SOURCE: Art Directors Guild

March 12, 2008 15:02 ET

American Cinematheque and Art Directors Launch Second Year of Screenings at Egyptian and Aero Theaters

Production Designers Are Focus of Films

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - March 12, 2008) - The American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild (ADG) are for the second year co-hosting a series of monthly screenings which will highlight the work of legendary Production Designers. The screenings will alternate between the Lloyd E. Rigler Theater at the Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood) and the Max Palevsky Theater at the Aero (1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica).

The season kicks off with Sydney Pollack's 1975 "The Yakuza" on March 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater. The film, which stars Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura and Brian Keith, is the story of an American who returns to his old haunts in Japan to try to rescue his friend's daughter from the brutal Yakuza criminal organization. John Muto will moderate a discussion with production designer Terence Marsh, a close friend of "The Yakuza" production designer, Stephen Grimes ("Out of Africa," "On Golden Pond," "Ryan's Daughter").

The April film is Joseph von Sternberg's 1932 classic "Blonde Venus," designed by Wiard Ihnen ("Jane Eyre," "Stagecoach," "Duck Soup") and starring Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Dickie Moore and Sidney Toler. Tom Walsh, will moderate a discussion with Production Designer Robert Boyle ("The Birds," "North By Northwest," "The Shootist" and winner of a 2007 honorary Oscar®) after the screening at the Aero Theater. Blonde Venus tells of a nightclub singer (Dietrich) turned housewife who resumes her career when her husband needs money for a life-saving operation. A chain of events separates the two and she must decide between her career and her husband and family.

In May Bill Creber ("Flight of the Navigator," "The Poseidon Adventure," "Planet of the Apes") will be at the Egyptian to discuss his work as Production Designer on "The Detective" (1968), which was directed by Gordon Douglas and starred Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick, Ralph Meeker, Jacqueline Bissett, William Windom, Al Freeman, Tony Musante, Jack Klugman and Robert Duvall. Sinatra plays a police detective investigating the murder of a homosexual man who discovers links to official corruption in New York City.

"What A Way To Go" (1964) will be shown at the Aero in June. It was designed by Ted Haworth ("The Longest Day," "Some Like It Hot," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"), who was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration together with Jack Martin Smith, Walter M. Scott and Stuart A. Reiss. Edith Head and Moss Mabry were nominated for Best Costume Design for the film. It features an all-star cast of Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman,

Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Bob Cummings, Dick Van Dyke, Reginald Gardiner, Margaret Dumont and Fifi D'Orsay. MacLaine portrays a woman who marries a succession of rich men, each of whom promptly dies, leaving her even wealthier than before.

The July screening at the Egyptian is a double bill -- "Bullitt" and "Point Blank," both designed by Albert Brenner ("Backdraft," "Pretty Woman," "2010") who will be a guest at the screenings. Directed by Peter Yates in 1968, "Bullitt" stars Steve McQueen as a San Francisco detective assigned to guard a criminal witness. When two fellow cops and the witness are killed, he begins a search for the killer and the leak. Also starring are Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bissett. The film garnered film editor Frank P. Keller an Oscar®. "Point Blank," shot a year earlier, was directed by John Boorman and stars Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn and Carroll O'Connor. Marvin's character seeks revenge two years after being shot and left for dead by his unfaithful wife and her mobster boyfriend.

Set for an August screening at the Aero is George Cukor's 1960 film "Heller in Pink Tights," designed by Gene Allen ("My Fair Lady," "A Star Is Born" [1954 version] and "Les Girls"). Starring Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn and Margaret O'Brien, it's the colorful tale of a theatrical troupe traveling through the Old West, with the law often in pursuit. Gene Allen will discuss his film and answer audience questions.

The great 1938 classic "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" will be screened in September at the Egyptian. Production designer Lyle R. Wheeler was nominated for an Academy Award® and director Norman Taurog was nominated for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival for this adaptation of Mark Twain's story. Wheeler was nominated for a total of 24 Academy Awards® and won five -- for "Gone With The Wind," "Anna and the King of Siam," "The Robe," "The King and I" and "The Diary of Anne Frank." Lyle's son, Brook Wheeler, also a Production Designer, will be a guest at the screening.

Final film in the series will be "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," set for October 26 at the Aero. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson with Carroll Clark ("King Kong" [1933], "Mary Poppins," "Notorious") serving as Production Designer. Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro and Sean Connery star in this Disney fantasy about an Irish caretaker who spins so many tales that no one believes him when he says he's befriended the King of Leprechauns. Mike Fink, visual effects supervisor and recent Academy Award® winner for his work on "Golden Compass" will discuss the film with Harrison Ellenshaw, responsible for the visual effects on such films as "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Tron." His father, Peter Ellenshaw was responsible for special photographic effects (together with Eustace Lycett) for "Darby."

Representing the ADG is its president, Thomas A. Walsh and production designer, John Muto. Working with them are the American Cinematheque's Gwen Deglise and Chris D. The series is in part sponsored by trade publication Below The Line. General admission: $10. American Cinematheque members $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID $8. All screenings start at 5:30 p.m. 24-hour ticket information at 323-466-FILM (3456).

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