Controversial dark comedy ‘Dogtooth’ in special week long run at Cinefamily
01.06.2011
09:19 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Cinefamily
Dogtooth
Yorgos Lanthimo

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Cinefamily, here in Los Angeles, is probably the single best art house cinema in America (or maybe it’s a tie with Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse). When such a hallowed venue decides to deviate from their normal mission of screening novel cinematic fare 365 days a year, in order to show just one single film for an entire week—they never show most movies even twice—this movie is, in all likelihood, fucking amazing.

Combining the gripping, unpredictable tension of a prime Polanski thriller, the perfectly-executed production design of a Wes Anderson contraption and the dangerous freaky-deakiness of a David Lynch nightmare, Dogtooth is easily one of the most unique filmic creations of the last few years, spinning forth from the dark imagination of new Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Topping critics’ lists as one of the best films of 2010, Cinefamily is proud to bring a full week-long of one of the coolest films you’ll see in 2011!

On par with Antichrist and Enter The Void for sheer audacity, this hyper-stylized, intoxicating mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy is the story of three teenagers perpetually confined to their parents’ isolated country estate, and kept under strict rule and regimen—an inscrutable scenario suggesting a warped experiment in social conditioning. Terrorized into submission by their father, the children spend their days devising their own games and learning an invented vocabulary (a salt shaker is a “telephone,” an armchair is “the sea”) — until a trusted outsider brought in to satisfy the son’s libidinal urges starts offering forbidden VHS tapes(!) as a key to the outside world.

Fully utilizing every last inch of onscreen space, Lanthimos paints the blackest of portraits here using austere, antiseptic visuals, and elicits total warped commitment from his entire cast, resulting in an indelible immersive experience into a claustrophobic emotional netherworld never before seen.  Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009, 35mm, 94 min.

Some of the YouTube comments posted beneath the trailer said things like:

“This movie sucked every peace of joy out of me.This is one of those movie that really have a deep impact. Still I liked it,the message is brought to the viewer in such a way that it crawls deeply in your soul. God I think I will need therapy after this.”

“The movie is totally sick..raped my mood.”

“Christ and I thought my parents were overbearing but these guys their love for thier children hinges on sociopathic.”

“One of the most disgusting films ever. It made my guts turn upside down. I am very confused about what people found in it.

Intrigued yet? The film starts tomorrow at Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, California
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Careers in Film: Help Cinefamily raise money for an innovative new high school program
12.07.2010
10:51 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Cinefamily

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People of the great city of Los Angeles, can I have your attention for a moment? Our friends at Cinefamily have set up a Kickstarter fundraiser for what looks to be a very engaging and worthwhile—to say nothing of innovative—new educational program they’re supporting in conjunction with local high school, Fairfax High. They’re only trying to raise $1500 and your donations gets you all kinds of goodies, including one month CInefamily passes!

Just this fall, Cinefamily launched a program to support the curriculum of our neighbor Fairfax High, with screenings that relate to what the kids are learning in school! The first time we had the kids over (to see NETWORK to get pumped for their Speech and Debate class—it worked), we donated 100% of the cost of the program, and our employees worked on a volunteer basis.

This time, because it’s a two-day program, and we, like most non-profits, are on a tight budget—we’re only able to foot half of the $3000 cost. We need your help with the rest of this ambitious event:

We’re teaching 200 students about careers in film as part of their Life Skills class! First, we’ll show them a curated selection of behind-the-scenes docs. Then, entertainment industry professionals of every field from TV writer, to hair and makeup, to the guy that wrote WATCHMEN, to a dude that blows things up, will participate in a panel moderated by Cinefamily board member and A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE screenwriter Josh Olson, and answer kids’ questions!

Help us bring this awesome program to fruition: visit our Kickstarter page to help—and get kickass rewards, like handmade Cinefamily pins, one-month passes, schwag, posters—or, we’ll even program your Netflix queue! The deadline for donations is tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon—act now, and pass it on!

I wish there had been something like this in my school. Maybe I’d have turned up more often…

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
“Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film” Film Festival in Los Angeles
11.17.2010
11:07 am

Topics:
Movies
Music
Punk

Tags:
punk
Cinefamily

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Based on the new Fantagraphics book, Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film this weekend, our friends at Cinefamily are presenting a full weekend of punk rock cinema, a two-day meltdown of what appears to be yet another embarrassment of cinematic riches:

From teenage ragers to mohawked post-apocalyptic gutteroids to actual, bona fide punks, this two-day multi-event mega movie showcase of pure power is a brick in the face of every film snob and/or high school principal! The book’s editors, Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, will be on hand to casually guide you through the garbage-strewn annals of punk celluloid history. This is the final stop on their West Coast book tour, and they’re saving all the special guests, surprises and chaos for the grand finale! Plus, Sticky Rick’s will be here to curate a punk sticker display in the Cinefamily lobby!

