Not to be a fashionably-late party pooper, but I don’t get the ongoing cinematic kerfuffle concerning LACMA’s weekend film series. LACMA canned their program due to a shrinking audience, and then thousands of individuals, including director Martin Scorcese, expressed dismay at the decision by the County-run museum to slight its hometown’s heritage. I understand that argument on a symbolic level, and I’m glad the museum plans to relaunch a revived series, but even without LACMA, Los Angeles would still have a plethora of venues to see screen gems, rarities and oddities. Which may partly account for some of that shrinking audience.
Some of my favorite venues include the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Silent Movie Theatre, the New Beverly Cinema and the American Cinematheque (which is screening the any-self-respecting-Angeleno-and-cinema-lover-must-see Los Angeles Plays Itself this weekend at the Aero Theatre, with director Thom Anderson in person on Sunday). People literally line up around the block to see screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. And let’s not forget the screenings that the American Film Institute, the Academy, the Los Angeles Film Festival and heck, even the Natural History Museum (which is screening Reptilicus this Sunday as the final film in its B-Movies and Bad Science summer series) offer every year.
Images: Title screen of Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) and a poster (detail) for Repticilus (1961).