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Art Directors Society Screening – Tribute to Production Designer Stephen B. Grimes


Sunday, March 30 – 5:30 PM Art Directors Society Screening – Tribute to Production Designer Stephen B. Grimes Production designer and art director Stephen B. Grimes was born in 1927 in Surrey, England. One of his first jobs in the film industry was in the special effects unit for ATTILA (1954), an international co-production directed by Italian filmmaker Pietro Francisci and starring Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren. He also worked in the art department for John Huston’s version of MOBY DICK (1956). He started as a full-fledged art director on Huston’s HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON (1957) and continued working as art director exclusively on Huston’s films, including THE MISFITS and THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, until 1966. In 1967, he began working as a production designer on Sydney Pollack’s THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED. Mr. Grimes died in Positano, Italy in 1988, but he had amassed an astounding body of work, including REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, RYAN’S DAUGHTER, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, STRAIGHT TIME, URBAN COWBOY, TRUE CONFESSIONS and OUT OF AFRICA (for which he won an Academy Award). THE YAKUZA, 1975, Warner Bros., 112 min. Sydney Pollack directs this potent, poignant thriller that blends American neo-noir and the then-peaking Japanese yakuza film genre. Robert Mitchum is a world-weary private eye who joins up with a taciturn kendo instructor (yakuza movie icon Ken Takakura), who has a wartime obligation to Mitchum. Likewise, Mitchum owes past wartime comrade, Tanner (Brian Keith) a favor as well, and it’s a humdinger: rescue Tanner’s kidnapped daughter in Japan. A labyrinthine plot is set in motion and soon Mitchum and Takakura become embroiled in a horrifying series of double-crosses and mixed signals that result in a trail of bloody retribution. Adapting the story by Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader and Robert Towne wrote the moody screenplay. Co-starring Richard Jordan (THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE), Keiko Kishi, Herb Edelman, Eiji Okada. The sleek production design by Stephen B. Grimes not only evokes the Spartan Japanese lifestyle, but also amply reflects an atmosphere where cold, serpentine violence can strike from the darkness like a coiled viper. "Mitchum is at his laconic leaden-eyed best as the private eye who is forced to team up with a reformed criminal played by Takakura, an icon of the Japanese gangster genre…there are enough double-crosses to satisfy the most jaded fans of the genre." – Channel 4 Film (UK) Discussion following the film on the work of Stephen B. Grimes.