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Events / Westside (137)

Monday, July 11

A Star Is Born


5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036


1976, 140 min, color


Written by John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion, Frank Pierson, based on a 1937 story by William A. Wellman and Robert Carson; directed by Frank Pierson; with Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Paul Mazursky, Gary Busey, Clydie King, Venetta Fields

 Forty years ago, one of the controversial remakes of all time was released. After the kind of publicity during production that might drown out most films, the retooled A Star Is Bornthe story of star-crossed show-biz lovers, with a take on gender roles that still feels currentstarring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson hit theaters. Streisand plays Esther, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter who’s spotted by the flamboyantly self-destructiveand equally talentedpop star John Norman Howard (Kristofferson), who falls head-over-heels for her. Few films of the era got more attention than director Frank Pierson’s, working with a team of screenwriters and publicly battling with Streisand and her producing partner and mate, the legendarily pugnacious Jon Peters. The cast of the robustly realized version of an all-eyes-on-me fall from grace also included Gary Busey, Paul Mazursky, and real-life back-up singers Clydie King and Venetta Fields, who were cast as Streisand’s back-up singers in the film. Despite the blows it took from the mediaeven co-screenwriter John Gregory Dunne (working with his wife, Joan Didion) wrote a preemptory piece about the making of the film to protect himselfA Star Is Born was not only a one-of-a-kind hit, but also won a Best Song Oscar® for “Evergreen,” written by Streisand and Paul Williams.

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Tuesday, July 12

Cinema Tuesdays: Spellbound

Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049


In this endearing documentary, eight students travel to Washington, DC, to compete in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Facing pressure from their parents, their teachers, and the audience, the young spellers compete to win with the intensity of Olympic athletes.

Directed by Jeffrey Blitz. (2002, 97 min. Rated G.)

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Wednesday, July 13

Thursday, July 14

Friday, July 15

Saturday, July 16