As promised, we’re back with a list of foreign film events around Los Angeles that, if you’re in the area, you should consider checking out. Of course, this list is nowhere near complete, and a quick glance through any of these groups’ websites and in-person calendars will give you even more options, but these specific events really stand out and would make a great night out if you’re looking for something to do. And while many of these films are available on DVD, there’s something special about seeing a classic as it was originally intended: on 35mm. To make things really difficult this month, there are three equally worthy events to choose from this coming Friday.
When I saw Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy at the LA Film Festival, I called it “the most adorable film ever made about gender dysphoria” (review here), and this French film about a 10-year-old girl who pretends to be a boy is still one of the more intriguing films of the year in the way it lovingly portrays childhood while still honestly treating a complex subject. Understandably, it has won numerous awards at gay and lesbian film festivals around the country, and whether you’re interested in LGBT issues or foreign cinema, Tomboy deserves to be seen, and this may be your only chance to experience it in a theater. And check out the rest of the short film festival’s lineup while you’re buying your ticket.
Friday, 9/16 @ 7:15 pm — Art Theatre — $10.00
Friday’s festival schedule can be found here.
Generally considered the best of Dario Argento’s supernatural horrors (and in contention amongst Argento fans for best film, along with Deep Red), Suspiria has become a cult classic thanks to Argento’s Technicolor approach to horror, with vivid colors (and gore), stylish camerawork, and Goblin’s infamous soundtrack all combining to make an entertainingly spooky film. I can’t imagine anything that could improve this classic — except perhaps watching it in a graveyard, and Cinespia agrees, projecting the film on the wall of Rudolph Valentino’s tomb at the legendary Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they regularly screen movies “above — and below — the stars.” If you’ve never seen a film at Hollywood Forever, plan on arriving early to get in (and consider buying a ticket online), and bring a picnic basket and a few bottles of wine to enjoy during the movie.
Friday, 9/16 @ 8:00 pm (gates 6:30pm) — Hollywood Forever Cemetery — $10.00
More info on Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s screenings can be found here.
Any time I hear someone rave about a performance from a child actor, I end up comparing the performance to Ana Torrent in The Spirit of the Beehive, which is (in my mind at least) one of the greatest performances of a child on film. It also happens to be one of the best Spanish films ever made, and its portrayal of a young girl’s coming-of-age story (and imaginative response to a classic film) is still profound and beautiful almost 40 years after it was made. But Torrent’s performance in Beehive wasn’t a fluke, and she delivered another award-worthy performance 3 years later with Cria Cuervos, a film about a young girl forced to face adulthood far too early. The Cinefamily is screening both films together as part of their “Visions of Childhood” series.
Friday, 9/16 @ 7:45 pm & 9:45 — Silent Movie Theatre — $10.00
Information for this Cinefamily screening can be found here.
The American Cinematheque is showing a number of films created by the unique team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger at the Egyptian later this month, including such classics as The Red Shoes, A Canterbury Tale and Black Narcissus, and any of them would be worth checking out simply for the ability of seeing these classics on the big screen. But it’s the screening of Peeping Tom that really caught my attention. This creepy portrait of a voyeuristic serial killer whose fetish involves a camera was incredibly controversial in its time, generally considered to have caused the decline of Powell’s career. Amazingly, Peeping Tom is still capable of getting under contemporary audiences’ skin, partially due to its possible implication of the viewer, and many critics consider it one of the greatest films ever made, often compared to masterpieces by Hitchcock and Fellini.
Wednesday, 9/28 @ 7:30 pm — Egyptian Theatre — $11.00
More screening info can be found here.