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Edgar Wright Throws His Own New Bev Fest In LA! Awesome Line-Up Of Movies And Special Surprises! Behold THE WRIGHT STUFF!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Got a call from Edgar Wright earlier today, and we talked for what was supposed to be a quick minute that turned into about 20 minutes. He wanted to see if I’d be willing to put something up on the site about a festival he’s programming at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. First of all, it entertains me to no end that Edgar is turning into an Angeleno. He’s spent so much time here writing that he’s going native. I understand he frequently flashes his bare vagina at paparazzi these days. Sad, man. Sad. But one thing that never changes about Edgar is his taste in films. He’s a blatant no-shit geek, as much as anyone reading this site or writing for it. And he’s just one of a group of directors who have decided to really work to help keep the New Beverly open. If you live in Los Angeles, it would probably behoove you to bookmark the New Beverly’s site or their The New Beverly Blog on Myspace, so you don’t miss any of the crazy cool shit they’ve got planned. For now, here’s the release that Edgar sent out to announce “The Wright Stuff,” the series of films he’s showing. When he told me today that he’s working on the guest he’s working on for the BUGSY MALONE/PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE double-feature... well, let’s just say I’ll be attending that one, no doubt about it. And probably several more oft hem, as well, although this runs right into BNAT weekend for some of us. If you’re in LA and you feel left out of BNAT, or you just want to find the most hardcore geek audience in the city, I’m betting it’ll be the New Bev where you find them, and after hearing how excited about this he was today, I’m guessing Edgar’s looking forward to seeing these films with that appreciative audience:
THE NEW BEVERLY HAS 'THE WRIGHT STUFF' December 2-17, 2007. The New Beverly Cinema is proud to announce that Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, will be programming a special festival of films, The Wright Stuff, at the theater in December of this year. After selling out a screening of his films in August, Wright is returning to the New Beverly to show some of his favorite movies. Wright will be at the theater to introduce the screenings, schedule permitting. In addition, the festival will also include several surprise special guests. Painstakingly handpicked, the films cover a wide spectrum of decades and film genres. From horror to comedy, musicals and more, the festival is sure to have something for every taste. December 2nd-4th - BUGSY MALONE & PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE December 5th & 6th - FLASH GORDON & DANGER DIABOLIK! December 7th & 8th - THE LAST BOY SCOUT & KISS KISS, BANG BANG December 9 & 11th - AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON & TREMORS December 12 & 13th - TOP SECRET! & BANANAS December 14th & 15th - BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS & HEAD December 16th & 17th - RAISING ARIZONA & EVIL DEAD 2 Admission to all of the screenings is $7 for adults, $6 for students with ID and $4 for children and seniors. All evening screenings begin at 7:30, with a matinee double feature on weekends. No advance tickets will be sold. The box office opens 15 minutes before the first show. The New Beverly Cinema is located at 7165 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, a block west of La Brea. For more information on the New Beverly, visit our website,, or You may email the theater at with any questions. Wright started out directing television in the UK, most famously the cult series Spaced. He then moved on to his first feature film, the horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, which won him the British Independent Film Award for best screenplay, and the Empire Award for best British film. In 2007, Wright's second feature, Hot Fuzz, was released to critical success, winning him best comedy at the National Movie Awards. The festival is kicking off on December 2-4 with a double feature of Paul Williams's outrageous musicals Bugsy Malone, directed by Alan Parker and Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise. Says Wright – "I'm a huge fan of these films and the fact that they are my two favorite musicals is in no small part due to the mighty Paul Williams fantastic songs. 'Bugsy' is a much-loved film in the UK and deserves to be more of a staple here. What other film could pair up a pre-Chachi Scott Baio with a just-wrapped-from-Taxi-Driver Jodie Foster? And De Palma's 'Phantom' is a glorious revelation for those who've only seen his work in other genres. It remains the much underrated spiritual cousin and in my opinion superior rock opera to 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'. See the former to experience the pure joy of child actors lip synching Paul Williams vocals and the latter to witness the man himself in master villain mode. Dressing up not essential, but encouraged. December 5 & 6, it's the classic science fiction film Flash Gordon, coupled with Mario Bava's spy thriller Danger Diabolik in a supercharged Dino De Laurentiis comic book spectacular. Says Wright – "Dino De Laurentiis's 1980 version of 'Flash Gordon' is an absolute blast and far better than its camp classic status would suggest. Great performances throughout, from Timothy Dalton's mighty moustache to Ornelia Muti's scorching extinction level event sexuality. There's so much to enjoy here, with Lorenzo Semple Junior's hilarious and quotable script recalling his glory days writing the Batman TV series. Oh and the score? Only the best sci-fi score of all time. It's by Queen. You may have heard of them. Add to this an earlier Dino classic, 'Danger Diabolik', a pop art explosion of 60's style. This Italian comic book adaptation has been celebrated by the Beastie Boys in their 'Bodymovin' video and in Roman Coppola's film 'CQ', but it again needs saving from its status as a so-bad-it's-good curio, thanks to the snarky efforts of the MST3'K. 