TAKE ME writer Mike Makowsky will participate in a Q&A after the 7:50 show at the Monica Film Center on Friday, May 5. Producer Sev Ohanian will moderate. TAKE ME star Taylor Schilling will participate in a Q&A after the 7:50 PM screening at the Monicas on Saturday, May 6. Executive producer Mark Duplass and producer Mel Eslyn will moderate.
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Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a tribute to Oscar-winning writer-director Curtis Hanson with a 20th anniversary screening of his film noir masterpiece, L.A. Confidential.
Based on James Ellroy’s acclaimed novel, the film focuses on Los Angeles police officers in the 1950s, whose investigations of several murders intersect with the worlds of Hollywood celebrities, scandal sheets, and organized crime.
The startling critique of police brutality and corruption remains timely and hard-hitting. Ellroy himself praised the screenwriters, saying that Hanson and Helgeland “preserved the basic integrity of the book and its main theme.”
In addition to its potent social commentary, the film represented a remarkable evocation of time and place, with major contributions by cinematographer Dante Spinotti, art director Jeannine Oppewall, and composer Jerry Goldsmith, all Oscar-nominated for their work.
Hanson, a classic film enthusiast as well as filmmaker, screened several films made in the 1950s for the cast and crew in order to encourage their dedication to authenticity.
The award-winning cast includes Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, and Simon Baker.
L.A. Confidential has a 99 per cent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert called it “seductive and beautiful, cynical and twisted, and one of the best films of the year.”
Time’s Richard Schickel paid tribute to the film’s style: “It’s a movie of shadows and half lights, the best approximation of the old black-and-white noir look anyone has yet managed on color stock.”
The film was named best picture of 1997 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the National Board of Review—one of only three films in history to win the top award from all four major critics’ groups. The film was selected for the National Film Registry in 2015.
Curtis Hanson’s many other films as director include The Bedroom Window, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The River Wild, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile, and In Her Shoes.
Kim Basinger co-starred in the James Bond movie, Never Say Never Again, and had one of her biggest successes as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. Her many other films include Barry Levinson’s The Natural starring Robert Redford, Robert Altman’s Fool for Love, the controversial 9 ½ Weeks with Mickey Rourke, Robert Benton’s Nadine with Jeff Bridges, the remake of The Getaway, The Door in the Floor, and I Dreamed of Africa. She reunited with Curtis Hanson when she played Eminem’s mother in 8 Mile, and she reunited with her L.A. Confidential co-star, Russell Crowe, in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys in 2016.
Guy Pearce first attracted attention in the Australian comedy, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. He had the lead role in Christopher Nolan’s influential Memento. Among his many other films are Rules of Engagement, The Proposition, Animal Kingdom, Lawless, Iron Man 3, and two Oscar-winning Best Pictures, The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech. He co-starred with Kate Winslet in the HBO miniseries, Mildred Pierce, and recently had a key role in Dustin Lance Black’s acclaimed miniseries, When We Rise.
Acclaimed British director Terence Davies (House of Mirth, The Deep Blue Sea) exquisitely evokes Dickinson’s deep attachment to her close knit family along with the manners, mores and spiritual convictions of her time that she struggled with and transcended in her poetry.
Described as “an absolute drop-dead masterwork” by The New Yorker’s Richard Brody and “quietly masterful” by The Independent’s Geoffrey Macnab, the film combines a dramatic plot with moments of tasteful humor.
A WOMAN, A PART writer-director Elisabeth Subrin, and lead actress Maggie Siff will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:20 screenings at the Monica Film Center on Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15. They will be joined be joined by actors Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and director of photography Chris Dapkins on Friday and John Ortiz on Saturday. Actress Gaby Hoffman will moderate the Friday Q&A. Michelle Satter of the Sundance Institute will moderate the Saturday Q&A.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 45th anniversary screening of AVANTI! (1972) followed by a Q&A with co-stars Juliet Mills and Clive Revill on Wednesday, March 29, at 7 PM at the Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles. Click here for tickets.
Six-time Oscar winner Billy Wilder made one of his most underrated movies, Avanti!, in 1972. The film’s stature has risen dramatically in recent years. In his 1999 book, Conversations with Wilder, Oscar-winning writer-director Cameron Crowe declared, “The prize of Wilder’s later-period work, Avanti! is a melancholy classic.”
To make the film, Wilder reteamed with his favorite actor, Jack Lemmon (the star of Some Like It Hot and The Apartment), and Crowe declared, “The picture was a new peak in the collaboration of Wilder and the actor most tuned to his nuances.”
Lemmon plays a crass businessman who travels to Italy to claim the body of his father, who was killed in an automobile accident while on vacation. There he learns that his father was carrying on a long extra-marital affair with an Englishwoman, who died with him in the accident. He meets the woman’s daughter, played by Juliet Mills, and it seems that history may repeat itself as Lemmon and Mills fall in love. As Crowe wrote, Mills “is a wonderful foil for Lemmon.”
The uproarious and poignant film represents a sly reworking of one of Wilder’s favorite themes, the encounter of an innocent American and more worldly Europeans. It was a subject that Wilder first explored in his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Hold Back the Dawn in 1941, and he revisited this terrain in such other films as A Foreign Affair, Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon, and One Two Three. Avanti! was filmed on glorious Italian locations that gave added richness to the director’s exploration of the innocent abroad.
Clive Revill and Edward Andrews co-star in the film, which was written by Wilder and his long-time collaborator, I.A.L. Diamond. Luigi Kuveiller was the cinematographer, and the production designer was Ferdinando Scarfiotti, the Oscar-winning designer of The Last Emperor, The Conformist, and Death in Venice. Leonard Maltin called Avanti! a “sadly underrated comedy… lovely scenery, wonderful performances by all.” The film was nominated for six Golden Globes.
Juliet Mills is a member of one of the most distinguished British acting families. Her father, John Mills, was an Oscar winner as well as a lion of the theater. Her younger sister, Hayley Mills, the star of Disney classics Pollyanna and The Parent Trap, has also enjoyed a long career. Juliet has distinguished herself on stage, on screen, and on television. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Avanti! and for her role on the hit television series, Nanny and the Professor. She won an Emmy for her performance in the miniseries, QB VII, and she was nominated for a Tony for her performance in Peter Shaffer’s first Broadway play, Five Finger Exercise.
Clive Revill was nominated for a Golden Globe for his delightful performance as the beleaguered hotel manager in Avanti! He has also had a stellar career in film, theater, and television. He earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Fagin in the original Broadway production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver. He co-starred in another Billy Wilder movie, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and also appeared in Modesty Blaise, The Assassination Bureau, and The Legend of Hell House. His television roles include the miniseries Centennial and such series as Columbo and Star Trek: The Next Generation.