8 Classic Screenings You Need To See This Weekend In NY, LA, and San Fran
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, LA, and San Francisco this weekend.
Forbidden Planet (1956 / 35mm Print)
Out and about till the small hours? You need a Technicolor pick me up at Cinefamily’s Hangover Matinees to return to the land of the living. An imaginative reworking of Shakespeare‘s The Tempest, Forbidden Planet (proudly in Cinemascope!), is a definitive mid-1950s sci-fi film, with a palette of saturated color. It remains, some 60 years later, insatiably entertaining, replete with marvelous sets and some nifty visual effects. A young Leslie Nielsen (of the Naked Gun series), along with his crew, reverses polarity and sets course for Planet Altair IV, the wonders of the great Krell machine, and the the first cognitive android in film history, Robby the Robot. It’s worth noting that Forbidden Planet features the first entirely electronic motion picture soundtrack. The screening will feature a live DJ set from DJ Mean Mustard, with cocktails on the patio from noon on. Oh, and check out the trailer for a distinctively familiar opening crawl!
Forbidden Planet will be showing at Cinefamily, LA on Sunday, May 22nd at 1pm.
Fritz Lang’s Destiny (1921 / New Restoration)
Credited as the film that inspired Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Buñuel, the silent classic Destiny was director Fritz Lang’s (Metropolis) first international hit, made in the prolific era before the director fled Nazi Germany. Encountering the personification of Death, a young woman seeks to save the life of her fiancé. Death challenges her to prevent the death of at least one set of lovers throughout three romantic tragedies set in Persia; Quattrocento, Venice; and China, all weaved by Death himself. If successful, he will unite the girl with her beloved. A mesmerizing film with immeasurable influence on cinema, this version is newly restored, preserving the original German inter-titles and simulating the historic color tinting and toning. Accompanying this silent classic is a newly-composed score performed by the 70-member Berlin Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Frank Strobel.
Destiny will be playing Friday May 20th through Sunday May 23rd at Film Forum in New York.
Superstar (1999) in 35mm with Molly Shannon In Person.
SNL related movies are often categorized as misfires, but oftentimes they survive the initial critical lashing to become oft-quoted cult favorites, and a fair few memes. After Molly Shannon introduced her awkward Catholic school girl character Mary Katherine Gallagher on Saturday Night Live, she brought it to the big screen in 1999 alongside Will Ferrell. Gallagher is a hyperactive student who thinks she suffers from putrid body odor (hence the incessant armpit action), but who ultimately just wants a boy to kiss her in spectacular, euphoric, movie style fashion, and has her sights set on hunky Sky (Ferrell). Luckily for Gallagher, Sky is on the rebound. The only problem is that Sky, like all the boys, isn’t too interested. The result is a kooky film, full of a certain ilk of awkwardness that only Shannon can bring. The screening this Friday will feature a discussion afterwards with director Bruce McCulloch and Shannon herself. Oh, and there’s a Catholic school girl costume contest before the film. Socks up, kids!
Superstar will be playing at Egyptian Theatre LA, on Friday, May 20th at 7:30pm.
Sorcerer (1977) with rare 4-Track magnetic sound 35mm print
Quentin Tarantino‘s LA based theater is a movie buff’s wet dream, projecting only 35mm or 16mm, including some from Tarantino’s own archive. For those unaware, sourcing those film reels is a monumental task. This weekend sees William Friedkin’s (The Exorcist, French Connection) epic Sorcerer. In this tension fueled update to The Wages Of Fear, Roy Scheider (Jaws) leads a group of desperate expatriates on a near-impossible mission to transport a volatile shipment of nitroglycerine across 200 miles of dangerous terrain. An exhilarating pressure cooker of suspense, the film has staggering set pieces of unbelievable production values that had to be captured in camera and on film, and that most directors wouldn’t want to go near. Legendary Tangerine Dream provides the score. Sorcerer SORCERER screens with an ultra rare 4-track magnetic sound 35mm print, which provides warmer, more natural sound than the standard digital sound that’s used today. A notoriously difficult film to shoot, every ounce of hard work is seen in every single frame.
