The Wright Stuff!

It’s a fast paced world, with technology making it possible to download more songs than you will listen to in your lifetime to your phone or the ability to watch a movie on a gadget the size of your palm. But as always, technology leaves a little something behind. The joy of a shared experience, where a group of people can sit back and enjoy something together. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having all these resources make things you never think possible become the norm. But I was reminded of how cool it is to be a part of an audience and to laugh, cheer and truly get excited about a movie with like minded individuals. This was all thanks to one of the coolest movie theatres in Los Angeles, the New Beverly Cinema, and one of the coolest directors making movies today, Edgar Wright.

Recently, courtesy of our man Omar Aviles and of course, Edgar’s MySpace page, you heard about The Wright Stuff. It was a film festival that Mr. Wright put together with the help of the New Bev. It is here, where if you were lucky enough to be in the jam packed audience, you were able to check out such double bills as, BUGSY MALONE and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE or FLASH GORDON and DANGER DIABOLIK. If you are looking for action, you couldn’t get much better than THE LAST BOYSCOUT and KISS KISS BANG BANG. Or are you all about the beasts? How about freakin’’ AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and TREMORS. If you want to laugh, or maybe a head trip, you could have witnessed TOP SECRET and BANANAS or BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and HEAD. And my favorite night happened to show two of my all time grooviest flicks, and that included RAISING ARIZONA and EVIL DEAD 2. You may think that last couple of greats is an odd pairing, but Mr. Wright and an entire roomful of movie watchers know the two films were released on March 13, 1987.

In fact, each one of these pairings was well thought out by the host. He even went and put together some killer tunes that fit each film as the eager audience gathered. And for the die hard movie geeks, we all had an extra bit of fun with several classic previews before each feature. I’m talking EVIL DEAD, BLOOD SIMPLE, THE HOWLING, BUBBA HO TEP and I don’t think I’ve ever heard an group of people get as excited as when THE BIG LEBOWSKI trailer reminded us why that film kicked such serious ass. Everything here was carefully planned by Edgar. And it was housed in an awesome theatre with fresh popcorn, soda and candy. Sorry, no mineral water and strange pizzas that involved chicken, this is a old fashioned movie house. And guess what, this theatre is constantly running an amazing double feature for the low price of seven bucks. I am sad to say that I missed out even more goodness, because on this very night as I am writing this, after the excitement of The Wright Stuff film festival has ended, they are showing the original BLACK CHRISTMAS and SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT.

So yes, the festival is over and the director of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ helped make a whole lot of cinema lovers very happy. He even brought along a few friends including John Landis who told us a story about how pissed off Alfred Hitchcock was when he saw Brian DePalma’s DRESSED TO KILL because it was called “Hitchockian”. There was Mickey Dolenz, David Zucker, Jim Abrams, Greg Nicotero for a little Q and A. Even Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino were hanging out. And that’s only a partial list, tons more showed up for the fun. It was an amazing celebration of movies of old, and the community of theatre goes making watching these flicks an incredible experience. And the good news is that this will soon become a regular event for this particular theatre, with Eli Roth and Joe Dante offering up a few of their favorite features.

With all this said, I got a chance to talk with Edgar about the choices he made for this special event in regards to the movies and such. And of course, the importance of supporting cinema in this manner. The always charming dude was gracious enough to give us his thoughts, while the red glow that filled up the projectionist booth was just a happy accident. At least I think it was cool. I also got a chance to talk about the New Bev with Julia Marchese who was the event organizer. She spoke about the theatre and how more fun is coming soon. Can I just say, being up in the projectionist booth is pretty damn awesome.

JoBlo.com talks to Edgar Wright at the Wright Stuff film festival

JoBlo.com talks to festival organizer Julia Marchese at the Wright Stuff film festival

The New Beverly Cinema is open seven days a week with or without a famed director sharing his personal greatest hits. But you can’t beat the price and you also get to see a double feature, one which you may have never even had the chance to see on a big screen. I myself had never seen EVIL DEAD 2 on anything more than a television. This is something of an experience that even the coolest HD Mongo size Plasma Television with 2 million channels can’t offer. It’s all good that we have such amazing capabilities and even DVDs will likely be obsolete in a few years, but don’t forget about the experience that a theatre, one which isn’t a deluxe mega-plex, can offer. In fact, let’s try something new here, what about all you Schmoes out there? I am proud to say that the readers of this site make for some truly diverse movie lovers that know their shite. Is there a theatre that is more than just a place for one movie playing on ten screens near you? One which is cooler than cool? Why don’t you spit some bullets on your favorite little theatre that screens amazing double bills like those mentioned above, or maybe one where you could have seen a Coen Brothers movie back in BLOOD SIMPLE days. Let’s do a public service here. And a special thanks to Edgar Wright for inviting JoBlo.com and of course, the New Beverly for just doing what it does best.

Extra tidbit… For those of you in the Los Angeles area and you’ve never been to the New Beverly Cinema, do yourself a favor and make your way to 7165 West Beverly, one block west of LaBrea. And you can check out their website at www.newbevcinema.com for more info.

Source: JoBlo.com



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