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Around Town: Spotlights on Greek, Kazakh cinema, director Raoul Walsh, superheroes and more

June 9, 2011 |  5:30 am


Films from Greece and Kazakhstan are in the spotlight this weekend.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival opens Thursday evening at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood with the documentary "Pelican's Watch." Other highlights include the U.S. premiere of the documentary "My Sweet Canary," as well as the U.S. premiere of Yannis Economides' "Knifer," which took home the top award at the Hellenic Film Academy. The festival closes Sunday evening at the Writers Guild Theater with the world premiere of "Burning Heads." http://www.lagff.org

UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates the post-Soviet cinema of Kazakhstan beginning Friday and continuing through June 26 at the Billy Wilder Theater. The festival opens with a free performance of Turan, a traditional musical ensemble from the country that features bowed, wind and percussive Kazakh instruments as well as throat singing.

Screening Saturday is 2009's "Kelin," writer-director Ermek Tursunov's feature debut about a young rural woman sold into marriage by her father. On tap for Sunday evening are two films from director Guka Omarova, 2008's "Native Dancer" and 2004's "Schizo." Omarova will appear in person. Monday's screening is the 2007 boxing drama, "Racketeer," directed by Akan Satayev.

Two vintage films are scheduled for Wednesday: 1987's "Mest" from director Shinarbaev, in a newly restored print, and 1966's "Land of the Fathers" directed by Shaken Aimanov. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Cult actress Mary Woronov, who was a member of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable, made films for Roger Corman and was a muse of director Paul Bartel, visits the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Thursday evening. Woronov will appear in conversation after a screening of Bartel's 1982 acclaimed dark comedy "Eating Raoul." http://www.cinefamily.org

The New Beverly Cinema is presenting two goofy sci-fi comedies -- 2011's "Paul" and 2008's "Fanboys" -- on Thursday. http://www.newbevcinema.com

And speaking of fanboys, the Los Angeles Times' second annual Hero Complex Film Festival hosted by The Times' Geoff Boucher flies into the Chinese 6 Theatre on Thursday evening with a screening of 1990's "Dick Tracy" and a conversation with its star, director and producer, Warren Beatty. The 1982 sci-fi classic "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and the 2009 franchise reboot "Star Trek" screen Friday evening. There will be discussions with "Wrath" director Nicholas Meyer and members of the "Star Trek" creative team.

Veteran director Richard Donner appears Saturday at the double bill of 1978's "Superman" and 2006's "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut." On Sunday, the Oscar-winning 2004 Pixar/Disney hit, "The Incredibles" screens Sunday afternoon along with a preview of footage from the upcoming "Cars 2." Later that night, Jon Favreau will be on hand for screenings of 2008's "Iron Man" and 2010's "Iron Man 2." http://www.latimes.com/herocomplexfilmfest

The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood celebrates the diverse career of Golden Age of Hollywood director Raoul Walsh Friday through Sunday. The retrospective also heralds the publication of the new biography on the director, "Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood's Legendary Director," by Marilyn Ann Moss. She will introduce each screening.

The celebration begins with the 1941 crime melodrama, "High Sierra," starring Humphrey Bogart as  Mad Dog Earle, and the 1939 gangster melodrama, "The Roaring Twenties," with Bogie and James Cagney. A Cagney double bill is scheduled for Saturday: 1949's psychological crime drama, "White Heat," starring Cagney as the insane momma's boy Cody Jarrett, and the 1941 romantic comedy "The Strawberry Blonde," with Olivia de Havilland and Rita Hayworth. Between films, Walsh's good friend, agent Bob Bookman, and actors Jack Larson, L.Q. Jones and Richard Erdman, will talk about the filmmaker.

Over at the Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, filmmaker Ed Zwick will discuss the making of his 1989 Civil War epic, "Glory" after a 70mm screening of the movie Saturday evening. The quirky 1971 romantic comedy "Harold & Maude," with Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon, screens Sunday evening at the Aero. Journalist and former Paramount executive Peter Bart will be in conversation after the screening with "Almost Famous" director Cameron Crowe. On Wednesday, the Aero's Best of Recent Belgium Cinema series presents the 2010 comedy "Madly in Love." http://www.americancinematheque.com

The Mexicala/Imperial Valley Showcase commences Thursday evening at the Echo Park Film Center with a screening of the documentary "El Field." http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org

The 2010 Korean thriller, "Bestseller," gets its U.S. premiere Friday evening at the Ford Amphitheatre's "A Summer Night in Korea: Film, Music, Food and More." http://www.fordtheatres.org/en/tickets/boxofficeinfo

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents its 38th Student Academy Awards on Saturday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Awards are presented in five categories -- alternative, animation, documentary, foreign and narrative. Previous winners include John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Spike Lee and Robert Zemeckis.

On Monday evening, the academy launches its "Summer of Silents: Photoplay Award Winners of the Silent Era," which features films from the pre-Oscar era that were voted best of the year by readers of Photoplay magazine. The series kicks off with the 1920 melodrama "Humoresque." http://oscars.org

"Rhythm is It!" an award-winning documentary about the Berlin Philharmonic's first major outreach program, screens for free Saturday afternoon at the Skirball Cultural Center. http://www.skirball.org

The Bigfoot Crest Theatre in Westwood presents the 2011 horror film, "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut," late Saturday night. http://www.bigfootcrest.com

The LA Filmforum presents works by Bay Area artist Annie McGuire on Sunday evening at the Echo Park Film Center. McGuire will be in attendance. http://www.lafilmforum.com

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's "The Fantastical Worlds of Tim Burton" continues at the Leo S. Bing Theater on Tuesday afternoon with a screening of 2003's "Big Fish" with Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney. http://www.lacma.org

Pauline Wagner, who is 100 years old, is the special guest Wednesday evening at the LA. Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats screening of 1933's "King Kong" at the Los Angeles Theatre. Wagner was Fay Wray's stunt double. http://www.laconservancy.org/remaining/index.php4

Two documentaries on the group Dead Can Dance and its co-lead singer Lisa Gerrard -- 2006's "Sanctuary: Lisa Gerrard" and 2004's "Dead Can Dance: Toward the Within" -- screen Wednesday at the Egyptian Theatre. There'll be a discussion between films with Gerrard and the documentary directors. http://www.americancinematheque.com

-- Susan King

Photo: "Pelican's Watch." Credit: Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

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