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Around town: Special weekend film screenings

September 30, 2010 |  9:15 am

Blake Edwards was the guiding force on such comedic classics as 1959’s “Operation Petticoat” and 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” not to mention the “Pink Panther” films with Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. On Thursday, Edwards will be on hand to talk about his career at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater. A screening of “S.O.B.” -- his 1981 Hollywood satire starring Edwards’ wife, Julie Andrews, and William Holden in his final film -- will follow the discussion. www.oscars.org.

The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre is throwing a 70th birthday party this weekend for the late, great John Lennon. The festivities start Thursday with the L.A. premiere of “Nowhere Boy,” a poignant retelling of Lennon’s teenage years. On tap for Friday are some rare documentaries: 1964’s “What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA,” 1976’s “Mighty Good! The Beatles” and 2002’s “Things They Said Today: Reflections on A Hard Day’s Night.”

Beatles historian Martin Lewis will introduce Saturday’s screenings of the 1965 Beatles classic “Help!” as well as 2000’s “Two of Us,” Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s dramatization of the last encounter between Lennon and Paul McCartney. The party ends Sunday with the 1988 documentary “Imagine: John Lennon” and 2006’s “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.” www.americancinematheque.com

The Los Angeles Irish Film Festival dances over to the Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre on Friday evening with the West Coast premiere of the coming-of-age drama “My Brothers” and the U.S. premiere of 2009’s “Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne.” Both films' directors, Paul Fraser and Conor McDermottroe, will discuss their work. The festival continues through Sunday. www.lairishfilm.com

UCLA Film and Television Archive offers “Paint it Black: Revisiting Blaxploitation and African American Cinema of the 1970s” at the Billy Wilder Theatre beginning Friday with 1972’s “Superfly,” which stars Ron O’Neal as a charismatic drug dealer trying to get out of the trade. Marvin Van Peebles' 1971 seminal drama about the radicalization of a hustler, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” will complete the night’s double bill.

Diahann Carroll earned a best actress nomination for her tough, tender turn in 1974’s “Claudine,” screening Saturday, as a working class single woman with five children. James Earl Jones plays the garbage collector who loves her. Also screening is Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1975 teen romance, “Aaron Loves Angela,” starring Kevin Hooks and Irene Cara. www.cinema.ucla.edu

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art spotlights the films of contemporary Italian director Marco Bellocchio (“Vincere”) commencing Friday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater with his first feature, 1965’s “Fists in the Pocket,” a drama about an epileptic teen who plots to kill his parents. Following is 1968’s satire “China Is Near.” Scheduled for Saturday is Bellocchio’s adults-only 1987 romantic drama, “The Devil in the Flesh,” with Maruschka Detmers. Following is 1999’s “La Balia” (“The Nanny”). www.lacma.org.

Thomas Jane from HBO’s “Hung” is the host of the 3D Film Festival, which begins Thursday evening and continues through Sunday at the theater at the Los Angeles Film School, which is the sponsor. The festival features a mixture of studio 3D films as well as indie shorts and features.

The festival opens with the U.S. premiere of “Streetdance 3D,” starring Charlotte Rampling and Rachel McDowell. Jane’s 3D film, “Dark Country,” in which he also stars, screens Saturday. Several of the films have already been released, including “Despicable Me” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” The festival concludes Sunday with Joe Dante’s “The Hole,” which was named best 3D film last year at the Venice Film Festival. www.3dff.org

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre explores “Stephen King: Adapting the Master” beginning Friday with a new 35-millimeter print of 1983’s “Christine,” a chiller directed by John Carpenter about a car with a mind of its own. Stars Keith Gordon and Alexandra Paul will participate in a Q&A after the screening. “Christine” will be followed by Brian De Palma’s seminal 1976 adaptation of “Carrie” starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie in their Oscar-nominated turns, as well as a young John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Amy Irving.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a “Dollar Babies Mini Fest” of King adaptations. Back in 1977, King began to grant student filmmakers the right to make a movie out of any of his short stories as long as the film rights were his to assign. For this one-time right, King charges a cool $1. Frank Darabont’s first King adaptation was a “dollar baby.” www.cinefamily.org

Bob Heiber, vice president audio at Chace Audio by Deluxe, will be discussing “Motion Picture Sound Preservation and Restoration in the Digital Age” on Monday evening at the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theatre. www.cinema.ucla.edu

Animation historian Jerry Beck presents a “Cartoon Monster Mash” Tuesday at the Silent Movie Theatre. The Halloween-theme cartoon showcase will feature clips from “The Groovie Goolies,” “Milton the Monster” and “King Kong” and a rare screening of Disney’s “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” www.cinefamily.org

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre gets in the Halloween spirit beginning Wednesday evening with its “Oh, the Horror!” monthlong monster chiller horror festival. The fear starts with 1983's “Twilight Zone: The Movie,” directed by Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller and Steven Spielberg and 1990’s “Tales from the Dark Side: The Movie.” www.americancinematheque.com

-- Susan King

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I wish I could see all these movies. For anyone one that is into to screenings, the article doesn't mention, but "The Freebie" is showing tonight at the Nuart in LA and the stars Dax Shepard and Katie Aselton are actually gonna be there, it looks pretty good, can't wait to see this!!!


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