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Around Town: Love, romance and a conversation with Jane Fonda

February 10, 2011 |  5:00 am

The American Cinematheque is getting in the Valentine's Day spirit this weekend with its Romancing the Screen festival at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres. Opening the celebration of love at the Egyptian Thursday evening is Hal Ashby's quirky 1971 romance "Harold and Maude," starring Bud Cort as a suicidal young man who finds a romantic connection with eightysomething Ruth Gordon.

Screening Friday at the Aero is Rob Reiner's delightful 1987 romantic fantasy, "The Princess Bride," with Robin Wright, Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin, and Nick Cassavetes' 2004 four-hankie weepie, "The Notebook," with Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner and Gena Rowlands.

Humphrey Bogart, in his Oscar-winning performance, and Katharine Hepburn made an unlikely love match in the 1951 John Huston adventure, "The African Queen," screening Saturday at the Egyptian along with the 1953 Oscar-winning drama, "From Here to Eternity," which features that uber-erotic embrace between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach. Over at the Aero, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh have a few hot and heavy scenes -- at least by 1939 standards -- when the epic Oscar-winner "Gone With the Wind" screens.

Donizetti's charming opera, "The Elixir of Love," screens Sunday afternoon at the Egyptian, followed by the immortal 1965 love story "Doctor Zhivago" directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif as the good doctor and Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin as the women in his life. The Aero Theatre plays the 1942 classic "Casablanca" Sunday as well as Billy Wilder's picture-perfect 1944 film noir "Double Indemnity" starring Barbara Stanwyck as the ultimate femme fatale and Fred MacMurray as the insurance salesman she wraps around her finger.

The festival concludes Monday at the Aero with Blake Edwards' 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," with the always wonderful Audrey Hepburn as free-spirit Holly Golightly and George Peppard as the writer with whom she finds love. http://www.americancinematheque.com

Not to be outdone, the Cinefamily's Vive L'Amour celebration at the Silent Movie Theatre continues Thursday evening with Francois Truffaut's landmark 1962 romantic drama "Jules et Jim," and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 hit, "Amelie," starring Audrey Tautou. On tap for Saturday evening is one of Erich Rohmer's six "Moral Tales" -- 1972's "Chloe in the Afternoon."

The ArcLight Cinemas are also in a romantic mood -- sort of -- this weekend with its Valentine/Anti-Valentine Celebration. Screening at the Beach Cities theater Sunday and Monday is James Cameron's  Oscar-winning blockbuster "Titantic," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as star-crossed lovers. The Beach Cities theater also features Ed Zwick's 1994 film, "Legends of the Fall," starring Brad Pitt.

Over at the Sherman Oaks cinemas Sunday and Monday evening is the 2009 indie hit "(500) Days of Summer," about a romance that goes awry. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The Notebook" arrive Sunday and Monday at the ArcLight Pasadena, while "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" visits the Hollywood multiplex Sunday and Monday, along with 2006 Irish favorite "Once."

ArcLight Sherman Oaks is offering a free screening Monday, Valentine's Day, of the upcoming romantic comedy "Take Me Home Tonight," which opens March 4. For more information on how to get tickets, go to http://www.arclightcinemas.com.

As Jane Fonda appears in her Tony-nominated role in "33 Variations" at the Ahmanson Theatre, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art pays tribute to the film work of the two-time Oscar-winning actress. Screening Friday evening is Sydney Pollock's riveting 1969 Depression-tale "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" for which she received her first best actress Oscar nomination, and 1979's "The China Syndrome," a cautionary tale about a leak at a nuclear power plant that also earned her a nomination.

Screening Saturday at 5 p.m. is the kicky erotic 1968 sci-fi fantasy, "Barbarella," directed by her first husband, Roger Vadim. Later that evening, LACMA will screen the poignant 1978 drama "Coming Home," for which she won her second best actress Oscar as a conservative Marine's (Bruce Dern) wife who falls in love with a Vietnam Vet paraplegic (Jon Voight, in his Oscar-winning turn).

Fonda will appear in person at LACMA on Monday to talk with The Times' film critic Kenneth Turan about her 50-year-plus career followed by a screening of 1971's "Klute," for which she received her first Oscar as a New York call girl. http://www.lacma.org

UCLA Film and Television Archive continues its annual celebration of Iranian Cinema on Saturday with Masud Kimiai's 1969 drama, "Qaisar," and Mahmood Rahmani's 2009 film, "Molf-E Gand." Scheduled for Sunday are two U.S. documentaries: 1925's "Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life," directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison, followed by Albert Lamorisse's 1978 documentary, "The Lovers' Wind," which was commissioned by the prerevolutionary Iranian government.

UCLA Film and Television Archive makes the rainbow connection Sunday morning at the Billy Wilder Theatre with a free screening of 1979's "The Muppet Movie," starring Kermit, Miss Piggy and the furry gang of cuties. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

New Beverly Cinema offers two splendid film noirs from 1942 starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake Thursday evening: "This Gun for Hire" and "The Glass Key." "Inspector Bellamy," the swan song of the late director Claude Chabrol, and Claire Denis' latest film, "White Material," are on tap for Friday and Saturday at the revival theater. Scheduled for Sunday-Tuesday is Baz Lurhmann's colorful 2001 musical  "Moulin Rouge!" starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, and Sofia Coppola's 2006 take on "Marie Antoinette," starring Kirsten Dunst. http://newbevcinema.com

"Circles and Spinning Wheels" Thursday evening at the Echo Park Film Center will feature video works collected by artist Melody Owen that highlight curves and planes of circles. On Saturday, the Echo Park Film Center kicks off a new monthly screening series and cine club that will highlight emerging trends in international cinema. The festival opens Saturday with Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio's "Alamar." http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org

Also on Thursday, Chapman University in Orange screens the newly restored version of Fritz Lang's 1927 masterwork, "Metropolis." Jan-Christopher Horak, head of the UCLA Film and Television Archive, will introduce the film. http://ftv.chapman.edu/about/event_calendar/the_complete_metropolis_screening/

It was back on Feb. 11, 1964, that the Beatles performed their first U.S. concert at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C. Now 47 years to the day, the Egyptian Theatre on Friday will screen the broadcast of that concert, which hasn't been seen since March 1964. Host Domenic Priore will discuss the concert with rock archivist Ron Furmanek and documentarian Alan Boyd. http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Autry National Center is presenting a free screening Saturday afternoon of John Ford's 1956 western, "The Searchers," starring John Wayne, Natalie Wood and Jeffrey Hunter at the Wells Fargo Theater. http://www.theautry.org

The Fourth African American Shortfest opens early Saturday evening at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. The fest will feature works by emerging directors, writers and animators. http://www.hollywoodshorts.com

If you are in the mood for a drive-in movie, the offbeat "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" screens Saturday evening at the Devil's Night Drive-In at 240 W. 4th Street in downtown Los Angeles. http://www.devilsnight.com

The Club Foot Orchestra will perform live accompaniment Sunday evening at the Steve Allen Theater for Buster Keaton's clever 1924 comedy short "Sherlock Jr." and F.W. Murnau's expressionistic horror film, 1922's "Nosferatu." http://stevenallentheater.com

-- Susan King

Photo: "The Notebook" Credit: New Line Cinema

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