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John Patterson

Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep screens on November 5

L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema

A priceless cinematic time capsule of the African-American experience in post-Watts Los Angeles; a kaleidoscope of the multiple mindsets of a community in profound flux; a sustained rebuke and a consciously developed alternative to the plantation economics and racist narratives of the then-current "blaxploitation" boom; exemplary first steps along a......
Paul Zimet in Robert Kramer's sorrowful Milestones (1975)

Forgotten Ideals, and Forgotten Movies About Them, Resurface at LAFF

The Los Angeles Film Festival’s annual “Films That Got Away” sidebar, co-presented by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, this year features two directors who outwardly could not seem less alike: Robert Kramer, the radical socialist-activist and filmmaker who died in 1999; and......
The Legend of Suram Fortress

LACMA Celebrates Sergei Paradjanov

The decades-long process of attrition, neglect and outright persecution by which Soviet authorities destroyed the career of one of Soviet Russia's greatest artists, the Georgian-Ukrainian-Armenian filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990), can be mapped out in the succession of spurious charges that were laid against him: "secretism," "decadent aestheticism," "ideological deviation," "bourgeois......
Gimme Shelter (American Cinematheque)

Good Vibrations

Writing in these pages a year ago, I speculated that the American Cinematheque’s annual Mods & Rockers festival of psychedelic-and-paisley-era movie classics, rockumentaries, 007 spoofs and assorted other ’60s-centric pop-culture detritus had begun to show its age. With its avalanche of movies reconstituted from previous editions, the 2006 program suggested......
Gimme Shelter (American Cinematheque)

Good Vibrations

Writing in these pages a year ago, I speculated that the American Cinematheque’s annual Mods & Rockers festival of psychedelic-and-paisley-era movie classics, rockumentaries, 007 spoofs and assorted other ’60s-centric pop-culture detritus had begun to show its age. With its avalanche of movies reconstituted from previous editions, the 2006 program suggested......
Theater of the absurd: Riefenstahl mit der Fhrer in 1934

Leni Riefenstahl: Pretty as a Swastika

Riefenstahl was a liar and a manipulator long before she met Hitler. A headstrong child whose authoritarian father could be worn down only by tears and tantrums, she learned early on that she could get her way in any situation. Her ability to pick up complicated skills — as a......
(MGM-UA/Photofest)

The Best of James Bond, Agent 007

Forty-five years after Dr. No, James Bond is respectable once more, with nine BAFTA nominations accruing to the lean, whip-smart and surprisingly soulful Casino Royale. A fine time, then, for the Aero to re-examine the series’ high tide, the years 1963 to 1969, when the success of the Bond movies......
Leslie Phillips (right) with Peter O'Toole

Well, Helloooo There

Ask any Briton over 40 what he knows about Leslie Phillips and chances are he will simply purr the greeting “Helloooo,” in imitation of Phillips’ smooth, faintly libidinous and exquisitely enunciated tones. That simple salutation — it actually sounds more like a drawn-out “Hell-aaaay” — is one of the hallmark......
St. James versions. Craig... (Photo by Jay Maidment)

Of James Bondage

As it often does when interest lags or a new 007 is inaugurated, the Bond franchise is once again getting back to its roots. The first time they did it, with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969, that meant getting back to the potency of Ian Fleming’s original novel,......

Best Landlocked Treasure Island

{mosimage}Lodged between the busy shipping lanes of Los Feliz Boulevard to the north and Glendale Boulevard to the south, and hidden from view by a veritable cliff face of storefronts, lies the enchanted island of Atwater Village. To the west lies our Barbary Shore, the L.A. River (here hugging the......