Editor’s note: This page was updated on Jan. 24, 2023, to indicate that the start date for the “Marion Davies: Captain of Her Soul” series has been changed from Feb. 3 to Feb. 4 and to add a March 3–5 “Archive Treasures” program featuring prints and media curated by students from the UCLA student chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
The UCLA Film & Television Archive greets 2023 with a big-screen lineup including world premiere restorations, inspiring contemporary Black cinema, a celebration of film pioneer Marion Davies, special screenings honoring martial arts icon Bruce Lee and the innovative 1960s gothic horror and science fiction series “The Outer Limits,” and much more.
“The Archive opens the new year with public programs appealing to a deep appreciation for the expansive worlds of the moving image, and we welcome audiences to immerse themselves in our wide collection of stories rooted in belonging and breaking ground,” said May Hong HaDuong, director of the Archive, a division of UCLA Library. “This season’s programming also centers the incredible contributions of women artists, and the Archive is delighted to present works by visionary artist Cauleen Smith, in partnership with the Hammer Museum; films by groundbreaking director Julie Dash; and a rare documentary exploring the experiences of women in prison.”
In-person screenings are held at the Billy Wilder Theater. All programs are free through June 2023, thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor.
Jan. 22–March 5
The Archive and the Hammer Museum continue the tradition of Sunday matinees featuring new and classic family-friendly films with “The White Balloon” on Jan. 22, “Ponyo” on Feb. 12 and “Shiloh” on March 5.
In their book “Cinema ’62: The Greatest Year at the Movies,” film critic Stephen Farber and veteran film industry professional Michael McClellan make the case that 1962 saw “an explosion of provocative cinema” that transformed the art forever. On Jan. 27, Farber and McClellan will be in person at the Billy Wilder Theater for a book signing and conversation as part of a special double-bill featuring two 1962 films: “War Hunt” and “Ride the High Country.”
Jan. 28–March 5
This series showcases rarely screened gems, presented in original and restored prints, from the Archive’s holdings, which comprise one of the largest moving image collections in the world.
On Jan. 28, the Archive and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women | Barbra Streisand Center present the world premiere of a newly restored print of “We’re Alive.” The 1974 documentary, made by UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television alumnae Michie Gleason, Christine Lesiak and Kathy Levitt in collaboration with prisoners at the California Institution for Women in Chino, chronicles the women’s experiences of being incarcerated.
In person: Michie Gleason, Christine Lesiak and Kathy Levitt; Archive director May Hong HaDuong; Grace Kyungwong Hong, UCLA associate professor of Asian American studies and gender studies; and Colby Lenz, deputy director of policy and community research at the Center for the Study of Women | Barbra Streisand Center
On Jan. 29, the Archive presents the long-lost Black action film “Solomon King” (1974), newly restored after one of the few surviving prints was discovered in the Archive’s collection. The brainchild of Sal Watts, an Oakland-based writer, director, actor and entrepreneur, “Solomon King” is a scrappy, ’70s-era time capsule of the vibrant community Watts marshaled to make the film with a two-fisted message of Black empowerment. Watts’ widow, Belinda Burton-Watts, will take part in a video-conferencing conversation following the screening.
On Feb. 11, the Archive screens director Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” (1991), which is now recognized as a classic but was overlooked for years by critics and audiences — except those who saw themselves and their stories in this tale of Gullah women living off the coast of South Carolina in the early years of the 20th century. The film will be preceded by a screening of Dash’s short film “Diary of an African Nun” (1977).
In person: Filmmaker Julie Dash and Zama Dube, a media artist and doctoral candidate in cinema and media studies at UCLA, who will offer an intimate perspective on Dash’s films through the lens of transnational Black feminism and discuss how Dash’s Black expressive forms continue to inspire contemporary Black filmmakers.
March 3–5: UCLA AMIA Student Chapter Takeover! As part of the Archive’s new collaboration with the UCLA student chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, three students curated a program of prints and media from the Archive’s collection. Each will be on hand to present their selections. “Titles With Notable Restoration Histories,” presented by Yesenia Perez on March 3, highlights the importance of international preservation collaborations and features “The Prowler” (1951) and “La Bestia Debe Morir” (Argentina, 1952) in Spanish with English subtitles. “Restoring and Reinvigorating ‘Failures,’” presented by Felicity Flesher on March 4, turns an eye to the restoration of less well-known films with “The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry” (1945) and “Secret Beyond the Door” (1947). And on March 5, Christopher Castro spotlights famed film auteurs and UCLA film school faculty members Dorothy Arzner and Jean Renoir with “UCLA Film Faculty Found in the Archives,” which will include “Anybody's Woman” (1930) and “The Diary of a Chambermaid” (1946).
Marion Davies: Captain of Her Soul
A producer, philanthropist and vivacious screen presence, Marion Davies was always much more than her popular public image as the longtime companion of media mogul William Randolph Hearst. Inspired by Lara Gabrielle’s new biography, “Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies,” this series centers Davies as a pioneering producer and screwball comedian with screenings of “Show People” (1928) on Feb. 4, “Blondie of the Follies” (1932) and “Peg O’ My Heart” (1933) on Feb. 5, “Beverly of Graustark” (1926) and “The Cardboard Lover” (1928) on Feb. 12, and “Lights of Old Broadway” (1925) and “The Patsy” (1928) on Feb. 26.
In person on Feb. 4 and 5: Author Lara Gabrielle will sign copies of her book in advance of the screenings.
As part of the ongoing collaboration between the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Outfest to collect, restore and showcase queer film and video, the Legacy Project will screen“Appropriate Behavior” (2014) on Feb. 18, co-presented with the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation and the Sundance Institute. In her debut feature, writer-director Desiree Akhavan stars as Shirin, a bisexual, 20-something Iranian American woman navigating the social mores and romantic possibilities of Park Slope, Brooklyn. With irreverent, deadpan wit, Akhavan subverts expectations of the romantic comedy while expanding the vision of queer representation on screen.
In person: Desiree Akhavan and Maria San Filippo, associate professor in the department of visual and media arts at Emerson College
Cauleen Smith — In Space, In Time
The Archive and the Hammer Museum present three nights of work by Los Angeles–based filmmaker and multimedia artist Cauleen Smith, including a rare performance of her ever-evolving audio-visual production “Black Utopia LP” and two programs of short films, including the premiere of her newest film, “My Caldera” (2022). Moving compellingly between multimedia installations, slide performances and a wide variety of films, Smith creates nuanced portrayals of African diaspora culture and its troubled history in the United States, as well as issues facing Black women in contemporary life.
In person: Artist Cauleen Smith; program curator Steve Anker; independent curator Jheanelle Brown; and Alena Williams, assistant professor in the department of visual arts at UC San Diego
Archive Talks pairs leading moving-image historians and scholars with screenings of films they have focused on in their writing and research. “The Misfits” (1961) was one of the most volatile productions of director John Huston’s career, with its ensemble cast headlined by a trio of screen icons: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. Drawing on new primary research, film historian Emily Carman, an associate professor of film and media studies at Chapman University, argues that the clash of the film’s star personas and performances marks it as a key turning point in the shift from old to new Hollywood.
Feb. 25 and March 18
Archive Television Treasures
Drawing from the Archive’s vast television collection, this series features rare and sometimes forgotten titles, as well as popular programs and landmarks of the medium. The series is made possible by the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment.
A special Feb. 25 program on Bruce Lee celebrates the philosophies of the martial artist and film star and includes “The Way of the Intercepting Fist,” a 1972 episode of the TV detective drama “Longstreet” with original commercials, and an original 35mm Technicolor dye-transfer print of “Enter the Dragon” (1973) from the Academy Film Archive. Admired worldwide for his incomparable martial arts skills, Lee’s legacy extends far beyond his physical talents, with his teachings on self-actualization also inspiring legions of fans and further defining the icon’s lasting influence.
In person: Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee and author of “Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee”
On Mar. 18, the Archive presents “We Are Controlling Transmission: The Outer Limits.” This 60th anniversary screening of selections from the innovative TV series “The Outer Limits” will include the original 35mm and 16mm network prints of the series pilot from 1963, “Please Stand By,” a.k.a. “The Galaxy Being,” and “The Bellero Shield” (1964). Writer-director Leslie Stevens’ series represented a literate hybrid of gothic horror and science fiction previously unseen on television. With major contributions by writer-producer Joseph Stefano (screenwriter of “Psycho”) the program explored Cold War anxieties surrounding the rapidly developing Space Age. The series’ most memorable episodes profoundly explored the realization that humanity’s primitive moral capacities cannot keep pace with its technological advances.
In person: The program will include a panel discussion with authors Joanne Morreale, associate professor of media studies at Northeastern University and author of “The Outer Limits”; David J. Schow, author of “The Outer Limits Companion”; and Marc Scott Zicree, author of “The Twilight Zone Companion.”
The Archive’s Virtual Screening Room continues to offer online access to a broad spectrum of Archive-curated programs. On Jan. 26, “Trailblazer Betty White: Archival Rarities” celebrates the legacy of the irreplaceable first lady of television 101 years after her birth. Introduced by Al Martin, an associate professor of cinematic arts at the University of Miami, the program will include two rare TV productions. The first, the live United States Steel Hour episode “Scene of the Crime” (1962), stars White in a rare dramatic role. This will be followed by an original promotional reel for the daytime program “The Betty White Show” (1954) which demonstrates the multifaceted talents of the effervescent star.
For details and admission information, please visit cinema.ucla.edu.
Schedules and guest speakers subject to change.