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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 a April 2009 Calendar!
Series programmed by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger.

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Special Thanks to: Amy Lewin/MGM 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 $9 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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<<< April 8 - 11, 2009 >>>

Rogue Genius: An Orson Welles Retrospective


An Aero Theatre Exclusive!


Where do you begin with Orson Welles, a man with a talent and imagination so prodigious that he spanned radio, films, television, books and theater and excelled in them all? From his first film masterpiece, CITIZEN KANE -- more often than not described as one of the best movies ever made -- to his checkered career fighting for funding to realize his directorial vision, Welles stands alone, holding a special place in the pantheon of cinematic greats. Welles himself (in F FOR FAKE) made the self-deprecating remark, "I began at the top and have been working my way down ever since," referring to the popular misconception that his post-KANE career somehow never delivered on his initial promise. In reality, Welles delivered again and again on that promise, in such dazzling and unexpected ways that audiences, critics and other filmmakers are still trying to catch up. How else can one describe a career that encompasses such films as THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, OTHELLO, TOUCH OF EVIL, THE TRIAL and MACBETH, an astonishingly rich legacy of television (including "The Fountain Of Youth"), as well as legendary "unfinished" films such as THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND and DON QUIXOTE? Although he had to jump through bigger and bigger hoops to secure financing for his movies, dealing with an industry used to mediocrity, somehow he managed to create and put his art in the public eye for over four decades. A brilliantly dramatic actor, always delivering a droll performance with seemingly little effort, he was a genius director, capable of creating works that were simultaneously tragic, elegiac, lyrical, satirical, playfully surreal and pulpy, miraculously managing to integrate all these traits into a style that is immediately recognizable as "Wellesian."


Wednesday, April 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: CONFIDENTIAL REPORT (aka MR. ARKADIN), 1955, Janus Films, 99 min. Dir. Orson Welles. "One of Welles’ most inventive and resonant films" -- J. Hoberman, Village Voice, The film retains the investigative structure of CITIZEN KANE – the life of a rich and powerful man is recounted by several people who knew him – but replaces KANE’s tragic romanticism with a sordidness that is so far over the top as not to be believed. A ruthless financier (Welles) hires a sleazy young cigarette smuggler to write a "confidential report" on his past, hoping to erase the last traces of his infamy so that his beloved daughter will never find the truth about him. Welles decks out this mock-tragic "chronicle of a death foretold" with down-and-dirty rococco effects and tall tales, including that epitome of cynicism, the fable about the frog and the scorpion. There are several distinct versions of the film – we will be screening a print of the CONFIDENTIAL REPORT version. (Program notes courtesy James Quandt/Cinematheque Ontario.) Trailer

JOURNEY INTO FEAR, 1943, Warner Bros. 68 min. Dirs. Norman Foster and Orson Welles. American arms engineer Howard Graham (Joseph Cotten) gets mixed up with gunrunners, Nazis and exotic women in WWII Turkey in this thrilling espionage drama. Although RKO executives interfered with this film almost as much as they did with Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, the wit of Welles’ and Cotten's script permeates every atmospheric frame. Co-stars include Welles favorites Agnes Moorhead, Everett Sloane and Ruth Warrick. Trailer




Thursday, April 9 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:THE TRIAL, 1962, Milestone Films, 118 min. Franz Kafka’s classic novel of paranoia and conspiracy seems tailor-made for Orson Welles’ direction. A labyrinthine, deliciously satiric, nightmare vision of a man (Anthony Perkins) accused of an unspecified crime that emerges as a subtle allegory of Welles’ seven own Catch 22-tribulations working in the film industry. With a dream cast that includes Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Akim Tamiroff and Welles himself. Trailer

MACBETH, 1948, Paramount, 107 min. Dir. Orson Welles. We’re very pleased to present this painstakingly restored (to its original form) version, led by the UCLA Film & TV Archives preservation officer Robert Gitt. The film had been cut by 21 minutes, re-recorded to "Americanize" the dialogue, and then rarely shown. Gitt tracked down the missing footage and original, Scottish-accented soundtrack, plus the Jacques Ibert overture and exit music. Critic Stanley Kauffman wrote about the restoration: "Whatever the details of Gitt’s job, Welles’ MACBETH is now a bold, exciting, innovative film." The innovations cannot be overstated. Longtime Welles collaborator Richard Wilson considered MACBETH "the greatest experimental American film ever made under the Hollywood studio system," and the restored footage includes a reel-long take. The studio was driven mad by the many retakes the 10-minute sequence required. Eight parts Welles to two parts Shakespeare, MACBETH was shot around Salt Lake City and features low-budget grandiosity, plus Welles in an intense, towering performance as the tormented Scots king, "one of the best elements of the film, thrilling and a bit poignant … In every one of the big moments, Welles rises to the heroic." (Kauffman) (Program notes courtesy James Quandt/Cinematheque Ontario.) Trailer



Friday, April 10 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: TOUCH OF EVIL, 1958, Universal, 111 min. Orson Welles’ hallucinatory, off-kilter masterwork stars Charlton Heston in one of his finest roles, as a Mexican policeman trapped on the wrong side of the border, where a corpulent, corrupt cop (Welles) tries to stop him from digging into the past. Janet Leigh co-stars as Heston’s newlywed wife, menaced by leather-clad Mercedes McCambridge and her gang of juvenile delinquents. Co-starring Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Calleia. We’re screening the restored version, reconstructed in 1998 according to Welles’ original notes. Trailer

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, 1948, Columbia, 87 min. The camera is the star in one of director Orson Welles’ most phantasmagorical films, a dazzling noir thriller about a seaman, a crippled lawyer and his homicidal wife pursuing each other through a "bright, guilty world" of infidelity, deception and murder. The hall of mirrors climax is riveting. With Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. Trailer



Saturday, April 11 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature: CITIZEN KANE, 1941, Warner Bros., 119 min. Orson Welles was only 25 when he directed this masterpiece, and it remains one of the most phenomenal motion pictures ever made, the story of fictional news mogul Charles Foster Kane. Trailblazing in so many aspects, from Gregg Toland’s complex camera and lighting to Bernard Herrmann’s score to one of the finest ensemble casts (including Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane and Agnes Moorehead) ever assembled. With an Academy Award-winning script by Welles and Herman Mankiewicz. Trailer

THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, 1942, Warner Bros., 88 min. Director Orson Welles’ poetic, tragic adaptation of the Booth Tarkington novel, centering on the fall of one wealthy family, with Stanley Cortez’s dynamic camerawork providing a panorama of turn-of-the-century America and the decay of the old aristocracy. Infamously re-edited without Welles’ involvement, AMBERSONS, even in its abbreviated form, is still an overwhelmingly rich masterpiece. With Joseph Cotten, Tim Holt, Anne Baxter. Trailer