What to Do in Los Angeles During the Holidays: 4 Retrospectives and Revivals for Film Buffs

Courtesy of Photofest
'Hoop Dreams'

Robert Downey Sr. and 'Hoop Dreams' are among those in the spotlight at various events around town

This story first appeared in the Dec. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

The holidays in L.A. always are a good time to catch up with classics and older fare -- and a big screen is better than your couch.



The high point of the L.A. holiday repertory season is "Truth and Soul, Inc.: The Films of Robert Downey Sr.," a retrospective dedicated to the career of the pioneering independent filmmaker whose low-budget genre riffs such as Putney Swope and Greaser's Palace stormed the 1960s and '70s New York underground art scene. Taking place at both Cinefamily and downtown's Ace Hotel Dec. 5 to 8, the series -- which features such guest hosts as Louis C.K., Paul Thomas Anderson and the filmmaker's son, Robert Downey Jr. -- embodies the rebel spirit of a director whose influence continues to endure.

Cinefamily: 611 N. Fairfax Ave.

Ace Hotel: 929 S. Broadway

Watch more Robert Downey Jr. on the Fourth Installment of the 'Iron Man' Series


On Dec. 5, in honor of Hoop Dreams' 20th anniversary, the digital restoration of Steve James' landmark documentary will be shown at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater. Elevating the trials and tribulations of two African-American high school basketball players from inner-city Chicago to the level of grand tragedy, the film is well worth seeing on the biggest screen possible.

10899 Wilshire Blvd.


Hollywood's lavish Egyptian Theatre is offering an array of titles this season, both classic and off the beaten path. A digital presentation of Stanley Kubrick's seminal sci-fi 2001: A Space Odyssey (Nov. 28) and a 70mm screening of David Lean's desert epic Lawrence of Arabia (Nov. 29) will close out November, while two late-'50s B-thrillers from Roger Corman, A Bucket of Blood and War of the Satellites (Dec. 7, with Corman in person), will help ring in December.

6712 Hollywood Blvd.

Read more Douglas Trumbull Addresses Stanley Kubrick's Controversial Oscar Win


LACMA is dedicating weekends in December to double features by some of the most celebrated emigrant auteurs. Standouts include F.W. Murnau silent films Sunrise and The Last Laugh (Dec. 5), the elegant pairing of Max Ophuls' Liebelei and Letter From an Unknown Woman (Dec. 12), the comedic combo of Ernst Lubitsch's The Doll and The Shop Around the Corner (Dec. 19) and, last but not least, Notorious and Vertigo (Dec. 20), two of the greatest works from the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock.

5905 Wilshire Blvd.