Critic's Picks: A March To-Do List for Film Buffs in L.A.
SoCal movie lovers have plenty of classic, vintage and retrospective options in March, including a showcase devoted to Burt Reynolds and a series of double features pairing Wes Anderson films with their inspirations.
WES ANDERSON & FRIENDS AT THE AERO | 1328 Montana Ave.
One of the more clever recent programming conceits comes courtesy of the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, which this month will present a quintet of double bills pairing a recent Wes Anderson film with one of its stylistic forebears –– with each of the latter presented on 35mm prints. Beginning on March 8 with Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited and Jean Renoir’s The River, two films that found their directors drawing inspiration from Indian cultures and traditions, the series goes on to make a number of similarly inspired connections: On March 9, there’s Anderson and Orson Welles’ respective family tragedies The Royal Tenenbaums and The Magnificent Ambersons; on March 10, the cult adventure comedies The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; on March 11, the coming-of-age tales Moonrise Kingdom and S.W.A.L.K.; and on March 13, the wartime satires The Grand Budapest Hotel and To Be or Not to Be, directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Finally, Anderson’s latest, the Japan-set animated feature Isle of Dogs, will screen for free March 14.
VIGILANTES, FALLEN IDOLS AND BURT REYNOLDS AT THE EGYPTIAN | 6712 Hollywood Blvd.
With the New Beverly Cinema closed for renovation, the Egyptian Theatre has apparently seen fit this month to offer a decent facsimile of Quentin Tarantino and co.‘s notoriously wide-ranging programming. On March 8, for instance, Abel Ferrara’s rape-revenge saga Ms. 45 will share a bill with Clint Eastwood’s Sudden Impact, the fourth (and best) entry in the Dirty Harry series, as part of a 35mm “vigilante double feature,” just days before a pair of classics from the golden age of British cinema, Carol Reed’s The Fallen Idol (March 16) and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (March 18), are scheduled to screen on 35mm nitrate prints. Meanwhile, Burt Reynolds will receive a small showcase to coincide with his latest film, The Last Movie Star: On March 24, a triple feature pairing two Hal Needham pictures, Smokey and the Bandit and Hooper (both on 35mm), with Reynolds’ own directorial effort Sharky’s Machine (DCP), should please aficionados, while the more dramatic side of the actor‘s persona will be well on display for a March 25 double bill of John Boorman’s era-defining Deliverance (DCP) and Joseph Sargent’s Southern crime saga White Lightning (35mm).
VIVIENNE DICK AND STEVEN ARNOLD AT REDCAT | 631 W 2nd St.
This season of Film at REDCAT brings with it a pair of programs highlighting two older, more outre names in the history of experimental cinema. On March 5, the no-wave-affiliated filmmaker Vivienne Dick will be in person to present a selection of her classic Super 8mm films, shot largely in the gloriously grimy streets of 1970s New York, along with some recent video work that updates and expands the filmmaker’s early, figural interest in the female body. Artist, innovator and all-around provocateur Steven Arnold, meanwhile, will be reintroduced to Los Angeles audiences March 26 with a restored print of the San Francisco legend’s deliriously exotic queer landmark Luminous Procuress, a hallucinogenic tale of two hippies venturing into an erotic wonderland. In a time of rapid and revolutionary cinematic development, Dick and Arnold epitomize as well as anyone the breadth of innovation happening from coast to coast during the ‘70s.
LOST LANDSCAPES AT THE BILLY WILDER | 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
With the essential programs “Working Girls: America’s Career Women on Screen” and "Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film” (each outlined in this column over the past two months) continuing throughout March at the Billy Wilder Theater, it might be easy to overlook the UCLA Film and Television Archive's one-off screening of Rick Prelinger’s Lost Landscapes of New York on March 31. Finished and first screened by the great archivist and film historian last year, the latest entry in Prelinger’s “Lost Landscapes” series is vintage in spirit — and thus of utmost interest to fans of classic Hollywood. Comprising anonymous footage shot by locals, tourists and amateur filmmakers with outtakes from unidentified studio productions and, most fascinatingly, stock background scenes sourced from old-fashioned “process plates,” Lost Landscapes of New York presents a decontextualized midcentury tour of the city entirely through moving images. But Prelinger isn’t the sole guide on this trip; audiences are encouraged to shout out bygone locations and landmarks as the film plays, making for a truly one-of-a-kind moviegoing experience.