2009 Los Angeles Film Festival June 18 - 28 in Westwood
by Oliver Carnay
From the arresting portraits of Mexico under International Spotlight, Documenting Mexico, to the high-octane fun of Hell on Wheels film series, the Los Angeles Film Festival (running from June 18 through the 28th, has something for everyone this summer.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Billy Jack (New Digital Restoration)
Conversation with Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor following screening
Join writer/director Tom Laughlin for a special screening of this cult classic, in which he stars as a part Native American ex-Green Beret who defends a counterculture-friendly Freedom School against the ultra-conservative local townsfolk.
DIRECTOR T.C. Frank WRITERS Frank Christina, Teresa Christina CAST Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Clark Howat, Victor Izay, Julie Webb, Debbie Schock, Teresa Kelly, Lynn Baker, Stan Rice, David Roya, John McClure, Susan Foster, Susan Sosa
Midnight Cowboy (40th Anniversary Screening)
Conversation with Jon Voight before screening
Forty years after its release, Midnight Cowboy has lost none of its audaciousness. Prior to the screening, Jon Voight will take the stage for an extended conversation about this landmark film.
DIRECTOR John Schlesinger WRITER Waldo Salt CAST Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro
INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Documenting Mexico: Selections from the Ambulante Film Festival
Born Without (Nacido Sin)
A remarkably frank portrait of the lives and loves of José Flores—a street musician, actor, father of six, and Romeo who was born without arms and stands only three feet tall.
WRITER/DIRECTOR Eva Norvind FEATURING José Flores, Graciela Flores, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Spanish with English subtitles
This poetic film essay by his great-granddaughter on the imposing and controversial General Calles—President of Mexico from 1924-28—is a rich reflection on memory, family biography and national history.
DIRECTOR Natalia Almada
Rehje Spanish with English subtitles
Longing to escape the pressure and turmoil of Mexico City, a native Mazahua woman returns to her hometown only to find that things are not as idyllic as she remembered.
Co-presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
PLUS SHORT Joy Ride: An Auto Theft (1976), directed by William Crain
New in town and sporting a sweet, souped-up ride, a sexy young couple races with the hard-partying local hot-rod gang, leading to a high-octane face-off with explosive consequences.
DIRECTOR/WRITER Greydon Clark CAST Mel Ferrer, Stephen McNally, Darby Hinton, Neville Brand, Ralph Meeker, Diane Peterson, Karen Fredrik, Roger Hampton, Brad Rearden
Hot Rod Girl (1956)
PLUS SHORT Tomorrow’s Drivers (1954)
Thrill-seeking teens in hot rods terrorize the quiet streets of ’50s suburbia. Will a city-sponsored racetrack restore order to the streets, or simply push the pedal to the metal?
DIRECTOR Leslie H. Martinson WRITER John McGreevey CAST Lori Nelson, Chuck Connors, John Smith, Mark Andrews, Roxanne Arlen, Frank Gorshin, Fred Essler, Eddie Ryder, Carolyn Kearney, Del Erickson, Russell Thorson, Dabbs Greer
Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
PLUS SHORT The Last Date (1950), directed by Lewis D. Collins
A middle-class American family moving across the country is terrorized by a band of teenaged hot-rod hellions on the desert highway. It's total war in overdrive.
DIRECTOR John Brahm WRITER Robert E. Kent CAST Dana Andrews, Jeanne Crain, Mimsy Farmer, Laurie Mock, Paul Bertoya
SPECIAL SCREENINGS Crude Oil (Yuan You) Mandarin with English subtitles Free Admission
An audacious undertaking for both filmmaker and audience, this film installation documents a workday at a remote Chinese oil field, from a stolen nap in a break room to the massive drills plunging into the earth.
DIRECTOR Wang Bing
Panda Diary (Pandafuru Raifu) English, Chinese, and Japanese with English subtitles Subtitles will be read aloud for the benefit of younger audience members
In this family-friendly documentary, Shu Hin, a four-year-old panda, narrates her and her twin brother’s story as they move from a Japanese zoo to a panda reserve in China and make new panda friends.