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Friday, June 5, 2009

Support the Cinefamily

So I live about...I don't know...two blocks from the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax here in Los Angeles. Actually my neighborhood is weird - it's at the geographic crossroads of Hollywood, West Hollywood and the Fairfax neighborhood, one of the oldest Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in LA. So on a given day we have the hipsters, the Hasidim and gay couples walking their dogs all as they head toward Canter's Deli for mutually agreed upon goodness. But anyway. The Silent Movie Theatre.

"Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theatre."

So that's pretty cool, right? I get emails every week from Cinefamily, which is a sort of club that meets at the Silent Movie Theatre and I think oh, I should go see that movie, yeah, sure. And I never do.

Several friends of mine have plans to go see THE HANGOVER this weekend and I thought, well, sure, yeah, I love my friends very much. But - I'm not that excited to see THE HANGOVER, honestly. It's not really my cup of tea. Then I got this in my email inbox from the Cinefamily:

WINNEBAGO MAN, Sunday June 7th, 8pm

Jack Rebney, aka "the angriest RV salesman in the world," has delighted and fascinated millions of viewers with the hilariously foul-mouthed and ill-tempered outtakes from a Winnebago promotional video he made in the '80s - one of the first and best underground videos to be passed hand-to-hand, before the Internet turned him into a full-blown phenomena. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer takes on the seemingly impossible task of tracking down Jack, and his journey turns into a fascinating exploration of viral video culture, and what it means on a personal level to its sometimes unwilling subjects. When he finally tracks down Rebney, the real man is more savvy, irascible (of course), deep, weird, and cool than you could have possibly hoped for, and turns out to be more than able to hold his own in the modern media culture. In short, he is a star. A lovely and hilarious look at one man's response to Internet humiliation, and how that so-called "humiliation" can become a beacon of light to many. All hail Jack Rebney: the patron saint of our collective frustrations. Dir. Ben Steinbauer, 2009, HDCAM, 90 min.

- and I thought okay THAT I would see. That sounds fascinating. And I chide myself, momentarily, because I have not gotten out to support the Cinefamily and partaken of their impressively out-there play list and schedule. So for any Angelenos reading TRW today, please get out and support a theater that is off grid. Way off grid. A theater with a true love for the art and craft of cinema and the way in which the movies reflect just how odd we humans are. Step away from the megaplex once in awhile and see what else is out there.


The Cinefamily
is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. Our home is the Silent Movie Theatre, one of Hollywood’s most beloved and beautiful cultural landmarks. There, the Cinefamily will provide a destination spot for Los Angelenos and others to rediscover the pleasures of cinema.

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Christina said...

Surprises me you don't want to see the Hangover. I read the script last week and the voice was similar to that Balls Out script you loved so much a month or two ago. Lots of punchy, LOL comedy on the page. Balls Out has more self-aware snark, but The Hangover has a better story underneath the comedy. I can see it being this summer's Wedding Crashers.

Julie Gray said...

Oh I'm sure I will see it - either this weekend or another time. I'm just feeling like seeing something more contemplative this weekend :)

Trina0623 said...

Okay, two things:
Watching a silent movie can teach screenwriters and filmmakers so much, don't you think? It's a challenge to convey a compelling story without the inflections of speech, tone of voice, subtleties of delivery, noises, and sound effects. And what about films with no sound or subtitles? Wow.

Funny you should mention "the angriest RV salesman in America." We were just talking about him last weekend because my neighbor was there when those videos were shot. He used to do advertising and marketing for Winnebago. I wondered if the whole thing was a put-on and asked him if it was, but he said it was all real and he really was that way. I would love to see that film to and I bet my neighbor would too.
Thanks for sharing!

pepe said...

Be warned - Cinefamily descriptions of their screening tend to way overpraise their quality. They'll make a mediocre exploitation movie sound crazier than Holy Mountain. I've been burned many times. And it's 12 bucks. And sometimes they don't even screen prints -- they just show a dvd copy. New Beverly shows better movies for 8(and they're double features and always film prints).