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Category: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Around Town: Snow White, Casablanca at Oscars Outdoors

June 14, 2012 |  6:00 am


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


"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.



Academy chooses architects for its movie museum project at LACMA

May 30, 2012 | 10:40 am

Lacma may academy museum

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has picked Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali as the architects charged with transforming the old May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue into the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The Italian-born Piano, who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1998, is behind the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Central St. Giles Court in London, and the headquarters of the New York Times. Piano also designed the expansion of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which he began working on in 2003.

The building that will house the film museum sits next to, and is owned by, LACMA.

Pali, a Los Angeles native, has been responsible for the restorations of Los Angeles' Greek Theatre, the Gibson Amphitheatre and the Pantages Theatre. He worked on the renovation and expansion of the Getty Villa museum and is designing the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, which will open in fall 2013.

"Renzo's track record of creating iconic cultural landmarks combined with Zoltan's success in transforming historically significant buildings is a perfect marriage for a museum that celebrates the history and future of the movies," said Dawn Hudson, the academy's chief executive.

[Updated 11:54 a.m., May 30:  Hudson, in a conference call with the duo, said the organization chose them because "we actually responded to and fell in love with both architects." The architects spoke from Genoa, Italy, where they are already working on plans for the L.A. site. 

Pali and Piano have never worked together but have known each other for a long time. "Obviously, Renzo is a hero for me," Pali said. "It's an incredible honor to team up with his team."

Both men intend to work closely together on the project's interior design. "The idea is that we don't divide the work," Piano said. "Creativity has no limit, no boundaries."

Hudson added that she and the museum committee, which includes some academy governors, current President Tom Sherak and former President Sid Ganis, still need to hire a firm to design the specific exhibits.

The academy is currently in the "silent phase" of its fundraising. It plans to open the museum in late 2015, early 2016.]


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-- Nicole Sperling and Susan King

Photo: The old May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue is to be transformed into the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Around Town: 'Mean Streets' pays tribute to Fellini film

May 17, 2012 |  6:00 am


 "I Vitelloni," a 1953 semi-autobiographical drama about five male friends living in a small Italian town, is considered one of the watershed moments in Federico Fellini's career. The film is screening Friday through Wednesday at the New Beverly Cinema with a variety of second features that all tip their hats to "I Vitelloni."

Martin Scorsese's 1973 "Mean Streets"  is on tap Friday and Saturday. Another coming-of-age film from 1973, George Lucas' "American Graffiti" joins the Italian drama on Sunday and Monday. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, Barry Levinson's nostalgia-tinged 1982 buddy movie "Diner," screens with the Fellini film. http://www.newbevcinema.com

The Art Directors Guild Film Society and the American Cinemathque celebrate the guild's 75th anniversary and its 2012 Film Series with 1929's "The Iron Mask," Douglas Fairbanks' last silent film, early Sunday evening at the Egyptian Theatre.

Allan Dwan helmed this sequel to "The Three Musketeers," which features the production design of Maurice Leloir. Fairbanks went to Paris to cajole the then-74-year-old Leloir to come to Hollywood to do the film. The only 35-millimeter print known to exist, restored by Kevin Brownlow, is being flown in from London for the event. http://www.americancinematheque.com

On Thursday evening, Film Independent at LACMA's monthly "100 Years of Paramount Pictures" presents two films starring a young Michael Caine: the original 1969 version of the caper flick "The Italian Job" and 1966's "Funeral in Berlin," which marked the British actor's second outing as British spy Harry Palmer. And on Sunday, Film Independent is presenting a sneak preview of Wes Anderson's latest film, "Moonrise Kingdom." This event is sold out, but there will be a stand-by line. http://www.lacma.org

Though critics and audiences weren't exactly enthused about the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp version of "Dark Shadows," the director and actor have hit pay dirt with a number of their collaborations. Screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander will be chatting about their experiences working with Burton and Depp on the 1994 charmer "Ed Wood," after a screening of the film Thursday evening at the Egyptian Theatre. Their discussion is followed by a screening of the first collaboration between Burton and Depp -- 1990's "Edward Scissorhands."

The intimate Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre presents the 1917 silent serial "The Mystery of the Double Cross" this weekend. The first eight chapters will be shown on Friday evening, the remaining seven on Saturday evening. "Double Cross"  is one of just a few serials from the silent era that still exist in complete form. 

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre continues its "The Poetry of Precision: A Robert Bresson Retrospective." Two of his earliest films screen Saturday evening: 1943's "Les Anges du Peche," based on the Diderot novel, and 1945's "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne," which was penned by Jean Cocteau. http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Echo Park Film Center presents "PXL: This 21" Thursday night. The 21st annual toy camera film festival features Pixelvision films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 camcorder.http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org.

A traveling exhibition of new Czech films is visiting Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre. The opening night program Thursday evening is 2010's "Walking Too Fast." Director Radim Spacek will do a Q&A after the screening of the movie, followed by "Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer." http://www.cinefamily.org

Historian and author Miles Kruger will chat about the 1936 version of the Oscar Hammerstein II-Jerome Kern musical "Showboat" on Sunday afternoon at the Billy Wilder Theater as part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's centennial celebration of Universal. Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan star. James Whale of "Frankenstein" fame directed.

The archive's Wednesday evening programming at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles presents two collaborations between director Nicholas Ray and Humphrey Bogart: 1949's "Knock on Any Day" and the 1950 film noir classic "In a Lonely Place," with Gloria Grahame and Frank Lovejoy. http://cinema.ucla.edu

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents "The Development of the Digital Animator" on Monday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The 18th Marc Davis Celebration of Animation evening will be moderated by animator and historian Tom Sisto.  http://www.oscars.org

REDCAT presents "New Day at 40: A Community's Celebration" on Monday evening. The program honors the 40th anniversary of indie New Day Films with a screening of work by two of its L.A. members: Anayansi Prado and Adele Horne. http://www.redcat.org


"Douglas Fairbanks' 'Thief of Bagdad," "Iron Mask" to screen at Samuel Goldwyn Theater"


 -- Susan King

Photo: Robert DeNiro (left) and Harvey Keitel star in "Mean Streets" Credit: Warner Bros.

'Casablanca' to screen on Facebook Wednesday

May 15, 2012 | 11:28 am


As part of the 70th birthday celebration for "Casablanca," Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will sponsor a free screening of the Oscar-winning World War II melodrama on the movie's Facebook page on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.

One must begin watching the film before 9 p.m. Pacific time and only one screening per Facebook account is allowed.

Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid and Claude Rains star in the classic that features such beloved  lines as "Here's looking at you kid" and that made a memorable hit of the 1931 tune "As Time Goes By." Besides the best film Oscar, "Casablanca" also won Academy Awards for director Michael Curtiz and screenwriters Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch.


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-- Susan King

Photo: "Casablanca," with Dooley Wilson, left, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Credit: Warner Bros., First National Pictures.

Movie academy goes casual with plan for outdoor summer screenings

May 7, 2012 |  3:10 pm

AMPAS president announces Oscars Outdoors events

Grab your blankets and beach chairs, Oscar is going casual.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday the slate of movies for its first outdoor screening series to be held at its new Oscars Outdoors venue on Vine Street. The lineup, which kicks off June 15 with a screening of "Casablanca," is a mixture of classics and contemporary films designed to appeal to a broad swath of the moviegoing public.

Screenings will take place Friday and Saturday evenings through Aug. 18, with Saturday evenings devoted to family-friendly fare, such as Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride" and Disney's animated classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

The organization behind the Oscars purchased the 3.5-acre lot near the intersection of Vine and Fountain Avenue in 2005 for $50 million, with the intention of building a world-class movie museum on the lot. In October, however, the academy announced a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the project, and the movie museum is now set to be housed in the former May Co. department store on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue.

Rather then sell off the land in Hollywood, which sits next to the academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, the academy opted to open the outdoor theater.

The academy spent $2 million renovating the land, which now includes a graded lawn area that seats about 350 patrons on blankets and low-rise lawn chairs, and a 10,000-square-foot plaza available for receptions.

With the series, the academy is hoping to serve the Hollywood community that was initially promised a museum on the site, academy President Tom Sherak said.

"It was not an easy decision to not build a building here," said Sherak, who presented the amphitheater's programming in a midmorning news conference alongside City Councilman Eric Garcetti. "We are not going to abandon this community."

During the event, Sherak asked Garcetti whether he would authorize the closure of Homewood Avenue, which directly faces the screen, when films are showing to allow those without tickets to sit outside the amphitheater and watch the movies. Garcetti responded, "I'd be happy to look at it."

