Presented by the American Cinematheque and the Writers Guild of America West, as part of the GROUNDBREAKERS screening series. Sponsored by Final Draft.
ERIN BROCKOVICH, 2000, Universal, 131 min. Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Oscar winner Julia Roberts is at her very best in the title role of this environmentally conscious biopic. Erin Brockovich was working as a clerk at a Southern California law firm when she discovered that residents of Hinkley, California, were being poisoned by chromium in their water supply. The subsequent class-action lawsuit spearheaded by the single mom against utility Pacific Gas & Electric resulted in a record-breaking settlement. Albert Finney co-stars as Brockovich’s boss, a seasoned attorney initially skeptical about the David vs. Goliath fight. “What’s pretty original about the picture is that it focuses an investigative drama based on a true story around a comic performance.” – Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
THE CHINA SYNDROME, 1979, Sony Repertory, 122 min. Dir. James Bridges. The title of this riveting thriller refers to the possibility that a malfunction at a nuclear power plant could cause radioactive material to melt through the floor, “all the way to China.” Bright and ambitious TV reporter Jane Fonda is on assignment with her cameraman Michael Douglas at a Southern California power plant when she learns of an impending control-room crisis involving plant supervisor Jack Lemmon. While the nuclear power industry greeted the film’s premiere with howls of protest, the Three Mile Island accident that followed less than two weeks later gave it a chilling credibility. Discussion between films with ERIN BROCKOVICH screenwriter Susannah Grant.
Formats: Erin Brockovich (DCP), The China Syndrome (35mm)