Highlights of the Academy Museum Calendar of Events

Screenings, panels and more

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures continues to offer a calendar stuffed with screenings of significant films, ongoing public programs, and one-off special events (notably its unique “Oscar Nights at the Museum” watch experience).

Here are some highlights of Academy Museum happenings at the time of writing. For up-to-date details, tickets, and reservations (where required), visit the Museum’s calendar page.

Oscars gallery. Photo by Joshua White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

Mar 13: Oscar Sundays (recurring)

Every Sunday in the David Geffen Theater, the Academy Museum celebrates films that have been honored at the Academy Awards. Each month of screenings has a different theme. With March being Women’s History Month, a selection of films written by women who were Academy Award winners or nominees for their work will be shown.

March 15: Doctor Zhivago

Visually gorgeous, tragically romantic, and utterly epic at 3 hours 17 minutes, the quintuple Oscar-winning Dr. Zhivago is truly a film to lose yourself in. Based on the Boris Pasternak novel, this 1965 classic depicts early 20th century Russia through elaborate stage sets mostly in Spain (as the book was banned in the Soviet Union at the time), with an all-star cast headed by Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Even if you’re yet to be immersed in this intense historical masterpiece, you may well recognize “Lara’s Theme” from its Maurice Jarre score, which became a repeat hit as “Somewhere My Love.”

March 18: Clockwatchers

This screening of Clockwatchers marks the start of the Museum’s “Weekend With … Jill Sprecher” film program. Thrown together in the beige blandness of a credit company office, four misfit temporary workers bond in a largely alien environment where they’re often ignored or mistrusted by their co-workers. Helmed by the formidable quartet of Toni Collette, Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, and Alanna Ubach, this 1997 comedy-drama (which debuted stateside in ’98) was inspired in part by Sprecher’s own time as a temp in New York. Her debut feature, co-written by her sister Karen, skewers the daily grind and petty indignities of office culture and, more broadly, capitalism as a system. A post-screening Q&A with Sprecher and Ubach is moderated by comedian John Early.

March 19: Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

Continuing the Jill Sprecher program, and with an introduction by the director, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing was actually co-written with her sister before her Clockwatchers debut, but took years to reach screens due to funding. Consisting of 13 vignettes set around seemingly unconnected New Yorkers who eventually discover unlikely threads between them, it was described as “brilliant” by critic Roger Ebert at the time. Thirteen Conversations stars Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, Clea DuVall, and Alan Arkin, with a plot partially inspired by Sprecher’s first-hand experiences after moving to Manhattan after college.

March 19: The Killing

To complete the Jill Sprecher weekend, she chose to screen Stanley Kubrick’s 1956 film noir heist gem The Killing. Though it underperformed at the box office, losing money, this tale of a $2 million racetrack holdup and its equally dramatic aftermath continues to enjoy critical acclaim, including Quentin Tarantino citing it as a major influence on his Reservoir Dogs. Starring Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, and Jay C. Flippen, The Killing cemented Kubrick’s early reputation as a director on the ascent. The screening is preceded by an introduction by Sprecher.

March 19: Mary Poppins

The highest-grossing film of 1964 and a 13-time Oscar nominee, Mary Poppins broke commercial and critical records while also proving to be Julie Andrew’s Oscar-winning breakout role. Combining live-action and animation, this groundbreaking musical fantasy became a screen fixture, including big-grossing theatrical re-releases in 1973 and 1980. Charming, sentimental, and suitable for all-ages, Mary Poppins remains a welcome escape into innocence and song (including the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). This will be an open-captioned screening of a beloved American classic, with lights on, low sound, and the option to move around and talk throughout.

Academy Museum Cinema Stories Costumes 2021
Photo by Joshua White, Courtesy of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

March 20: Visual Description Tours (recurring)

On the third Sunday of each month, a 60-minute Visual Description tour of one gallery within the Academy Museum’s Stories of Cinema exhibition, or additional galleries, will be offered at noon. Visual Description is a way of using words to represent the visual world, thus helping people to form mental images of what they cannot see. All are welcome to join this gallery conversation, but capacity is limited. Reserve your space upon purchasing general admission, then meet in the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby.

Mar. 20: All’armi siam fascisti! (To Arms, We Are Fascists!)

