The other night this guy told me this great little story about Sydney Pollack and his misbegotten remake of Billy Wilder's Sabrina. Harrison Ford, who had pushed the project into development, called Pollack on the phone to try and convince him to direct. When he expressed misgivings about remaking a classic, Ford said something like, "They made A Star is Born three times - how bad could it be?" Rather than insist that Harrison watch the Barbra Streisand version of that movie before taking a single step further (as I surely would have done), Pollack called up Wilder himself to ask for advice. "I think it's a terrible idea, and they're not gonna give me a cent," Wilder grumbled. "But some asshole is going to make it if you don't so you might as well."

You probably won't hear that story at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where Pollack's Guest Director position seems to be limited to selecting films for special screenings. Still, judging by the line-up he's approved, whatever historical blindness he was suffering at the time of the Sabrina debacle has long since passed. First up, this Friday night, is a screening of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, which Pollack calls "one of the most successful examples of an intellectual idea turned into theatrical drama that I’ve ever seen." Two more mid-century marvels pop up on Sunday the 26: Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, and Notorious, my favorite Hitchcock film and probably Ingrid Bergman's finest hour. All tickets are $10, and can be purchased from the LAFF site.

categories Movies, Cinematical