The academy also announced a slate of summer and fall public programs at its other theaters and plans to ramp up its preservation program. The $2-million initiative, titled Film-to-Film, began in 2011 and has preserved or acquired about 300 titles, including such feature films as "Sleuth" and "The Cardinal," in addition to silent films and Oscar-nominated shorts. (The academy film archive had already preserved 1,000 titles since it began its work in 1992.)

"We must preserve as much of our film heritage on film as soon as we can," said Randy Haberkamp, the academy's managing director for programming, education and preservation, during the conference.

The academy tested out the amphitheater Saturday night with a staff screening of John Hughes' comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and an invitation-only screening of "Field of Dreams" is set for May 19. Sherak and past academy presidents Sid Ganis and Robert Rehme intend to serve popcorn.

The evening is sure to be nostalgic for Sherak, a former exhibition executive, who views the outdoor theater as the closest he could come to creating a drive-in theater for Hollywood. "We wanted to take the present and add in a piece of the past.... Come, bring your blankets and beach chairs. Come and get away from the rigors of life."

Screenings are $5 for the public, with children 10 and younger admitted free. Tickets go on sale on the academy's website on June 1.


'Casablanca' tops lineup for film academy's outdoor theater

Oscars academy to build outdoor theater in Hollywood

— Nicole Sperling

Photo: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak at the academy's news conference unveiling Oscars Outdoors. Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images.


'Casablanca' tops lineup for film academy's outdoor theater

May 7, 2012 | 10:30 am


"Casablanca" will kick off the opening weekend programming for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' new Hollywood amphitheater and event space, the organization announced Monday. The space will host screenings Fridays and Saturdays beginning June 15 and running through the summer; Saturday programming is built around family fare.

The film academy will christen the space with an outdoor, invitation-only screening of the baseball classic “Field of Dreams" on May 19.

Tickets are $5 for the public; free for children 10 and under; $3 for academy members and students. Seating is unreserved. Food trucks will be on site for each screening.

The schedule, which ranges from the Coen brothers' comedy "Raising Arizona" to the lavish musical "Dreamgirls" and concludes with a singalong to "The Wizard of Oz," follows:

June 15: "Casablanca"

June 16: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

June 22: "Raising Arizona"

June 23: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

June 29: "A Star Is Born" (1937)

June 30: "The Goonies"

July 6: "Shane"

July 7: "The Nutty Professor"

July 13: TBD

July 14: "The Princess Bride"

July 20: "Pillow Talk"

July 21: "The Karate Kid" (1984)

July 27: "Dreamgirls"

July 28: "The Dark Crystal"

Aug. 3: "North by Northwest"

Aug. 4: "Steamboat Bill Jr."

Aug. 10: "Young Frankenstein"

Aug. 11: "Back to the Future"

Aug. 17: Audience choice

Aug 18: "The Wizard of Oz" (singalong)


Film academy will open outdoor theater with 'Field of Dreams'

— Nicole Sperling

Photo: "Casablanca." Credit: Warner Bros.

Film academy will open outdoor theater with 'Field of Dreams'

May 2, 2012 |  6:15 pm

Field of Dreams

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that it would christen its new Hollywood amphitheater and event space with an outdoor screening of the baseball classic “Field of Dreams."

The invitation-only screening will be held May 19. The 1989 film, which immortalized the line “If you build it, he will come,” was written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who has been active in academy leadership.

The presenters of the Academy Awards purchased the 3.5-acre lot near the intersection of Vine Street and Fountain Avenue in 2005 for $50 million, intending to build a world-class movie museum there. The scaled-down museum will now be housed in an old department store building next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with whom the academy is partnering on the long-delayed project. 

The academy did not announce any other programming for the venue.


Oscar show may exit Hollywood

Lineup for Los Angeles Film Festival

Film academy signs 20-year deal to keep Oscar show in Hollywood

--John Horn

Photo: Ray Liotta, left,  and Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams." Credit: Universal Pictures

Film academy signs 20-year deal to keep Oscar show in Hollywood

May 1, 2012 | 11:20 am

KodakThe Oscars aren't going anywhere. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that it had signed a new 20-year deal with CIM Group to keep the annual Academy Awards show at the Hollywood & Highland Center through 2033. Also confirmed is a Dolby Laboratories agreement with the owners of the complex to take over the naming rights to the theater, previously belonging to Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy.

The agreement quells the rumors that the academy's board of governors was going to move its annual telecast downtown to the L.A. Live complex and its Nokia Theatre. 

"The academy's board of governors believes that the home for our awards is in Hollywood," said Tom Sherak, academy president. "We are pleased to have a new agreement with CIM that will continue our longstanding partnership."

The Academy Awards have been held at the theater within the Hollywood & Highland center since 2002,  and the idea of a move downtown was viewed by Hollywood residents as a blow to the local economy and to the center itself, which built the 3,400-seat theater specifically to house the annual show. A move downtown would have offered the academy more room for outdoor activities in addition to a theater with twice the occupancy of its current location.


Oscar show may exit Hollywood

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-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: The annual Academy Awards show will stay at the Hollywood & Highland Center, until recently known as the Kodak Theatre and soon to be known as the Dolby Theatre, in Hollywood through 2033, thanks to a new deal. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Beverly Hills International Film Festival opens with 'Black Tulip'

April 23, 2012 |  2:17 pm

The 12th edition of the Beverly Hills International Film Festival begins Wednesday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater with the U.S. premiere of “The Black Tulip,” a drama from Afghanistan that was the country’s official Oscar submission in the foreign-language film category in 2010. The film, directed by Sonia Nassery Cole, is set in 2001 and revolves around a family that decides to open a restaurant for artists and poets to express themselves after the Taliban is vanquished.

Another 49 feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated movies in the five-day festival will screen at the Real D Theater (formerly the Clarity Theatre) in Beverly Hills. 

According to its founder, Nino Simone, the festival is all about the “love, the passion” for movies.

“We have a knack for discovering some really unique pieces and showcasing them,” said Simone. “Instead of being a mega festival where there are 250,000 attendees and the filmmakers get lost in the shuffle, we decided to focus on a limited amount of films.... We decided to keep it nice and compact and focus on high-end pieces that could move people.”

Other highlights of the festival include the world premieres of the psychological thriller “Sofia,” with Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland; the documentary “Beyond 360,” about sailing champion Dee Caffari’s circumnavigation of the globe; and “Uprising: Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots,” executive produced by Snoop Dogg. The last will air on VH1 on May 1.

The festival concludes Sunday at the Four Seasons with a gala and awards show. Anne Archer (“Fatal Attraction”) is set to receive the fifth annual Legends Award. USC professor Mardik Martin, who wrote the screenplay for “Raging Bull,” will receive the 2012 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award, presented annually to underrated artists. 

For more information go to beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com


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Oscars: Live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood?

March 29, 2012 |  6:44 pm

Could the theater formerly known as Kodak be closer to a new name?

Audio and video corporation Dolby Laboratories has entered talks with CIM, the theater’s landlord, for naming rights to the Oscars venue, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

The 3,300-seat venue, located inside Los Angeles’ Hollywood & Highland’s complex, has hosted the Oscars for the past decade. But it was left without a name when a judge voided the naming-rights contract in February in the wake of Kodak’s bankruptcy filing. The theater was referred to as the “Hollywood & Highland Center” at this year’s Oscars.

Bloomberg reported that a new naming deal may not be imminent, with CIM likely to test the waters with other bidders. Kodak paid about $72 million for a 20-year deal back in 2000.

Based in San Francisco, Dolby began in the mid-1960s by licensing audio and video technologies to consumer electronics companies, and has recently expanded into digital entertainment offerings; it created Dolby 3D, a system for projecting 3-D movies in digital cinemas.

Spokespeople for the academy, Dolby and CIM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kodak was built in the early 2000s expressly for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ annual event, and has since come to host other performances, such as Cirque de Soleil’s salute to Hollywood called “Iris.” It serves as an anchor of the Hollywood shopping and entertainment complex.

The voiding of naming-rights deals has become a hot topic since the economic recession began in 2008. Some critics, for instance, have called for the renaming of Citi Field, the New York Mets ballpark, given the financial crisis and the team’s troubled financial picture.

Complicating the naming question at the Hollywood & Highland complex is that the academy is entering the last year of its lease with the CIM facility. Earlier this year the academy initiated preliminary talks with AEG to move the Oscars downtown to the Nokia Theatre beginning in 2014. The space is roughly double the size of the Hollywood & Highland space, though it’s unclear how serious the academy is about severing its relationship with its current home.


Oscars show may exit Hollywood

Kodak name to disappear from Oscars theatre

--Steven Zeitchik


 Photo: Preparations for the 2006 Oscars outside the Kodak Theatre. Credit: Al Seib /Los Angeles Times


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