24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Animation

Around Town: Snow White, Casablanca at Oscars Outdoors

June 14, 2012 |  6:00 am

Snow

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduces its "Oscars Outdoors" screening series  Friday evening with the 1942 Oscar-winning romantic classic "Casablanca," followed by Walt Disney's seminal 1937 animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,'' Saturday evening.

The screenings take place at the academy's new open-air theater on its Hollywood campus. All of the June screenings are sold out, but there will be a standby line the day of the event.  http://www.oscars.org

Cinespia's outdoor screening series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is in full swing this summer with Cheech and Chong's highly combustible 1978 comedy, "Up in Smoke," scheduled for Saturday evening. http://www.cinespia.org

New Beverly Cinema kicks off the weekend with the antic 1944 Frank Capra comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace," based on the long-running Broadway hit. The film, which stars Cary Grant, screens Friday and Saturday.

With Woody Allen's latest, "To Rome with Love," opening next week, the New Bev presents two of the his "early funny ones" Sunday and Monday: 1975's "Love and Death" and 1972's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)." http://www.newbevcinema.com

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's celebration of Universal's 100-year anniversary presents the granddaddy of all-star disaster films, 1970's "Airport," on Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater. George Seaton wrote and directed this Oscar-best-film nominee based on the novel by Arthur Hailey about a suicidal bomber (Van Heflin) aboard a transatlantic flight. Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg and Helen Hayes, who won the supporting actress Oscar as a stowaway, are among the many stars. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Veronica Gelakoksa, author of "Pig 'n  Whistle," and Los Angeles Magazine columnist/preservation and vintage culture expert Chris Nichols will talk about the famed L.A restaurants of the 1920s-'40s after a screening Saturday afternoon of the 1945 film noir classic "Mildred Pierce" at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. Joan Crawford won her Academy Award for her role.

The 1945 theme continues early Sunday evening at the Egyptian with the Art Directors Guild Film Society's screening of MGM's lavish all-star musical "Ziegfeld Follies," which was directed by several of the studio's directors, including Vincente Minnelli. Guests include Oscar-nominated costume designer Bob Mackie and cinematographer Michael Lonzo.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre's latest installment in its "Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema" continues Wednesday with the 2009 drama "Altiplano." http://www.americancinematheque.com

Oscar-winning composer and sometimes actor Paul Williams will be on hand Friday evening at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's tribute, which features two films for which he composed the scores: 1979's "The Muppet Movie," which includes the tune "The Rainbow Connection," and 1974's "The Phantom of Paradise."

Cinefamily also celebrates the 45th anniversary of the milestone Monterey International Pop Music Festival with a screening Sunday evening of D.A. Pennebaker's 1968 classic documentary "Monterey Pop." The film's producer, Lou Adler, and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas (who appear in the film) will be on hand. http://www.cinefamily.org

Los Angeles Filmforum presents Peter Greenaway's 2007 drama "Nightwatching," starring Martin Freeman as Rembrant, Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre. http://www.lafilmforum.org

The Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats present a 1942 Mexican comedy "Los Tres Mosqueteros," starring the legendary Mario Moreno — best known to the world as Cantinflas — Wednesday evening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. There will also be a pre-show panel. http://www.laconservancy.org

Related:

"Movie academy goes casual with plan for outdoor summer screenings"

 

 

Susan King

Photo: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" screens Saturday at "Oscar Outdoors." Credit: Disney.

 

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'Frozen' and Tonka trucks: New animated films in the works

June 11, 2012 |  5:44 pm

Idinamenzel
Two announcements Monday about new CG animated films -- Walt Disney Animation Studios' fairy tale-inspired musical "Frozen" and Sony Pictures Animation's untitled Tonka truck movie -- signal the breadth of projects in the bustling animation medium that studios have in the pipeline.

In "Frozen," an adaptation of the 1845 Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Snow Queen," a young girl named Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) will attempt to break the spell that has trapped her kingdom in an endless winter. 

Though Disney had already announced the film, what became clear in a press release issued Monday was that "Frozen" will have a strong musical element. The role of Elsa the Snow Queen, who presides over a palace of permafrost, will be voiced by Idina Menzel, an actress best known for her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West in the Broadway production of the musical "Wicked" and a recurring guest role on Fox's "Glee."

