Sunday 3/9 @ L.A. Weekly’s Essentials Food and Wine Event: noon – 5pm
Sunday 3/23 @ Downtown Flea in Chinatown: 10am – 4pm
Saturday 3/29 @ Grand Park Bookfest: noon – 5pm
And next month we’ll be at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! Stay tuned!
Oscar flown over the Hollywood Sign [graphic] / photo by Mike Mullen.
Hollywood is riding high this week on the heels of this Sunday’s Academy Awards. As you prepare your Oscar party menu and cast a friendly bet on what will take home the gold, here’s one more way to get into the spirit of the awards season. Did you know that the Los Angeles Public Library houses a vast collection of screenplays and scripts? Check out some of these Oscar-winning scripts to see the magic on the page before these stories were brought to life on the big screen. And for you aspiring screenwriters out there, the LAPL also has you covered on books about writing scripts.
What’s your vote for this year’s best screenplay?
Top photo from the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection: A helicopter is seen flying an oversized Oscar statue over the Hollywood Sign in preparation for the 60th Academy Awards presentation on April 11, 1988 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Last fall, the Library Foundation launched Lost & Found at the Movies, a new series to celebrate the art of cinema and the vitality of film culture. John Nein, a senior programmer of the Sundance Film Festival and curator of this new series, is focusing on lesser-explored areas of filmmaking to cultivate a conversation around film beyond the buzz of new releases. From unearthing historic photographs and film books from the Los Angeles Public Library’s archives to talking to some of Los Angeles’ biggest film nerds, Nein is combing the whole city for film treasures and bringing them to the stage. Free and open to the public at the downtown Central Library, the next event will take place this Friday, February 28th at 7:30 pm. All the events are built around a theme, so on the heels of Valentine’s Day this upcoming episode, Love is a Many Splendored Things, will explore love at the movies. We talked to Nein about some of his own movie loves and what movie-lovers can look forward to this Friday.
John Nein with Kenneth Turan.
Where did the idea for Lost & Found at the Movies come from?
Nein: Ken Brecher [President of the Library Foundation] first suggested doing a film culture series. There’s no shortage of great film-related events on upcoming releases, award seasons, and so on, but what excited me was the idea of bringing in anyone who has a passion for film—directors, writers, journalists, cinematographers, costume designers—to talk about personal cinema passions, perhaps even arcane interests that they don’t often have an opportunity or platform to talk about in any real depth. For instance, a filmmaker may get the chance to talk about their current work, but they don’t get the chance to talk about how much they love the Czech New Wave. We’ve imagined the series to be very eclectic in nature. You should feel like you’re flipping through a film magazine, but there’s a thematic connection within each event like an episode of “This American Life.”
You kicked off the first event by talking to film critic Kenneth Turan—a beloved and longtime voice in the film community. What “new” things did he have to say about film?
Nein: Kenneth Turan makes his living talking about films that are coming out, but what we talked about was Miyazaki, Max Ophüls, and how he loves this old 1920s French serialized film called “Fantomas.” We even got a chance to talk about Casablanca. We both appreciated that we could use clips and that’s what makes it engaging and fun for the audience.
Speaking of Casablanca, the upcoming event will take on the love story. What do you plan to explore?
Nein: The idea is to look at different kinds of love in movies and love for movies. Each segment of the night will have a different way of interpreting that. For example, we’ll be showing a couple of home movies of famous Hollywood couples like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. In another segment, I just spent a day driving all over Los Angeles to as many theatrical exhibition venues as I could manage in search of people whose passion is to show movies—places like the UCLA Film and Television Archive, Cinefamily, and the American Cinematheque.
Also, the special guest of the night is Stacie Passon who is the writer/director of Concussion, which I thought was one of the strongest films of last year that was overlooked by many. It’s a film that deals with love in a really sophisticated and difficult way. This is not movie warm and fuzzy, but Passon shows a way of depicting how profound cinema can be about human nature and relationships, and marriage in particular and we’re going to look through film history for the really rigorous takes on mature relationships (Rossellini, Cassavetes, Bergman).
Besides Concussion, what are some of the other movies you loved from last year that maybe we haven’t heard of?
Nein: We’ll talk about some of these on Friday, but Fill the Void is a completely unique love story that takes place in an ultra orthodox community in Israel—by virtue of being set there, I’ve never seen this type of film before and it’s a wrenching love story. The Spectacular Now is one of the most honest portrayals of teenage romance with all the edges. Cutie and the Boxer is one of the best documentaries from last year, and even though it’s nominated for an Oscar, it was overlooked by many. It’s so observant of mature love about a tumultuous marriage between two artists.
You spend the year travelling to film festivals around the world in search of new work to screen at Sundance. What are some great films we should be on the lookout for this upcoming year?
Nein: We’ll also talk about some of these films I’m most excited about this year on Friday, which won’t all be love stories like Calvary, which stars Brendan Gleeson as a good priest tormented by his townspeople. Lunchbox, set in Mumbai, is a love story between an accountant and a housewife that starts when the lunchbox she sends her husband inadvertently goes to the accountant. And Mike Leigh’s new film, which we assume will premiere at Cannes and is about J.M.W. Turner, the British artist.
Where do you see the rest of the series going this year?
Nein: We’re hoping to do an episode called “All About Evil,” which occurred to me when I was thinking about characters in the Coen brothers’ movies, but this will stretch way beyond that. I’m talking to Buck Henry about Shakespeare on film, and I think later this year we’ll do something about documentary portraits.
Last, but not least, the Oscars are this weekend. In your professional opinion, what’s going to win Best Picture?
Nein: Gravity. But I’m always wrong.
Learn more about the upcoming Lost & Found at the Movies. Admission is free and space is limited, so please make your reservations online early.
