Around Town: Bogart, Ben Affleck and outstanding foreign-language cinema
The Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre continues its monthlong screen icon series Thursday evening with a double dose of Bette Davis: best picture Oscar winner "All About Eve," the 1950 film that resurrected the actress' career, and the 1942 comedy "The Man Who Came To Dinner," in which she plays the secretary to an acerbic New York drama critic (Monty Woolley).
Two of Humphrey Bogart's best are on view Friday evening: 1950's "In a Lonely Place," in which he is mesmerizing as a hot-tempered screenwriter, and 1948's classic "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," written and directed by John Huston. http://www.americancinematheque.com
With Sylvain Chomet's acclaimed animated film, "The Illusionist," based on an unproduced script by France's Jacques Tati, currently in theaters, both the Hammer Museum and the Skirball are taking the opportunity to showcase Tati movies. Screening Thursday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum is Tati's 1967 comedy "Playtime," which is being presented in 70 millimeter. And every Tuesday afternoon this month, the Skirball presents a Tati gem. On tap for this Tuesday is the 1953 farce "M. Hulot's Holiday." http://www.hammer.ucla.edu; http://www.skirball.org
On tap for Saturday and Sunday at the New Beverly are two Charles Bronson hits: 1972's "The Mechanic" and 1975's "Hard Times." http://www.newbevcinema.com
UCLA Film and Television Archive kicks off its new "Mixed Nuts: Vaudeville on Film" series Friday evening at the Billy Wilder with the truly bizarre 1934 musical comedy, "Hollywood Party," which stars Jimmy Durante and a cast of thousands, and the 1934 Shirley Temple musical "Stand Up and Cheer!," which also stars Warner Baxter as a producer who is named secretary of amusement by the president. Rounding out the evening is the 1929 short "Lambchops," starring George Burns and Gracie Allen.
Saturday's offerings are 1933's "Duck Soup," the most irreverent comedy the Marx Brothers made while at Paramount, and 1931's "Cracked Nuts," which stars the team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. The 1930 Eddie Cantor short "Getting a Ticket" also will screen. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art starts its engines Friday evening with its new film series, "True Grit: The Golden Age of Road Movies," with 1970's "Five Easy Pieces" and 1972's "Play It As It Lays." Karen Black, who costars in "Five Easy Pieces," will appear in person. Saturday's offerings are 1969's "Easy Rider" and 1970's "Zabriskie Point." http://www.lacma.org.
The Egyptian Theatre celebrates the 75th anniversary of James Whale's adaptation of the Broadway musical "Show Boat" this Sunday. Irene Dunne, Helen Morgan, Allan Jones and Paul Robeson star. http://www.americancinematheque.com
Buster Keaton's landmark 1926 comedy, "The General," screens Wednesday at the Cinefamily's Silent Movie Theatre. http://www.cinefamily.org
Of course, there are also plenty of options for those who prefer more contemporary cinema.
Ben Affleck will visit the Aero Theatre on Thursday to discuss his career as an actor, writer and director and screen his acclaimed 2010 action-thriller, "The Town," as well as his 2007 directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone," based the novel by Dennis Lehane.
Following Affleck on Friday evening at the Aero is Oscar-nominated actor Andy Garcia, who will chat about his career in between screenings of his latest film, 2009's "City Island," and 2005's "The Lost City," which he stars in and directed.
Beginning Monday at the Aero and Egyptian, the Cinematheque spotlights the Golden Globe's foreign-language film nominees, culminating on the 15th with a panel discussion among the directors of the five nominated movies. The series begins Monday at the Egyptian with the nominee from Denmark, "In a Better World." On tap for Tuesday at the Aero is Russia's "The Edge." Director Aleksei Uchitel will introduce the film. Wednesday's offering at the Aero is France's "The Concert." http://www.americancinematheque.com
The Levantine Cultural Center's monthly series "New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema" is presenting the Iranian film "Women Without Men," directed by Shirin Neshat, Friday evening. Neshat will be on hand at the screening at the Harmony Gold Theatre along with renowned cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and "Women Without Men" lenser Martin Gschlacht. http://www.levantinecenter.org
The sixth annual Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival kicks off Friday and continues through Sunday at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall. The festival focuses on both feature-length and short films that are appropriate for all ages. http://www.scvfilmfestival.com
Sunday, the Los Angeles Filmforum screens "RR" at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. The 2007 study of railroads in the U.S. was shot on 16 millimeter and consists of 43 static shots of trains crossing through the frame. Director James Benning will appear in person. http://lafilmforum.org
The Writers Guild Foundation's "Writers on Writing" series presents Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, who penned the acclaimed 2010 indie hit "The Kids Are All Right," Wednesday evening at Ca'Brea Restaurant. http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=902
— Susan King
Photo: Humphrey Bogart and Robert Blake in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Credit: Courtesy of LACMA.