LACMA to stage fundraising gala for its film program


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In an effort to call attention to its revamped film program, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art said Thursday it will stage an Art + Film Gala on Nov. 5 honoring filmmaker Clint Eastwood and artist John Baldessari.

Proceeds from the fundraising event will be used to “support LACMA’s initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming,” the museum said, including the weekly cinema series it co-sponsors with Film Independent.


The gala, to be held at LACMA, will be co-chaired by LACMA Trustee Eva Chow and by Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars in Eastwood’s latest film, “J. Edgar,” which will have its world premiere at AFI Fest in Hollywood on Nov. 3.

Noting that Los Angeles is ‘the hub of the film industry’ and ‘one of the most important centers in the world for contemporary art,’ museum director Michael Govan called this ‘an opportune time to bring these two globally important creative communities together at LACMA, acknowledging motion pictures’ increasingly significant place in the whole history of art.’

Many in the film industry questioned whether Govan understood that ‘significant place’ two years ago when he suspended the museum’s long-running weekend screening program and dismissed its respected overseer, Ian Birnie. But Govan subsequently vowed his support and in April this year announced a partnership for a new series with Film Independent, the nonprofit organization that runs the Los Angeles Film Festival. Veteran film critic Elvis Mitchell was brought in to run it.

LACMA said in announcing the gala that the proceeds, beyond supporting that film series, would go toward ‘exhibitions, acquisitions and educational programming.’


Elvis Mitchell will head new LACMA film series


LACMA, Film Independent collaborate on new series

Martin Scorsese’s open letter to Michael Govan

-- Lee Margulies

Left: Clint Eastwood in 2009; credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times. Right: Baldessari in his studio; credit: Kim Schoenstadt.