If you want to see the real Phil Spector, watch the excellent 2008 BBC documentary, The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, in which the infamous record producer repeatedly compares himself to Da Vinci and explains the inspiration behind his courtroom "Jewfro" -- part Einstein, part Don King and part Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons. If you want to see the fictionalized version of the freak show, watch the David Mamet-written and -directed Phil Spector, which screens tonight at LACMA, followed by a Q&A with Mamet. The upcoming HBO biopic (airing March 24) narrows in on the relationship between Spector (Al Pacino) and lead defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren) during Spector's first 2007 trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. (Spector is currently in prison serving 19 years to life.) Based on the trailer, Pacino looks like he's essentially playing Pacino -- Scarface meets Scent of a Woman, to be exact. But to know Pacino is to love him, and, not surprisingly, he's got Spector's look right, down to the rings, butterfly collars and wigs, from the aforementioned Afro to the wet perm. And if you think this is the first, or last, time the actor portrays a polarizing famous figure -- hoo-ha -- think again. First it was Roy Cohn in Angels in America, then Jack Kevorkian in You Don't Know Jack. Soon he'll be reincarnating late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Thurs., March 14, 7:30 p.m.; free, RSVP required (tickets can be reserved starting March 5). (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
Thu., March 14, 7:30 p.m., 2013