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Around Town: Oscar hopefuls, Charlie Chaplin and fine French cinema

February 3, 2011 |  5:00 am


With the Academy Awards just 3 1/2 weeks away, the various nominees are making their last big push for the Oscar. Take "The Fighter" director David O. Russell. Friday at the Cinefamily's Silent Movie Theatre, Russell and Alexander Payne will do a Q&A after a screening of Russell's 1996 comedy "Flirting with Disaster." Afterward, Payne's film "Citizen Ruth" will screen. On Saturday, Russell will appear at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre for a screening of "The Fighter," which is nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture and director. Russell will discuss the film with actor Mark Wahlberg.

Meanwhile, writer-director Christopher Nolan, whose "Inception" is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture and original screenplay, will be on hand at the Egyptian on Friday evening for a screening of his first film, the edgy innovative 2001 noir "Memento," starring Guy Pearce.

Late in the afternoon on Saturday at the Egyptian, the Cinematheque will offer a free Oscar music composing seminar featuring contemporary musicians and others who will talk about music in film. http://www.cinefamily.org; http://www.americancinematheque.com

The William S. Hart Museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin's classic comedy "Modern Times" as part of Santa Clarita Valley's ChaplinFest. Beginning Saturday morning, there will be a "Modern Times" artifact display, a prop display from the 1992 biopic "Chaplin," and screenings of Chaplin's earliest comedies for Keystone. There also will be a screening of 1923's "The Pilgrim," a discussion about Chaplin with film historian Leonard Maltin and actress Tippi Hedren, who appeared in Chaplin's last film, 1967's "A Countess from Hong Kong," and then a screening of "Modern Times." The evening ends with the recently discovered Chaplin comedy "A Thief Catcher."

Friday evening, 1992's "Chaplin," for which Robert Downey Jr. earned a lead actor nomination, will screen. http://www.hartmuseum.org

Romance is in the air with the Cinefamily's "Vive L'Amour" festival co-presented by the Film and TV office of the French Embassy in Los Angeles and Cinespia. The festivities begin Thursday at the Silent Movie Theatre with Jacques Demy's 1964 musical, "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," starring Catherine Denueve and featuring the score of Michel Legrand. Set for Saturday is Jean Cocteau's 1946 version of "Beauty and the Beast," with Jean Marais and Josette Day. http://www.cinefamily.org.

Francophiles also can check out the "Le Beau Claude: Eight Thrillers by Chabrol," which continues this weekend at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. On tap for Friday are two of Claude Chabrol's earliest features, both of which feature the filmmaker's then wife Stephane Audran: 1959's "Les cousins" and 1960's "Les bonnes femmes." Saturday's 5 p.m. offering is 2000's "Merci pour le chocolat," with one of Chabrol's muses, Isabelle Huppert, followed at 7:30 p.m. by 1969's "This Man Must Die."  http://www.lacma.org

The French theme continues Friday and Saturday at the New Beverly Cinema with "Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno," Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea's documentary on Clouzot's feature that was never made, and Clouzot's 1955 seminal thriller "Diabolique," starring Simone Signoret.  http://www.newbevcinema.com.

The great French film composer Georges Delerue, who supplied the scores to such Francois Truffaut films as "Jules and Jim" and won the Oscar for 1979's "A Little Romance," is feted Saturday afternoon at the Egyptian with a screening of the 2010 documentary "In the Tracks of Georges Delerue." Director Pascale Cuenot and the late Delerue's long life partner and wife, Colette Delerue, will introduce the screening. http://www.americancinematheque.com

"Until the Violence Stops," a documentary on Eve Ensler's play, "The Vagina Monologues," screens Thursday at the Echo Park Film Center. www/http://echoparkfilmcenter.org.

The Japanese American National Museum presents the documentary "Valor With Honor," which features more than 35 interviews with Japanese American World War II veterans who served in the 442 Regimental Combat Team. There will be a Q&A after the screening Saturday afternoon with director Burt Takeuchi. http://www.janm.org

The Alex Film Society presents the 1985 cult favorite "The Goonies," directed by Richard Donner, this Saturday afternoon and evening at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. http://www.alexfilmsociety.org

The Los Angeles Filmforum is offering some counter Super Bowl programming with a screening of the documentary, "Soccer Like Never Before," Sunday afternoon at the Echo Park Film Center. http://www.lafilmforum.org

Screening Tuesday evening at the Skirball Center are the 2009 documentary "New Homes" ("Novos Lares") chronicling a Jewish neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2008 Peruvian docu "The Fire Within" about Jewish men from Morocco who came to the Amazon rain forest during the rubber boom. http://www.skirball.org

Florida State University Film School brings its 18th annual "Best of 2010" short films to the Writers Guild of America Theater on Tuesday evening. http://www.film.fsu.edu

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles features "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover: A Short Film Evening of Love Disasters," Wednesday evening. http://www.goethe.de/ins/us/los/endindex.htm

During the early days of sound, Hollywood didn't dub its movies for international audiences but rather would make foreign-language versions of the same film on the same set — case in point the 1931 Spanish-language version of "Dracula" and the German version of 1930's "Anna Christie," the latter of which starred Greta Garbo who also headlined the U.S version. This Wednesday at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, Beth Werling, collections manager for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, and Daryl Maxwell, former archivist with Universal and Disney Studios, will present an evening exploring the parallel-language films. http://www.hollywoodheritage.org

On Wednesday and Thursday, the New Beverly Cinema features two taut 1942 film noirs starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, she of the peek-a-boo hairdo: "This Gun for Hire," which made Ladd a star, and "The Glass Key." http://www.newbevcinema.com

 — Susan King

Photo: David O. Russell, right, with star Mark Wahlberg on the set of "The Fighter." Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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