This is Widescreen


Last night I saw one of the fabulous double bills in the Academy’s series This Is Widescreen.

Director of programming Bernardo Brondeau continues to throw down amusing, amazing film events (as he did at LACMA). What fun he has, and provides to us, roaming though the history of film.

Be advised the pre-show programming is worth the price of admission. Don’t come late!

This is Widescreen Shoot the Piano Player
Shoot the Piano Player / Lola

Linwood Dunn Theater
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
Get Directions
Share TwitterFacebook
Shoot the Piano Player
Thursday, May 21 | 7:30 P.M.

Writer-director François Truffaut second film ‘Tirez sur le pianist” (“Shoot The Piano Player”, followed his classic debut feature “The 400 Blows”, was based on the David Goodis novel “Down There”).

His densest film, a sinuous mix of deadpan comedy and drama, is filled with gags, witty dialogue and various amorous adventures. Franco-Armenian pop icon Charles Aznavour plays a shy concert pianist, whose hiding from his checkered past in a neighborhood dive, where he tickles the ivories and a passel of interested females (Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michèle Mercier). Georges Delerue’s catchy theme music was his first of 10 scores for Truffaut. Master New Wave DOP Raoul Coutard worked his remarkable black and white magic.

Shoot the Piano Player screened with a new 35mm print of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1962 short “La Paresse.”

Jacques Demy’s debut film, Lola (1961) is a decorative mediation on the Eternal Feminine, the femme fatale (Lola Lola=Lulu=Lili Marlene=Lilith) that was a staple of the European Romantic Imagination. Dedicated to Max Ophüls, Demy described it a “musical without music”.

Unable to raise the money to shoot his would-be, Technicolor musical, he was advised by producer Georges de Beauregard (“Breathless”, “Cleo from 5 to 7”, “Le Doulos”) to abandon that plan. They shot in black and white In Demy’s hometown of Nantes (they couldn’t even hire a sound department.) Demy’s stylization and sharp eye put him on the map with this film.

Elina Labourdette (“Les dames du Bois de Boulogne”) is tart perfection as the bourgeoise mother worried about her daughter Cécile (Annie Dupéroux), a character who doubles for Lola’s virginal past. 

Poker faced character actress Margo Lion is unfailingly witty as painter Jeanne who pines for her son Michel, Lola’s long-lost husband. Lion debuted as Jenny in “L’opéra de quat’sous” (G.W. Pabst’s 1931 French version of The Three Penny Opera) and played wonderfully for such directors as Yves Allégret, Carné, Chenal, Duvivier, Litvak, Pabst, Siodmak, and the next generation: Demy, Chabrol & Franju. 

Demy’s script is disappointing but the way he interleaves various couples-Lola and Frankie the Sailer, Roland and Lola, Madame’s Denoyer and Roland, Cecile and Frankie, Lola and Michel is of interest. There’s a score by Michel Legrand and even a song (“It’s Me Lola”) by Demy’s wife Agnès Varda. Sadly American actor Alan Scott’s English dialogue (as the American sailor Frankie) sounds like he was dubbed by a German actor speaking English. Anouk Aimée is exquisite. Nantes has never looked so invited in Coutard’s Scope framing. Produced by Georges de Beauregard and Carlo Ponti

Both films were shown In France’s widescreen DyaliScope format.

The entire series program
    * Lola Montes
    * Cinerama Holiday
    * Carmen Jones and Bigger Than Life
    * The Hidden Fortress
    * To Catch a Thief and Artists and Models
    * Shoot the Piano Player and Lola

Remaining shows
    * Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
    * Last Year at Marienbad and The Innocents
    * Oklahoma!
    * A Woman Is a Woman and Cruel Story of Youth
    * The Vikings
    * Kwaidan
    * Grand Prix
    * The Big Gundown and Dragon Inn
    * The Graduate and Point Blank

All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage.

