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Around Town: John Cassavetes, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Winner and more

March 10, 2011 |  5:00 am


Independent-film pioneer John Cassavetes is being saluted by the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre. Screening Thursday evening is Cassavetes' 1959 directorial debut, "Shadows," which was shot on the  streets of New York on a shoestring budget. Costar Lelia Goldoni will be on hand for a Q&A. Friday's offering is his 1961 film, "Too Late Blues," with Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens, along with episodes from his 1959-60 detective series, "Johnny Staccato."

One of Cassavetes' frequent collaborators, Ben Gazzara, is set to visit the Silent Movie Theatre on Saturday night for a screening of the first film he made with the filmmaker-actor, 1970's "Husbands," which also stars Peter Falk. Sunday's triple Gazzara bill includes 1957's "The Strange One," which was directed by Jack Garfein and marked Gazzara's film debut; Cassavetes' 1976 feature, "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie"; and Peter Bogdanovich's 1979 "Saint Jack." http://www.cinefamily.org.

Oscar-winning writer-director Quentin Tarantino, to mark his March 27 birthday, is programming his New Beverly Cinema all month long. Thursday's offering features Rod Taylor in 1968's "Dark of the Sun," directed by noted cinematographer Jack Cardiff, and 1974's "Hell River." On tap for Friday and Saturday are 1973's good-old-boy action comedy "White Lightning" with Burt Reynolds, as well as the underrated 1973 "The Last American Hero" with Jeff Bridges. The midnight show is 1974's "Stone" with Ken Shorter.

Tarantino has selected two comedies from director Paul Mazursky for Sunday and Monday: 1969's "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and 1973's "Blume in Love." For Tuesday's "Grindhouse Night" lineup, Tarantino will screen his 2007 collaboration with Robert Rodriguez, "Grindhouse," and Rodriguez's 2010 actioner, "Machete." Wednesday's double bill features the rarely seen 1975 "Man Friday" with Peter O'Toole and the 1975 cult hit "Cooley High," directed by Michael Schultz. http://www.newbevcinema.com

The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica goes foodie Thursday evening with "Ingredients," Robert Bates' 2009 documentary about the farm-to-table movement. Lisa Lucas Talbot, the co-leader of Slow Food Los Angeles and Slow Food USA's regional governor of Southern California, will moderate a discussion with farmers and chefs after the film. http://www.slowfoodla.com

British director Michael Winner is the subject of a tribute Friday through Sunday at the Aero and the Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. The fun starts Friday at the Aero with Winner performing his one-man show, "My Life in Movies and Other Places," as well as a screening of his 1974 hit, "Death Wish," starring Charles Bronson, and 1971's "The Nightcomers," starring Marlon Brando.

On tap for Saturday at the Egyptian is Winner's original 1972 version of "The Mechanic," with Charles Bronson, and the 1973 thriller "Scorpio," starring Burt Lancaster. Winner will be on hand Sunday at the Aero for the double bill of two rarely seen films he made in 1967: "I'll Never Forget What's'isname" and the comedy "The Jokers."

A Charles Laughton double feature is scheduled for Friday at the Egyptian -- 1955's landmark "The Night of the Hunter," starring Robert Mitchum in one of his finest performances, and the 1957 Billy Wilder-directed classic "Witness for the Prosecution," for which Laughton earned an Oscar nomination as a sickly barrister overseeing a murder trial.

Sunday's offering at the Egyptian is the 1953 Vincente Minnelli-directed musical "The Band Wagon," starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, and the 1974 tribute to the MGM musicals, "That's Entertainment." There will also be a book signing of "MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot."

On Wednesday, the Aero continues its Bertrand Tavernier tribute with a screening of his 1989 film "Life and Nothing But." http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Los Angeles Museum of Art presents a sneak preview of Sonia Nassery Cole's "The Black Tulip" on Thursday evening. The drama was shot on location in Afghanistan and revolves around a Kabul family that opens a restaurant for poets and writers.

