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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

LACMA's Classic Cinema Series Begins

Celebrating the Classics has been a staple at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for more than a decade. In honor of the museum’s dedication to bringing the best of the classics to the public the out going curator, Ian Birnie has devised a unique process for making his selections for this, his final summer season. All of the films playing between July 5th and july 30th are films that have enjoyed a great success at LACMA, having screened previously more than once and to sell out crowds. Basically it comes down to giving the people what the want based on previous successes. Therefore, you’re going to see a lot of familiar titles on this line up, including the ever popular “Rear Window”, “The Lady from Shanghi” and the series opener, “Meet Me in St. Louis”.

Also on the summer slate are such stand by classics as the silent film masterpiece, “Sunrise” which is a particularly gorgeous film that should not be missed by anyone who appreciates good cinematography. Another stalwart of cinema appreciation is the Bernardo Bertolucci ode to the Golden Age of Hollywood craftsmanship, “The Conformist” (designers and artist take note of this one). And of course there are exceptional comedies by the master comedic directors Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder and George Cukor. Throw in the best films of some top notch international directors such as Antonioni, Ozu and Renoir and you have a terrific line up not to be missed.

I would particularly urge you to see “I Know Where I’m Going” directed by british filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The 1945 romantic tale stars Wendy Hiller (“Pygmalion”)and a dashingly young Robert Livesey (“The Entertainer”) in what I would describe as a Cinderella fairytale gone wonderfully and perfectly wrong. Ah, to meet a handsome but poor titled Scotsman on the way to your wedding to a wealthy but older man. You can fill in the blanks, but it will never be as fulfilling and entertaining as the film itself. To me, this is the must see title of the series.

Films screening on Tuesdays are just $2 (that’s right, two bucks!), but other programs range from $5 to $10. For a complete schedule of films as well as times and dates go to the official website. Most importantly go to see these films. These are exceptional classic films presented on a big screen in a fine theater for a fraction of the cost of going to see the latest release. If you’re not already a classic film fan you will be after seeing any of these all time greatest classics.Thank you Ian Birnie for this inspired selection of choice films. I look forward to seeing what you career has in store for you in the future.

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