Monday, June 18
8:30am – IFC – The Protector
Whatever you do, don’t mess with Tony Jaa’s elephants. Consider yourself warned. Here Jaa takes on a city full of gangsters intent on stealing his elephant (and the mystical power they possess); the story here isn’t anything special, but Jaa’s fighting ability and choreography certainly is.
1995 Thailand. Director: Prachya Pinkaew. Starring: Tony Jaa, Nathan Jones, Petchtel Wongkamlao.
(repeats at 3:00pm)
9:30am – Sundance – Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
As an architectural photographer covering modernist architecture during the mid-twentieth century, Julius Shulman captured some of the most iconic images ever of homes and other buildings, basically creating an entire generation’s perception of Los Angeles and Palm Springs especially. This well-designed documentary is a great primer on his life and work, and through his work, on modernist ideals and architecture itself. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in photography, architecture, modernism, or Los Angeles.
2008 USA. Director: Eric Brickner. Starring: Julius Shulman, Dustin Hoffman.
(repeats at 4:30pm)
8:00pm – TCM – Fat City
Lauded as a return to form for John Huston as a director, a character-driven boxing story with a grit and realism that calls back to his triumphs of the 1940s. The rare film to be considered a fringe New Hollywood entry while being directed by a member of the studio era establishment, thanks to its embracing of a hard-hitting and bleak 1970s attitude.
1972 USA. Director: John Huston. Starring: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell, Candy Clark.
10:00pm – TCM – Nights of Cabiria
Nights of Cabiria, one of the films Federico Fellini made during his sorta-neo-realist phase, casts Masina as a woman of the night, following her around almost non-committally, yet with a lot of care and heart. And Masina is simply amazing in everything she does – not classically beautiful, but somehow incredibly engaging for every second she’s onscreen.
1957 Italy. Director: Federico Fellini. Starring: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi.
11:00pm – IFC – Night of the Living Dead
Zombie movies can be conveniently subcategorized into pre-Romero and post-Romero, so influential has this film been. Eschewing voodoo and zombie masters, Romero posited a zombie created by our own nuclear follies and motivated by nothing more than insatiable hunger. More than that, the layer of social commentary makes Night of the Living Dead far more than the B-movie schlocker it seems like on the surface. It changed zombie films, and probably horror films in general to an extent, forever.
1968 USA. Director: George A. Romero. Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman.
12:15am (19th) – TCM – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis both won acting awards for their parts in Mike Nichols’ version of Edward Albee’s dysfunctional dinner party play. In a film part black comedy and part deeply angsty relationship drama, Taylor and Burton play for keeps, in performances by turns histrionic, interior, bombastic, and heartbreaking. Sometimes frustrating to watch, but ultimately well worth it.
1966 USA. Director: Mike Nichols. Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis, George Segal.
2:45am (19th) – TCM – The Last Picture Show
In my opinion one of the best films to come out of New Hollywood; interestingly it’s a period piece, one that both honors and rejects that which went before in a way that strikingly codifies New Hollywood itself, while also being a great story of coming of age in 1950s Texas. Note Oscar winning supporting turns by both Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson (both older characters in this story of youth), plus a very young Jeff Bridges.
1971 USA. Director: Peter Bogdanovich. Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan.
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