Around Town: 'Rum Diary' kicks off LACMA film series
The Los Angeles County Art Museum’s new screening program, Film Independent at LACMA, gets off to a big splash Thursday night at the Leo S. Bing Theatre with the world premiere of “The Rum Diary.” Based on gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s novel , it stars Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart. Depp, director Bruce Robinson (“Withnail & I”), Heard and Eckhart will be walking the red carpet.
On Tuesday evening, new curator Elvis Mitchell welcomes "How I Met Your Mother's" Josh Radnor for a screening of Charlie Chaplin's brilliant 1936 comedy "Modern Times," which was his last silent film.
LACMA’s Tuesday matinee is serving up Stanley Kramer’s 1967 romantic drama “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy in his last film role, and Katharine Hepburn in her Oscar-winning turn. http://www.lacma.org
The seventh annual LA Femme International Festival 2011 kicks off Thursday evening and continues through Oct. 16 at the Renberg Theatre in Hollywood. The festival is dedicated to both celebrating and empowering female actresses, producers, directors and writers. The festival features over 100 films including indie features, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials and seminars. Among those women being honored are “Kung Fu Panda 2” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and “Monster” director Patty Jenkins. Movies in competition include the documentary “Fast Talk” by Debra Tolchinsky and “Dangerously Close,” a short by Montana Mann. http://www.lafemme.org.
The Arab Film Festival opens Thursday and continues through Oct. 23 at the Writers Guild of America Theatre in Beverly Hills. Among the films scheduled are features such as “Egyptian Maidens,” “Here Comes the Rain” and “Flowers of Evil,” and documentaries “Grandma, A Thousand Times” and “Cultures of Resistance.” http://www.arabfilmfestival.org.
The 12th annual Polish Film Festival Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset 5 continues through Oct. 20. Among the films scheduled is the feature “Mystery Place” and documentaries “Paths to Glory” and “What Can Dead Prisoners Do?” http://www.polishfilmla.org/
UCLA Film & Television Archive's ambitious “L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema” series enters its second week Thursday evening at the Billy Wilder Theatre with the 2007 director’s cut of Charles Burnett’s 1983 drama, “My Brother’s Wedding” and Robert Wheaton’s 1986 short, “A Little Off the Mark.” Wheaton will appear in person. Friday’s offering is a new print of Jamaa Fanaka’s 1979 prison drama “Penitentiary,” with Leon Issac Kennedy, and his 1972 short, “A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan.” Fanaka will be in attendance.
The archive also launches a new retrospective Saturday at the Wilder, “Days of Glory: Masterworks of Italian-Realism.” Robert Rossellini’s influential 1945 drama, "Rome, Open City," which was shot when the Germans still occupied northern Italy, opens the festival, along with Luchino Visconti’s 1945 documentary, “Days of Glory.” Scheduled for Sunday evening is Visconti’s 1943 erotic romance, “Ossessione,” loosely based on James M. Cain’s “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” Two of Vittorio de Sica’s masterworks: 1948’s “Bicycle Thieves,” which received an honorary Oscar, and 1946’s “Shoeshine” are on tap for Monday.
