“Church service and bad theatre last longer than anything else in the world”.
There are many delicious quotes like this, elaborate sketches and scene studies from Bergman archives now on exhibit at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills (Fourth Floor Gallery). And it’s a world premiere, with next stop at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2011. Almost three years an international team worked to put this exhibition together. This is a world class event, a fantastic opportunity for Angelenos to see original script notes, letters, drawings, costumes and photographs from Bergman’s sets and his movies. Scenes from his films and interviews with Bergman are playing on several monitors. A few great old posters on display make you wish you were a thief. Some images will remind you of all those smoke-filled nights you spent discussing each scene with your friends. The photographs of Bergman actors and those unforgettable close-ups are stunning, iconic images: Max von Sidow, Ingrid Thulin, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson….
A companion retrospective of Bergman films is taking place at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Some of the titles: “Persona”, “Cries and Whispers”, “Autumn Sonata”, “Scenes from a Marriage”, ”The Seventh Seal”, “The Magician”….
And in the Grand Lobby of the Academy…an exhibition of photographs from the Warner Bros. Photo Lab: 85 years of treasures. Once you realize the breadth of this exhibition and learn that Warner Bros. Photo Lab houses millions (yes, MILLIONS) of original negatives, photographic prints and digital images you suddenly become aware that this is a visual history of unparalleled scope. The images of movie stars on film sets, in the Commissary or taking pictures of one another during breaks bring to life nine decades of what has become the most collective memory we know of, shared by more people than any other: Hollywood. Iconic stars like James Cagney, Vivien Leigh, Errol Flynn, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Joan Crawford, Denzel Washington, James Dean, Bruce Lee, Robert Redford ….all the way to the cast of Harry Potter tell a story of an immense tradition, and a respect for this tradition that is little known about outside of the industry. The Warner Bros. Photo Lab is the longest continuously operating studio photography department. 165 images on display at the Academy include many extremely rare and some never before seen.
Bergman and Warner Bros. exhibitions are this Fall’s cultural event not to be missed.
For more information about the exhibitions, team of curators and participating organizations from Europe and the U.S. please visit: http://www.oscars.org/events-exhibitions/exhibitions/index.html
The Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Grand Lobby and Fourth Floor Galleries 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am – 5pm; Saturday-Sunday noon to 6pm. Closed Mondays. Admission Free.