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Around Town: An ode to Sam Peckinpah, James Caan honored and quick hits of comedy

April 7, 2011 |  5:00 am


-- Two westerns directed by the controversial, iconoclastic Sam Peckinpah screen Thursday at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre: 1973's "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid," with Kris Kristofferson, and his acclaimed 1962 oater "Ride the High Country," with veteran western stars Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott. On Friday, the Aero pays tribute to the late award-winning costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge with screenings of 1974's "The Great Gatsby," with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and 1978's "The Eyes of Laura Mars," starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones.

-- The Aero's tribute to Oscar-nominated actor James Caan kicks off Saturday with a screening of Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 masterpiece "The Godfather," in which Caan plays the hotheaded Sonny,

and continues Wednesday with 1974's "The Gambler," penned by James Toback, in which Caan plays a college professor with a gambling problem.

-- The 13th annual "Noir City: Hollywood" fest at the Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre features two from director Felix Feist on Thursday: the 1949 rarity "The Threat" and 1952's "This Woman Is Dangerous" with Joan Crawford. Friday's offerings are the rare 1943 Orson Welles thriller "Journey Into Fear" (he produced and co-directed with Norman Foster), and 1949's MGM production "The Bribe" with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. Saturday's program is 1954's "Loophole" with Charles McGraw and 1950's "Kiss Me Goodbye" with James Cagney as a brutal gangster. Crawford is back on Wednesday for the campy 1955 "Female on the Beach," with beefcake Jeff Chandler. Also screening is 1948's lighthearted noir "Hazard" with Paulette Goddard. Americancinematheque.com

-- The Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival opens Thursday evening and continues through Sunday at the Downtown Independent. In addition to the numerous comedy shorts programs, there will be panels such as "Paper to Pitch Gettin' Rich" and "Let's Get Digital, Digital," a celebrity opening-night karaoke party at J Lounge, a party on the Kyoto Rooftop Garden and a closing night red carpet awards gala at the Elevate Lounge. Lacomedyshorts.slated.com/2011/schedule/week

-- Skirball's "Between Disorder and Unexpected Pleasures: Tales From the New Chinese Cinema" continues Thursday evening with the Los Angeles premiere of 2010's "Li Hongqi: Winter Vacation," followed by 2009's "Liu Jiayin: Oxhide II" on Friday. Saturday's program is the U.S. premiere of 2010's "Hao Jie: Single Man" and the L.A. premieres of "Huang Weikai: Disorder" and 2010's "Jia Zhangke: I Wish I Knew." Skirball.org

-- The 11th annual Beverly Hills Film Festival, currently at the Clarity Theatre through Sunday, will feature 50 indie films in competition. There will also be networking events, panel discussions, after-parties and a gala awards ceremony at the Four Season Hotel on Sunday. Also at the gala, the 2011 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award will honor French director Jean Vigo, who died in 1934 at the age of 29. Earlier in the day on Sunday, Vigo's influential 1933 film "Zero de Conduit" and 1934's "L'Atalante" will screen in rare 35 millimeter prints at UCLA's James Bridges Theater. His daughter, film critic Luce Vigo, will introduce the films. Beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com; for the Vigo screenings: Institute.parajanov.com

-- The first annual Imagi-Movies Film Festival presented by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine opens Friday and continues through Sunday at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. The festival will feature independent films, a Vincent Price centennial with his daughter Victoria Price and an 80th anniversary celebration of the horror classics "Dracula" and "Frankenstein." Imaginemovies.com

-- The Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2011 opens Friday at the New Beverly Cinema with "A Good Husband" and "Birthright." Several films screen Saturday including "minus by minus" and "The Knot." The festival moves Sunday to East West Players in Little Tokyo with screenings of "Takemine" and "Ashes to Honey." Jffla.org/2011

-- UCLA Film & Television Archives presents a special tribute to the late Argentine documentarian and UCLA faculty member Jore Preloran Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theatre with a screening of "Traces and Memory of Jorge Preloran." Cinema.ucla.edu

-- The Alex Film Society presents a "Sing-A-Long" version of the 1939 classic musical fantasy "The Wizard of Oz," Saturday afternoon and evening at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Alexfilmsociety.org 

-- The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre celebrates the indie spirit of movies from Austin filmmakers Saturday and Sunday. "Made in Texas: Day One: Texas Legends, Before They Were Legends," which kicks off the festivities, features rare first short films from Wes Anderson, Tobe Hooper, Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez. Linklater will be at the theater later that evening to talk about his career and screen his first feature, 1991's "Slacker," as well as 1996's "subUrbia." Sunday's program includes a late afternoon BBQ and a screening of "Last Night at the Alamo," plus two films from Hooper later in the evening, 1969's "Eggshells" and 1974's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Cinefamily.org

-- UCLA Film & Television Archives Richard Brooks' retrospective screens 1958's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," based on the Tennessee Williams melodrama. Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor both received Oscar nominations as Brick and Maggie the Cat. Cinema.ucla.edu

-- Film Society presents a tribute to Sadegh Hedayat this Sunday at the Felicia Mahood Auditorium with screenings of "Talking With a Shadow," a look at the writer's life and work, and "A Doll Behind the Curtain," a drama based on a short of Hedayat's. Filmsocietyhf.org

-- The New Beverly Cinema presents Michael Cimino's 1978 Oscar-winning Vietnam War epic "The Deer Hunter," Sunday through Tuesday. And on Wednesday, the Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Bev pays tribute to the late actress Tura Satana with screenings of Russ Meyer's seminal 1965 "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" and 1973's "The Doll Squad." Newbevcinema.com

-- The 15th annual City of Lights, City of Angels French film festival opens Monday at the Directors Guild of America Theatre with the comedy "Service Entrance."  Colcoa.org.

-- ArcLight Presents offers cult films from the 1980s this week. On tap for Monday at the ArcLight Hollywood is Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 "The Outsiders," starring the very young Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. Tuesday's offering at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks is Richard Donner's 1985 action-comedy "Goonies" with Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman. Screening Wednesday at the ArcLight Pasadena is John Hughes' 1986 hit "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with Matthew Broderick and in small roles Jennifer Grey and Charlie Sheen. Al Pacino and his "little friend" star in Brian De Palma's 1983 thriller "Scarface," screening Wednesday at the ArcLight Beach Cities. Arclightcinemas.com

-- The 9th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles arrives Tuesday at the ArcLight Hollywood with the L.A. premiere of "I Am Kalam," about a young man who struggles against all odds to receive an education, which marks the feature debut of Nila Madhab Panda. The festival continues through April 17. Indianfilmfestival.org

-- Richard Lester's underrated 1968 romantic drama "Petulia" screens Tuesday afternoon at the Skirball. Julie Christie and George C. Scott star in this classic shot in San Francisco. Skirball.org

-- Hollywood Heritage celebrates the 122nd birthday of Charlie Chaplin Wednesday evening with a screening of Richard Patterson's 1975 documentary, "The Gentleman Tramp." Patterson is scheduled to appear at the event hosted by Stan Taffel. Hollywoodheritage.org

-- Cinefamily presents the 1923 silent drama "The Green Goddess" Wednesday evening starring George Arliss in a rare villain role. Arliss had originated the role on stage in 1921 and also appeared in the 1929 talkie version. Cinefamily.org

-- "We Are a Camera: Films Selected by Mark Flores" screens Wednesday at the Billy Wilder Theatre in conjunction with the exhibition Hammer Projects: Mark Flores. Hammer.ucla.edu

-- The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles welcomes actor Burghart Klaussner ("The White Ribbon," "The Reader") on Wednesday to talk about his career. The evening before his appearance, Goethe will screen his 2010 thriller, "The Silence." Goethe.de/ins/los/enindex.htm

-- Susan King

Photo: Sam Peckinpah on the set of "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Credit: TCM