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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of an May 2008 Calendar!
Series programmed by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Monninger.

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Special Thanks to: Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Stuart Lisell; AVCO EMBASSY; Emily Horn/PARAMOUNT; Joe Kaufman/CKK CORPORATION/20th CENTURY FOX; Suzanne Leroy and Jared Sapolin/SONY REPERTORY

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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.



Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero Film Calendar)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<<< June 13 - 18, 2008 >>>

Escape Artist: A Tribute to John Carpenter In Person!


Discuss this series with other film fans on:


This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!


For the past nearly four decades, director John Carpenter has created some of the most consistently entertaining and brilliantly crafted films in American cinema, from his savage urban western ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, through his awesome chiller HALLOWEEN and his adrenaline-fueled action epic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Carpenter’s films have shown an amazing consistency, creating wickedly modern twists on traditional genres (THE THING) without losing his sense of playfulness or individuality. As his career has progressed, Carpenter has shown the range of a classical studio director, helming not only action and horror films but love stories (STARMAN) and a philosophical comedy (MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN). Yet for all his old-school craftsmanship, Carpenter is first and foremost a maverick with a fiercely independent sensibility and a willingness to confront contemporary America's most troubling social and political issues. In addition to his work as director, Carpenter has written the screenplays and composed the soundtrack music for almost all of his movies.

We are thrilled to welcome John Carpenter to the American Cinematheque for this weekend tribute.



Friday, June 13 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE THING, 1982, Universal, 108 min. John Carpenter re-imagined the 1951 sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD as something darker, fiercer and altogether more disturbing, pitting sombrero-wearing helicopter pilot Kurt Russell and a crew of Arctic scientists against a ravenous, shape-shifting alien being. From the haunting opening shots of a sled dog fleeing across the snow, to the apocalyptic, fire-and-ice ending, this ranks with Ridley Scott’s ALIEN as one of the finest (and most beautifully crafted) sci-fi films of the past 30 years. With one of Ennio Morricone’s greatest scores from the 1980s.

THE FOG, 1980, Stuart Lisell, 91 min. Dir. John Carpenter. There’s atmosphere to burn in this spooky saga of bloodthirsty ghost pirates vengefully returning to decimate a sleepy-eyed California coastal town on the 100th anniversary of their shipwreck. Adrienne Barbeau is the spunky DJ sounding the alarm from her lighthouse-based radio station while the undead use the title mist as cover in their gory siege. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, John Houseman. Discussion in between films with director John Carpenter.



Saturday, June 14 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, 1981, Avco Embassy, 99 min. Dir. John Carpenter. Kurt Russell delivers one of his most memorable performances as ornery, one-eyed Snake Plissken, a sentenced-to-die anti-hero sent into maximum security prison in a Manhattan of the future to rescue U.S. President Donald Pleasence from villain Isaac Hayes. A highly entertaining tall tale with influences ranging from comic books to apocalyptic science fiction to spaghetti westerns! With Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau.

ESCAPE FROM L.A., 1996, Paramount, 101 min. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) returns in a savagely funny satire of political extremism in late 20th-century America. After an earthquake devastates Los Angeles, the city separates from the rest of the country and becomes an island for violent outcasts. Yet in John Carpenter's vision, the warring gangs are hardly more dangerous than a culturally conservative president (played to perfection by a wry Cliff Robertson) who exploits his constituents' fear and ignorance to rise to power. The only man who stands above it all is iconoclast Plissken, sent to LA by the president to save the world - a world that the movie implies is hardly worth saving, a point made both funnier and more frightening by how closely Carpenter's future world now resembles our own. Discussion in between films with director John Carpenter.




Sunday, June 15 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

HALLOWEEN, 1978, 91 min. A landmark in modern horror - and one of the most phenomenally successful independent films ever made - John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN set the standard for dozens of oversexed teens-meet-serial killer movies to come, including SCREAM and SCARY MOVIE. Jamie Lee Curtis (in her first major role) stars as the resilient Laurie, aware that evil stalks the shady streets and living rooms of her small town, in the form of escaped psychopath Michael Myers. Co-starring Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles and Nancy Loomis.

CHRISTINE, 1983, Sony Repertory, 110 min. Teenager Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon in one of his best performances) is the nerdiest guy in school, until he meets the girl of his dreams - not a flesh-and-blood classmate, but a 1958 Plymouth Fury. As Arnie restores the car, he undergoes his own transformation, but best friend Dennis (John Stockwell) doesn't think it's all for the good especially when Arnie's enemies start dying one by one. Director John Carpenter takes Stephen King's supernatural tale of a haunted car and grounds it in a palpable teenage reality, creating both an honest coming-of-age saga and a commentary on the American male's love affair with the automobile.




Wednesday, June 18 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, 1986, 20th Century Fox, 99 min. Dir. John Carpenter. Ultra-colorful adventure in the grand tradition of 1930s serials, starring Kurt Russell as a cocky truck driver who finds himself battling ancient Chinese warlords and hideous demons to save feisty Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City"). A great guilty pleasure, and one of Carpenter’s most purely entertaining genre films.

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, 1976, CKK Corp., 90 min. Dir. John Carpenter. This stark modern homage to Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO updates the action with a youth gang attacking a closing police station in a blighted ghetto neighborhood. Rapid-fire banter flies fast and furious between charismatic convict Darwin Joston and policewoman Laurie Zimmer as the faceless, virtually supernatural marauders attack. This remains one of Carpenter’s most effective pictures, an edge-of-your-seat thriller that put him on the map as an imaginative, creative force to be reckoned with. With Austin Stoker. Discussion in between films with actor Austin Stoker.