Saturday, January 2, 2016

National Film Registry - 2015 movie selections

Remember we watched the trailer for "These Amazing Shadows," and some clips from the documentary about how the National Film Registry of the United States is trying to save important movies?

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Every December, the Library of Congress announces 25 more notable movies that will be preserved by the National Film Registry.  I'm thrilled that this year several are favorites I recommended to you in class!

2015 National Film Registry Selections

Be sure to rent L.A. Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, and Ghostbusters. They are wonderful!

Douglas Fairbanks' The Mark of Zorro (1920) is free on Youtube. Remember we talked about his swashbuckling action films, his best friends relationship with Charlie Chaplin, his marriage to Mary Pickford and their company UA Artists.  :)

There's an amazing Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931) that technically should be in public domain, free on the internet...but I can't find it! Post in the comments section if you know where it is. The only place I've seen it is on DVD Disc One of this set for sale on Amazon.

Spanish-version Dracula was shot at night by director George Melford using the same sets as the English version that was shot during the day by Tod Browning. Here's some info about this unique moment in film history: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here is the famous English-language version starring Bela Lugosi, available for free on the Internet: Dracula (1931)

And one of Edison's early silent documentaries has been preserved. Usually called Frank Ott's Sneeze", the official title of this 1894 short is "Record of a Sneeze."

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More movies to watch!

Here are some awesome movies currently on Netflix Instant:

To Kill a Mockingbird, Game of Death (Bruce Lee), Crooked Arrows, Benchwarmers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Clueless, Heathers, Big Trouble in Little China, Wayne's World, Swingers, Clueless, PeeWee's Big Adventure, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Clerks, Mean Girls, The Shining (it's a hard R and definitely horror, so be cautious with this's only if you're allowed to see Rs and know you like that type of thing), Metropolis, Carmen Jones, Mulan, Pochahontas, Rent, Grease 2, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bride and Prejudice, The Interview, Galaxy Quest, Hot Fuzz, Bridget Jones' Diary, G.B.F., Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, About a Boy, Strictly Ballroom, Chocolat, Legally Blonde, Amelie, Timer, Hitch, 50 First Dates, 13 Going on 30, Can't Buy Me Love, Adventureland, Made In Manhattan, Can't Hardly Wait, My Sucky Teen Romance, Bring it On, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Underdogs, Men in Black 2, Roman Holiday, Witness, Cinema Paradiso, Sunset Boulevard, A Touch of Mink, Laura, An Affair to Remember, Fantasia, His Girl Friday, 9 to 5, The Day the Earth Stood Still, How to Marry a Millionaire, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Warriors, Charade, The Quiet Man, A League of Their Own, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV show), Side by Side (documentary about digital impact on movies).

Free on Youtube:

I didn't get a chance to watch this Tesla/Edison documentary yet but will soon!

I like to show this analysis after Jaws. It shows WHY Jaws is great. And it talks about Hitchcock, too. :)

Here's pretty much my favorite Spielberg scene ever. An amazing introduction to Marion, our feisty heroine of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's all done in one shot with no cuts, a style which is nicknamed "the Spielberg Oner."

I really wanted to show you all this gorgeous video about Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. 

Epic Rap Battles has an amazing throwdown between Spielberg, Hitchcock, Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, and Michael Bay. It would be MA or R rated, with no clean ERB version, so viewer discretion advised! You should get a lot of the jokes now after taking History of Cinema. :) 

I realized the last week of class I HAD shown you all a Kubrick clip...he directed Spartacus! But most of the ones he's famous for are so disturbingly R rated I didn't want to risk it. Have you heard this popular song Renegades?

All hail the underdogs
All hail the new kids (New American Cinema)
All hail the outlaws
Spielbergs and Kubricks

Did you know who Michael Bay was before this epic rap battle? We didn't get out of the 1980s so we never talked about him.  I love what this analyzer says about how he's borrowed his shots from West Side Story and Star Wars.

Drop me an email or comment here if you want to let me know what you're watching now. :) Enjoy the movies!

The Bechdel-Wallace Test!

