Cinefile Extravaganza Weekend

Tod Browning's Freaks

This weekend is one of those times in Los Angeles when movie buffs wish they could clone themselves several times over. Seriously it almost hurts to be a cinefile when the options are so rich and you can only sit in one theater at a time. First of all, beginning tonight, the Aero has a Tod Browning retrospective, which runs through Saturday. Saturday night–be still my heart–is a double feature of Freaks and Devil Doll. (That offering, in and of itself, would be enough to merit a blog post.) I admit I’ve never even seen Devil Doll (though any movie with an X song named after it has, frankly, got to be good), but before the days of Netflix, I used to have a roommate who owned only two movies–Freaks and Sid and Nancy, so I’ve seen Freaks a ridiculous number of times, and I’ll probably head to the Aero Saturday to see it again. It’s that good. But that’s only a small part of the big screen amazingness this weekend.

Cinespia is dishing up a repeat performance of The Shining Saturday night at the cemetary, for those of you who, unlike Jason Burns, missed it last year. If that’s not scary enough for you, try the midnight showing of People Under the Stairs at the New Bev. I may, in fact, try to make it over after the Browning double feature. I am aware that identifies me as actually somewhat freakish myself. So be it. Earlier that evening (and Friday), the New Beverly is showing a double feature of Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris and The Conformist, two more five-star films. (At the very least the former will forever change the way you think of butter–just as Eraserhead has ruined Cornish game hens for so many of us.)

Of course, Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater is full of treats too. Samurai Cop is being billed as “a recently unearthed, soon-to-be-classic kung-fu action-comedy skin flick with gratuitous gore elements.” Heck yeah. But even more crucially than that, if you haven’t yet seen Love Exposure, it’s still screening tonight and tomorrow night and it’s worth the toll on your tuchus’ nerve endings (four hours is a hella long time to sit in the Silent Movie Theater’s ass-crushingly uncomfortable seats). I saw it Tuesday and it truly defies description. There are so many genres all mashed up in that four hours that the damn thing is like a piñata. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, more amazing candy falls out.

As if that’s all not enough, UCLA is screening Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore as a matinee on Saturday and Looking for Mr. Goodbar on Sunday eve.

Thankfully, the Nuart is showing Hobo With a Shotgun all week beginning Friday so we don’t have to figure out when this weekend we’ll fit in Rutger Hauer’s finest hour since Blade Runner. In his Variety review, Andrew Barker says

“Hobo With a Shotgun” may well represent a breaking point in the limits of self-referential ultra-violence, as even a school bus full of children burned alive is presented as cause for laughter. Nonetheless, one must grudgingly admire director Jason Eisener’s willingness to go over the top and beyond, and the film certainly delivers what it promises.

At least we can still all count on something, huh folks? Here’s to grindhouse/gorefest promise-delivery.