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September 13, 2011 7:32 AM
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Film Independent At LACMA Announces Its First Program Under Elvis Mitchell

Bruce Robinson's "The Rum Diary" will have its world premiere as part of Film Independent at LACMA.

Film Independent and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have announced the long-anticipated launch of Film Independent at LACMA series, curated by Elvis Mitchell.

The series launches Oct. 13 with the world premiere of Bruce Robinson's "The Rum Diary," the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation starring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. FilmDistrict will open the film nationwide on October 28.

Also featured is Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Pier Paolo Pasolini’s "Accatone," Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times," as well as a live reading of John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club," featuring a surprise cast selected and presented by guest artist Jason Reitman.

The series represents the museum's reboot of their long-running film series, which faced cancellation after years of losses. Mitchell's appointment was positioned as key to the success of the new series, which is underwritten by the New York Times and Ovation. As Mitchell told indieWIRE after his appointment was announced in June, "“The first thing I want to do is not alienate people who have been coming to LACMA to see movies... [but] I want to expand and not ignore the late 20th-century additions to filmed entertainment.”

Michael Govan, LACMA Director and CEO, said, “I am thrilled with Elvis Mitchell’s first run of films programmed for LACMA’s new film series. Elvis is breathing new life into the program with exciting and unique events and a blend of classic, independent and foreign cinema. I am especially looking forward to guest artist Jason Reitman’s Live Read event, which is a fantastic way for audiences to gain insight into what goes into creating a film. Engaging filmmakers in events at LACMA is exactly what we want to do in making film a more central component of our curatorial mission.”

Full press release below:

FILM INDEPENDENT AT LACMA, WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES AS PRESENTING SPONSOR, KICKS OFF OCTOBER 13

Launch of Film Series to Include World Premiere of The Rum Diary & Martha Marcy May Marlene, Modern Times & Accattone
Jason Reitman to Serve as Guest Artist & Present Live Read of The Breakfast Club Screenplay with Surprise Cast
Ovation is Premier Sponsor

Los Angeles (September 13, 2011) — Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) celebrates the launch of the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, presented by The New York Times, on Thursday, October 13. The inclusive series offers unique film experiences, bringing together Film Independent’s large community of filmmakers and wide spectrum of audiences, with LACMA’s commitment to presenting cinema in an artistic and historical context. The new program will present classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films, artists and their influences, emerging auteurs, international showcases, special guest-curated programs, in addition to conversations with artists, curators and special guests. Film Independent at LACMA is under the curatorial leadership of esteemed film critic Elvis Mitchell in collaboration with LACMA Film Coordinator Bernardo Rondeau and Film Independent’s programming team.

Film Independent at LACMA has The New York Times as presenting sponsor and Ovation, the only television network dedicated to all forms of artistic expression, as a premier sponsor. The series is also made possible by grants from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association® and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Barco, a worldwide leader in digital cinema, has generously supported the new film series by outfitting LACMA’s Bing Theater with a new, top-of-the-line digital cinema projector.

“I couldn’t be happier about being part of Film Independent at LACMA. What’s important to me is to bring the kind of excitement to the film series that the medium gives me in all its permutations: keeping alive the tradition of programming the classic canon so that the theater’s loyal audience feels protected, while adding new elements to the mix that ensures the interest of a new crowd. Community—new and old—is key to the Bing’s future. I’m honored to be part of furthering that tradition,” said Film Independent at LACMA Curator Elvis Mitchell.

Award-winning director Jason Reitman is the film series’ Live Read creator and will serve as the first guest artist, bringing classic screenplays to life with some of today’s best actors. Over the next months, these entertaining evenings will examine, celebrate and reinterpret the movies whose words are deep in our memories and give audiences a fresh perspective and the opportunity to watch an actor take a character from start to finish as one does in a play.

“One of my favorite moments as a filmmaker is the first table read of my screenplay. It usually takes a few pages for the actors to find their footing, but soon enough they click into gear, and by the end it feels like watching a movie. This should be a fun way to bring people into what has always been a closed process. I’m thrilled to bring the Live Read to Film Independent at LACMA and create a unique event for my hometown,” said Jason Reitman.

Film Independent at LACMA will launch with programming that represents the broad range of films and cinematic events that define the new series, with the regular weekly schedule beginning on October 27. All events will start at 7:30 pm.

