Old Pasadena Film Festival

Image from hooplablog.com

Image from hooplablog.com

Summer evenings are just so delicious, one never wants them to end. The lure to stay outside is intense. What better way to do so than taking in an outdoor movie. Enter Old Pasadena Film Festival.

Kicking off today, the festival, which also features indoor screenings, runs through July 27 with free films Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Where you can catch flicks:

Historic Central Park (This is the spot for picnics or grabbing food truck grub. Bring a blanket to sit on.), One Colorado Courtyard, Distant Lands Travelers’ Bookstore, Armory Center for the Arts, Scott Pavilion on Raymond at the Pasadena Senior Center.

Ready for this season’s line-up? Here you go!

Saturday, July 5

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) – 83 min
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
After a wave of reports of mysterious attacks involving people and pets being eaten by the traditionally docile fruit, a special government task force is set up to investigate the violent veggies and put a stop to their murderous spree. Made on a budget of less than $100,000, the cult film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a fun spoof of B movies, featuring a wonderfully campy theme song, and is widely heralded as one of the “best” bad movies ever made.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – 94 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley 8:30PM
Directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore), Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down — which might not be such a bad thing. The delightful ensemble cast includes Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and many more.

Sunday, July 6

Who Does She Think She Is? (2008) – 73 min
Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. – 7:30PM
Directed by Academy Award-winning producer Pamela Tanner Boll (Born into Brothels), this riveting documentary features five bold women who navigate some of the most problematic intersections of our time: parenting and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. The film follows five women, ranging in age from 27 to 65 as they chart a path to create their individual type of art.

Thursday, July 10

Arise (2012) – 78 min
Conscientious Projector at Armory Center for the Arts
45 N. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM
On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural world. Acclaimed writer-producer-director Lori Joyce tells the heartening stories of 13 of these trailblazers, who have generated solution-oriented projects that have uplifted their communities, towns and villages. Their vision, charisma and vital efforts offer hopeful examples and new models for healing and respecting the earth and redefining our relationship with the environment. Narrated by Daryl Hannah. Community discussion to follow the screening.

Friday, July 11

The Odd Couple (1968) – 105 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
Nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay, this is the film version of Neil Simon’s beloved story about two divorced men who decide to share a New York apartment. The inimitable Jack Lemmon is Felix, fussy and fastidious to a fault, while beloved Walter Matthau’s Oscar is slovenly and careless. An enduring and endearing picture with the intelligence one usually misses in comedies. In 2000, the American Film Institute honored The Odd Couple as the 17th greatest American Comedy.

Go Ganges (2012) – 82 min
Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave.8:00PM
Josh Thomas and J.J. Kelley, the comic pair of Dudes on Media and the makers of the Emmy-nominated documentary Paddle to Seattle, are two friends in a foreign land on a quest to travel the ultimate river 1,500 miles from its pristine glacial headwaters all the way to the Bay of Bengal. These two television producers and adventure travelers test their skills on an epic adventure down India’s most sacred river, the Ganges. Living and traveling like the locals, they experience this river like it’s never been done before.

Saturday, July 12

House of Usher (1960) – 79 min
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
This horror classic starring Vincent Price was the first of eight Roger Corman feature films based on Edgar Allen Poe’s work. When a beautiful young woman’s suitor arrives to ask her hand in marriage, the doors of the mysterious house of Usher fling open… and terror begins. It seems the young woman’s brother is violently opposed to her planned marriage and resorts to macabre ends to prevent the tainted Usher blood from spreading to future generations. In 2005, the film was listed with the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Gravity (2013) – 91 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
The epic science-fiction thriller Gravity won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.

Sunday, July 13

Them! (1954) – 94 min
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
One of the first of the 1950s ‘nuclear monster’ movies, and the first ‘big bug’ film, Them! was nominated for an Oscar for its Special Effects and won a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing. Starring James Whitmore, James Arness, and Fess Parker, the film begins as a simple suspense story, with police investigating mysterious disappearances and unexplained deaths; it slowly develops into a horror story about radiation-enlarged giant ants. To build suspense, these giants are only heard on occasion and not seen until nearly a third of the way into the film.

The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1995) – 54 min

Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. – 7:30PM
What happens when a dedicated husband and father quits his job, adopts the persona of a Western-Movie Singing Cowboy, takes on the entire art establishment, and refuses to accept money for his art? Meet Gerry Gaxiola, AKA The Maestro, an ex-wage slave who gave up everything to make art for art’s sake. Filmed by prolific documentarian Les Blank (Burden of Dreams), this film was awarded Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival 1995.

Monday, July 14

Money & Life (2013) – 86 min
Conscientious Projector at Scott Pavilion on Raymond
Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly Ave. 7:00PM
This captivating documentary film examines the meaning, purpose and influence of money in our lives, how it relates to the economic and climatic challenges we presently face, and the ways in which it has diminished our connection with the natural world. Filmmaker Katie Teague asks us to consider that our seemingly insurmountable problems might inherently provide the opportunity for a transformational shift to a more sustainable and equitable economy centered on meeting human needs and valuing the gifts of nature.  Community discussion to follow the screening

Friday, July 18

The Marx Brothers in Animal Crackers (1930) – 97 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
Filled with comedy sketches, musical numbers and plenty of gags, Animal Crackers is often regarded as the Marx Brothers’ most quoted film for its witty and unforgettable dialogue. Groucho stars as Captain Spaulding, a famed African explorer who is being honored at a high society party at the estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse. Mayhem and chaos ensue after a valuable painting disappears and Spaulding, along with the Professor (Harpo), Signore Emanuel Ravelli (Chico) and Horatio (Zeppo) “help” search for it. Highlighted by musical performances, this classic comedy earned a place on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes list.

