Back in the early 80s, many movie fans took notice of a young actor named Forest Whitaker in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in which he played a linebacker. Three years later, Whitaker strolled into The Color of Money as a disarming young hustler named Amos, and took instant command of the screen (which he was sharing with Paul Newman, no less). Whitaker’s presence was as laid back and apparently casual as his acting was sharply focused — every move, every smile, and every word counted. Then, in 1988, he created one of the finest characterizations in modern cinema, as Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Bird.
Whitaker’s Bird is a performance both heroic and heartbreaking, and, like much of Whitaker’s subsequent work in films as various as The Crying Game, Smoke and Ghost Dog, indelible.
In this year’s The Last King of Scotland, Whitaker brings another, more dangerous historical figure to bold blazing life. His Idi Amin Dada is a beguiling, charismatic psychopath, and Whitaker invests him with a childishness that is alternately touching, ridiculous and, finally, terrifying. Whitaker received a great deal of well-deserved acclaim for this performance, one of the finest of 2006.
We’re very happy and honored to be having him here at the Film Society, to discuss The Last King of Scotland as well as his overall career. The evening will include clips from his past performances. On Friday, January 19th we will be showing Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai at 6pm and The Last King of Scotland at 9:30pm. On Saturday, January 20th, we will be showing Bird at 1pm and The Last King of Scotland at 4pm.
Tickets are $30 for Film Society members and $40 for the general public. Admission includes one complimentary ticket to the 9:30pm screening of The Last King of Scotland on Friday, January 19th as well as one complimentary ticket to either the 6pm screening on Friday, January 19th of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai; the 1pm screening on Saturday, January 20th of Bird; or the 4pm screening of The Last King of Scotland on Saturday, January 20th. When redeeming your online order or purchasing your ticket at the Walter Reade Theater’s box office, please tell the cashier which film you wish to attend.
Individual tickets to the films screening on Friday, January 19th and on Saturday, January 20th are also for sale at regular ticket prices: $10 (general public), $7 (students with valid ID) and $6 for FSLC members.
Join the Film Society to receive priority notices and purchase advance tickets to special events like this throughout the year. Click here to see all the benefits offered to Film Society members.