Critic's Picks: A June To-Do List for Film Buffs in L.A.
Los Angeles movie lovers tired of aliens, superheroes or buff beach bods can choose from retrospectives of work by John Huston, Jerry Schatzberg, Lina Wertmuller and more.
JOHN HUSTON AT THE BILLY WILDER | 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Hollywood journeyman John Huston occupies a unique place in the annals of American cinema, being one of the few filmmakers to parlay his early success within the studio system into an equal –– and arguably even greater –– subsequent career working on the fringes of an industry that was quickly losing ground to a new wave of independents and stylish European imports. A 25-film retrospective of Huston’s work, organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and running through August at the Billy Wilder Theater, covers the extremes of the director's four-plus decade career, offering a valuable overview of his brusque, restless sensibility. Opening June 9 with a double bill of The Maltese Falcon and Key Largo, two seminal film noirs starring Humphrey Bogart, the series zigzags efficiently across Huston’s filmography, pairing classics (The Treasure of the Sierra Nevada and The Asphalt Jungle, June 10) as often as curiosities (Beat the Devil and The List of Adrian Messenger, June 30). And while double features comprise the bulk of the retrospective, special note should be made of the one film receiving a solo showcase this month, 1961’s The Misfits (June 25), a twilight western starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift that sits at the nexus of Huston’s career and marks the end of an era for the kind of marquee genre films on which many filmmakers of Huston's generation had made their names.
LINA WERTMULLER AT CINEFAMILY | 611 N. Fairfax Ave.
Underway at Cinefamily is a brief but vital series dedicated to the singular and unclassifiable Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller, the first female director nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Screening on newly restored DCPs are The Seduction of Mimi (June 3), starring Wertmuler’s longtime collaborator Giancarlo Giannini, the migrant comedy All Screwed Up (June 4), the aforementioned Oscar-nominated political parable Seven Beauties (June 5),and the feverishly pitched Shakespearean romance Swept Away (June 5). Being presented on 35mm, meanwhile, is A Night Full of Rain (June 7), Wertmuller’s first English-language film and a farcical take on the marital drama that, like much of her best work, unearths some deep-seated insight into the male-female dynamic and the sociopolitical climate of the era in which it was made.
JERRY SCHATZBERG AT THE NEW BEV | 7165 Beverly Blvd.
The under-recognized American director Jerry Schatzberg, an embodiment of the New Hollywood ideal, is the subject of multiple evenings at the New Beverly this month. On June 4 and 5, his two collaborations with Al Pacino, The Panic in Needle Park and Scarecrow, will screen as a particularly harrowing double bill, while June 11 and 12 bring together the director’s country music ramble Honeysuckle Rose, featuring Willie Nelson, and the star-studded political drama The Seduction of Joe Tynan, featuring Alan Alda, Barbara Harris, Meryl Streep and Rip Torn, among others. Finally, on June 21 and 22, a pair of Schatzberg’s lesser known works, No Small Affair (with Jon Cryer, Demi Moore, Jeffrey Tambor, Tim Robbins) and Sweet Revenge (starring Stockard Channing and Sam Waterston), will share the marquee.
FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES AT CINEFAMILY | 611 N. Fairfax Ave.
Receiving a weeklong run at Cinefamily beginning June 16 is a digital restoration of Toshio Matsumoto’s groundbreaking 1969 feature Funeral Parade of Roses, a key work of the Japanese New Wave and an early example of a newly liberated national cinema. One of the first films to depict Japan’s gay counterculture, Matsumoto’s dizzying riff on Oedipus Rex combines elements of nonfiction, pop-art, psychedelia and the avant garde (a tradition with which Matsumoto was long associated) into something uniquely intimate and even personal. Matsumoto passed away this year at the age of 85; this restoration of the director’s most storied work should only deepen his legacy.
MAX AND MARCEL OPHULS AT THE AERO | 1328 Montana Ave.
Running June 1-8, “Shadows of the 20th Century: Ophuls Film Festival,” an eight-day celebration of the life and work of father and son filmmakers Max and Marcel Ophuls, spreads a variety of screenings, panels and master-classes across multiple venues, citywide. On June 2 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, Marcel will be on hand to present a 35mm screening of his landmark 1969 documentary The Sorrow and the Pity, while the following night, June 3, will see him discussing two of his father’s greatest works from either end of his career, Lola Montes and Liebelei. Meanwhile, on June 4, Marcel’s equally epic Hotel Terminus comes to the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater, before the series closes June 8 at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater with the most elegant of the elder Ophuls’ many masterpieces, Letter From an Unknown Woman.