Cinema has endured for decades in the face of competing visual storytelling mediums. In connection with our event The New Audience: Moviegoing in the Connected World, discover how studios and filmmakers – long before tablets, smartphones and the Internet – responded as audiences began trading regular visits to the movies for the ease and affordability of the first small screen: television. In response, numerous widescreen cinematic formats were rolled out around the world and capitalized on the breathtaking width of the projected image, not to mention the heightened fidelity of stereophonic sound, to achieve effects far beyond the reach of TV sets. This Is Widescreen offers a colorful assortment of films that demonstrate how filmmakers found new means of engaging the flexibility of the cinema and the key larger-than-life film formats employed over a 15-year period in Hollywood – from the launch of Cinerama in 1952 and the subsequent widescreen boom that included CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and others – plus highlights from the first wave of ‘Scope filmmaking from around the globe.

FRIDAY, MAY 22 | 7:30 P.M.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

FRIDAY, MAY 22 | 7:30 P.M.
Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, The Shootist) directed this classic science-fiction chiller about an undercover alien invasion, which has spawned countless imitations as well as two remakes. Kevin McCarthy is Dr. Miles Bennell, who starts to suspect that something is amiss in his postcard-perfect California town when multiple patients turn up at his office claiming their relatives are not themselves despite their otherwise normal outward appearances. Slowly unearthing an intergalactic conspiracy to replace humanity with emotionless “pod people” replicas, Bennell must rally the locals to combat the impostors…unless it’s already too late. Cinematographer Ellsworth Fredericks (an Oscar nominee the following year for his Technirama-Technicolor work on Sayonara) imbues the black-and-white SuperScope images with paranoia and dread, and the film remains evocative and unsettling nearly 60 years after its original release.
1956, 80 minutes, black and white, 35mm | Directed by Don Siegel; written by Daniel Mainwaring, based on the serial story The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney; with Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Jean Willes, Ralph Dumke.

FRIDAY, MAY 22 | 9:05 P.M.
The final American film from director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, M) is an intricately plotted noir as well as an indictment of capital punishment. Publisher Austin Spencer (Sidney Blackmer of Rosemary’s Baby) recruits his daughter’s fiancé, aspiring novelist Tom Garrett (Dana Andrews), to be the fall guy in a plot to expose the dangers of circumstantial evidence, but things quickly become more complicated and dangerous for the well-meaning plotters. Lang and cinematographer William Snyder (Creature from the Black Lagoon) use black-and-white SuperScope to underscore the claustrophobia of the twisting web that ensnares Andrews, and the film’s jaw-dropping conclusion makes it one of the darkest noirs of its time.
1956, 80 minutes, black and white, 35mm | Directed by Fritz Lang, written by Douglas Morrow; with Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer, Philip Bourneuf, Shepperd Strudwick, Robin Raymond, Barbara Nichols.

FRIDAY, MAY 29 | 7:30 P.M.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking musical reached the bigger-than-ever screen in 1955 courtesy of Oscar-winning director Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity). Opening on Broadway in 1943, this naturalistic tale of the romance between a young cowboy and a farm girl (played onscreen by Gordon MacRae and a 20-year-old Shirley Jones in her film debut) told a human-scaled story different from the glitzy spectacles that had dominated musical theater, yet still found room for classic songs (including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “People Will Say We’re In Love”), rousing dance numbers and choreographer Agnes de Mille’s influential “Dream Ballet.” Zinnemann filmed every scene in Oklahoma! twice – once in standard 35mm widescreen CinemaScope and once in the brand-new process of Todd-AO, using 70mm film at 30 frames per second, and this digital presentation features a restoration of the film’s lesser seen Todd-AO version. The film received four Academy Award nominations, including one for Robert Surtees’s glorious cinematography, and won two Oscars for its music scoring and sound recording.
1955, 145 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Fred Zinnemann; written by Sonya Levien, William Ludwig, adapted from the musical, music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs.; with Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood, Eddie Albert, James Whitmore, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger.
All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage.

Linwood Dunn Theater
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028

THURSDAY, JUNE 4 | 7:30 P.M.
French New Wave revolutionary Jean-Luc Godard teamed up with his muse, actress Anna Karina, for his first color and widescreen effort, an homage to Hollywood musical comedies. The plot concerns a romantic triangle involving exotic dancer Karina, her boyfriend (Jean-Claude Brialy) and his amorous friend (Jean-Paul Belmondo), but the story is less important than Godard’s joy at working in the medium, aided by Michel Legrand’s effervescent music and Raoul Coutard’s eye-popping Franscope cinematography, which inaugurated the bold use of color that would be developed further in many of Godard’s classic ‘60s films.
1961, 84 minutes, color, 35mm | Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, from an idea by Geneviève Cluny; with Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Nicole Paquin, Marie Dubois, Marion Sarraut, Jeanne Moreau.

