Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Film Festival

So not too long ago, screenwriter Diablo Cody got the opportunity to program a film festival at L.A.’s New Beverly Theater, and this gave Piper at Lazy Eye Theater the idea for a meme. Pick 12 movies to run at the New Beverly (or really, any movie theater), grouped up as double features, and explain your choices, making sure to link back to Lazy Eye Theatre in the process (done and done.) There was tagging involved, but eventually this just got thrown out to anyone, which is where I come in.

At first I considered doing an Academy of the Underrated film festival, but decided it would be too close to Ebertfest. Instead I’m making the whole thing like a 12-day Club Parnassus tour, highlighting the kinds of films I deal with frequently. Each film runs for two days, and showtime starts at 7:00.

Monday-Tuesday: Academy of the Underrated

DUNE: David Lynch’s epic realization of the Frank Herbert masterpiece is a genuine work of cinematic art, clunky exposition notwithstanding. I’ve never actually seen this on the big screen, so that would be fun.

THE AVENGERS: For the first time since test screenings, we will see the full uncut version of the picture, with over half an hour's footage restored. I can’t NOT show this one.

Wednesday-Thursday: Julia Sawalha Double Feature

Fairly easy as she’s sadly only got really prominent roles in two movies. I will try to arrange for a personal appearance as well.

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER: a.k.a. A MIDWINTER’S TALE. Kenneth Branagh directed this light and funny story of an amateur production of Hamlet, also featuring Celia Imrie and Joan Collins. Julia plays an eccentric nearsighted Ophelia.

CHICKEN RUN: Julia provides the voice of Ginger, the bold British bird leading her fellow hens in several attempted breakouts in this homage to THE GREAT ESCAPE, STALAG 17 and others, from Aardman Animation. Oh, and Mel Gibson’s in it.

Friday-Saturday: Kaiju Eiga Weekend!

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS: I’d hunt down the American International print of this, the most jam-packed of all the Sixties Toho epics. So many monsters it has to be seen on the big screen.

THE RETURN OF GODZILLA: The high-tech return of Godzilla from the mid-80s, with a more somber tone and great visuals. Despite the poster, I'll be screening the uncut version, with subtitles.

Sunday-Monday: David Cronenberg- Long Live The New Flesh

Again, a personal appearance is in the works.

VIDEODROME: My favorite Cronenberg movie, and another I’d like to see in a theater for once. Perhaps an obvious choice, this film best illustrates the themes and concepts the director likes to revisit, and is arguably his finest work.

DEAD RINGERS: One of his more low-key films for contrast, and another classic. Bring your handkerchiefs, folks.

Tuesday-Wednesday: Retro Sci-Fi Mania

METROPOLIS: Defying convention, I would arrange for and show the 1984 Giorgio Moroder cut, complete with rock soundtrack. I need to blog about this one later, suffice it to say IT IS AWESOME.

FORBIDDEN PLANET: The best of the Fifties space-voyage movies, the most intelligent, and the least cliché ridden. Also an absolute marvel on the big screen, its imagery has become an icon for the decade.

Thursday-Friday: My Favorite Movies

Just two personal loves.

DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979): The best horror movie ever, a big action epic, and my number one favorite film of all time, so yeah, it’s gotta be here.

ED WOOD: And we close out the festival with a heartfelt salute to filmdom’s quirkiest auteur, and symbolically, to all of us who struggle to make our dreams come true regardless of whether or not we have the skills for it. “Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making somebody else’s dreams?”

As mentioned before, anyone who wants in on the memeage is welcome. It’s fun, you’ll see!

(All poster images are taken from the excellent

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