Concluding the Museum’s four-film “Rare Takes: The Works of Cecilia Mangini” program, All’armi siam fascisti! is a landmark in political filmmaking in post-World War II Italy. Mangini, who passed last year, is recognized as Italy’s first female documentary filmmaker. Comprising archival footage spanning the early 20th century through 1960, with poetic commentary, this unblinking documentary was made in the wake of anti-fascist protests in Genoa during which police shot dead eight demonstrators. Co-directed with Mangini’s husband Lino Del Fra and Lino Miccichè, the film interrogates the Catholic Church’s role in the rise of fascism and exposes the continuing presence of right-wing politics in the Italy of the time.

March 20: Thelma & Louise

To this day, 1991’s Thelma & Louise is the most recent film to have two actors nominated for Oscars in the Best Actor or Best Actress categories. Its stars, Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, were among six Academy Award nominations for this influential female buddy road crime film, with Callie Khouri winning Best Original Screenplay. The caliber of this critical and commercial hit is evident in a supporting cast that included Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and Brad Pitt. At once a wild romp across the American desert and a landmark of feminist film, in 2016 the U.S. Library of Congress selected Thelma & Louise for preservation in the National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Mar. 21: The Godfather

The Academy Museum is screening the entire Godfather trilogy, following the 1972 original with The Godfather Part II (1974) on March 23, and the recut Part III (2020) the following evening. At a time when gangster movies were decidedly unfashionable, director Francis Ford Coppola and Paramount Pictures took a chance on this emotionally resonant portrait of the aging head of a crime family. They were rewarded with a blockbuster and one of the most critically acclaimed American films of all time, including eleven Oscar nominations and three awards. Coppola also directed the Godfather sequels, and has said that the recut Part III, titled Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, was the film that he and Godfather author Puzo had originally envisioned.

Mar. 22: The Graduate

The Graduate was the highest-grossing film of 1967 worldwide and received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and winning Best Director for Mike Nichols. Based on the Charles Webb novel of the same name, for which he sold film rights for just $20,000, it grossed $104.9 million in North America alone (equivalent to over $850 million today). The movie tells the story of an aimless recent college grad, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman, who is seduced by an older married woman (Anne Bancroft) but then falls for her daughter (Katharine Ross). A long-rumored Graduate movie sequel is yet to materialize, although Webb’s follow-up novel, Home School, was published in Britain in 2007.

Academy Museum Stories Cinema 2 2021
Photo by Joshua White, Courtesy of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

March 26: ASL Interpreted Tours (recurring)

On the last Saturday of each month, at noon and 2 p.m., the Museum’s Stories of Cinema galleries are featured on an hour-long tour in American Sign Language (ASL). Made possible in part by the Ruderman Family Foundation, these tours comprise a museum educator and an ASL interpreter together conveying cinema’s wide-ranging contributions to the world.

March 27: Oscars Night at the Museum

The Academy Museum has created a one-of-a-kind experience to celebrate the 94th Academy Awards. Running 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Oscars Night at the Museum will be the second-best place to witness all the action, complete with having your photo taken on the red carpet (so dress to impress!), accepting your very own award in the museum’s unique Oscars Experience, and watching the Oscars livestream on ABC in the start-of-the-art David Geffen Theater. There will be music, food, and signature cocktails in the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby throughout, with the ticket price including gallery admission, three free drink tickets, access to photo booths, a commemorative gift, and much more. (SOLD OUT)

March 29: Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the infamous outlaw couple, Arthur Penn’s biographical Bonnie and Clyde is one of the defining examples of 1960s cinema. Distinguished by Dede Allen’s boldly rhythmic editing, this 1967 milestone movie helped usher in the New Hollywood era and prompted other filmmakers to be more open in their depictions of sex and violence. Also produced by Beatty, Bonnie and Clyde received Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey). Controversial and divisive among critics at the time, it became a sleeper hit and, by the end of 1968, was Warner Bros.’ second highest-grossing film of all time.

Citizen Kane Screening at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 2022
Citizen Kane Screening at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Courtesy of Instagram, @academymuseum

April 3: Member Appreciation Days (recurring)

Member Appreciation Days happen on the first Sunday of every month from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the Museum’s galleries and Academy Museum Store open to members and their guests only and a 20% discount (increased from the usual member discount of 10%), with a few exclusions, on online or in-person shopping. Reservations are required. Academy Museum membership includes complimentary general admission for one year, member-only expedited check-in, invitations to members-only events and screenings, and year-round discounts at the Academy Museum Store. Become a member here.

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