"Now Listen to Me..."
Just some thoughts on current happenings:
Classic film screenings from around the world this month include:
In Hollywood, California, The American Cinematheque Egyptian Theatre will present a series of rare films, all 16mm prints, from the personal collection of Joe Dante and Jon Davison. The Fool Killer (1965, aka Violent Journey) will be shown on Saturday, November 2 with Joe Dante scheduled to appear in person. Hail, Mafia! (1965) will be presented Saturday, November 9, Three Cases of Murder (1955) on Saturday, November 16 and Ladybug Ladybug (1963) on Saturday, November 23. The Cinematheque is also presenting a series of 33mm Nitrate Prints including Laura (1944) and Nightmare Alley (1948) on Sunday, November 17.
For more information specifically on each of these programmes, click on the corresponding above image. To see the entire month of November’s programming for both The Egyptian and Aero Theatre (the latter in Santa Monica) click on the American Cinematheque banner.
In London, United Kingdom The Prince Charles Cinema will present 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, in 70mm, a new 'Unrestored' Print) Saturday, November 2 and Saturday, November 30, Rashomon (1950) Saturday, November 2, Death Becomes Her (1992, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 2, The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three (1974, in celebration of this film’s 45th Anniversary) Tuesday, November 5, Witchfinder General aka The Conqueror Worm (1968) Tuesday, November 5, Jason and the Argonauts (1963, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 9, True Romance (1993, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 9, Man on the Moon (1999, a 35mm print) Tuesday, November 12, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, a 35mm print and celebrating the film’s 40th Anniversary) Friday, November 15 through Thursday, November 21, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954, a 35mm print and celebrating this film’s 65th Anniversary) Sunday, November 17, Casablanca (1942, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 23 and The Shop Around the Corner (1940, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 30 and Thursday, December 5.
Click on the respective image for more information. To see the rest of 2019’s programming, click on The Prince Charles Cinema banner above.
In theatres across the U.S. Flashback Cinema is presenting Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) Sunday, November 3 and Wednesday, November 6 and Die Hard (1988) on Sunday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 13.
Click on the respective image for more information. To see the entire month’s programming, click on The Flashback Cinema banner above.
Throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host Hollywood Classics On the Big Screen. This month's showings will include All the President’s Men (1976) Monday, November 4, Ordinary People (1980) Monday, November 11 and Bonnie and Clyde (1967) on Monday, November 18.
Click on the respective image for more information. For a list of the theatres hosting these films, and their complete schedule throughout the remainder of the year, click on the banner image above.
Also throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host In The House. This month's showings will include Excalibur (1981) on Monday, November 11 and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982, The Director’s Cut) on Monday, November 25.
Click on the respective image for more information. For a list of the theatres hosting these films, click on the banner image above.
In Belo Horizonte, Brazil The Associação Cine Theatro Brasil - Vallourec will present Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Monday, November 4, Mad Max (1979) Monday, November 11 and The Matrix (1999) on Monday, November 18.
Click on the respective image for more information. To find out more information (in Spanish) about the theatre and its other programming, click on Cine Theatro Brasil banner above.
In Los Angeles, California The Beverly Cinema will present Hard Eight (1996, a 35mm print) on Monday, November 4 at 2pm only, Murder by Contract (1958, a 35mm print) Wednesday, November 6 at 2pm only, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10 with both screenings at 2pm only, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, a 35mm print of the full technicolor version) along with Justine (1969, a 35mm print) Monday, November 11, a double bill in honour of the late Robert Forster, Medium Cool (1969, a 35mm print) along with The Don is Dead (1973, a 35mm print) Wednesday, November 13 and Thursday, November 14, this double bill also in honour of the late Robert Forster, Jason and the Argonauts (1963, a 35mm print) Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17 both screenings at 2pm only, The Stalking Moon (1968, a 35mm print) along with Pieces of Dreams (1970, a 35mm print) Monday, November 18… both films featuring fine performances from Robert Forster, The Big Sleep (1946, a 35mm print) Wednesday, November 20 at 2pm only and Mulholland Drive (2001, a 35mm print) on Saturday, November 30, a special midnight screening.
Click on the respective image for more information. To see the rest of November’s schedule, click on The Beverly Cinema banner above.
In San Francisco, California The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema have recently added an additional showing of Man-Trap (1961) Thursday, November 7 at 10:45pm (the earlier 7:30pm performance that same day is sold out). This additional presentation will also be hosted by Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller and writer James Ellroy in attendance. Click on the above image for more information and ordering tickets.
In theatres across the U.S., TCM and Fathom Events are presenting The Godfather Part II (1974) Sunday, November 10, Tuesday, November 12 and Wednesday, November 13. Also being presented this month is The Twilight Zone: A 60th Anniversary Celebration featuring six digitally restored versions of the landmark TV series along with an all-new documentary short "Remembering Rod Serling" on Thursday, November 14. In addition, Princess Mononoke (1997) will be shown Sunday, November 17 (dubbed), Monday, November 18 (subtitled) and Wednesday, November 20 (dubbed).
Click on the respective image for more information. To see the next few month’s schedule, click on The Fathom Events banner above.
In Leeds, United Kingdom, First Direct Arena will present Titanic (1997) with live musical accompaniment featuring James Horner’s epic score on Sunday, November 10.
Click on the image for more information.
In San Francisco, California, the Roxie Theatre will host Mid-Century Production’s 6th annual The French Had a Name For It: French Film Noir - The Sixties from November 14 - 18. This festival will feature many rare gems. For more information, click on the image above.
