7 Screenings You Need To See This Weekend in NY and LA
Milk photographer Andrew Boyle splits his time between shooting and being obsessed with movies. Classic and cult movies to be precise. Before moving to New York, Andrew worked for the famous Astor Theatre film palace in Melbourne Australia that played a nightly mix up of classics on 35mm and 70mm. Neon Marquee is his newly launched site that highlights the classics, cult favorites and B Grade misfires and where they can be seen on the big screen around the world. Here’s his round up for Milk of a few notables playing around New York and L.A this weekend.
The French Connection Part 1 (1971) and Part 2 (1975)
A grimy, raw cop film, William Friedkin’s (The Exorcist) New York noir is a staple film for anyone obsessed with the Big Apple’s bad old days. American film critic Gene Siskel bemoaned upon the film’s release that “there is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life.” Indeed, Gene. Indeed. Where productions now merely attempt to emulate the era of NYC’s darkest days before it became the hyper-gentrified conglomerate it is today, this is the real deal. Like 1968’s Bullitt, the car chase is legendary, the stakes high as it was captured in camera. The results dump on the CGI safeness of the blockbuster action sequences we see today. The film, which will be screening as a 35mm double feature, is as authentic as it gets.
The French Connection will be showing on Saturday May 14th, at 7pm. Playing at The New Beverly Cinema, LA (owned and programmed by Quentin Tarantino).
A Weekend with Amy Heckerling
If the name “Amy Heckerling” sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you grew up under her influence. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ll likely recognize her films, 1995’s Clueless arguably her most influential contribution to popular culture. The Metrograph in New York’s Lower East Side will be screening on 35mm such Heckerling classics as Johnny Dangerously (1984) starring Michael Keaton, legendary cult favorite Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) that’s just as memorable for Sean Penn’s Spicoli as it is for making an entire generation fall in love with Phoebe Cates, 1990’s Look who’s Talking starring John Travolta and Bruce Willis (as the voice of a toddler, mind you), and the endlessly quotable Clueless. ‘
Amy Heckerling’s classics will be showing Saturday May 14th and Sunday May 15th at The Metrograph.
Band of Outsiders (1964 / new restoration)
Director Jean Luc Godard is effortlessly cool, and his 1964 film delivers a sublime simplicity and elegant style. Just finishing its run in New York, the film now moves to Los Angles to Cinefamily at Silent Film Movie Theatre. Starring the stunning Anna Karina, it pits two daydreaming Cinephiles, Franz and Arthur, with gorgeous Odile (Karina). Wiling away their days imitating the anitheroes of Hollywood westerns and gangster films, they concoct a plan to stage their own movie-like heist. Littered with iconic set pieces, including the beloved cafe dance sequence, it is Karina who steals each frame she wanders into. A film that has ended up on countless fashion story mood boards, it’s a must-see on the big screen in this glorious new restoration if only to be in the celluloid gaze of its lead actress.
Band of Outsiders will be playing on Friday May 13th through Sunday May 15th at Cinefamily.
Purple Rain (1984)
For this, you’ll want to ready your tissues; it can be tricky watching his Royal Purpleness on screen without feeling the ache of his absence. Like a musical Rocky of sorts, this movie demands to be seen big, and now might be the closest you’ll get to witnessing Prince on stage. Driven by a heartfelt performance, the film features a volatile Prince, unleashing ferocity while simmering in the quiet moments. The live numbers are incredible, but the finale will kick you in the guts. No one in modern music could touch this guy, and no one from here on out ever will. A perfect midnight screening tribute.
Purple Rain will be showing on Friday May 13th and Saturday May 14th at 12:15am at IFC Center, NYC.
Pretty Woman (1990 / 35mm Print)
Imagine how this looked on paper to Walt Disney himself when this film was originally shopped around Hollywood: a prostitute, who needs cash to get to Disneyland, stumbles upon a wealthy man, who agrees to pay her if she kicks cocaine for a week. In the original, much darker version, he ends up kicking her to the curb. But it was a heavily tweaked version that was eventually given the green light, a modern day My Fair Lady, in which Julia Roberts plays a sex worker that wins hardened business man Richard Gere’s heart. Pretty Woman owns the accolade as the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, and rightfully so. Though it’s unlikely that a mainstream film like this would get the green light today without heaps of vocal backlash; after all, the female lead is written as if she only needs a man to save her. Perhaps a remake would actually prove interesting…
Pretty Woman will be showing on Saturday May 14th 7pm & 9:30pm at BAM Cinematek.
Belladonna of Sadness (1973 / New Restoration)
Produced by legendary Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka and directed by Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy and Kimba The White Lion), Belladonna is a lost treasure of anime, having never seen a release in the U.S. A bombastic visual hallucination with an awesome Japanese psych rock soundtrack by avant-garde jazz composer Masahiko Satoh. Like a stunning, fluid motion watercolor painting, Belladonna is the story of an innocent young woman, who suffers a violent rape at the hands of a local lord on her wedding night. A pact with the Devil himself in pursuit of revenge transforms her into a black-robed vision of madness and desire. This new restoration uses the original 35mm camera negative, and features almost ten minutes of previously cut footage. It’s explicit, challenging, and unconventional—and a lyrically gorgeous visual trip.
Belladonna of Sadness will be showing Friday May 13th through Sunday May 15th at Cinefamily.
The Coen Brothers were fast tracking into the minds of wider audiences in American cinema with the release of Fargo, which just hit 20 years old this year. A relatively “still” film, the camera sits passively as it observes the rather macabre goings-on of a banal, wintery, small town. The film is peppered with stellar performances from William H Macy as the car salesman scheming to have his wife abducted, the low-life kidnappers for hire played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, and the notable Frances McDormand as a slow-talking but whip sharp Police Chief, sporting a very pregnant belly. Frigid scenery and a coldly dark humor reside over this crime flick—which was so successful, it spawned a TV series.
Fargo will be showing on Friday May 13th and Saturday May 14th 12:20am at IFC Center, NYC.
Stay tuned to Milk for more classic movie news.
Images via Prince and Getty.