Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - Sun, Jul 15, 2018
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AUDACIOUS DEBUTS

“Beginner’s Luck” is a phrase applied to unusually successful first efforts, but there is generally more to it with creative endeavors. Established filmmakers generally have but a few years after their last project to prepare their new one, but debuts can percolate for a lifetime. Even when a first feature is grounded in previous work in the theater, shorts or documentaries, when novelty intersects quality on the big screen, the results can be spectacular.

So it was with Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE. The fictionalized look at the life of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst may be the most famous debut in film, and its audacious structure and ensemble performances continue to inspire directors. Arguably the second most famous movie debut is Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS, based on the Charles Starkweather-Carol Fugate murder spree of the late 1950s.

Crime is a particularly fertile field for filmmakers looking to make a splash. Joel and Ethan Coen’s BLOOD SIMPLE is a thrilling mix of marital infidelity and corrupt investigators. Quentin Tarantino got his start with RESERVOIR DOGS, a heist-gone-bad story that’s both bloody and complex. Paul Thomas Anderson’s HARD EIGHT is a richly layered look at the pulpy world of Reno casinos.

The horror genre is also a magnet for inventive young filmmakers. Richard Kelly’s DONNIE DARKO and Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD may not have had big budgets, but the writer-directors made the most of them, conjuring up unforgettably nightmarish visions. Horror or fantasy seem limiting descriptions for David Lynch’s ERASERHEAD or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH from director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman; both of which map out strange, if somehow familiar, worlds that announce the arrivals of protean talents.

Series compiled by Grant Moninger. Program notes by John Hagelston.

Aero TheatreWed, Jul 11, 2018 - Sun, Jul 15, 2018
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Thu, Jul 12, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Jul 13, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre