Marlon Brando grabbing a smoke between takes on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire.
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Far be it from me to deride any exhibition chain that’s okay with showcasing repertoire fare a few weeks out of the year, but have we not heard the chimes at midnight? The last time the Ken presented a week of classics it sounded the revival of Orson Welles’s heretofore impossible to see Chimes. The Sunday matinee drew more people than I’ve seen in the auditorium since who knows when.
This month marks a return to business as usual, i.e., booking pre-sold titles including three plucked off the dreaded AFI Top 100 list. First off, four of the seven titles are in my DVD library and it’s certain that fellow collectors (with less discerning taste) own the set. Other than Raiders (once was too much), what cinephile worth their salt has not made repeat pilgrimages to every one of the titles on the list?
The Angelika has screened enough Spielberg films in their monthly Movies off the Wall series to make my head explode, but to their credit, the series has also offered such rarities at King Vidor’s silent The Big Parade and the four-hour roadshow version of Joe Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra.
Next time how’s about including one picture out of the seven — say Nick Ray’s Johnny Guitar or George Cukor’s Holiday — that’s a bit off the beaten path? Is that asking too much? One title to prove there’s more to life than the dictates of the staid American Film Institute?
The weeklong series, complete with daily matinees, starts Friday. For more information visit their site.
July 15: David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. One can never get enough. Go and be sure to bring a date.
July 16: Steve Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. While Scorsese was busy smuggling Powell & Pressburger references into his films, Steve & Georgie were happily emulating the lead-footed Republic serials they were weaned on in this climax-laden helping of childish slop. The film that taught me to hate, it will forever be my least favorite nugget of Shitberg offal.
July 17: William Wyler’s Funny Girl. Look on the bright side. They could have substituted Bab’s remake of A Star Is Born and no one would have been any the wiser.
July 18: Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire. With a newly restored DCP of One-Eyed Jacks making the rounds — the public domain Brando western has yet to receive a proper DVD presentation — do we really need another visit to Belle Reve?
July 19: Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. I’d run to see Ozu.
July 20: Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Though it may come as a shock to Landmark bookers, Audrey Hepburn actually appeared in movies other than Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Why not spread a little more enchantment by screening Billy Wilder’s Sabrina or Love in the Afternoon, or, dare I say, Peter Bogdanovich’s sparkling They All Laughed?
July 21: John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. Never saw it, but word on the street is it’s okay.