Interview: Hadrian Belove of The Cinefamily

HBA little over a week ago, at the Silent Movie Theater in the Fairfax District, I and a bunch of local artsy musician types were glued to the screen, watching the most recent Dublab short film festival, “Labrat Matinee V: Daytime Goes Dark.” After seeing thirty or so pretty good shorts and music videos (featuring, among others, Michael Cera, Flight of the Conchords, Charlyne Yi, Daedelus, Laura Palmer’s mom, Ariel Pink, and John Malkovich being interviewed and simultaneously bathed by Craig Bierko), I somehow corralled Cinefamily honcho and cinematic curator Hadrian Belove away from his buddy Billy Zane (loved you in Orlando!) and into my journalistic clutches.

What exactly is Cinefamily?

The Cinefamily is a repertory cinema, a mixed media event space, a hang-out, a church, a locus point on the L.A. landscape, a movie geek summer camp, a romantic first date, and a good place to get some coffee and a cupcake. Run by maniacs whose idea of a good time may coincide with yours. Join us.

How did you become involved with the Silent Movie Theater?

Still figuring that out, but it seems to have to do with Dan and Sammy Harkham, who own the theatre, and seemed to agree a lot with me about what was awesome, and that which needed to be shared. I like them a lot.

Are you at all connected with the Dublab guys? How did they wind up doing events at your place?

We are connected with Dublab, in that we both are doing good things, and live in the same town. So it may have been inevitable we would do good things together–L.A.’s not that big–like the Dublab Matinee, which was an excellent show. I like them, too.

Why so few silent movies at the Silent Movie Theater?

Au contraire. We show more silent films here than anyone has in years. When the Harkham’s bought the theatre, it was only showing silent movies a couple times a year, and renting the theatre out as a private event space. Since then we’ve ramped up to a silent film show every week (with shorts and live musician), with one or two bonus special events a month.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve had happen while doing this job?

What is this, the Dating Game? I, like, totally got drunk, and took my top off, and was making out with my best friend…

Seriously, the Nicky Katt Mug Melter Monday, which was secretly a birthday party, where we grilled food and showed movies all night till 5 in the morning, got pretty delirious. At one point, someone pumped the fog machine between movies so much that the projectors couldn’t cut through it. We were showing a DVD of Boxer’s Omen, this completely face-melting piece of eye terrorism from Hong Kong featuring lots of wizard battles full of incredibly imaginative non-stop cheap special FX. At first you couldn’t see the film at all, and to my amazement no one left the theatre. They just sat in the mist, staring ahead, listening to yelling Mandarin dialogue. Then the movie slowly started to emerge, like from another dimension–and the film is one of the weirdest I know under normal environs. People in the front could see it first, and you’d hear them laughing, and someone in the back would yell “what happened?” At one point, I heard one guy in the back murmur to another “I feel like I’m having a fever dream.” That was just the highlight of a pretty memorable night. That would be the craziest night since we opened six months ago, anyway.

What’s the best upcoming Cinefamily-sponsored film or event that people must go see?

I’m really excited about the upcoming Summer “Camp” film series we’ll be playing this July and August. Every Friday we’re showing “camp” classics curated by underground filmmaker George Kuchar, kind of a proto-John Waters home moviemaker, with incredible taste. it’s like getting a lesson in “camp” from a brilliant, funny gay intellectual from the 60s–the ideal teacher. I’ve really enjoyed watching his recommendations, and finding the best festival possible. Plus, we’ll be taking the “camp” seriously, the way it should be, and cooking s’mores out back.