“There are people on the Internet who have asked me, ‘Why bother showing movies in a theatre that you can just watch on DVD?’ To that, I say, ‘Fuck you.'”
Right on, Edgar.
And with that, the Wright Stuff Film Festival opened with a bang at the New Beverly Cinema Sunday night. It was an amazing evening. The line for tickets wrapped around the block. People came from out of state to see these flicks. Fans mingled with movie stars. Look! There’s Mike White!
Inside, the air was thick with the smell of fresh popcorn and a strange electricity that seemed almost too intense for the cramped lobby. I can’t continue without saying that festival coordinator Julia Marchese looked terrific!
As my girlfriend and I found our seats our ears were treated to a Paul Williams musical montage, and we started singing right along with “Moving Right Along” from The Muppet Movie. I started to feel all giddy inside.
More about the films and special guests after the jump! Also, keep an eye out for audio downloads of the chats between Edgar and the guests!
There’s something enchanting about the New Beverly that makes me feel as though I’m sitting down to see a movie for the first time, and it’s a ruining experience. After Sunday night, I’ll never be able to watch Bugsy Malone on TV again. Ever. The print was yellowed and faded, but the work of lighting cameramen Peter Biziou and Michael Seresin was still so luminous that it was almost too much to look at. It’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen.
The surprises kept coming. Legendary composer Paul Williams himself took the stage and regaled the audience with stories from the set of Bugsy before Edgar announced that Quentin Tarantino would be hosting the Dangerous Business midnight screening of Ishtar. The crowd goes nuts.
Still, it was pretty obvious from all the props and posters and promotional materials laid out on the stage that the real movie event of the night was The Phantom of the Paradise. The print looked fantastic, like it could’ve been struck yesterday.
I can’t thank Edgar and Julia and New Beverly manager Michael Torgan enough for bringing such an incredible experience to Los Angeles filmgoers. It was a singular, unforgettable night, and it makes me believe that as long as people who truly love movies need to gather in darkened theaters, the New Beverly will always be there to keep the projector lamps running.
Meanwhile, the festival continues! Check their website (link below) for all the updates!
Dec 5 – Flash Gordon & Danger Diabolik – 7.30pm
December 7 – The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – 7.30pm
Dec 10 – American Werewolf in London and Tremors – 7.30pm
December 12 – Top Secret and Bananas – 7.30pm
Dec 14- Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (TBC) & Head – 7.30pm
Dec 16-17 – Raising Arizona & Evil Dead 2
The New Beverly Cinema
7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036