THURSDAY, JUNE 4 | 9:10 P.M.
Often considered Japan’s answer to Jean-Luc Godard, firebrand auteur Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses, Taboo), directed his second feature, the masterful Cruel Story of Youth, at the age of 28. A lurid portrait of disaffected youth in postwar Japan, the film follows a delinquent couple as they shake down middle-aged salarymen with fateful results. Oshima used extensive location filming – grungy watering holes, industrial wastelands, teeming sidewalks – and handheld Shochiku GrandScope cinematography to create one of his most talked-about films. A key example of Japanese Cinema’s own New Wave, the Nuberu bagu, Cruel Story of Youth has been newly restored by Shochiku.
1960, 96 minutes, color, DCP | Written and directed by Nagisa Oshima; with Yusuke Kawazu, Miyuki Kuwano, Yoshiko Kuga, Fumio Watanabe, Shinji Tanaka, Shinjiro Matsuzaki.
All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage.

Don’t miss the pre-show screening of Godard’s 1963 short “Le Grand Escroc” (“The Great Swindle”) Jean Seberg plays Patricia Leacock, a San Francisco filmmaker hosting the television show “The Most Extraordinary Person I have Ever Met”. Interviewing fascinating people for her show, an interview with a counterfeiter causes her to question her own ethics (Godard questions his standards via her character.) A Jazzy score, some sly gender reversal bits and a meta-critique make this one of Godard’s best shorts. Part of the anthology “Les Plus Belles Escroqueries du Monde”: other directeos who contributes to ‘”The Most beautiful Swindles In the World” were Claude Chabrol, Ugo Gregoretti, Hiromichi Horikawa and Roman Polanski

THURSDAY, JUNE 11 | 7:30 P.M.
Linwood Dunn Theater 
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
Four Japanese folk tales were adapted for this anthology horror film from director Masaki Kobayashi (Harakiri), still the only horror film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Foreign Language Film. In the tradition of classic multi-story horror films like Dead of Night and Creepshow, Kwaidan tells four ghost stories (including one cut from the original U.S. release but later restored), with Kobayashi using Eastmancolor Tohoscope, elaborately stylized sets and the eerie, electronic-flecked music of Toru Takemitsu to create a visually and aurally imaginative work of fantasy that called upon Kobayashi’s painterly roots. Decades before “J-horror” became an influential movement in international genre cinema, Kwaidan chilled audiences around the world.
1964, 161 minutes, color, 35mm | Directed by Masaki Kobayashi; written by Yoko Mizuki, based on stories from the books Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, Shadowings and Kotto by Lafcadio Hearn; with Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Katzuo Nakamura, Takashi Shimura, Ganemon Nakamura, Noboru Nakaya.
All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage.

FRIDAY, JUNE 12 | 7:30 P.M
Grand Prix
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212z
Introduced by Eva Marie Saint. Director John Frankenheimer followed his black-and-white thrillers The Manchurian Candidate and Seven Days in May with this spectacular look at Europe’s most famous car race, filmed in Metrocolor and Super Panavision 70. Assembling a top international cast including James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand and Toshiro Mifune, Frankenheimer staged full-scale races and filmed them with multiple 70mm cameras to create one of the most realistic and immersive racing films ever made. A classic example of a film that you have never truly seen unless you’ve viewed it in its original big-screen theatrical format, Grand Prix won three Oscars, for its split-second film editing and auditorium-rumbling sound and sound effects.
1966, 179 minutes, color, 70mm | Directed by John Frankenheimer; written by Robert Alan Aurthur; with James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, Brian Bedford, Jessica Walter, Antonio Sabato, Françoise Hardy, Adolfo Celi, Claude Dauphin.
All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage. 

