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Around Town: Short films, Anjelica Huston, Italian art house cinema and more

February 17, 2011 |  8:00 am


With the Oscars just 10 days away, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is kicking off its annual panels featuring nominees in several categories including shorts, documentaries and animation. Kenneth Branagh will host "Shorts! The 2010 Animated and Live Action Short Film Nominees," Tuesday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. All the Oscar-nominated shorts will be screened, and there will be a discussion between Branagh and the filmmakers, schedules permitting. The evening is sold out but there will be a cancellation line.

On Wednesday, director Michael Apted will host "Docs!," which will feature the documentary nominees and a panel discussion with the filmmakers, schedules permitting. http://www.oscars.org

The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre will screen the Oscar-nominated drama "The Fighter" Friday evening. On hand will be the film's Academy Award-nominated director David O. Russell and star Amy Adams. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston visits the Aero Saturday evening to discuss her career and her illustrious family. The theater will screen two films she made with her father John Huston: 1985's "Prizzi's Honor," for which she won the supporting actress Oscar, and 1987's "The Dead," her father's cinematic swan song.

Sunday,the Aero celebrates the legacy of the influential Italian director Sergio Leone, best known for his spaghetti westerns. The festival kicks off with his 1966 epic "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef star. The Independent Film & Television Alliance continues to celebrate its 30th birthday by screening the 30 most significant indie films from the last three decades; Wednesday, Quentin Tarantino's influential 1992 gangster flick, "Reservoir Dogs," will play the Aero.

The Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre is serving up two Hammer horror flicks from the 1960s Friday evening: 1961's "Scream of Fear," with Susan Strasberg and Christopher Lee, and Terence Fisher's 1964 film "The Gorgon," with Lee, Peter Cushing and Barbara Shelley. The Egyptian's Spielberg Theatre presents an evening of silent movies Saturday featuring such superstars as Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix, Will Rogers, Oliver Hardy and Mabel Normand. In the main theater, the Egyptian will screen two cult Japanese horror films, 1961's "Mothra" and 2001's "Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack."

Sunday's offering at the Egyptian is the 75th anniversary screening of the lush, romantic tragedy "Camille," starring Greta Garbo in her Oscar-nominated performance as the ill-fated Parisian courtesan Marguerite. Directed by George Cukor, the film also stars Robert Taylor as the handsome, widow-peaked Armand.

The award-winning composer Lalo Schifrin ("Mission: Impossible") will discuss his career Wednesday at the theater with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski in between screenings of two film classics for which Schifrin wrote the memorable scores: 1971's "Dirty Harry" and 1967's "Cool Hand Luke."  http://www.americancinematheque.com

The 2011 Los Angeles Italia Fest opens Sunday at Mann's Chinese 6 with a celebration of the career of Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis, who died last year. Several of his films will be screened along with a documentary on the producer, "An Italian in Hollywood." There will also be a tribute to Marco Bellocchio, with the U.S. premiere of his new film "Sorelle Mai." Some of his best known films, including "Vincere" and "Fists in the Pocket," will show during the week. For more information, go to http:///www.losangelesitalia.com

The Cinefamily's Vive L'Amour series continues Thursday evening at the Silent Movie Theatre with Leos Carax's 1984 film, "Boy Meets Girl." Screening Tuesday evening is the 1956 Roger Vadim flick, "...And God Created Woman," starring Brigitte Bardot as the ultimate sex kitten. The Cinefamily's tribute to silent screen star Douglas Fairbanks this month comes to a close Wednesday at the Silent Movie Theatre with the 1926 swashbuckler "The Black Pirate," which was shot in an early form of Technicolor. http://www.cinefamily.org

The Echo Park Film Center presents "The Cage We Are Tricked Into" Thursday evening, featuring works by experimental filmmakers Tony Gault and Elizabeth Henry. The duo, who have collaborated for 15 years, will be in attendance at the program. http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org

UCLA Film and Television Archive's annual celebration of Iranian cinema screens Granaz Moussavi's 2009 feature "My Tehran for Sale" and Reza Haeri's free-form 2008 documentary, "All Restrictions End," Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater. Scheduled for Saturday evening is Abbas Kiarostami's landmark 1990 documentary "Close-Up," as well as Haeri's 1998 documentary "Do You Know Mr. Kiarostami?" Sunday's offering is the 2010 anthology "Tehran Tehran," directed by Dariush Mehrjui and Mehdi Karampour.

The Outfest Legacy series presents Robert Aldrich's 1968 dark comedy "The Killing of Sister George" Wednesday evening at the UCLA Film and Television Archive's Billy Wilder Theater. Originally rated X, the film stars Beryl Reid as an aging British soap star and Susannah York as her much younger lover. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's tribute to Jane Fonda features two of her hit comedies Friday evening: 1967's "Barefoot in the Park," with Robert Redford, Charles Boyer and the Oscar-nominated Mildred Natwick, and 1980's "Nine to Five," about three women who become friends because of their obnoxious boss. Saturday's 5 p.m. screening is Rene Clement's sexy 1965 thriller "Joy House," with Alain Delon, followed by the evening screening of the 1966 Arthur Penn-directed melodrama "The Chase," which also stars Redford, Marlon Brando and Miriam Hopkins. http://www.lacma.org

The New Beverly Cinema shines the spotlight on the late maverick filmmaker Robert Altman Friday and Saturday with a double bill of his irreverent 1970 anti-war comedy "MASH" and the underrated 1974 buddy film "California Split," with Elliott Gould and George Segal. Screening Sunday and Monday are two vintage musicals that feature African American casts -- King Vidor's 1929 "Hallelujah!" and Vincente Minnelli's 1943 "Cabin in the Sky" with Ethel Waters and Lena Horne. http://www.newbevcinema.com

The Nuart presents its annual midnight screening Friday evening of 1981's "Shock Treatment," a follow-up to the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Sins O' the Flesh, the live troupe that performs at the weekly midnight "Rocky Horror" showings at the theater, will be on hand.  http://www.landmarktheatres.com

The Art Theatre of Long Beach features a special screening of the documentary "Troubadours" Saturday evening, featuring a Q&A with tproducer Eddie Schmidt and a live acoustic set with The Fergusens. http://www.arttheatrelongbeach.com

Rare films by Richard Leacock screen Monday at the 7 Dudley Cinema at the Talking Stick in Venice, including 1966''s "A Stravinsky Portrait" and 1972's "One P.M.," which originally began in 1968 as a collaboration among Jean-Luc Godard, Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker. Godard left the project before it was completed, so Leacock and Pennebaker edited the footage into this 90-minute film that features Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka and Grace Slick. http://www.laughtears.com/7dudleycinema.html

REDCAT's latest offering Monday evening is "Body and Mind: The Primordial Cinema of Fred Worden" -- a program of films by the New York-based filmmaker. Among the works screening are 2001's "The Or Cloud" and "1859" from 2008. Worden will appear in person. On Tuesday, REDCAT features "In Focus: The Humorous -- Recent Video Art from Israel, Japan and Mexico." http://www.redcat.org

The Skirball Center presents two documentaries Wednesday evening: 2001's "Legacy" and 2010's "Jubanos: The Jews of Cuba." http://www.skirball.org

-- Susan King

Photo: "The Gruffalo" Credit: Studio Soi 


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