The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #14

The Crow — 25th Anniversary


The Frida Cinema is proud to show for the first time—in honor of its 25th anniversary—the 1994 sleeper hit, The Crow. This gothic-fantasy-action film captivatingly showcases the talent and potential of Brandon Lee—before his tragic and untimely death.

Rock musician Eric (Lee) and his loving fiancée Shelly are brutally killed by a ruthless gang the night before their wedding. A year after their murders, a crow awakens Eric from his grave, guiding him down into the shadowy city slums to exact revenge against his killers. With each revenge killing, Eric is one step closer to giving himself and his beloved eternal peace…

… But he cannot rest until he deals with Top Dollar, a top-level criminal who controls all the street gangs in the city—the man ultimately responsible for Eric and Shelly’s deaths

The Crow’s music and dark alternative rock atmosphere stands as both as an individual style of film and a part of the dark comic book superhero trend of the 1990’s (BladeDarkmanSpawnBatman Returns). The Crow is heavily influenced visually by an array of films, including Blade RunnerSuspiria, and Enter the Dragon—which starred Brandon Lee’s father, martial arts film legend Bruce Lee. Coincidentally, both The Crow and Enter the Dragon would be the last films of both father and son. Don’t miss your chance to see The Crow, before it flies away.

“…Lee is so good here, and the movie is so good, that this could have easily been the beginning of a starring career for him.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“What’s scary about The Crow is the story and the style itself: American gothic, Poe-haunted nightmare, translated to the age of cyberpunk science fiction, revenge movies, and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, all set in a hideously decaying crime-ridden urban hell.”—Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

The Crow, starring the late Brandon Lee, is like one long fright night, even though it was photographed in color, the edge-of-darkness atmosphere descends on the audience like a shroud.”—Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times



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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #13

Gremlins 2: The New Batch — Presented by HorrorBuzz


If you love Gremlins and slapstick comedy, then you’ll love what has in store for you. HorrorBuzz returns to The Frida Cinema with a comedy-horror sequel like no other—Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Six years after the original gremlin invasion of their small town, Kingston Falls, Billy (Zach Galligan) and his fiance Kate (Phoebe Cates) now live in New York City, working for a major tech corporation, self-contained in a skyscraper. While they try to make it in the daily grind of corporate America, the loveable mogwai, Gizmo, becomes an unwilling guinea pig for a science lab conducting secret experiments for the corporation. When Gizmo accidentally gets wet (uh-oh), he spawns four trouble-making mogwai, who imprison him in an air vent. After the four mogwai become gremlins, they spawn more gremlins and take over the skyscraper, upping the mayhem ante from the first film. It’s now up to Gizmo, Billy, and Kate to once again defeat the gremlins and save the day.

Gremlins 2 is filled with appearances by an array of pop-culture icons including Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings), John Astin (The Adams Family original television show), and Henry Gibson (Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In). Animation legend Chuck Jones came out of retirement to create the Looney Tunes sequence that opens the film. References to classic Warner Brothers films abound—from The Wizard of Oz to The Phantom of the Opera to Dames. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable rendition of “New York, New York”.

If you’re lucky enough to make this screening, you might even see a few gremlins running amok right here at The Frida Cinema.

“A hilarious sequel featuring equal parts creature slapstick for the small fry and satirical barbs for adults.”Variety

“Speaks to the gleeful hell-raising monster in each of us, and it speaks with much more verve, cleverness and good humor than the film on which it is based.  Add this to the very short list of sequels that neatly surpass their predecessors”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“…not merely the rare sequel that is funnier than the original, it is one of the funniest comedies o its time, a veritable live-action cartoon from Joe Dante at his most unrestrained”—Sean Axmaker, Stream on Demand


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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #12

Woodstock: The Director’s Cut

Continuing The Frida Cinema’s celebration of “The Summer of 1969”, we present the 1994 director’s cut of the 1970 documentary Woodstock. The three-day music festival, taking place in August 1969, stands as the most impactful music festival in American music history, as well as the pinnacle of the 1960s counterculture movement.

