The Los Angeles Film Festival has skipped around from Hollywood to Westwood in the past few years, but this year’s event in new downtown L.A. digs promises to make full use of the reinvigorated city center.
Fest organizer Film Independent, which tested the waters with the Spirit Awards at L.A. Live back in March, has given the fest has a thoroughly Angeleno feel with a packed sked of appearances from local notables ranging from Jonathan Gold to Quincy Jones.
Fest events are mostly based around the L.A. Live complex and its Regal cinemas, with a Festival Village set up atop the parking structure. Other downtown venues include the historic Orpheum, where “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” screens June 26 with an intro from Paul Reubens. Reubens will also introduce one of his favorite films, 1938’s “You Can’t Take it With You,” screening June 25 at Redcat. Also at Redcat is a conversation with Jones and a screening of “The Color Purple” on June 23.
You can take the fest out of Westwood, but you can’t take the pool away from the fest, as the popular poolside chats series continues at the shiny new JW Marriott hotel. Chats include The Power of the Tweet with fervent twitterers Richard Kelly, Eli Roth and Adam Shankman, and Capturing L.A. with cartoonist Lalo Alcarez, filmmaker Charles Burnett and scribes Luke Davies and Jerry Stahl.
The hottest ticket is likely to be the June 24 Nokia Theater premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” But since that pic will show in thousands of theaters soon after, festgoers might be better off checking out onetime-only events like Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Gold introducing Japanese noodle saga “Udon” on Saturday, or an outdoor screening of comic docu “The People vs. George Lucas” June 23 at the Ford Amphitheater. There’ll be prizes for those who show up in the best “Star Wars” costumes.