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Bugs Bunny Chuck Jones
Pepe le pew kitty cat Heaven Sent Chuck Jones
Bugs Bunny & Pepe le Pew: Chuck Jones remembered.
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, and numerous other characters created or developed by Oscar-winning animator and humorist Chuck Jones (1912–2002) will be showcased in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ summer exhibition “Chuck Jones: An Animator’s Life From A to Z-Z-Z-Z.” The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, May 14, in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

According to the Academy’s press release, Chuck Jones’ prolific career as animator, producer, director and screenwriter “will be celebrated with more than 150 drawings, storyboards, cels and dialogue sheets from Jones’ animated short films, features and television specials.” Among those are Elmer’s Candid Camera, For Scent-Imental Reasons, Duck Amuck, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, From A to Z-Z-Z-Z, What’s Opera, Doc?, Guided Mouse-ille and The Dot and the Line, for which he and producer Les Goldman won an Academy Award in the Cartoon Short Subject category in 1965.

Jones was also nominated for the cartoon shorts Beep Prepared and Nelly’s Folly, both in 1961, and received an Honorary Oscar in 1995 “for the creation of classic cartoons which have brought worldwide joy for more than half a century.”

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig Chuck Jones

“Chuck Jones: An Animator’s Life From A to Z-Z-Z-Z” is presented in association with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, the nonprofit organization from which many items in the exhibition have been drawn. Additional loans come from the Chuck Jones Collection housed at Warner Bros.

The exhibition will be on display through Sunday, August 22.

The Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The gallery will be closed for the Memorial Day (May 29 and 30) and Independence Day (July 3 and 4) holiday weekends.

For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit

Looney Tunes characters, names and all related indicia are TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. 2010

Credit: Artwork courtesy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

‘When Lincoln Paid’: Previously Lost 1913 Movie About Abraham Lincoln to Be Screened

What is apparently the only surviving print of the 1913 silent short When Lincoln Paid was accidentally found by a contractor inside an old New Hampshire barn about to be demolished in 2008. The nitrate reels were then given to Keene State College Film Archives, which determined that the film couldn’t be found in film archives.

The tale of a mother of a dead Union solider who requests that Abraham Lincoln pardon a Confederate soldier she had initially turned in, When Lincoln Paid is one of eight early silents starring Francis Ford (photo) as Lincoln. According to an Associated Press report, there are no known surviving copies of the others. Among those are The Heart of Lincoln (1915), The Toll of War (1913), and The Battle of the Bull Run (1913).

As per the IMDb, also in the cast of When Lincoln Paid are Ethel Grandin, a popular actress in the 1910s, and Jack Conway, the future MGM director of classics such as Red-Headed Woman (1932), with Jean Harlow; A Tale of Two Cities (1935), with Ronald Colman; and Libeled Lady (1936), with Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy.

A Colorado lab has restored When Lincoln Paid, which will be screened on April 20 at Keene.

Francis Ford, by the way, was the brother of four-time Oscar-winning director John Ford, among whose classics are The Informer, Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Quiet Man.

Francis’ film career as an actor went from 1909 all the way to 1953. By then, he was mostly appearing in small – sometimes uncredited – roles, including several in his brother’s films. Francis also directed dozens of movies from 1912 to 1928.

More information on the When Lincoln Paid screening here.

Nik Xhelilaj Alive
Nik Xhelilaj in Artan Minarolli’s Alive!, about Albanian blood feuds.

The 5th SEE Fest – Los Angeles’ South East European Film Festival – will take place at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre from April 29 through May 3. According to its organizers, SEE Fest is the only festival in the United States dedicated to movies made in that (very, very) culturally diverse part of the world. [SEE Fest highlights]

Among this year’s screening films are Artan Minarolli’s Alive!, an examination of the consequences of a certain type of traditional family values – blood feuds – in Albania; Marianna Economou’s Bells, Threads & Miracles, about curious happenings at the St. George Monastery on the Princes’ Islands of Turkey, where 100,000 Muslims come pray for miracles at a Christian Orthodox church; and Atil Inaç’s A Step into the Darkness, best film winner at the 2010 Tiburon (Calif.) Film Festival, in which a Iraq War refugee in Istanbul becomes enmeshed with radical ideologues.

