About Cinematheque:


When most “art” houses, theatres, are showing the same collections repeatedly, it only means that the vast vody of film art not in those collections goes unseen.  sometimes minor works by great directors warrant another look, or great films by directors who either never made another film, or were unable to return to the magic of that one masterpiece.

The PS Cinematheque at the Ace Hotel will also feature international work from directors who (for whatever reason) simply have had little or no visibility in the English language film world (such as Nelson Pereira Dos Santos of Brazil and a core member of Cinema Nuovo or Adoor Gopakrishnan of India, or Kenji Kurosawa, the “other” Kurosawa of Japan).

The Cinematheque will also provide new contexts for enduring classics and re-evaluations of directors and film artists. We want discussion about the uber-art form of the last century and certainly of the current one. We want to create an enthusiastic community of film aficionados and to allow for new ways to develop critical thought about film.

*information provided by http://pscinematheque.tumblr.com

About the Curator:

John Steppling
An original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival,
and a Rockefeller Fellow in Theatre, a two time NEA winner and a PEN-West recipient.

Steppling’s plays have been produced in London, Paris, New York, LA, SF, and Poland. His last screen credit was Animal Factory, directed by Steve Buscemi and starring Willem DaFoe. A collection of his plays was published in 1999 by Sun & Moon Press (Sea of Cortez and Other Plays). He worked in Hollywood for a 15 years writing bad TV and the occasional film. He directed and wrote a short film, Then They Recognize Me, in association with the Mid Nordic Film Commission in Norway. His play Phantom Luck premiered in LA this last year. He most recently taught for six years (2002-2008) at the Polish National Film School, Lodz Poland.

This week’s Focus and Film Selections:

Genre from an archetypal (well, almost, actually Huston is a bit of revisionist in the genre himself) and the precursor for post modern takes on the form (Kubrick). Both star the wonderful Sterling Hayden. Both are heist films, and both carry a heavy dose of cynicism. Both beautifully realized films. – J.Steppling


Starting sharp at 7:00pm

inside the Ace Hotel Palm Springs Commune

701 E Palm Canyon Palm Springs, CA


(Double Screening Special)

The Killing

a film by Stanley Kubrick

1956 / 85min

Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) is a veteran criminal planning one last heist before settling down and marrying Fay (Coleen Gray). He plans to rob two million dollars from the money counting room of a racetrack during a featured race. He assembles a team consisting of a corrupt cop (Ted de Corsia), a betting window teller (Elisha Cook Jr.) to give access to the backroom, a sharpshooter (Timothy Carey) to shoot the favorite horse during the race to distract the crowd, a wrestler (Kola Kwariani) to provide another distraction by provoking a fight at the track bar, and a track bartender (Joe Sawyer).

However, the betting window teller, George Peatty, tells his wife, Sherry (Marie Windsor), about the impending robbery. Sherry is bitter at George for not delivering on the promises of wealth he made her at the time of their marriage, and George hopes that telling her about the robbery will placate and impress her. Sherry does not believe him at first; but, after learning that the robbery is real, she enlists her lover, Val Cannon (Vince Edwards), to steal the money from George and his associates.

The heist is successful, although the sharpshooter, Nikki, is shot and killed by the police. The conspirators rendezvous at the apartment where they are to meet Johnny and divide up the money. Before Johnny arrives, however, Val appears and holds them up. A shootout ensues, and a badly wounded George is the sole survivor. He goes home and shoots Sherry before dying himself.

Johnny, while on his way to the apartment, sees George staggering in the street, and knows that something is wrong. He puts the cash in an old, used suitcase, and he and Fay go to the airport. While boarding their plane, however, the suitcase falls off a cart, breaks open, and the money is swept away by the wind. Fay urges Johnny to flee, but he refuses, stating that there is no use trying to escape. The film ends with two officers coming to arrest him.

– via, the handy-dandy, wikipedia

second film screening of the evening…

The Asphalt Jungle

a film by Sterling Hayden

1950 / 112min

The Asphalt Jungle (1950) is a naturalistic film noir crime film classic (resembling numerous B-films) of the early 1950s from A-list director John Huston. The realistic, documentary-like, urban crime/heist film – advertised as “A John Huston Production” – was one of the first films that completely and specifically detailed how to pull off an authentic-looking heist – something usually considered morally improper under the Production Code.

The sparse, gritty and tense film with a linear narrative is often considered the definitive heist or caper film, often copied and paid homage to by later films, many made during the sub-genre’s flourishing in the 1950s:

  • Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956), also with Sterling Hayden
  • Mackendrick’s British film The Ladykillers (1955)
  • Jules Dassin’s French-made Rififi (1955), with a tense 30-minute heist sequence
  • Ocean’s Eleven (1960) (also a remake by Steven Soderbergh, Ocean’s Eleven (2001))
  • The Italian Job (1969)
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975), with Al Pacino as Sonny Wortzik who robs a Brooklyn bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex-change operation
  • The Usual Suspects (1995)

The same storyline was also used in three other films: the jewel heist caper Cairo (1963) set in Egypt, Cool Breeze (1972) with an all-black cast, and the Delmer Daves western The Badlanders (1958) with Alan Ladd.

The hard-boiled MGM film of urban corruption, low-life alienation, and claustrophobic, small-time despair was adapted by John Huston and Ben Maddow from W. R. Burnett’s novel of the same name. [Burnett also wrote another American crime novel upon which the seminal gangster film Little Caesar (1930) was based. And Huston wrote the screenplay for High Sierra (1941) starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino – another adaptation of a Burnett novel.]

Huston’s work was honored with four Academy Award nominations but no Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Sam Jaffe), Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best B/W Cinematography (Harold Rosson, who lost to The Third Man (1949)). It lost mostly because of tough competition from the multi-lauded Best Picture of the year, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve (1950). [Because of her well-regarded part in The Asphalt Jungle as the mistress of a corrupt lawyer, Marilyn Monroe was cast in a similar bit role in All About Eve.]

Information provided by Tim Dirks of the AMC Filmsite

To read more on the review, please click here