The line-up for this is nothing short of wonderful:

TV Party Tonight: kicks off the event with a look at how punk was portrayed on the small screen. Who could forget the punk rockers on CHiPs and Quincey? The Dickies with Don Rickles on CPO Sharkey or Black Flag on Entertainment Tonight?  Then it all goes kaboom with the seldom-seen Afterschool Special The Day My Kid Went Punk (one of Tara’s favorites).

Urgh! A Music War: A 1981 film of live performances by Devo, Dead Kennedys, X, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Gang of Four, The Police, Wall of Voodoo, Klaus Nomi, Gary Numan, OMD, XTC, Pere Ubu, Magazine and more). The screening will be followed by scenes not included in the US version.

La Brune Et Moi, a 1980 look on the Parisian punk underground with Metal Urbain, the Go-Go Pigalles and Astroflash.

Shellshock Rock, a 1979 account of the Belfast, Ireland punk scene with The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers.

D.O.A.: A seldom seen gem featuring X-Ray Spex, Generation X, The Dead Boys, The Sex Pistols and an insane interview with a nodding-out Sid VIcious and Nancy Spungeon. Directed by Lech Kowalski.

Also screening, The Class of 1984, Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (with cast members and director, Dave Markey, Allan Moyle’s Times Square (with Tim Curry), The Slog Movie (LA-punk doc with Fear, TSOL, and the Circle Jerks), a special “punk in cinema montage” by the fine folks at Everything is Terrible!, and there will even be an after party at Part Time Punks when the on-screen madness ends! This looks to be a blow-out good time, people! Festival passes are on sale until midnight on Thursday.

Co-presented by Fantagraphics, L.A. Weekly, Alamo Drafthouse, Razorcake, Big Wheel Magazine, Don’t Knock The Rock and Part Time Punks.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
William Eggleston: ‘Stranded in Canton’ screening at Cinefamily in Los Angeles
11.01.2010
12:03 pm

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Tags:
Cinefamily
William Eggleston
LACMA

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This Tuesday night, a very unique program at the Cinefamily movie theater in Hollywood: In conjunction with the big exhibit at LACMA, “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera – Photographs and Video, 1961-2008” there’ll be a screening of Eggleston’s seldom seen B&W video work, Stranded in Canton:
 

 

Legendary photographer William Eggleston, working with filmmaker Robert Gordon, recently edited thirty hours of video footage he’d shot in 1974 of friends, family, and eclectic characters encountered in the bars and back roads of his hometown of Memphis, as well as New Orleans and the Delta region. The hypnotic result is Stranded in Canton, a film that consistently teeters on the edge of dream and nightmare states. Its nocturnal visions of bar denizens, musicians (including Furry Lewis), transvestites and a variety of semi-crazies comes off like a Cassavetes all-nighter filmed by David Lynch at his most unsettling: faces loom out of darkness, shot in infrared, displaying pale glowing skin and deep black eyes. There’s even a real-life geek-off (yes, the type with chickens)! And it’s mesmerizing, partly thanks to the outsized characters who fill the screen, and partly because Eggleston turns the “home movie” into art—Father of Modern Color Photography he may be, but he kicks just as much ass in eerie B&W, wrenching glorious images out of the early Sony Porta-Pak to conjure a febrile, desperate atmosphere that captures the Southern Gothic with an extraordinarily raw and rambling intimacy.

11/2, 8pm Tickets - $12/$8 for members

Below,footage from Stranded in Canton of Alex Chilton and Sid Selvidge playing “My Rival” in Memphis, TN.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Demon Lover Diary: Rare cult documentary at Cinefamily this Tuesday
10.17.2010
06:49 pm

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Cinefamily
Joel DeMott
Demon Lover Diary

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I read about this seldom screened, but highly regarded cult film, Demon Lover Diary, about a year ago on the Onion’s AV Club and have wanted to see it ever since. Tuesday I’ll get my chance as the mighty Cinefamily organization is screening the film as part of their monthlong horror fest,

In early 1975, Donald E. Jackson—who would later become the junk-drawer auteur responsible for stuff like Hell Comes To Frogtown and Lingerie Kickboxer—began working on his first feature film, a low-budget horror movie called The Demon Lover. He and his cartoonish hustler of a partner, Jerry Younkins, hired a young filmmaker named Jeff Kreines to handle cinematography. Promised a paycheck that never materialized, Kreines headed to Michigan to start work, accompanied by his pal Mark Rance and his girlfriend Joel DeMott. As time passed—and it became clear that Jackson and Younkins were a couple of no-account hustlers with no idea how to make a movie, and no aesthetic values beyond cutting corners at every opportunity—DeMott decided to make her own movie about the making of The Demon Lover.