"Frozen," directed by Chris Buck ("Tarzan," "Surf's Up"), will feature songs from Robert Lopez, the Tony-winning writer of the musicals "Book of Mormon" and "Avenue Q," and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, with whom he collaborated on the songs for Disney's 2011 film "Winnie the Pooh" and a stage version of "Finding Nemo."

Sony, meanwhile, is drawing its source material not from fairy tales, but from the toy aisle. The studio announced that it is partnering with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions and Hasbro on a movie featuring the toymaker's famously indestructible yellow Tonka trucks.

The Tonka truck movie -- from a script by "Grown Ups" and former "Saturday Night Live" writer Fred Wolf -- does not yet have a title or a release date.

"Frozen" will arrive in theaters November 2013.

RELATED:

Pixar's 'Brave' to play at Dolby Theatre for L.A. Film Fest

Pixar's Día de los Muertos movie a nod to Mexican audiences

Henry Selick on his 'medium dark' stop-motion movie for Disney

-- Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: Idina Menzel. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times.


‘A Cat in Paris’ animated film draws on French roots

May 31, 2012 | 10:52 am

A cat in paris gk kids

DreamWorks’ lavish, CG-animated farce “Puss in Boots” wasn’t the only feline-themed comedy nominated for the animated feature Oscar this year. Also lurking among the category’s five nominees was a 67-minute, hand-drawn French film, “A Cat in Paris,” which follows the adventures of Dino, a house cat who leads a double life.

Both movies lost the Academy Award to Paramount’s western spoof, “Rango,” but Dino is continuing to charm audiences around the world. He makes his way to the U.S. on Friday as “A Cat in Paris” opens at the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles.

A film noir that tips its tail to such purr-fect crime classics as “Goodfellas,” “White Heat,” “Night of the Hunter” and “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Cat in Paris” marks the feature directorial debut of Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, who previously had directed 14 shorts for the French animation company Folimage.

“We wanted to do a police thriller,” said Gagnol, speaking by phone with the help of a translator from Bourg-les-Valence, where Folimage is located. “We love police thrillers.”

And cats?

The idea of using a feline as the lead character came from Gagnol observing cats from his kitchen window as they prowled rooftops at night. “I was wondering where they were going,” said Gagnol, who wrote the script for the roughly $7.5-million film.

Continue reading »

Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur' will warm up a prehistoric reputation

May 31, 2012 |  5:00 am

Dinosaurpicture

So often typecast as witless and cold-blooded, dinosaurs are about to get an image rehab in Hollywood, courtesy of Pixar.

"It's time to do a movie where you get to know the dinosaur, what it's really like to be a dinosaur and to be with a dinosaur," said Bob Peterson, director of the animation studio's upcoming movie "The Good Dinosaur." 

Peterson, who served as codirector and writer on "Up," said the inspiration for the movie came from a childhood visit to the World's Fair where he was awed by some dinosaur animatronics.

In "The Good Dinosaur," which will be codirected by Peter Sohn and produced by John Walker, an asteroid never hit the Earth and dinosaurs still roam.

In an interview at the studio's Emeryville offices recently, Peterson, Sohn and Walker -- who are in the midst of Pixar's secretive story-crafting phase -- kept key plot details such as geologic era and starring dino species under wraps, but hinted at some themes they'll be exploring.

Sohn said they are toying with the idea of what dinosaurs represent today -- something anachronistic or resistant to change. If there's a "good" dinosaur, after all, there have to be bad ones. "The title is deceptively simple," Sohn said. "It has more meaning than it seems."

A piece of concept art shared at Disney's D23 conference last August showed what appeared to be a silhouette of a small child with a dinosaur, suggesting that dinosaurs and people will be sharing the planet in the movie, but the filmmakers didn't confirm that.

Peterson said the crew had steeped itself in research for the film, visiting various natural history and science museums and examining fossils and bones to help them create their own dinosaur society and characters.

