nightof the living dead

I’d love to recommend the Academy’s screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) on Friday, but they say it’s sold out. Watch it in the cinema and you’ll never want to see a TV screen again, so loiter in the foyer for standbys. If you’re lucky, you can create your own cross-town double bill and zip on to the Egyptian for a midnight screening of Night Of The Living Dead (1968). Termite to the epic of 2001, it’s an infinitely rewatchable classic (more fun than Kubrick an arguably more profound).

Failing that, why not check some of the crazy Japanese actioners at the Egyptian? They’re super-rare and they’re 60s-tastic, and with titles like The Velvet Hustler (1967) and Glass Johnny Looks Like A Beast (1962) you can’t go wrong.

Or make a date on Sunday with Marlene Dietrich at the Aero. The American CinÚmatheque pays tribute to art director Ward Ihnen with the fantastic Blonde Venus (1932). Josef Sternberg’s grasp of story faltered with the coming of sound, but there are plenty of incidental pleasures to be had here, not least of which is Dietrich’s famed gorilla outfit, and lover Cary Grant. It’s a bit of a crazy mess, but there’s romance, tragedy and nightclubs, and it’s ravishingly shot of course, and fundamentally perverse./

UCLA’s eighteenth-century French series continues at the Getty, culminating in a Saturday double bill of Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland laffing it up in Start The Revolution Without Me (1970), followed by DuBarry Was A Lady (1943), wherein Lucille Ball and Gene Kelly and the rest of a cast of stage-folk are transported in time to the reign of Louis XV. Much hilarity ensues, and in sumptuous Technicolor no less.

And what is the Cinefamily up to this week? Well, the Harmony Korine season continues with Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), the first American Dogme film, a messed-up family melodrama with a captivating (like a car-wreck) performance from scrawny Scottish Ewen Brewner and a cherishable appearance by Werner Herzog. That’s playing on Saturday in a double bill with Korine’s film on David Blaine, Above the Below, wherein David Blaine sits in a glass box suspended over London for forty four days without sustenance, whilst onlookers gawk. Why? Who knows. Calm down perhaps on Sunday with Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Cafe LumiÚre (2004), a gentle picture following a young woman writing a book about a composer and spending time with people, and an ode to the contemplative yet sharp-eyed style of Ozu.

mr deedsAnd finally, the New Beverly has a winning Capra double bill, You Can’t Take It With You (1938) and Mr Deeds Goes To Town (1936), playing both Friday and Saturday. The former won best picture, and is fun, but obvious, revolving around a house full of free-spirited individualists ruled by patriarch Lionel Barrymore, the corn made more palatable by a sprinkling of Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. Mr Deeds is far better, in fact one of the crowning glories of the ’30s, with a ridiculous plot (small-town saint Longfellow Deeds is not interested in his unexpected multi-million dollar inheritance and baffles big city folk with his home-spun sense) and Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur at their absolute best.

This week’s highlights:

Japanese Action films at the Egyptian:

The New Beverly:

photos from Wikipedia