Edgar Wright's excellent The World's End opens in a couple of weeks in the US (it's already been released in the UK), and to get us Yanks ready Mr. Wright has programmed six double features at Los Angeles' wonderful New Beverly Cinema. While you may have to be local to watch these with Edgar, the twelve films (one for each pub in the movie's Golden Mile pub crawl) offer a great primer for the film itself.
Presented here, cribbed from Edgar's site, is the list of films and his commentary on them. Most, if not all, of these movies are available on home video, so you can do your own festival in your living room!
After Hours & Into The Night, August 9th & 10th
I’m especially fond of the all-in-one-night movie and here are two cult classics of the sub genre that were both released in 1985. Scorcese’s ‘After Hours’ is better known than John Landis’ excellent ‘Into The Night’ but they both feature classic quirky leads in Griffin Dunne and Jeff Goldblum, along with incredible supporting casts. A dream double bill.\
American Graffiti & Dazed And Confused, August 11th & 12th
Two more all nighters in the form of George Lucas nostalgic look at ’62 and Linklater’s buzzy 70′s time capsule. The 1990 opening of ‘The World’s End’ was designed as a potted version of such rites of passage movies, so I can’t think of a better youthful double bill.
Westworld & The Terminator, August 13th & 14th
Two terrifying robotic performances in the unstoppable forms of Yul Brynner and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Michael Crichton’s future nightmare still feels extremely plausible and James Cameron’s breakthrough remains one of his very best films. I showed clips of both of these movies to the young actors playing the villains of our movie and they responded with terrifying dead eyed zeal.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers & Dead & Buried, August 15th & 16th
The most paranoid double bill you’ll see this year. Philip Kaufman’s 1978 San Francisco masterpiece is one of the best remakes of them all and has been a massive influence on both ‘Shaun’ & ‘World’s End’. Gary Sherman’s nightmarish horror has, in New England fishing town Potter’s Bluff, a locale that is a creepy cousin to our Newtown Haven. Be prepared to never trust anyone ever again.
It's Always Fair Weather & The Big Chill, August 17th
These two films are the only features we watched prior to writing the first draft of ‘The World’s End’. One is the startlingly bittersweet Gene Kelly musical reuniting war time buddies in a New York bar ten years after WWII. The latter is the baby boomer classic by Lawrence Kasdan which brings old friends together after a friend’s suicide. Simon Pegg and I would joke that our new film would be like ‘The Big Chill’ if the dead pal was present at his own wake. Both are great, funny and sometimes dark movies.
Last Night & The Road Warrior, August 18, 19 & 20th
Two brilliant future shocks; one pre and one post apocalypse. Don McKellar’s quiet masterpiece is a criminally under-seen film about the last night on Earth. It’s been ripped off a whole lot, including by me. George Miller’s incredible second Mad Max instalment is rightly one of the most sci fi genre’s most influential design classics. A must see double.
Withnail & I & 24 Hour Party People, August 21st & 22nd
To end the season a double whammy of British hedonism. Richard E Grant gives the finest drunk performance in all cinema (and from a tee totaller too) and Michael Winterbottom’s Madchester opus chronicles the coke and ecstasy laden saga of Factory Records. The former influenced our film in it’s whirlwind of a lead, so much so that some have called our new movie ‘Withnail And I-Robot’. And the music the latter is frequently at the heart of ‘The World’s End’.
I know which of these screenings I must see (It's Always Fair Weather!!), so I'm booking my tickets right now. I suggest you do the same by clicking here.