Around Town: Salutes to Bunuel and the hero of 'Hugo,' Melies
The Aero Theatre kicks off the American Cinematheque’s “Curse and Kink: A Luis Bunuel Retrospective” on Thursday evening with his seminal 1930 surreal short film “L’Age D’or” — this is the film in which they slice an eyeball with a razor blade — and the 1950 docudrama “The Young and the Damned.”
Scheduled for Friday at the Aero is Bunuel’s 1967 French classic, “Belle de Jour,” starring Catherine Deneuve as a housewife who becomes a prostitute, and the filmmaker’s 1964 drama, “Diary of a Chambermaid,” with Jeanne Moreau. Saturday’s offerings are two from Mexico: 1962’s “The Exterminating Angel” and 1959’s “The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de La Cruz."
The festival moves to the Egyptian Sunday evening with Bunuel's French 1973 foreign-language Oscar winner, “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” and the 1961 Spanish drama “Viridiana.”
The Aero celebrates the works of French film pioneer Georges Melies, who is the subject of Martin Scorsese’s’ “Hugo,” early Sunday evening with a program of his shorts, including 1903s “The Cake-Walk Infernal,” 1900’s “Joan of Arc” and 1900’s How He Missed His Train.”
Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (“Ed Wood”) presents a rare screening of “Last Summer,” Frank Perry’s controversial 1969 drama about four teenagers who bond while on Fire Island, Thursday evening at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre. Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison, Richard Thomas and Catherine Burns, who earned an Oscar nomination, star in this drama that was originally rated X (it's been trimmed back to an R). Hershey will participate in a question-and-answer session after the screening.
The Egyptian is breaking through to the other side Friday evening with the 2011 documentary “The Doors Mr. Mojo Risin’: The Story of L.A. Woman.” DJ Jim Ladd and others will talk about the film after the screening.
Mel Gibson will be on hand at the sold-out screenings Saturday evening at the Egyptian of the “Mad Max” trilogy directed by George Miller: 1979’s “Mad Max,” 1981’s “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” and 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” Gibson will chat after the first film.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian kicks off its tribute to the maverick British film director Ken Russell, who died last year, with his audacious 1970 Tchaikovsky biopic, “The Music Lovers,” with Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson. http://www.americancinematheque.com
On tap for Sunday and Monday is William Wyler’s 1958 western epic, “The Big Country,” starring Gregory Peck, Carroll Baker, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives, who earned a supporting Oscar. Scheduled for Wednesday are new 35-millimeter prints of two gentle comedies from Eric Rohmer: 1986’s “Summer” and 1987s “4 Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle.” http://www.newbevcinema.com
Film Independent at LACMA features Jason Reitman’s latest “Live Read,” of "Shampoo," on Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater. The event is sold out, but there will be a stand-by line.
Film Independent kicks off a two-day series Saturday: “Contested Visions in Latin America Through Film,” which is hosted by Edward James Olmos. The screenings are free, but you must reserve tickets. The two-day event will include feature films on Saturday and short films on Sunday. And Tuesday’s matinee is John Huston’s quirky 1954 caper film, “Beat the Devil,” co-written by Truman Capote, starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones and Gina Lollobrigida. http://www.lacma.org
“Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing” continues Saturday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater with the 1933 drama “The Power and the Glory,” which features an early screenplay by Preston Sturges, and the 1936 socially conscious film “Fury,” directed by Fritz Lang. Sunday’s offering are two classics from 1936: the big, brassy melodrama “San Francisco,” for which Tracy earned his first Oscar nomination as a priest, and the screwball comedy “Libeled Lady,” which pairs Tracy with Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy and William Powell.
Scheduled for Wednesday is the free program “Remembering Marilyn Monroe,” which features the 1966 Terry Sanders’ documentary, “The Legend of Marilyn Monroe,” and a selection of Hearst Movietone newsreels of the legendary sex symbol. Sanders and Susan Bernard, author of “Marilyn: Intimate Exposures,” will be on hand.
The Archive’s Wednesday program at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles is Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed 1957 World War I drama, “Paths of Glory,” with Kirk Douglas. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu
The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre screens Jean-Luc Godard’s latest production, “Film Socialisme,” Friday through Wednesday, paired with several of his early classics, including his seminal 1960 film, “Breathless.”
Late Friday evening, Cinefamily presents the 1986 thriller “Crawlspace,” starring Klaus Kinski. Director David Schmoeller will participate in a Q&A after the movie.
On Tuesday, Cinefamily welcomes sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison on Tuesday. He'll chat about his love/hate relationship with television and screen some of the episodes he wrote for such series as “The Outer Limits” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” http://www.cinefamily.org
Photo: "Belle de Jour" screens at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Credit: Agence France-Presse.