A To-Do List for Film Buffs in Los Angeles Right Now

Courtesy of Photofest
Shirley Clarke's "The Connection"

Film lovers in Los Angeles can escape the dog days and their middling multiplex offerings by seeking out any of these rare, classic and vintage screenings around town.

FRANK BORZAGE ROMANCES AT THE HAMMER10899 Wilshire Blvd.
 
The UCLA Film and Television Archive has spent much of the summer surveying the career of director Frank Borzage, cinema’s quintessential helpless romantic, whose career spanned from the silent era to the golden age of Hollywood. Among many highlights, the final month of the series brings with it some of Borzage’s most beloved sound pictures, including an Aug. 29 double bill of two films made in 1934, Little Man, What Now? and No Greater Glory, followed on Sept. 9 by a pairing of 1936's Desire (starring Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper) and 1937's History is Made at Night (with Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur).
 
 
BLACK INDEPENDENTS AT THE HAMMER 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
 
Running concurrently with the UCLA Archive’s Borzage retrospective is a very different series entitled "Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986." A number of provocative and illuminating selections have already been featured, and the last weeks of August are no different, bringing a trio of rarities to Los Angeles for long overdue presentations. A double bill on Aug. 21 pairs two early ‘80s titles: Will, by female director Jessie Maple, alongside Bill Gunn’s Personal Problems, both films which excavate the dark sides of professional and familial life. Closing the series on Aug. 23 is William MilesI Remember Harlem, a sweeping four-part, four-hour nonfiction portrait of the titular New York borough extending from its late 17th-century origins to its 20th-century racial uprisings. 
 
 
JAZZ, NOIR, AND BEATNIKS AT CINEFAMILY | 611 N Fairfax Ave.
 
Cinefamily’s month-long "Pulp My Daisy: Jazz, Noir & Beatniks" series closes out August with three screenings of appropriately seductive and vulgar delights. On Aug. 16, the Belle Époque romantic tragedy Casque d’Or, by underrated French director Jacques Becker, is set to disarm with its mix of beauty and brutality. Meanwhile, successive Saturday matinees of underground legend Shirley Clarke’s jazz-laced, New York junkie drama The Connection (Aug. 22) and Allen Baron’s seminal, stylish crime thriller Blast of Silence (Aug. 29) will bring things to a most devastating conclusion. 
 
 
CHAPLIN AND HITCHCOCK CLASSICS AT THE NEW BEVERLY7165 Beverly Blvd.
 
Along with its typical slate of cult and exploitation fare, the New Beverly Cinema continues to prove dedicated to highlighting films from the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. And a duo of remaining August double features are given over to perhaps the two most popular expatriate filmmakers of all time. First is Charlie Chaplin, whose iconic silent features The Circus and Modern Times will screen together on both Aug. 23 and 24. The following weekend is given over to Alfred Hitchcock, whose early American film Suspicion (starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine) and mid-'40s classic Notorious (co-starring Grant and Ingrid Bergman) will grace the marquee on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29. 
 
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