L.A. fest chats make a splash

Creatively programmed events slated for the week

The Los Angeles Film Festival is sticking to its rep for out-of-the-box programming with a clutch of creatively programmed events this week. Having wrapped the more practical Money Talks and Art Matters filmmaker-targeted sessions over the weekend, the fest is appealing to film lovers with poolside chats and other nighttime events.

“We want to take advantage of different artforms converging in Los Angeles,” said Film Independent’s Maria Bozzi.

James Franco is probably the ultimate example of converging artforms, and tonight the multi-hyphenate discusses and screens the world premiere of his black-and-white drama “The Broken Tower,” about poet Hart Crane.

The poolside chats kick off Tuesday evening, making use of the JW Marriott rooftop pool bar. “Poolside chats are the most informal of our events. People are very accessible,” Bozzi said.

At Tuesday’s chat “Your Gun or Your Badge,” scribe Robert Crais, “NYPD Blue” creator David Milch, and Brazilian helmer Jose Padilha discuss why auds are fascinated with police and crime pics. On Wednesday, actor-writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon mix screenwriting advice with their signature smartass humor talking about their new book “Writing Movies (for Fun) and Profit.”

Tuesday’s retrospective tribute to the late Sidney Lumet at the Grammy Museum is hosted by Kenneth Turan, with Andy Garcia and Quincy Jones among those turning out to screen a selection of the helmer’s most notable scenes.

L.A. Film Fest is putting a twist on the typical onstage interview, with a gameshow-style quiz for Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine. On Thursday evening, at the L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, Leonard Maltin will try to stump the stars of fest premiere pic “Bernie,” who will look back at their careers by trying to remember the characters and stories of their lives.

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