In-person: Film preservationist Ross Lipman.

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Hammer Museum members will have reserved seating available at the box office. The box office opens one hour before the first program of the day.

The Lighter Side of Hearst Newsreels #3: “Water”

Our third newsreel segment demonstrates what results from combining ingenuity and H20. Highlights include a one-person submarine for hunting gold, a “leaping” lifeboat, some elastic water and an automated fishing rod. Let us see if these inventions are the wave of the future or just all wet.—Jeffrey Bickel

Tall Tales

U.S., 1940

Restoration world premiere

Co-directed by William Watts and Willard Van Dyke (who would become director of film at The Museum of Modern Art), this charming musical short stars Burl Ives in his first on-screen performance. Ives, Will Geer (later known as TV’s Grandpa Walton) and Winston O’Keefe are joined by the prodigious African American folksinger Josh White (a 2023 Blues Hall of Fame inductee). Jazz historian Mark Cantor notes that the film was “the first (and ultimately only) short subject from Brandon Films in what was supposed to be a series intended to support progressive thought [in relation to racial integration].”—Todd Wiener

DCP, b&w, 10 min. Director: Willard Van Dyke, William Watts. Screenwriter: David Forrest. With: Burl Ives, Joshua White, Will Geer, Winston O’Keefe.

Restoration funded by a grant from the GRAMMY Museum®. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive from a 35mm nitrate print. Laboratory services by Roundabout Entertainment, Inc. Special thanks to Mark Cantor.

Time of The Heathen

U.S., 1961

Los Angeles restoration premiere

A protégé of Clifford Odets in the 1940s, Peter Kass was known for his work as a theater actor, director and acting coach for the likes of Olympia Dukakis, Faye Dunaway and Maureen Stapleton. Time of the Heathen was Kass’ sole feature release and represents an impressive partnership with celebrated avant-garde filmmaker, and later video artist, Ed Emshwiller (Relativity; Image, Flesh and Voice). Except for select international screenings and an extremely limited release in the U.K., this enthralling cinematic debut has been mostly overlooked and forgotten in the decades since its release.

Co-written by Kass and Swedish-born UCLA alumnus Calvin Floyd, Heathen’s script follows emotionally unstable drifter Gaunt, played by the expressive character actor John Heffernan (The Sting, 1492: Conquest of Paradise), who is mostly supported by non-professional actors. In the film’s opening moments, Gaunt stumbles into a dreadfully violent incident that sets in motion a series of events and an unlikely protagonist bond that explore the themes of racism, guilt, the casualties of war and, ultimately, redemption. Emshwiller’s neorealistic cinematography perfectly suits the film’s moody finale, which takes place on the bleak shores of Oyster Bay, New York, and is juxtaposed with an experimental hallucination sequence in color that effectively reveals the protagonist’s troubled emotional background.

In addition to restoring the film in 4K from the original pre-print elements held at the British Film Institute, the original 1/4 in. stereo master recording of Lejaren Hiller’s modern, experimental score was secured from the University of Illinois Library. Both the original mono score as presented in theaters and the new stereo mix have been restored and archived at UCLA. This previously “lost” Kass-Emshwiller collaboration won the grand prize at the 1962 Bergamo International Film Festival, and feels presciently ripe for rediscovery.—Todd Wiener

DCP, b&w and color, 76 min. Director: Peter Kass. Screenwriters: Peter Kass, Calvin Floyd. With: John Heffernan, Barry Collins, Stewart Heller, Ethyl Ayler, Nathaniel White.

Restoration funded by Ron and Suzanne Naples. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Lightbox Film Center, University of the Arts from the 35mm original picture and track negatives, and the original ¼ in. stereo master recording of Lejaren Hiller’s score. Laboratory services by illuminate Hollywood, Corpus Fluxus, Audio Mechanics. Special thanks to the British Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Sousa Archives and University of Illinois Library, Jesse Pires, Sam Kass.

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