The director said he has been writing "The Good Dinosaur" vagabond-style, toting his laptop in his car and stopping at various spots in Northern California as inspiration strikes.

"So if there's a bunch of dinosaurs in a Whole Foods parking lot in this movie, you'll understand why," said Walker.

"The Good Dinosaur" is a few cinematic eras from release -- the movie will hit theaters May 30, 2014.

RELATED:

Pixar's 'Brave' to play at Dolby Theater for L.A. Film Fest

Pixar's Día de los Muertos movie a nod to Mexican audiences

Henry Selick on his 'medium dark' stop-motion movie for Disney

-- Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: An interactive display at Field Station: Dinosaurs Park in Secaucus, N.J. Credit: Associated Press

 


Pixar's Día de los Muertos movie a nod to Mexican audiences

May 22, 2012 |  9:00 am

Lee Unkrich plans a Dia de los Muertos movie

Pixar's "Toy Story 3" is the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico, where the animated adventure tale of children's toys Woody and Buzz Lightyear collected $59 million at the box office in 2010, more than megahits like "Avatar" and the "Harry Potter" finale.

The follow-up from "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson is also likely to have strong appeal with Mexican audiences -- and to boast more authentically Latino characters than a Spanish-speaking Buzz Lightyear doll.

The duo's next movie is a still-untitled project about Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday of the dead, which Disney and Pixar first announced at CinemaCon last month.

Pixar hasn't said how the idea of a Día de los Muertos movie came about, nor have they released any details about its plot or characters.

"Pixar movies do extremely well in Mexico," Unkrich said in mid-May, as he was waiting to offer notes to the filmmakers of the studio's next movie, "Brave," at a screening at the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. "This will allow us to explore a really fascinating aspect of the culture there."

Unkrich said he had begun taking trips to Mexico to research the Nov. 1 holiday, best known by many in the U.S. for its proximity to Halloween and use of skull and marigold iconography.

On the Day of the Dead, which has its roots in indigenous Aztec culture, families in Mexico and many Latin American countries pay tribute to deceased loved ones by creating graveside altars with treats like candy and bottles of Coca-Cola, and donning elaborate skull masks and costumes for processionals.

"This is a very different view of death than the American one," said Unkrich. "It's not spooky. It's celebratory."

Unkrich's project wouldn't be the first time Pixar has delved into the subject of mortality -- the killing of Nemo's mom sets the story of "Finding Nemo" into motion, and "Up" is essentially a cartoon about grieving. But the Día de los Muertos movie is likely to tackle death head-on in a way that's unusual for a big-budget animated film.

At the "Brave" screening, Unkrich said he was a week away from making his story pitch to Pixar's "brain trust" -- the group that includes the animation studio's chief creative officer, John Lasseter, and fellow directors such as Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton.

Having also co-directed "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo," Unkrich has developed a strategy for surviving the sometimes ruthlessly honest brain trust sessions, which Pixar filmmakers undertake several times in the life of a movie. 

"The trick is, you have to be willing to contribute your own bad idea, so we can all get to the good ones," he said.

There's plenty of time for bad ideas and good ones: Disney and Pixar have not yet set a release date for the Día de los Muertos movie, and their slate is set through 2015.

 

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Henry Selick on his 'medium dark' stop-motion movie for Disney

 

— Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: Lee Unkrich. Credit: Deborah Coleman/Pixar.

 

 


Pixar's 'Brave' to play at Dolby Theatre for L.A. Film Fest

May 18, 2012 |  9:01 am

Brave pixar

Pixar's "Brave" will have its world premiere June 18 at the newly renamed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as part of the L.A. Film Festival.

The screening of the animated film about a rebellious princess will be the first premiere at the 3,400-seat venue that hosts the Academy Awards since Dolby signed a 20-year deal taking over the naming rights from Kodak this spring.

"Brave," which will hit theaters nationwide June 22, tells the story of Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), a teenage girl who is handy with a bow and arrow and crowned with a mane of red curls. In the Scotland-set adventure directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Merida defies her parents, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) and disregards an ancient custom, inadvertently setting off a disaster in the kingdom.

