Wednesday, July 18, 2018

THE WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA IN EARLY FILMMAKING, by Cari Beauchamp

In honor of the series "Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers" running July 27-29 at the Egyptian, author and historian Cari Beauchamp provides some background on these innovators and their peers.

Alice Guy-Blaché was not only the first woman director, she was one of the very first film directors, period. She was a secretary to camera maker Leon Gaumont, and together they attended the first-ever public screening of a movie in Paris in 1895, "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory." As a result, Gaumont agreed to let Alice "play" with their cameras as long as her clerical duties didn't suffer. Her after-hours creations became among the first narrative films and they were so successful, she was made the head of Gaumont’s newly formed production company in 1897. Over the next decade, she directed over 1000 short films and when she moved to America in 1910 with her husband, the cameraman Herbert Blache, she formed Solax in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where she directed and supervised several hundred more films over the next four years. Despite having two children to look after, Guy-Blaché kept pace with the production schedule of D.W. Griffith, who was directing his films for Biograph in nearby lower Manhattan.

Alice Guy-Blaché. Courtesy of Cari Beauchamp
New York and New Jersey were the hub of activity in the early years of the motion picture industry. Few took filmmaking seriously as a business, and so the doors were wide open to women who were unwelcome in other professions. Movies were an idea one week, filming the next, and in the theaters within a month. There were no paths to follow and no rules to break.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

HUMPHREY BOGART: TIMELESS, by Susan King

Humphrey Bogart’s final film The Harder They Fall was released in May 1956. And Bogart died eight months later at the age of 57.


But his charisma and brilliance has defied the ages.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

SUE CAMERON'S HOLLYWOOD SECRETS AND SCANDALS, by Susan King

Do you like to go “camping” at the movies?

Then head over to the Egyptian Theatre on June 14th for a double bill camp fest-1967’s Valley of the Dolls, the wonderfully bad adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s sexy, best-selling novel starring Sharon Tate, Patty Duke, and Barbara Parkins, followed by 1971’s What’s the Matter with Helen?, a delicious horror thriller penned by What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? novelist Henry Farrell and starring Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters.

It’s definitely a two-popcorn evening.



Introducing the films is veteran journalist Sue Cameron, who has a potboiler of a new book called  Hollywood Secrets and Scandals: The Truth Behind Stars’ Closed Doors. Come early and catch Cameron signing copies of the book in the Egyptian Theatre lobby starting at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DOUG DARROW ON BEHALF OF DOLBY LABORATORIES TO RECEIVE THE 2018 SID GRAUMAN AWARD PRESENTED BY HILL VALLEY

The American Cinematheque Sounds Off with the Choice of Dolby Laboratories
The American Cinematheque sounds off with the choice of sound giant Dolby Laboratories for the 2018 Sid Grauman Award recipient. Doug Darrow, on behalf of Dolby Laboratories, will receive the 2018 Sid Grauman Award Presented by Hill Valley. Dolby Laboratories will be honored for its achievements in the motion picture industry at the top of the American Cinematheque’s annual benefit award show where, this year, the non-profit organization will present its 32nd annual career achievement award, known as the American Cinematheque GRoW @ Annenberg Title and Educational Sponsor for the American Cinematheque, to four-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper. The presentation of both the Sid Grauman and American Cinematheque awards will take place Thursday, November 29, 2018 at The Beverly Hilton.



American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita said, “The American Cinematheque is pleased to present this year’s annual Sid Grauman award to Dolby Laboratories for its outstanding contributions to theatrical exhibition. Dolby has revolutionized the moviegoing experience with its breakthrough innovations, including Dolby Cinema, Dolby Vision HDR, and Dolby Atmos immersive audio, using the full spectrum of storytelling capabilities to transform the way movies are made and presented. The Dolby brand has become the gold standard that assures audiences worldwide that they are hearing, seeing, and experiencing a movie in a way that truly delivers on the creative intent.”

JIŘÍ TRNKA: AN ANIMATOR'S APPRECIATION, by Seamus Walsh & Mark Caballero

We asked the founders of Screen Novelties, a Los Angeles-based company that specializes in stop-motion puppet animation, to give us some words about Jiří Trnka" (1912 – 1969) on the eve of the American Cinematheque’s tribute to the Czech animator. "The Puppet Master: The Films of Jiří Trnka" runs at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, May 30 – June 3, 2018.

Trnka working on Bajaja (1950). What a badass!

The films of Jiri Trnka immerse the viewer in the best kind of cinema magic. They appeal directly to your imagination; they are entrancingly tangible, yet dreamlike and diaphanous. Atmosphere and elegant design combine to totally draw you into Trnka’s ethereal miniature world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A BERGMAN FOR ALL SEASONS, by Susan King

This year marks the centenary of the groundbreaking Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (he died at age 89 in 2007) and the Cinematheque is celebrating the anniversary with “The Season of Bergman,” a remarkable retrospective of his greatest films


The festival begins Friday, May 4 with The Seventh Seal and The Magician at the Egyptian, and concludes May 20 at the Aero with his lauded 1975 version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and his 1953 romantic drama Summer with Monika, which raised more than few eyebrows with his frank depiction of sexuality (and its nudity).

The cinematic landscape would be a far different place without Bergman. In fact, the films of those he has influenced including Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen would have been less rich and complex without Bergman, who made more than 60 films, nearly 200 theatrical productions, and several TV miniseries.