And the archive’s Oct. 19 double bill at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown L.A. is the 1969 counterculture classic “Easy Rider,” starring Peter Fonda; Dennis Hopper, who also directed; and Jack Nicholson, who earned his first Oscar nomination for his role as a drunken Southern attorney. Also screening is Monte Hellman’s cult road movie, 1971’s “Two-Lane Blacktop." http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre presents a sneak of the new film “The Catechism Cataclysm,” Thursday evening. Director Todd Rohal and star Steve Little will appear in person. A selection of silent film comedy shorts are set for Friday evening, including the 1928 Laurel and Hardy short, “Two Tars” and Buster Keaton’s 1921 “The Goat.” John Waters will be on hand Saturday evening at the Aero for a double bill of 1974’s outrageously fun "Female Trouble” with Divine and 1994’s “Serial Mom” with Kathleen Turner. http://www.americancinematheque.com
Creature Features is presenting a reunion screening of John Carpenter’s 1982 version of “The Thing” Thursday evening -- the day before the new version is released -- at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood. Confirmed guests include producer David Foster and matt photographer Bill Taylor. There will also be props, production artwork and memorabilia on display from both the 1982 and the original 1951 versions. http:///www.creaturefeatures.com
Cinefamily at Silent Movie Theatre screens the original 1985 “Fright Night” Thursday evening in a brand new print. The film will screen again later in the evening, this time with Doug Benson and his friends waxing comedic from the front row of the theater. On Saturday filmmaker writer/director Larry Cohen will be on hand for discussion during a screening of his film “The Stuff.” A Cohen triple bill -- “The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover,” “It’s Alive” and “Q” –- is set for Sunday evening. http://www.cinefamily.org
Downtown Independent’s monthly drink-along and beer pong film series screens Tim Burton’s 1985 “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and 1988’s “Beetlejuice” Friday evening. http://www.downtownindependent.com
Screamfest 2011 visits Grauman’s Chinese Theatre 6 beginning Friday and continuing through Oct. 23. Rose McGowan stars in the opening night horror flick, “Rosewood Lane.” Other fright films include “The Tunnel” and “Some Guy Who Kills People.” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 shocker “Psycho” is also included in the lineup. http://www.screamfestla.com
REDCAT presents “Werner Schroeter/Elfi Mikesch: A Voice That Lingers” Friday and Saturday evenings. The late Schroeter made some 20 films as part of the New German Cinema movement. The two-night retrospective features the debut of the documentary “Mondo Lux -- The Visual Worlds of Werner Schroeter” as well his 1972 film, “The Death of Maria Malibran.”
On Monday, REDCAT presents Jane Geiser’s latest experimental films including 2007’s “Ghost Algebra,” 2011’s “Ricky” and 2010’s “The Floor of the World.” http://www.redcat.org
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is celebrating Home Movie Weekend on Saturday and Sunday at the Linwood Dunn Theater. The official Home Movie Day event starts Saturday at noon and continues through 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and share their home movies in front of an audience. Author and pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix will host the event.
Later that evening, the Academy presents “Home Movies III: Treasures from the Academy Film Archive," which features 16mm home movies including footage of Marilyn Monroe, Joan Blondell, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn and Harold Lloyd. Other offerings include footage of a 1938 Shriners Convention and recently discovered behind-the-scenes footage of “Gone With the Wind.”
On tap for Sunday evening is “Amateur Night: Home Movies from the American Archive,” which features a program of 16 amateur films culled from collections and the American film archives, including two from the Academy Film Archive.
The Academy’s 2011-2012 Contemporary Documentaries series continues Wednesday at the Linwood Dunn with the Oscar-winning short subject “Strangers No More” and the feature length “Precious Life.” http://www.oscars.org/
Cinespia opens the gates of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday evening for Tobe Hooper's 1982 ghost chiller, "Poltergeist." http://www.cinespia.org
The New Beverly Cinema presents the restored 1942 British war film, “Went the Day Well?” directed by Alberto Cavalcanti (“Dead of Night”) Friday through Wednesday evenings. There will be a double bill with “Went” Monday through Wednesday. Screening Monday is Carol Reed’s 1948 classic “The Fallen Idol” with Ralph Richardson; the 1947 British gangster film “Brighton Rock” on Tuesday and Carol Reed’s 1949 thriller, “The Third Man” on Wednesday. http://www.newbevcinema.com.
The Arclight Cinemas are presenting a series of vintage movie musicals in honor of the release of the new version of “Footloose.” Screening Monday at the Arclight Hollywood is Ken Russell’s mind-blowing 1975 “Tommy,” based on the rock opera by the Who. http://www.arclightcinemas.com
-- Susan King
Photo: Amber Heard, Johnny Deep in "The Rum Diary." Credit: Peter Mountain/FilmDistrict