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New Film Series At MOPA Focuses On Famous Firsts

Film Geeks SD kicks off year-long program at museum

Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo star in the directorial debut of Jean-Luc ...

Credit: Rialto Pictures/Studio Canal

Above: Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo star in the directorial debut of Jean-Luc Godard, "Breathless" (1960). The film kicks off the Famous Firsts film series at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

New Film Series At MOPA Focuses On Famous Firsts


Beth Accomando, arts reporter, KPBS

Miguel Rodriguez, director, Horrible Imaginings Film Festival


This Friday, Jan. 13, Film Geeks San Diego kick off a year-long program of Famous Firsts film screenings at the Museum of Photographic Arts with Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960) which helped launch the French New Wave.

Film Geeks SD is a group of volunteer film programmers that includes KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando and Miguel Rodriguez, director of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. The group strives to bring more diverse film programming to San Diego with an emphasis on genre films, and to elevate the level of discussion about film.

Rodriguez said the Famous Firsts program is like going "to cinema school."

Here is the list of films and their firsts:

January 13: "Breathless" (1960), Jean-Luc Godard's directorial debut

February 24: "The Learning Tree" (1969) and "Shaft" (1971), Gordon Parks' directorial debut and his first foray into Blaxploitation Cinema

March 3: "Midnight Cowboy" (1969), first X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar

April 14: "Drunken Angel" (1948), the first time director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune worked together

May 12: "Woman of the Year" (1942), the first teaming of actors Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn

June16: "Rebecca" (1940) the first Hollywood film by director Alfred Hitchcock and the first time he worked with producer David O. Selznick

July 7: "King Kong" (1933), the first talking feature to fully utilize new visual effects techniques to create a fantasy world, and it screens with the documentary, "Long Live the King: The Legacy of Kong"

August 4: "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), the first film featuring The Beatles

September 1: "Merrily We Go to Hell" (1932), directed by Dorothy Arzner, the first woman in the Directors Guild of America, and "The HItch-Hiker" (1953), the first film noir directed by a woman, Ida Lupino

October 27: "Dementia 13" (1963), the feature directing debut of Francis Ford Coppola

November 17: "Mean Streets" (1973), the first teaming of director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert DeNiro

December 1: "East of Eden" (1955), the first feature film to star James Dean


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