This week's list includes an early Kathryn Bigelow short and a Nicolas Cafe vampire classic.
Friday, Jan. 30
Nicolas Cage has an expressive quality that makes him unlike any other actor, and Vampire’s Kiss was one of the first true showcases for his inimitable range. To celebrate its forthcoming Blu-ray release via Scream Factory, Cinefamily is screening the film on 35mm at midnight. Many who’ve never seen the entire movie likely are familiar with excerpts that make it look next-level absurd, but this black comedy is actually quite sad: Cage plays a literary agent whose life unravels after he is bitten by a bat and slowly turns into a bloodsucker. cinefamily.org
Saturday, Jan. 31
Charlie Chaplin goes north and falls in love in The Gold Rush, which premiered at the Egyptian Theatre 90 years ago and screens there today at 3:30 p.m. One of the writer-director-producer-star’s most fully realized works, it finds the Little Tramp braving the elements of Alaska in order to strike it rich. Suffice to say that hijinks naturally ensue and not everything goes as planned. Chaplin’s signature mix of slapstick and bittersweet romance carries the movie, which received a sound rerelease in 1942. americancinemathequecalendar.com
Outfest UCLA Legacy Project presents a short (Glamazon: The Barbara Lemay Story) and a feature (Grief) by director Richard Glatzer, whose Still Alice is hitting it big on the awards circuit. Glatzer and nearly half the cast of Grief (which screens on 16mm) will appear in person to discuss the film, considered a key entry in the New Queer Cinema. It follows Mark, whose mourning process for his recently deceased partner is cut short by his hectic work environment at a daytime TV show in early-’90s Los Angeles. cinema.ucla.edu
Sunday, Feb. 1
Experimental filmmaker and former MIT lecturer Joe Gibbons recently was arrested for robbing two banks (one in New York, the other in Rhode Island) and filming both acts, likely as part of his latest project. Los Angeles Filmforum is screening his 2001 semi-feature Confessions of a Sociopath and other works TBD tonight at 7:30. Clocking in at a scant 39 minutes, Confessions is regarded as an autobiographical film, though the extent to which the Joe we see onscreen is based on the man himself remains open to interpretation. lafilmforum.org
Anyone who’s read Watership Down knows that Richard Adams didn’t exactly write children’s books, talking animals notwithstanding. That’s just as evident in his not-quite-as-famous The Plague Dogs, which was made into a disturbing animated movie in 1982. Cinefamily is screening a rare 35mm print once a night for the next three days, with the first showing tonight at 8. Two dogs escape from a government research station in England and subsequently are hunted for fear they could be carrying the plague; suffice to say that the results will traumatize any children in attendance. cinefamily.org
Monday, Feb. 2
Thirty-seven years after Kathryn Bigelow and Michael Oblowitz first put together their Cine Virus program, REDCAT is presenting a reworking of the show, titled Cinema Is a Virus From Out of Space. Several short and/or experimental works are on the docket, including Bigelow’s own The Set-Up, which she made as a student at Columbia; Antony Balch’s William S. Burroughs–inspired Cut Ups; and even the music video for Devo’s “Mongoloid,” which Bruce Conner directed. Bigelow is one of the great filmmakers of our time, and she’ll be present along with Oblowitz and a host of others at the event. redcat.org
Tuesday, Feb. 3
LACMA’s Tuesday Matinee is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe as a singer in one of her best, most iconic roles. Howard Hawks directed almost too many classics to count — Bringing Up Baby and Scarface immediately come to mind, and give an idea of his extensive range — but few were as effervescent as this musical about two performers in Paris keeping their many suitors at bay. lacma.org
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