Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 - Sun, Jan 31, 2016
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Book signing with author James Curtis

SHAPER OF FILMS TO COME: WILLIAM CAMERON MENZIES

Few men did more to make the medium of film a feast for the eyes than William Cameron Menzies (1896-1957). Menzies got his start in Hollywood during the silent era, working in special effects and design. Famed art director Anton Grot was a mentor, teaching Menzies his techniques of forced perspective and continuity sketching, which were very useful throughout both their careers. The two eventually worked together on THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1924), where, in a change of roles, Grot was an assistant to Menzies, whose star was definitely on the rise. By the end of the decade, Menzies had won the very first Academy Award for Interior Decoration on THE DOVE and THE TEMPEST, and earned nominations for his work on THE AWAKENING, ALIBI and BULLDOG DRUMMOND.

Menzies was also given an honorary Academy Award for his work on GONE WITH THE WIND. Producer David O. Selznick had decreed that “Menzies is the final word” on anything relating to the look of the legendary Civil War epic, a role reflected in the title of production designer – the first time an art director had been so credited. As an independent working under non-exclusive short-term contracts, Menzies could move from studio to studio, making it easier to experiment with his artistic visions to become one of the best art directors of his time. In 2005, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame.

Menzies also spent time in the director’s chair, helming more than a dozen features during his career; among the most distinctive are THINGS TO COME and INVADERS FROM MARS. These landmark sci-fi films use bold visual schemes to offer very different perspectives on the future – the Art Deco designs of THINGS TO COME are awestruck in the face of technology, while the nightmarishly surreal INVADERS FROM MARS practically oozing Cold War paranoia.

Series also includes OUR TOWN and FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT.

Series programmed by Grant Moninger.

Introduction by James Curtis, author of William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come.
Aero TheatreThu, Jan 28, 2016 - Sun, Jan 31, 2016
Buy Tickets SHARE

Films in this Series at the Aero

Biographer James Curtis In Person!
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Biographer James Curtis In Person!
Fri, Jan 29, 2016 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Biographer James Curtis In Person!
Sat, Jan 30, 2016 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Biographer James Curtis In Person!
Sun, Jan 31, 2016 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre