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Around town: Film festivals, special screenings and more movies this weekend

October 21, 2010 |  7:30 am

The West Coast premiere of Avi Nesher’s award-winning "The Matchmaker" opens the 25th Israel Film Festival on Thursday evening at the Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles. Director Nesher and producer David Silber are the special guests. Among the other highlights of the festival are "A Matter of Size," winner of three Israeli Academy Awards; "Five Hours From Paris," winner of best film at the Haifa International Film Festival; and "The Loners," which was nominated for 11 Israeli Academy Awards. The festival continues through Nov. 4 at the Laemmle Sunset 5, the Royal and the Laemmle Fallbrook 7 in West Hills. www.IsraelFilmFestival.com

The Current German Cinema festival at the American Cinematheque continues Thursday at the Egyptian’s intimate Spielberg Theatre with the 2010 documentary "Rock Hudson -- Dark and Handsome Stranger." The festival moves to the Aero Friday with Sönke Wortmann’s 2009 historical drama, "Pope Joan." On tap for Saturday is the documentary "Autumn Gold," plus "The Robber" and "Silence." The series concludes Sunday. www.americancinematheque.com

French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, whose most recent work is the 5 1/2-hour epic "Carlos," is being feted at the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater. Assayas will appear in person Thursday with the screenings of his 1996 comedy "Irma Vep" and the 2002 thriller "Demon Lover." He’ll also introduce the screenings of "Carlos" on Friday evening and Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre. The long version will also screen Saturday morning and then in the Spielberg Theatre on Sunday afternoon. A shorter version of "Carlos," clocking in at 166 minutes, screens Monday through Oct. 28 in the Spielberg Theatre. www.americancinematheque.com

Weaver The Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles will present the Alien trilogy on Friday evening -- "Alien: The Director's Cut," "Aliens" and "Alien 3." www.laemmle.com

"Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle," a new documentary about Nelson Mandela, will open the 14th annual Hollywood International Film Festival at the ArcLight Hollywood on Friday. The four-day festival spotlights features, shorts and documentaries from around the globe. Among other films being screened are "The 5th Quarter," "Beware the Gonzo, " "Brother’s Justice," "First Dog," "Hollywood and Wine" and "Wild Target." The event concludes Monday evening at the Beverly Hilton with the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony. Sylvester Stallone is set to receive the Hollywood Career Achievement Award. www.hollywoodawards.com

The 14th annual Arab Film Festival visits the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills Friday through Sunday. The festival commences with the award-winning Algerian comedy "Masquerades." The festival features works from both veteran and new directors and includes narrative and documentary films. www.arabfilmfestival.org.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 20th Anniversary Tribute to the Film Foundation retrospective features a real rarity Saturday evening, the 1928 melodrama "Beggars of Life," directed by William Wellman. Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery and Richard Arlen star in this tale of an abused country girl on the lam who teams up with a group of hobos riding the rails. The film was restored by the George Eastman House with funds provided by the Film Foundation. www.lacma.org

Abbot The Alex Film Society gets into the Halloween spirit Saturday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale with matinee and evening screenings of the 1941 Abbott and Costello comedy "Hold That Ghost." Bud Abbott and Lou Costello play gas station attendants -- this was before self-serve -- who inherit a haunted tavern. Joan Davis, Richard Carlson, Evelyn Ankers and even Shemp Howard are along with the ride of chills and comedy. www.alexfilmsociety.org

The Heritage Square Museum has a spook-tacular Halloween and Mourning Movie Night on Saturday evening with a screening of the chilling 1945 Val Lewton-produced classic "The Body Snatcher," directed by a young Robert Wise and starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. The screening is outdoors so dress warmly. www.heritagesquare.org

David Lean’s 1957 Academy Award-winning World War II epic "The Bridge on the River Kwai," marches into the the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre on Sunday. Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa and William Holden star in this classic. Audience members also have the opportunity to win a Blu-ray copy of the film. www.americancinematheque.com

Vincent Grenier, the groundbreaking North American film-and-video artist, will be in attendance Sunday at the Echo Park Film Center as the LA Film Forum presents "Here: A Survey of Films and Videos by Vincent Grenier." www.lafilmforum.org. He will also be appearing Monday at REDCAT for "Revelations of the Everyday: Films and Videos by Vincent Grenier." www.redcat.org

Two early Bob Hope horror comedies screen Sunday and Monday at the New Beverly Cinema. Hope became a star with his funny turn in the 1939 mystery farce "The Cat and the Canary," which costars Paulette Goddard. Hope and Goddard reteamed for 1940’s even better "The Ghost Breakers," in which Goddard inherits a house filled with ghosts and zombies in Cuba. www.newbevcinema.com

The Film Society presents short films by Iranian-American women filmmakers Sunday at Felicia Mahood Auditorium, 11338 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. Special guests include Roya Aryanpad, Aryana Farshad, Delara Rasouli and Ora Yashar. www.filmsocietyhf.org

The Malibu Film Society is set to honor director Rob Reiner as the Malibu Filmmaker of the Year Sunday at the Malibu Screening Room at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. The filmmaker's father, Carl Reiner, will make the opening remarks. The evening will conclude with a screening of Rob Reiner's latest film, "Flipped." www.malibufilmsociety.org

"Lonesome," Pál Fejös’ 1929 romantic silent drama that was later re-released with talking sequences, screens Monday at UCLA Film and Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater. The black-and-white film also features stencil color sequences. The recent restoration on the film was done by the George Eastman House. Caroline Frick, senior curator at Eastman, will be on hand to discuss the restoration. www.cinema.ucla.edu

Comedian, actor and director David Steinberg will talk about his favorite film, the 1936 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical comedy "Swing Time," directed by George Stevens, at a screening of the film Tuesday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The evening is presented as an installment of the George Stevens Lecture Series. The classic features several standards by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields including the Oscar-winning "The Way You Look Tonight," as well as "Pick Yourself Up," "A Fine Romance" and "Bojangles of Harlem." www.oscars.org

Duvall Oscar-winning actor Robert Duvall will discuss his work Tuesday at the Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in between screenings of his latest film, "Get Low" and the rarely screened 1972 gem "Tomorrow." www.americancinematheque.com

Writers in Treatment presents the Reel Recovery Film Festival beginning Tuesday evening at the Arena Stage Theater in Hollywood. The five-day festival celebrates the arts, creativity as well as the prevention of addictions. The Betty Ford Center hosts the opening night presentation -- the 25th anniversary screening of "The Honour of All," a documentary on the Alkali Lake Indian Tribe in British Columbia, which had a 100% alcoholism rate. They now have an 80% sobriety rate. Screening Wednesday are "The Last Musketeer," "Lost in Woonsocket," "Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Control," "I Am Comic" and "Basquiat. "

-- Susan King

Top photo: Sigourney Weaver in "Alien: The Director's Cut." Credit: Robert Penn

Middle photo: Lou Costello, bottom, and straight man Bud Abbott circa 1951. Credit: File photo

Bottom photo: Robert Duvall, Lucas Black and Bill Murray in "Get Low." Credit:  Sam Emerson / Sony Pictures Classics