American Cinematheque: An Actor’s Resource

December 28, 2013

American-Cinematheque-actor.jpgFor anyone interested in the history of Hollywood and the inner workings of the movie industry, the American Cinematheque offers an eclectic mix of classic films, esoteric TV and movie gems, and provides a forum where film lovers and students alike can hear the world’s leading directors, producers, actors, writers, editors, and cinematographers discuss their work and craft. A variety of esteemed industry insiders give invaluable insights into specific films. They wax poetic on working with various actors and filmmakers, as well as share intriguing stories about the political landscape of Hollywood.

The Aero Theater recently screened the 10-year anniversary of  Elf to a packed holiday crowd. Jon Favreau, the film’s director (Iron Man and Iron Man 2) gave a detailed Q & A of the making of Elf as well as the challenges he faced in the process. For example, when asked about Zooey Deschanel’s part in the movie, Favreau told of how she was not yet well known, and he was unaware that she could sing so well. The classic Baby It’s Cold Outside scene was not in the original script. But once he discovered her great “Doris-Day” voice, Favreau created the scene. It’s edifying for any actor to hear the thoughts and insights of an A-list director in an intimate, relaxed setting. Favreau has also been known to introduce other Hollywood treasures such as Disney classics at the Aero as well.

A premier, independent, non-profit cultural organization based in Los Angeles, the American Cinematheque is devoted exclusively to the public showing/exhibition of the moving image in all its forms. It was created in 1981, and after five years worth of fundraising and planning, launched its first series of screenings in 1987. The primary home for the Cinematheque is Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and its secondary location in Santa Monica, The Aero Theatre, has been serving the Westside since 2004.

The organization is governed by a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees. Prominent entertainment-industry leaders are among both Boards including film directors and producers Marin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, Paula Wagner, William Friedkin, and Joe Dante. Actors Candice Bergen and Goldie Hawn are among the actors on the Boards.

In November, Stacy Keach was at the Aero to promote his autobiography, All in All while the theater screened 70’s classics, Fat City and The Ninth Configuration–both of which he starred in. He spoke about his 40 years in the business, his trials and travails, and the always-humbling experience of being a working actor. American Cinematheque is a unique venue in that it hosts many such events throughout the calendar year.

Being an actor in Hollywood is one of the most challenging careers to which one can aspire. It takes a unique combination of talent, hard work, street smarts, intuition, and luck to make the grade. American Cinematheque regularly features people who have taken the challenge, and bested the competition. Gain insights for your career, make some valuable contacts, and have a great time watching the classics! Or, better yet, become a member and show your support for the only public alternative screening organization in Los Angeles that offers a wide variety of film and video programming from all over the world on a weekly basis.