September 20, 2016
Welcome to part 2 of my Cinecon 52 coverage! If you missed my first post a week and a half ago, you can find it right here. This is a roundup of the films and programs I caught during the last three days of the festival.
Espionage, 1920s style. Diplomacy is a very rare, well-made spy mystery starring Neil Hamilton. "Rare," "Neil Hamilton" and "mystery" were the deciding factors for me.
September 9, 2016
As per usual, Labor Day weekend 2016 in Los Angeles was warm and (mostly) sunny. Or so I've been told. I spent a good chunk of my four and a half day weekend indoors, taking in rarity after rarity in the Egyptian Theater at Cinecon 52.
This is the second year I've been able to experience Cinecon. (If you're so inclined, take a look at my wrap-up piece from 2015.)
August 26, 2016
Outside of a festival like TCMFF, Cinecon or Noir City, I am rarely in a theater every evening. That's why I was struck by a week recently which found me gazing at movies on the big screen - well, at least a screen bigger than my TV, though not always in a theater - six nights in a row. In particular, three of those evenings involved unique, memorable cinematic experiences.
August 16, 2016
Labor Day is fast approaching, and that means it’s almost time for the Cinecon Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. I usually jet off somewhere over the long weekend, but last year I stayed in LA and got my very first taste of Cinecon. Now I can’t seem to justify leaving and missing out on the festival's one-of-a-kind slate of "rare, unusual and unjustly forgotten" films.
July 26, 2016
My admiration of Marsha Hunt is no secret on this site. So, when it was announced that she would participate in a Q&A before a 75th anniversary screening of 1940's Pride and Prejudice at the Laemmle in West LA, I jumped on the site to purchase a ticket...before they even went on sale.
July 7, 2016
As I noted in my last post, even though TCMFF 2016 wrapped over 2 months ago, I still have a lot of content to share, and I figure this blog is a better outlet than my phone's internal storage.
This time around, I have snippets from discussions with two cinema legends who hail from Europe: Anna Karina (who was in from France for a screening of 1964's Band of Outsiders) and Gina Lollobrigida (who was a festival special guest, attending screenings of 1956's Trapeze and 1968's Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell and participating in a Club TCM conversation with Leonard Maltin).
June 23, 2016
Yes, I know it's been almost two months since TCMFF 2016, and the bulk of my pieces published since then have focused on the festival. I still have a huge amount of content to share and figure this is a better outlet than my phone's internal storage.
Below are highlights from two very different Q&As, both of which accompanied movies celebrating 50th anniversaries this year. The first was with Bruce Brown, director of The Endless Summer ('66), and the second was with Eva Marie Saint, star of The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming ('66).
June 14, 2016
Angela Lansbury reminds me of two very different people: my boss and my maternal grandmother.
My boss, because of their closeness in age (yes, you read that right, and my boss is actually older) and their longevity, persistence and enormous work ethic.
June 2, 2016
As I've mentioned previously, I had the splendid opportunity to interview stars on the red carpet at TCMFF this year. Though I initially turned the chance down, I decided it would be a good idea to hop on board when the occasion came around again. And while I'm naturally nervous interviewing people, I'm glad I did it.
May 24, 2016
This past February and March, the UCLA Film and Television Archive hosted a series entitled "Action, Anarchy, and Audacity: A Seijun Suzuki Retrospective," overseen by Tom Vick, curator of film, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, and co-organized with the Japan Foundation.
For once, I'm not posting abnormally late (read: a year) with a review or post, and that's because Seijun Suzuki celebrates his 93rd birthday today. I figured it would fitting to share this piece for the occasion.
May 10, 2016
Here's a recap of my 3rd and 4th days at TCMFF 2016. For my review of the first two days of the fest, click here.
Day 3: Saturday 4/30
90th Anniversary of Vitaphone
After collapsing into bed around 1am Friday night and not falling asleep easily - thank you, last 20 minutes of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - I knew Saturday morning would be rough. And it was.
