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Around Town: 'French Connection,' 'Lord of the Rings,' 'True Romance' and more

January 20, 2011 |  8:00 am


The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre celebrates the 40th anniversary of director William Friedkin's best picture Oscar winner, "The French Connection," starring Gene Hackman in his Academy Award-winning role as New York detective Popeye Doyle. Friedkin will be on hand Saturday to talk about the film as well as his 1985 thriller "To Live and Die in L.A.," starring William Petersen. On Sunday, the filmmaker will be present for a double bill of 1977's "Sorcerer" and his landmark 1973 horror movie, "The Exorcist."

She might be best known for her TV roles as Nancy Drew and Fallon on "Dynasty," but Pamela Sue Martin also made several films, including 1972's "The Poseidon Adventure." On Thursday at the Aero, screenwriter Larry Karaszewski ("Ed Wood") will chat with Martin about her career and will screen two of her films: 1979's "The Lady in Red" with Robert Conrad as John Dillinger and 1974's "Our Time," a romantic drama that also stars Parker Stevenson, who will be also be appearing at the Q&A.

On Friday, the Aero is offering a 70-millimeter print of Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 masterpiece "Vertigo" with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. Scheduled for Wednesday is director Milos Forman's cut of his Oscar-winning 1984 film "Amadeus," starring F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce.

The Cinematheque's Egyptian Theater offers a new 35-millimeter print Thursday evening of Luchino Visconti's 1963 epic, "The Leopard," with Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale. Friday, the Egyptian screens Stanley Kubrick's seminal 1968 sci-fi flick, "2001: A Space Odyssey," and on Saturday, the Egyptian celebrates the 10th anniversary of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," with a screening of the director's cut of the first entry in his trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy classic. Screenings of the director's cuts of 2002's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and 2003's multi-Oscar-winner, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," will follow.

Opera comes to the Egyptian on Sunday with a screening of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca," which was recorded in 2009 at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House. Later that evening, the Egyptian winds up its screen icon festival with a double bill of Marilyn Monroe movies: 1953's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and 1955's "The Seven-Year Itch." http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Echo Park Film Center presents "Field Note Fables: Films by Amanda Movlai," a program of experimental shorts, Thursday evening. Movlai will be in attendance. http://echoparkfilmcenter.org

Director Edgar Wright ("Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") is programming the films at the New Beverly Cinema this month, and on Thursday and Friday, he's put together a double bill of 1973's "American Graffiti" and 1978's "Animal House." Wright will introduce Thursday's sold-out screening of "American "Graffiti"; "Animal House" director John Landis and editor George Folsey will appear in person Thursday, schedules permitting.

Wright will appear in person Saturday at the screening of the 1972 Hitchcock thriller "Frenzy." The film also will screen Sunday, along with Brian De Palma's 1980 classic, "Dressed to Kill." Schedule permitting, Wright will appear at the midnight screening Saturday of the 1998 German hit "Run Lola run," and he is scheduled to discuss the 1978 thriller "The Driver," Monday with director Walter Hill, star Bruce Dern and associate producer Frank Marshall. "The Driver" also screens Tuesday. The second feature both evenings is Steven Spielberg's acclaimed 1971 TV thriller, "Duel."

Wright is also scheduled to introduce the sold-out screening Wednesday of David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" (1990) and Tony Scott's 1993 action-thriller "True Romance," which was penned by Quentin Tarantino.

Any tickets made available on sold-out evenings will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. http://www.newbevcinema.org

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art goes into the final weekend for its "True Grit: The Golden Age of Road Movies" Friday evening with Monte Hellman's acclaimed 1971 drama, "Two-Lane Blacktop," with James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates. Hellman will appear in person. Also screening Friday is Arthur Penn's "Alice's Restaurant" (1969), a comedy based on Arlo Guthrie's 18-minute song.

Saturday's offering at LACMA is free screening of the 1960 Indian film classic "Chaudhvin Ka Chand," starring and produced by the famed Guru Dutt. http://www.lacma.org

The UCLA Film and Television Archives continues to yuk it up with its "Mixed Nuts: Vaudeville on Film" festival at the Billy Wilder Theatre. Scheduled for Saturday evening is the 1931 Marx Brothers' laugh-fest "Monkey Business," as well as a real rarity, 1932's "The Heart of New York," starring the comedy team of Joe Smith and Charles Dale. Rounding out the bill is a 1938 short, "A Nag in the Bag," also with the comedy team.

Scheduled for Saturday is 1929's "So Long Letty," starring comedian/dancer Charlotte Greenwood, and the 1929 musical "It's a Great Life" with the Duncan Sisters, as well as Smith and Dale. The comedy short is 1928's "Sharps and Flats," with Jimmy Conlin and Myrtle Glass.

And on Sunday morning, UCLA features a free screening of the 1985 cult fave, "The Goonies," with Sean Astin and Josh Brolin. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu.

REDCAT's latest offering Monday evening is "Barbara Hammer: Experimenting in Life and Art." The veteran director, who has made approximately 80 films in the last 40 years, is considered a pioneer of queer cinema. The program features two of her most recent works: 2010's "Generations" and 2009's "A Horse is Not a Metaphor." Hammer will appear in person at the screenings.

The ArcLight Cinemas' "Cult Comedy Classics" festival features 1984's "Ghostbusters" Monday in Hollywood; Richard Linklater's 1993 film, "Dazed and Confused," Tuesday in Sherman Oaks; Kevin Smith's 1994 feature debut, "Clerks," in Beach Cities and Mel Brooks' 1987 spoof, "Spaceballs," in Pasadena. http://www.arclightcinemas.com

-- Susan King

Photo: Gene Hackman in "The French Connection." Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment