A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951

In contemporary Hollywood, many actors clamor to be the “outsider” star, branding themselves as the next celebrity to rage against old age with reckless abandonment. But this image stems from one man—the rebel without a cause: James Dean. His extraordinary life is the subject of books and poetry by the great Frank O’Hara, which center on Dean as a star—or his tragedy. But what was he like on the journey to the top? Well, here’s your chance to find out. This week, the Art Theatre screens the independent film A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951, which focuses on Dean in Los Angeles on the cusp of his career, his complicated sexual identity, and the steps he took to become an iconoclast. Plus, as part of the closing night festival, writer/director Matthew Mishory and the cast and crew will be in the audience.

Wed., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 17, 3 p.m., 2012

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