Friday, August 28, 2009

What We Must Reinstate

Another high point of Ian Birnie's programming has been the many exhibition-related film series he has provided over the years (part four of five):

One of our favorites was the six-week 2007 film series, "Through the Looking Glass (and Down the Rabbit Hole...)" that coincided with LACMA's popular Magritte exhibition.

It featured a very diverse roster of films: Hollywood classics The Wizard of Oz and Vertigo, edgy thrillers Point Blank and Rosemary's Baby, hard-to-see foreign masterpieces Woman in the Dunes and Celine and Julie Go Boating, and recent gems Eyes Wide Shut and Mulholland Drive, among many others, and helped us appreciate the ways in which these films compared and contrasted to the works of Magritte. The film notes pulled us into the enigmatic spaces of these movies:

"For filmmakers like David Lynch, Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, and Jacques Rivette, the 'looking glass' is the cinema itself, and the silver screen is the mirror through which we, the audience, pass."

The series was only one exhibition-related film program of many, including:

• "Torn Curtain: The Two Germanys on Film" (four weeks with LACMA's "The Art of Two Germanys")

• “French Surrealist Film and the American Avant-garde Cinema” (five weeks with "Dali and Film")

• "Freud in Hollywood" (two weeks with "Dali and Film")

• “Marion Davies, Randolph Hearst and Hollywood" (two weeks with "Hearst as Collector")

• “A Film Guide to the America of Diane Arbus” (four weeks with "Diane Arbus")

• "Cigarettes & Alcohol: Eight Films by Hong Sang-soo" (two weeks with "Your Bright Future")

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