• Julia Garner stars as Jane in Kitty Green's The Assistant, 2019. Color; 87 minutes; still courtesy of Ty Johnson / Bleecker Street

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Curator's Circle: Reception & Screening with James Schamus

Open to Curator’s Circle members at the $2,500 level and above

Curator's Circle members are invited to an intimate reception with filmmaker James Schamus from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., then will have access to reserved seats for a preview screening of Kitty Green’s new film The Assistant, produced by Schamus. Following the film, Schamus will engage in conversation onstage and answer questions from the audience.

Schamus is an award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm), producer (Brokeback Mountain), and former CEO of Focus Features (Dallas Buyers Club, Lost in Translation, Milk, The Pianist). His feature directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Indignation, starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival, and was released by Roadside Attractions. His New York-based production company, Symbolic Exchange, produced Kitty Green’s acclaimed feature documentary Casting JonBenet, which had its world premiere at Sundance and launched on Netflix in 2016, and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn, which premiered in Cannes 2017 and was released by A24 the following year. James is also Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory. He has three degrees (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.) from UC Berkeley.

Taking its inspiration from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, The Assistant resonates with the #MeToo movement in its psychological study of the film industry. The drama is presented from the point of view of Jane (wonderfully performed by Julia Garner), who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. The film unfolds as if in real time: we observe Jane’s daily routine, mostly a series of mundane tasks, and her response to an accumulation of degradations against which she decides to take a stand—only to discover the true scale of the system into which she has entered. Kitty Green’s debut feature, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and screens as a gala spotlight at the Sundance Film Festival, is “an urgent, quiet scream” (Eugene Hernandez, Film Comment).

Space is limited, and reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. RSVP to jlsime@berkeley.edu.

Not a current Curator's Circle member or wanting to upgrade? We would be happy to help. Please contact Jennifer Sime at 510-643-9632 for more information.

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