The “Confessions of a Production Designer” co-hosted series by the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and the American Cinematheque comes about once a year and offers a great opportunity for film buffs and lovers of the “Mise-en-scène” to dig deep into the art of renowned Production Designers and their creative collaborations in interesting and important films. These screenings takes place at both The Egyptian and The Areo in alternating months till the series finishes in late July. Join moderator and panel for insights discussions in how production design come about and is implemented in the movie making process.
Below is a list of the films to be screened this year by the ADG/American Cinematheque and generously sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter.
Sunday, April 26 at the Aero Theatre
A Tribute to Designers Gianni Giovagnoni and Enrico Job
Also known as Softly, Softly, this Italian comedy-drama film is directed by Lina Wertmüller, the first female director to be nominated for an Oscar®. While walking in a garden of statues of women, Ester (Veronica Lario) and her friend Adele (Luisa De Santis) see two women kissing. Ester dreams of kissing Adele and imagines making love to her while she is in the arms of Oscar (comic genius Enrico Montesano), her husband. She confesses her passion to Adele and tells Oscar that she loves another. His jealousy takes over, and he searches frantically for another rival, never suspecting it’s a woman. He chases her through Rome ultimately disrupting the filming of a faux Fellini-esque film. Production Designers Gianni Giovagnoni and Enrico Job used Rome and its localities as enchanting backdrops.
Moderating the discussion will be Production Designer John Iacovelli. Panel TBD.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
Sunday, May 31 at the Egyptian Theatre
A Tribute to Designers E. Preston Ames and Cedric Gibbons
Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron sing and dance to the music of George and Ira Gershwin in this winner of six Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. When ex-GI Jerry Mulligan (Kelly) remains in Paris to pursue life as an artist, he is discovered by a wealthy patroness interested in more than his art. But Mulligan falls in love with a French shop girl (Caron) who is engaged to his best friend. A masterful work by director Vincent Minnelli considered by many of MGM’s veterans as one of the studio’s finest achievements in design for the screen. This unique event will allow a blue ribbon panel, all professionals in their fields, to discuss the creation and realization of the film’s groundbreaking 18-minute ballet sequence; a truly unparalleled undertaking for the American musical of that day.
Participating on the panel will be Kelly’s widow Patricia Ward Kelly, Creative Director of the show Gene Kelly: The Legacy, among others to be announced. Moderating the discussion will be Production Designer Thomas A. Walsh.
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)
Sunday, June 28 at the Aero Theatre
A Tribute to Designer Carl Jules Weyl
A true Warner Brothers’ classic and a favorite of so many, The Adventures of Robin Hood stars Errol Flynn as the famed bandit king of Sherwood Forest who romances Maid Marian and leads his Merry Men in a battle against the corrupt Prince John. This film won three Academy Awards®, including Best Art Direction for Production Designer Carl Jules Weyl. In 1995, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. This panel will celebrate the work and legacy of Carl Jules Weyl, by viewing his remastered masterpiece as vividly captured on three-strip Technicolor for the big screen, as it was intended to be seen.
Moderating the discussion will be Production Designer Thomas A. Walsh. Panel TBD.
CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (2002)
Sunday, July 26 at the Egyptian Theatre
A Tribute to Production Designer Jim Bissell
Featuring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, and Sam Rockwell, this film combines espionage, romance, slapstick comedy, Hollywood, and possible mental illness. Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by George Clooney, the picture was based on a bestseller in which the creator of “The Dating Game” and “The Gong Show” claimed to have lived a double life as a CIA assassin and a Hollywood mogul. Oscar® nominated Production Designer Jim Bissell used a special visual approach with a “neo-hallucinogenic” color palette as well as a number of mind-bending pre-CG cinematic techniques to create the film’s unique look. Bissell’s credits also include the two latest Mission Impossible adventure epics, E.T., Jumanji, 300, The Rocketeer, The Falcon and The Snowman, Someone To Watch Over Me, Good Night and Good Luck and The Monuments Men, among others. He is also the 2015 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award from the Art Directors Guild.
Jim Bissell will explore the unique design processes that he used to make the film in a conversation with Production Designer John Muto.
Here is the info for purchasing tinkets and finding theatre locations: Tinkets are $11. American Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $9. All screenings start at 5:30 p.m. 24-hour ticket information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456). Advance tickets can be purchased on Fandango.com. The Egyptian Theatre is located at, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood and the Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.