Film fest brings favorite flicks to Chinese Theater
Posted June 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm in Lifestyle
Last weekend, action movie buffs, pop culture addicts and comic book fans alike gathered at the Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood for the second annual Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival. The four-day celebration featured screenings of Star Trek, Superman, Iron Man and their sequels, but appearances by some of the creative minds behind the movies were inarguably the festival‚Äôs primary draw.
The festival, a production of the Los Angeles Times‚Äô superhero- and fantasy-centric ‚ÄúHero Complex‚ÄĚ blog, kicked off on Thursday with a special screening of Dick Tracy, followed by a discussion with Warren Beatty, the 1990 film‚Äôs illustrious producer, director and star. Friday‚Äôs double feature included Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan along with J.J. Abrams‚Äô 2009 reboot Star Trek, complete with a presentation by screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, as well as producer Damon Lindlof. On Saturday, Superman and the rarely seen Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut were screened to a packed house, followed by a panel by director Richard Donner.
Saturday also boasted a guest appearance by Geoff Johns, chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, and Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics. Sunday‚Äôs double event began with an exclusive matinee of The Incredibles with supervising animator Dave Mullins. The festival wrapped up Sunday evening with a double feature of Iron Man and Iron Man II, with an appearance by director and producer Jon Favreau.
With so many high-profile names and classic action movies squeezed into one weekend, few in attendance probably left the film festival feeling as if they didn‚Äôt get their money‚Äôs worth ‚ÄĒ tickets ranged from $30 to $45 per event, including single screenings and double features. For each event, the Chinese 6 decorated the lobby as a tribute to the day‚Äôs films.
On Saturday, the Chinese 6 showcased a special homage to actor Christopher Reeve, complete with a full-sized statue of the late actor in his prime, in the lobby of the historic theater.
After the first movie, guests were treated to a rousing discussion with director Richard Donner, including on-set anecdotes in which Donner felt the need to name-drop Marlon Brando, Christopher Reeve and writer Tom Mankiewicz.
In addition, several audience members were allowed to ask questions of the director after host and Times writer Geoff Boucher finished his interview, addressing anything from Donner‚Äôs hopes for the future of the Man of Steel to his experiences while filming Maverick in 1994. Donner spoke fondly of the making of both Superman movies and was enthusiastic about continuing the hero‚Äôs legacy into the 21st century.
In addition to the panel by Richard Donner, Geoff Johns of DC Enterprises and Jim Lee of DC Comics spoke about the future of the Superman franchise on Saturday. The pair unveiled the planned republication of the Superman comics, starting with Action Comics No. 1 and featuring a new, contemporary interpretation of the Man of Steel. Lee made light of the new image, revealing Superman will get a more streamlined costume in DC Comics and will even appear wearing jeans in several Action Comic issues.
Though these new publications will be more modern in appearance, both Johns and Lee reassured audience members that key moments of Superman‚Äôs life will be preserved. This reinvention seems only fitting for the 73rd anniversary of one of America‚Äôs most classic icons.
Following the comic experts‚Äô panel, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was shown to a star-struck audience, and the next two hours held only the sounds of popcorn crunching and John William‚Äôs epic soundtrack. The second movie proved to be as enthralling as the first, and guests left the theater long after midnight.
With such mesmerizing possibilities, the Hero Complex Film Festival will undoubtedly become a staple in summertime film screenings.
Four new superhero movies are slated to release in the next few months, including a number of comic book adaptations, ensuring future festivals will certainly have enough material.