Also, Andrei Gruzsniczki’s The Other Irene, a mystery-cum-political drama in which a Romanian husband (Andi Vasluianu) meets all sorts of bureaucratic obstacles while searching for his missing wife; Mariá Takács’ Secret Years, in which Hungarian lesbians remember what life was like under Communism; Igor Sterk’s 9:06, a psychological drama in which a Slovenian police inspector (Igor Samobor) becomes obsessed with an unusual suicide case; and Boris Mitic’s humorous documentary about life in Serbia in the last two decades, Goodbye, How are you?.

Additionally, SEE Fest will be hosting its 2nd annual Business Conference on South East Europe’s cinema on May 3 from 9am-1pm at the Center for Managing Enterprises in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES) at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management complex. The SEE Fest Business Conference is described as “a half-day seminar on packaging and financing international productions, producing in South East Europe, and the role of new media in distribution of foreign films.”

The 5th annual SEE Fest runs from Thursday, April 29 through Monday, May 3, 2010. Screenings April 29 & 30 start at 6:30pm, May 1 & 2 start at 1:00pm and will be held at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, Ca. 90036.

The festival’s closing night will take place on Monday, May 3rd, at 6:30pm at the James Bridges Theatre on the UCLA campus in Westwood.

For tickets and further information go to, or (SEE Fest).

Los Angeles’ 2010 South East European Film Festival highlights. (Above, Alive! director Artan Minarolli discusses films while at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.) Film information from the SEE Fest’s press release:

GOODBYE, HOW ARE YOU? (Dovidjenja, kako ste?), Serbia 2009, doc, 60 min. Directed by Boris Mitic.
The cult filmmaker of Pretty Dyana (SEE Fest 2006) is back with a terrific documentary whose narrative comprises darkly satirical aphorisms and commentary on the lives and times of the Serbian people in the last two decades. The subversive genius of Balkan humor is in abundant evidence, matched with images of daily existence that are both funny and nihilistic.

ALIVE! (Gjalle!), Albania 2009, feature, 90 min. Directed by Artan Minarolli.
From the director of the elegiac “Moonless Night” (SEE Fest 2008) comes a powerful story about a blood feud that entangles a young student in a web of complicated relationships stemming from an antiquated tribal code. “Alive!” has an excellent ensemble cast and a pitch-perfect atmosphere of uncertainty until the very end.

THE BLACKS (Crnci), Croatia 2009, feature, 75 min. Directed by Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic.
War. A city under siege. A truce has been signed, and the special ops squad known as “The Blacks” is about to be disbanded. Despite the cease-fire, the squad commander plans a maneuver to destroy an enemy dam while retrieving the dead bodies of his soldiers from a mine-strewn forest. Although the surviving members of the squad are tortured by their personal doubts and guilt, they move into action behind their leader….

THE OTHER IRENE (Cealalta Irina) Romania 2008, feature, 90 min. Directed by Andrei Gruzsniczki.
Sharing themes as it does with some of the finest European thrillers, it is hard to believe that The Other Irene is, in fact, based on a true story. Reluctantly, security guard Aurel (Vasluianu) lets his wife Irene go on a working trip to Cairo. Having had a breath of fresh air, she returns transformed and soon sets out again – but this time she does not come back. Now Aurel’s true ordeal begins as he sets out on his own journey: a search for his wife amidst suspicious bureaucrats, corrupt ministers and diffident in-laws. The Other Irene reveals the intransigence of Romanian political and bureaucratic institutions even after the fall of Communism. The film’s crisp cinematography, especially apparent in the mall where Aurel works, beautifully emphasizes the main character’s solitude, and actor Andi Vasluianu performs the brooding desperation of his character with incredible delicacy. Ronnie Scheib of Variety describes the film as “a cross between The Vanishing and Jeanne Dielman”.

SECRET YEARS (Eltitkolt èvek), Hungary 2009, doc, 90 min. Directed by Mariá Takács.
In Secret Years, Hungarian lesbians reflect on their experiences living through the years of Communism. Ranging in age from 45 to 70 years old, these women vividly remember the repression of the 1960s and 70s, when they were forced to hide their true identities and could only “be themselves” at secret clubs and picnics. In this powerful documentary, these courageous women proudly reminisce at the methods used to get through some of the toughest times of their lives.

9:06, Slovenia  2009, feature, 71 min. Directed by Igor Sterk.
This first-rate psychological drama, directed with masterful precision, takes us to Ljubljana, where police inspector Dusan (in a terrific performance by Igor Samobor) investigates an unusual suicide case. His investigation gradually turns into obsession, and he surreptitiously moves into the apartment of the deceased, delving deeper into the man’s life and gradually assuming his identity.

