Tag Archives: Arclight Hollywood

DAVID CROSBY IN CONVERSATION

He was central to the Laurel Canyon scene of the 1960s, created some of the most resonant music of his era, fell in love with Joni Mitchell, became addicted to heroin and cocaine, and—after a weapons and drug conviction—became a fugitive from the law.

But it wasn’t until after his eventual arrest, getting clean in prison, and restarting his musical life with old bandmates that David Crosby managed to alienate every important person he made music with—Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young.

Such is the intractable nature of the subject of the essential new documentary DAVID CROSBY—REMEMBER MY NAME, directed by A. J. Eaton and produced by Cameron Crowe, who has known Crosby since Crowe was a teenage reporter for Rolling Stone. In Eaton’s film, Crosby praises the artist “who was the best of all of us”:

“When [Joni] found she was going over people’s heads, she went further.”

But no one is harder on Crosby than Crosby himself:

“I was a difficult cat. Big ego, no brains… What you do to yourself isn’t really a moral thing. But what you do to others? That counts… Were those girls addicted? Yes. And I addicted them.”

But there is another sticking point:

“I have to tour to buy groceries and pay the mortgage…. I’m under some pressure. I’m the only member of CSN&Y who’s never had a [solo] hit.”

A fitting companion piece to Martin Scorsese’s new Bob Dylan doc Rolling Thunder Revue—in REMEMBER MY NAME, Crosby claims it was The Byrds’ cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” that inspired Dylan to go electric—what echoes up and down the canyon are the sounds of a lost sixties dream:

” ‘Ohio’ was the best job of being troubadours or town criers we ever did… Belief is good. It didn’t work out. Yet. But we’re trying.” — David Crosby

At the Film Independent Presents screening this week in Hollywood, Crowe characterized the film as “notes from the eye of the hurricane” which ends “on a precipice, where CSN&Y don’t reconcile.” On Sunday afternoon, Eaton and Crowe will return to the ArcLight and join David Crosby for a post-screening Q & A.

DAVID CROSBY—REMEMBER MY NAME

Now playing.

DAVID CROSBY, A. J. EATON, and CAMERON CROWE Q & A

Sunday, July 21, after the 2:45 pm show.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Henry Diltz, David Crosby, Flag Gun, 1970; Henry Diltz, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Los Angeles, CA, 1969; Henry Diltz, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, and Eric Clapton, Laurel Canyon, 1968, photographs © Henry Diltz. Director A. J. Eaton and producer Cameron Crowe at the Film Independent Presents David Crosby—Remember My Name event at the ArcLight Hollywood on July 18, 2019, photographs (2) by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images. John Lennon (left), Crosby, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison in London during the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, 1967, photograph by Leslie Bryce. Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Cass Elliot, David Geffen, Ned Doheny and others at John Van Hamersveld’s studio in Venice Beach for Boyd Elder’s opening, 1972.

RALPH FIENNES‘ NUREYEV

THE WHITE CROW—the story of Rudolf Nureyev‘s student years in Leningrad, his first trip to Paris and performances at Palais Garnier, and his defection at La Bourget airport—was directed by and co-stars Ralph Fiennes, who wrote a filmmaker’s letter for the Landmark about the experience:

“Although I had no great interest in ballet and I didn’t know much about Nureyev, I was gripped by the story of his early life. His youth in Ufa in central Russia in the 1940s, his student years studying dance in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, and then culminating in his decision to defect to the West in 1961. That story got under my skin… and sat with me as a great possibility for a film. I didn’t really see myself directing it. It was just the idea. It’s so dramatic and is about so many things. It has an interior personal dynamic, the drive to realize himself and the ruthlessness that goes with it. It’s also within the context of the ideological divide between East and West at the height of the Cold War. It was that character, that will of Nureyev’s that made him realize who he was—an artist that really grabbed me.

David Hare was our ideal writer. David writes what I call ‘high-definition,’ provocative characters who have strong contrasting elements that are challenging for an audience. He writes those big spirits and he writes them brilliantly. Also, David is known for writing things that have a strong political and social context. He has an instinctive understanding of the political climate in our story. I feel I have a good connection with David. We batted many ideas back and forth, feeling the temperature and the tone and the shifts of what we wanted to do. It was very inspiring to sit with him and wrangle the challenges of structure and drama. We asked ourselves, ‘What was the essential story we were trying to tell?’ We were clear this was the story of young Rudolf’s defection. I first thought it should be linear. What emerged in our discussion was the three time frame structure: Paris 1961, the Leningrad years from 1955 to 1961, and the childhood years in the late ‘40s. These time frames interweave giving us a portrait of the evolution of this boy and leading us to a point at La Bourget in June ’61. The timeframes come together at this point.

