Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

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 5905 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles CA 90036  See map


WHAT: Screening and discussion at the Bing Theater, Los Angeles County Museum as part of the museum's Film Independent program.

BACKGROUND: The images of contemporary American photographer Gregory Crewdson suggest cinematic narratives teeming with despair, mystery, and longing compressed into a single picture. It’s no surprise to learn that Crewdson is inspired not only by the “awe and terror” in the work of Dianne Arbus but also by the films of Hitchcock and Lynch, filmmakers who relish in exploring the sinister, primal undercurrents seething under the surface of everyday life.

Crewdson’s practice is also closer to that of a filmmaker. Each picture calls for a director of photography, Klieg lights, fog machines, magic-hour twilight, and meticulous staging, not to mention digital post-production touch-ups. But none of this elaborate preparatory work diminishes the urgency and spellbinding intrigue of Crewdson’s pictures.

Filmmaker Ben Shapiro offers a complete rendering of Crewdson’s process, especially as the photographer works on his most ambitious series—Beneath the Roses, shot in small Massachusetts towns and cast almost entirely with locals—and his most stripped down—Crewdson’s portraits of Cinecittà Studios’ sprawling, vacant back lots.

Panel discussion featuring Gregory Crewdson, writer Jonathan Lethem and director Benjamin Shapiro follows. Film critic Elvis Mitchell moderates.

$7 for LACMA members, students with valid ID, and seniors (62+); $10 for the general public |

Members of these four groups can purchase tickets starting at 5 pm on Thursday, December 27 | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, The New York Times Film Club, and LACMA's Photographic Arts Council members | Members of these four groups can purchase tickets starting at 5 pm on Tuesday, December 18 | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Screening co-presented by LACMA's Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, with funds from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. Additional support provided by Gagosian Gallery.


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