Central Library’s Art Film Series for 2014-15, Made in L.A., offers five more films set and made in Los Angeles. While the films differ in story and tone, each one presents Los Angeles as an integral backdrop and a crucial character. The films would be vastly different if they didn’t take place in this city!
A brief discussion precedes each film screening followed by an open Q & A. All the screenings take place on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. in Central Library’s Meeting Room A and are free and open to the public.
Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
The 2001 surreal neo-noir film written and directed by David Lynch has the characteristic noir elements of a murder plot and a naive female lead, but the twists and turns in the film are far from linear. In this entangled, engaging dream-like film, Lynch creates an insider’s view of Hollywood both pictorially, with shots overlooking Los Angeles at nighttime - and dramatically, with scenes of auditions that show aspiring talents trying to find their way onto the big screen. Lynch received a “best director” Academy Award nomination.
Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
How Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder managed to co-write the screenplay for this 1944 noir film directed by Wilder remains one of Hollywood’s best backstories. Femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) seduces insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), and together they plot a scheme to further their own interests. Stanwyck received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. MacMurray’s performance is one of his finest.
The Art Film Series continues in the spring of 2015 with three films again set and made in Los Angeles. One is a famous science fiction film, two are based on reality, and all three give the world iconic shots of L.A.
Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
Next we screen a highly regarded film by Charles Burnett. Burnett wrote, directed, produced, and shot the film in the late 1970’s while still a UCLA Film School student. The film was not widely seen until 2007 due to issues with the music rights. In 2007, Milestone Films untangled the music rights issues and the film got a wider release in both theaters and on DVD. The film takes place in Watts and centers on Stan, a slaughterhouse worker. The film’s amazing soundtrack features African-American music of several eras and genres.
Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
We screen the 1953 Sci-Fi classic directed by Byron Haskin. As a radio play made famous by Orson Wells, it took on a larger-than-life history, and although the story has more than one remake, this version remains one of the best. It won the Academy Award for its special effects and stands out as one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s. Martians arrive in Los Angeles to begin their conquest of Earth, but how will the human race survive this attack?
Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
Finally, we’ll be closing out our Made in L.A. series with the 1955 film directed by Nicholas Ray and starring James Dean as the quintessential rebel. Jim Stark (Dean) arrives in a new town and must not only deal with his past, but with new friends and enemies. The film stands the test of time because it presents “teenage angst” in such a relatable manner. The Griffith Observatory plays a memorable part in the film as a location unique to Los Angeles. Please join us!