Two Films About Evil Cars Trying to Kill Someone

Bob Fosse's All That JazzEXPAND
Bob Fosse's All That Jazz

This week's Weekly Movie to-Do List ranges from car chase classics to All That Jazz.

Friday, Jan. 23

The New Beverly screens two musicals from the late 1970s: Frank Pierson’s remake of A Star Is Born at 7:30 and Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York at 10:15. Scorsese’s first film post–Taxi Driver stars frequent collaborator Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli in what was intended as a refreshing change of stylistic and tonal pace for the lauded auteur. The results didn’t match expectations: New York flopped with both audiences and critics, a reaction that is said to have worsened the filmmaker’s drug addiction. 1976’s A Star Is Born, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, fared much better, doing gangbusters at the box office and winning several Golden Globes in addition to its Academy Award for Best Original Song. More info at thenewbev.com.

Lav Diaz's Norte, the End of HistoryEXPAND
Lav Diaz's Norte, the End of History

Meanwhile, two even more deranged musicals screen at LACMA: Bob Fosse’s autobiographical All That Jazz (at 7:30 p.m.) and Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise (at 9:50 p.m.). Roy Scheider received his second Oscar nomination for starring in what turned out to be Fosse’s swan song, an intense self-eulogy that is by turns bittersweet and celebratory. Phantom is even more out-there, a fantastically dark reimagining of the Phantom of the Opera mythos that may just be De Palma’s most bizarre outing — no small feat. Visit lacma.org for more.

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The Egyptian’s Hit the Gas! The Golden Age of Car Chases series continues with Duel and The Car at 7:30. The former, Steven Spielberg’s first feature, is also his simplest and most economical, a surprisingly effective thriller about a man in his car (Dennis Weaver) being terrorized by a big rig whose driver is unknown. Elliot Silverstein’s entry in the once-ubiquitous genre is more outlandish in conception, as the evil automobile in question may well be acting under the auspices of Satan himself. Both films screen on 35mm. For more, floor it to americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Saturday, Jan. 24

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Just One of the Guys, Cinefamily screens the film at 10:30 with director Lisa Gottlieb and several cast members ,including star Joyce Hyser. The loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night belongs to a bygone era of teen comedies that were both racier and more wholesome, with this one telling of a high school girl who decides to pose as a boy in order to be taken more seriously. Full details at cinefamily.org.

Steven Spielberg's DuelEXPAND
Steven Spielberg's Duel

Sunday, Jan. 25

Not to be missed is the first (and possibly last) Los Angeles screening of Lav Diaz’s Norte, the End of History, in USC’s Ray Stark Family Theatre at 1 p.m. Past is prologue in the Crime and Punishment–inspired film, whose long philosophical discussions about the Philippines’ troubled history inadvertently inspire a double murder with far-reaching consequences. The four-hour film recently featured on our list of the 10 best movies of 2014 that didn’t make it to L.A., which is to say: Seriously, go. Visit cinema.usc.edu for more information.

Monday, Jan. 26

As part of its ongoing Kenji Mizoguchi retrospective, UCLA screens the late, great filmmaker’s Utamaro and His Five Women at 7:30. The director drew on his own experience of having his artistic vision compromised — first by Japan’s wartime government, then by the occupying U.S. military — in crafting this story of a 17th-century printmaker who receives a 50-day ban from working on his art. More info at cinema.ucla.edu.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Now in its second week, Cal State Northridge’s semester-long Yasujiro Ozu retrospective presents his early silent I Was Born, But… at 7 p.m. Two brothers’ admiration and respect for their father is tested when they see how submissive he is to his boss; the film’s focus on intergenerational conflict and family ties is characteristic of much of Ozu’s filmography. As with all Thursday Nights at the Cinematheque screenings, admission is free and open to the public. Full details at csun.edu.


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