Friday, May 20, 2011

Freaks at the Aero. Not in a mean way.

Tomorrow night, Saturday May 21 at 7:30pm, there will be a double-feature of Tod Browning films at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica (1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403). The first film, Freaks (1932), is about a woman conniving with a circus strongman to rob a fellow sideshow performer who is a little person of his inheritance. The film does a beautiful job of showing inner-strength and inner-beauty through these characters.
With never-again duplicated eerie performances by real-life siblings Daisy and Harry Earles as Hans and Frieda. Featuring the beautiful conjoined Hilton Twins, Elvira and Jenny Lee Snow as Zip and Pip the pinheads, Johnny Eck as Johnny the half-boy and the unforgettable Prince Randian as the human Torso, with the most amazing cigarette-smoking scene in film history. Drawing from past experience working for the circus, DRACULA director Tod Browning cast actual people with disabilities and deformities instead of using special effects and makeup, something unthinkable for the time. - Aero website

It runs at 64 minutes, and is followed by Browning's 1936 film, The Devil-Doll starring Lionel Barrymore as an escaped convict who shrinks people "in order to execute a crime spree." This film runs at 78 minutes. Browning's works are fearless and fear-inducing, with heartbreaking consequences and a commitment to showing the far reaches of society up close. Don't miss the opportunity to see Freaks on a big screen. But beware, you'll be hearing "Gooble gobble, gooble gobble" in your nightmares.

Tickets are $11, $9 if you are a student or a senior. Or buy a membership for $7 tickets. Membership applies to both the Aero Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre.

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