Around Town: Ernie Kovacs, Joe Dante and 'Thelma & Louise'
A tribute to a late comic genius, a 20th anniversary of an Oscar-winning hit, and appearances from directors Joe Dante and Ron Shelton are among the cinematic highlights this weekend.
"In Kovacsland: Tribute to Ernie Kovacs," Saturday evening at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre, examines the work of the the innovative comic, who died in a car crash in 1962. During the 1950s and early '60s, Kovacs transformed TV comedy with his surreal camera tricks and crazy characters such as Percy Dovetonsils and the Nairobi Trio. Among those discussing Kovacs are Jeff Garlin, Harry Shearer and George and Jolene Brand Schlatter.
Over at the Cinematheque's Aero Theatre, director Joe Dante will discuss his work Thursday evening in between screenings of his films 1989's "The 'Burbs" and 1993's "Matinee." And on Friday, writer-director Ron Shelton will appear at the screenings of two of his sports comedies starring Kevin Costner: 1988's baseball romance "Bull Durham" and 1996's golf-featured "Tin Cup." http://www.americancinematheque.com
The Egyptian Theatre offers the L.A. premiere of the drama "The Casserole Club" Thursday evening. The cast and crew, including director Steve Balderson, will discuss the film.
All Hallow's Eve is coming early to the Egyptian on Friday evening with a "Halloween" triple bill: John Carpenter's 1978 "Halloween" with Jamie Lee Curtis; 1981's "Halloween II," directed by Rick Rhodes, also starring Curtis, and Tommy Lee Wallace's 1982 "Halloween III: Season of the Witch."
The Cinematheque's "The Fantastical World of Frantisek Vlacil" concludes Wednesday at the Egyptian with 1977' "Shadows of a Hot Summer."
The Aero also pays tribute to the always interesting and sometimes volatile Gerard Depardieu, beginning Saturday with the new comedy "My Afternoons With Margueritte," which opens next month. Depardieu earned a lead actor Oscar nomination as the lovesick long-nosed poet in 1990's "Cyrano de Bergerac," screening Sunday. The mini-festival concludes Wednesday with Andrzej Wajda's 1983 drama "Danton." http://www.americancinematheque.com
The Don't Knock the Rock Festival at the Cinefamily's Silent Movie Theatre presents the documentary "Family Band: The Cowsills Story," a look at the real-life model for "The Partridge Family," Thursday evening. Bob and Paul Cowsill will also perform. On tap for Friday is a free screening — you must pre-register for the first-come-first-serve admission — of the award-winning French biopic "Gainsbough: A Heroic Life." More Serge Gainsbourgh follows Saturday with "Gainsbourg and His Girls." Scheduled for Saturday evening is "All-Nite Dolly Parton 9-to-5'er," which features the Dolly Parton flicks "9 to 5," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Rhinestone." And on Wednesday evening Doug Benson and his funny friends will say whatever pops in their minds during the screening of "X-Men: First Class." http://www.cinefamily.org
Kevin Smith's "Red State" concludes its Academy qualifying engagement Thursday at the New Beverly, followed Friday and Saturday with a Michael Hanke double bill: 2005's "Cache" and the 2009 best foreign language film Oscar nominee "The White Ribbon." The Saturday-night midnight show is Sam Raimi's underrated 2009 "Drag Me to Hell." Sunday and Monday's offerings are Stuart Gordon's H.P. Lovecraft adaptation' "Re-Animator" (1985) and "From Beyond" (1988). Scheduled for Wednesday are the 20th-anniversary screenings of Todd Haynes' "Poison" and Gus Van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho," with River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. http://www.newbevcinema.com
The UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Harlow Before the Code" festival features the 1931 comedy "Goldie," with Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy, Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theatre, along with Victor Fleming's 1933 comedy "Bombshell," with Harlow and Lee Tracy. The festival concludes Saturday evening with the 1932 rarity "Three Wise Girls." Also concluding Sunday evening is the "Perpetual Motion: The Cinema of Nicolas Pereda" festival with 2009's "All Things Were Now Overtaken By Silence." http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
Filipino video artist Merv Espina is in residence at the Echo Park Film Center until Feb. 7. And on Thursday, the center will feature his past works and works of Asian cinema that have inspired him. Espina will be appearing. http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org
Cinespia is presenting Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror classic "Psycho," which screens Saturday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. http://www.cinespia.org
Devil's Night Drive-In Saturday evening in downtown Los Angeles presents the 1989 cult comedy "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. http://www.devilsnightdrivein.com
Over at the Hollywood Recreation Center Saturday evening, the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest Summer 2011 presents the hit 2008 musical comedy "Mamma Mia!" with Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Colin Firth. http://www.outdoorcinemafoodfest.com
Joelle Arqueros, Todd Lampe and ErinRose Widner directed the new documentary "The Way He Makes Them Feel: The Michael Jackson Fan Documentary," screening Monday evening at the Downtown Independent. There will also be live music and a filmmaker Q&A. http://www.downtownindependent.com
— Susan King
Photo: Edie Adams and Ernic Kovacs.