On Friday Saturday, June 12, actress Jessica Harper will appear in person between screenings of her films SUSPIRIA (directed by Dario Argento) and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (directed by Brian DePalma). The event takes place at the Steve Allen Theaterin Hollywood, which runs a "Drive-In" series on Friday nights: you literally park your car in the lot and watch the films projected on a screen set up beside the wall of the building. Make sure you FM radio works so that you can hear the soundtrack. (The drive-in projection technology is provided by Hollywood Mobile Movie, which claims to be dedicated to resurrecting the old-fashioned fun of the drive-in movie-going experience.)
Both films are worth seeing on the big screen, and they make an interesting double bill. Argento and DePalma were sort of the Italian and American equivalents of each other back in the 1970s: both relied on stylistic visual excess; they explored similar themes in the horror-thriller genre, and they worked with many of the same people, most notably the evening's in-person star guest, Jessica Harper.
I saw Harper speak at an Argento festival in Hollywood in the '90s. She's a lovely lady, a talented actress and singer, and like many people involved in cult movies, she seems amazed that there are still viewers interested in her old films after all these years. She should have some good stories to tell about working with two of the most important and influential horror filmmakers of that era.
More in this series:
- Steve Allen Theatres revs up Masters of Horror Drive In Series for April
- Jessica Harper with Suspiria and Phantom of the Paradise
- Tobe Hooper with Chainsaw Massacre, Joe Dante with Gremlins
- In Person: Don Coscarelli & Angus Scrimm with Phantasm 2, James Cameron with Aliens & The Abyss; Cast & Crew of Dark and Stormy Night
- Stuart Gordon with King of the Ants & The Black Cat
- In Person: Jessica Harper with Suspiria & Phantom