"Monsieur Verdoux" (1947) Screening and Panel Tribute to John Gabriel Beckman, Award Winning Production Designer


Presented by the Art Directors Guild Film Society and the American Cinematheque Sunday, May 18 at 5:30 PM at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica Sponsored by "The Hollywood Reporter"

Last Updated: May 15, 2014 2:35 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, California--May 15, 2014) The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque will screen "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), a black comedy written, directed and starring Charles Chaplin from a story concept by Orson Welles on Sunday, May 18, at 5:30 PM at the Aero Theatre,1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica. Based on the true-life story of bigamist wife-killer Henri Désiré Landru, it was the first time that Chaplin worked with Production Designer John Gabriel Beckman. Beckman is admired for his extensive career as a Set Designer, Art Director, Production Designer, architect, decorator and muralist. He was also a World War I fighter pilot.

Included in the program, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, will be an exploration of Beckman’s film legacy, from Lost Horizon to Gypsy to Designing Women, as well as an appreciation of some of his finest murals created for movie palaces such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Avalon Ballroom in Catalina. Panel will be moderated by ADG Film Society co-chair, Production Designer Thomas A. Walsh.

“If there was a category for triathletes in Production Design, then John Gabriel Beckman's name would be on that very short list,” said Walsh. Beckman was an accomplished master of all of the fundamental disciplines that collectively are the prerequisites for anyone wishing to practice the art and craft of production design.

“It is a privilege for the Art Directors Guild Film Society to host a film tribute to John Gabriel Beckman, one of the quiet masters of our profession, by screening Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux,” adds Walsh. “This film is a much under-appreciated and seldom screened classic, one whose mastery of the Hollywood studio system honors the enduring legacy of the very long lives of two of our art-form's master artists.”

A Q&A exploring Beckman’s legacy and talents will follow the screening with panelists including Roger Lee Kenven, Author of Art Deco Man, a biography of John Gabriel Beckman.

“The atmosphere at our screenings is very casual and the audience of film enthusiasts, students, and colleagues from the film industry bring their love of film to the Q&A, which makes for some lively and entertaining discussions,” says Walsh.

The 2014 ADG/American Cinematheque Screening Series schedule includes:
  • Sunday, June 22 - DANTE’S INFERNO (1935) at the Egyptian Theatre, spotlighting the descent into hell sequence and Art Directors Duncan Cramer and David S. Hall

  • Sunday, July 20 - THE DEVILS – U.S. version (1971) at the Aero Theatre with a tribute to Designer Derek Jarman

  • Sunday, August 24 - THE GAUCHO (1927) at the Egyptian Theatre, Douglas Fairbanks' swashbuckling action film spotlighting the fabled Argentina, created by Art Director Carl Oscar Borg

Representing the ADG are Film Society Co-Chairs John Muto and Thomas A. Walsh, and Debbie Patton, ADG Manager, Awards and Events. Working with them are the American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger. General admission: $11. American Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $9. All screenings start at 5:30 p.m. 24-hour information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456).

For ticket information: Tickets: American Cinematheque/Monsieur Verdoux

About the Art Directors Guild: The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents nearly 2,000 members who work throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers, Art Directors, and Assistant Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers and Model Makers. Established in 1937, ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society; an annual Awards Banquet, a creative/technology community (5D: The Future of Immersive Design) and Membership Directory; a bimonthly professional magazine Perspective; and extensive technology-training programs, creative workshops and craft and art exhibitions. The Guild's Online Directory/Website Resource: Art Directors Guild; Follow ADG on Twitter: @ADG800; For Facebook: ADG Facebook.

About American Cinematheque: Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501©3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman's first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005, the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. For more information about American Cinematheque, visit the website: American Cinematheque. Follow the American Cinematheque on Twitter (@sidgrauman) and Facebook (Egyptian Theatre, Aero Theatre).


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