Last Stop for Paul (2006) – 83 min
Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave. – 8:00PM
This award-winning independent film is notable in that there was no crew and no casting. Charlie and Cliff decide they want to go to the Full Moon Party in Thailand. They set out to visit as many nations as humanly possibly within two weeks and along the way they sprinkle the ashes of their recently deceased friend Paul at each stop.

Saturday, July 19

The Fly (1958) – 94 min
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
With its ‘science-gone-bad’ storyline, and box office as well as critical success, The Fly is one of the seminal horror films of the 1950s and one that established Vincent Price as a horror icon. When a scientist attempts to transfer matter through space, things go horrifically wrong and two grotesque man-fly hybrids are created. Now, with the head of a fly and a wing in place of one of his arms, the scientist desperately hopes that he, his wife, and his brother (Vincent Price) can capture the other mutant and reverse the experiment.

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) – 114 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable (Katherine Hepburn) dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor). What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane. Now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth, and attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) into doing just that. Written by Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal, this high-drama tour de force offers plenty of opportunity for Hepburn and Taylor to shine. Both performances were nominated for Best Actress Academy Awards, and Taylor won that year’s Golden Globe for the same.

Sunday, July 20

Guest of Cindy Sherman (2008) – 88 min
Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. – 7:30PM
Filmed over 15 years, this documentary takes an eye-opening look at what happens when a skeptical outsider finds himself romantically involved with the ultimate insider. Videographer Paul H-O must confront issues of ego and identity when he begins a relationship with the reclusive artist Cindy Sherman. With unprecedented access, the documentary places us in the company of the artist and offers a critique of the ever-inflated New York art market and the culture of celebrity.

Thursday, July 24

Bidder 70 (2012) – 73 min
Conscientious Projector at Scott Pavilion on Raymond
Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly Ave. – 7:00PM
The reality of climate change is brought to light in the story of Tim DeChristopher, a young economics student who served 21 months in prison for a principled act of civil disobedience. In 2008, Tim posed as a bidder in a U.S. Bureau of Land Management auction of lease rights to pristine Utah wilderness earmarked for oil and gas development. Despite that the sale was ruled invalid prior to Tim’s trial, he was convicted on felony charges for disrupting the proceedings, but in the end became a spokesperson and hero in the climate change movement.  Community discussion to follow the screening.

Friday, July 25

Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella) (1997) – 113 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
This beautiful Italian comedy-drama was directed by and starred Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The film won Academy Awards for Benigni as Best Actor, as well as for Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Foreign Language Film.

The Art of Travel (2008) – 100 min
Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave. – 8:00PM
High school grad. Conner Layne is about to marry his first love. When wedding plans fail, he goes solo on his honeymoon to Central America, finding adventure with a ragtag group of foreigners who attempt to cross the Darien Gap, a 100-mile-long streak of undeveloped jungle that separates Panama and Colombia, in record time. Conner decides to join the group of adventurers journeying through perilous landscape for the quest of a lifetime and gets more of an adventure then he bargained for.

Saturday, July 26

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) – 80 min
Central Park, 274 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
Second of the eight Roger Corman feature films based on Edgar Allen Poe’s work, The Pit and The Pendulum is a classic horror-thriller, a real ‘nail-biter’. Stephen King has described one of the film’s major shocks as one of the most significant horror sequences of the decade. Set in post-Inquisition Spain, the film stars John Kerr as a young Englishman who travels to the seaside castle of his brother-in-law (Vincent Price) to uncover the circumstances behind the death of his sister. He is not prepared for what he discovers.

Lover Come Back (1961) – 107 min
One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley – 8:30PM
Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson) and Carol Templeton (Doris Day) are both in the advertising business, but for different agencies. A series of misunderstandings leaves Jerry with a campaign for a product which has not been invented yet. When Carol tries to get the account, she mistakes Jerry for the product’s inventor and he takes full advantage of the situation to try to win her over. Also starring Tony Randall and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, Lover Come Back is perhaps the best of the Rock Hudson/Doris Day romantic farces… classic romance and timeless fun.

Sunday, July 27

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) – 88 min
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. – 7:00PM Music+Food; 8:30PM Film
This fantasy film features the stunning visual effects mastery of the legendary Ray Harryhausen, who used a special stop-motion technique called Dynamation. Before wedding the Princess Parisa, Sinbad must battle an awesome collection of mythical monsters, the man-eating Cyclops, a saber-wielding skeleton, a ferocious two-headed bird called the Roc, and a fire-breathing dragon. In 2008, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Gimme Gimme Octopus (1973)
Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. – 7:30PM
This tokusatsu (live action with special effects)Japanese children’s television show ran from 1973-74. Each episode is exactly 2 minutes and 41 seconds, and revels in audacious, subversive, and surreal humor. The star of each episode is Kure Kure Takora (Gimme Gimme Octopus), a red octopus who wants everything he sees and says Kure! Kure! (I want it! I want it!) all of the time.

For more information about the Old Pasadena Film Festival visit http://www.oldpasadena.org/filmfestival/.


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