“With a spirited heroine and enchanting setting in the ancient Scottish Highlands, 'Brave' represents
some exciting firsts for Pixar,” said Walt Disney Studios marketing president Ricky Strauss in a statement. “We are proud that the world premiere of ‘Brave’ will serve as the inaugural premiere at the new Dolby Theatre as part of the L.A. Film Festival, a fitting way to launch Merida’s extraordinary adventure.”

An additional gala screening of "Brave" will be held June 19 at Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live downtown for L.A. Film Festival pass and ticket holders.

On June 17, the festival will hold a panel called “Women of Wonder -– A Celebration of Women in Animation” on the challenges and accomplishments of women in the animation industry. Panelists will include Kristine Belson (executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s "How to Train Your Dragon"), Karen Rupert Toliver (20th Century Fox Animation’s vice president of production), Katharine Sarafian (producer of "Brave") and Michelle Murdocca (producer of Sony Pictures Animation’s "Hotel Transylvania").

“We are thrilled to present the world premiere of ‘Brave,’ a beautiful adventure story, to our L.A. Film Fest audience,” festival director Stephanie Allain said in a statement. “As Disney/Pixar’s first film with a female protagonist, it fits perfectly with our celebration of women in animation programming we’ll be holding during the festival.”

The L.A. Film Festival runs June 14-24 in downtown Los Angeles.

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-- Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: A scene from "Brave." Credit: Disney / Pixar

 


Henry Selick on his 'medium dark' stop-motion movie for Disney

April 27, 2012 | 12:24 pm

Henryselick

Henry Selick, a giant in the pocket-sized world of stop-motion animation, is almost finished with production on his next film, an as-yet-untitled project for Walt Disney Co.

The director of "Coraline" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" has been supervising a crew of about 150 craftspersons and animators from his new studio, Cinderbiter, based in an old chocolate factory in San Francisco's Mission District. The film will be Selick's first since signing an exclusive deal with Disney in 2010.

"It’s an original story of mine," Selick said of the film, which has so far remained shrouded in secrecy.

The project will hew to the spooky-sweet tone of Selick's previous work, he said.

"It won’t come from totally left field," he said. "What I personally gravitate toward tends to be fantasy, medium dark -- not too dark -- fairy tales and sci fi. Stop-motion takes something on the page that’s really dark and adds a little sweetness to it, a living toys realm."

Selick, who attended the California Institute of the Arts with Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter and Pixar director Brad Bird in the 1970s, said he consulted with the animation studio's creative leaders several times while developing his script. Taking story notes from Pixar's candid "brain trust" was a new and sometimes arresting experience for Selick, who historically has been more of a lone tinkerer as a director.

"The first time, I thought, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know if I can handle this, Why did John [Lasseter] agree to help me make my films?' " he said. "But then I found out it’s that way with everybody, even their best filmmakers. When you see what they produce, it’s like, 'OK, [I] don’t take any of it personally.' ''

The gist of the notes, Selick said, was, "Don’t get caught up in eye candy. They said, 'Let’s try to make your story as clear as possible and give it as much heart as it deserves.' "

Selick described the 2013 release date listed by IMDB.com for his film as "tentative."

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--Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

Photo: Henry Selick with a puppet from "Coraline." Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times


Pixar announces Día de los Muertos film

April 25, 2012 |  3:11 pm

Day of the Dead

This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

An upcoming Pixar film will center on Día de los Muertos -- the Mexican holiday honoring the dead -- the animation studio announced at the CinemaCon convention of theater owners in Las Vegas this week. Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the team behind "Toy Story 3," will collaborate on the as-yet-untitled movie.

As is often the case with its long-gestating projects, Pixar revealed little else about the Día de los Muertos movie, which will presumably take many visual cues from the spooky holiday's focus on skulls, masks and Mexican marigolds.

MarkAndrewsandJohn LasseterPixar chief creative officer John Lasseter also shared a little more about the studio's upcoming slate,  including two projects first announced at Disney's D23 fan convention last August. Lasseter supplied the title and a May 30, 2014, release date for "The Good Dinosaur," Bob Peterson's film about what the world would be like if dinosaurs had never been extinct, and a June 19, 2015, release date for Pete Docter's next project, which Walt Disney Studios is currently calling "The untitled Pixar film that takes you inside the mind." 

