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Cinematic: Culture Clashes


By Randi Schmelzer

Published Apr 1, 2011 8:00 AM


Screenshot of Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Photo courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

At first glance, filmmakers Richard Brooks and Patricio Guzmán appear to have little in common. But their groundbreaking films similarly challenge contemporary culture and events. Viewers can experience the artists' visions firsthand, as both are the subjects of spring UCLA Film & Television Archive retrospectives.

The Philadelphia-born son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Brooks served as a WWII Marine before becoming an Oscar-winning screenwriter-director. His prolific career spanned the '40s through the late '80s; he died in 1992. Now's the time to "let audiences reassess his career and his impact," says Paul Malcolm M.A. '00, film programmer for the archive. Screenings will include the Brooks films Blackboard Jungle, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood and Looking for Mr. Goodbar, among others.

Looking for Richard Brooks: An Appreciation Patricio Guzmán: The Watchful Eye April-May 2011, times vary. Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum. Tickets: Free - $10. For more information, visit the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The second retrospective celebrates the work of Chilean documentarian Guzmán, who makes intense films that "speak of political revolution and dictatorship and a yearning for liberty and freedom and justice," Malcolm says.

Guzmán's investigations into Chile's cataclysmic political history are as beautiful to watch as they are emotionally involving. Screenings will include the filmmaker's Salvador Allende; The Pinochet Case; Chile, Obstinate Memory; and the three-part The Battle of Chile, among others. Guzmán's filmography also includes several "travelogue-type" films that are slated for screening. The series highlight, however, will be a screening of Guzmán's latest film, Nostalgia for the Light.