The American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild are for the

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                      Production Designers Are Focus of Films
LOS ANGELES, February 4, 2009 -- The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and
American Cinematheque (AC) are, for the third consecutive year, co-hosting a series of monthly
screenings, which will highlight the work of legendary production designers and their creative
colleagues. The screenings will alternate between the AC’s Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the
Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood) and the Max Palevsky Theatre at the Aero
(1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica).

The 2009 screening series schedule is as follows, with all screenings starting at 5:30 PM:

March 29, “Robert Boyle Centennial” (The Wolf Man and Gaily Gaily), Egyptian Theatre
The season kicks off with a double bill “Robert Boyle Centennial” as a tribute to the legendary
and iconic production designer, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in October. The Wolf Man
(1941) and Gaily Gaily (1969), two of Boyle’s most amazing examples of imaginative production
design, will be shown. The Wolf Man, which stars Claude Rains, Lon Chaney, Jr., Warren
William and Ralph Bellamy, is the classic story of a man’s transformation into a werewolf. The
film is recognized as one of the iconic Universal monster pictures, taking place in classic old
European castles, villages and misty forests, all accomplished within the studio lot. Gaily Gaily,
on the other hand, mixes both real locations and the backlot to seamlessly create turn-of-the-
century Chicago. Starring Beau Bridges, the film is about an innocent young writer who learns
the ways of yellow journalism while working for a top Chicago paper. Boyle’s sets include a
revamp of the backlot, in which he added an elevated train, as well as a newspaper office, the
entire stock exchange, and one of the most beautiful and opulent bordellos ever put on film. 2008
Academy Award® honoree Boyle and Production Designer Rick Heinrichs (the 2009 version of
The Wolf Man, Pirates of the Caribbean series, and Hulk, among others) will be personally
present between the screenings to participate in a discussion to be moderated by Production
Designer John Muto.

April 26, “Designing for World War II” (They Were Expendable), Aero Theatre
The April screening will focus on the theme “Designing for World War II” by showing John
Ford’s classic film, They Were Expendable (1945) by art director Malcolm Brown and
photographed in stunning black and white by Joseph H. August ASC, co-founder of the American
Society of Cinematographers. Based on the book by William L. White and starring Robert
Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Ward Bond, and a classic ensemble of some of Ford’s
favorite players, this classic naval war film is a dramatized account of the role of the American
PT boats in the defense of the Philippines during World War II. Production Designer Tom Walsh
will moderate a panel discussion following the screening.
May 24, “Designing for Science Fiction” (Flash Gordon), Egyptian Theatre
ADG Film Society/American Cinematheque Screening Series 2009                                          2

In May the series will look at “Designing for Science Fiction” by showing two versions of the
same film created in different decades, Flash Gordon (1936 & 1980) and honoring art directors
Ralph Berger and Danilo Donati, respectively. Based on the 1930s comic strip, the plot follows
the adventures of Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Professor Zarkov, who travel to the planet
Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyrant, Ming the Merciless, to save Earth. Art Director
Steve Berger, son of the original FLASH GORDON Art Director Ralph Berger, will be present to
participate in a discussion, along with a panel of distinguished film artists between the screenings,
to be moderated by John Muto.

June 28, “Designing for Adventure” (Island at the Top of the World), Aero Theatre
Island at the Top of the World (1974) will be shown in June with a “Designing for Adventure”
theme. Designed by Peter Ellenshaw, the film was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best
Art Direction. Starring David Hartman and Donald Sinden, the film tells the story of a father who
puts together an expedition team to find his son, who vanished while searching for a long-lost
Viking community somewhere in uncharted Arctic regions. Academy Award® nominated visual
effects specialist Harrison Ellenshaw, son of Peter Ellenshaw, will participate in a panel of
distinguished film artists, to be moderated by John Muto.

July 26, “Designing for 3 Strip Technicolor” (Black Narcissus), Egyptian Theatre
The July screening focuses on “Designing for 3 Strip Technicolor” with a screening of Black
Narcissus (1947), designed by Alfred Junge. Junge won an Academy Award® for his art
direction in this film. Actresses Deborah Kerr, Flora Robson and Jean Simmons star in this film
about a group of nuns who attempt to establish a religious community high in the Himalayas. Not
only do they have to contend with suspicious locals and the elements, but their own demons
emerge as well. The film is justly famous for its Himalayan scenery, every frame of which was
photographed on the studio’s backlot and stages in England. A panel discussion will follow, to be
moderated by Tom Walsh.

August 30, “Designing for the Backlot” (The Chase), Aero Theatre
“Designing for the Backlot” is the theme for the August screening, where the film The Chase,
designed by Richard Day (My Gal Sal, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) will be
shown. Directed by Arthur Penn, screenplay by Lillian Hellman from the play by Horton Foote,
and starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, the film portrays how the escape of
one man from prison, in one night, profoundly affects the inhabitants of a small Southern town. A
panel discussion will follow with leading production designers who will further discuss the
creation and use of backlots in film.

September 27, “Designing for Star Trek: Past and Future,” Egyptian Theatre
In September the theme of the screening will be “Designing for Star Trek: Past and Future.”
Created by Gene Roddenberry, the original television series was nominated for five Emmy
Awards® from 1967-1969. In mid-2009, Paramount Pictures will release a new Star Trek,
starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana and Simon Pegg. Clips from the original
television series and past feature films, as well as the 2009 film release, will be shown in tandem
with a unique panel discussion amongst leading designers, effects artists and veteran alumni –
both past and present– of this enduring cinematic franchise.

October 25, “Designing for Musicals” (The Boy Friend), Aero Theatre
The final film in the series, The Boy Friend (1971), designed by master production designer,
Tony Walton, will focus on the art of designing musicals for the screen. Director, producer and
screenwriter Ken Russell tells the story of an assistant stage manager (played by Twiggy) of a
threadbare theatrical troupe, who has to take over for the injured leading lady at a matinee when a
Hollywood director just happens to be scouting for actors. She also happens to secretly be in love
ADG Film Society/American Cinematheque Screening Series 2009                                    3

with the leading man (Christopher Gable) – and she imagines a series of spectacular musical
fantasy numbers starring the two of them. A distinguished panel of design and musical theatre
professionals will participate in a discussion at the end of the screening.

Representing the ADG are president, Thomas A. Walsh and production designer, John Muto.
Working with them are the American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise and Chris D. The series is in
part sponsored by trade publication Below The Line. General admission: $10. American
Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $8. All screenings start at 5:30 p.m.
24-hour ticket information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456).

Individual poster images are available electronically by contacting Suzanne Parker at


Murray Weissman & Associates                         Margot Gerber 323-461-2020 x 115
Suzanne Parker, Lindajo Loftus             
Tel: 818-760-8995, Fax: 818-760-4847,