is not actually a movie, and yes, we actually liked it fine, thanks. (We especially like how Carrie Brownstein got every single East Coast media outlet to run practically the same profile, even though they must have known they would be repeating a narrative she meticulously established and controlled, down to repeating exact quotes about her platonic life partnership with Fred Armisen. No one has deviated. Grrrl power!) If you want to see what success looks like on a big screen tonight, check out the Mission Theater
at 7 and 10 pm, or the Hollywood Theatre
at 10 pm.
But there are things we like more, things that have not been shoved down your throat by Terri Gross and The New Yorker
, things you might not know are showing on the big screen this weekend. So we present three of those things.
1. Treasures From the UCLA Film & Television Archive
The NW Film Center's annual raid of UCLA's celluloid drawers becomes even more crucial as the loss of film accelerates. Here is one of the few occasions to see 35 mm films you haven't seen before. The most celebrated reel here is Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
(7 pm Friday and 2 pm Sunday, Jan. 6 & 8), and the most promising is the Dick Powell noir Cry Danger
(7 pm Saturday, Jan. 7). The one I actually watched is The Goose Woman
(4:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 8), a 1925 melodrama starring a beautifully pathetic Louise Dresser as a boozing goose farmer who moves inexorably toward betraying her snobby son (Jack Pickford) to the gallows. The picture is mostly a curiosity: It was based on the celebrated Hall-Mills murder case, which hinged on the testimony of a witness called (really) "the pig woman," and the film was released before the New Jersey trial even started. But Dresser's performance is a triumph of authentic artifice, like a Platonic form of Motherhood at its most shamelessly sentimental. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
2. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in 35 mm
Even if you don’t notice any difference in what image you see, the death of celluloid is going to impact the kind
of movies you see. The open question is whether digital projection will
offer more options, or give venue operators an endless supply of
familiar titles with a handful of venerated reels. The first weekend of
2012 is a strong indication: Cort and Fatboy
are showing E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
in 35 mm for the first time since...August, while the Laurelhurst Theater uses its new digital system to display Raising Arizona
for the first time since...Cort and Fatboy screened it in 2009. The
warning sirens of a feedback loop are ringing, and I’d be even more
tempted to complain if not for the consolation that E.T.
is a discount alternative to Steven Spielberg’s bloated remake of E.T.
, which he has called War Horse
. At least the original has analog puppets. Bagdad Theater, 11 pm Friday, Jan. 6.
3. Full Metal Jacket in 35 mm
Asked in 1987’s Full Metal Jacket
why he’s in Vietnam, Matthew Modine
explains, “I wanted to meet interesting
and stimulating people of an ancient
culture...and kill them.” Which is something
akin to what Stanley Kubrick was
doing in the 1980s: voyaging into different
genres and subduing them to
match his increasingly formal aesthetic.
He already made his transcendent antiwar
picture 30 years prior with Paths
; by Full Metal Jacket
mostly pro-himself. So he depends on
hard angles, forward tracking shots
(he follows a screaming drill sergeant
at the same constant pace he used in
for a boy on a tricycle)
and—most famously—the maniacal grin
of a madman, forehead tilted down
to increase the chilling effect. When
Lee Ermey sees that smile on Vincent
D’Onofrio, he wants to know what his
major malfunction is. We already know.
He’s got a case of the Kubricks. R. 5th Avenue Cinema. 7
and 9 pm Friday-Saturday, Jan. 6-7. 3
pm, Sunday, Jan. 8.