Woodstock: The Director’s Cut takes an in-depth, multi-perspective look at the landmark festival. Conceived and co-organized by four baby boomers (Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman and John P. Roberts). They took Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York and transformed it into the backdrop for music history. Over three days, thirty-two acts represented a “who’s who” of 1960s counterculture musical icons, (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ravi Shankar, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix). With an estimated audience of 500,000 people, the Woodstock festival made a statement to America about the power of music and the permanent impact of the counterculture on American life.

Winning the 1971 Oscar for Best Documentary, Woodstock went on to become an important document of a time unlike any other in America. The uniqueness of the documentary’s style can be credited to its seven editors, including future Oscar winning director Marin Scorsese. Don’t miss your chance to see “An Aquarian Exposition [of] 3 Days of Peace and Music.”

“An important sociological document as much as massive who’s who of rock and folk in 1969”—Rob Gonsalves,

“Few documentaries have captured and place more completely, poignantly, and for that matter, entertainingly.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“In the end, it is hard to come away not overwhelmed by both the events it pictures and the titanic filmmaking that brings it to the screen.”—Bill Wyman,



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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #11

The Italian Job

Celebrating the summer of 1969, here at The Frida Cinema, from across the pond, is the classic British action-crime-comedy, The Italian Job.  The 6th highest grossing film in America in 1969.

After getting out of prison, Charlie Crocker (Michel Caine) is given a plan, masterminded by his recently deceased friend, Roger, to steal four-million dollars in gold from Italy in broad daylight during a professional soccer match.  With financing from the powerful crime lord, Mr. Bridger, Charlie puts together a merry band of professional thieves, drivers, and a computer expert, played by comedic legend Benny Hill, to carry out the heist.  Despite the Italian mafia, who is responsible for killing Roger, trying to intimidate Charlie and his crew, they continue on as planned.  And what ensues leads to a beautifully shot car chase, leaving you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.

The Italian Job, is a staple of modern British cinema, listed as #36 on the BFI (British Film Institute) Top 100 British films of all time.  Along with a soundtrack by music legend Quincy Jones, it’s a smashing film experience too good to drive past.

“Is there a film—certainly a British film—that delivers a greater infusion of pure joy than The Italian Job?”—Robert Colvile, Daily Telegraph

“It’s the sort of smoothly entertaining and slyly intelligent crow-pleasing spectacle that will never go out of style.”—Scott Weinberg,

“Fast, funny, and featuring a wealth of great one-liners, this is highly entertaining stuff.”—Film4



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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #10

The Harder They Come


With a piece in his hand, he takes on the man! The epochal cultural moment that first brought reggae to the international stage made Jimmy Cliff a star — and demonstrated how music can change the world.

Fifty years on, The Harder They Come is still electric with the feeling of discovery.  This Scarface-y blend of crime drama and musical tracks Cliff’s country-boy-in-search-of-fame through Jamaica under the guises of laborer, recording artist, convict, ganja dealer, and outlaw folk hero.

Ivanhoe “Ivan” Martin (influential reggae musician Jimmy Cliff) is a poor Jamaican man who dreams of being a successful reggae singer.  Following his dream, he travels to Kingston where he finds work running errands for a local record producer. leads him from his rural home, to the capitol city of Kingston.  When the producer records Ivan’s song, “The Harder They Fall,” Ivan sees this as his ticket to fame. However, the record producer exploits Ivan, wanting him to sell his song rights. Desperate, Ivan turns to dealing marijuana. His life spiral out of control when he gets into a shootout and becomes a notorious criminal. It’s only a matter of time until his reputation catches up with him.

Before The Harder They Come, the collective perception of a “foreign film” was limited to the Bergmans and the Kurosawas of the world. This game-changer forever blew those doors off — and it still hasn’t lost a drop of its cool, its edge, or its way of making you dance.

