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Going out | FILM SERIES

Landmark Argentine film noir

June 19, 2003|Kevin Thomas

In recent years the Los Angeles Conservacy's popular annual "Last Remaining Seats" series in South Broadway's movie palaces has included a classic Latin American film, which is appropriate since Latino audiences kept the theaters running well past their heyday.

This year's offering, Fernando Ayala's "El Jefe" (The Boss) is a landmark 1958 Argentine production, a film noir in dramatic black and white, about the rise and fall of a Buenos Aires gangster (Alberto de Mendoza) that is also a commentary on peronismo, reflecting on the chronic Argentine need for a patriarchal leader who demands absolute loyalty regardless of his motives or the consequences of his actions.

"El Jefe" is a highly atmospheric mood piece, enhanced greatly by a plaintive, jazz-tinged score from Lalo Schifrin, who will be honored by a musical tribute to his work performed by the Gil Bernal Quartet prior to the film's screening Tuesday. There will also be an onstage interview with Schifrin and the film's producer, Hector Olivera.

-- Kevin Thomas

The Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats series presents "El Jefe," Tuesday at 8 p.m., Los Angeles Theater, 615 S. Broadway. For info: (213) 430-4219.

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