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Academy Museum Reveals Launch Programs and Screenings for Fall, from Spike Lee to ‘The Wizard of Oz’

At long last the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens its doors on September 30, complete with a wide range of exhibitions, screenings, and conversations.

The Academy Museum

Courtesy ©Academy Museum Foundation

Finally, after years of delays, some caused by the pandemic, some not, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on La Brea and Wilshire has revealed its launch schedule of live screenings and public programs to begin on opening day, September 30. The first three months brings over 115 film programs, panels, and events, beginning with two screenings of MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) with live musical accompaniment by the American Youth Symphony conducted by Oscar perennial David Newman.

Among the continuing virtual programs leading up to the museum’s opening are a conversation with Oscar-winner Spike Lee and writer-director-producer Shaka King, and a 20th anniversary screening of “Y tu mamá también” (Mexico, 2001). Clearly, the Academy Museum is launching at a time when inclusion and diversity are front and center for curators and programmers. “As with all of our exhibitions and initiatives,” stated Bill Kramer, Director and President of the Academy Museum, “we are committed to showcasing the diverse art and artists of moviemaking in our theaters and educational spaces.”

“Presenting films and thoughtful educational programs that feature moviemakers is at the heart of our work to share the art and science of cinema,” stated Jacqueline Stewart, Chief Artistic and Programming Officer of the Academy Museum, “a mission that extends beyond and complements the exhibitions on view in the museum’s galleries. The museum’s schedule of opening programs illustrates the ways the Academy Museum will explore wide-ranging topics in film history while serving as a catalyst for new dialogues inspired by cinema and moviemaking.”

Future programs launching in early 2022 include masterpieces from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Branch Selects (Academy Member-curated screenings that delve into different craft and scientific areas of film production), and more.

Also launching are the following ongoing series:

Stories of Cinema: screenings of films included in the museum’s core exhibition, including “Real Women Have Curves” (USA, 2002) and “The Way of the Dragon” (Hong Kong, 1972).

Oscar Sundays: Oscar-honorees will be screened in the David Geffen Theater. First up are women directors, from Barbara Kopple’s documentary “Harlan County, U.S.A.” (USA, 1976) to Lina Wertmuller’s “Seven Beauties” (Italy, 1975).

Family Matinees: held every Saturday, screenings will include “Moana” (USA, 2016), “The Book of Life” (USA, 2014), and “Labyrinth” (UK/USA, 1986).

Legacy: Academy actors branch governor Laura Dern and her parents Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd will start off these discussions.

In Conversation: producers Effie T. Brown and Heather Rae will dig into how to contextualize cinema.

Special series and standalone screenings for our opening months include:

“Malcolm X” in 70mm: a screening for Academy Museum Members with guests Spike Lee and Denzel Washington.

Oscar Frights: screenings of Oscar-nominated and winning horror films, including from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (USA, 1960) to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (USA, 2017).

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“My Neighbor Totoro”

Studio Ghibli/Tokuma-Shoten/Nibariki/Kobal/Shutterstock

Hayao Miyazaki: in conjunction with its landmark exhibition on the famed Japanese Studio Ghibli founder, the Academy Museum will screen the filmmaker’s complete body of work as a feature director, including “My Neighbor Totoro” (Japan, 1988) and Oscar-winner “Spirited Away” (Japan, 2001).

Imperfect Journey: Haile Gerima and His Comrades: This series is focused on the work of director Haile Gerima, the Academy Museum Opening Gala honoree, as well as his mentees and colleagues, including Malik Sayeed, Bradford Young, and Arthur Jafa. Opening night hosted by Ava DuVernay.

Sound Off: A Celebration of Women Composers: Screenings of films scored by women composers will accompany the gallery created with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, including her Oscar-winning film “Joker” (USA, 2019), and “Tron” (USA, 1982), scored by Wendy Carlos.

Retrospectives of films by Jane Campion and Satyajit Ray.

Beyond the Icon: Anna May Wong celebrates the early film star’s work and legacy and includes screenings of “Piccadilly” (UK, 1929) and “Shanghai Express” (USA, 1932).

Special Screenings, including the 20th anniversary of “Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner” (Canada, 2001).

Tickets to film screenings and public programs will be available for purchase on the Academy Museum’s website starting August 5, 2021 at 9AM PDT. You can see the full schedule of the Academy Museum’s film screenings and public and educational programs here.

The question on the minds of many in Hollywood is whether these high-minded goals could overshadow the museum’s other compelling need: to draw movie-loving visitors and tourists who may want to be more entertained than educated.

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