Predating American Movie by decades, Demon Lover Diary has many of the same qualities, but where Mark Borchardt is likeable and pitiable, Jackson is a two-bit creep who appears to have blown off his own finger in order to finance the movie with workers’ compensation money. The production is so hopeless and haphazard that DeMott’s movie about it begins to take on a hilariously surrealistic quality, as she and Kreines (who became respected documentarians) display the kind of black humor seen in soldiers who think they’re going to die in combat. Though hard to find, Demon Lover Diary is a funny, essential document on the seamy side of independent filmmakint

Dir. Joel DeMott, 1980, 16mm, 90 min.

The Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Harry Shearer in person: Conversation & clips from his Katrina doc ‘The Big Uneasy’ at Cinefamily

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This coming Monday in Los Angeles, The International Documentary Association is presenting a special evening with satirist Harry Shearer at Cinefamily, showing clips from his new documentary on Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath:

One of the nation’s sharpest voices, comic or otherwise, turns his gimlet eye and informed mind on exposing the true facts around the flooding of New Orleans, on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Employing an oft-ignored trope in conventional media—science!—Shearer and his impressive assemblage of engineers and whistle-blowers carefully and persuasively show audiences how this tragedy could have been avoided (disaster, yes—natural, no) while also warning of the rebuild, in which the very same mistakes are being made. In this special Doc U session, the multi-talented Shearer will screen extended clips from the film, and reveal the passion and persistence that went into making it, in conversation with Eddie Schmidt, IDA’s Board President and himself an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker. This will be an honest, irreverent, eye-opening Q&A with a man who believed in a cause so much he independently set forth to spread the word to the public—keeping the true spirit of investigative journalism alive. For Shearer, a longtime New Orleans resident, this time it’s personal.

IDA’S DOC U: Harry Shearer Takes It “Uneasy”: Conversation & Clips From The New Feature Doc The Big Uneasy.Monday, September 20th | 7:30pm at Cinefamily. Buy tickets here.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Everything Is Terrible! and Cinefamily present the Everything Is Festival!

 
For readers lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, this weekend there promises to be a pretty fabulous terrible event in the form of the Everything Is Festival! sponsored by the very wonderful people at the Cinefamily organization and the Everything is Terrible! video terrorists. Dangerous Minds will be attending so please say “Hi” and offer us free drugs:

Imagine a weekend where all your fantasies come true.  A weekend where you can just be…free.  Laugh until your sides literally split open, and feel as cool as a skateboarding, shade-tippin’ dog.  We’re talking about the festival to end all film festivals—Everything Is Festival! (aka the 10th Annual Gathering Of The Terribles)!  For reasons beyond our control (God’s plan), we at Cinefamily are giving the found footage freaks at Everything Is Terrible! free range of the weekend, and letting them do whatever the hell they want (note: we did have to say “no” to the all-night helicopter foam party).  This makes it the official L.A. premiere of their latest mash-up feature-length film, 2Everything 2Terrible 2: Tokyo Drift, not to mention some of EIT!’s favorite movies in their uncut glory, plus dance parties, BBQs, a return of the Cinefamily Found Footage Battle Royal, and top-secret über-rare prints from the vaults of Cinefamily and Austin, TX’s famous Alamo Drafthouse! For more info on becoming a contestant in the Found Footage Battle Royale, click here!

Sounds pretty good terrible, doesn’t it?

More from Everything is Terrible! This clip is especially terrible.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Robert Popper’s prank phone calls at Cinefamily tonight!
04.27.2010
06:57 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Cinefamily
Robert Popper

 
Slightly late notice, but there’s still time to make it, British author-comedian, co-creator and co-star of the brilliant Look Around You (and now a visiting South Park writer) Robert Popper will be playing and discussing some of his favorite prank phone calls. I’m assuming he’ll be giving special attention to the classic “enraged Gordon Brown throws a tangerine” call, but I hope he’ll also play the tape of the time he pretended to be Baroness Margaret Thatcher calling the House of Lords to find her missing apples. It’s my favorite. I laughed until I cried when I first heard this. From the man himself:

If you’re in Los Angeles tonight, I’m going to be playing a few of my phone calls at the Cinefamily Cinema, 611 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, at 10:30pm. It’s an event open to members, but if you’re not a member, just turn up and use the password – which is/are ‘Lithium based batteries’. And it’s free.

Remember the secret words kids!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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