Letter To Momo
Sep 19 to Sep 22
Friday to Monday 5:30pm ONLY!
Dir. Hiroyuki Okiura - 2012 - 120m - Japan - In Japanese with English subtitles - No Matinees
From the creators of Ghost in the Shell comes a wonderfully expressive and beautifully hand drawn animated tale that combines bursts of whimsy and kinetic humor with deep felt emotion and drama. The last time Momo saw her father they had a fight – and now all she has left to remember him by is an incomplete letter, a blank piece of paper penned with the words “Dear Momo” but nothing more. Moving with her mother to the remote Japanese island of Shio, Momo soon discovers three yokai living in her attic, a trio of mischievous spirit creatures that only she can see and who create mayhem in the tiny seaside community as she tries desperately to keep them hidden. But these funny monsters have a serious side and may hold the key to helping Momo discover what her father had been trying to tell her. A Letter to Momo was seven years in the making, and the handmade animation is superb, from the painstakingly rendered serenity of the island's Shinto shrines to the climactic finale – a frantic chase featuring thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits that is the best cinematic flight of supernatural fancy in many years.
"Stunning! As gorgeous as 'Momo' is to behold, the film's sensitive portrayal of a teenager dealing with grief proves its most compelling element." - Variety
"One of the best animated films of the year! A milestone in traditional handmade animation... this wonderful craftsmanship shines on screen, the result being a film truly beautiful to watch." - Twitch
"Four stars! Has a freshness and urgency that moved this reviewer to tears! Hiroyuki Okiura, who also wrote the script, manages the transition from light to serious with the craft and assurance of a true storyteller, while firmly grounding his human and nonhuman characters in their Seto Inland Sea setting, from the narrow portside streets to the gloriously expansive view from the island's highest point. All such scenes are painstakingly hand-drawn with an attention to detail befitting the best of Japanese animation." - Japan Times
The Zero Theorem
Sep 19 to Sep 22
Friday to Monday 8:00 pm ONLY!
Dir. Terry Gilliam - 2014 - 107m - No matinees
The mind of Terry Gilliam has brought us Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Now, he turns his eye not to the future, but the present, in this madcap sci-fi epic starring two-time Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon, and David Thewlis in a tale of man tasked to either find the meaning of life, or prove once and for all that life is meaningless.
“A perfect, complete masterpiece… under no circumstances should anyone ever experience Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem in anything other than a pristine theatrical experience.” –Harry Knowles, Ain’t It Cool News
“[A] visually splendid nightmare of totalitarian glitz… a spectacle that demands to be cherished.” –TIME Magazine
Vaudeville Goes to the Movies: Laughter, Song and Dance!
Sunday 1 p.m.
1910s to 1930s - 100m approx - $5 minimum suggested donation!
A SPECIAL SCREENING OF TOP VAUDEVILLE ACTS IN THE MOVIES WITH AMERICAN VAUDEVILLE CO-FOUNDER FRANK CULLEN!
Most of the stars and featured performers in movie musicals and comedies began in vaudeville. Even dramatic actors like James Cagney, Joan Blondell and Cary Grant.
Eleanor Powell, ballet-trained, began as a child in a vaudeville. A quick-study, she mastered tap and went onto star on Broadway and in a series of lavish, brilliantly choreographed MGM musicals. Powell was one of the few women that male tappers regarded as an equal.
W. C. Fields spent years travelling all over the world with his juggling act, adding more and more comedy. By the time he starred in Ziegfeld Follies and movies, the comedy element overshadowed his juggling. This clip is the only visual record of his juggling act.
Oliver Hardy was a minstrel tenor and vaudeville before he entered films in 1914. Stan Laurel learned the ropes in British music hall and American vaudeville before trying his luck in movies in 1915. For both me, success came when they were teamed in 1926. Suited as well to talkies as silents, they became the most beloved comedy in the world.
Lupe Velez, convent-bred, started as a shimmy-shaker dancer in Mexican vaudeville and segued into American vaudeville and then the Ziegfeld Follies before her film career began at age 19 in 1927. Dubbed the Mexican Spitfire and she succeeded in both comedies and dramas.
The Berry Brothers (real brothers like the Nicholas Brothers) together with the Four Step Brothers and The Nicholas boys were one the three great acrobatic dance acts of the 1930s & 1940s. Nyas, James & Walter Berry played vaudeville, nightclubs and movies until the early deaths of James and Walter.
Bert Lahr, a burlesque and vaudeville alumnus, is best remembered as the Cowardly Lion in the movie Wizard of Oz, won most of his success in Broadway musical comedies and revues for more than 35 years. He was the original Estragon in Becket’s Waiting for Godot.
The Wiere Brothers, may have been the most versatile act in show business. Trained in voice, dance, a variety of musical instruments, acrobatics, juggling and comedy, the were a whimsical European act until they had to feel Hitler to the USA, Language was a barrier to starring in movies.
Buck & Bubbles were an African American song-&- that began in vaudeville and moved into film. Buck, a jazz pianist, did a bit of eccentric dancing, Bubble sang and was an early (and great) example of jazz –tap. George Gershwin created the stage role of Sportin’ Life for John ‘Bubbles’ Sublett.
Flournoy Miller wrote sketches before he teamed with comic Aubrey Lyles. Together with musicians Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake, Miller & Lyles created the first jazz-era musical comedies, Shuffle Along and Running Wild. Miller later teamed with both Mantan Moreland and Johnny Lee was a popular comedian who appeared black vaudeville and TV’s Amos ‘n’ Andy.
Harry Richman was king of the speakeasies—a Frank Sinatra of the 1920s & 1930s. Among his early vaudeville jobs was pianist for both Mae West and Nora Bayes. His bravado singing style was based on an excellent, voice, breath and range. He also was a pioneer aviator who set records.
Herb Williams was a ‘nut comic’ whose cranky, besieged character was sabotaged by ill-functioning props, musicians and stage hands.
Your host, Frank Cullen, is the co-founder of the American Vaudeville Museum, co-founder of the ABQ Film Club, and author of Vaudeville, Old & New: an Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America (Routledge, 2007) and four Porridge Sisters Mysteries. In 2011, the NYC Theatre Museum honored Frank for his Excellence in the Preservation of Theatre History.