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Carmen Jones / Bigger Than Life

Carmen Jones / Bigger Than Life
Carmen Jones Widescreen

Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

All screenings will feature pre-show presentations that may include shorts, trailers, cartoons and/or behind -the-scenes footage. 

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Cinema has endured for decades in the face of competing visual storytelling mediums. In connection with our event The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World, discover how studios and filmmakers – long before tablets, smartphones and the Internet – responded as audiences began trading regular visits to the movies for the ease and affordability of the first small screen: television. In response, numerous widescreen cinematic formats were rolled out around the world and capitalized on the breathtaking width of the projected image, not to mention the heightened fidelity of stereophonic sound, to achieve effects far beyond the reach of TV sets. This Is Widescreen offers a colorful assortment of films that demonstrate how filmmakers found new means of engaging the flexibility of the cinema and the key larger-than-life film formats employed over a 15-year period in Hollywood – from the launch of Cinerama in 1952 and the subsequent widescreen boom that included CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and others – plus highlights from the first wave of 'Scope filmmaking from around the globe.

Carmen Jones

Friday, May 8 | 7:30 P.M.

Dorothy Dandridge became the first African-American performer to receive a Best Actress nomination in Otto Preminger’s stylish adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, inspired by Bizet’s classic opera Carmen. Moving the story to World War II-era North Carolina, Carmen Jones tells how a sultry factory worker (Dandridge, her singing voice provided by Marilyn Horne) seduces a young soldier (Harry Belafonte, singing by LeVern Hutcherson) into an affair with tragic results. Preminger supported his stars with an all-African-American cast including Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters and Diahann Carroll, and, working in anamorphic CinemaScope for only the second time, developed a distinctive widescreen visual style that would become one of his signature touches for the rest of his career.

1954, 105 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Otto Preminger; written by Harry Kleiner. Based on the musical, music by Georges Bizet, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and the opera Carmen, music by Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halvy, based on the short story “Carmen” by Prosper Mérimée.; with Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James, Joe Adams, Brock Peters, Roy Glenn, Nick Stewart, Diahann Carroll.

Bigger Than Life

Friday, May 8 | 9:30 P.M.

James Mason gave one of his most powerful performances in director Nicholas Ray’s bold CinemaScope look at suburban American family life in the 1950s. Adapting a New Yorker article on the negative side effects of cortisone, screenwriters Cyril Hume (Forbidden Planet) and Richard Maibaum (Goldfinger) told the story of a family man (Mason, who also produced) suffering from a potentially fatal illness due to overwork who finds that the “miracle” hormone treatments that save his life lead to addiction, delusions of grandeur and even violent outbursts, endangering not only his wife and child but their small town’s veneer of propriety. A box office failure at the time of its release, Bigger Than Life has earned a serious reevaluation, and no less than Jean-Luc Godard listed it as one of the “Ten Best American Sound Films” in 1963.

1956, 95 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Nicholas Ray; written by Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum, based on the article “Ten Feet Tall” by Berton Roueché; with James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon, Christopher Olsen, Roland Winters, Rusty Lane.

Bigger Than Life Widescreen