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Podcast Episode 105: Famous Film Firsts

Films Geeks SD launch year-long film series at MOPA

Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg star in Jean-Luc Godard's first feature fi...

Credit: Rialto Pictures/Studio Canal

Above: Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg star in Jean-Luc Godard's first feature film, "Breathless."

Episode 105: Famous Film Firsts

What X rated film won an Oscar? Who was the first woman in the DGA? Go to cinema school with Horrible Imaginings' Miguel Rodriguez and I and we take you through a series of famous debuts, innovations and landmark films. You can also join us each month at the Museum of Photographic Arts for actual screenings of these films.

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Who was the first woman in the Directors Guild of America? What was the first X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar? What was the first film Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro worked on? Get the answers with a discussion of famous film firsts.

Once again I am joined by my partner in crime, Miguel Rodriguez, to discuss another one of our mad cinematic adventures -- Famous Firsts, a film series all about debuts, innovations, and landmark films.

As Film Geeks San Diego, Rodriguez and I do volunteer film programming at Digital Gym Cinema and now also at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA). On Friday, Jan. 13, we launch Famous Firsts at MOPA with Jean-Luc Godard's directorial debut, "Breathless," one of the films that helped launch the French New Wave.

Our plan was to kick off with the original "King Kong" (1933), but an embargo by the studios behind the new "Kong: Skull Island" prevent any screenings of the original film until July. So with a little scrambling, we swapped film titles and will open with "breathless" and screen "King Kong" in July.

If you are in San Diego, we hope you will join us for these landmark films and allow us to place them in a context to appreciate them even more. If you are not in San Diego, we hope you will listen to the podcast and enjoy our discussion of some famous film firsts. Then you can seek out these films on your own.

Here is the list of films that are screening and their firsts:

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

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

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

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

May 12: "Woman of the Year," the first teaming of actors Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

June 16: "Rebecca," 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," the first film featuring The Beatles.

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

October 27: "Dementia 13," the feature directing debut of Francis Ford Coppola.

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

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

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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