Remembering Hal Ashby, turbulent genius of the ’70s

Hal Ashby is the cinematic equivalent of a supernova. The director's work burned startlingly bright for a brief period in the 1970s -- before his demons got the better of him, extinguishing his star shortly before his death in 1988.

Now, the director of such seminal films as "The Last Detail," "Shampoo," "Coming Home" and "Being There" is being rediscovered in a confluence of upcoming events (not to mention the biography "Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel" by Nick Dawson, which published in March). On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is paying tribute to the director with a screening of his eccentric 1971 love story, "Harold and Maude."

Jon Voight, who won an Oscar for 1978's "Coming Home," will join Judd Apatow, Cameron Crowe, Seth Rogen, Oscar-winning scribe Diablo Cody and Variety editor Peter Bart at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater for a panel discussion and Yusuf Islam will perform two songs from "Harold and Maude" that he recorded as Cat Stevens. The academy will then screen Ashby's work at the Linwood Dunn Theater beginning with "The Landlord" and "Shampoo" on Friday and continuing with other films through Sunday.


Classic Movies, Directors

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