Watch a Movie Tonight, LA

Seriously, if you don’t have plans tonight already, this is an epic evening for LA, cinematically speaking. One of the best things about our city is that you can pretty much catch anything on the big screen, and today is testimony to that. 

First, it’s the kick off night for the Egyptian’s 13th annual Noir City festival. As in the past, most of the stuff in the series isn’t available on DVD. There are 13 double features running tonight through 20 April. Tonight’s double bill, new prints of High Wall and Strangers in the Night, focuses on WWII vets who return home to a world plenty sinister and dangerous in its own right. It’s a lot easier to figure out who the enemy is when he’s wearing a scary uniform, you know? 

As always, the whole Noir City series looks amazing. I’ve already got tickets for The Two Mrs Carrolls and Dark Mirror. I was sad to miss the latter at the Academy relatively recently, and as for the former–well, it’s Bogey and Barbara Stanwyck. What could possibly be wrong with that?

If you’re fancying something a little more continental tonight, LACMA is showing a fresh print of Goddard’s Every Man for Himself (Sauve Qui Peut) today and tomorrow. The film was a sort of come back movie for Goddard, who called it his “second first film,” and had this to say about it

If you make Breathless or Sauve qui peut, they force you to accept a prize at Cannes, because unless it has a Cannes Festival prize, the film will not get a release. I am the dead centre and I have always been thrown up or regurgitated by the two extremes which are either the pure amateur film-maker or the thorough-going professional. I have always struggled against the professionals in my guise as an amateur and against the amateurs as a professional and once again, as a Swiss against the French.

It’s known as one of Goddard’s more accessible films, which may or may not be a point in its favor depending on where you come down on the hammer/mirror binary. Me, I think Weekend is my favorite Goddard movie, and I’m pretty excited to see Every Man for Himself tomorrow for whatever that’s worth.

But Goddard isn’t the only rebellious auteur screening tonight. Today also begins the Cinefamily’s Werner Herzog documentary series–The Ecstatic Truths of Werner Herzog. The opening night is a sort of pyromaniac’s delight with a double feature of Lessons of Darkness and La Soufriere, about the oil fires in Kuwait during the first Gulf War and a live volcano in Guadaloupe, respectively. The series runs for the week and features a dozen Herzog docs.

What else, you ask? How could it possibly get any better than this? Well, I have three words for you: The Dude Abides. Yes, that’s right, the Aero is screening The Big Lebowski along with Kingpin tonight. The first 20 in the door get free passes to Bayshore Lanes.

So cinefiles, shake off the week and go to the movies tonight. This is why the rest of the world envies us. Well, that and the weather.

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