Wednesday, May 23, 2018


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


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.

Monday, April 30, 2018


The 32nd American Cinematheque Award Sponsored by GRoW @ Annenberg will be presented to four-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper at the Cinematheque’s annual benefit gala. The presentation will take place Thursday, November 29, 2018 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. The award presentation will be held in the International Ballroom and will include in-person tributes from some of Cooper’s colleagues and friends. Other show participants will be announced as they are confirmed in the coming months.

“The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honor Bradley Cooper as the 32nd recipient of the American Cinematheque award at our celebration this year," says American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita. “Bradley Cooper is the modern-day equivalent of movie stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age — a leading man with the shapeshifting talents of a character actor. He is one of the few actors to be nominated for Academy Awards three years in a row for Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper. He showed his comedic chops in The Hangover series, which is one of the highest grossing R-rated comedy franchises of all time, and has been acclaimed for his voiceover roles in mega-hits like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Moving effortlessly to behind the camera, he co-wrote and directed and stars in A Star Is Born. While he has already worked with the greatest directors, actors, and actresses in the movie business and achieved the heights of commercial and critical success, his career is obviously moving to an even higher level of accomplishment. Bradley Cooper is an ideal honoree for the American Cinematheque’s 32nd annual award.”

Thursday, April 26, 2018


The American Cinematheque’s annual “Starring Europe” series begins next Thursday, May 3rd, running through Wednesday, May 9th between the Egyptian and Aero Theatres. It gathers together fourteen shorts and features from as many countries, giving audiences a unique opportunity to reconsider the continent in a concentrated space. There is no specific directive to their selection beyond that. It’s a chance for each nation to give a snapshot of its culture, and a chance for Angelenos to see a great many films that may not ever see a commercial release here despite finding success in their countries and on the festival circuit.

“The scope of the festival is to present different realities that, when combined, create a picture of Europe,” according to Italy’s Consul General in Los Angeles, Antonio Verde, when I spoke to him earlier this week. The European Union includes twenty-eight countries, and each brings to bear its own histories and priorities. The films selected don’t all share a common theme, tone, or purpose. Some are destined only for festivals like this, others were massive local hits.

Friday, April 13, 2018


"For The Love of Godard," a retrospective of Jean-Luc Godard’s films, plays April 16-27 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

“Un film en train de se faire,” proclaims the opening text of Jean-Luc Godard’s fourteenth film, La Chinoise, in his now-famous, primary-colored font. A film in the making. Or a film being made? Any way one translates this, it is meant to convey itself as a film of the moment. This is clear in a social context, dealing as it does with college-age characters forming a small Maoist revolution (a band of outsiders, if you will) and plotting an assassination. These were very current topics in 1967, so much so that many see in it a prophecy for the May ‘68 student protests that temporarily shut down the French government.

But it is also a film of Godard’s moment. His films - more than almost any other filmmaker of his stature - reflect his interests, concerns, and desires right at the moment of their making. Not a few months before, let alone a few years. There are no “passion projects” that he lobbies for years or decades to complete. He sees what is before him, on the day, and shoots that. Famously, his working method often involves scripting scenes the morning they are to be shot. This began with his frantic desperation during Breathless, his first film, and he never found cause to change. Then he edits to what he wants in the moment of editing.