Preliminary results are in!
Dorothy Parker is going to be a busy lady on Friday, February 28, 2014. So far, the majority of Stay Home and Read a Book Ball celebrants have selected this witty wisecracker as their desired guest for this most highly anticipated “non-event”. Runner ups are Edgar Allan Poe, Langston Hughes, Homer, and Phillis Wheatley.
We have also received a number of write-in Ball guests including: Jason Aaron, MK Asante, Jane Austen, Maeve Binchy, Jesus Christ, Charles De Lint, Roddy Doyle, Jane Gardam, Natsuo Kirino, Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively, China Mieville, Margaret Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, Kenneth Roberts, Grace Schulman, Donna Tartt, and Mark Twain.
Even Anjelica Huston let us know she’s got a sizzling escort for the Ball: “I am very excited because I have a hot date tonight with an extremely handsome companion. We are going to share a bubble bath. Although we have known about each other for a while, this will be a chance to get to know him better; after all, you can’t tell a book by his cover…”
Let us know who you’re staying home with! #LFLAStayHome
Have you waited too long and still need to get that special person a unique gift that looks like you thought about it months in advance? Have no fear! The Library Store can fulfill all your Valentine’s Day needs. Whether you need a gift that says “I love you” or “I think I like you,” we have cards and a unique selection of items that will be sure to please. Just stop by and we’ll help you find what you need. We’ll even wrap it so you look like you are really on top of it.
Will you be mine?
The Library Store
I’m excited to officially invite you to celebrate the 2014 Stay Home and Read a Book Ball with me. Here’s an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and simultaneously keep alive the mission of the Los Angeles Public Library to “Provide free access to ideas and information.” By deciding not to get dressed up, not to drive across town, and not to valet park at some glittery ballroom, you’re playing a vital role in making available free cultural and educational programs for Angelenos throughout the city. Presto-digito!
Just think, when you contribute to the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, you encourage public discourse through programs like ALOUD, which presents more than 70 free author talks and conversations every year with internationally acclaimed novelists like Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood; human rights legends like Judge Albie Sachs and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee; master short story writers like George Saunders and Lorrie Moore; and, great chefs like L.A.’s own Roy Choi.
For my own evening as Official Stay-At-Home Philanthropist, I’ve plotted a few scenarios. Take one: Brocade dressing gown. Apricot silk mules. Seated at dressing table. Dostoevsky. Or maybe Patricia Highsmith. Cigarette holder. Bushmills with one rock. Take two (more likely): Old sweatpants. Curled up on couch under red wool blanket. Fat grey cat staring into my eyes. Rereading Charlotte’s Web. Mug of hot masala chai.
Remember, you are the key to making possible cultural and educational programs like ALOUD for the people of Los Angeles. So, just before you take the first sip or turn the first page, whip out your checkbook (or credit card) and please… give generously. Then, turn out the porch lights. Put your feet up. You’re not expecting anyone – just a rendezvous with those clever, persnickety, angst-ridden characters in your favorite book. Have a ball!
Louise Steinman, Chair
With the Winter Olympics just underway, the hometown host of Sochi has already found itself among the constant buzz of front-page news. As we watch to see how Sochi will leave its final mark on the 2014 Olympics, we thought we would look back 30 years at some of the headlines from when Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics. From a not-yet-tarnished O.J. Simpson carrying the torch, to the first-ever female marathon event, here’s a few memorable moments we’ve dug up from the Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection. Let the games begin!
O.J. Simpson Carries Olympic Torch
It took a chain of 4,200 runners–running one-kilometer segments over 82 days–to deliver the Olympic torch across the U.S. to Los Angeles. Just days before the Opening Ceremonies at the Coliseum, O.J. Simpson carried the torch in Santa Monica. Runners are shown on the California Incline, connecting Ocean Avenue to the Pacific Coast Highway.
Peristyle End of Coliseum During OlympicsPeristyle end of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
1984 Olympic Stars
Before there was a “Dream Team,” 1984 Olympic stars Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Wayman Tisdale and Patrick Ewing made it easy for the United States to win big.
Mary Lou on the Balance Beam
In the all-around finals, Mary Lou Retton strikes a delicate pose on the balance beam en route to a gold medal in the all-around.
Greg Louganis Wins Gold Medal
By the age of 16, diver Greg Louganis had won his first Olympic medal. Eight years later, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, he won gold in both the platform and springboard events, becoming the first man in 56 years to do so.
Carl Cruises to Victor
Haseley Crawford (#850) of Trinidad, left, and Michael McFarlane (#379) of Britain watch Carl Lewis (#915), right, who cruised to victory this morning in a 100-meter heat in 10.32.
Olympic Pin Trading Area, 1984 Olympics
Olympic pin trading area on Figueroa during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Large Budweiser advertising balloons are in the background.
Joan Benoit Wins Women’s Marathon
Until 1984, the Olympic program for women did not include running events longer than 1,500 meters, in part because of the outdated belief that they were too “fragile” for such distances. In the inaugural women’s marathon, Joan Benoit put an end to such talk as she raced away from her chief rival, Norway’s Grete Waitz. Spectators lined the 26.2-mile route to cheer on the competitors, the exception being a three-mile stretch along the Marino Freeway that was closed to the public. Behind Benoit, Switzerland’s Gabriela Andersen-Schiess staggered to the finish.
Browse more photos at www.lapl.org.
Join Scout Books and The Little Friends of Printmaking at The Library Store to celebrate the launch of a new creative collaboration! At the party, mingle with the artists and enjoy delicious treats, coffee, and tea.
Scout Books and The Little Friends of Printmaking have combined their efforts to bring you beautifully illustrated journals with a bicycle theme. So, if you can’t make it Downtown to party with us next Tuesday, purchase the journals online (photos linked below).