The brain movie is still shrouded in mystery: At D23, producer Jonas Rivera said, “We can’t wait to come back and tell you more as soon as we get out of psychotherapy."

At CinemaCon, the studio also screened 30 minutes of its next feature, the Scotland-set "Brave," due out June 22. Scottish bagpipers supplied a little mood music for the occasion, and Lasseter donned a kilt.

[For the record, 4:40 p.m., April 25: A previous version of this post said the untitled Día de los Muertos film will be released in 2015. Disney has not announced a release date for the film.]

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-- Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/thatrebecca

Photos: A mask hangs over one of the altars during the 11th annual Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, celebration on Oct. 30, 2010, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Credit: Mariah Tauger. "Brave" director Mark Andrews and Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter. Credit: Disney.

 


CinemaCon: Chris Pine, talking 'Guardians,' nods to J.J. Abrams

April 24, 2012 |  9:59 am

Getprev
Lending his voice to Jack Frost in the upcoming animated film "Rise of the Guardians" has given Chris Pine a new appreciation of the secrecy surrounding J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek."

"Rise of the Guardians," is a 3-D DreamWorks Animation movie featuring folklore characters like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny; it's set for release near Thanksgiving. It might not seem to have much in common with "Star Trek," but Pine, 31, says working on "Guardians" has given him a better understanding of why "Star Trek" director Abrams is so adamant about keeping the plot of his films a mystery.

"J.J. is super-secretive. The scripts are color-coded, and walking to and from set we have to wear coats and everything," the actor said at the CinemaCon convention of theater owners in Las Vegas, where he was on hand to promote "Guardians."  "It's such a pain in the [butt], but I think about how awesome it is, because what he's protecting is the magic of the unknown."

With the advent of the Internet, Pine says it's harder to preserve a sense of wonder among audiences, including children. Can the fantastical "Guardians" work for kids who are jaded at an early age?

"I think probably there's a certain amount of earlier cynicism because of technology and stuff -- they can look Santa Claus up online, and they'll find a blog post from some hater about he doesn't exist," he said. "I do think there's something genetically programmed in the brain of a child that wants to believe."

DreamWorks Animation screened roughly 15 minutes of the new movie to theater owners at the Caesars Palace Coliseum on Monday night, and director Peter Ramsey showed illustrations of each character and described them in elaborate detail. Pine gave an earnest speech about how his imagination ran wild as a kid. It seems the actor took his work on "Guardians" quite seriously. While Chris Rock told 24 Frames he finds doing voice work on the "Madagascar" films an easy gig, Pine said he agonizes over his delivery of every line.

"I do the voice for BMW too, and I'm always thinking, how do you paint a picture with words when the subtle nuances of just you and I sitting here together you can't display?" he said. "I'll go in sometimes and think I did a great job and hear it back and think, 'Well, that's not what I was trying to do.' It's the worst art form for an OCD perfectionist like me."

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-- Amy Kaufman

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Photo: Chris Pine talks about "Rise of the Guardians" at CinemaCon. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press


Around Town: Steve McQueen, the King of Cool, rides again

March 29, 2012 |  6:00 am

Bullitt

The American Cinematheque celebrates the legacy of King of Cool Steve McQueen at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood from Thursday through Sunday.

"Low Rider: The Super Charged Cinema of Steve McQueen" opens with one of his quintessential films, the 1968 detective thriller "Bullitt," in which he plays the unflappable, Mustang-driving San Francisco detective Frank Bullitt. Directed by Peter Yates, the film features one of the seminal car chase sequences ever put on film. Following "Bullitt" is McQueen's disappointing final film, 1980's "The Hunter," which was released shortly before his death.

Screening Saturday is the 1973 prison epic "Papillon" and the rarely seen 1963 comedy drama "Soldier in the Rain" with Jackie Gleason. McQueen's first wife, Neile Adams, will be on hand to sign her book "My Husband, My Friend" before the screening Saturday of 1963's classic World War II action-adventure "The Great Escape," which made McQueen a superstar.

