Barcelona.

The film—written and directed by Christopher Munch, and co-starring David Angus as Epstein—has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and will screen on the closing day of their 2019 Festival of Preservation.

THE HOURS AND TIMES

Sunday, February 17, at 8:59 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

*Hart’s second Lennon portrayal was in Backbeat (1994), directed by Iain Softley.

From top: Ian Hart (foreground) as John Lennon and David Angus as Brian Epstein in The Hours and Times; Angus (left) and Hart (2). Images courtesy the filmmaker, Antarctic Pictures, and Good Machine.