Too Late for Tears, but Never Too Late for Censorship: A Look into the Film's Production Code Administration File
May 8, 2016
This post was written for Flicker Alley's Detectives and Dames blogathon, which has highlighted an article each week to celebrate the May 10th DVD/Blu-Ray release of recently restored classic films noir Too Late for Tears (1949) and Woman on the Run (1950). If you'd like to read more about both movies, check out Flicker Alley's site here.
The Production Code, the document which guided screen morality for over 30 years, still ruled the roost during the late 1940s, when the shadowy figures of film noir began infiltrating American pictures in large numbers.
May 6, 2016
Since I live in LA, there's generally no singular moment that signifies the start of TCMFF, like boarding a plane or checking in at a hotel in Hollywood. Though the festivities usually begin for me the evening before opening night with an unofficial gathering of TCMFF-ers at the Formosa, my 7th TCMFF actually kicked off one day earlier this year.
May 3, 2016
Once again, the hazy vortex that is TCMFF has past, leaving many utterly exhausted yet supremely satisfied classic film fans in its wake.
All in all, TCMFF 2016 goes down as another incredible and unforgettable festival. I got to interview stars on the red carpet; hear Angela Lansbury, Gina Lollobrigida, Eva Marie Saint and more speak; experience Smell-O-Vision; watch 11 new-to-me movies; help represent the brand as a Social Producer; and of course, catch up with old pals and make some new friends!
April 26, 2016
Well, the 18th edition of Noir City passed just as quickly as it stormed through Hollywood! This festival served as sort of a warm-up for TCMFF #7 for me, as it re-tested my marathon film-watching skills, which, I will confess, are still not very strong, particularly for late night double features watched after a full day of work, or a few hours at the beach, or a cocktail...or two.
That being said, I really enjoyed Noir City. In fact, it was my favorite of the noir festivals I've attended.
April 14, 2016
It's that time again - well, this year we're technically about one month overdue - but yes, I mean TCMFF!
The dates of the 7th annual TCM Classic Film Festival, April 28-May 1, align exactly with the 2011 event. Historically, TCMFF has taken over Hollywood during the last three weeks of April, with the exception being last year, when the 6th edition skipped almost one month ahead to March 26.
April 8, 2016
This year, about two weeks later than usual, Noir City will return to Hollywood for its 18th edition.
In years past, with an overall schedule spanning almost three weeks, Noir City Hollywood usually operated 4-5 nights a week from the Egyptian Theater. However, this time around, with only 10 days to spare, the Egyptian will cater to the shady world of film noir every single evening of the festival, from Friday, April 15 to Sunday, April 24.
March 29, 2016
Last March (as in 2015), UCLA Film and Television Archive's Festival of Preservation presented a handful of films featuring young Spencer Tracy. Among those were two rarely screened Fox pre-Code titles: 1932's Disorderly Conduct and 1934's Now I'll Tell.
Though I don't count myself among the biggest Tracy fans, I'm always down for a pre-Code, especially the seldom seen Fox ones. To my (non) surprise, I enjoyed both movies, and besides the shared Tracy factor, I discovered several similarities between the pictures as well.
March 19, 2016
This piece was originally written for the American Cinematheque, and they graciously gave me permission to re-print it here, in a slightly edited form.
Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to attend a handful of events that have included introductions and/or discussions with some of classic Hollywood's centenarians.
Last year, I got to add "The Fire and Ice Girl" Patricia Morison to that list, who celebrates her 101st birthday today.
March 9, 2016
Lately, I've found myself looking back at UCLA Film and Television Archive's 2015 Festival of Preservation, which took place one year ago this month. I must say, I made pretty good use of my pass last year, spending about 9 or 10 evenings at the Billy Wilder Theater watching over 15 features and TV movies on the big screen.
By far one of the rarest and most astounding selections programmed was 1960's ultra indie Private Property, the directional debut of Leslie Stevens (later of The Outer Limits fame), which, astonishingly for its age, was thought lost until recently.
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I See a Dark Theater is a website dedicated to classic movie-going—and loving—in the City of Angels. Whether it's coverage on screenings, special presentations, or Q&As around Los Angeles that you're looking for, or commentary on the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of classic cinema, you've come to the right place for a variety of pieces written with zeal, awe, and (occasionally) wit. Enjoy.