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Around Town: Ian Birnie's swan song at LACMA and more

July 6, 2011 | 11:39 am


After 14 years as curator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art''s film department, Ian Birnie is saying farewell with the series Celebrating Classic Cinema: Curator and Audience Favorites.

Birnie's swan song opens Friday evening with F.W. Murnau's silent 1927 drama "Sunrise." (Janet Gaynor, who received the first Academy Award in 1929 for best actress, was recognized for her performance in "Sunrise" and two other films.) Also screening Friday is Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1945 romance "I Know Where I'm Going" with Wendy Hiller and Robert Livesey.

Saturday's 5 p.m. offering is Max Ophuls' 1953 French romance, "The Earrings of Madame de ... ," with Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio De Sica. Screening Saturday evening is Michelangelo Antonioni's 1960 masterwork, "L'Avventura" with Monica Vitti and Gabriele Ferzetti.

LACMA's Saturday Monster Matinee festival continues Saturday afternoon with the 1966 sci-fi classic "Fantastic Voyage" with Stephen Boyd and Raquel Welch, in her first major film role. www.lacma.org

On Thursday, the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre presents Stanley Kubrick's 1980 version of Stephen King's "The Shining," starring an ax-wielding Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Scheduled for Friday is "Apocalypse Now Redux," Francis Ford Coppola's extended version of his 1979 Vietnam War epic based on Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness. Saturday's offerings are a new 70mm print of Tobe Hooper's 1985 sci-fi thriller, "Lifeforce," and a 70mm print of Joel Schumacher's 1990 sci-fi drama "Flatliners," with Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon. On tap for Sunday is a 70mm print of David Lean's Oscar-winning 1962 epic, "Lawrence of Arabia," starring Peter O'Toole in his star-making turn.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre is offering a sneak preview Thursday evening of the evangelical dark comedy "Salvation Boulevard," starring Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly and Greg Kinnear. Director Amy Heckerling will be on hand Friday evening to talk about two of her hit teen comedies, 1995's "Clueless" and 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Two beloved comedies written by, directed by and starring France's Jacques Tati screen Saturday evening: 1953's "Monsieur Hulot's Holiday" and 1958's "Mon Oncle." The latter is being presented in the English-language version that the filmmaker shot simultaneously with the French one.

Scheduled for Sunday evening at the Aero are two Ingmar Bergman masterpieces: 1957's "The Seventh Seal" and 1961's "Through a Glass Darkly," which won the Academy Award for foreign language film. www.americancinematheque.com

The New Beverly Cinema presents two films dealing with Hollywood screen writers Thursday evening: the Coen brothers' "Barton Fink" and Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard." Thanks to the success of "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen is hot again. And on Friday and Saturday, the Bev celebrates the vintage Woodman with a double bill of 1984's bittersweet "Broadway Danny Rose" and the innovative 1983 "Zelig."

The Grindhouse Film Festival and New Beverly Midnights present Lucio Fulci's 1981 Italian import, "The Beyond" Saturday at midnight. Sunday and Monday's offering is kid friendly with two Steven Spielberg blockbusters: 1982's "E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial" and 1977's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The Bev winds up the week with the 2011 thriller "Hobo With a Shotgun" with Rutger Hauer, and 2010's "Super," with Rainn Wilson. www.newbevcinema.com

Robert Mitchum is best known for his film noir classics such as 1947's "Out of the Past," but he also starred in several complex, often dark westerns. UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates Tracking the Cat: Robert Mitchum in the West beginning Friday at the Billy Wilder Theatre. The festival kicks off with 1947's "Pursued" directed by Raoul Walsh and 1948's "Blood on the Moon," directed by Robert Wise. Film historian Alan K. Rode will appear in person. Saturday's offering is Nicholas Ray's 1952 "The Lusty Men." Sunday morning UCLA offers a free family screening of 1949's "The Red Pony" with Mitchum and Myrna Loy. And Wednesday UCLA presents Fred Zinnemann's 1960 Oscar-nominated Australian western, "The Sundowners," which also stars Deborah Kerr.

Sunday evening UCLA presents the 2011 documentary "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," directed by Oscar nominee Marshall Curry. www.cinema.ucla.edu

The Nuart is presenting the uncut, 35th anniversary edition of Nicolas Roeg's "The Man Who Fell to Earth" with David Bowie, Buck Henry, Rip Torn and Candy Clark, Friday through Thursday. www.landmarktheatres.com

This week, the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's Friday Night Frights series screens the 1980 thriller "Alligator," penned by John Sayles, directed by Lewis Teague and starring Robert Forster. Saturday evening, the Cinefamily is offering a free sneak preview of Errol Morris' latest film, "Tabloid." Morris will appear in person. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis. The same is true for the Cinefamily's free screening Monday evening of the 2011 box office hit "Insidious," hosted by director Jamess Wan and writer Leigh Whannell. On Tuesday, Tara Kolla of Silverlake Farms will be on hand to introduce the screening of John Ford's 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, in her Oscar-winning role as the Joad famly matriarch. www.cinefamily.org

The 2011 Movies in the Park at Lake Forest presents the Oscar-nominated 2010 animated hit, "How To Train Your Dragon" at Rimgate Park. www.lakeforestca.gov. The Devil's Night Drive-In in downtown Los Angeles Saturday evening presents the 2004 Will Ferrell comedy, "Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Story." www.devilsnight.com. Cinespia's Saturday offering at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is Woody Allen's Oscar-winning "Annie Hall," starring Allen and Diane Keaton. www.cinespia.org. And Westfield Century City's Movies on the Terrace 2011 Wednesday evening features the 2001 Ben Stiller comedy "Zoolander." www.westfield.com

The Pacific Asian Museum's Indian Film Festival continues Friday evening with the 1983 James Ivory drama, "Heat and Dust" with Greta Scacchi, Julie Christie and Sashi Kapoor. www.pacificasiamuseum.org

Director Michael Rapaport and editor Lenny Mesina will introduce and participate in question-and-answer sessions Friday and Saturday evening at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood for their film, "Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Band Called Quest." www.arclightcinemas.com

In conjunction with its current exhibition on Harry Houdini, the Skirball is presenting two silent films starring the magician Sunday afternoon: 1920's 'Terror Island" and 1923's "Haldane of the Secret Service." www.skirball.org

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Summer of Silents: Photoplay Award Winners of the Silent Era presents James Cruze's seminal 1923 western adventure, "The Covered Wagon," Monday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. Also screening is a surviving fragment of the 1924 Photoplay winner, "Abraham Lincoln." www.oscars.org

The Good Food Film Festival continues at the Aero Theatre on Wednesday evening with the 2010 documentary short, "Dive!" as well as Agnes Varda's 2001 award-winning documentary "The Gleaners and I." Meanwhile, the Egyptian presents a program of local shorts Wednesday evening. www.americancinematheque.com

-- Susan King

Photo: Ian Birnie is saying farewell to LACMA after 14 years at the helm of the museum's film department. Credit: Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times