Sorry to keep you hanging on the calendar last month, but I was producing my thesis film and it took up pretty much the entirety of my life.
But now, I’m back, and so are my recommendations for the second half of November. Check out these great films to see in and around Hollywood:
Alien 3 “Assembly Cut” at CineFamily
CineFamily is doing a series of midnight screenings of the Alien franchise. They’ve already shown both Ridley Scott’s
and James Cameron’s
, but for this screening, they’re not showing the theatrical cut of David Fincher’s first film. Instead, they’re showing what is referred to as the “assembly cut” which was released in the Alien Quadrilogy Box Set several years ago. Why show this particular version? Well,
had a particularly troubled production. Various directors came and went, numerous scripts were written, and there was even a teaser trailer released that indicated the film would be about Xenomorphs on Earth when the final film ended up taking place in a prison. (check out the awesome the teaser trailer:)
David Fincher, who was known for directing music videos, was eventually brought on to direct a film that did not have a completed script at the beginning of production. Throughout the shoot, they were re-writing the script while fitting in the sets that had already been built for an earlier draft. In addition, the studio executives took most of the creative control away from Fincher, forcing him into making the movie they wanted instead of his own (Fincher would later say the experience was so awful that he decided to never direct another film again and that the only thing that brought him back to feature filmmaking was the amazing script for
). This continued into post production when they re-cut the film without Fincher’s knowledge. The film was a near disaster at the US box office upon its release, but has gained a cult following in the years since. The cut CineFamily is showing is 30 minutes longer than the theatrical cut and is supposedly much closer to Fincher’s original vision for the film, though he was not involved in the creation of the assembly cut.
Inglourious Basterds at the NuArt Midnights
Just in time for the release of
in December, the NuArt is showing Tarantino’s 2009 revisionist history masterpiece. A film over ten years in the making, it was originally going to be his follow up to
, but fell by the wayside as he made both
. At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, he made the surprise announcement that he would be back at Cannes the following year to screen
This took the whole filmmaking world by surprise, not to mention brought up some doubts about that happening. He’d have to rush through production to have it done in a year, and yet, amazingly enough, he was there the next year with an almost completed cut of the film, which received stellar reviews for the film and Christoph Waltz in particular. Three months later the film was released around the world and became Tarantino’s highest grossing film. Since most of you have already seen this film in theatres, you might be wondering why I chose it. The answer is simple: this is one of those films that is best experienced in a theatre with a group of people. The audience for this screening will be nothing but die hard QT fans who will laugh at every joke and only add to the fantastic experience. Add to that the fact that you’ll get to see one of the greatest film climaxes in recent memory on the big screen, the way it is meant to be seen, and you’ll have a great time.
Lawrence of Arabia at the Aero
This past Tuesday, Sony released
Lawrence of Arabia
on Blu-Ray. One of my three favorite films of all time (along with
), I immediately picked up the beautiful box set and watched most of the film, marveling at the beautiful new transfer and restoration of the film. That being said, I still plan on going to see it on the big screen in a couple of weeks at the Aero. Why? Because that’s the way the film is meant to be seen. Watching
in the comfort of my living room is fine, but Lean’s stunning direction and Freddie Young’s sumptuous Super Panavision 70 cinematography just don’t quite compare on my TV.
With this screening, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Sony is no longer renting out 70mm prints of the film, which is the ideal way to see it. That being said, the new restoration, which is the Aero is showing in its first public screening, is nothing short of stunning. Grover Crisp and his team at Sony have created what is quite possibly the most beautiful, perfect restoration I’ve ever seen. They went back to the original 65mm negative, cleaned it up, and scanned it at 8k resolution. They spent several years working on it, and it shows. The film has never looked this good, with unbelievable clarity and crispness of image, all while still looking like film. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing this new restoration twice already, once in Bologna earlier this summer, which was the world premiere of the new restoration, and then two weeks later at the Academy in Los Angeles. Both screenings were truly astounding and I look forward to seeing it again very soon. In my opinion, if you only go to one screening in a repertory theatre this year, this should be it. The film is a classic and is one of those films that every film student must see, so why not see it in the best possible fashion?