Around Town: Radley Metzger's erotica, Tim Burton's exotica, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock and more
In the 1960s and '70s, independent American filmmaker Radley Metzger caused a firestorm of controversy with his art house erotic films such as 1968's "Therese and Isabelle." The UCLA Film & Television Archive is celebrating this pioneering director with the two-week festival "Smooth Operator: The Opulent Eroticism of Radley Metzger," opening Thursday at the Billy Wilder Theater with the digitally restored extended version of his romantic drama "The Lickerish Quartet." Metzger will appear in person.
He is also scheduled to appear at Friday's free screening at the Wilder of the digitally restored extended version of his 1969 film "Camille 2000," based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas. On tap for Monday is his best-known film, "Therese and Isabelle," about girls at a private school who have an affair.
Saturday afternoon at the Wilder, the UCLA Festival of New Creative Work presents "Out of the Archive," which spotlights recent work to emerge from the Moving Image Archive Studies degree program at UCLA. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The American Cinematheque's "Suspense Account: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock" continues at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. On tap for Thursday evening is the director's 1938 thriller "The Lady Vanishes" with Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood, and his 1956 film "The Wrong Man," which centers on a jazz musician (Henry Fonda) wrongly accused of murder. Friday's offerings are two classics Hitchcock made with Jimmy Stewart -- 1954's "Rear Window" and 1956's "The Man Who Knew Too Much." Scheduled for Saturday are his 1945 romantic thriller "Spellbound" with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, and 1942's "Saboteur," with Robert Cummings. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint headline one of Hitch's most popular films, 1959's "North By Northwest," which screens Sunday with "Frenzy," the 1972 serial killer thriller that marked the filmmaker's return to England after several years away.
Screening Sunday at the Aero is the 25th anniversary presentation of the animated "The Transformers: The Movie," which features the voices of Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy and Casey Kasem. http://www.americancinematheque.com
LACMA's "The Fantastical World of Tim Burton" retrospective continues Friday evening with a screening of his offbeat 1988 hit, "Beetlejuice," which marked the director's first pairing with Michael Keaton. Costar Catherine O'Hara will be on hand to talk about the experience of making the film. Also screening that evening is Burton's 2005 stop-motion animated film, "Corpse Bride," which he co-directed with Mike Johnson. Screening at 5 p.m. on Saturday is his 1996 sci-fi extravaganza "Mars Attacks!" followed at 7:30 p.m. with his first feature, 1985's "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," with Paul Reubens. Also screening is Burton's 1984 short, "Frankenweenie." Burton's 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes" will screen Tuesday afternoon. http://www.lacma.org
The 3rd Annual Vampire-Con Film Festival kicks off Friday at the New Beverly Cinema with 1985's "Fright Night" with Chris Sarandon and 1988's "Vampire's Kiss" starring Nicolas Cage. On tap for Saturday is 1972's "Blacula," starring William Marshall and Vonetta McGee, and the 1973 sequel, "Scream Blacula Scream," with Marshall and Pam Grier. http://newbevcinema.com
The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is also getting into the vampire act with its Erotique Fantastique Masquerade Ball Thursday evening. French director Jean Rollin's 1968 "Rape of the Vampire" will screen accompanied by a live score by Anworth Kirk and Demdike Stare. Rollin is also the subject of a tribute on Friday with screenings of his 1970 film "Shiver of the Vampires" and 1973's "Requiem for a Vampire."
Cinefamily switches gears Saturday with "The Short History of Skate Shorts" and the 1989 skateboard movie, "Gleaming the Cube." Screenwriter Michael Tolkin is scheduled to appear. And Sunday's offering is Bernardo Bertolucci's erotic classic "Last Tango in Paris," which was released here in 1973, with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. http://www.cinefamily.org
The Echo Park Film Center presents "Firewall of Sound," a documentary on how the Internet both saved and destroyed the music industry. Filmmaker Devin DiMattia will be in attendance at the screening Thursday evening. http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org
The Nuart's midnight movie Friday evening is a restored 35 mm print of Martin Scorsese's 1976 masterwork, "Taxi Diver," for which Robert De Niro earned his first lead actor Oscar nomination. http://www.landmarktheatres.com
Cinespia presents the 1971 off-beat romantic comedy "Harold and Maude," starring Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon, Saturday evening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. http://www.cinespia.org/calendar
Hollywood Heritage celebrates the release of Mary Mallory's new book, "Hollywoodland," a visual history of the famous neighborhood Sunday evening at the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Mallory will offer a Power Point presentation of highlights from her book, as well as clips from films shot in the area. On Wednesday, former child actress Jane Withers, best known to baby boomers as Comet commercial character Josephine the Plumber, will celebrate her birthday at the museum with a retrospective of her long career. http://www.hollywoodheritage.org
The LA Filmforum presents "Sharing Some Sharits: Classic Films By Paul Sharits," Sunday at the Echo Park Film Center. Among the films to be screened include 1966's "Ray Gun Virus" and 1973's "Axiomatic Granularity." On Wednesday at EPFC, the Filmforum presents "My Dinner With Generation X," a road movie documentary from filmmaker Brian Stockton, who will appear at the program. http://www.lafilmforum.org
L.A. Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats festival presents the 1935 swashbuckler "Captain Blood" Wednesday evening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The action-adventure made Errol Flynn a superstar. Film historian Alan K. Rode hosts the evening, which will feature vintage Warner Bros. cartoons and a display of the original theatrical drape from "The Jazz Singer." http://www.laconservancy.org
The Aero Theatre kicks off its "Good Food Festival Film Series: Celebrating 30 Years of the Santa Monica Farmers Market" Wednesday evening with a screening of the documentary short "Big River" and the feature-length documentary "The Greenhorns." http://www.americancinematheque.com
-- Susan King
Photo: Radley Metzger. Credit: Magda (1997)