Cinema on the Beat is a new feature on the Los Angeles Beat. We’ll feature a weekly “A list” of mostly local, off-the-beaten-path film screenings and programs, home video and streaming picks, and exciting and ambitious upcoming works. The focus will be mainly on underground, independent releases, as well as music-related films, and experimental and avant-garde programs. Nothing is forbidden here in this space, as we have a love for everything from the classic genres to b-movies, highbrow to lowbrow. So, as the work week whizzes by us, we will provide some insight on fun and notable film events in our weird and wonderful city to add to your weekend.
Upcoming Screenings in the Los Angeles Area – Feature Film
Our big pick for the weekend is The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, a riveting and charming documentary directed by Aiyana Elliott profiling her father, the renowned, mid-century American singer/songwriter, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. The film screens at Cinefamily on Friday, June 27, 7:45 pm. The program features a RARE LIVE SET by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott himself. The ticket price is around $18.00, and will be well worth the money and effort to see this rare pearl of a moment.
Although the film premiered in 2000, it holds up as a universal tome to rambling musicians everywhere, the fleeting fame that accompanies that status all too often, familial reconciliations, and unrequited connection to the nomad in us, and to the nomads in our lives.
New Beverly Cinema does a thriller double-header with William Friedkin’s existential Sorcerer (1977) and Andrey Konchalovskiy’s Runaway Train (1985). Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, June 29, 30, 31, Sorcerer at 7:30, Runaway Train at 9:50pm.
Shorts and Alternative Programs
From Los Angeles Filmforum program notes: “In episode 36 (Vice Anglais) of the Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction series, Kelley cooks up a phantasmagorical mix of Hammer horror films and community theater, as weird ceremony, dramatic cliché, and incongruous characters collide and unfold in an atmospheric cave setting. Eleven years prior, in Kelley’s first entry in the series, EAPR #1 (Domestic Scene), a school yearbook photo of two grubby young amateur actors is extrapolated into a miniature photoplay steeped in torment and hysteria.”
Echo Park Bike-In (as in, Drive-In…) presents Echo Park Film Center Shorts Program and a kids screening of Ratatouille. Saturday, June 28 at 7pm – 10pm LA State Historic Park, Broadway Bridge Viaduct in Chinatown. The evening will feature an urban agriculture workshop, food vendors, and film screening.
10th annual Tiki Night: Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through America’s Polynesian Obsession The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, Hollywood. Sat, Jun 28, 7:30pm. Performances from King Kukulele & The Friki Tikis and the Polynesian Paradise Dancers, a cool tiki documentary with filmmakers in person.
Streaming and Home Video Picks
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, directed by Sophie Huber, 2012
Ethereal and meditative collage of wonderful, subtle, yet powerful performances from Harry Dean Stanton’s starring and supporting roles, interspersed with a reflective interview with Stanton at 86 years old. High points are the on camera and live performances of Stanton singing, accompanied by only a guitar player during the interview process, and interviews with luminaries such as David Lynch and Kris Kristofferson.
Beware of Mr. Baker, directed by Jay Bulger, 2012
Wild documentary about Cream drummer Ginger Baker. Any director that keeps the camera rolling after getting one in the eye with Ginger Baker’s cane gets my vote.
One to Watch For…
Mad Marc Rude: Blood, Ink & Needles, directed by Carl Schneider (release date unknown)
Rounding out our list, Director Carl Schneider just held a fundraiser June 22 at the Casbah night club in San Diego to raise money for music rights and finishing funds for his film Mad Marc Rude: Blood, Ink & Needles, profiling the punk illustrator responsible for his vastly revered art on many punk flyers, albums, and t-shirts for acts such as the Misfits, Tex and the Horseheads, Legal Weapon, and Battalion of Saints, to name a few. The film profiles the artist and early San Diego show promoter through friends and many Los Angeles and San Diego punk scene fixtures. Watch the official trailer below.