The Week in Rep: 8/28-9/4


Girls on film take center stage this week, with features from Coppola, Altman, Miyazaki, and Arnold leading the way.

Cinefamily: Throughout the week, Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to THE ACT OF KILLING, THE LOOK OF SILENCE, screens at Cinefamily. On Sunday, artist Alia Penner brings Robert Altman’s hallucinatory 3 WOMEN (seriously: you’ll never forget the last fifteen minutes) to Cinefamily for their ongoing series, Women of Cinefamily. Doug Benson interrupts ENTOURAGE on Monday evening — this event is very likely to sell out. The Lost & Found Film Club brings Canadian rarities to Cinefamily on Wednesday. SpectreFest kicks off this Thursday at Cinefamily with a FREE SCREENING! of COOTIES. Pre-register for the film’s Los Angeles premiere now! SpectreFest runs throughout September at the Cinefamily and beyond.

The New Beverly: The weekend kicks off with two from Hitchcock, with SUSPICION and NOTORIOUS showing on Friday and Saturday night. Throughout the rest of the week, A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS screens on a double-bill with MINNESOTA CLAY on Monday, CRY OF A PROSTITUTE on Tuesday, and LAST MAN STANDING on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Egyptian: The Guadalajara International Film Festival takes over The Egyptian this week, starting on Thursday. Screening information is available on their website.

The Aero: The Studio Ghibli invasion continues this week at the Aero! SPIRITED AWAY, an Oscar winner for Best Animated feature, screens with PONYO tonight, followed by a English-language matinee of KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, perhaps Ghibli’s most empowering movie for young women, on Saturday. HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and CASTLE IN THE SKY show Saturday evening. On Sunday, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO takes the matinee spot, with the decidely more mature PORCO ROSSO and THE WIND RISES showing that evening. The series closes on Wednesday with GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES and FROM UP ON POPPY HILL.

Cinespia: Come sail away with Sofia Coppola’s magnificent debut THE VIRGIN SUICIDES this Saturday. Air’s incredible score and soundtrack (recently reissued on vinyl) is sure to sound incredible on Cinespia’s brand-spankin’ new sound system.

LACMA: This Tuesday’s $4 matinee is the 1953 adaptation of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, kicking off a month long series of retro sci-fi at LACMA.

Pick of the week: WifeyTV takes over Cinefamily for a screening of FISH TANK, an incredibly frank portrait of contemporary class struggles in Essex and teenage female sexuality. An Oscar-winner for her short WASP, filmmaker Andrea Arnold joins TRANSPARENT’s Jill Soloway for a post-film Q&A! This film is a must for fans of THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, with outstanding lead performances from Katie Jarvis (who stuns in her feature debut — she was discovered at a train station in Essex) and Michael Fassbender.

Case Study: Female Driven Comedy

I’ve been recently providing data to a screenwriter to help her pitch her new female-driven comedy and thought it would make an interesting case study. Basically, she’s going out to financiers to ask for money to direct and wanted help to make a financial case to back the film.

We started by looking at a couple different descriptors that helped us group the film among other previous films.

Appetite for Financing

One of the first things I wanted to look at was budgets for a wide range of films. I wanted to get an idea of how much financiers were willing spend on particular types of films. Which type of film should you pitch so that you’re more likely to get more production dollars?

For this particular case, I looked at a couple different types of movies which we had outlined based on the type of script it was.

This is where we started ($ in millions throughout):

 Percentile Lead Female 2M/1F Comedy Romance Office
5th $1.7 $3.1 $2.6 $2.4 $3.1
25th $9.5 $14.7 $10.8 $12.2 $16.3
Median $19.6 $30.9 $25.6 $21.4 $35.1
75th $37.4 $65.2 $51.6 $40.6 $65.2
95th $110.3 $176.3 $139.8 $94.5 $189.7


And with these, I did each combination:


Lead Female 2M/1F Comedy Romance
+2M/1F +Comedy +Romance +Office +Comedy +Romance +Office +Romance +Office +Office
5th $1.4 $2.2 $3.0 $1.2 $3.4 $2.4 $3.8 $2.6 $5.5 $1.0
25th $10.9 $10.3 $15.0 $10.3 $14.0 $13.2 $18.9 $11.4 $14.6 $12.9
Median $24.1 $21.4 $25.0 $25.7 $31.7 $21.6 $37.4 $21.4 $32.8 $31.7
75th $41.4 $37.4 $41.2 $41.2 $65.2 $45.7 $67.1 $38.0 $59.6 $54.5
95th $128.9 $102.0 $94.2 $85.0 $149.4 $106.9 $198.6 $86.6 $109.8 $86.6

So budgets were largest for movies with 2M/1F and an office (the spread is likely greatest because there are so many of these films, office was a tag that could be a very insignificant part of the film), whereas romcoms and female led comedies received the fewest dollars.

Female driven comedy on the whole was given fewer production dollars than any other category. So maybe it made most sense to pitch it as a 2M/1F office movie to maximize the potential dollars a financier was willing to give.

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The Week in Rep: 8/21-8/28

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This week, jazz on film, a celebration of Studio Ghibli, Ozploitation, and the unruliest of teenagers come to LA screens!

Cinefamily: All week, 2014’s GUEROS, a black-and-white look at contemporary Mexico City, screens, with director Alonso Ruiz Palacios in person for the Saturday evening showing. On the 27th, DANNY SAYS, a doc about the life of music industry renaissance man Danny Fields, screens as a part of Don’t Knock the Rock. Cinefamily continues its series on Roy Andersson throughout the week.

The New Beverly: If you can’t wait for the home video release of FURY ROAD, be sure to check out the New Bev’s Ozploitation double feature of MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR this Friday and Saturday, as well as grindhouse favorites STONE and DARK AGE on the 25th.  Two by Chaplin, MODERN TIMES and THE CIRCUS, screen Sunday and Monday. The week closes with two from provocateur Lina Wertmuller (the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director, for SEVEN BEAUTIES) with SWEPT AWAY and LOVE & ANARCHY screening on the 26th and 27th.

The Egyptian: Beat the back to school blues by taking your kids to an awesome Studio Ghibli double feature at the Egyptian this week — MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and THE CAT RETURNS show Friday, THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA and PRINCESS MONONOKE screen Saturday, NAUSICAA VALLEY OF THE WIND and TALES FROM EARTHSEA debut on Sunday, and POM POKO (shape-shifting raccoons with magical scrotums — seriously!) and MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS finish up the series on Wednesday. This Friday, celebrate female filmmakers on the fringes with Subversive Women: A Low Key Night of New Underground Films Made by Women — these shorts don’t ever screen!

The Aero: The Aero’s series on Jazz on Film completes its run with ANATOMY OF A MURDER (the film with the most cinematic utterances of “panties,” Otto Preminger’s middle finger to censors) and ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW showing Saturday, and a double-feature on Latin jazz, CACHAO…COMO SU RITMO NO HAY DOS and CALLE 54, screening Sunday with Andy Garcia in person! The Aero also gets in on the Studio Ghibli celebration, with WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE and ONLY YESTERDAY showing Thursday night.

Cinespia: Did somebody say…tequila? Cinespia celebrates the thirtieth (really?) anniversary of PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE this Saturday, but the screening is unfortunately SOLD OUT. Special guests have been promised — we’re hoping for Large Marge.

LACMA: This week’s $4 matinee is the live-action Disney classic, FREAKY FRIDAY. This film is a total delight, and it shows how much range Jodie Foster had even as a young actor — this and TAXI DRIVER were both released in 1976.

Pick of the week: If you’ve never seen OVER THE EDGE, one of the ultimate looks at the diametrically opposed forces of teenage suburban malaise and anger, now’s a great time to check out the seminal coming-of-age flick as a part of the Heavy Midnites series this Saturday. Come for 14-year old Matt Dillon, stay for the totally bananas climax. This film was one of Kurt Cobain’s favorites, and clips from it appeared in this year’s MONTAGE OF HECK. Screenwriters Charles S. Haas (GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH) and Tim Hunter (RIVER’S EDGE, a cult favorite featuring young Keanu and the always fascinating Crispin Glover, very much in the vein of OVER THE EDGE)  are scheduled to attend the screening too!



