February 5, 2010 |
For the past two decades, the UCLA Film & Television Archive has been presenting the preeminent in Iranian art-house cinema -- highly personal, moving, contentious and even controversial films dealing with day-to-day life, social mores, religion and war. Searing, haunting and often disturbing, these films offer insight into a troubled country that is largely known internationally only from reports in newspapers and on news channels. The "20th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema," which opens Friday at the Billy Wilder, includes dramatic features, shorts and documentaries.
January 21, 2010 |
Come on, get happy. Why? Because in between all the John Ford manliness at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre presentation that my colleague Kenneth Turan mentions above, will be a visit with Mrs. Partridge herself. Shirley Jones won't be talking about any of David Cassidy's behind-the-scenes shenanigans, though. She'll be there to discuss her Oscar-winning role as a prostitute in 1960's "Elmer Gantry," following the 50th anniversary screening of the drama on Saturday. The Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre offers a digital restoration retrospective beginning Friday with Martin Scorsese's hard-hitting "Raging Bull" from 1980.
November 13, 2009 |
Director Robert Altman, who died in 2006, always polarized critics and audiences with his maverick, freewheeling, structureless style and determination to reinvent genres. In the case of 1973's "The Long Goodbye," Altman took Raymond Chandler's 1953 noir novel and cast it with Elliott Gould playing Philip Marlowe as a shaggy dog of a detective, a far cry from the hard-bitten, grizzled portrayal of the famous gumshoe by Dick Powell in "Murder, My Sweet" or the wry efficiency of Humphrey Bogart in "The Big Sleep."
November 5, 2009 |
When talk turns to the golden age of Hollywood, by common consent 1939 is the year of years. In that 12-month period the studios released an unprecedented group of exceptional films, including "Gone With the Wind," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Stagecoach," "Gunga Din," "Ninotchka," "The Women" and "The Wizard of Oz." It was no wonder that Robert Dooley, author of the authoritative "From Scarface to Scarlett: American Films in the 1930s," was moved to write that Hollywood in that year "reached a fabulous zenith it was never again to attain."
October 8, 2009 |
Perhaps no country in the world has garnered more attention this year than Iran, from the street protests over the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to revelations about its nuclear program. Yet somehow in the midst of turmoil and upheaval, the country's cinema is thriving. Several of its leading filmmakers, screenwriters and actors are in Los Angeles for the kickoff of a 10-day film program at UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
July 29, 2009 |
For four decades, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has fed film aficionados a steady diet of movie classics -- retrospectives that included works from Roman Polanski, Cary Grant, Ernst Lubitsch and, in a current series, James Mason. But the museum's weekend film program was losing both money and its audience, and LACMA said Tuesday that it was pulling the plug on its cinematic centerpiece.
June 24, 2009 |
Hal Ashby is the cinematic equivalent of a supernova. The director's work burned startlingly bright for a brief period in the 1970s -- before his demons, including drug abuse, got the better of him, extinguishing his star shortly before his death in 1988.
June 12, 2009 |
After a triumphant world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the North American debut of the newly restored version of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's beloved "The Red Shoes" will take place at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Which is only fitting, because it was the UCLA Film & Television Archive that did the restoration.