The series concludes Sunday with Norman Jewison's sophisticated 1968 romantic caper thriller "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Faye Dunaway and 1972's thriller "The Getaway," directed by Sam Peckinpah, and also starring Ali MacGraw, who became the actor's second wife.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre wants you to pass the time by "playing a little solitaire" Thursday evening with a 50th anniversary screening of the iconic political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate," directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and an Oscar-nominated Angela Lansbury.

With the Farrelly brothers' take on the venerable comedy team "The Three Stooges" opening on April 13, the Cinematheque gets into the "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" spirit Sunday at the Aero with a double bill of Stooges slapstick -- 1962's "The Three Stooges Meets Hercules" and 1965's "The Outlaws Is Coming," which also features Adam West and several daytime kiddie TV hosts who showed Three Stooges shorts.

The Aero's "Wednesdays with Robert Altman" series kicks off with his 1971 revisionist western, "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" with Warren Beatty and an Oscar-nominated Julie Christie. www.americancinematheque.com

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' "Inside the Booth: A Journey Through Projection," kicks off Thursday evening at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Presented by the academy's Science and Technology Council, the series -- hosted by the academy's chief projectionist Marshall Gitlitz and silent film historian and projectionist Joe Rinaudo -- is a three-week exploration of the evolution of the motion picture camera.

The opening program, "The Birth of Projection," shines the spotlight on the works of such film pioneers as George Eastman and George Melies, features a demonstration of hand-cranked films and a screening of Buster Keaton's 1924 classic "Sherlock Jr.," in which he plays a projectionist who wants to become a detective. Though the event Thursday is sold out there will be a stand-by line.

Besides the series, there is also an exhibition, "Tech Art 2: The Projection Story," at the venue that features 30 color images of projection equipment shot by photographer Vince Gonzales, as well as projectors and other equipment. 

The series continues April 19 and May 4. www.oscars.org

Jason Reitman presents "The Big Lebowski," his final installment in his "Live Read" series for Film Independent at LACMA, on Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theatre. The event is sold out but there will be a stand-by line.

Animation historians and authors Jerry Beck and Adam Abraham will be on hand Friday evening at LACMA for "Madcap Modernism: Mid-Century Cartoons from UPA and Beyond," which features two programs of innovative theatrical animation shorts from the 1950s.  LACMA's Tuesday matinee series at the Leo S. Bing Theatre presents one of the jewels in Preston Sturges' comedic crown: the 1942 romantic comedy "The Palm Beach Story," starring Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor and Rudy Vallee. www.lacma.org

UCLA Film &Television Archive's "Spencer Tracy: The Natural Thing" comes to a close Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater with the actor's final film, 1967's "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," which also stars Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton.  Karen Kramer, the widow of producer/director Stanley Kramer, will be the special guest.

The archive's Wednesday evening series at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles features two thrillers from William Castle: 1964's "Strait-Jacket," starring Joan Crawford and 1961's "Homicidal." www.cinema.ucla.edu

New Beverly Cinema showcases the Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") Friday and Saturday with screenings of her most recent film, 2011's "We Need to Talk About Kevin," in which she plays the mother of a disturbed son and Sally Potter's 1992 version of Virginia Woolf's novel, "Orlando." www.newbevcinema.com

Film at Redcat presents "Narrative Bodies: Films and Videos by Abigail Child," Monday evening. Child will be appearing in person at the program, which features many of her avant-garde films including 1977's "Peripeteia I" and 1986's "Perils." www.redcat.org

 Paul Mazursky and actor George Segal will be reminiscing about "Blume in Love," the filmmaker's 1973 romantic comedy starring Segal and Kris Kristofferson, after a screening Tuesday evening at the Skirball Center. www.skirball.org

Silent screen legend Harold Lloyd would have been 119 on April 20, and the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is celebrating his birthday Wednesday with a screening of two of his comedies: 1926's "For Heaven's Sake" and 1923's "Why Worry?" His granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd, will introduce the screening.  www.cinefamily.org

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--Susan King

Photo: Steve McQueen, left, and Robert Vaughn in "Bullitt." Credit: File photo


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