The Week in Rep: 8/7-8/14

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Welcome to week two of The Week in Rep! Seeing as um, it’s a pretty slow week for new summer releases, you have no excuse not to go to a repertory screening this week. Classic VHS horror, 60s spy films, and a documentary about the Fantastic Four (Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, fear not) — why not take yourself on a movie date!

Cinefamily: Still can’t shake that feeling of being…followed? Join director Robert David Mitchell and Disasterpeace for a LIVE performance with a screening of IT FOLLOWS tonight at 10. On Saturday, the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls LA brings last year’s totally radical WE ARE THE BEST to Cinefamily, while Heavy Midnites presents PSYCHO BEACH PARTY with director Bob King in person! As a special treat, Cinefamily screens RINGU on Sunday with the filmmakers from SINISTER 2 in person — this event is FREE, first-come, first-serve. Continuing its series of screenings for Don’t Knock the Rock, Cinefamily celebrates cult hero Michael Des Barres with a screening of a new doc on his life WHO DO YOU WANT ME TO BE? featuring a discussion with rock journalist Legs McNeil, Des Barres, and director J. Elvis Weinstein following the film on Thursday. Cinefamily’s series on Roy Andersson continues throughout the week as well.

The New Beverly: Cowboys, vampires, and spies, oh my, The New Bev’s got it all this week! FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and DEATH RIDES A HORSE finish up their run 8/8, and are followed by two more Westerns, THE NAKED SPUR and RUN OF THE ARROW through the weekend. The New Bev then pays tribute to the late, great Christopher Lee with a pair of his classic genre features, COUNT DRACULA AND HIS VAMPIRE BRIDE and SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN on 8/11 and 8/12. The week closes with a pair of 1960s European crime films, SOL MADRID and THE VENETIAN AFFAIR, on 8/13 and 8/14.

The Egyptian: The Egyptian’s celebration of horror films from the 1980s continues this week, and their choices will…slay you! Head over to the Egyptian tonight for perhaps best filmed example of practical effects ever thanks to the amazing Rob Bottin, John Carpenter’s THE THING, on a double-bill with Chuck Russell’s criminally underseen 1988 remake of THE BLOB (co-written with Frank Darabont!) Tom Holland stops by Saturday night for a double-feature of FRIGHT NIGHT and CHILD’S PLAY, he’ll discuss both films at a Q&A between the films. Giallo fans, fear not — on Sunday, BURIAL GROUND and NIGHTMARE CITY bring the ultra-vivid blood and guts of Italian horror to the Egyptian. And closing out the week on 8/13 is THE HOWLING, another stellar example of Rob Bottin’s masterful effects work. Writer-director-TFH guru Joe Dante will appear for a post-film discussion.

The Aero: See pick of the week!

LACMA: This week’s $4 matinee is THE PARENT TRAP, one of Disney’s all-time live action classics. Yes, we love the 1998 version too, but the original has charm for days!

Cinespia: Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s screening of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, the OG rom-com and first film to ever win the Big 5 Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay). Prepare to be amazed at just how sharp the banter in this eighty-year old film is — it certainly makes you want to demand more from all rom-coms.

Pick of the Week: Grindhouse ubermensch Roger Corman has over 400 credits as a producer, but only one of his films was never released — FANTASTIC FOUR. DOOMED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ROGER CORMAN’S FANTASTIC FOUR screens this Thursday, 8/13 at the Aero. Cast and crew will appear for this screening, and based the doc’s trailer, there are MANY stories from Corman’s failed foray into comic books yet to be told. The Roger Corman school of no-budget filmmaking helped foster future Oscar-winners like Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, and Ron Howard, and he’s got an endless array of stories from his 50+ years in the industry. DOOMED is the perfect ending to the long, hot superhero summer.