Wednesday, April 3, 2019

HARMONY KORINE BRINGS "GUMMO" AND "JULIEN DONKEY-BOY" TO THE EGYPTIAN, by Stephen Michaels

In anticipation of the release of his newest film, The Beach Bum, writer and director Harmony Korine visited the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for two nights in March 2019 to discuss his work. For the first night of the retrospective, Korine spoke in between a double feature of his first film, Gummo, and its follow-up, Julien Donkey-Boy. Korine spoke about his childhood in Nashville, what led him to film, and his beliefs as a filmmaker.

Harmony Korine at the Egyptian Theatre on March 20, 2019. Photo credit: Silvia Schablowski

“My dad loved movies, so he would take me to movies when I was young,” Korine explained. “I was a skateboarder, so I’d skate during the day. At night, I would go [to the theater]…every day you could see a W.C. Fields movie or a Douglas Sirk film, or Buster Keaton. I just loved it so much. I just felt early on that I could do it.”

Friday, February 22, 2019

OSCAR NOMINEES VISIT THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE, by Judith Resell

February 2019 saw a host of special guests visiting both the Egyptian Theatre and the Aero Theatre to discuss Academy Award-nominated films in contention. From Shoplifters on Feb. 3 to Roma on Feb. 17, awards season has been action-packed at the American Cinematheque.

In anticipation of the big night, we wanted to share some of the best moments from the Q&As of the past month. Read on for the inside scoop on Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, Roma, and Shoplifters.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

The culmination of a ten-year effort to bring Freddie Mercury’s legacy to a whole new generation, Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), screened at the Egyptian Theatre on February 16, 2019. Two of the people behind that effort, producer Graham King and editor John Ottman, appeared after the screening for a Q&A.

“You go through it because you feel so passionate about it. You have the best team. It’s a labor of love to tell Freddie’s story,” King commented.  As a result, he feels “the filmmaking went to a level far beyond what anyone imagined.”


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

SPIKE LEE ON BLACKKKLANSMAN, TERENCE BLANCHARD'S SCORE, AND PRINCE by Judith Resell

BlacKkKlansman is nominated for six Academy Awards this year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.


How did Spike Lee get involved with the film BlacKkKlansman? He says, “Jordan Peele called me up with a six word pitch: ‘A black man infiltrates Ku Klux Klan,’” Lee told a packed house at the Egyptian Theatre last December after a screening of his film. The Lee retrospective also included screenings of his beloved films Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, and Crooklyn. During the Q&A, Lee introduced two men who have been members of his filmmaking team for decades: composer Terence Blanchard and editor Barry Alexander Brown.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

NORMAN JEWISON TALKS MICHEL LEGRAND AND MOONSTRUCK, by Susan King

A number of the top directors of the past half-century cut their directing teeth with live dramatic TV in the 1950s, including Oscar-winning directors Franklin Schaffner (Patton) and George Roy Hill (The Sting) and such acclaimed filmmakers as John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn, and Sidney Lumet.

And so did Norman Jewison, who at 92 is one of the few filmmakers left who began in the 1950s. But Jewison didn’t go the dramatic route. He made his name in musical specials and series including the groundbreaking 1959 Tonight with Belafonte, 1960’s An Hour with Danny Kaye, 1962’s The Judy Garland Show, which also featured Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and as an executive producer for several episodes of the 1963-64 The Judy Garland Show.


Music has always played a major part in his films, especially 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair, which featured the Oscar-winning tune “The Windmills of Your Mind” by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and Lalo Schifrin’s jazz score for his first dramatic film, 1965’s The Cincinnati Kid.

Jewison will undoubtedly be discussing his musical choices at the American Cinematheque’s tribute to the seven-time Oscar-nominated director/producer Feb. 8-10 at the Aero Theatre.

Friday, January 25, 2019

YORGOS LANTHIMOS AND COMMON DISCUSS THEIR "FAVOURITE" THINGS AT THE AERO, by Judith Resell

The Favourite is nominated for 10 Academy Awards this year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (x2), Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ films are always unique, so of course his Q&A at the Aero Theatre on January 7, 2018, was one of a kind: he was interviewed by musician and actor Common! Common loved Lanthimos’ film The Favourite (2018) and wanted the chance to speak with the filmmaker.


Common kicked off the discussion with a question about how the director handled the film’s 18th century setting. “It felt modern in its own way, but you didn’t lose the period. How did you accomplish that?” Common asked Lanthimos of the film.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

DAMIEN CHAZELLE, CLAIRE FOY, AND RYAN GOSLING AT THE AERO, by Judith Resell

“I knew so little about him. When I read the book, I couldn’t believe what an extraordinary life he led,” Ryan Gosling said of Neil Armstrong, the man he portrays in the Oscar-nominated First Man (2018). Director Damien Chazelle wanted to capture “what it actually took to get them to the moon: the deaths, the costs, the danger, the physicality of it—the brute toll it took physically and emotionally.” Both men appeared with Claire Foy at a Q&A after the movie screened at the Aero Theatre on January 8, 2019.


Foy commented that she thought of Armstrong as a “man’s man” until she got the part of Armstrong’s wife Janet and experienced the love she felt for Neil as a husband and father. Neil and Janet suffer the loss of their young daughter in the movie and then go on to raise two boys together. “At some point you create a fictionalized version of Janet,” Foy explained. She described her performance as Janet as focusing on a feeling of “betrayed” in the marriage, because Neil was gone so much and she was left on her own. “That wasn’t what she signed on for,” concluded Foy.