Once each week, Marquee L.A. highlights exceptional films, screenings, and film events in the Greater Los Angeles area. Click here to sign up for future email newsletters.
VISION PORTRAITS (2019)
dir. Rodney Evans
Opens August 23 at the Laemmle Royal
How can an artist work in a visual medium with impaired eyesight, or without the sense altogether? Director Rodney Evans has severely limited sight — he describes his vision, which deteriorated due to a genetic condition, as like “looking through a telescope” — but didn’t want to give up making movies. Vision Portraits is a personal essay about Evans’ evolution as an artist in concert with his physical condition. It acts as an open question about the nature of creating art in relation to one’s ability to experience it. Accordingly, this film is not just a “talking heads” documentary, but seeks to replicate the experience of going blind. In addition to depicting his own life, Evans speaks to three other visually impaired artists: photographer John Dugdale, dancer Kayla Hamilton, and writer Ryan Knighton.
DCP | INFO + TICKETS
ASAKO I & II (2018)
dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
August 23, 7:30 PM at the Ahyra Fine Arts
This is a single film, with a title meant to suggest duality. Indeed, actor Masahiro Higashide plays two roles in this enigmatic romance. He’s a charmingly brash bad boy who sweeps shy Asako (Erika Karata) off her feet before vanishing from her life. Higashide reappears as Ryôhei, who seems a gentler, more stable Baku. While director Hamaguchi’s previous film, Happy Hour, was a five-hour epic, Asako I & II is more akin to a pop song, with overtly comedic flourishes and young-love melodrama.
HALLOWEEN III: THE SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)
dir. Tommy Lee Wallace
August 23, 11:55 PM at the Nuart Theatre
It’s been a long road to redemption for a film that was once seen as a cast-off experiment in exploitation. Halloween III is a gonzo sci-fi horror oddity: Its hapless characters are trapped in an insane world where no conspiracy theory could ever come close to capturing the vile plot of a rich cabal that attempts to fuse black magic and technology in an attempt at world domination.
LE CERCLE ROUGE (1970) / BOB LE FLAMBEUR (1956)
dir. Jean-Pierre Melville
August 24, 7:30 PM at the Aero Theatre
Think of this as a “head and heart” double feature. Le Cercle Rouge is Jean-Pierre Melville’s supremely chilly heist film, with a protracted setup that gives its characters time to develop, with one of the best robbery sequences in cinema. Bob Le Flambeur is more like a fusion of thriller and French New Wave drama, a raconteur’s meditation on aging and compulsive behavior.
Cinecon 55 Classic Film Festival
August 29 – September 2 at the Egyptian Theatre
The Egyptian Theatre is home to the 55th annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival, which features a full program of deep-cuts produced between the 1910s and 1950s. There’s a nitrate print program on Saturday, August 31, featuring the cartoon Cobweb Hotel and B-picture Night of Mystery. The latter follows one adventure of high society sleuth Philo Vance, the star of a dozen novels, who was played on screen by 10 different actors across 14 films between 1929 and 1947. This 1937 selection is a remake of the first Philo Vance film, The Canary Murder Case, with Grant Richards as the gumshoe. There’s no single-film ticketing for this festival, but day passes are available in addition to the full festival pass.