Around Town: Revival houses honor Leslie Nielsen, the Oscar nominees and sex on the big screen
The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre is paying homage to Leslie Nielsen, who died in November at the age of 84. A serious dramatic actor for many years, he became much more widely known for his comedic persona after his turn in the 1980 hit "Airplane!" He rarely appeared on a talk show or showed up for an in-person interview without his whoopee cushion.
Screening Friday is the 1956 sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet," in which Nielsen plays the captain of a spaceship searching for missing members of an expedition. David Zucker, one of the directors of "Airplane!" as well as the successful "Naked Gun" comedies, will be on hand Saturday to reminisce about Nielsen and screen "Airplane!," as well as 1988's "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!"
A number of special Oscar screenings and seminars are happening around town over the next few days leading up to the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday. On Friday, the nominees in the live action and animated shorts categories will screen at the Egyptian's intimate Spielberg Theater.
On Saturday evening the Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica will screen 1966's "A Man for All Seasons," which won six Oscars including best picture. http://www.americancinematheque.com
At the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, animation historian Tom Sito will host the Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature Symposium on Thursday evening. The event honors the three films nominated in this category this year: "How to Train Your Dragon," "The Illusionist" and "Toy Story 3." Some filmmakers will be on hand, schedule permitting.
On Saturday morning, Foreign Language Film Award committee chair Mark Johnson hosts the Foreign Language Film Award Symposium. The two-hour event features clips from each of the nominated films and conversation with filmmakers, schedules permitting. Later in the afternoon, makeup artists and hairstylists branch governor Leonard Engelman hosts a symposium touting the achievements of the three makeup nominees, who will discuss their creative processes and achievements, schedules permitting.
All of the seminars are closed, but there will be standby lines on the day of the events. http://www.oscars.org
The New Beverly Cinema celebrates Oscar on Friday and Saturday with screenings of 1951's "The African Queen," for which Humphrey Bogart won his only Oscar. Katharine Hepburn also stars in this John Huston classic. Screening with "Queen" is the 1955 Bogie thriller "The Desperate Hours," directed by William Wyler. http://www.newbevcinema.com
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Jane Fonda retrospective concludes Saturday with two Academy Award-winning films. The early screening is 1981's "On Golden Pond," for which her father Henry Fonda and his co-star Hepburn won Oscars. (Fonda earned a supporting nomination as their daughter.) The evening screening is Fred Zinnemann's haunting 1977 film "Julia," starring Fonda in her Oscar-nominated turn as playwright Lillian Hellman and Vanessa Redgrave in her Academy Award-winning supporting role as her childhood friend. Jason Robards also won the supporting Oscar as Hellman's lover, novelist Dashiell Hammett.
On Friday evening, LACMA serves up the "2010 British Television Advertising Awards." The selection was chosen by international ad executives and producers. http://www.lacma.org
The UCLA Film and Television Archive's "Archive Treasures" series Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater features two rare TV pilots written and produced by Joseph Stefano, who penned the screenplay for "Psycho" and was the man behind "The Outer Limits": 1965's "The Haunted," which he also directed, and 1964's "The Unknown." His widow, Marilyn Stefano, and "The Outer Limits Companion" author David J. Schow will be on hand.
UCLA also concludes its monthlong celebration of Iranian cinema this weekend. On tap for Sunday is a screening of Vahid Vakilifar's 2010 feature "Gesher"; the 2010 anthology "Tehran Tehran" will screen Monday evening at the Billy Wilder. Director Mehdi Karampour will appear in person. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The Cinefamily's "Vive L' Amour" series concludes Thursday evening at the Silent Movie Theatre with a screening of Jean Eustache's 1973 masterwork, "The Mother and the Whore," with Jean-Pierre Leaud, Bernadette Lafont and Francoise Lebrun. Also coming to a close is Cinefamily's "When Indies Rocked" series Friday evening with Neil LaBute's savage 1997 drama "In the Company of Men," as well as Carl Franklin's acclaimed 1992 thriller, "One False Move," which was penned by Billy Bob Thornton. Star Bill Paxton will introduce the film.
Cinefamily's late show Saturday evening is the low-budget, sci-fi horror thriller "Rat Scratch Fever," directed by Jeff Leroy, who will appear in person with his cast. http://www.cinefamily.org
In conjunction with the opening Friday of Philippe Diaz's "Now & Later," Cinema Libre Studios will be offering the retrospective "Unrated: A Week of Sex in Cinema" at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood. The adults-only festival opens Friday with Kirby Dick's 2006 documentary, "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," followed Saturday with Rick Castro and Bruce La Bruce's 1996 drama, "Hustler White." On tap for Sunday is Chyng Sun's 2010 documentary "The Price of Pleasure," with Lars von Trier's controversial 2009 drama "Antichrist" screening Tuesday and Jean-Jacques Beineix's 1986 Oscar-nominated erotic drama "Betty Blue" set for Wednesday. http://www.cinemalibrestudio.com
The Nuart's Friday midnight offering is a new, 35mm print of the film that spawned the Broadway show "Spamalot" -- 1975's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." http://www.landmarktheatres.com
The Skirball's free March matinee series,"Women on the Verge," kicks off Tuesday with Paul Mazursky's 1978 comedy-drama "An Unmarried Woman," starring Jill Clayburgh in her Oscar-nominated role as a divorced wife and mother trying to find herself. http://www.skirball.org
Photo: Leslie Nielsen in "Airplane!" Credit: Fox.