“Perry’s Henzell’s 1972 rugged reggae crime story—loosely based on a ’40s-era Jamaican folk hero/criminal—plays like a musically-inspired docudrama of the raw social reality of the impoverished island nation in the ’70s.” — Cole Smithey,

“A hard-hitting social drama with revolutionary political overtones, but it is immensely enjoyable and, at times, light-hearted.” — James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

“A Jamaican classic with an awesome OST [original sound track]” —Empire Magazine


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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #9



Get ready to experience an underground 1980s rock scene, in the least likely of places, the USSR, with Leto — an ode to the Soviet rock rebellion and those who defied the state.

Under the suffocating control of the USSR, an underground rock scene flourished, fueled by musicians’ love of Western rock and their disdain for the government. Emerging from this scene were two young musicians, Viktor Tsoi of Kino (Teo Yoo) and Mike Naumenko of Zoopark (Roman Bilyk). Set against the backdrop of the genesis of the Leningrad Rock Club and the production of Kino’s debut album 45Leto explores the creative and personal relationship between Mike and Viktor, who begins having an affair with Mike’s wife Natasha (Irina Starshenbaum).

Vladislav Opelyants’ black and white cinematography gives Leto a vintage feel and serves as a visual expression of how sterile life under the KGB felt.  Surrealist images and musical interludes — combined with animation resembling an early ’80s MTV music video — are unexpectedly charming breaks with reality, representing the freedom that art can bring.

“The director’s stylistic decisions bring freshness to the set.” — Juanma Ruiz, Caiman Cuadernos de cine

“A film that illustrates how Art stull frightens the powerful.” — Pablo Villaca, Cinema de Cena

“Even if Leto doesn’t trumpet any obvious political agenda, it still feels dangerous, like a sidelong glance that shoots daggers.” — Stephanie Zachaerk, TIME


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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #8


June 20, 2019 @ 7:30 pm

OC PRIDE presents the 90’s classic comedy, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

In the mid-90’s, folks didn’t quite know what to expect when they heard that Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo would be playing a trio of Manhattan drag queens. But that’s before we met — and instantly fell in love with — the immortal Vida Boheme, Noxeema Jackson, and Chi-Chi Rodriguez. After Vida and Noxeema impress regional judges in a competition, they secure spots in the prestigious Nationals in Los Angeles. When the two meet pathetic drag novice Chi-Chi, who is broken-hearted at having lost at the same competition, the charmed Vida and Noxeema agree to take the hopeless youngster under their collective wing. Soon the three set off on a madcap road trip across America, meeting new friends and facing new struggles as they desperately try make it to Los Angeles in time.

With a start-studded cast of 1990’s Hollywood royalty, great music, and appearances by RuPaul, Robin Williams, and Miss Julie Newmar herself, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmaris a fun road trip movie that everyone can enjoy.

Directed by Beeban Kidron | 109 minutes | 1995 | Rated PG-13

“Imagine, ‘Wong Foo’ suggests, a world where people stopped judging one another and simply surrendered to the silliness that’s dormant inside us.”— Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

“This road trip comedy starring some of the ’90s biggest action heroes in drag works best as a story about three friends, who find answers for themselves by helping others.” — Adera Beach, Common Sense Media

“Screenwriter Douglas Carter Deane pilfers not just plot elements from ‘Priscilla,’  but also stirs in big chunks of ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ ‘Bagdad Cafe,’ ‘Auntie Mame,’ ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Cinderella.’” — Joe Brown, Washington Post


The Frida Cinema Blog Post #2


In honor of our “Frida After Dark” screening of the 30th Anniversary of Weird Al’s cult-classic UHF, here are 12 things you didn’t know about “America’s most celebrated nerd,” Weird Al Yankovic.

