Tag Archives: Laemmle Monica Film Center


Lee Chang-dong was in town last month for celebratory, sold-out screenings of BURNING, his trenchant epic of dislocation and revenge—and the writer-director’s first film in eight years.

Greatly expanding on his original source material—Haruki Murakami’s ambiguous short story “Barn Burning”—Lee told an enthusiastic American Cinematheque crowd that “no matter what your age, race, class, or gender, a sense of rage is permeating the world today.” To frame this phenomenon, Lee has drawn from another tale of rage, William Faulkner’s story that shares a title with Murakami’s.

The exponent of the filmmaker’s concerns is Jong-su—an aimless, unpublished writer played with soulful veracity by Ah-in Yoo—who quickly attempts to establish a relationship with Haemi (Jong-seo Jun), a childhood acquaintance he runs into during one of his dead-end delivery jobs.

Added to the mix is a Delonesque character Ben (Steven Yeun)—rich and idle but for his habit of burning greenhouses—who insinuates himself into Jong-su and Haemi’s lives to deleterious effect.

(Indeed, a creeping shadow of Antonioni hangs over Lee’s film, and the performative mysteries of ethnic appropriation in La Notte and L’Eclisse are slyly referenced in BURNING’s masterful mise en scène.)


Through January 17.

Laemmle Glendale

207 North Maryland Avenue, Glendale.


With Lee Chang-dong and Justin Chang in conversation

Sunday, January 13, at 7:30.

Egyptian Theatre

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Through December 13:

Monica Film Center

1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

NoHo 7

5240 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood.

Steven Yeun post-screening conversation at the recent New York Film Festival.

From top: Jong-seo Jun in BurningAh-in Yoo (left) and Steven Yeun (2); Lee Chang-dong (right) and Hirokazu Kore-eda, the writer-director of Shoplifters; Yoo. Image credit: Well Go USA Entertainment.


On the occasion of JULIAN ROSEFELDT—MANIFESTO—, the West Coast premiere of the work as a 13-channel film installation, Cate Blanchett and CAP UCLA director Kristy Edmunds will join the artist in conversation.

Drawing on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, and Dogme 95—including Yvonne Rainer, Claes Oldenburg, Wyndham Lewis, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Kurt Schwitters, Elaine Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, and Werner Herzog—Rosefeldt directed Blanchett through her investigation of thirteen different personas, “from a factory worker to a television news anchor to a homeless man, performing various historical artists’ manifestos.

“The work pays homage to the long tradition and literary beauty of public statements made by artists, and serves to provoke reflection upon the role of the artist as an active citizen in society today.”*


Saturday, October 27, at 3 pm.

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Exhibition catalogue

(In 2017, Manifesto was commercially released as a 95-minute film, and played locally at the Monica Film Center.)

Cate Blanchett in Manifesto (3). Image credit: Julian Rosefeldt.


“I’ve believed that straying from structured acts of seeing can produce the strongest connection with an audience.” — RaMell Ross

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING—a lyrical, experimental documentation of lives in a small Alabama community, directed by RaMell Ross—will screen this week at the Downtown Independent.

Following the film, Ross and Jheanelle Brown, co-curator of Black Radical Imagination, will discuss the writer-director’s work.

Ross will also present the film at the Hammer Museum and the Aero in early 2019


Wednesday, February 6, at 7:30

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Tuesday, January 8, at 7:30.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

Thursday, September 20, at 7 pm.

Downtown Independent

251 South Main Street, Los Angeles.

Through Thursday, September 27


673 Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

Monica Film Center

1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018). Image credit: Idiom Film.


“Bartsch picked up where Warhol left off.” — RuPaul

History is made at night. In her capacity as party-throwing club-kid den mother and AIDS fundraiser par excellence, Susanne Bartsch provided a sanctuary of free expression for those pushed to society’s margins while engaging in what Ingrid Sischy called “the most serious political action of our time.”

Sischy was referring to the 1989 Love Ball at Roseland, a Design Industry Foundation for AIDS event that brought Harlem’s vogue balls to midtown Manhattan, introduced Madonna to the uptown cultural practice, and raised $400,000 to help fight the disease that was decimating Bartsch’s circle.

Prior to hosting events in clubs all over town, Bartsch was the proprietor of the eponymous SoHo boutique that was the first in town to import the clothes of Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. As one of the most imaginative exemplars of sartorial self-adornment of the last half-century, Bartsch was honored with a 2015 Fashion Institute of Technology exhibition Fashion Underground—The World of Susanne Bartsch.

The riveting documentary SUSANNE BARTSCH—ON TOP (directed by Anthony Caronna and Alexander Smith) brings this only-in-New York story to the screen with new interviews, extensive documentary footage, and home movies of Bartsch’s family life at the Chelsea Hotel.

Bartsch—whose personal aesthetic and Swiss accent recall a Dada/Weimar-era ballet mécanique—was the leader of a very fast pack, and this cinematic tribute is a moving critique of gender norms and an inspiration for boundary-breakers everywhere.



Through September 13.

Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

VOD release on September 11.

See: New York is Burning

and: Fashion Underground—The World of Susanne Bartsch

Top: Susanne Bartsch (right) and RuPaul at the opening of Fashion Underground—The World of Susanne Bartsch.

Above: Bartsch and her husband, fitness entrepreneur David Barton.

Below: Bartsch applying an eyepiece. Image credit: The Orchard.



McCaul Lombardi—like his co-star Sasha Lane—grabbed the attention of casting directors and fashion houses after his riveting turn in the 2016 Andrea Arnold film American Honey.

For SOLLERS POINT—a new independent film written and directed by Matt Porterfield, from a story co-written by Amy Belk and Porterfield—Lombardi returns to his hometown of Baltimore.

“The wonder of SOLLERS POINT—an exceptionally sly and sneaky film in the best sense—is its sense of balance seemingly in midair. Porterfield relies on a constellation of details to build a dramatic framework that’s as strong as it is slender, shaping the plethora of sharply sculpted and ardently observed moments like a powerful magnetic field.

“In the process, this quiet, brisk, and reserved film brings to the fore characters who are sketched by Porterfield in vitally alert and curious impressions that provide a teeming sense of a community taut with the social bonds of family, history, and memory.” — Richard Brody*


SOLLERS POINT, through May 31.

LAEMMLE MONICA, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.




McCaul Lombardi (left) and a member of the film crew of Sollers Point, in Dundalk, Maryland, just east of Baltimore.

Photograph by David Robert Crews.

File:McCaul Lombardi - Sollers Point Movie Set DSCN5865 (28995009661).jpg