An Academy Salute to Hal Ashby
Hosted by Cameron Crowe and Peter Bart
Featuring a freewheeling discussion with Ashby’s colleagues and admirers including Judd Apatow, Diablo Cody, Seth Rogen, Jon Voight and Haskell Wexler.
With a performance by Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens).
Followed by the screening of a new print from the Academy Film Archive of “Harold and Maude” (1971).
In this era the term ‘maverick’ has been decidedly overused; for the generation of independent-minded filmmakers who came of age in the 1960s and ‘70s, Hal Ashby defined the word. From his beginnings as a brilliantly talented film editor (he won the 1967 Oscar® for “In the Heat of the Night”), Ashby applied his unconventional storytelling style to a series of films that uniquely combine the humor and pathos of everyday life with a broad range of subject matter, from returning war veterans to Beverly Hills hairdressers and idiot-savants.
The Academy’s Salute to Hal Ashby opened with a conversation with Ashby’s colleagues and admirers. The discussion was followed by a screening of “Harold and Maude,” Ashby’s bittersweet romance between a vibrant septuagenarian and a suicidal teen. The film is scored throughout with the lyrical songs of Cat Stevens (Yusuf).
Harold and Maude
Starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Eric Christmas, G. Wood, Judy Engles, Shari Summers. Directed by Hal Ashby. Produced by Colin Higgins, Charles B. Mulvehill. Screenplay Higgins. Paramount Pictures. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Paramount. 91 mins.
“An Academy Salute to Hal Ashby” continued at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, with a retrospective of five new prints of Ashby films, four of which are from the Academy Film Archive.
Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater
The Landlord (1970) – 114 mins.
Ashby made his directorial debut with this poignant comedy in which a wealthy young man (Beau Bridges) buys a Brooklyn apartment building and plans to displace the mostly black tenants, before personal relationships cause him to rethink his intentions. Lee Grant received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the film. With Pearl Bailey, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and MGM.
Shampoo (1975) – 112 mins.
A classic tale of womanizing and blow-outs in the fast lane of the swinging ‘60s, written by Robert Towne and Warren Beatty. Lee Grant won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress; the film was nominated for Writing, Supporting Actor (Jack Warden) and Art Direction. With Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Sony Pictures.
Saturday, June 27, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater
The Last Detail (1973) – 105 mins.
Two career sailors are assigned to deliver a young petty thief to the brig for an eight-year stint, and along the way they decide to show him a thing or two about life, drinking and sex. The film earned Oscar nominations for Jack Nicholson (Best Actor), Randy Quaid (Supporting Actor) and Robert Towne’s adapted screenplay. Print courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Coming Home (1978) – 127 mins.
A profoundly moving anti-war film set against the personal drama of a love triangle involving a disabled Vietnam vet (Jon Voight), the wife of an Army Captain (Jane Fonda) and her husband (Bruce Dern). The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Voight and Fonda both won Oscars. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and MGM.
Sunday, June 28, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater
Being There (1979) – 120 mins.
In his most sublime performance, Peter Sellers portrays an isolated and apparently simpleminded gardener whose entire world view is shaped by what he has seen on television. His subsequent celebrity provides Ashby with an opportunity to examine the follies of contemporary culture. Sellers was Oscar-nominated and Melvyn Douglas won for his supporting role. With Shirley MacLaine and Jack Warden. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Warner Bros.
- Thursday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m.
Retrospective through June 28 at 7 p.m.
- Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
- Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
Diablo Cody, Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow at the reception preceding the event.
Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, performs songs from “Harold and Maude.”
Seth Rogen speaks about Ashby’s influence on his work.
“Harold and Maude” star Bud Cort makes a surprise appearance and reminisces about his experience working on the film.