Doctor Zhivago theme: Lara & the Russian Revolution
When bigger isn’t exactly better: Doctor Zhivago – despite its classic music theme – is no masterpiece. Bloated and overlong, it fails as both historical epic and love story. And this is a film directed by the man – David Lean – who handled one of the best romantic movies ever, Brief Encounter.
Anyhow, Doctor Zhivago is at best a middling epic, BUT. . . it looks great, and Omar Sharif does surprisingly well in the title role. The film’s other big surprise is Julie Christie - one of the best actress of her generation - doing quite poorly in this period piece. Others in the prestigious cast are Geraldine Chaplin, Alec Guinness, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay, and Rita Tushingham.
Beverly Hills, CA – The 1965 Best Picture nominee, Doctor Zhivago, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Great To Be Nominated” series on Monday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The film will be preceded by a brief discussion with its Oscar®-winning art director Terry Marsh.
Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, the epic love story, set during the Bolshevik Revolution, centers around Yuri Zhivago, portrayed in the film by Omar Sharif. Doctor Zhivago earned 10 Academy Award® nominations and received five Oscars for Color Art Direction (Art Direction: John Box, Terry Marsh; Set Decoration: Dario Simoni), Color Cinematography (Freddie Young), Color Costume Design (Phyllis Dalton), Music Score – substantially original (Maurice Jarre) and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Robert Bolt). Other nominations for the film include Best Picture (Carlo Ponti, producer), Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Courtenay), Directing (David Lean), Film Editing (Norman Savage) and Sound (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studio Sound Department, A.W. Watkins, sound director; and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department, Franklin E. Milton, sound director).
A newly restored print from the Academy Film Archive of the Oscar-nominated live-action short Time Piece (1965), produced by Jim Henson, will be shown prior to the feature.
Passes for “Great To Be Nominated” are still available at a cost of $30 for film buffs wishing to see the rest of the series. A $5 discount is available for those who wish to renew their passes from Parts One and/or Two of the series. Inclusive of Doctor Zhivago there are 13 screening dates remaining in Part Three.
Tickets for each individual screening may be purchased at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
Barefoot in the Park: Robert Redford-Jane Fonda comedy screening
Press Release: Neil Simon, the four-time Academy Award® nominee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, will be the special guest at the “Monday Nights with Oscar” screening of Barefoot in the Park (1967) on Monday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City.
Directed by Gene Saks and adapted by Simon from his 1963 Broadway play of the same name, Barefoot in the Park was filmed in New York City, at such locales as Washington Square, Greenwich Village and the now-closed Plaza Hotel on Central Park.
Starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter, the comedy focuses in and around their fifth floor Greenwich Village walk-up where they cope with an out-of-order radiator, a broken skylight, an eccentric neighbor, Victor (Charles Boyer), and Corie’s mother, Ethel, portrayed by Mildred Natwick, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
“Monday Nights with Oscar” is a monthly series showcasing high-quality prints of films that have been nominated for or won Academy Awards.
The Academy Theater at Lighthouse International is located at 111 East 59th Street in New York City. Tickets for the screening are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Tickets may be reserved by calling 888-778-7575. Depending on availability, tickets may be purchased in person the night of the screening. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra screening
It’s really not as bad as it’s cracked up to be…
Press Release: Beverly Hills, CA – The 1963 Best Picture nominee Cleopatra will be screened, in a newly restored 70mm print, as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Great To Be Nominated” series. The historical epic, famous for being the most expensive film made up to that time, will be shown on Monday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Cleopatra stars Elizabeth Taylor as the Egyptian queen who first seduces Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison), then Marc Antony (Richard Burton). The feature earned a total of nine Academy Award® nominations and took home four Oscars® for Color Art Direction (Art Direction: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard Brown, Herman Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling, Boris Juraga; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox, Ray Moyer), Color Cinematography (Leon Shamroy), Color Costume Design (Irene Sharaff, Vittorio Nino Novarese and Renie) and Special Effects (Emil Kosa, Jr.).
Other nominations for Cleopatra include Best Picture (Walter Wanger, Producer), Actor (Harrison), Film Editing (Dorothy Spencer), Music Score – substantially original (Alex North) and Sound (20th Century Fox Studio Sound Department, James P. Corcoran, Sound Director; and Todd-AO Sound Department, Fred Hynes, Sound Director).
Passes for “Great To Be Nominated” are still available at a cost of $30 for film buffs wishing to see the rest of the series. A $5 discount is available for those who wish to renew their passes from Parts One and/or Two of the series. Inclusive of Cleopatra there are 15 screening dates remaining in Part Three.
Tickets for each individual screening may be purchased at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.
Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra photo: © A.M.P.A.S.
Mary Pickford Sparrows & Behind the Scenes: Jesus & Alligators
Note: Sparrows, a sappy but surprisingly effective comedy-drama, has been available on video for years. It is not a “recently rediscovered” film.
Two recently rediscovered and restored silent films starring Oscar®-winning actress Mary Pickford, “Sparrows” (1926) and “Behind the Scenes” (1914), will unspool as part of the Academy of Motion Picture of Sciences’ “Lost and Found” film series on June 14 and 28, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. in the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood.
Arguably the most famous woman of the early 20th century, Pickford appeared in an estimated 205 features and short films, ran her own production company, co-founded United Artists, and was a founding member of the Academy.
Restored by the Library of Congress, “Sparrows,” Pickford’s penultimate silent film, will receive its West Coast premiere. The film’s stylized set design and atmospheric cinematography illustrate the growing influence of German expressionist cinema on American filmmakers in the 1920s. The feature will be preceded by the newly restored “Sparrows” trailer and outtakes.
In “Behind the Scenes,” Pickford stars as Dolly Lane, a successful stage actress who abandons her career to wed a handsome farmer and soon discovers that love does not curb her desire for the stage. Director James Kirkwood, who worked with Pickford on nine features, portrays Lane’s husband.
The film’s only known existing nitrate print with original tints was acquired from a private donor in the 1970s for $850 by James Card, the former curator of the motion picture collection at George Eastman House. This screening of a restored print, which utilized those original elements, will make the film accessible to an audience for the first time in many years.
“Behind the Scenes” will be preceded by a Technicolor test of Mary Pickford from the set of “The Black Pirate” (1926) and two rarely screened Pickford shorts, “ The Mirror” and “When the Cat’s Away,” both from 1911, along with the only surviving reel from her 1914 feature “A Good Little Devil,” directed by Edwin S. Porter.
All films will be accompanied with live music performed by Michael Mortilla.
“Lost and Found” is a series of periodic screenings designed to showcase archival prints that have been recently rediscovered or restored from new materials that improve the presentational quality of previous available versions.
In some instances, the films may be incomplete or damaged, making access unlikely through more traditional venues. The series serves as a rare opportunity to access “lost” films, and will bring to light some of film preservation’s more notable success stories.
The Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study was dedicated in honor of the legendary actress in 2002. In addition to the 286-seat Dunn Theater, the building houses several Academy departments, including the offices and collections of the Academy Film Archive and the Science and Technology Council.
Tickets to “Lost and Found” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study at 1313 North Vine Street in Hollywood. For information, please call (310) 247-3600.
Mary Pickford in Sparrows image: © A.M.P.A.S.