In Vancouver, British Columbia, The Cinematheque will be presenting Crave Hot Docs Showcase, five outstanding documentaries presented by The Cinematheque and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, November 15 - 17. For more information about the titles and showtimes, click on the top image above. For these and other films scheduled this month at The Cinematheque, click on the theatre banner above.
In St. Ingbert, Germany The Saarland State Orchestra will present City Lights (1931) with live musical accompaniment featuring Charles Chaplin’s fabulous score on Friday, November 15.
Click on the image for more information.
There are 21 recommended films to watch on Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. this month:
John Ford's masterpiece The Searchers was previously reviewed here. It is Top Ten Western #2 and is as likely as any film to provide one with a truly unforgettable, rich and rewarding movie watching experience. The search will begin Saturday, November 2 at 12:30pm PST and take place again Wednesday, November 6 at 2:30pm PST and Thursday, November 21 at 7:15pm PST.
Despite its ridiculously hard to follow plot, this film's wildly entertaining detective yarn is worth getting up for. Previously reviewed here, The Big Sleep will awaken Sunday, November 3 at 5pm PST and again on Saturday, November 9 at 11:15am PST.
Next up is a film not often shown on TCM and a review which is sure to have some “unfriend” me in our Facebook chat room: Chinatown. “It’s okay with me” if one has a go at this reviewer but please see the film first and have a read of what I actually wrote before doing so. Chinatown was previously reviewed here and can be visited Sunday, November 3 at 7pm PST.
After being trounced upon by some of Chinatown’s devoted fans in various Facebook chat rooms, comes TCM’s next recommendation and a review of mine (previously made here), sure to gather up even more outrage: 1944's Academy Award Best Picture Winner Casablanca. Like the aforementioned widely acclaimed film, this even more revered classic is also included on a list of overrated motion pictures. There is no denying the fact that Casablanca casts a magical spell and is certainly capable of sweeping one up in its appealing blend of romance, sacrifice and political intrigue. Besides, for those who haven't seen it or seen it enough, how are they to know if my criticisms are sound? This is one of Hollywood's proudest, and should be included on all movie fans’ cinematic itinerary Wednesday, November 6 at 5am PST.
In 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, Michael Madsen’s parolee Vic Vega is set up with a phoney job that will hide his continued illegalities. A little over half-century earlier, Robert Taylor’s ex-con Johnny Eager, in the 1941 film of the same name, establishes his own fake employment so that he too can pursue his criminal endeavours without suspicion. This provides Johnny Eager with an attention grabbing twist of an introduction, a gutsy surprise foreshadowing other narrative wonders to come.
Taylor deftly communicates Eager’s outward resourcefulness and internal insecurities while Lana Turner’s irresistible social reform student provides more than adequate impetus for both. There’s the always devoted Barry Nelson, Paul Stewart, Edward Arnold and Glenda Farrell who all deliver fine supporting turns but it’s Van Heflin as Eager’s alcoholic confidant, conscientious alter ego and sardonic observer, who really shines. Heflin justifiably won a Best Supporting Academy Award for his sympathetic but layered characterisation.
No stranger to gangland, Mervyn LeRoy’s direction is customarily smooth and authoritative. Unlike some of his 1930s genre classics, however, 1941’s Johnny Eager has migrated to film noir territory which transverses the more cerebral province of its underworld characters adding depth and reason to their actions. Nevertheless, films noir so often have a more impulsive, less conceptualised look than what Johnny Eager’s parental company, MGM, typically provides. LeRoy may be comfortable with the studio’s more polished productions: a thought solidified by the director’s 1940 MGM vehicles Escape and Waterloo Bridge, both of which also star Taylor. Two of LeRoy’s previous decade’s rough and tough crime dramas, both made at Warner Brothers, Little Caesar and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, contain the prerequisite vim and vigour. Although MGM’s Johnny Eager has its own type of inventive vitality, the studio’s well oiled machinations clash with the best of noir’s attitude of reckless abandon. Film noir fans, therefore, might be disappointed in Johnny Eager’s implied “eagerness to please” atmosphere. It’s as if the setting’s moral boundaries are more purposely defined and for its populace, less instinctive when crossed. Still, this film has plenty of style and substance to recommend it, generously provisioned by John Lee Mahin and James Edward Grant’s rich, sincere and highly original screenplay that manages an altogether impressive integration of distinctive characters, romantic and film noir elements. Johnny Eager is scheduled to arrive in Eddie Muller’s Noir Alley Saturday, November 9 at 9pm PST (my apology for posting past this showing) and again Sunday, November 10 at 7am PST.
After World War II, many returning servicemen were disillusioned to find jobs were scarce and their wives’ (or girlfriends’) faithfulness even scarcer. The Best Years of Our Lives addresses this reality head on when the Dana Andrews character finds it impossible to please either his previous employer or trophy wife upon his return to civilian life. Perhaps for this narrative distinction, authors Borde and Chaumeton in the filmography of their highly respected book Panorama of American Film Noir 1941 - 1953, and the first to be published on the subject, included The Best Years of Our Lives as film noir.
The film portrays no crime, the focus is not on Andrews’ experiences alone, and he comes out better off at the end without his superficial but admittedly gorgeous wife, which for myself, collectively place this film well outside of noir’s dark and gloomy world of illegal activity. Previously, I highly praised The Best Years of Our Lives for its exceptional musical score composed by Hugo Friedhofer in the first part of a series entitled Top Ten: Motion Picture Music Treasures. This emotionally powerful tour de force will appropriately commence on Veteran’s Day Monday, November 11 at 6am PST.
TCM's current monthly schedule can be confirmed by clicking on any of the above TCM related images. For those who live in parts of the U.S. other than the western region, the time zone can be adjusted in the upper right-hand corner of TCM's programme.
(To be continued…) A.G.