Joe Dante's Film Festival


If you live in or near the Los Angeles area, you owe it to yourself to check out Joe Dante's "Dante's Inferno", a weeklong festival of the director's favorite films (spliced with a few of his own works) underway at the New Beverly Cinema. We chatted with Dante -- who's neck-deep in post-production on his new thriller The Hole -- about the festival on Friday night. Find out what he had to say after the jump.

"I love this place, and the guys who run this theater are great.  There's only four places left in LA to see old movies now -- this place, the Cinefamily, the Cinemateque and UCLA, at the Hammer.  The LA County Museum has now stopped running old movies.  It's really amazing that in Hollywood there are so few places to see old movies.  And there's nothing like seeing a movie with an audience -- it is a completely different experience.  I don't care how many different times you've seen Dr. Strangelove -- if you didn't see it with an audience, you haven't seen it.  You know?  That goes for a lot of movies, particularly comedies.  There's just a communal feeling of going to the movies."

Friday night saw things kick off for Dante's own festival with a Roger Corman double bill of The St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Not of This Earth -- both introduced by Dante himself and featuring a discussion with Corman and Dante between shows. Saturday saw Dante's fabled Movie Orgy, a six-hour composite of old movies and commercials, unavailable on DVD. And last night was the first of two nights featuring a brand-new print of Dante's underrated gem Matinee paired another apocalyptic tale, Miracle Mile. Dante's faves will continue to play through Thursday night, with the Tuesday and Thursday screenings introduced by the director. So head over to the New Bev and meet a man who loves movies as much as anyone you'll ever meet.  And stop back here tomorrow to find out what Dante told us about The Hole!