A STEP INTO THE DARKNESS (Buyuk oyun), Turkey 2009, feature, 110 min. Directed by Atil Inaç.
How dangerous do you become when you have nothing left to lose? A young Turkmen girl is the sole survivor of a panicked raid on a village in northern Iraq. Desperate to track down her older brother in Turkey, the only other family member still alive, she sets off on an arduous journey over inhospitable terrain. Rescued only to be assaulted by her rescuer, she eventually finds herself, having lost everything, in the clutches of a charismatic religious figure who views her as an expendable weapon in his own violent agenda.

BELLS, THREADS & MIRACLES, Greece 2008, doc, 65 min. Directed by Marianna Economou.
Is something miraculous happening at the St. George Monastery on the Princes’ Islands of Turkey? Every year, on the Saint’s name day, over 100,000 Muslims visit the Greek Orthodox monastery to pray for a miracle. Are miracles possible in our times? Can Christians and Muslims meet and bond through a common faith? Bells, Threads & Miracles explores the seemingly universal human need to believe in miracles.

TRANSITLAND, 1989-2009 Presented by lead curator from Berlin, Kathy Rae Huffman.
Transitland is a collaborative archiving project initiated on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A selection of 100 single-channel video works reflects the transformations in post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe. Transitland is not only the widest-spanning presentation of video art from Central and Eastern Europe but also a unique attempt to address and reflect upon an extensive period of transformation and changes.

Photos: SEE Fest

Hopsctoch Kostana Banovic
Kostana Banovic’s Hopsctoch.

The 2010 edition of Los Angeles’ South-East European Film Festival continues this evening with screenings of three US premieres beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut in the Mid-Wilshire Area: Kostana Banovic’s Ploha / Hopscotch, Mariá Takács’ Secret Years, and Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic’s The Blacks.

Bosnian filmmaker Banovic’s autobiographical documentary Hopscotch traces her journey, accompanied by her teenager daughter and son, from the Netherlands to Sarajevo, the city of her birth. Cultural conflicts ensue as a result of their Dutch sojourn.

Mariá Takács’ Hungarian documentary Secret Years documents the experiences of lesbian living under communism. Interviewees include women between the ages of 45 and 70, who reminisce about what it was like to live under a hostile, anti-gay regime. Millions of gays and lesbians around the world can still relate to their plight – not just those in North Korea.

Following the screening there’ll be a q&a with USC Asst. Prof. Aniko Imre on “gender, sexuality, and post-socialist transitions.”

In Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic’s Croatian war-set drama The Blacks, a special ops squad follows their leader’s orders despite the squad members’ misgivings about his ethics – or lack thereof.

The Goethe-Institut is located at 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 100.

South-East European Film Festival Website

Photos: South-East European Film Festival

South-East European Film Festival: Alive!

The 2010 edition of Los Angeles’ South-East European Film Festival kicks off this evening with a screening of Arnold Schwartzman’s one-minute “photo-documentary” The Wall, about the bit-by-bit destruction of the Berlin Wall, at 7 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut in the Mid-Wilshire Area.

Schwartzman, the Oscar-winning director of the documentary feature Genocide (1982), will be present to introduce his film.

The Wall will be immediately followed by an intriguing double-bill: the US premiere of Boris Mitic’s Serbian documentary Goodbye, How Are You?, and the Los Angeles premiere of Artan Minarolli’s Albanian social-drama-cum-thriller Alive!. Minarolli will be present for a q&a after the screening.

Mitic’s Goodbye, How Are You? is described as a quirky look back at the last 40 years of Serbian history. And that’s one place in the world where history has been moving in all sorts of directions at lightning speed.

According to the festival’s website, Mitic’s film features “a nation’s oral tradition of sardonic response to conflict and corruption. The beautifully selected and wittily juxtaposed images, meanwhile, form an insightful, compelling portrait of daily existence in all its banalities, extremes and ironies. With shades of Patrick Keiller and Chris Marker, this collage of ideas is both thought-provoking and darkly comic.”

Minarolli’s drama Alive! is a critique of that country’s “traditional family value” of blood feuds. In the film, a young student returns to his rural village in the Albanian mountains to attend his father’s funeral. Once there, he discovers that he has unwittingly placed himself smack in the midst of a generations-old war between rival clans. Now, the student must find a way out of that “family tradition” quagmire in order to remain alive.

Alive! plays at 8 p.m. tonight.

The Goethe-Institut is located at 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 100.

South-East European Film Festival Website

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