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Cinematheque shines spotlight on director Michael Cimino

January 17, 2013|By Susan King
  • Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate" screens Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre.
Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate" screens Saturday… (United Artists )

The American Cinematheque shines the spotlight on Oscar-winning director Michael Cimino with a three-day retrospective at the Egyptian in Hollywood.

Cimino worked in advertising before turning to filmmaking. He co-wrote "Magnum Force," the 1973 "Dirty Harry" sequel, then made the move to directing with 1974's well-received "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot."

His next film was the Oscar-winning 1978 Vietnam War epic "The Deer Hunter," followed by the ill-fated 1980 western "Heaven's Gate." The latter film had a disastrous New York opening, was pulled from release after one week and then re-edited for an unsuccessful 1981 release.

Cimino made a handful of features after "Heaven's Gate,"  including 1990's "Desperate Hours."

The retrospective begins Friday with "The Deer Hunter," starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken in his Oscar-winning turn, Meryl Streep, John Savage and John Cazale in his final film role. The film also won Oscars for best picture and for Cimino's direction, plus two others.

Saturday's offering is the newly restored director's cut of "Heaven's Gate," which has grown in reputation over the decades, followed on Sunday by "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and 1985's "Year of the Dragon."

The Cinematheque's "Motion Picturesque: Cinema at Its Most Beautiful" continues Friday at the Aero in Santa Monica with David Lynch's 1986 surreal nightmare "Blue Velvet" and Douglas Sirk's 1955 melodrama "All That Heaven Allows," with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson as mismatched lovers.

The wonderful Martin Landau will be in conversation with historian Foster Hirsch at the Aero Saturday evening between screenings of 1989's Woody Allen comedy/drama "Crimes and Misdemeanors," for which Landau earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination, and 1994's "Ed Wood," Tim Burton's biopic on the man widely regarded as the world's worst director (played by Johnny Depp). Landau won a supporting actor Oscar as Bela Lugosi.

Former "Wonder Years" child-star-turned-director Fred Savage, who has earned several Directors Guild of America Awards, is this month's guest director of the Film Independent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's "Live Read" Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater. The reading will be "His Girl Friday."

In conjunction with its "Caravaggio and His Legacy" exhibition, the LACMA film department is presenting "Bodies, Shadows, and Stories: Cinema After Caravaggio." The series begins Friday evening at the Bing Theater with Pedro Costa's 1989 debut feature, "O Sangue," followed by Paolo Benvenuti's 1992 film  "Confortorio." Saturday's offering is Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1962 drama "Mamma Roma," and Martin Scorsese's controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" from 1988 is being screened for free Sunday afternoon.

The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood celebrates the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" Thursday evening with a screening and a Q&A with star Tippi Hedren and Veronica Cartwright, who played Rod Taylor's young sister.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Silent/Sync/Sound: Multiple Versions from the Transition Era" continues on Friday with the sound and silent versions of the 1930 Clara Bow comedy "True to the Navy," which also stars a young Fredric March and Rex Bell, whom Bow would marry. David Stenn, author of "Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild," will be on hand to talk about the actress.

The Greg Proops Film Club's monthly podcast takes place Tuesday at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre followed by a screening of the restored 1946 film noir "Gilda," with Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. And that's not Rita singing "Put the Blame on Mame," but actually Anita Ellis.


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