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The American Cinematheque celebrates Ernest Borgnine

August 15, 2012|By Susan King
  • The late Ernest Borgnine is being honored this weekend by American Cinematheque
The late Ernest Borgnine is being honored this weekend by American Cinematheque (Valerie Macon )

Cinema lost a true original on July 8 when Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine died at the age of 95. The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood is celebrating his life and legacy beginning Thursday evening with a double bill of Nicholas Ray’s cult 1954 Western “Johnny Guitar,” with Borgnine supporting Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden and Mercedes McCambridge, and 1958’s “The Badlanders,” a Western remake of “The Asphalt Jungle” with Alan Ladd.

Keith Carradine, who starred with Borgnine and Lee Marvin in Robert Aldrich’s 1973 “Emperor of the North,” will be on hand to talk about the film when it screens Friday. Also being shown that night is the 1958 epic  “The Vikings” with Borgnine, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

On tap for Saturday are two of Borgnine's biggest films from the 1960s: Sam Peckinpah’s controversial 1969 western “The Wild Bunch,” which also starred William Holden and Robert Ryan, and Robert Aldrich’s all-star World War II epic, “The Dirty Dozen.”

The retrospective concludes Sunday with the touching Oscar-winning 1955 drama “Marty,” for which Borgnine won the best actor Oscar. The film was adapted by Paddy Chayefsky, who also won the Academy Award, from  his 1953 teleplay. Also screening is another Chayefsky drama, 1956’s “A Catered Affair,” with Bette Davis and Debbie Reynolds.

Elsewhere, the Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild Film Society's monthly screening series presents 1930’s “Just Imagine,” one of the true bizarre studio films from the early sound era, Sunday evening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

Directed by David Butler and supposedly inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent masterpiece “Metropolis,” this Fox production is a sci-fi romantic musical set in 1980, when people have numbers instead of names and travel around in airship-style cars. There’s even a trip to Mars. It stars Maureen O’Sullivan and El Brendel, who plays a man who died in 1930 and is brought back to life. Before the screening, production designer John Muto will pay tribute to production designer Stephen Gooson, who with Ralph Hammeras received an Oscar nomination for his influential work on the film. Nicholas Cull, professor of public diplomacy at USC’s Annenberg School, will offer a post-screening talk.

The legendary Mike Stoller will be on hand Sunday afternoon at the Egyptian Theatre to sign copies of his and his late collaborator Jerry Leiber's book, "Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography," at a screening of 1957's "Jailhouse Rock," in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of star Elvis Presley's death.

The Aero Theatre is presenting “Magic From Melbourne: The Movies of Nadia Tass” Thursday and Friday evenings. The Greek-born, Australian-based filmmaker has been working for TV and film for the past 25 years. Tass will be there in person for the screenings Thursday evening of 1986’s “Malcolm” and 1990’s “The Big Steal” and on Friday for 2010’s “Matching Jack” and 1998’s “Amy.”

Meanwhile, the UCLA Film & Television Archive presents “Breaking Ground: 60 Years of Austrian Experimental Cinema” at the Billy Wilder Theater. The festival kicks off Friday evening with 10 short films, including 1960’s “Arnulf Rainer” and 2005’s “Mirror Mechanics.” More experimental shorts, which offer offbeat views of contemporary life, screen Saturday. Among the titles are 1967’s “Hernals” and 2008’s “Hotel Roccalba.”

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents the 1988 cult fave, “Roadhouse,” with Patrick Swayze as a buffed and brilliant bouncer named Dalton, Friday at midnight.

The theater celebrates the career of the late director Ken Russell on Saturday evening with one of his most outlandish “biographical” films: 1975’s “Lisztomania,” with Roger Daltry as Franz Liszt.

Cinefamily’s “Everything Is Festival,” which runs the gamut from found footage to alternative comedy, returns for its third year. The fun begins Saturday night at Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with an all-night movie marathon -- so dress warmly and bring your blankets. The evening opens with “Wet Hot American Summer” and features “Sleepaway Camp” and even “Little Darlings” with Tatum O’Neal and Kristy McNichol.

The festival officially opens Sunday evening at the Saban Theatre with Cinematic Titanic -- featuring the former stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” -- waxing comedic during the screening of the 1973 camp fest, “The Doll Squad.”

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