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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy Film Archive present

A Tribute to Penelope Spheeris

January 29, 2016 -
January 30, 2016
Jon Cryer, Randall Jahnson, Daniel Roebuck, Penelope Spheeris, Catherine Mary Stewart, Pete Wilcox (1/29); Penelope Spheeris; Mark Toscano, Academy Film Archive (1/30).

Writer-director Penelope Spheeris (BA ’69, MFA ’73) has had a most bifurcated career.  The filmmaker behind the groundbreaking cult documentary trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization (1979-1997)—a visceral, honest record of Los Angeles’ evolving music subcultures—Spheeris is also the director of a series of high concept, Hollywood comedies, including Wayne’s World (1992) and The Beverly Hillbillies (1993).  Such a disparate filmography may not be uncommon of artists working here, in the belly of the beast, but in Spheeris’ case her studio output has for too long obscured just how pioneering, personal and radical the other side of her career has been.  The recent return of the Decline series to the big screen and its long-awaited (official) home video debut has brought renewed attention to Spheeris’ other early features, including Suburbia (1983) and Dudes (1987).  New restorations by the Academy Film Archive of Spheeris’ student work at UCLA and other shorts have further brought into focus Spheeris' pointed disruptions of cinematic rules to capture the alienation and defiance of communities at the margins of American society.  UCLA Film & Television Archive, in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive, is pleased to present this two-night tribute to Spheeris who will appear in person to discuss her work on both nights.

Special thanks:  Penelope Spheeris; Randall Jahnson, Miguel Tejada-Flores; Randy Haberkamp, Mark Toscano—Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location
Hats Off to Hollywood

UCLA Short Films and Beyond

Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater


Friday, January 29, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater