Spring has sprung! Finally, the miserable weather has changed to pure sun-soaked bliss. But that is no reason, my fellow film fans, not to spend your nights in the cinematic grasp of the Goldsmith Family Cinema. I know you have been ditching class to sit on the hill and gawk at all the beautiful people that have emerged from hibernation. I know you partied with MGMT last week and missed Herzog’s “Aguirre: The Wrath of God” (It was one of the best on the calendar!). And you’re continuing to put off that final research paper, aren’t you? Well, put it off a little longer and come to the Film Series!
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
USA. Dir: Amy Heckerling. 1982
With Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
TONIGHT, April 18. 7:30 p.m. $4
This film—Cameron Crowe’s first screenplay at age eighteen! —is THE seminal document of American adolescence in this century…um, whatever. It is also THE ultimate stoner classic, THE ultimate 80s movie (complete with an incendiary early 80s soundtrack) and features the sexiest—and most embarrassing—scene involving masturbation ever filmed (“Jeez. Doesn’t anyone fucking knock any more?!”). Jennifer Jason Leigh has never looked so innocent—until she loses her v-card to that guy in the baseball dugout. Sean Penn has never been more stoned—well, he probably has, but at least not on film. So bring your best bros, ride over to the cinema in a smoke-filled van, order a pizza while you are watching, and, if nothing else, come to see Phoebe Cate’s amazing rack! You will be humming “Surrender” for days. It’s a rare chance to pretend like it’s 1982 and lose your innocence all over again, so make the best of it this time! And for only four righteous bucks!
USA. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. 1933
With Ginger Rogers.
Saturday, April 19. 7:30 p.m. FREE!
A gem from the golden era of the Hollywood musical so delightfully entertaining and visually appealing that it will have you wishing it was the Depression. Come fall in love with Ginger Rogers all over again (and if you have never seen her on the big screen, then, boy, are you in for a treat). Busby Berkeley, the choreographer behind this and numerous other fantastic musicals, is THE true master of cinematic choreography: elaborate abstract art, viewed from high above, composed entirely of beautiful, young dancers, performing synchronized movements that have yet to be matched in uniqueness and scale. If you have never seen a Busby Berkeley film, then you are in luck. You see, these compositions can only be fully comprehended on the big screen because they are just so damn big!. If you enjoyed “Footlight Parade” last year, then this one is for you. But especially if you have never experienced Berkeley’s mastery or a good old-fashioned musical, then this one is for you! You will be an instant fan of this musical universe of the past.
USA. Dir: John Schlesinger. 1969
With Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight.
Wednesday, April 23. 7:30 p.m. $4
Everybody will be talkin’ about how great this film was on Thursday. “Midnight Cowboy” lives up to its extremely cool title. This film is a startling piece of the late-’60s counterculture that follows the big-city exploits of one of cinema’s greatest protagonists. This revolutionary script follows Joe Buck (you won’t believe how awkwardly awesome a very young John Voight is in this role) from the West to the East on his epic journey of self-discovery. But the New York he had pictured is not quite what he experiences. You’ve heard stories about how seedy Times Square was in the late-’60s and ’70s, but come see it for yourself. Adding major points to this film’s cool factor, Dustin Hoffman appears in the unforgettable role of “Ratso” Rizzo—the great American street hustler. This film pulls you in from the first shot and it just gets better—and stranger. Featuring a mellow, folksy soundtrack, “Midnight Cowboy” is a trip to say the least. Put on your boots and best duds and hitchhike on over to the Goldsmith for a sleazy good time.
HOUSE OF BAMBOO
USA. Dir: Samuel Fuller. 1955
With Robert Stack.
Thursday, April 24. 7:30 p.m. FREE!
This is the first Hollywood film to be shot on location in Japan, only ten years after WWII. This is one of very few genuine portraits of post-war Japanese life ever attempted by an American filmmaker. And not just any American filmmaker is at the helm here: it is the “audacious” Samuel Fuller. Fuller is most noted for his exemplary ability in the areas of storytelling, pacing and camera work. “House of Bamboo” displays his mastery of each of these characteristics—and all while presenting a thrilling plot that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This film is about American soldiers in post-War Japan, and boldly addresses the seeping of American culture into Japanese society. This is truly a MUST see. “Bamboo” is in glorious Technicolor. It will be presented on a pristine archival print. It is a gem of American cinema by one of our most beloved—and outrageous—directors. The charming Associate Professor of Film Studies Lisa Dombrowski will introduce the film and speak briefly on Fuller, making this special cinematic event all the more special. You may even learn something! This is a document of post-War Japan, a meditation on American military presence and an eccentric and dark picture with hints of the western, film noir and crime-Ddama. Come see screen legend Robert Stack long before his infamous days on Lifetime’s “Unsolved Mysteries.” He was a total babe, and quite the actor. Fuller’s films will change you and this is the perfect place to begin.