October 13 – World Premiere of The Rum Diary – Director Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I) returns to the screen with an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, a gonzo-eye’s view of a world first charted by Graham Greene. Writer Paul Kemp hits the streets of Puerto Rico only to find true emotional instability at the newspaper where he works. The Rum Diary is a passion project produced by its star, Johnny Depp, and co-stars Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart and Richard Jenkins. Director Bruce Robinson and actors Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart will be in attendance. FilmDistrict will open the film nationwide on October 28, 2011.

October 16 at 8:30pm – Martha Marcy May Marlene – Writer-director Sean Durkin’s arresting first feature film was the winner of the Directing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows a struggle to reclaim the soul of a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) by her sister (Sarah Paulson) and the charming and coercive cult leader (John Hawkes) that seduced her away. This will be a special members-only screening for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club members. Writer-director Sean Durkin and actress Elizabeth Olsen will be in attendance.

October 18 – Modern Times (1936) – Is there a better time to show a restored print of Charlie Chaplin’s hilarious and potent commentary on the swing of labor conditions? Set during the Great Depression, Chaplin’s Little Tramp battles for his survival in an ingeniously conceived series of tableaux that display the comedian’s ability to make audiences laugh and sigh. Modern Times will be preceded by the 1922 short Pay Day, one of the most ferocious tests of his physical wit and aplomb. Talent to be announced.

October 20 – Live Read of The Breakfast Club, directed by Jason Reitman – In the debut of this new series, creator Jason Reitman has selected John Hughes’ classic The Breakfast Club (1985). With a carefully cast selection of actors reading the script together for the first time, it’s a rare chance to see these artists shape start-to-finish performances on the fly, while responding to well-known (and loved) material. Surprise cast!

October 27 – Accattone (1961) – Director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film is an absorbing view from the gutter that forever changed the definition of Italian Neorealism. The film stays on the heels of the hustler Accattone as he preys on one young woman after another. Franco Citti, one of the many non-professional actors discovered by Pasolini, hauntingly embodies the lead role, abetting Pasolini’s creation of a somber and unforgettable tone poem—which was later fittingly saluted by Morrissey in his song “You Have Killed Me.” Talent to be announced.

Michael Govan, LACMA Director and CEO, said, “I am thrilled with Elvis Mitchell’s first run of films programmed for LACMA’s new film series. Elvis is breathing new life into the program with exciting and unique events and a blend of classic, independent, and foreign cinema. I am especially looking forward to guest artist Jason Reitman’s Live Read event, which is a fantastic way for audiences to gain insight into what goes into creating a film. Engaging filmmakers in events at LACMA is exactly what we want to do in making film a more central component of our curatorial mission.”

“New York Times readers are enthusiastic fans of film. They look to us for critical insight on individual films and for overall coverage of the industry. We are pleased to collaborate with LACMA and Film Independent on this compelling film series, which demonstrates our commitment to the discovery and showcasing of great films while deepening our role in Los Angeles,” said Lou Fabrizio, Vice President of Entertainment Advertising at The New York Times.

Ticketing

Tickets to attend Film Independent at LACMA are $10 for the general public, $7 for LACMA members, and $5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club members. In addition, there will be at least six free members-only screenings for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club members throughout the year. Tickets go on sale September 15 to members of Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and New York Times Film Club, and September 22 to the general public. To purchase tickets, please visit www.lacma.org or call 323-857-6010.

About Film Independent

Film Independent is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project:Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org.

Press Contact: Elise Freimuth, EFreimuth@FilmIndependent.org or 310-432-1287

About LACMA
Since its inception in 1965, LACMA has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography-and represent Los Angeles's uniquely diverse population. Today, the museum features particularly strong collections of Asian, Latin American, European, and American art, as well as a contemporary museum on its campus. With this expanded space for contemporary art, innovative collaborations with artists, and an ongoing Transformation project, LACMA is creating a truly modern lens through which to view its rich encyclopedic collection.

Location and Contact: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036 | 323 857-6000 | lacma.org

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: noon-8 pm; Friday: noon-9 pm; Saturday, Sunday: 11 am-8 pm; closed Wednesday

For more information, visit www.lacma.org.

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