March 4, 2020: Take me down to Noir City

M (1931) / M (1951) / EL VAMPIRO NEGRO (1953)

dir. Fritz Lang / Joseph Losey / Román Viñoly

March 7, 5:00 PM

Peter Lorre in M

Egyptian Theatre

We’ve been waiting for this! One of the highlights of Noir City: Hollywood — The 22nd Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir is this program, which begins with Fritz Lang’s moral thriller M before rolling through two remakes. In the original, Peter Lorre plays a child murderer whose reign of terror leads to a police crackdown on all manner of criminal activity in Berlin — so the underworld goes in search of the killer to protect their own interests.

Lang’s movie is programmed often; Joseph Losey’s L.A.-set 1951 version is not. Losey shot almost entirely in the now-bulldozed Bunker Hill neighborhood; his remake was released just before he fled HUAC questioning to set up shop overseas for the remainder of his career. It goes without saying that Lang’s original version is the gold standard; it’s one of the greats, period. But Losey’s movie has wonderful flourishes, an excellent performance by David Wayne as the elusive killer, and a view of Bunker Hill that you can’t get anywhere else. The Argentine El Vampiro Negro, which is recently restored, is an even more rarely seen revamp of Lang’s masterpiece.

DCP / 35mm |  INFO + TICKETS


dir. Jorma Taccone

April 5, 7:00 PM


Cinerama Dome

When DNA from SNL is vat-incubated into a full-length movie, the source material is typically a marquee character or concept: Wayne’s World or Coneheads. And then there’s MacGruber, which began as absurd minute-long SNL gags which granted star Will Forte license to blow up stuff (and himself). The movie version couldn’t possibly rely on the sketch concept, because the sketches were too rudimentary to inflate to feature length. Rather, as critic Amy Nicholson wrote for Rolling Stone, “movie MacGruber is more like the macho men of the 1980s, who pumped up America to get over the pain of the Vietnam War and convinced us we were winners.” It’s a gleeful demolition of every puffed-up, ‘roided-out action movie myth.

MacGruber only gets better with age, and its early niche audience has steadily expanded. This screening will be followed by an extended Q&A with stars Will Forte and Ryan Phillippe; co-writer John Solomon; and writer/director Jorma Taccone. Tickets on sale March 5.

Format N/A |  INFO + TICKETS



FIRST COW (2019)

dir. Kelly Reichardt

Opens March 6 – Arclight Hollywood, The Landmark

In the frontier-America-set First Cow, a cook played by John Magaro tenderly examines a forest mushroom, almost talking to it, as he collects ingredients for his next meal. It’s a moment among a dozen distinctive and delicious others in Kelly’s Reichardt’s new movie that makes cinema feel like a salve for wounds you didn’t know you had.



dir. José Ramón Larraz

March 9, 7:00 PM – The Michelle and Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre, USC

Spanish-American horror productions of the ’80s look familiar enough but feel like queasy dreams. Populated with casts drawn from Europe and the US, they feature exterior locations shot in the States and interior work done on Spanish stages. Violent and odd, these movies feel like viciously broken reflections of home. Pieces is the most notorious example, thanks to the U.K.’s Video Nasty controversy. Edge of the Axe is more moody and strange and in many ways a better slasher movie. It was also, for a long time, fairly difficult to see. A surprise slot at the New Beverly’s recent all-night Halloween marathon, and a restoration by Arrow Video, have put it back on the map. This is a presentation of Arrow’s restoration.

Digital | INFO + TICKETS


dir. Alice Wu

March 13, 7:30 PM – Billy Wilder Theater

The Billy Wilder screens Alice Wu’s feature debut as part of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center 50th Anniversary Film Festival, which also includes a 35mm screening of Justin Lin’s debut Better Luck Tomorrow on March 7. Unlike Lin, who went on to make a bunch of Fast & Furious movies, Wu is just finishing her second feature now, 16 years later. Saving Face is a generational rom-com, with Michelle Krusiec and Joan Chen starring as a gay woman and her traditional mother, respectively, who spar over their respective relationships… or lack thereof.



dir. Diao Yinan

Opens March 13 – Multiple Laemmle Theatres

Diao Yinan’s 2014 movie Black Coal, Thin Ice deserves to be mentioned alongside cynical and world-weary modern detective exemplars like Zodiac and Memories of Murder. If the director’s gangster movie The Wild Goose Lake is not quite as strong, it has a commitment to pulpy violence and bluntly coded political commentary, and a blurry-beautiful nighttime visual palette shot by Dong Jinsong, who also captured gorgeous images for Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night.



dir. Steven Soderbergh / Quentin Tarantino

March 14, 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre

Thanks to the New Beverly, you can often see Quentin Tarantino’s best movie on 35mm, but to catch it as part of a double making up the Ray Nicolette Shared Universe? That’s a great night out. The real draw here is a 35mm screening of Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, which still plays like classical Hollywood cinema filtered through the early ’90s American indie movement. Michael Keaton’s cameo in Out of Sight, reprising his role as Nicolette from Jackie Brown, is a nice bonus. This double feature is part of the Aero’s series Women Film Editors: An Assembly. The late Sally Menke ran the Steenbeck for Jackie Brown, while Anne V. Coates (who also edited The Elephant Man and Lawrence of Arabia, among many other movies) cut Out of Sight.



dir. Herk Harvey

March 17, 9:30 PM – Alamo Drafthouse DTLA

A car accident turns the life of young Mary Henry, played by Candace Hilligoss, into a gauzy delirium in this low-budget ultra-independent horror movie. Actually, calling Carnival of Souls “horror” is insufficient to capture what makes the production so special. As Mary fends off the attention of men both corporeal and spectral, the jittery, detached performance from Hilligoss turns the movie into an uncanny social commentary. Hosted by TCM’s Alica Malone.