Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Two More Movie Series for Los Angeles

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will again present continuations of two of its popular film series, "Rediscovered Silent Films" and "Great to be Nominated, Part Four." The first begins 29 March and the second 23 April.

Series # 1 - Rediscovered Silent Films, Linwood Dunn Theater

THE CURSE OF QUON GWON, the first known feature made by Chinese-Americans, and HER WILD OAT, starring the quintessential 1920s flapper Colleen Moore, will unspool as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Lost and Found” film series on Thursday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. Both films will be accompanied by live music performed by Michael Mortilla.

THE CURSE OF QUON GWON, directed by Marion Wong, is one of the few American silent feature films directed by a woman. It was thought to be lost until filmmaker Arthur Dong discovered two surviving reels in the possession of the lead actress’s daughters. Dong brought the nitrate 35mm negative reels, as well as ten minutes of additional 16mm footage, to the Academy Film Archive for preservation. In December 2006 the Library of Congress selected the movie for the National Film Registry.

In HER WILD OAT, Moore, with her signature flapper haircut, stars as a woman who owns a small lunch wagon and falls for a duke’s son who is pretending to be his own chauffeur. Many of Moore’s films have been lost to nitrate decomposition. This print newly restored by the Archive provides the public a rare opportunity to rediscover Moore’s work. Her filmography includes both silent and sound films. Her final movie role was as Hester Prynne in the 1934 version of THE SCARLET LETTER.

“Lost and Found” is a periodic screening series designed to showcase archival prints that have been recently rediscovered, or films that have been restored from new materials that improve the presentational quality of previous available versions. In some instances, the films may be incomplete or damaged, making access unlikely through more traditional venues. The series provides renewed access to “lost” films and brings to light some of film preservation’s more notable success stories.

Tickets to “Lost and Found” are $5 for the general public, and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Get your tickets beforehand, and get their early to be safe. I think you can pay for the tickets a pick them up at the boxoffice that evening. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 North Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available behind the building through the entrance on Homewood Avenue.

Series # 2 - “Great To Be Nominated” blasts off with STAR WARS, Samuel Goldwyn Theater

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will launch part four of its popular “Great To Be Nominated” series on Monday, April 23 with George Lucas' STAR WARS. The 16-week series will once again showcase the Academy Award® nominees for Best Picture that garnered the most Oscar® nominations in a particular year but did not win the Oscar for Best Picture. This installment will cover films from 1977 to 1992. A different film will screen each Monday evening, plus one Tuesday night, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire Boulevard.

The “Great To Be Nominated” screening of STAR WARS coincides with the 30th anniversary of the breakthrough science fiction film that launched an empire. George Lucas and many of his fellow filmmakers will be present for a post-film panel discussion.

The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards® and took home Oscars® for Art Direction (John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley; Set Decoration: Roger Christian), Costume Design (John Mollo), Film Editing (Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew), Music - Original score (John Williams), Sound (Don MacDougall, Ray West, Bob Minkler, Derek Ball), and Visual Effects (John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, Robert Blalack). Benjamin Burtt, Jr. received a Special Achievement Award for the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices in the film.

The film was also honored with nominations for Actor in a Supporting Role (Alec Guinness), Directing (George Lucas), Best Picture (Gary Kurtz, producer) and Writing – Screenplay written directly for the screen (Lucas).

STAR WARS was the first, and only, best picture nomination for a Lucas-directed movie. It lost to ANNIE HALL (Woody Allen). Also, George Lucas received his only best director nomination for this movie and lost to Woody Allen.

The series will continue through August 20. “Great To Be Nominated” will then go on hiatus until Spring 2008, when part five will begin with REMAINS OF THE DAY (1993). The complete screening schedule for part four of “Great To Be Nominated” is:

April 23 - Star Wars (1977); April 24 - (Tuesday) - Julia (1977); April 30 - Heaven can Wait (1978); May 7 - All That Jazz (1979); May 14 - Raging Bull (1980); May 21 - Reds (1981); June 4 - Tootsie (1982); June 11 - The Right Stuff (1983); June 18 - A Passage to India (1984); June 25 - The Color Purple (1985); July 9 - A Room with a View (1986); July 16 - Broadcast News (1987); July 23 - Dangerous Liaisons (1988); July 30 - Born on the Fourth of July (1989); August 6 - The Godfather, Part III (1990); August 13 - Bugsy (1991); August 20 - Howards End (1992).

Passes for part four of “Great To Be Nominated” will be available starting April 2 at a cost of $30 for film buffs wishing to see the series in its entirety. A $5 discount is available for those who wish to renew their passes from parts one, two or three of the series. Tickets for the first four individual screenings will be available starting April 9 at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m., but you better purchase beforehand.

Other elements from each year, such as short subjects, behind-the-scenes footage, trailers and music, will be incorporated into each evening’s program. Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.

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