CHASING EINSTEIN director Steve Brown and writer Eric Myerson will participate in a Q&A following the 7:30 pm show on Saturday, 9/28.
CHASING EINSTEIN director Steve Brown and writer Eric Myerson will participate in a Q&A following the 7:30 pm show on Saturday, 9/28.
Sex, drugs, power, and vice: welcome to the mid-2000s Italy of Silvio Berlusconi, the egomaniac billionaire Prime Minister who presides over an empire of scandal and corruption. Sergio (Riccardo Scamarcio) is an ambitious young hustler managing an escort service catering to the rich and powerful. Determined to move up in the world, Sergio sets his sights on the biggest client of all: Berlusconi (Toni Servillo), the disgraced, psychotically charming businessman and ex-PM currently plotting his political comeback. As Berlusconi attempts to bribe his way back to power, Sergio devises his own equally audacious scheme to win the mogul’s attention. Exploding with eye-popping, extravagantly surreal set-pieces, the dazzling, daring new film from Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) is both a wickedly subversive satire and a furious elegy for a country crumbling while its leaders enrich themselves.
Loro, a film in two parts, is a fictional story, a sort of costume drama, which narrates probable or invented facts that took place in Italy, between 2006 and 2010.
Using a variety of characters, Loro seeks to sketch, through glances or intuitions, a moment of history – now definitively closed – which, in a very synthetic vision of events, might be defined as amoral and decadent, but also extraordinarily vital.
And Them [Loro] also seeks to describe certain Italians, simultaneously new and old. Souls in an imaginary, modern purgatory who decide, on the basis of heterogeneous impulses such as ambition, admiration, love, self-interest, personal advantage, to try to revolve around a sort of paradise in flesh and blood: a man by the name of Silvio Berlusconi.
These Italians, to my eyes, contain a contradiction: they are predictable but indecipherable. A contradiction which is a mystery. An Italian mystery which the film tries to deal with, but without being judgmental. Inspired only by a desire to understand, and adopting a tone which today, rightly, is considered revolutionary: a tone of tenderness.
But here comes another Italian. Silvio Berlusconi. The way I imagined him.
The story of the man, above all, and only in a marginal way of the politician.
Someone might object that we know plenty not only about the politician, but also about the man.
I doubt that.
A man, as far as I am concerned, is the result of his feelings more than a biographical total of facts. Therefore, within this story, the choice of facts to be recounted does not follow a principle of relevance dictated by the news agenda of those days, but only tries to dig, groping in the dark, in the man’s conscience.
What, then, are the feelings that stimulated Silvio Berlusconi’s days in this period? What are the emotions, the fears, the delusions of this man in dealing with events that appear to loom like mountains? This, for me, is another mystery the film deals with.
Men of power in the generations before that of Berlusconi were other mysteries, because they were unapproachable. Remember there was a time when we spoke of the disembodiment of power.
Silvio Berlusconi, instead, is probably the first man of power to be an approachable mystery. He has always been a tireless narrator of himself: think, for example, of the picture story Una storia italiana that he had sent to everyone in Italy in 2001, and for this reason too he inevitably became a symbol. And symbols, unlike mere mortals, are public property. And therefore, in this sense, he also represents a part of all Italians.
But, naturally, Silvio Berlusconi is much more. And it is not easy to provide a synthesis. For this reason I have to appeal to a much better man than me: Hemingway.
In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway writes: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.” Paraphrasing things, perhaps the most concise image we can have of Silvio Berlusconi is that of a bullfighter. ~ Paolo Sorrentino
On August 5 we lost one of our most brilliant writers and thinkers, Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison. As it happens, an acclaimed biographical documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, came out this summer and in light of her passing Laemmle Theatres will return the film to theaters starting Friday at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills and Saturday at the Playhouse and Claremont. If you haven’t yet seen it, please consider doing so. Writing in the New York Times, A.O. Scott said “The Pieces I Am offers something else, as a dividend yielded by [Morrison’s] achievements and her years on the earth: the profound pleasure of her company.” Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal wrote that the film “reminds us how long she had to wait for the recognition she so richly deserved, and what a distinctive, generous, funny, astute, self-doubting, unstoppable and formidable figure she was along the way.”
L.A. Times entertainment reporter Christie D’Zurilla published this interview with the director of Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, Morrison’s longtime photographer-turned-friend, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. The headline: “Filmmaker says Toni Morrison was wickedly funny and made a mean carrot cake.”
“Novelist and book editor Toni Morrison was a private person who never wrote a memoir and turned away biographers, according to her friend Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. But she did allow the photographer-director to interview her extensively for the documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” which explored her life as well as elements of black history.
“After Morrison died late Monday at 88, Greenfield-Sanders — who was also the writer’s “photographer of choice” for her book jackets and publicity shots — opened up to The Times exclusively via email about his memories of her. He remembers her as a woman who saw the big picture and, even in dark times, “managed to be philosophical.”