  1. UHF Easter Egg.

This occurs during the scene when Weird Al and his friend Bob are putting together their channel’s schedule on a white board.  There is a show on the 9-10 p.m. time slot called, “Volcano Worshipers Hour.”  This show’s title was the name of a club Weird Al started in high school: the “Volcano Worshipers” club.  He created the club just to get another picture in his high school year book.


  1. Impressive academic achievements.

While many people might just view Weird Al as just silly—he is highly intelligent.  His academic resume includes: staring kindergarten a year early, skipping second grade, and graduating high school at sixteen years old as the valedictorian.  He also attended college at Cal Poly Tech, getting his bachelors degree in architecture.


  1. The Weird Al Show.

In 1997, Weird Al hosted a Saturday morning show on CBS.  The show was intended to be an educational children’s television program, with music and comedy, in the style of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. The show only lasted for one season, with thirteen episodes.  (All the episodes can be found on YouTube.)


  1. AL TV.

From 1984 to 2006, Weird Al hosted comedy specials for MTV, which parodied MTV’s format of music video programs.  The show featured fake celebrity interviews, as well as music videos from contemporary artists, like David Bowie and Weird Al.  Though most folks are not familiar with these specials, many of the fake interview segments are being used today for Weird Al’s live shows during his costume changes.


  1. Grammy wins.

Since 1985, Weird Al has been nominated for 16 Grammy Awards—and has won five!

His wins include:

Best Comedy Album: Poodle Hat and Mandatory Fun

Best Comedy Recording: “Eat it”

Best Concept Music Video: “Fat”

Best Boxed or Special Limited-Edition Package: Squeeze Box


  1. New York Times Best-Selling Author.

In 2011 and 2013, Weird Al published two children’s books: When I Grow Up, and its sequel, My New Teacher and Me.  The books follow Billy and his wild imagination.  When I Grow Up reached No.4 on the New York Times Best-Sellers list, on the Children’s Picture Book list in February 2011.


  1. Director.

In 1993, Weird Al made his directorial debut with, “Bedrock Anthem.”  He continues to direct his music videos and has directed videos for other music artists.  These artists vary from the Black Crows, to Hanson, to The John Spencer Blues Explosion.


  1. Mutual Fan and Friends with Lynn Manuel Miranda.

Since childhood, Lynn Manuel Miranda (the composer/writer of the groundbreaking theater musical Hamilton) was a massive Weird Al fan.  When Weird Al was interested in a possible musical theater project, Lynn jumped at the chance to meet with his childhood hero.  Though nothing came from that project, Lynn and Weird Al became good friends.  Later, as a part of Hamildrops, a series of Hamilton-related songs released online as singles, Weird Al composed a polka medley of Hamilton songs, called “Hamilton Polka.”


  1. Madonna inspired a Major Parody Hit.

During the popularity of Madonna’s 1984 hit, “Like A Virgin,”she joked with a friend: “I wonder when Weird Al is going to do “Like a Surgeon?”  Since Madonna’s friend knew Weird Al’s manager, she called him with the idea, and then it was presented to Weird Al.  “Like a Surgeon” became one of Weird Al’s biggest hits for both the 1980’s and his career.  Thanks Madonna!

  1. Nirvana rebooted career.

From 1989 to 1991, Weird Al was facing a rut in his career.  However, in 1991, after hearing Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit,” Weird Al got permission from Nirvana’s singer, Kurt Cobain, to parody the song.  After the release of the parody “Smells like Nirvana,” Weird Al was able to get the kick start his career needed.  The parody also benefited Nirvana by helping to sell another million units of Nevermind (the album featuring “Smells like Teen Spirit”).  And according to Weird Al, “Kurt Cobain said he didn’t realize he’d made it until he saw the Weird Al video.”

  1. Helped Jeopardy! regain popularity.

In 1984, when Weird Al released his song, “I Lost on Jeopardy,” the television show Jeopardy!, had been off of air ways for five years.  Due to the success of the song, the public regained interest in the show, and Jeopardy! was able to get back on television later that year.  To this day, Jeopardy!has remained a staple in both American television and pop culture.


