Includes a conversation with director Jared Moshe (The Ballad of Lefty Brown and Dead Man’s Burden)
In conjunction with Richard Prince: Untitled (cowboy) at LACMA, we present director Mel Brooks’ rolling (and roiling) 1974 comedy Western that was a mainstream movie first. Brooks used feature film artistry to demonstrate that genre could be deconstructed in the most popular way possible, while embracing the signposts that created so much affection for the form. In doing so, Brooks broke the mold, the fourth wall, studio expectations of what a parody film could be, and just about everything else. Brooks, along with writer/collaborators Andrew Bergman, Norman Steinberg, and Richard Pryor, assaults the conventions of the traditional Western, including unapologetic racism, entitled colonialism, and rampant misogyny, by dropping a Black character from the 1970s into the middle of a film that takes places 100 years earlier. Broadway star Cleavon Little is the former slave turned first Black sheriff of a small frontier town who finds himself the victim of hostility from both the greedy villains and the (white) townspeople he was hired to protect. Gene Wilder, demonstrating a command of his talent that would soon see him become a star himself, plays drunkard/sidekick the Waco Kid, with a blissed-out suavity. The cast includes an equally magnetic Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman and, in a take on the archetypal cowboy he’d played many times before (and would play after this film), Slim Pickens.
PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for the screening can be picked up at LACMA’s Ticket Office, located in the Hammer Building, on the day of the event—as early as 11 am. Tickets are for general, unreserved seating. Ticketed guests must be in their seats 15 minutes prior to the advertised start time or seats may be released. Reservations do not guarantee entry, even with a ticket in hand. Entry is first come, first served, so please arrive early. Program and guest participation subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. Tickets are nontransferable and can only be picked up by the individual who purchased or reserved them.
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