“For those who missed the Oscar-buzzy documentary the first time around, encore screenings of “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” are being held for a week beginning Aug. 16 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and Aug. 17 and 18 at Laemmle’s Claremont 5 in Claremont and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena.
“Here are some of Greenfield-Sanders’ memories from his decades-long friendship with the Nobel Prize winner.”
Q: Describe the type of friendship you had with Toni Morrison. What was it like?
A: I first met Toni Morrison 38 years ago, in the winter of 1981, when she came to my East Village studio for a Soho Weekly News cover portrait. She wore a dark suit with a white blouse and smoked a pipe. (Many years later she told me that Angela Davis had gotten her “into pipes.”) I was a young photographer and Toni had just finished her fourth novel, “Tar Baby.” I was impressed by her confidence on the set. Toni liked my work and we became friends … and I eventually became her photographer of choice, for book jackets, publicity photos and the like. Her trust in me began way back then.
Q: Can you share something that most people don’t know about her?
A: Did you know Toni makes the world’s greatest carrot cake? Ask anyone who has tasted one of her carrot cakes and they will tell you. In the film, author Paula Giddings shares that during her early days working in the secretarial pool at Random House, Toni asked her to do some typing for her first novel, “The Bluest Eye.” As a thank you, Toni baked her a carrot cake.
Q: What is the most profound or useful thing you learned from her over the course of your friendship?
A: Toni had a way of looking at the big picture. Even in dark times she managed to be philosophical.
Q: Talk a little about the things you filmed during your documentary interview that didn’t make the cut.
A: In creating “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” the most difficult challenge was cutting it down to a two-hour film. We had to edit out a riveting section about Morrison on Shakespeare and her play “Desdemona,” wonderful insights into her father and his influence on her, and an emotional piece about the death of writer Toni Cade Bambara. When Bambara died with an unfinished book, Toni [Morrison] devoted a year to finishing it so it could be published posthumously for her dear friend.
Q: What did you learn about her legacy in researching the film?
A: At the beginning of the film, Toni remarks that she learned early on in life that “words have power.” As we’ve taken the film out, I’ve been able to see the depth of gratitude for her words. Her writing has empowered and nourished so many around the world … to heal, to imagine, to develop their own voices. Toni was a pioneer — taking her hard-earned place alongside the white men who had dominated the publishing establishment. Her ascent to the literary canon was a significant breakthrough that allowed other women and African Americans to be seen and heard.
Q: Some people don’t like to have their picture taken. What was it like to photograph her? How was it the same as or different from filming her?
A: Toni’s strength and confidence were part of her DNA, and both were particularly evident when she was in front of the camera. I think she had a profound understanding of portraiture and her image in the world. Our photo sessions were not only quite fun over the years but also resulted in big ideas for my own career. It was during a lunch break in 2005 that Toni proposed a book on “Black Divas”… we were shooting portraits for her opera, “Margaret Garner.” That idea morphed into my film series on identity, starting with “The Black List: Volume 1,” focusing on the African American community. Toni was the first to sit for that film.
Q: Did she make you laugh?
A: Toni had a world-class sense of humor. Being with Toni was a lot of fun. Many people who only know her through her books and interviews don’t realize how much Toni loved to laugh. She was wickedly funny in addition to being such a profound, philosophical and visionary thinker.
MURILLO: THE LAST JOURNEY is more than a documentary about one of the greatest geniuses of fine art. It provides a view at the history of the Spanish empire at its height from the perspective of one of Murillo’s most iconic paintings: The Young Peddler. The painting travels from Seville to Paris as world-renowned specialists flesh out the exquisite aesthetics of the painter’s most sublime masterpieces. We’ll screen this August 5 and 6.
BOSCH: THE GARDEN OF DREAMS, screening August 12 and 13, was produced by LópezLiFilms and the Prado Museum, which this year commemorates the fifth centenary of the painter’s death with a major exhibition entitled “Bosch. The Centenary Exhibition.”
Under the direction of Jose Luis Lopez Linares, the film focuses on the most important work of the painter and one of the most iconic in the world: ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights.’ The feature presents a conversation among artists, writers, philosophers, musicians and scientists, regarding the personal, historical and artistic significance of the picture, bringing back a conversation that was started 500 years ago in the court of the Dukes of Nassau (Brussels), when it is believed that the painting was commissioned to Bosch.
We have very little information about the artist’s identity and biography, something that helps feed the enigma of the hidden meaning in his works. As Falkenburg, narrator of the documentary and debate moderator with all participants says, “At the end of the novel, the writer reveals the mystery. In this case, the author does not want you to solve the mystery. He wants you to stay in it.”
BOSCH: THE GARDEN OF DREAMS is the only film about the author’s most important masterpiece: “The garden of earthly delights” and the only one with full access to the mysteries hidden in it.
SOROLLA: THE NATURAL EMOTION is the result of the documentary record of the first great anthological exhibition that the Prado Museum dedicated to the great master of the 19th century and the most important held inside and outside of Spain: Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923); it’s a culmination of the itinerancy in Spain of the fourteen panels of the Vision of Spain, commissioned by the Hispanic Society of America, which the Bancaja Foundation brought to Spain in 2007. This spectacular set constitutes the most magnificent decorative project of Sorolla’s fecund career, in addition of the true epilogue and synthesis of all its production.
The representation of the light, the beauty of his pastel brushstrokes, the love of his native land as well as the relationship with his family and many other issues, are explored by experts in the field, creating a production where the figure of of Sorolla is exalted and revealed.
Producer López Linares comments that “it was a great discovery that there were so many photos of Sorolla, suddenly we had an incredible photographic archive, with magnificent photos of him painting, when he was older, on the beach, family photos … It was all very well documented. It’s a pleasant surprise for the documentary to find you with this photographic richness, it’s wonderful.”
Laemmle’s Art in the Arthouse proudly presents THE PASADENA ART SHOW 2019. Please join us as we celebrate our local artists in an intimate theatre setting. Our special event features a slideshow on the big screen, artist talks, and of course refreshments. Meet the artists and stay for the bagels, mimosas and conversation Art in the Arthouse is known for. Sales benefit the Laemmle Foundation and its support of humanitarian and environmental causes in the Los Angeles region.
About the Exhibit
Our annual community exhibit is a powerful collective voice emerging from individual expression – celebrating art-making through a communal creative vibration. This show encourages an engaged visual conversation between artists and moviegoers. In photography, painting and digital imagery, we discover surreal gardens, humans embracing, light and water, the human condition and the nature of space and bloom. These atmospheric elements act as a coalescing force. Many of the nineteen works presented explore themes in a nuanced fashion, creating shadows, tones and an array of dramatic environments. A large scale of song and fury prevails. Art that one creates, must move. While two-dimensional images stand still, stillness moves its viewers. Technical rigor is important, but passion and sensitivity is sought and found. Art patrons often search for messages articulated in specific languages. All of our creatives successfully hit this mark. Thanks to our artists and to producer Lynn Chang for once again transforming our halls into a magnificent gallery.
-Joshua Elias, Curator
Laemmle Playhouse 7
Sunday June 30, 11-1pm
Refreshments will be provided
This is a Free Event
The warmth and wit of celebrated playwright turned auteur Marcel Pagnol (The Marseille Trilogy) shines through in the enchanting slice-of-life comedy The Baker’s Wife (1938). Returning once again to the Provençal countryside he knew intimately, Pagnol draws a vivid portrait of a close-knit village where the marital woes of a sweetly deluded baker (the inimitable Raimu, heralded by no less than Orson Welles as “the greatest actor who ever lived”) snowball into a scandal that engulfs the entire town. Marrying the director’s abiding concern for the experiences of ordinary people with an understated but superbly judged visual style, The Baker’s Wife is at once wonderfully droll and piercingly perceptive in its nuanced treatment of the complexities of human relationships.
Here’s are some fun facts about the movie:
Laemmle Theatres proudly presents LAEMMLE LIVE PASADENA, inspired by Laemmle’s popular concert series in Santa Monica. Laemmle Live showcases emerging musicians and professional performers from local schools and organizations, celebrating our diverse community with live performance. Laemmle Live Pasadena’s free Sunday morning concerts take place in the courtyard between Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 and Vroman’s Bookstore from 11am to 12pm. A light reception will follow the concert.
This Sunday morning concert features the Caesura Youth Orchestra. Based in Glendale, California, the program provides music education, group lessons and free instruments to under-served elementary students. After completing an initial basic music course, the students are able to choose from the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and trumpet.
The Caesura Youth Orchestra follows the El Sistema model for providing music to under-served students. The program is now in it’s fifth year as an after-school program. Elementary students begin the program with a basic music education class, learn to play the recorder and the importance of caring for an instrument. Students may then select an instrument. Each of the ensembles meets for 1 1/2 to 2 hours three times each week. Students perform regularly at events in the Glendale area. Class room teachers at the end of each year evaluate the effect the program has on students in their class rooms. They indicate that these students have become team players, student leaders and display increased academic skills.
For more information visit: www.mycyo.org
This is a Free Event!
RSVP via Eventbrite
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Playhouse 7 Courtyard
673 East Colorado
Pasadena, CA 91101
11am – 12pm
THE BIKES OF WRATH director Cameron Ford will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:30 pm screenings at the following locations and dates:
Monica Film Center on Apr 14th
Ahrya Fine Arts on Apr 15th
Playhouse 7 on Apr 16th
Glendale on Apr 17th
Claremont 5 on Apr 18th