Our exigent film-viewing life in Los Angeles 2


Movie Audience 2We are truly April fools! It’s a topsy-turvy world … because the laid-back capital of the universe is on fire with film events this month.

We in Los Angeles are sweating bullets trying to attend all the film festivals on offer in our city.

For film alone, the April line-up is quadruple-booked. arts•meme’s good friend, Adam Hyman, director of Filmforum, provides this list:

S.E. Europe Film Festival
Polish Film Festival
Indian Film Festival
Contemporary Romanian Film

At our County Museum, Ian Birnie’s fabulous comprehensive Jean Renoir series continues in tandem with his father’s art show.

Not Ian’s. Renoir’s.

And life felt manageable until Ian and Bernardo announced LACMA’s upcoming homage to film critic Manny Farber. A tribute series dedicated to a writer. That’s the way it should be.

Filmforum presents shows with Julie Murray, Stephanie Barber, and co-presentations of poetry & film at UCLA.  Dance Camera West, thank god, happens only in June. But in April at the Nuart Theater, DCW screens “Dancing Across Borders.”

And then there is the big kahuna, the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival. From April 22-25, Atlanta-based TCM lands its occupying force on Hollywood Boulevard for an entire weekend of mouth-watering film screenings and events. fritz_lang_human_desire

Given all of this, you can understand how I was reduced nearly to tears when I learned of the Cinematheque’s film noir festival at the Egyptian Theater. I would go every night!  Who wouldn’t?

The April 10 screening looks just great. It’s one of Fritz Lang’s Hollywood canon and was made in my birth year, 1954, a great year.  And what a title: “Human Desire.”

HUMAN DESIRE, 1954, Sony Repertory, 91 min. Dir. Fritz Lang. You can’t really call this a re-do of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE because it’s based on Emile Zola’s 1890 novel La Bete Humaine – but then, tales of tortured lovers tempted to commit murder are timeless, aren’t they? Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame rekindle their flame from Lang’s 1953 smash THE BIG HEAT, and Broderick Crawford plays the loutish cuckold they want to be rid of. Do we need to note that things don’t go according to plan? Burnett Guffey supplies the wonderfully atmospheric cinematography.

There ought to be a restraining order on holding more events, but even if there were, would the French listen? In April they roll out their amazing annual French film festival, COLCOA.

We’re in film wonderland in La La Land. Ce n’est pas egal! It’s simply not fair.

2 thoughts on “Our exigent film-viewing life in Los Angeles

  1. debra Apr 6,2010 1:46 pm

    Indeed that was me, Neil.
    I did enjoy the powerful short film, “a Thousand Words.”

  2. Neil Campbell Apr 6,2010 12:55 pm

    Film commentary pithy, strong and succinctly robust. Can you make a comment on the recent screening at the Downtown Independent Theatre’s of “a Thousand Words” produced and written by Jon Bertain and Ben Campbell . . . you were seen leaving the building heading to The Edison . . .

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