JUN 18 7:30PM
Linwood Dunn Theater
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 | 7:30 P.M.
Introduced by Joe Dante. Lee Van Cleef was a journeyman character actor until his pivotal roles in Sergio Leone’s classics For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly made his distinctive, serpentine features internationally recognizable. He parlayed his newfound fame into global stardom in the Spaghetti Western genre, with director Sergio Sollima’s ambitious Techniscope Western drama – co-written by Once upon a Time in the West co-scribe Sergio Donati – giving him one of his best showcases. Van Cleef plays Jonathan Corbett, a bounty hunter weighing a Senate bid who sets out in obsessive pursuit of Cuchillo, a suspected rapist-murderer on the lam (Tomas Milian, Traffic). The irreplaceable Ennio Morricone provided the haunting score, and the visually striking and dramatically complex film – newly restored and screening in its complete, uncensored version – stands proudly alongside Leone’s classics.
1966, 110 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Sergio Sollima; written by Sergio Donati, Sollima; with Lee Van Cleef, Tomas Milian, Walter Barnes, Nieves Navarro, Maria Granada, Roberto Camardiel.

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 | 9:35 P.M.
Auteur and martial arts cinema innovator King Hu transformed wuxia (swordplay) pictures and influenced generations of filmmakers thanks to this Ming-era adventure, newly restored by the Chinese Taipei Film Archive. The inn of the title is the setting for royal intrigue and danger as swordsmen both good and evil converge in pursuit of a murdered minister’s imperiled family. After falling out with Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers studios, the Beijing-born Hu ventured to Taiwan in search of more artistic control and independence. The result is an action-packed ‘Scope epic that spans the craggy desert of Houyen Shan and the sea of clouds in Alishan. Breaking box office records in movie-mad Hong Kong, Dragon Inn has been paid tribute by directors as diverse as Tsai Ming-Liang and Ang Lee, who cited Hu’s work as a crucial element of his own appreciation of Mainland Chinese culture. (Lee’s contemporary classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped expose the wuxia tradition to a grateful global audience.)
1967, 111 minutes, color, DCP | Written and directed by King Hu; with Shang Kuan Ling-Feng, Bai Ying, Hsu Feng.

Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

FRIDAY, JUNE 19 | 7:30 P.M.
Director Mike Nichols followed up his debut feature, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with this immensely popular and influential Generation Gap romantic comedy that earned Nichols a Best Directing Oscar. Dustin Hoffman, in a star-making performance, plays Benjamin Braddock, an unsettled college graduate who keeps busy in the arms of the classic “older woman,” Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson, until falling helplessly for her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). Nichols and veteran cinematographer Robert Surtees (Ben-Hur, The Bad and the Beautiful) made droll use of the Panavision frame, aided by Simon and Garfunkel’s evocative songs.
1967, 106 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Mike Nichols; written by Calder Willingham, Buck Henry, based on the novel by Charles Webb; with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson.

FRIDAY, JUNE 19 | 9:30 P.M.
Lee Marvin plays a remorseless thief on a bloody trail of vengeance in director John Boorman’s stylish, kaleidoscopic thriller. Crime novelist Donald E. Westlake (using the pseudonym Richard Stark) wrote 24 novels about an unstoppable criminal named Parker, who has been represented on the big screen by such diverse stars as Robert Duvall, Jim Brown, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham and Anna Karina. Boorman’s film of the first Parker novel teams Marvin with the coolly beautiful Angie Dickinson as he works his way up the organized crime food chain. Boorman used disorienting editing.Philip Lathrop’s Panavision cinematography of memorable Los Angeles and San Francisco locations (including the Sunset Strip and Alcatraz), and Johnny Mandel’s unnerving score to create a one-of-a-kind cinematic mindscape that has only increased its classic status more than four decades later.
1967, 92 minutes, color, 35mm | Directed by John Boorman; written by Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, Rafe Newhouse, based on the novel The Hunter by Richard Stark; with Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O’Connor, Lloyd Bochner, Michael Strong, John Vernon, Sharon Acker.

All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage.

Linwood Dunn Theater
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028

Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
$5 general admission  |  $3 Academy members and students with a valid ID.

For More Information please go to


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

Leave A Reply