LACMA's film series: It's Ian Birnie's swan song
Ian Birnie, who for the last 14 years was director of LACMA's film department, is now out of a job. For his farewell program, "Celebrating Classic Cinema: Curator and Audience Favorites," Birnie has picked an eclectic collection of movies and has written personal program notes.
In a commentary in Sunday Calendar, Times movie critic Kenneth Turan writes that Birnie's exit was "orchestrated in a breathtaking piece of gamesmanship by LACMA Director Michael Govan, as adroit a cultural politician as this city has."
Birnie's last hurrah, 17 movies that begin screening on Friday, includes some of Turan's favorite movies, including Max Ophüls' "The Earrings of Madame de...," Ernst Lubitsch's "To Be or Not to Be," and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's "I Know Where I'm Going."
Photo: Danielle Darrieux in Max Ophuls' "The Earrings of Madame de... " Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art