The films of Hal Ashby: Nevada City Film Festival to show ‘HAL’ & ‘Harold & Maude’ in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

The films of Hal Ashby: Nevada City Film Festival to show ‘HAL’ & ‘Harold & Maude’ in Nevada City

Submitted to The Union

Sierra Theaters and Nevada City Film Festival present a special double feature celebrating the life and work of iconoclast filmmaker Hal Ashby, Sunday, at the historic Nevada Theatre, according to a release.

Filmmaker Hal Ashby's obsessive genius led to an unprecedented string of Oscar-winning classics, including "Harold and Maude," "Shampoo" and "Being There." But as contemporaries Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg rose to blockbuster stardom in the 1980s, Ashby's uncompromising nature played out as a cautionary tale of art versus commerce.

Like many people, Amy Scott first came to the work of Ashby through "Harold and Maude." The singularly joyful and macabre love story has been a staple of repertory theaters and college video viewings since it was released in 1971.

The film features an iconic soundtrack by Cat Stevens. It is also currently ranked number 45 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Funniest Movies of all Time and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1997, for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

After being introduced to Ashby through her friends in film school, Scott continued her career as an editor, and when she read the biography "Being Hal Ashby: The Life of a Hollywood Rebel," she realized that there was still no documentary about the seminal filmmaker.

Scott's documentary, "Hal" opened over the weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, opened in selected theaters on Friday, and will screen during the Nevada City Film Festival on Sunday.

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The film features intimate interviews with Jeff Bridges, Jane Fonda and Louis Gossett Jr as well as Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow, Lisa Cholodenko, Beau Bridges, Haskell Wexler and Norman Jewison.

It was Jewison who gave Ashby his first big Hollywood break, as a film editor, after Ashby landed in L.A. — they teamed on films "The Cincinnati Kid," "The Russians Are Coming!" (Ashby's first Oscar nomination for editing), "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "In the Heat of the Night," which won Ashby the Oscar.

It was under Jewison's stewardship that Ashby found his passion for stories about social justice, class and race.

"Sierra Theatres' longtime commitment to showing independent films and supporting unique and diverse voices, aligns with our values and mission," said festival director Jesse Locks. "We are so excited to honor the work of Hal Ashby, a true independent and great filmmaker."

Source: Nevada City Film Festival

KNOW & GO

WHO: Sierra Theatres and Nevada City Film Festival present Celebrate Iconic Director Hal Ashby, with “HAL” and “Harold & Maude”

WHEN: “HAL” will show at 5:30 p.m., and “Harold & Maude” will show at 7:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $10 Adult/$8 Student/Senior/NCFF Member for single screening or $15/$13 for both. Advance tickets available online at http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com, by phone at 530-362-8601

INFO: Visit http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com, or call 530-362-8601 for more information

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