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SPECIAL SCREENINGS

Films by and About Andre Malraux at Nuart

February 22, 1988|KEVIN THOMAS | Times Staff Writer

As part of its Tuesday Portrait of the Artist series, the Nuart is presenting Marcel Boudou's superb "Andre Malraux" along with Malraux's "Espoir" (1939), a remarkable docudrama of the Spanish Civil War, which he wrote and directed.

A true Renaissance man who was at once an intellectual, artist and critic and a brave freedom fighter in Spain and in the French Resistance, Malraux died at 75 in 1976. In evoking the spirit and character of the ever-evolving Malraux, Boudou keeps the talking heads to a bare minimum.

A member of the International Brigade and organizer of the Spanish Loyalist Air Force--he flew 65 missions--Malraux filmed "Espoir," the adaptation of his novel "Man's Hope," in Barcelona in 1938. Aptly described as a cross between Flaherty and Hawks, it is slow to get into, but it finally sweeps us up into its eloquent depiction of the brave men of a bomber squadron. Malraux had never made a film before (and never did again), but he had written on film theory. He had a gifted cameraman, Louis Page, to help him express his strong sense of the visual, and no less than Darius Milhaud to heighten the impact with a haunting score. The print is razor-sharp. (213) 478-6379, 479-5269.

The UCLA Film and Television Archives' first Festival of Preservation continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Melnitz Theater with footage from the Hearst Metrotone Newsreel Collection (1919-1940). On Saturday the archives offer a landmark event, the John Ford Cavalry Trilogy: "Fort Apache" (1948) (2:30 p.m.), "Rio Grande" (1950) (5 p.m.) and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949) (7:30 p.m.). On Sunday (at 2 p.m.), the 1922 Harold Lloyd comedy "Grandma's Boy" screens with "The Love Light" (1921), a rare Mary Pickford film directed and written by Frances Marion. At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be "A Tribute to the Vitaphone (1926-1931)," a collection of shorts featuring everybody from Spencer Tracy to Burns and Allen.

Also continuing is the archives' "Salute to Newsreel," a collection of socially conscious documentaries. Two 45-minute documentaries from California Newsreel, "Controlling Interest" (1978) and "The Business of America" (1984), screen Thursday in Melnitz at 5:30 p.m. Both are clear and blunt about the harsh realities of contemporary politics and economics and how their intricate relationship affects us all. The second film focuses on the closing of U.S. Steel's venerable mill in Homestead, Pa.

These films offer chilling portraits of men who are completely open about being dedicated to profits regardless of consequences. The 7:30 p.m. program is devoted to works by Cuban film maker Santiago Alvarez, whose revolutionary spirit reportedly had great impact on Newsreel in its formative years. (213) 825-2581.

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