UCLA Festival of Preservation 2017
October 7 - November 1
"The greatest cinematic show on Earth...offers an unparalleled deep dive into the seldom-explored sea that is American film history." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Venues like the Gene Siskel Film Center depend heavily upon the efforts of enlightened film archives and distribution companies to undertake the costly and difficult task of preserving classic films in the glorious but rapidly disappearing medium of 35mm film. No organization has been more important to us in this respect than the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The gorgeous restorations we have shown in recent years of such films as Max Ophuls's LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, Shirley Clarke's THE CONNECTION, Joseph H. Lewis's GUN CRAZY, Larry Clark's PASSING THROUGH, and J.L. Anderson's SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT represent just a few of the treasures that UCLA has shared with us.
With more than 220,000 motion picture and television titles, the UCLA collection is second only to the Library of Congress in the United States and is the largest of any university in the world. Every two years, the archive opens up its vaults and presents the cream of its latest restorations to the public in the Festival of Preservation. As it did in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, the “UCLA Festival of Preservation” is touring in 2017-18 to selected venues across North America, and the Film Center is honored to be included among them.
The eight programs cover a wide spectrum of mostly American film history. Comedy at its most sophisticated and its most raucous is represented by Ernst Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE and Laurel & Hardy's SONS OF THE DESERT, respectively. The range of film noir is demonstrated by excursions into such border regions as semi-documentary (HE WALKED BY NIGHT), Gothic romance (THE LOST MOMENT), social consciousness (OPEN SECRET), and Argentinian cinema (LOS TALLOS AMARGOS). The world of independent cinema is visited in the Chicago-made activist documentary THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON and the experimental narrative of an overlooked female director, Juleen Compton's STRANDED.
35mm preservation prints courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
— Martin Rubin, Associate Director of Programming
Special thanks to Steven Hill and KJ Reith of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
UCLA DOUBLE-BILL DISCOUNT!
Buy a ticket at our regular prices for the first UCLA film on any Saturday in October, and get a ticket for the second UCLA film that day at the discounted rate with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)
Trouble In Paradise
1932, Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 83 min. With Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins.
- Sat, Oct 7th 3:00pm
- Wed, Oct 11th 6:00pm
"Probably the most perfectly representative of his works — the most Lubitschian Lubitsch...The bons mots fly and an elegant immorality abounds, while beneath the surface the most serious kinds of emotional transactions are being made. " — Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Two expert jewel thieves (Marshall, Hopkins) find paradise while picking each other's pockets; trouble arrives when he becomes entangled with one of their prospective victims, an amorous perfume-company magnate (Kay Francis). Many consider this to be Lubitsch’s greatest film; Lubitsch himself said, “For pure style, I have done nothing as good as TROUBLE IN PARADISE.” It’s hard to imagine a movie packing more elegant wit into 83 dazzling minutes, but even more extraordinary are the emotional complexity and Depression-era political resonance that Lubitsch and screenwriter Samson Raphaelson slip beneath the film’s scintillating surface. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation. 35mm.
Preceded by DINAH (1932, Dave Fleischer, USA, 7 min.), a Bouncing Ball sing-along cartoon featuring music by the Mills Brothers. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood). 35mm. (MR)
Sons of the Desert
1933, William A. Seiter, USA, 70 min. With Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy.
- Sat, Oct 7th 4:45pm
- Mon, Oct 9th 6:00pm
Widely considered Laurel & Hardy’s funniest film, this slapstick classic has Stan and Ollie as members of the eponymous organization who sneak off from their wives to make whoopee at a convention in Chicago. The film casts a "Babbitt"-like satirical eye on the silliness of fraternal rituals and convention high jinks, but those activities are ultimately just seen as compensations for the main focus of the film's humor: the (not-undeserved) emasculation of the American male, as Stan and Ollie are p-whipped to a fare-thee-well by their pants-wearing, knife-wielding, shotgun-toting, crockery-hurling spouses. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation. 35mm.
Preceded by BERTH MARKS (1929, Lewis R. Foster, USA, 19 min.), L&H's first talkie, involving mix-ups in a railroad sleeping car. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Packard Humanities Institute. 35mm. (MR)
The Lost Moment
1947, Martin Gabel, USA, 89 min. With Robert Cummings, Susan Hayward.
- Fri, Oct 13th 2:00pm
- Sat, Oct 14th 3:00pm
"A remarkably effective adaptation...The ghostly web of shifting identities and sexual tensions is superbly spun." — Paul Taylor, Time Out London
A Gothic noir with affinities to REBECCA, VERTIGO, and PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, actor Martin Gabel's only directorial effort is a richly atmospheric adaptation of Henry James's classic novella "The Aspern Papers." An unscrupulous American publisher (Cummings) comes to Venice in search of the long-lost love-letters of a celebrated poet who disappeared under mysterious circumstances many years ago. Assuming a false identity, he insinuates himself into the household of the poet's erstwhile inamorata (Agnes Morehead), now a formidable 105-year-old with an adoptive niece (Hayward) who has fallen under the mansion's past-haunted spell. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Packard Humanities Institute. 35mm. (MR)
1948, John Reinhardt, USA, 68 min. With John Ireland, Jane Randolph.
- Sat, Oct 14th 4:45pm
- Mon, Oct 16th 6:00pm
A newlywed couple (Ireland, Randolph) visit one of the husband's army buddies, only to find the man missing and their safety threatened by a sinister organization in search of incriminating photographs. This low-budget noir has more on its mind than shadows and paranoia, injecting its thriller framework with strong doses of social consciousness. Putting a seedy, claustrophobic spin on the exposure of anti-Semitism in the previous year's prestigious CROSSFIRE and GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT, the film also contains an effective, ahead-of-its-time treatment of domestic abuse. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Packard Humanities Institute. 35mm.
Preceded by MOODS OF THE SEA (1941, Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman, USA, 10 min.), montage guru Vorkapich's ode to the ocean, accompanied by Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave." Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Permission courtesy of David Shepard and Blackhawk Film Collection and Lobster Films. 35mm. (MR)
1965, Juleen Compton, USA, 90 min. With Juleen Compton, Gary Collins.
- Sat, Oct 21st 5:45pm
- Mon, Oct 23rd 6:00pm
"Rarely have I seen a film so amateurish, so accomplished, so distancing, and so alluring all at once...I really hope UCLA’s restoration finds it a new audience, in no small part because they performed monumental work in bringing it back to life. It really looks amazing." — Scott Nye, Letterboxd
Juleen Compton has been a lost figure in the evolution of independent feminist cinema. Well-connected in the New York theater world (she was married to Group Theatre co-founder Harold Clurman), she used money from sideline ventures in real estate and interior design to finance her first film STRANDED, which premiered at Cannes and then virtually disappeared. With a freewheeling, loosely plotted style that connects to both the French and American New Waves, the film stars Compton herself as Raina, an American expatriate who pursues a liberated lifestyle while sailing through the Greek islands with her most recent lover and her gay best friend. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by Century Arts Foundation. 35mm. (MR)
The Murder of Fred Hampton
1971, Howard Alk, USA, 88 min.
- Sat, Oct 21st 3:30pm
- Wed, Oct 25th 7:45pm
"It’s the rare film that decades later can seem as timely as it was the day it came out. The searing documentary THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON is such a film." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
A compelling mixture of impassioned activism and lucid investigative reporting, this still-relevant documentary began as a portrait of Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the then-thriving Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. The first half of the film depicts the Panthers' incendiary rhetoric and altruistic community programs, but the agenda changes when Hampton is killed in a police raid. While local media are parroting dubious official claims of self-defense, director Alk and his crew rush to the still blood-soaked crime scene, recording crucial evidence that points to a cold-blooded assassination. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Packard Humanities Institute. Courtesy of Carol Gray, William Cottle and Chicago Film Archives. 35mm.
Preceded by THE JUNGLE (1967, Charlie “Brown” Davis, Jimmy “Country” Robinson, and David “Bat” Williams, USA, 22 min.), a depiction of Northern Philadelphia street life made by inner-city high-school students. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation. 35mm. (MR)
Los Tallos Amargos
The Bitter Stems
1957, Fernando Ayala, Argentina, 88 min. With Carlos Cores, Aída Luz.
- Sat, Oct 28th 5:00pm
- Mon, Oct 30th 6:00pm
"Filled with brilliant cinematography and innovation...LOS TALLOS AMARGOS rises to greatness." — Andy Wolverton, Journeys in Darkness and Light
Considered a lost film until a deteriorating negative was discovered in 2014, this high-powered Argentinian noir qualifies as a major rediscovery. Expressionistic techniques and Poe-like interior monologues take us into the troubled mind of Alberto, an insecure journalist who becomes involved in a correspondence-school scam and then turns on his partner. Highlights include a surreal Freudian dream sequence that rivals the one in Hitchcock's SPELLBOUND and an overheated jazz-club montage that matches the delirious drum solo in Siodmak's PHANTOM LADY. American Cinematographer magazine voted it one of the fifty best photographed films of all time, and the offbeat music score is by the great tango composer Ástor Piazzolla. In Spanish with English subtitles. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by Film Noir Foundation. 35mm. (MR)
He Walked By Night
1948, Alfred Werker and Anthony Mann, USA, 78 min. With Richard Basehart, Scott Brady.
"Arguably the most influential noir in history...while HE WALKED BY NIGHT has been copied a literally uncountable number of times in the years since it was made, few indeed of those clones leave the viewer so shaken and unnerved by what they've just witnessed." — Tim Brayton, Alternate Ending
Two contrasting styles, nightmarish noir and rationalist semidocumentary, vied for supremacy in the postwar crime genre. HE WALKED BY NIGHT is notable for incorporating this contrast into the film’s two-sided structure. The daylight world of the police investigation is presented in prosaic semidoc style, while the underground realm of the hunted psychopath (Basehart) is painted in rich high-noir shadows. Uncredited director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton create some of the most stunning images in film-noir history, especially in the celebrated final chase through the Los Angeles storm drains. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation. 35mm. (MR)