The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently presenting month-long film series to kick off the new year. The series is being produced by Film Independent, the non-profit organization that also produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. It is also sponsored by The New York Times and Ovation, and is being curated by Elvis Mitchell. The first two guests in the series include leading ladies of both film and TV, Glenn Close and Michelle Williams.
‘A Conversation with Glenn Close’ featured a discussion with the Academy Award winning star herself about her fascinating career path in TV, film, and on stage. From the start of her career in The World According to Garp (her film debut which earned her an Oscar nod), to her compelling portrayal of Norma Desmond in Broadway’s Sunset Boulevard, to voicing Homer Simpson’s mom Mona on the hit animated series The Simpsons, Close let the audience get up close and personal with her career choices. The event included talks about her current role as Patty Hewes in Damages and her current film Albert Nobbs (which was screened following the Q & A).
‘My Week with Marilyn’ featured a screening of that film which documents one week a young production hand named Colin Clark spent with the worlds most iconic starlet. The evening included both Michelle Williams (who plays Marilyn) and Kenneth Branagh (who plays Sir Lawrence Olivier) on hand to answer questions about the production. The film recounts what it was like for Colin Clark, a newly graduated Oxford student who gets his first film job on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, which famously united Marilyn Monroe with Sir Laurence Olivier (the British legend who starred and directed the film). Although Clark originally recounted his experience in a memoir entitled The Prince, the Showgirl and Me, it wasn’t until years later that he revealed he left out a magical week he spent alone with the star. My Week with Marilyn explores that brief yet intense connection.
The remainder of the month-long LACMA series includes a discussion with several Spirit Award nominees for this year’s distinguished John Cassavetes Award- a distinction reserved for filmmakers who produce a noteworthy film that costs less than a million dollars to make- followed by a screening of Cassavetes’ own film Shadows which changed the landscape of independent filmmaking. There is also a live read scheduled with director Jason Reitman, which will include a surprise title and cast, and a screening of the newly released film Rampart with special guest- director Oren Moverman.
The last Thursday in January also kicks off a five-month long celebration of Paramount Pictures. LACMA will present double features of films from the studios archives which will be shown the last Thursday in every month in honor of the studios 100th birthday. The first presentation again brings the focus to films’ female stars, featuring two comedies A New Leaf (Elaine May’s 1971 directorial debut, also starring Walter Matthau) and She Done Him Wrong, directed by Mae West (who starred alongside newcomer Carey Grant in 1933).
For more information regarding tickets to these screenings, please visit LACMA.