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After Academy Museum visitors have seen the Hayao Miyazaki exhibition, it’s only natural that they’ll want to enter the worlds the Japanese animator has created onscreen. And the museum’s new film program will oblige, with screenings of Miyazaki’s complete body of work running Oct. 5 to Nov. 27, both in English and in Japanese with subtitles.
The series is part of the inaugural season of film screenings, which will unfold at the museum’s two theaters, the 1,000-seat David Geffen — which can show nitrate, 35mm, 70mm and Dolby Vision laser projection and accommodate a 50-piece orchestra — and the more intimate, 288-seat Ted Mann. “We were looking at ways to engage the content in our galleries as launching-off points,” says senior director of film programs Bernardo Rondeau, of the thinking behind the films scheduled to screen. “But also looking more broadly at the Academy’s holdings.”
The season will officially kick off Sept. 30 with an undeniable classic, The Wizard of Oz, accompanied by the American Youth Symphony orchestra, a screening that is tied to an in-house exhibit on the 1939 film. But even before the museum opens, there is a high-wattage event, a rare 70mm screening of Malcolm X featuring director Spike Lee and star Denzel Washington on Sept. 26. Other series will spotlight a range of subjects, many rarely highlighted, such as women composers (Oct. 6 to Dec. 14), Asian American star Anna May Wong (Nov. 13-27) and Indian director Satyajit Ray (Nov. 22-Dec. 22). There also will be family-friendly Saturday matinees and Oscar-nominated horror pics in October.
With moviegoing hit hard by the pandemic, the museum is counting on audiences to be eager to return. “We have a very passionate, eclectic, adventurous audience,” Rondeau says of L.A. moviegoers. “We have a strong relationship with our cinemas and an expectation of great picture, great sound. We’ll have that covered, but we hope people will also find something that connects with them.”
This story first appeared in the Sept. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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