Elvis Mitchell is booking movies with speakers for his weekly Film Independent at LACMA showings. He’s basically doing the same thing any number of subscription film series are doing, he’s just inviting the public to buy tickets to see many films that will be available at commercial cinemas or on Netflix followed by Q and As with the likes of George Clooney and Michael Fassbender. I have booked The Descendants for Sneak Previews, for example.
His November lineup is mainly comprised of film fest leftovers and DVD launches, including Shame, The Descendants, Corman’s World, a 10th anniversary screening of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and 25th anniversary screening of Castle in the Sky (which I just saw at the NYFF), as well as a second live read directed by Jason Reitman (film and cast TBD; October’s was The Breakfast Club). He’s also showing classic Italian film La Terra Trema, directed by Luchino Visconti, which Mitchell will discuss with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids).
Full November schedule is below:
All events will start at 7:30 pm. Please visit for updates.
• November 3 – La Terra Trema – In person: Paul Feig (director, Bridesmaids) –Director Luchino Visconti’s 1948 drama visits what became known as his recurrent theme: the destruction of a family by outsized ambition, while a bemused Fate observes like an old friend. Eschewing the operatic style of his other works (Senso, The Leopard), Visconti employs a documentary-like intimacy in Trema to tell the story of a fisherman and his family, even bringing nonactors into the mix. “The masterly way in which Visconti has handled his actors deserves the highest praise… never before have the actors been so skillfully integrated with the most specifically aesthetic elements of the film… In La Terra Trema, the actor speaks, moves, and acts with complete naturalness—one might even say, with unimaginable grace.”—Andre Bazin.
1948/b&w/165 min. | Scr: Giovanni Verga, Antonio Pietrangeli, Luchino Visconti; dir: Luchino Visconti; w/ Antonio Arcidiacono, Giuseppe Arcidiacono. | Screening in conjunction with the series Days of Glory: Masterworks of Italian Neo-Realism (October 15–November 16), presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles. Visit the Archive’s website for more information: http://cinema.ucla.edu.
• November 7 – Shame – Co-presented by The New York Times Film Club – In Person: Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender
The second film from director and Turner-prize winner Steve McQueen—the follow-up to his award-winning debut, Hunger—picked up the Best Actor prize for star Michael Fassbender at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Fassbender plays a sex addict whose compulsion for physical intimacy inexorably grinds away at the borders of his personal and professional worlds, and threatens to consume the lives of all those in his orbit. This will be a free members-only screening for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club members.
2011/color/99 min. | Scr: Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen; dir: Steve McQueen; w/ Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James R. Dale.
• November 10 – Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel – In Person: Roger Corman, Alex Stapleton with additional guests to be announced – Director Alex Stapleton’s fascinating and entertaining documentary on Roger Corman, one of the American cinema’s most compelling—as well as likable—figures, world-premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Corman’s World not only explores the producer/director’s vast body of work—over three hundred titles, and counting—but also offers insights from both expected luminaries who flourished under Corman’s tutelage—including Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Joe Dante, Ron Howard, and Pam Grier—to Corman graduates that seldom do interviews—Jack Nicholson, to name just one. This documentary offers a complete look at the complete filmmaker.
2011/color & b&w/95 min. | Scr: Gregory Locklear, Alex Stapleton; dir: Alex Stapleton.
• November 16 – The Descendants – In person: stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, co-writer/director Alexander Payne & producer Jim Burke – After an eight-year absence, director Alexander Payne returns his unique purview of comedy drama set in trying circumstances to the big screen with an adaptation of the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel. Newly widowed father Matt King (Clooney) has to collect the floating wreckage of his family—both immediate and extended—after his wife suffers an accident. Payne weaves assuredly through pathos and comedy in a paradisiacal setting: Hawaii.
2011/color/115 min. | Scr: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Alexander Payne; dir: Alexander Payne; w/ George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Robert Forster.
• November 17 – Live Read, directed by Jason Reitman – The next installment in the series of director Jason Reitman’s readings of canonical film scripts will once again feature surprise casts revisiting screen classics. Details to come!
• November 26 – Spotlight on Studio Ghibli – Founded in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki, Japan’s Studio Ghibli has produced some of the most renowned animated films of all time. Almost always told from the wondrous point of view of an itinerant child, a Ghibli film infuses its dazzling vistas, fantastical folklore and spectacular adventures with deeply-felt emotions and adult concerns. A legend in his home country, Miyazaki has helmed Ghibli’s biggest hits, along the way becoming an international icon of visionary filmmaking whose mind-bending spectacles enthrall audiences of all ages.
4:30 pm – Castle in the Sky – 25th anniversary, new 35mm print! Mizayaki’s debut film for Studio Ghibli, Castle also marks his first collaboration with composer Joe Hisaishi, who has scored every Miyazaki film since. Inspired by a tale from Gulliver’s Travels, Miyazaki uses the conceit of a floating castle that remains aloft only because it remains hidden from the world by a cloud to explore the origins of religious and spiritual mythology. When young Sheeta, on the run from sinister soldiers, learns of her familial connection to the castle, her life changes forever. Teeming with sky pirates, airborne steamships, horticultural robots, and enchanted crystals, Castle in the Sky delivers breathtaking thrills and eye-filling marvels.
1986/color/126 min. | Scr/dir. Hiyao Miyazaki. | Screening in Japanese, with English subtitles.
• 7:30 pm – Spirited Away – 10th anniversary, new 35mm print! Hayao Miyazaki’s eighth motion picture is quite possibly the best animated feature of the twenty-first century. After taking a wrong turn in the woods on a drive to their new suburban home, a stubborn little girl witnesses as her parents and the world she knows is transformed into a hypnotic wonderland when the sun goes down. With hints of Lewis Carroll, Spirited Away creates an unforgettable dreamscape whose surreal layers and mystical rhythms reward repeated viewings. The film is all the more daring because of its delicate flirtation with ever-shifting states of identity. A creature that appears to be ominous can turn out to be enchanting, and vice versa. Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Picture at the Berlin Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Animated Film.
2001/color/125 min.| Scr/dir: Hayao Miyazaki.| Screening in Japanese, with English subtitles.
Ticketing for all November screenings except Shame
$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and New York Times Film Club Members. Pre-sale tickets are available Thursday, October 13 at 5 pm. There will be a limit of two tickets per membership for Corman’s World, The Descendants and the Live Read. 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, October 20 at 5 pm, with a limit of two tickets per customer for Corman’s World, The Descendants and the Live Read.
Tickets for Shame
Free to Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club members. Reserve your tickets starting Thursday, October 13 at 5 pm with a limit of two tickets per membership. Proof of member status is required to pick up tickets. Tickets can be picked up starting at noon on Monday, November 7 and must be picked up at least fifteen minutes prior to the screening before being released to the standby line.
New York Times Film Club members must RSVP here for all Members Only free screenings.