While Americans flock to the Turd Shops this weekend to see Cloverfield, there are plenty alternatives to the mainstream. Here’s a look at the indie theater circuit in Hollywood:
Gore galore commences at The New Beverly Theater this Tuesday. The Grindhouse Film Festival will offer a double dose of H.G. Lewis pics with “The Wizard of Gore” (recently featured in the film Juno) and “She-Devils on Wheels.” The show starts at 7:30 PM. Don’t be late because it’s usually packed, plus you won’t want to the slew of badass retro trailers that always kicks off the show. Also at the New Beverly this week: an Orson Welles double feature of “Citizen Kane” and “The Magnificent Ambersons.”
If you’re a child of 80’s, you’ll know how sweet it is that Spaceballs is playing the big screen on Saturday at 7:30 PM, at the Aero Theater. What’s sweeter than that? You might see Mel Brooks in person (he’s slated to be “in attendance.”) Other Brooks films on tap for the weekend include “Young Frankenstein” and “Robin Hood Men in Tights.” And if you absolutely must see Mel Brooks in the flesh, he’ll do a live discussion of “Life Stinks” on Wednesday, 1/30. Starts at 7:30 PM as well.
The buzz surrounding Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” is that it’s one of the most anti-Bush documentaries around. The film explores torture and homicide as condoned by our current presidential administration. So if your in a hate-Bush sort of mood, check it out at the Nuart Theater anytime before next Friday.
Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) will appear live at the Skirball Cultural Center on Friday the 25th to present the 1999 film “Election.” Screens at 7:30 PM.
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” is supposed to be one of the best new movies around. And while the name of the film guarantees minimal box office success (seriously, The Diving Bell and the fucking Butterfly?), most critics agree the movie needs to be seen by anyone who loves anything. It’s at the Landmark Theater.
The Aero and Egyptian Theaters are currently paying heavy tribute to “Hollywood’s first truly independent producer/director,” Otto Preminger. That series will feature “Carmen Jones,” starring Dorothy Dandridge, on Saturday. And on Sunday, Eva Marie Saint introduces Preminger’s “Exodus.” Both start at 7:30.
The Egyptian Theater is also serving up a few “Overlooked and Underrated” oldies throughout the week. Highlights include Sidney Lumet’s “The Deadly Affair” (1966), Sam Fuller’s “Run of the Arrow” (1957), and a classic 50’s “Tarzan” double feature. Check theater for more info.
The AFI 100 series continues this week with “Close Encounters” at ArcLight Sherman Oaks on Monday and “Dr. Strangelove” at ArcLight Hollywood on Wednesday. Shows commence at 7:30 and 8:00 PM, respectively.
I’ve been staring at computer screens for days; my eyes are burning and dreams are calling, so I’m capping it there for now. But there’s a shitload of other film stuff going on beyond the multiplex, so pick up a copy of LA Weekly or click on over to filmradar.com. And don’t see Cloverfield this weekend. Viva La Resistance.