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'em Up

Volunteer of the Month Cat Van Horn on Shoot ‘Em Up

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March is Morricone Month at The Frida Cinema, and while some of our tributes to the work of prolific composer Ennio Morricone — like Days of Heaven and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage — have come and gone, there’s still plenty of time to catch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia, with a gorgeous 4K restoration, or the incomparable love letter to the art form that is Cinema Paradiso. Ennio, another work from director Giuseppe Tornatore, is also gracing our screens until the end of the month. The documentary, which received rave reviews in its time traveling the Italian cinema circuit, has finally made its way stateside, delivering an in-depth exploration of Morricone and his prolific career.

Many other first run titles are coming to The Frida this March, including the highly anticipated Love Lies Bleeding, fresh from its premiere at Sundance. Rose Glass’ sophomore feature looks to be a pulpy, bloody, and sexy good time — boldly combining crime-thriller with queer romance to create a fresh take on both. In an unexpected but exciting team-up, Jeff Goldblum joins forces with Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, the creators behind the Oscar-nominated animated feature Chico and Rita, in They Shot the Piano Player. Combining animation with documentary, the film explores the birth of Bossa Nova, the mysterious disappearance of musical virtuoso Tenório Júnior, and the totalitarian regimes that would overtake Latin America. Weston Razooli’s feature debut, Riddle of Fire, promises a fresh take on the “kids on bikes” coming-of-age story, compellingly entwined with fairy tale motifs.

Still searching for something to satisfy your movie fix? Allow me to suggest the rollicking and raucous action-comedy Shoot ’Em Up, handpicked by The Frida Cinema’s Volunteer of the Month for March, Cat Van Horn. Finding a stellar leading duo in Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci, the film follows a gunman who teams up with a prostitute to protect a newborn infant from assassins. With a hitman on their tail, Paul Giamatti in a fun villainous performance, the pair must protect the baby while also uncovering the senatorial conspiracy that put it in harm’s way. With its intentionally ridiculous tone and bombastic visual style, Shoot ’Em Up aims to deliver laughs and adrenaline rushes in equal measure.

How did you find out about The Frida Cinema?

I don’t remember, it was a while ago. I knew it existed for a long time. I think I found out about it when there used to be that LGBT Center that was next door, that the rainbow stairs are still there from. I went to a queer prom there and found out the theater was here and did Rocky Horror. I’ve still never been to Rocky Horror here; I’ve been to it at a theater in Costa Mesa. I think that’s probably how I found out about it, but I didn’t start actually going until 2018 or 2019, so I don’t actually remember. I know one of the first ones I saw was Cure, but I think maybe the first movie I actually saw with The Frida was one of the drive-in ones during the pandemic, so it might’ve been in 2021.

What made you want to volunteer here?

I was just looking to meet new people, and I really like movies, so I thought it would be cool to meet some like-minded people. Mostly I just wanted to make new friends and connect with people who love movies. A lot of the people who work here are LGBT, so it feels like a very welcoming, cool environment that way.

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Tell us a little bit about Shoot ‘Em Up.

What I like about it is just that it’s this really well-made action movie that’s also really funny, it has a great cast. I love how the main character is like Bugs Bunny, like, he actually eats carrots and stuff; it’s so silly. I first found out about it, I think my dad showed it to me at some point and he was like, “This is a great movie, it’s so silly.” I just remember watching it for the first time and seeing that opening scene and just being like, “This movie’s insane.”

What were your other choices for Volunteer Pick of the Month?

My other choices were Mad Hot Ballroom and The Aristocrats, and I think they couldn’t get either one of them or something. I was kind of hoping Mad Hot Ballroom would get it. It’s really great; it’s about this program in New York City public schools where they teach the kids ballroom dancing, and then they participate in this competition. It’s this documentary that follows a group of kids at, like, two or three schools and their teachers. It’s so emotional, and you really see how these kids get into it and the way it affects their lives and stuff. Someone tells you the concept, and you’re just like “What?” but it’s a really unexpectedly good kind of movie.

The Aristocrats, it’s not the Disney movie The Aristocats, obviously. It’s about all of these different comedians, and they tell this joke that’s well known among comedians; basically you come up with the dirtiest, filthiest, most horrible, disgusting scenario you can. The basic set-up is that a man and his family walk into this talent agency, and they’re like, “We’ve got this great act,” and the guy’s like, “Uhhh, I don’t know, tell me about this act,” and then with what he describes, nothing is off-limits; it’s horrible and disgusting, and the whole point is to be as shocking as you can. It’s just all of these famous comedians, like George Carlin. I think the worst one is told by Bob Saget. He tells it as he’s about to go on stage and do his much more family-friendly act. It’s really fun; I thought both of those would be things that not a lot of people would’ve seen.

What is your favorite Frida memory?

If you could program any movie here, what would you pick?

Shoot ‘Em Up screens starting Wednesday, March 20th.
Wednesday, Mar 20 – 5:45pm
Friday, Mar 22 – 10:30pm



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