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From 1928’s The Passion of Joan of Arc to 2021’s unexpected arthouse blockbuster The Green Knight, the medieval period provides filmmakers with settings and stories that inspire them to push the bounds of stylized imagery and epic storytelling. Inspired by subject matter like the Black Death, the Arthurian legends, the martyrdom of Saint Joan, and the class warfare of Robin Hood, directors such as Rohmer, Preminger, Zeffirelli, Pasolini and Dreyer have retold these classic stories within the context of their own times to highlight the medieval era’s timeless messages of sacrifice, love, and transcendence.

Unlike the more intellectual and sophisticated Renaissance, art from the medieval period was characterized by a bawdy and brutal tone, and it was these kinds of narratives found in works like Boccaccio’s The Decameron and the stories of Marguerite de Navarre that inspired our guest, filmmaker Jeff Baena, in the conception of his film The Little Hours (2017), a black comedy set in 14th century Tuscany, starring Aubrey Plaza and Alison Brie as nuns at odds with their profane desires.

Baena has specialized in juxtaposing the cerebral with the vulgar, beginning with his brilliant script for I Heart Huckabees (2004) up to his most recent released film, the chillingly funny and poignant tale of a woman’s descent into mental illness, Horse Girl (2020). Baena will discuss how he was inspired by the transgressive representations of sexuality from the medieval period and why stories that are over a thousand years old are the impetus for some of the most groundbreaking examples of the world’s newest art.

All attendees are welcomed to enjoy a complimentary reception following the program.

Lost & Found at the Movies is generously supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

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Jeff Baena

Jeff Baena is a writer and director currently living in Los Angeles. He grew up in Miami and studied film production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Baena co-wrote I Heart Huckabees with David O. Russell. His most recent film, Spin Me Round premiered this March at SXSW 2022 and will be released August 19th by IFC Films. All four of his previous films have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival: Life After Beth, JoshyThe Little Hours, and Horse Girl. He also created the pandemic-inspired anthology series Cinema Toast for Showtime in 2020.

Gillian Wallace Horvat

Gillian Wallace Horvat is an Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker whose work has shown at Rotterdam, SXSW, Venice and other festivals around the globe. Her short form documentaries on film history have appeared on dozens of blu-rays and her film writing has appeared online in Filmmaker Magazine, Sight & Sound and Talkhouse.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does Lost & Found at the Movies cost to attend?

    Lost & Found at the Movies is free to attend.

  • Can I attend if I’m not a Member?

    While priority notification is given to LFLA Members, non-Members are welcome to attend if space allows. However, the complimentary reception following the program is limited to Members.

  • Do I have to make a reservation?

    Reservations are recommended, as our programs often fill to capacity. Priority is given to reserved guests.

  • Can I attend even if I don’t have a reservation?

    Yes! We often have space available to accommodate walk-up guests without advanced reservations. Check our stand-by policy for more information.

  • Reservation Policy for Free Programs

    As Lost & Found at the Movies is free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at the start of each program.

  • Standby Policy

    Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted based on availability. Most programs will be available via podcast. Become a Member of the Library Foundation to receive priority notification of these programs.

  • Canceling a Reservation

    If you are unable to use your reservation, please email [email protected].

  • Where does Lost & Found at the Movies take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, Lost & Found at the Movies is held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for Lost & Found at the Movies?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Where do I purchase the speaker’s book?

    Occasionally a guest on Lost & Found at the Movies is touring with a book. Books are made available for purchase at programs or can be purchased while making your online reservation. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book.