Academy to Screen VFX Pix

The Los Angeles-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a salute to ‘Movie Magic’ with a series of films known for groundbreaking visual effects and other technological innovations. Presented by the organization’s Science and Technology Council, the program will kick off on Wednesday, May 10, with a screening of the effects-laden 1939 disaster flick, The Rains Came. The series will continue into June with 1929 sound pioneer Applause, the 1982 computer graphics extravaganza Tron and 1935′s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which won a Oscar for cinematography.

Known for its spectacular monsoon and earthquake sequences, The Rains Came won the first Academy Award given in the Special Effects category. E. H. Hanson and Fred Sersen were honored for both sound and visual effects. Academy Governor Craig Barron, who represents the Visual Effects branch, will introduce a newly restored print of the film on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

A more recent pioneer in the area of visual effects, Disney’s Tron used computer-generated imagery to create a virtual world that exists inside an arcade video game. Oscar nominee Bill Kroyer (Technological Threat) will introduce a 70mm print of the film and moderate a discussion with the film’s visual effects supervisor, Richard Taylor, and director Steve Lisberger.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills will host all 7:30 p.m. screenings except for Applause, which will screen in The Linwood Dunn Theater at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Tickets for each show are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid IDs. They may be purchased in advance by mail, in person at the Academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills during regular business hours, or on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 310-247-3600.