LACMA's salute to the early work of French actress Catherine Deneuve continues Friday with two films she made with Jacques Demy -- the haunting 1964 musical romance "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and the quirky 1970 fairy tale "Donkey Skin." Scheduled for Saturday evening is Francois Truffaut's captivating 1980 "The Last Metro," in which Deneuve plays a Parisian actress who continues to perform in her theater during the Nazi occupation while her Jewish husband hides in the basement. http://www.lacma.org.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive's film preservation festival goes into its second week Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theatre with a tribute to Tom Chomont, featuring several of his shorts that are part of the Outfest Legacy Collection at the university.

On tap for Saturday afternoon are two musical westerns: 1946's "Rainbow Over Texas," starring Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and 1942's "Heart of the Rio Grande," which was Gene Autry's 51st film. Senior film preservationist Jere Guldin will appear in person. Saturday' evening's program is "On the Vitaphone, Program One 1927-1930," which features several of the early shorts Warner Bros. made with the sound system Vitaphone. Preservation officer Robert Gitt will be in attendance.

Scheduled for Sunday afternoon is the 1961 TV special "Waiting for Godot," starring Zero Mostel, and Samuel Beckett's only work for the cinema, aptly titled "Samuel Beckett's Film." It was released in 1965. Sunday evening's offerings are three episodes from the popular TV series "This Is Your Life."  Dan Einstein, TV archivist, and Julie Kohner, founder of Voices of the Generations, will appear in person.

The 1941 documentary "The Forgotten Village," which was John Steinbeck's first work written directly for the screen, and a series of Metrotone Newsreels screen Monday evening. Newsreel preservationist Jeffrey Bickel will be on hand. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

The Korean Cultural Center presents a free screening Thursday night of the the 1960 family drama "A Romantic Papa." http://www.kccla.org

The Echo Park Film Center holds its quarterly Open Screen on Thursday night. Filmmakers are invited to screen one film with a running time of 10 minutes or less. And on Saturday, the center's screening series Film Journeys, which looks at emerging trends in world cinema, offers the Taiwanese film "Millennium Mambo," directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien. http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org

The Nuart's midnight offering Friday is the 1998 cult favorite "The Big Lebowski," starring Jeff Bridges as the Dude. On Saturday, the Art Theatre of Long Beach's will screen David Lynch's 1976  "Eraserhead" at midnight. http://www.landmarktheatres.comhttp://www.arttheaterlongbeach.com

The Los Angeles Filmforum's latest program, "Images of Nature, or the Nature of the Image: Canadian Artists at Work," screens Sunday evening at the Egyptian's Spielberg Theatre. http://www.lafilmforum.org

UCLA ethnomusicology professor Cheryl Keyes introduces and leads a post-screening discussion Sunday afternoon at UCLA's Fowler Museum of the documentary "Throw Down Your Heart." The film follows the adventures of banjo legend Béla Fleck as he travels through Africa.  http://www.fowler.ucla.edu

ArcLight Cinemas screening series ArcLight Presents features Oscar runners-up this month. Screening Monday at the Arclight Hollywood is Baz Luhrmann's 2001 "Moulin Rouge!" The Sherman Oaks theater offers Clint Eastwood's 2003 "Mystic River" on Tuesday. Scheduled for Wednesday at the Arclight Pasadena is Ang Lee's 2000 epic "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," with Jason Reitman's 2007 "Juno" visiting the Beach Cities theater. http://www.arclightcinemas.com

The Skirball Center and the Cinematheque are celebrating the films of director Amos Gitai. He will participate in a Q&A Tuesday at the Skirball after a screening of his 2000 film, "Kippur," based on his experiences in the Israeli service during the Yom Kippur War, and on Wednesday he visits the Egyptian for the screenings of 2005's "Free Zone," starring Natalie Portman, and 2007's "Disengagement," with Juliette Binoche. http://www.skirball.org

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Film Scholars Lecture on Wednesday evening at the Linwood Dunn Theater presents Harvard professor D.N. Rodowick, who will talk about his new book, "The Virtual Life of Film." Tickets are sold out, but there will be a standby line before the event. http://www.oscars.org

-- Susan King

Photo: Anthony Ray and Lelia Goldoni in "Shadows." Credit: UCLA Film & Television Archive