A 35mm print of sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers screens September 29 as part of LACMA’s ongoing Tuesday Matinee series. It is the last in a month-long selection of films by special guest curators Jona Bechtolt, Claire Evans, and Zac Pennington, the intrepid trio behind 5 Every Day. The 5 Every Day app and blog sifts through all the possible diversions in Los Angeles and holds aloft the golden nuggets of art, entertainment, and food. Every day brings another five glimmering discoveries. Their eye for quality is matched only by their ear for witty, evocative writing. And now that distinctive voice can be literally heard with the new “5 Every Week” airing on KPCC.
In honor of their rule of five, we asked the team a quintet of questions about their stint at LACMA and the enduring pleasures of our Tuesday Matinees.
How does film programming fit into the expanding 5 Every Day media empire?
5 Every Day is all about highlighting the things we love most in Los Angeles: everything from ethnic grocery shops to hikes, from gallery openings to warehouse parties. It was designed, explicitly, as a platform for us to champion the people in this city we think deserved championing—artists, shopkeepers, musicians, curators, chefs—and it exists because we wanted something like it to exist. Same goes for our podcast, our events, and now our film programming efforts: we really wanted to see these movies on 35mm, so we programmed them.
What interested 5 Every Day in guest programming Tuesday Matinees at LACMA?
The LACMA Tuesday Matinees are our favorite thing. When we first moved to Los Angeles, we’d go all the time—these screenings really attract the full gamut of Angelenos, and it’s such a great introduction to the city. It’s also, of course, an incredible film education for next to nothing. Taking the matinee screenings over for a month, for us, feels like coming full circle. We've gotten so much out of them, and now we have the chance to give back a little.
Los Angeles has a significant population of freelancers and creatives who don't live by the nine-to-five mandate. Other than sunshine, hiking trails, and coffeehouses with WiFi, what does the city have to offer them?
Los Angeles is a city that infinitely rewards the curious. It can be easy to fall into a routine here, as it is in any place, but all you have to do is walk an extra block, divert yourself to a different neighborhood, or follow a vague recommendation from a friend—and all of a sudden you’re on a new planet. Just walking in LA has this effect: on foot, you see things in more detail, discover storefronts, come face to face with hidden histories, and experience the whole drama of the sidewalk. People driving by in cars miss so much. Los Angeles offers as much as you’re willing to search for.
In an era of streaming content, what's the value of seeing a 35mm print in a theater surrounded by strangers?
When you have access to everything, any movie you want at your fingertips at any moment, you have nothing. Infinite choice is paralyzing! That’s the guiding principle of 5 Every Day: less is more. And there’s immeasurable value to sharing movies with others, and seeing movies that other people have chosen to share with you. We’re really fortunate to live in a city with so many revival houses and independent theaters. We discover movies we would never have been able to find—or would have thought to look for—by hanging out at places like Cinefamily, the New Beverly, and, of course, LACMA!
Why did you choose sci-fi as the theme for your September series? And why these films in particular?
With precious few exceptions, science fiction tells us far more about its present than our future. We’re big science fiction-heads, and we’re particularly fascinated by the history of science fiction because it reveals so much about the past. Not just the cultural attitudes, but fears and aspirations: what people hoped for their children, and what they dreaded most about the future. It’s an invaluable cultural education. The films we chose for the Tuesday Matinees all have this quality—Invasion of the Body Snatchers in particular is a really complex mirror to the Cold War—but they’re also a lot of fun to watch, especially in a theater full of strangers.