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Jean-Luc Godard’s Sci-Fi Noir Classic ‘Alphaville’ Coming To LA

Photo: Athos Films

Landmark’s Nuart Theatre, located in Los Angeles, is one of the coolest, most unique and hip theatres in all the land, and they’re proving that again by screening Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville at the end of April.

Not in LA? Don’t know Jean-Luc Godard from Jean-Luc Picard or Jean Claude Van Damme? No matter. Alphaville (1965) comes from one of the most famous filmmakers ever, and melds science fiction with a film noir, starring Eddie Constantine and a babelicious femme fatale in Anna Karina (not to be confused with Anna Karenina). And now the film looks just as beautiful, and it’s a chance to witness film history.

Rialto Pictures’ expert restoration of the sci-fi film noir thriller is traveling around the U.S. over the next few months to educate us all about this under-appreciated and nigh lost gem. French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard is a titan in the field, one of the visionaries who ushered in French’s New Wave, and now is your chance to get a taste of history with a film that had almost been forgotten. Allow me to introduce you to Alphaville.

THE FUTURE HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!  This science fiction and film noir thriller by legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard debuted in 1965.  Set in a distant, dystopian future controlled by a cloud-like computer known as Alpha 60, Alphaville stars veteran tough guy Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution, the embodiment of a hard-boiled 50s private eye, quick with the skirts, his fists and his “gat.” Caution arrives in the titular city by Ford Galaxie, posing as a reporter from Figaro Pravda, though his real mission is to eliminate Alpha 60 mastermind Professor Von Braun. He is befriended by the inventor’s drop-dead beautiful daughter Anna Karina (Godard’s wife and muse, star of Band of Outsiders, Pierrot Le Fou, etc.), whose allegiance to Caution, in true Femme Noir fashion, can’t be predicted or trusted. Akim Tamiroff (Touch of Evil, Topkapi), as Lemmy’s old compatriot, adds a touch of Iron Curtain mystique.

Never officially reissued and virtually unseen in recent years (and, if at all, only in badly worn 35mm prints), Alphaville has been brought into the 21st Century with this sparkling new restoration, in digital cinema presentation, featuring sharp new subtitles by Lenny Borger and Cynthia Schoch.  Cinema giant Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders, Contempt) is a film critic, director, actor, inematographer, screenwriter, editor, producer, often identified with the 1960s French film movement La Nouvelle Vague, or “New Wave.”

Alphaville (A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution), opens at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre in LA on April 25th, 2014. The film is being screened at 12 PM, 2:30, 5, 7:30 and 9:50 PM from Friday April 25th through Monday April 29th, and then is limited to 5, 7:30 and 9:50 PM through May 1st. To check out Nuart’s screentimes in more detail, go here. Angelenos, you only have one week to act! If you find yourself intrigued and elsewhere around the country, check out its tour dates here.

The film’s running time is 99 minutes; it is not rated. Landmark’s Nuart Theatre is at 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, just west of the 405 Freeway, in West Los Angeles. For more program information call 310-281-8223, or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.