Life of Dean

More than just another blast of rancid vapors from the old reliable Death Is the Best Career Move crypt, the theatrical premiere of evocative character study Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean promises an engrossing confluence of sociocultural and psychosexual elements. With Dean doppelganger James Preston running the melodramatic gamut of the outsider idol's enigmatic worldview and ever-shifting stock of sexual percentages and stunner Dalilah Rain making quite a convincing play for the distaff team, the film examines the doomed actor's — at the time — scandalous proclivities, all served up in a rich bundle of shadowy, high-noir atmospherics, stark desert rapture and intensely affectionate and craftily delivered Hollywood fetishism. Captured on film through vintage Cooke lenses, it's got a rich, authentic old-school look, thoughtful understated performances and an all-around appealingly serious tone that sets the flick apart from mere slavish Dean fan-mania. Writer-director Matthew Mishory and members of the cast and crew will on hand for some unspecified interaction and general celebratory hoopla. Art Theater, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach; Wed., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; $15. (562) 438-5435,
Dec. 12-18, 7 p.m., 2012


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