Hey everyone, Max here once again with my picks for the best of the best of Los Angeles repertory cinema for March. Lots of good stuff on the docket, so let’s take a look.
To see the complete list of repertory screenings, you can find them on my calendar here.
Busan West, March 8th–10th at Dodge College
Dodge College is hosting its annual film festival celebrating pan-Asian cinema, Busan West, this weekend. The festival selects films in partnership with the Busan Film Festival in Korea, one of Asia’s largest feature film fests. This year, we’re hosting Kim Jee-woon, director of the iconic The Good, The Bad, The Weird, a bizarre, hilarious take on the spaghetti western genre, and Tale of Two Sisters, a pillar of the modern horror movement sweeping through Asia, and Last Stand, which was written by a school alum and featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger (who will be in attendance for the film’s Q&A). I won’t be able to attend this weekend, but students can get most of their tickets free (everything except the opening night film), which makes it a pretty good deal all around.
Looper and Brick Double Feature on March 10th and 11th at the New Beverly
Rian Johnson is a name most people weren’t familiar with before September of last year. He’d written and directed two fantastic films, the high school set film noir Brick and his con men adventure The Brothers Bloom, and had directed episodes of the dramatically underseen show Terriers and Breaking Bad. His third film changed everything. Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was a truly amazing piece of science fiction filmmaking, brilliantly written and filled with ideas about the nature of man and time travel. It earned more in its opening weekend than his first two films did in their entire theatrical runs combined and took Johnson from being a relatively unknown filmmaker who was respected by his peers to someone who Hollywood would take notice of. For two nights, the New Beverly Cinema is going to show his newest film on a double bill with his first film, which will make for a truly fantastic double feature. If you go the first night, Johnson will be there for a Q&A, and some of the cast from the films may join in on the fun as well.
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Marathon on March 16th at the Aero
Who here is a glutton for punishment? If you are, and you REALLY love the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, then this is the event for you! Start with the first film of the Hobbit trilogy, followed by the director’s cuts of both Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and finish it off with the theatrical cut of Return of the King. For those of you keeping count, the films alone run 801 minutes, almost thirteen and a half hours, and then there will be breaks in between each film, so you’re looking at a 15 hour or so event. A couple years back, I did the LOTR trilogy at the Egyptian with a friend and had a blast doing it, but sitting through those films back to back to back is almost as tough as getting from the Shire to Mount Doom because they’re SO epic in scope and feel. It’s definitely an experience though, one that I’d recommend doing at least once in your life.
A Bounty of Foreign Classics… and a Tough Decision on March 21st
I’m currently TAing a class for Harry Ufland about foreign classics, and this may be the greatest day for foreign classics in the history of Los Angeles repertory cinema. The Egyptian is playing Fellini’s classic La Strada, the New Bev is doing a double feature of Antonioni’s Red Desert and Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly, and the Aero is screening de Sica’s masterpiece Bicycle Thieves. All of these films are worth your time, so now you have to make a seemingly impossible decision: which film do I go see? Come to think of it, this whole month is fantastic for foreign classics, with the Egyptian’s Bunuel double feature, a few Melville films at the New Bev, Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and many more.
Duck Soup, It’s a Gift, and Horse Feathers Triple Feature on March 31st at the New Bev
Three of the best comedies every made, pure and simple. Horse Feathers is a lot of fun, but, to me, when it comes to the Marx Brothers, it’s all about Duck Soup. The film runs a lean 63 minutes, but packs more laughs into its short run time than most films can with twice that much time. Groucho is Rufus T. Firely, the new leader of Freedonia, a bankrupt country. Hilarity ensues. The film features several of the greatest gags the Brothers came up with, including the legendary mirror gag. At the time of its release, Duck Soup was considered a box office disappointment, but it is now widely recognized as their masterpiece. To go along with a couple of great Marx Brothers films, you also get the W.C. Fields classic It’s a Gift, which is an appropriate way to describe this double feature.
Well there you have it, just a few of the truly fantastic screenings going on in LA this month. To see the complete list of repertory screenings, you can find them on my calendar here. See you at the movies!