  1. Holds a Major Top-40 Billboard Record.

Weird Al is one of four performers/bands—alongside Madonna, U2, and Michael Jackson—to hold a record of having a hit in the Top-40, every decade since the 1980’s. 

His hits include:

1984: “Eat It” (reaching #12)

1992: “Smells like Nirvana” (reaching #35)

2006: “White and Nerdy” (reaching #9)

2014: “Word Crimes” (reaching #39)


Don’t miss your chance to see the 30th Anniversary screening of UHF at The Frida Cinema!



The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #7


Come to The Frida Cinema to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most uniquely shocking horror films of the 20th century, Audition—a film infamous for its stomach-turning final twenty minutes.

Seven years after the death of his wife, widower Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi) is urged by his son, Shigehiko, to remarry again.  Not able to find love on his own, Shigeharu turns to his film producer friend to set up an audition for a fake movie, with hopes the finding the ideal wife.  When he comes across the soft-spoken and innocent looking Asami (Eihi Shiina), he’s immediately smitten.  Despite all the warning signs—men in her life disappearing or being murdered—Shigeharu still pursues Asami.  His unwillingness to see that his little angel, Asami, is not really who she appears to be leads him to his own personal hell.

Audition is a film so disturbing that audience members at the International Film Festival Rotterdam had “…lines formed for the exits during the grisly finale,” per the Los Angeles Times.  Do you think you have what it takes to sit through the final twenty minutes?  Come to The Frida Cinema and find out!

Directed by Takashi Miike | 115 minutes | 1999 | Rated R

Presented in Japanese, with English subtitles.

Friday, May 31 – 10pm
Saturday, June 1 – 10pm

“A true masterpiece if ever there was one.”– Director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp FictionFrom Dusk til’ Dawn)

“Audition is such a brilliant film, because the whole movie is a build up to the [last] 15 minutes.  And so few films do that anymore.” – Director Eli Roth (HostileInglorious Bastards)

“I never feel creeped out by movies.  I just watch them and kind of enjoy them.  And [Audition] was the first time watching, starting to feel, “this movie is creeping me out.” – Director/musician Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 CorpsesThe Devil’s Rejects)



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The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #6


By popular demand, The Frida Cinema is excited to bring back the Japanese art house sensation, Belladonna of SadnessCome see a uniquely unforgettable film that will be unlike any cinematic experience you’ve ever had.

On what was suppose to be the happiest day of her life, Jeanne’s wedding day, she is kidnapped by the Lord and his court and brutally deflowered. With the help of an unknown spirit, she is able to raise herself and her husband to power. But when Jeanne is deemed a “witch” by the Lord’s mistress, she is shunned by everyone, including her husband, and forced to hide in the wilderness. Consequently, Jeanne learns that the spirit helping her is the devil. Immediately, she makes a pact with him to become a powerful witch, so she can gain control over the people who shunned and abused her.

Belladonna of Sadness is artistically a film ahead of its time. It’s an erotic psychedelic experience, which pushes the boundaries of artistic animation. This groundbreaking film will be shown in a stunning 4K digital restoration with the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see this bewitching film on the big screen!

Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto | 93 minutes | 1973 | Not Rated

Presented in Japanese, with English subtitles.

Friday, May 24 – 10pm
Saturday, May 25 – 10pm
Sunday, May 26 – 10pm

“There’s a constant awareness of the effort and artistry that went in to the film, and it’s as if we’re active participants in its creation.” – Siddhant Adlakha, Birth.Movies.Death

“Whatever it is, it’s an experience unlikely ever to be replicated. And maybe that’s for the best, but at least we can finally see it on a big screen.” – Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto

“Breathtaking, erotic, grotesque, and transgressive, the film mixes watercolors influenced by Western art—Klimt is in here, but so are Degas and Kandinsky—with imagery ripped straight from a nightmare.” – Roger Ebert,


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