Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Thu, Jan 23, 2020 - Sun, Feb 2, 2020
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FORD VS. …

Years before Ford raced Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, the movies’ pace-setting Ford - John Ford, that is - directed a plethora of classic films, from the Western genre and beyond, whose distinct voice and cinematic language invites limitless comparisons with the films of other auteurs - both his contemporaries and successors - from around the world. With this series of parings, we examine Ford’s career through juxtapositions with filmmakers who honor, challenge, or build upon (often all at once) his cinema, revealing just how influential his work truly was.

Ford’s unparalleled contributions to the Western genre can be felt across both countries and time periods. His adventure across the Wild West, STAGECOACH, for example, makes a fitting companion piece with Kelly Reichardt’s modern 21st century re-envisioning of frontier cinema in MEEK’S CUTOFF. There are few directors more deserving of comparison than Sergio Leone, whose classic ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST makes a dramatic reversal of Henry Fonda’s classic good-guy role as Wyatt Earp in Ford’s MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. One can even see Ford’s genre distinctions begin to blur when comparing films like THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and THE SEARCHERS to the works of such filmmakers as Akira Kurosawa (SANJURO) and Steven Spielberg (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), who largely maintain the spirit of the Western while focusing on entirely different subjects.

Outside of the Western, Ford has been equally influential in his portrayals of moments of American history. YOUNG MR. LINCOLN stands out here, as a compelling examination of the 16th President’s younger, simpler life, which complements Frank Capra’s similarly poignant vision of American politics in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. Sharing this interest in American culture, Ford and Sam Peckinpah collide in THE QUIET MAN and STRAW DOGS, two vastly different stories of American men defined by violence. Lastly, Ford and William A. Wellman direct a pair of films just two years apart, THE GRAPES OF WRATH and THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, which both examine the behavior of groups of desperate people pushed far beyond their usual sense of civility.

Series programmed by Grant Moninger. Program notes by Chris LeMaire.

Aero TheatreThu, Jan 23, 2020 - Sun, Feb 2, 2020
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Thu, Jan 23, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Jan 24, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Jan 25, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Jan 26, 2020 - 5:00pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Jan 31, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Feb 1, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Feb 2, 2020 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre