By Erica Olsen

From the Director of “Blue Valentine” comes “The Place Beyond the Pines,” an epic movie starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ray Liota. According to Director Derek Cianfrance, “it’s a movie where characters are trying to avoid something, and there are consequences.” Make no mistake, this is an intense movie. Every character is flawed and every turn is unpredictable, which is just how Cianfrance wanted it. In the Q&A session following the free screening at LACMA on March 18th, he told the audience that he asks his actors to “surprise me, and try to fail.” He chuckled, “I’m so sick of myself by the time I get to filming…I’ve gone over [the script] so much that I can’t wait for the actors to breathe life into it.” He explains that he wants the actors to make decisions that might be good, or bad, but to ultimately try something different which is why some scenes might shock you into laughter, discomfort or tears.

The free screening was part of the new Film Independent at LACMA series offering (sometimes free) film screenings to the public. Many screenings offer a Q&A session afterward with a cast member or director, which makes it fitting to be at LACMA while delving into the artistry and craft of film. Upcoming screenings can be found at


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