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Posts Tagged ‘LACMA’

My Thoughts on ‘Hitchcock’

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Alfred Hitchcock was a true cinematic genius and he is arguably my favorite director, so I’m sort of biased to like any movie about the man. Recently, I went to an early screening of Sacha Gervasi’s new film, Hitchcock, at the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art. I liked it… mostly.

Anthony Hopkins stars as the legendary filmmaker who is fresh off the success of North By Northwest. He wants to return to his earlier days of lower budgets and less glamour, so he lands on a horror novel that’s based on the real-life exploits of notorious serial killer Ed Gein called Psycho. With a slight bit of convincing, his loyal and talented wife, Alma, who is played beautifully by Helen Mirren, throws her support behind his tawdry and controversial new project.

Now, before I saw the film and before I even saw the trailer, I had a good feeling of what type of film Hitchcock would Read more…

The Stanley Kubrick Exhibit is a Treat for Fans

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The entrance to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA

The extensive Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens to the public on November 1st, but I had the sincere pleasure of visiting the show a little early. As a  LACMA member, I enjoyed a relatively uncrowded stroll through the museum’s presentation of Kubrick’s career in film. This is the first showing of the exhibit in the United States and I’m thrilled that Los Angeles is its first stop.

Kubrick has long been one of my favorite filmmakers (perhaps my absolute favorite if you pressed me to choose). His distinct vision and obvious obsession with perfection led to countless unforgettable film moments over the course of only a handful of projects. Each of his movies are given some time and space at the show, though obviously his more recognizable and important works take up the most real estate in the museum. In addition to myriad costumes, props, photos, scripts, letters, notes, and equipment, multiple screens are set up throughout the museum that offer various clips from his films and interviews about his work.

Kubrick was quite dismissive of his first film, Fear and Desire, as well as his follow up, Killer’s Kiss, so these are given relatively little attention with only a few photographs and some notes, although themes from both films would carry over into his later career. Where the showcase really kicks into gear is with the director’s first classic, The KillingStarting with that film from 1956, the exhibit forms something of a maze, leading patrons Read more…

My Thoughts on ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ (*SPOILER ALERT… kinda)

April 12, 2012 2 comments

LACMA's program for 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Jason Segel is a funny man. I think Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of the standout comedies since the Apatow-style humor started to take hold after the release of The 40 Year Old Virgin. Segel stole every scene he was in throughout Knocked Up. He’s far more talented than that god-awful TV show he’s on, How I Met Your Mother (they must pay him a truck load). Because of his talent and likability, I expect that when he co-writes a romantic comedy with his writing partner/director Nicholas Stoller that it will exceed my expectations. The Five-Year Engagement (opening April 27th) does rise above most middle-of-the-road, brain dead romantic comedies out there… barely.

I went to see an early screening of The Five-Year Engagement at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The film is more comedic than romantic thanks to Segel’s and Stoller’s frequently hilarious screenplay. In the film, Segel plays a promising chef who follows the love of his life (played well by Emily Blunt) from San Francisco to the freezing Read more…

Stanley Kubrick’s Film Treasures Are Coming to L.A.

I received some tremendous news in the mail the other day from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Starting October 28th (earlier for members like myself), the museum will unveil a retrospective of the work from genius director Stanley Kubrick. It’s events like this one that make me glad I live in LA.

From the description on the LACMA website, “Stanley Kubrick is the first large-scale retrospective of the filmmaker’s work in the United States. Developed in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate and the Deutsches Filmmuseum, the exhibition provides access to Kubrick’s extraordinary vision and working methods. Early photographs made for Look magazine in the 1940s suggest an obsession with historical research and visual detail, which characterize Kubrick’s groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1960s through the 1990s. Each of Kubrick’s main film projects is examined in detail through archival material, costumes, set models, and props. The exhibition also Read more…

Surrealism in Film

January 29, 2012 3 comments

Kahlo and Kahlo at the LACMA

I attended an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art today called In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. Works from the likes of Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, María Izquierdo, and many others are on display and I suggest that any of you in the LA area drop in if you have an interest in the surreal.

The last exhibit I saw at LACMA consisted of the various sculptures and drawings of Tim Burton. Naturally, Burton’s aesthetics fit right in with the art currently on display, so that got me thinking of my favorite surrealist films. There was a time when I went on a real David Lynch-bender and I damn near burned myself out on the crazy, outlandish, and unexplained.

However, when properly spaced out between viewings, surrealist films can be extraordinarily thought-provoking and satisfying. Surrealist artists, including filmmakers, make use of terrifying and fetishistic imagery, frequently blending reality with the hyper-real, leaving the viewer disturbed, intrigued, or just plain Read more…

My 10 Favorite Films of 2011, Plus a Special Guest’s Top 10!

January 24, 2012 4 comments

Program from my screening of 'Shame' at LACMA

Well, the day you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. It took some time and I had to make some tough (not really) decisions, but I’ve finally settled on my ten favorite movies of 2011. Not until I actually sat down to compile the list did I realize how many movies this year impressed me…

A year is a long time, and it was fun to go back through and reminisce about all of the movies I saw. Oftentimes I didn’t even realize that a particular film had been released last year. It’s not like I empathized with Sophie and her choice (drama queen), but I really did have to leave off some excellent movies– which is good! No one wants to dig for films just to salvage a shoddy top ten list.

As an additional treat, my podcast co-host, Devin Marble, sent me his Read more…

Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame’ & the MPAA’s NC-17

November 8, 2011 2 comments
Program for LACMA’s screening of ‘Shame’

I recently attended a screening of the latest Steve McQueen/Michael Fassbender collaboration Shame at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Critic and admirer of the film Elvis Mitchell was on hand to present the picture, as The New York Times Film Club was one of the sponsors of the event. I have been extremely excited to see Shame since I heard Fassbender and McQueen were working together again. Their first project together, Hunger, is one of the most impressive movies I’ve seen in five years, and, luckily, Shame followed suit. Read more…