Burt Lancaster would turn 100 on November 2, but the UCLA Film & Television Archive is presenting its Centennial Celebration from tomorrow through June 30. In a terrific piece for the Times, Kenneth Turan recalls meeting Lancaster in 1971:
Lancaster talked mostly about working with Italian director Luchino Visconti… In a highly unusual move, the actor had been cast as the 19th century Sicilian aristocrat Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, in Visconti’s 1963 version of the splendid Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa novel The Leopard, and the director had gone to great pains to help him understand what that long-gone world had been like.
“When I got to the set, he took me up to the prince’s bedroom and opened a drawer in the bureau,” Lancaster related. “It was filled with beautiful silk shirts, each one handmade exactly in my size. He opened another drawer, and another, all the same, none of which would be seen by the camera.
“‘Burt,’ he said dramatically, ‘These are all your shirts. All your shirts.'” Lancaster shook his head, still stunned at the memory.
Also in Los Angeles, from tomorrow through April 21, the Egyptian Theatre becomes Noir City. In her broad overview for the Times, Susan King notes that this 15th anniversary edition of the festival “includes some well-known noirs such as 1950’s Sunset Blvd. and 1948’s Road House. But the highlight of Noir City is the rarities that have disappeared over the years, victims of bad VHS copies or poor quality prints.”
San Francisco. Thai Dreams: The Films of Pen-ek Ratanaruang opens tonight at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with a screening of Headshot (2011) and runs through April 21. “He‘s coming to town this weekend; his first visit to San Francisco, apparently,” notes Brian Darr. “There has been a good deal of worthwhile press for this event, including articles by Valerie Soe, Cheryl Eddy and Jonathan Kiefer.”
Cheryl Eddy has another piece in the Bay Guardian this week on the San Francisco Cinematheque’s fourth annual Crossroads festival, “a weekend packed with works by 48 artists across eight esoterically-titled programs.” She particularly recommends Jodie Mack’s Dusty Stacks of Mom: The Poster Project and Scott Stark’s The Realist.
Also in the SFBG, Matt Fisher notes that Christian Marclay’s The Clock “touches down at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this week for the latest stop along its endless summer tour of major world museums.”
Starting tomorrow, the Roxie will roll out its three-day-long retrospective of films by and about Roman Polanski. The highlight? A live Skype hookup. Producer Thom Mount will be in the theater, conversing with Polanski who’ll be in his Parisian editing suite.
Philadelphia. “This city has seen its fair share of indie film festivals come and go,” writes Greg Christie at Twitch. “There was the Lost Film Festival, the Back Seat Film Festival, The Philadelphia FM festival, The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and far more than I can readily remember through my hazy beer soaked college years. But none have been quite like the Cinedelphia Film Festival.” It offers “the opportunity to see exceptionally rare, largely unheard of, and sometimes completely esoteric screenings all while celebrating this city’s rich history for DIY indie artists. I use the term screening rather than film as many of the events are not the atypical feature film presentation. Really, this festival is a nightmare to write about. It’s nearly a month long and takes place at multiple venues spanning the entire city although the main screening space is a former mausoleum located in the heart of what’s now called, the Eraserhood, an area largely utilized in David Lynch’s seminal debut film.” Today through April 27.
Austin. Land and People: Recent Films of James Benning runs from Saturday through Monday. Monica Riese in the Chronicle: “In a weekend-long series curated by none other than Richard Linklater, viewers can watch four of his recent explorations in activism, history, and place. Showings at the Drafthouse will be in 16mm, and the director will be in attendance at all four.”
Seattle. “There are four films in Made in Seattle: Homegrown Documentaries (a two-day series at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center), and each deals with a significant social/political/cultural issue or project,” writes Charles Mudede in the Stranger. “Though all of the films are worth watching and talking about, one, Back to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle, fascinated me more than the others.”
London. “There is a morbid fascination in observing cinema’s material world,” writes Filipa Ramos for Art Agenda. “Combining of the residues of his experience serving in WWII with his passion for Surrealism, [Jeff] Keen’s world is as impenetrable and indescribable as a nightmare. In the props, drawings, collages, and paintings exhibited at Kate MacGarry, Keen’s Dada-like propensity for emphasizing the illogical and the absurd is ever present. However it is the sound of some of his best-known 16mm films (Cineblatz, 1967; White Lite, 1968; Marvo Movie, 1967; Meatdaze, 1968; Rayday Film, 1968/70; and 24 films, 1972/75), presented, rather unfortunately, on a flat screen at the entrance of the gallery space, which lends the overall tone to the exhibition.” Through April 20. Ramos, by the way, is co-curator of Vdrome, currently screening Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Vampire/Sud Vikal (2008) and M Hotel (2011).
Vienna. Jonas Mekas opens tomorrow and runs through April 29.