Actress/Producer Amy Poehler's excellent website "Smart Girls" has a terrific article on what is the Bechdel-Wallace test and why it matters. It's a must-read to understand how women are being portrayed in movies, and what positive changes we are asking for from Hollywood! Bechdel-Wallace Test

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bruce Lee


Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about Panavision? In the 1950s, Hollywood attempted to lure viewers away from their new TV sets by making movies widescreen, color, and/or 3-D. Panavision was the wide format asked about on your Final.

One of the few remaining screens that can show 70 mm film is the Arclight's Cinerama Dome. We discussed The Hateful 8 and how it was going to screen there, and I suggested you go over Break.

Stay tuned, because it may only be playing Star Wars now. Here is an excellent brief article explaining the historical significance of the Cinerama Dome, what it meant to Tarantino's new movie, and the politics of movie distribution.

The Hateful Eight bumped from Cinerama Dome at Arclight-Hollywood-for-Star-Wars/41533

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Los Angeles Theaters!

Sign up for a free newsletter about the best movie events every week: Film Radar It will tell you about Q&As with filmmakers and actors, special events like Psycho at the's a great resource!

 There are special screenings of silent movies (Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc) (with full orchestras playing music while you watch) around Los Angeles every year. Keep your eyes open for them! You might find out about them through Film Radar, free newspapers like LA Weekly, or by subscribing to some theater's newsletters.

 The easiest way to find movie times once you know your theater name is to use Moviephone or Fandango.

Movie Palaces in Los Angeles still playing feature films:

 -Hollywood Mann Chinese (one of the original movie palaces, and still a great experience). This is where the Hollywood Walk of Fame and stars' hand and footprints are. Now it's an IMAX theater! Make sure you are looking at showtimes for their big IMAX theater, not their multiplex next door: Mann Chinese

 -Fox Village in Westwood (Seats 1400 people! Often an audience of UCLA students). Even has a balcony!: Fox Theater Westwood

-Regency Bruin Theater in Westwood (not quite as cool, but still one big theater playing one movie:

-Hollywood El Capitan (Disney pre-show entertainment and Hollywood exhibits of costumes and props).

 -Hollywood Arclight Cinerama Dome (You have to make sure your movie is the one playing in the Dome, not in the Arclight Multiplex. Website is confusing). All the Arclight muliplex locations including the Sherman Oaks Galleria show classic old movies under “Arclight Presents”

 -Hollywood Egyptian Theater (They also have a free tour Saturday mornings at 10:30am. Screens films in original 35mm or 70mm film, has star Q&As)

 -Hollywood Pantages now shows Broadway theater instead of movies Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. These screenings are so amazing. Most screenings allow under 17 year olds with an adult. Bring a picnic, and see a classic under the stars with 3,500 people! Runs April-September.

Smaller theaters that only show one movie: 

- Nuart Theatre in Santa Monica/Westwood area - right off the 405 and Santa Monica Boulevard. Home of Rocky Horror every Saturday night at midnight, and classic movies every Friday at midnight. It’s an active audience of filmlovers.

- The New Beverly in West Los Angeles Owned and programmed by director Quentin Tarantino. Only shows 35mm prints of cool older movies. Huge, loyal audience attending. Often has celebrity appearances.

- Cinefamily in West Hollywood shows cool older movies, new indie movies, and has special events with stars and directors.

- Santa Monica Aero (screens in original 35mm or 70mm film, has star Q&As) This theater turns 75 years old December 12th. 

-Westwood Crest (one of my favorites…not huge, but they do the lights and curtains before each movie, and the d├ęcor is fun and beautiful).

-Laemmle - Small multiplextheater, but they show terrific arthouse and indie movies. They also show classic movies at their North Hollywood location : “Throwback Thursdays”.

Some of the original, AMAZING cinema palaces in downtown Los Angeles are still open occasionally for special movie events and tours:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Welcome Cinema 3 students!

Hello to all my new LACC scholars! I can't wait to get to know you.

We are going to have a wonderful semester learning about the history of America film! By June, you will be able to identify most of these movies, and know why they are important. You're going to love it!

x-Professor Liz