“We employed two casting directors in Russia to do a big sweep which ended up with four or five candidates, and I identified this young Ukrainian dancer, Oleg Ivenko, from the Tartar State Ballet company. I felt he had a latent acting ability and he is a strong ballet dancer who has a physical proximity to Nureyev. When I did the screen tests, I could see that Oleg picked up immediately on direction. If I demonstrated something, he got it very quickly. A couple of times I would say ‘No, this is what I want’ and I would demonstrate an attitude or a feeling and he very quickly got it. There was something about the way he sat in front of the camera, some ‘X factor’ that made me think ‘That could be Rudi.’ I pushed him to understand the best screen acting is rooted in being really present and in the moment. You’re reacting and listening, so the thing to get him to feel is: Don’t show me you’re angry or shy or irritated or whatever; just feel it, be it. Have it inside. If you really have it or are close to having it, it will reveal itself. It sounds quite simple, but it’s hard to be really present and the beauty of his work is that he is very present. It’s an uncluttered performance. He was very generous and allowed me to steer him a bit, but he has a real pure screen acting instinct.” — Ralph Fiennes

The film is based on Nureyev: The Life, by Julie Kavanaugh, who uncovered the importance of Teja Kremke, the East German dancer who triggered Nureyev’s move to the West.

THE WHITE CROW

Now playing

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Landmark

10850 Pico Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

From top: Oleg Ivenko and Ralph Fiennes on set, The White Crow; Fiennes (left) as ballet master Alexander Pushkin, with Ivenko as Rudolf Nureyev (center); Ivenko, with Louis Hofmann as Teja Kremke; Ivenko, in Paris with Adèle Exarchopoulos as Clara Saint; Ivenko in Paris. Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

CLAIRE DENIS — HIGH LIFE

HIGH LIFE is a space mystery and it’s a new film directed by Claire Denis, which are the only two things you need to know before going to see it.

(But between your first and second viewing, you’ll want to read as much as you can. And remember that one of Denis’ favorite songs is The Beach Boys‘ “In My Room”—which is not in the film.)

HIGH LIFE

Now playing

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

The Landmark

10850 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson in High Life (2018); Binoche, Lars Eidinger, Mia Goth, Pattinson, and Claire Tran; André Benjamin; Jessie Ross and Pattinson. Images courtesy A24.

RASHID JOHNSON’S NATIVE SON

For his directorial debut, Rashid Johnson has shot an update of Richard Wright’s controversial 1940 novel about Bigger Thomas’ seemingly irrevocable slide into the void. The screenplay by Suzan Lori-Parks changes some of the novel’s key plot points—”It’s not the book,” Elvis Mitchell told a recent Film Independent audience at the Arclight screening in Hollywood—but the expendability of black lives in this new NATIVE SON is, tragically, still contemporary.

“One of the criticisms of the book—and one I share—is the character’s lack of agency. Wright wrote them as archetypes.” — Rashid Johnson, at the Film Independent screening of NATIVE SON

As Bigger, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) gives a performance of cool hesitation that recalls the voice and armature of James Dean and a young Keanu Reeves. For a scene at the home of Bigger’s rich, art-collecting employer, Johnson—in an audacious move—places his own 2015 painting Untitled (Anxious Man) directly behind Sanders as an angel/devil-over-my-shoulder figure.

NATIVE SON—which premieres tonight on HBO—co-stars KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Bill Camp, Sanaa Lathan, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Elizabeth Marvel, and David Alan Grier.

NATIVE SON, on HBO

From April 6.

Film stills, from top: Ashton Sanders in Native Son (2019); Sanders and KiKi Layne; Sanders; Sanders and Nick Robinson (right); Sanders. Photographs by Matthew Libatique, images courtesy Sundance Institute and HBO.

Film Independent photos, from top: KiKi Layne and Rashid Johnson; Elvis Mitchell, Johnson, and Layne. Film Independent Presents HBO Screening Series—Native Son, March 20, 2019, Arclight Hollywood, photographs by Araya Diaz/Getty Images.

KARYN KUSAMA’S DESTROYER

DESTROYER—a new template for sunshine noir and one of its greatest cinematic exponents since Chinatown—is the deeply evocative redemption song of an undercover cop (Nicole Kidman, jagged, reeling, transformed) on a contemporary odyssey across Los Angeles, finally making sense of a life marked and almost ruined by an act of hesitation seventeen years ago.

As director Karyn Kusama told a Film Independent Presents audience earlier this month at the Arclight Hollywood, “We all love genre, we all love criminals, but these kinds of movies get a little too easy… We want to see the consequences, the toll.”

Kusama was speaking for herself and her writers—her husband Phil Hay and his writing partner Matt Manfredi—and all three will return to the Arclight this week for post-screening Q & A’s, followed by Nicole Kidman during the first weekend in January.

DESTROYER

Now playing.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KARYN KUSAMA Q&A

Saturday, January 12, after the 7:30 pm show.

Cinerama Dome

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

 

NICOLE KIDMAN Q&A’s

Friday and Saturday, January 4 and 5, at 7:30 pm.

KARYN KUSAMA, PHIL HAY, MATT MANFREDI IN CONVERSATION

Wednesday through Sunday, December 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30, following the 7:15 pm shows.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Top: Elvis Mitchell, Karyn Kusama, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi at the Film Independent Presents screening of Destroyer at the ArcLight, Hollywood, December 12, 2018.

Above: Kusama, Arclight, December 12, 2018.

Arclight photographs by Araya Diaz/Getty Images, courtesy the photographer and Film Independent Presents.

Below: Nicole Kidman and Sebastian Stan (back to camera) in Destroyer.

Kidman and Stan photograph courtesy Annapurna Pictures.