Sorcerer will be playing May 21st – 23rd at New Beverly Cinema in LA.
28 Days Later (2002 / 35mm print)
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach) preceded the current undead phenomenon that’s currently rewriting the rule book on flesh eating nasties with 28 Days Later. In it, he ups the stakes from lumbering herds to lightning-speed killing machines. Cillian Murphy’s plight opens in the now famous scene of an empty Central London, long since vacated by its inhabitants after a viral outbreak turned them into rabid zombies fueled by a horrific, violent rage. To capture an empty London sans visual effects, lower grade digital movie cameras were used, maximizing the tiny post-dawn window of shoot time before the streets needed to open for traffic. Depriving the audience of a crystal clear, high definition image to look at, the scene lends to the eerie sense of terror that permeates the film. Paying massive respects to the zombie genre master, George A. Romero, it is a seriously clever update and ferociously terrifying. Nitehawk will show the film in 35mm at midnight—the perfect prelude for an uneasy sleep.
28 Days Later will be playing at Nitehawk in Brooklyn on Friday May 20th & Saturday May 21st at Midnight.
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
It has a goofy title that lends it a Z-grade, sci-fi drive-in fare born of the decade prior, but don’t be fooled, this is actually a highly intelligent and unnerving piece of speculative fiction that came about as the U.S descended into nuclear paranoia with Russia. British reporter Peter Stenning learns that the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. simultaneously set off nuclear explosions to test efficiency. As a result, the Earth tilted off its axis, which resulted in massive weather-based catastrophes that, together, plunge the world into its demise. The only hope lies in another massive nuclear explosion, which could rebalance the globe and an ending that will catch you off guard. Some trivia? Originally, film prints were sent to theaters with opening and closing credits tinted yellow for to suggest the heat of the sun, and features music by the man who composed the now famous James Bond theme. A continuously critically well received film, it screens this weekend as part of Nitehawk’s weekly brunch.
The Day the Earth Caught Fire will be playing at Nitehawk in Brooklyn on Saturday May 22nd & Sunday May 23rd at 11:30am.
Pretty in Pink (1986 / 35mm Print) + Carrie (1976, 35mm Print): Double Feature.
If you live in San Fran, and have never visited the stunning Castro Theater, then you need to. Now. It’s a genuine film palace built in 1922, spectacular inside and out. Devoted to the classics, it’s where you go to really experience the art of cinema presentation, and to escape the banal multiplex doldrums. Tonight, The Castro celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pretty in Pink, John Hughes’ seminal tale of teenage romance starring Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, and James Spader. The double feature continues with the 40th Anniversary of horror staple Carrie, Brian De Palma’s genre bending adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel. Sissy Spacek stars as the titular Carrie, a shy teenage girl besieged by relentless taunting. Discovering newfound powers, she finds revenge in the most gloriously devilish of ways. A still brilliant classic that also stars a very young John Travolta. The Castro will screen both in 35mm, following several classic Stephen King movie trailers.
Pretty in Pink and Carrie will be showing at The Castro Theater in San Francisco on Friday, May 20th at 7:20pm.
The Fugitive Kind (1960)
Currently showing an extensive all-celluloid retrospective of beloved Italian actress Anna Magnani, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be playing her second encounter with Tennessee Williams after the triumphant The Rose Tattoo on Sunday afternoon. A psychodrama of lost souls and raging passions based on Williams’s play Orpheus Descending, Magnani co-stars with a drifting Marlon Brando who arrives into a Louisiana town, his raw sexual magnetism ensnaring an alcoholic wild-child nymphomaniac (Joanne Woodward) and a vile store owner’s long-suffering wife (Magnani). All performances simmer spectacularly, and unleash when needed, Brando with his smoldering sexuality and Magnani with such intensity. Presented in 35mm.
The Fugitive Kind will be playing at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center on Sunday, May 22nd at 4:15pm.
Stay tuned to Milk for more classic screenings you need to see.