Thursday, July 30, 2015

IN PRAISE OF HELLRAISER


 
Next Sunday, August  2nd, the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood will be play a double feature of Hellraiser and Pumpkinhead. If you enjoy violent horror movies and you haven’t seen Hellraiser, I strongly recommend you catch it.

Hellraiser has an interesting production history. Writer and director Clive Barker is best known as an author of horror novels and short stories; Hellraiser began as a novella called “The Hellbound Heart” which Barker published in 1986. Barker decided to adapt his novella personally rather than option it to a studio; this is largely the result of his displeasure with Underworld, a film adaptation made of a previous Barker story. Barker’s decision to shoot Hellraiser as an independent film was a wise one; it’s hard to imagine a major studio like Universal or Warner Bros making a film as gory or sexually explicit as Barker’s finished film.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A NIGHT OF PUNK WITH PENELOPE SPHEERIS

 
Penelope Spheeris, Keith Morris, Eyeball, and Anna Fox
Last Friday night, July 24, 2015, the American Cinematheque welcomed four very special guests to the historic Egyptian Theater. In all of their punk glory, director Penelope Spheeris, her daughter Anna Fox, musician Keith Morris, and original cast member Eyeball took some time to chat with a very enthusiastic audience in between a special screening of Spheeris' Suburbia and The Decline of Western Civilization: Part III.

Spheeris' groundbreaking film Suburbia was screened first. Still highly regarded as a breakthrough of its kind, the tale of runaway  punk kids in early 1980’s Los Angeles still remains as thrilling as it was upon its initial release, both shocking and riveting. As Spheeris explained when asked about her inspiration for the film, “they told me I couldn’t get documentaries into theaters; which you couldn’t really do until Michael Moore.” Spheeris continued that the characters she created in Suburbia are a perfect example of life imitating art, or art imitating life, depending on how you look at it.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A SOUTH SEAS BREEZE WAFTS THORUGH HOLLYWOOD FOR TIKI NIGHT 2015

 
It certainly has been tropical weather in Los Angeles this week, so we are truly geared up for Tiki Night, an annual celebration of all things Tiki - be they authentic customs and art of Islanders or homages to the American obsession with primitive carved faces and almost anything made out of a coconut - especially if there is a straw in it. 


A Nightcrawler Q&A, by Gretchen Husting


 
The Oscar-nominated film Nightcrawler is now streaming on Netflix. Dan and John Gilroy came to the Egyptian Theatre in January to discuss the film.

On January 7, the Egyptian screened Nightcrawler (2014) and welcomed twins Dan and John Gilroy.  Dan wrote and directed the movie, John edited. Part of the Cinamateque’s "The Golden Age of Car Chases" series, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a petty thief who pulls over to the side of the road to see a bloody crash and becomes obsessed with filming violent crimes and accidents. He sells his work to local Los Angeles news stations; Rene Russo plays a washed-up producer who competes for his footage.  

John Gilroy said of Gyllenhaal’s performance, “He did not change a word.  It was like a play.” Of working with his twin brother, John said, “I try not to butt in but I have an opinion about everything.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

THE TIKI COCKTAIL IS A TRANFORMATIVE BEVERAGE, SAYS THIRSTY IN LA'S DANIEL DJANG


Daniel Djang of Thirsty in LA. Photographs by Andrea Macias-Jimenez
In anticipation of the American Cinematheque’s upcoming Tiki Night 2015 at the historic Egyptian Theatre, we decided to sit down with someone who could put the Tiki cocktail in perspective – Thirsty in LA blogger Daniel Djang. Daniel suggested that we meet him at one of his current favorite bars, General Lee’s, a 2-year old craft cocktail bar created by nightlife impresario J.B. Moresco (Smoke and Mirrors, The Writers Room), in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Summing up his fondness for General Lee’s, Daniel says, “It combines history, great cocktails and a beautiful space.”

"IT'S BEEN SURREAL": A BUÑUELIAN BALL, by Gretchen Husting

This Thursday, July 23, the Aero will screen The Discreet Charm ofthe Bourgeoisie as part of its 75th anniversary celebration. On May 21, 2014, the Egyptian hosted a celebration of all things Buñuel, the “It’s Been Surreal” Ball.

Oscar Arce, director of the Buñuel Institute and close friend of the Buñuel family, introduced the evening's three films as well as the elaborately staged audience costume contest. But first, he presented the Egyptian's own costumed "Buñuelian Tableau" to join him on stage. Among them, a figure dressed as Buñuel, complete with a papier-maché head in the Spanish born filmmaker's likeness, as well as Catherine Deneuve's beautiful blonde Belle de Jour character (clothed) in her floor length black veil and crown of white flowers. A mustachioed Salvador Dali waved to his fans.