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Around Town: 'The Artist' crowd's take on spy spoofs

March 1, 2012 |  6:00 am

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
Before they made the Oscar-winning "The Artist," director Michel Hazanavicius and actors Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo made the 2006 spy spoof "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies," which screens Thursday through Saturday at the New Beverly Cinema, along with the 2009 sequel "OSS 117: Lost in Rio." http://www.newbevcinema.com

Film Independent at LACMA presents "Spotlight on Robert Bresson," Thursday at the Leo S. Bing Theatre. The evening opens with 1956’s "A Man Escaped," which is based not only on Andre Devigny’s account of his escape from a Nazi POW camp during World War II, but also the director’s 18-month incarceration in a camp during the global conflict, and 1971’s "Four Nights of a Dreamer," a romantic drama that has never been available in either DVD or VHS in the U.S. Both films from the renowned French director are presented in new 35mm prints.

LACMA also presents "Ellsworth Kelly Selects," which features three French films chosen by the American painter and sculptor. The series kicks off Friday with Jacques Tati’s lavish 1967 comedy classic "Playtime." And this week’s Tuesday matinee at the Bing is the 1959 comedy hit "Pillow Talk," starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

The Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival opens Thursday evening at the Egyptian Theater and continues through March 4. The festival will screen five feature films including Dervis Zaim’s "Shadows and Faces" on opening night and the award-winning "Honey" on closing night. The program also includes short films and a separate short film contest. http://www.latff.org

The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre commences "Through a Lens Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman" Thursday evening with the Swedish master’s Oscar-winning 1960 film "The Virgin Spring," with Max von Sydow (which later became an inspiration for Wes Craven’s "Last House on the Left") and the unsettling 1968 "Hour of the Wolf," with Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. Friday’s program features "Cries and Whispers," which was nominated for a 1973 best picture Oscar, and 1978’s "Autumn Sonata," which was Oscar-nominated Ingrid Bergman’s final feature. The family epic "Fanny and Alexander," which won four 1983 Academy Awards including foreign language film, screens Sunday.

Saturday’s offerings at the Aero are a double bill of thrillers directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau: their latest film, "Silent House," with Elizabeth Olsen, and 2003’s "Open Water," with Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis.

And on Wednesday the theater presents its "Wednesdays with Hitchcock" retrospective with the 1951 thriller "Strangers on a Train," with Farley Granger and Robert Walker in his most acclaimed performance.

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre kicks off its "Wednesday with Welles" retrospective with "The Third Man," Carol Reed’s classic 1949 film noir set in post-war Vienna adapted by Graham Greene from his novel starring Welles as the charming but diabolical Harry Lime, Joseph Cotten as his old best friend, Trevor Howard and Alida Valli. http://www,americancinemathquecom

Two Gene Autry Westerns -- 1936’s "Red River Valley" and 1950’s "Mule Train" -- screen Saturday at the Autry Center’s Western Legacy Theater. http://www.autry.org

UCLA Film & Television Archive’s "Nina Menkes: Cinema as Story" continues Friday with 1996’s "The Bloody Child" and Wednesday with 2007’s "Phantom Love," at the Billy Wilder Theater. "Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov" screens "Kino-Week: Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5,-21-25 from 1918, "Vertov Filmed in Person," which features outtakes and excerpts from 1922-’30, and "Vertov Interviews," from post-1935, Saturday at the Billy Wilder Theater. Margarita Nafpaktitis, librarian for Slavic and Eastern European Studies at UCLA, is the special guest

Fiona Fullerton, Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and a pre-"Phantom of the Opera" Michael Crawford star in a 1972 version of Lewis Carroll’s "Alice in Wonderland," Sunday for free at the Wilder Theater. Later that evening at the Wilder, the archive presents two more film in its "Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing" retrospective: 1937’s "Captains Courageous," and 1938’s "Boys Town" -- Tracy won Oscars for both roles.

And Wednesday’s archive screening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown L.A. features the original 1958 "The Fly" and 1965’s rarely screened "Curse of the Fly." http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a weeklong engagement of director Andrzej Zulawski’s cult horror thriller "Possession," with Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani. The theater is also screening a new 35mm restored print of Charlie Chaplin’s beloved 1925 silent comedy "The Gold Rush," Friday through March 8. And on Wednesday evening, Cinefamily presents a restored print of the 1928 World War I romance "Lilac Time," with Gary Cooper and Colleen Moore. http://www.cinefamily.org

The Skirball Center commences it’s "Through a Glass Brightly: A Paul Mazursky Retrospective" with a free Tuesday matinee screening of 1980’s "Willie & Phil," which was inspired by Francois Truffaut’s "Jules et Jim." http://www.skirball.org

The Los Angeles Animation Festival opens Wednesday and continues through March 11 at the Regent Showcase in Hollywood. Sean Lennon is the artistic director. Among the films and shorts being presented are "Iron Giant" and the 1939 Technicolor film, "Gulliver's Travels." http://www.LAAFest.com


'The Artist' stars talk

Inside Ingmar Bergman

-- Susan King

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Louise Monot star in "OSS 117: Lost in Rio," which screens at the New Beverly. Credit: Emilie De La Hosseraye / Music Box Films