Dec. 13-15, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

A Tribute to Lasse HallstrÖm In-Person!

Sponsored by the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and in Los Angeles

We are very pleased to welcome director Lasse Hallström to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian for the first major Los Angeles retrospective of his work!

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok and Gwen Deglise, with the special assistance of David Horowitz.

Special Thanks: Anita Ekman & Jodi Cahn / Consulate General of Sweden in Los Angeles, Elisabeth Halvarsson-Stapen / Swedish Information Service; MIRAMAX FILMS; Cathye Clark/PARAMOUNT PICTURES REPERTORY; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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In the past fifteen years, Swedish-born director Lasse Hallström has emerged as one of the most lyrical and perceptive filmmakers in modern cinema, weaving painfully funny tales of love, death and childhood in films like MY LIFE AS A DOG, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, CHOCOLAT and the upcoming THE SHIPPING NEWS. Hallström has proven himself a master of the truly character-driven story, coaxing marvelous performances from his actors without straying into sentimentality --"I have an affinity for eccentrics and outsiders, and portraying them and not being judgmental about them," Hallström has observed.

Born in 1946 in Stockholm, the son of an amateur filmmaker who screened Chaplin shorts at home for his children, Hallström began his career in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s making short documentaries and music videos for Swedish pop groups (including close friends ABBA.) The success of his 1973 TV program "Shall We Go To My Or To Your Place Or Each Go Home Alone?" gave Hallström the chance to direct his first feature, A GUY AND A GAL, a realistic portrait of love, sex and confusion among young adults in Sweden. His breakout film, MY LIFE AS A DOG (1985) confirmed what many in Sweden had known for years – that Hallström possesses an innate gift for finding poignant humor and drama in seemingly everyday situations.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Lasse Hallström will NOT be able to join us for any screenings during his retrospective. He sends his sincere apologies for not being able to attend. (12/10)

Thursday, December 13 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature!!  Lasse Hallström In Person!!

A GUY AND A GAL (EN KILLE OCH EN TJEJ), 1975, Swedish Film Institute, 94 min. Hallström’s first feature is a wonderfully comic portrait of a hypochondriac slacker named Lasse (Brasse Brännström) who hangs out at singles bars grooving to ABBA tunes – until he meets Lena (Mariann Rudberg), a beautiful blonde who refuses to indulge his insecurities and self-deceptions.

 

FATHER TO BE (JAG ÄR MED BARN), 1979, Swedish Film Institute, 107 min. Another comic hit for Hallström in his native Sweden, FATHER TO BE stars Magnus Härenstam as Bosse, a successful copywriter at an ad agency who meets the love of his life (Anki Lidén), gets married – then confronts the insurmountable challenge of fatherhood. A young father himself at the time he made the movie, Hallström used his own experiences as the basis for this thoroughly engaging look at a man struggling to grow up at the same time as he raises his child.

Discussion between films with director Lasse Hallström.

 

Friday, December 14 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature!! Lasse Hallström In Person!!

MY LIFE AS A DOG (MITT LIV SOM HUND), 1985, Winstar Cinema, 101 min. Hallström’s breakthrough hit, based on the autobiographical novel by Reider Jonsson, MY LIFE AS A DOG stars Anton Glanzelius as a loveable, clumsy and slightly befuddled kid in a small village in 1950’s Sweden, who’s suddenly confronted with the reality of his mother’s impending death from tuberculosis. Arguably the finest film about childhood since Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS, MY LIFE AS A DOG is by turns poetic, hilarious and downright heartbreaking. A true gem.

WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, 1993, Paramount, 117 min. Dir. Lasse Hallström. Johnny Depp stars as the title hero Gilbert Grape, a gentle misfit trapped in Endora, Iowa with a fantastically obese mother (Darlene Cates) and a retarded brother (Leonardo DiCaprio, in a startling performance.) Based on Peter Hedges’ novel, GILBERT GRAPE is the second film in Hallström’s loose trilogy (along with MY LIFE AS A DOG and THE CIDER HOUSE RULES) about the painful realities of childhood, and the amazing resilience of children themselves.

Discussion between films with director Lasse Hallström.

 

Saturday, December 15 – 5:00 PM

ABBA: THE MOVIE, 1977, Warner Bros., 97 min. Who needs a plot when you’ve got Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid?! Sweden’s greatest pop group perform "Dancing Queen," "The Name of the Game" and other super-hits, in this loosely-fictionalized story of their 1977 tour of Australia. "I made all of their videos, apart from the last two, so if you ever see an ABBA video on TV, then it’s my stuff … ABBA were seen as too commercial [at the time], but I knew that their music was going to survive." -- Lasse Hallström. Please note that this, the only available print of ABBA: THE MOVIE, has faded. Because of its extreme rarity (and grooviness), we’re including it here.

Director Lasse Hallström to introduce screening.

 

Saturday, December 15 – 7:15 PM

Double Feature!! Lasse Hallström In Person!!

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, 1999, Miramax, 126 min. Hallström’s exquisite version of John Irving’s magnificent (but seemingly unadaptable) novel, CIDER HOUSE RULES stars Tobey Maguire as Homer Wells, a gentle-hearted orphan in 1940’s Maine who grows up under the watchful eye of Dr. Larch (Michael Caine, in an Oscar winning performance), an ether-sniffing physician who performs illegal abortions for unwed mothers. Homer’s desire to see what lies outside the orphanage leads him to the New England coast where he falls in love with fisherman’s daughter Charlize Theron, and gets his first taste of true freedom and heartbreak.

CHOCOLAT, 2000, Miramax, 121 min. Dir. Lasse Hallström. A sweet-hearted fable of the dangers of spiritual repression and the joys of a good cup of cocoa, CHOCOLAT stars the radiant Juliette Binoche as a young unmarried mother who changes the tastebuds (and minds) of a group of French villagers when she opens a chocolaterie in their small town. The marvelous ensemble cast includes Lena Olin (Hallström’s off-screen wife), Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Ann Moss and Leslie Caron.

Discussion between films with director Lasse Hallström.