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See cinematic history at local film festivals

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Director Stanley Kramer is a cinematic legend and a role model for today’s independent filmmakers. This year, the Centennial of his birth, film restrospectives have featured Kramer classics and introduced his talent to a new generation of movie audiences. Following a film series this summer at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, the Stanley Kramer Film Festival will conclude this weekend at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.

This historic program will screen “The Defiant Ones” on Friday, November 15 at 2:30 p.m. followed by “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner” at 6:30 p.m. On November 16, the program has scheduled “The Wild One” and “It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” “Grease” director Randal Kleiser will be honored with the Stanley Kramer Lifetime Achievement Award before the evening performance of “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” The three day Kramer film festival event will conclude with “The Caine Mutiny” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” this Sunday, November 17.

At the same time that Stanley Kramer’s legacy is inspiring a new generation of filmmakers, the dedication of his daughter Katharine Kramer in archiving his career is inspiring a new generation of cinematic museum curators. In planning for the Centennial, she and her mother Karen have meticulously reconstructed the historic elements of Stanley Kramer’s innovations in filmmaking. Katharine Kramer has also curated Stanley Kramer’s scripts to help document his evolution has a screenwriter.

Next weekend, the program “Cinema Italian Style” will offer a retrospective on another famous filmmaker, Frederico Fellini. The double feature will begin Saturday, November 23 with “How Strange to be Named Frederico,” a documentary about Fellini’s career and robust personal life. Even more robust is the classic that follows. “la Dolce Vita” portrays the lighter side of a love quadrangle and the romantic Via Veneto. This special event takes place at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica.