Now that you’ve recovered from your Memorial Day festivities, it’s time for the weekend once again. And although we look to reach some tropical temperatures in the next few days, don’t go running to the beach just yet. There’s the entire rest of your summer to do that, so why not spend the afternoon in the cool breeze of a cinema? Or, if you’re really not that misanthropic, find yourself someone to attend one of the fantastic late night screenings happening around the city this weekend. With the brilliant and bizarre classics from Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Coen Brothers, and Orson Welles, to some of the best premieres of the season with Zal Batmanglij’s The East and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ The Kings of Summer, there’s certainly something to satisfy everyone’s cinematic appetite. I’ve rounded up the best of what’s playing in the city this weekend, so peruse our list, grab yourself some snacks, and enjoy.
Blazing Saddles Frances Ha Jaws Something in the Air Time Bandits Upstream Color
Augustine We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks Microcosmos Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself
Frances Ha The Iceman Basic Instinct Texas Chainsaw Part 2 Living in Oblivion Pandoras Box
School of Rock Becoming Traviata Augustine A Pig Across Paris
Sightseers In the House Fill the Void The Warriors
Angelika Film Center
Before Midnight Stories We Tell What Maisie Knew We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
Museum of the Moving Image
Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre in Dig! Neil Young in Greendale
Film buffs are all in a tizzy about Sight & Sound‘s most recent list of the greatest films ever made, which resulted in an upset: for the first time in 50 years, Citizen Kane is no longer considered the best movie ever made. Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo has taken the top honor this year. What does this mean? Well, not much, because who knows what will be number one next year. But here’s what I do know: while both Vertigo and Citizen Kane are pretty good movies, neither of them are films that I really want to watch again. Instead, here are my ten favorite movies. Why? Why not?
Just as Charles Foster Kane and American media mogul William Randolph Hearst will forever be associated with one another, much of Welles’s inspiration for the Kane estate, a luxurious and creepy mansion dripping with the finest exotica from around the globe, is understood to be based on HearstCastle. The grounds of the actual estate, managed by the California State Park system, sport the remains of an airport (at which the likes of Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes landed) and a zoo, along with the Spanish cathedral-inspired castle and Carcalla-inspired Roman baths, to name a few key tour talking points.
Hearst himself was not exactly a fan of Citizen Kane, and he used a great amount of time, money, and efforts from his Hollywood chums to keep the movie from reaching the masses. Several film industry bigwigs, fearing the power of Hearst’s media empire, even tried (and failed) to buy the negatives of the film to destroy them.
The Hearst family of today is a bit more supportive. As Steve Hearst, great-grandson of William Randolph, told the Los Angeles Times: "It’s a great opportunity to draw a clear distinction between W.R. and Orson Welles, between the medieval, gloomy-looking castle shown in Citizen Kane and the light, beautiful, architecturally superior reality."
Citizen Kane will be shown on the five-story-tall screen at the HearstCastleVisitorCenter and Harrison Ford will be presenting an award before the screening.
December always marks the beginning of Oscar fever; even your parents are putting together Oscar nomination pools, eagerly anticipating February’s awards ceremony. Some folks are even getting into the action a few months early by throwing lots of money away to purchase a piece of Hollywood history. That’s right: the little gold man awarded to Orson Welles back in 1941 has sold for a whopping $862,542.
Welles received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his magnum opus Citizen Kane; he shared the award with Herman J. Mankiewicz. It was the only award the film, nearly unanimously considered to be the best ever made, won, although it was nominated for eight others (including Best Picture and Best Actor). It was the only Oscar Welles won; he was awarded an honorary award at the 1970 Academy Awards “for superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures.”
Since both the seller and the buyer wished to remain anonymous, one would think that this story would be fairly uninteresting. Deadline, however, provides some fun facts about the statuette:
Underbidder David Copperfield had been eager to acquire the statuette because Welles apparently was something of a magician himself. Copperfield already owns many props from the movie. It’s rare for an Oscar statuette to be sold because since 1950 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has stipulated that all recipients sign a contract giving the organization the right to repurchase the statuette for $1. For a long time the Oscar was lost but it resurfaced when a cinematographer who said Welles had given it to him as payment. Welles’ daughter Beatrice sued and won custody of the statuette. Then the Academy sued her when she tried to auction it in 2003. She won the right to dispense of the Oscar and sold it to a nonprofit that tried unsuccessfully to sell it auction. Sotheby’s also was unsuccessful when it tried to auction the golden guy in 2007 but failed to meet the undisclosed reserve price.
Am I the only one who thinks that could be a pretty good movie, kinda like The Red Violin but all in English and with David Copperfield instead of Samuel L. Jackson? Get on that, Hollywood.
The fine folks over at AFI are at it again, looking for any way they can to compartmentalize a century worth of films into list-form. Although sometimes it feels like beating a dead horse, these lists of theirs can still make for a fun night of drinking and guessing games with you and your film snob friends. This time, AFI has broken down America’s 10 greatest films in 10 classic genres including: Animation, The Western, Science Fiction, The Romantic Comedy, The Courtroom Drama, Fantasy, Gangster, Sports, Mystery and Epic. Although Citizen Kane is widely considered the greatest American film ever made, it was noticeably absent from any of the lists, as was Casablanca. Caddyshack however, was included so Bill Murray fans rejoice. Keep an eye out for AFI’s next list, where they rank the top 100 films written by men named Henry or Steve.