June 5-10, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

Hearts on Fire: A Tribute to Jennifer Jason Leigh

Send a The Anniversary Party Postcard!

Missed our Sneak Preview? The Anniversary Party opens June 8 in LA & NY!

We’re very pleased to welcome one of American cinema’s finest actresses, Jennifer Jason Leigh, to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian for the first U.S. retrospective of her work, featuring a Special Sneak Preview of her first film as co-director and co-writer, THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY - !

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok.


Special Thanks: Melinda Hovee/FINE LINE; Ed Zeier & Merrilee Griffin/UNIVERSAL PICTURES; Beate Hornung & Kurt Bloom/CONSTANTIN FILMS; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Janet Hill/MIRAMAX FILMS; John Kirk/MGM-UA.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)








From her searing performance as peroxide-blonde hooker Tralala, strutting down the street in front of a legion of mounted policemen in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, to her brilliant, audacious JJLEgyptian.jpg (12938 bytes)work as Dorothy Parker, spinning verse from her own misfortune like a spider spins its web in MRS. PARKER & THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, actress Jennifer Jason Leigh has made a career out of playing volatile, emotionally incandescent characters, who are defined as much by their very human weaknesses as by their strengths.

Photo: Juan Tallo

A native of Los Angeles, daughter of acclaimed screenwriter Barbara Turner, Leigh left high school in her senior year to study acting. After appearing in a series of made-for-TV movies, Leigh first gained attention for her role as a SoCal teenager experiencing sex for the first time in the ensemble comedy FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Beginning in the late 1980’s, with her stunning work in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, Leigh launched into a string of near-flawless performances of often-flawed characters, using her deceptively-fragile beauty and quicksilver emotional range in comedies (HUDSUCKER PROXY), dramas (GEORGIA, RUSH) and period films (MRS. PARKER & THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, WASHINGTON SQUARE).


Tuesday, June 5 – 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview – Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming In Person!!

THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY, 2001, Fine Line, 115 min. Directed and written by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming. An intimate and emotionally-stirring story about the complexity of love and the deterioration of relationships, THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY tells the tale of 24 hours in the life of Joe (Alan Cumming), a best-selling author and Sally (Jennifer Jason Leigh), an actress. The couple, having recently reconciled after a year’s separation, hosts a 6th wedding anniversary party in their honor, and have invited a few close friends. The well-meaning event quickly begins to unravel when one intoxicating gift turns friendly banter into an adult version of truth or consequences. Co-starring Jane Adams, Mina Badie, Jennifer Beals, Phoebe Cates, John Hickey, Kevin Kline, Denis O’Hare, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Panes and John C. Reilly. (THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY will be released theatrically by Fine Line on June 8th.)

Discussion following with co-directors, co-writers and co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming.


Friday, June 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature – Jennifer Jason Leigh In Person!!

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, 1982, Universal, 92 min. Director Amy Heckerling’s raunchy and painfully-funny look at Southern California high-school students – based on writer Cameron (ALMOST FAMOUS) Crowe’s autobiographical book – stars Leigh in her first major feature role as a vulnerable teenager anxious about losing her virginity. Surrounding her are a hilarious rogues’ gallery of regular guys (Judge Reinhold), teen-queens (Phoebe Cates), hustlers (Robert Romanus) and stoners (Sean Penn, in a career-making turn as pothead surfer Jeff Spicoli.) Co-starring Forest Whitaker, Eric Stolz, Anthony Edwards and Nicholas Cage.

LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, 1989, Constantin Films, 98 min. Leigh gives one of her finest performances as hooker Tralala, in director Uli Edel’s harrowing adaptation of writer Hubert Selby Jr.’s low-life classic about a violent factory strike in 1950’s Brooklyn. Strutting around in black top and high heels, snarling her words like a longshoreman, Leigh is the ultimate victim/abuser in LAST EXIT – her final scenes are among the most graphic and heartbreaking in American independent film. Co-starring Stephen Lang, Burt Young, Jerry Orbach.

Discussion between films with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, director Uli Edel and writer Hubert Selby, Jr.


Saturday, June 9 – 6:00 PM

Double Feature – Jennifer Jason Leigh In Person!!

MRS. PARKER & THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, 1994, Fine Line, 124 min. Leigh gives arguably her greatest performance as the brilliantly bitchy, emotionally tormented Dorothy Parker, in director/writer Alan Rudoph’s wonderful, sardonic portrait of the legendary Algonquin Round Table of the 1920’s. Superb supporting work by Campbell Scott as Parker’s platonic soulmate Robert Benchley, Matthew Broderick as love-em-and-leave-em writer Charles MacArthur, and a virtual who’s who of up-and-coming talent including Lili Taylor (as a hilariously-butch Edna Ferber), Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Beals, Martha Plimpton and Nick Cassavetes.

THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, 1994, Warner Bros., 111 min. Joel and Ethan Coen’s deranged homage to the Hawks/Sturges screwball comedies of the 1930’s (with a hefty dose of Frank Capra thrown in) stars Tim Robbins as an innocent hayseed from Muncie, Indiana, who locks horns with corporate baron Paul Newman for control of Hudsucker Industries. Leigh is brilliant as a tough-talking reporter who comes to Robbins’ aid, delivering her lines like Katharine Hepburn on speed.

Discussion between films with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.


Sunday, June 10 – 5:00 PM

Double Feature – Jennifer Jason Leigh In Person!!

GEORGIA, 1995, Miramax, 117 min. Dir. Ulu Grosbard. Leigh pushes her remarkable ability to embody tormented, self-abusive characters to its furthest extremes here, starring as Sadie, a desperately untalented singer struggling in the shadows of her sister Georgia (Mare Winningham), a much-loved folk musician. Written by Leigh’s mother Barbara Turner, and co-produced by Leigh herself, GEORGIA is an emotionally-naked portrait of a performer struggling to be heard when almost no one cares to listen.

MIAMI BLUES, 1990, Orion (MGM/UA), 97 min. Director George (GROSSE POINT BLANK) Armitage’s ferociously twisted version of Charles Willeford’s crime novel stars Alec Baldwin as Junior, a hair-triggered thug with a cop’s stolen badge and gun, and Leigh (at her comic best) as an endearing, none-too-bright hooker determined to make Junior happy.

Discussion between films with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and Screenwriter Barbara Turner.