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Getty fest looks at urban life in movies

The Getty Center’s “Cine City,” a two-week series of features, documentaries and experimental films exploring the relationship between the movies, architecture and the environment, kicks off Friday.

More than 70 titles, ranging from the earliest work of the Lumiere Brothers and the 1906 “Skyscrapers of New York” to such recent films as the Moscow-set “Taxi Blues” and “Zan Boko” from Burkina Faso, will unspool at the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex, Santa Monica.

“New architectural designs have redefined our concept of urban life. The series’ intent is to explore issues and the impact of change in a manner both entertaining and thought-provoking,” said Getty senior project associate David Jensen.

While the organization has historically been involved in film screenings, “Cine City” marks its most ambitious and comprehensive program to date.

Concurrent with the free admission program is a symposium that will include such subjects as film’s role in visualizing the future and how architecture has affected the evolution of the medium. Participants set include architects Franklin Israel and Andrew Herron, special effects maven Douglas Trumbull and concept designer Syd Mead.

Theme and variations

“Cine City” opening-day selections are lumped together as “The Sweet Life?” They are the 1927 Oscar-winning classic “Sunrise,” Luis Bunuel’s seminal “Los Olvidados” and Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.”

The range and selection of films is non-pareil. Rarely seen classics of virtually every cinematic persuasion dot the program.

Of special note is a 70mm projection of Jacques Tati’s “Playtime,” to screen Monday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with Cuban “Memories of Underdevelopment.”

For information, call the Getty at (310) 451-6526.

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