'Diabolik' is one of the coolest comic book films out there and an intentionally funny one to boot. Check out the cars, the fashions, the in camera effects and one of Morricone's sexiest scores. A perfect double of glorious costumes, crazy matte paintings and some of the coolest set designs. A feast for your tired eyeballs." December 7 & 8, Wright has chosen two of his favorite action movies, both from the barbed pen of Shane Black. The Last Boy Scout starring Bruce Willis and the sleeper hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Wright says – "Shane Black has long been a writing hero of mine and these are my two favorite scripts to have been spat out of his typewriter. The first is criminally underrated and the second is scandalously under seen, together they make for a double bill of the finest in neo noir. Prepare yourself for some of sharpest machine gun banter in recent memory, the New Beverly auditorium will be riddled with zingers by the end of the night." Moving from action to comedy/horror, December 9 & 11 is John Landis' brilliant An American Werewolf In London, coupled with Kevin Bacon's early 90's romp, Tremors. Wright says – "My film 'Shaun Of The Dead' was inspired not just by my favorite horror comedies, but specifically, the best in character driven genre films. Both these films represent this quality in spades. 'An American Werewolf In London' represents one of the first films that truly blew me away and remains very dear to me to this day. From one of favorite directors at the peak of his powers, to the glorious effects, the hilarious performances, the amazing location work and one of the most essential soundtracks of the decade. Oh and the red, red gore. This is a hugely influential film and still one of kind. Pair this up with Ron Underwood's 'Tremors', one of the few monster movies of the last twenty years to get it absolutely right. Awesome physical effects, great use of locations, textbook action geography and imaginative monsters. And best of all, the superb duo of Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon as your blue-collar heroes. A better monster blowout you will not find this side of (insert own funny analogy here)." December 12 & 13, it's slapstick comedy at its best, with Top Secret and Woody Allen's Bananas. Wright says, "How silly can you get? Answer: Very silly indeed. 'Top Secret!' is the hair brained and magnificently goofy follow up to 'Airplane!' and 'Police Squad!' that deserves just as much love as its brilliant predecessors. The genre splicing of war and Elvis movies is ridiculous, yet perfect, Val Kilmer has genuinely never been more charming and the frequent songs are sublimely stupid. Add in a scattershot barrage of jokes that is so rapid and impressively go for broke, that the misses are as memorable as the hits. It's high time to go crazy in the aisles for Nick Rivers once again. Paired, for the first time ever, with a classic from the smartest man to ever make some very silly movies. Allen Stewart Konigsberg gives us the gift of Bananas, one of my very favorite examples of his 'early, funny films'. A fantastic array of gags both verbal and visuals, powered along by Marvin Hamlisch's hilarious score. If you've from some strange blinkered galaxy and have never seen a pre 'Annie Hall' Woody Allen film, you owe to yourself to gorge on 'Bananas'. Everyone who's seen it already will need no encouragement. See you there. December 14 & 15 will be super psychedelic with Russ Meyer's unbelievable Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and the Monkees' cult classic movie Head. Wright says, "My head is spinning at the sheer excitement of such a trippy double. Russ Meyers's 'BTVOTD' is one of the greatest films of the 70's and again far a better film and screenplay than the camp classic status which with it's attributed. The 'Starship Troopers' of its day, it's a non-stop party of booze, sex, Mary Jane, bed hopping, pneumatic starlets and transgender psychosis. The quintessential sex, drugs and rock and roll movie experience, its saga of the a girl band making it on Los Angeles is flat out funny, immensely quotable and has some of the most furious editing of all time. Not to mention the fact that it has been incredibly prescient in the fortunes of some of the legends it satirizes. Not mentioning any names. (*cough – Phil Spector*) Co-writer Roger Ebert gets two thumbs up for this one. Way up. If that isn't enough entertainment, then how about a little 'Head' from The Monkees? I pretty much prefer Bob Rafelson's freak out than any of The Beatles films. It's highly imaginative, brilliantly satiric and filled with fantastic tunes. While it was arguably the nail in The Monkees career, it also ranks as their finest achievement. I have watched Circle Sky, Can You Dig It? and Do I Have To Do This All Over Again? more times than is necessary. It will indeed be a trip to see this on the big screen. Co-writer Jack Nicholson also gets two thumbs up. Wherever he damn pleases." The festival closes on December 16 & 17 with two of Wright's very favorites, the Coen's Raising Arizona and Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2. Wright says, "To my knowledge these films have never been screened as a double, but in my mind they are forever joined at the (oh so) hip. Because of these two films in the late eighties, I decided to turn my nascent love of all things movie related into an ambition to direct myself. Both see former collaborators Sam Raimi, Joel and Ethan Coen achieve a glorious groove. Never have you seen two movies having so much fun with the form; they are visually and verbally brilliant. And both are truly infectious. I am so proud to conclude this season with such a double-barreled blast. See you at the cinema. I'll be the one laughing loudest."

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