June 5 at 7:30 pm – White Dog – 30th Anniversary Screening – Conversation with Howard Rodman (VP WGA West, screenwriting professor at USC) – An actress (Kristy McNichol) adopts a stray German shepherd after accidentally hitting it with her car. She develops a close relationship with the animal when it saves her from an attack, only to learn that the dog has been taught to assault black people on sight. She takes the dog first to one trainer (Burl Ives) and then another (Paul Winfield), who give her conflicting advice about handling her pet. Samuel Fuller’s portrait of race in the United States is also the last film he made for a major studio. The project grew out of a conversation with Romain Gary, a French diplomat and novelist whose semi-autobiographical 1970 work Chien blanc serves as the film’s source material. While Gary’s novel takes an awful turn at its ending, Fuller’s story is even more bleak—and powerful. Fuller’s full-on lunge at the nature of racism was the victim of its own violent takedown. Its limited release drew the attention of the NAACP, which found the film disturbing and threatened boycotts. White Dog never received an official release from Paramount—and there has never been a better time than not for it to be screened.
1982/color/90 min. | Scr: Sam Fuller, Curtis Hanson; dir: Sam Fuller; w/ Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield, Burl Ives, Jameson Parker
· June 7 at 7:30pm – Brokeback Mountain – Focus Features Anniversary Screening – Conversation with Ang Lee & James Schamus – In 2005, Focus Features released one if its best known and most celebrated efforts: Brokeback Mountain, an adaptation of the Annie Proulx short story of the same name. The story of Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal), and the affair that began between them during a sheep drive in 1960’s Wyoming, has the ragged and deeply felt contours of a classic collaboration between Ang Lee and producer James Schamus, along the same lines as The Ice Storm (which preceded Brokeback Mountain) and Lust, Caution (which followed it). The impact of Brokeback Mountain was such that not only did it win three of the five Academy Awards for which it was nominated (director, screenplay, and score), but it also opened up the conversation about different kinds of love stories that center on the relationship between the protagonists rather than on sexual politics.
2005/color/134 min. | Scr: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana; dir: Ang Lee; w/ Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michele Williams, Anne Hathaway.
· June 15 at 7:30pm – Los Angeles Film Festival Guest Director – William Friedkin Presents Killer Joe – An iconoclastic filmmaker with a fiercely independent spirit, William Friedkin has bravely forged his own path through the American cinema of the past forty years. Hollywood is still reeling from Friedkin’s one-two punch of The French Connection and The Exorcist, two films that heralded a new era of filmmaking. Raw and visceral, with an authenticity that cannot be denied, his films—including The Boys in the Band, Sorcerer, To Live and Die in L.A., Cruising and his latest, Killer Joe—are bold, exciting works that have frequently courted controversy, only to go on to become contemporary classics. A filmmaker who has never stopped challenging himself or his audiences, William Friedkin is the perfect choice to be this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival Guest Director.
In this twisted dark comedy based on Tracy Letts’ play, William Friedkin serves up a heaping murder story on a Texas-sized plate can hold. Matthew McConaughey shines as Joe Cooper, a dirty copy hired to take out the hated matriarch of a trailer park family for her $50,000 life insurance policy. Chris gives up his sweet and innocent sister Dottie to Joe as collateral until they get the cash—and Joe can’t resist this young object of desire. Killer Joe is an audacious, sexy thriller that will make you gasp while wanting to bite down on some deep-fried cookin’.
2012/color/103 min. | Scr: Tracy Letts; dir: William Friedkin; w/ Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
· June 21 at 7:30 pm – Los Angeles Film Festival Summer Showcase Screening – Beauty Is Embarrassing – You may not know Wayne White by name, but you are unquestionably familiar with his work. A guiding force behind Pee-wee’s Playhouse, White made an indelible mark on ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture by creating some of the decades’ most arresting and iconic images. Beauty is Embarrassing chronicles his ongoing struggles to find peace and balance between his work and his art. Director Neil Berkeley captures White at home, on the road and onstage doing his one-man show, resulting in a funny, irreverent and joyful documentary that inspires us all to follow our own passions.
2012/color/89 min. | Dir: Neil Berkeley; w/ Wayne White, Matt Groening, Paul Reubens, Mark Mothersbaugh, Todd Oldham, Gary Panter, Rick Heitzman, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Woodrow White, Lulu White, Mimi Pond.
Ticketing for White Dog and Brokeback Mountain screenings:
$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and New York Times Film Club Members. Pre-sale tickets are available Thursday, May 24 at 5 pm. To purchase, please call 323 857-6010 or visit www.lacma.org. Members of these groups will be required to show proof of membership when retrieving their tickets.
$10 for the general public, $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+) and students with valid ID. Tickets are available Thursday, May 31 at 5 pm.