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Los Angeles Times

Show time at the Wilder

Times Staff Writer

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's new venue, the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, officially opens Friday with a screening of the Oscar-winning 1960 Wilder classic "The Apartment."

Two days later, the archive kicks off its "Art of Light" series, which celebrates cinematography. The opening program spotlights Hungarian-born cinematographers László Kovács ("Easy Rider") and Vilmos Zsigmond. Zsigmond won an Oscar for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and is nominated this year for "The Black Dahlia."

The duo, who escaped from communist Hungary 50 years ago, will discuss their work, show clips from their early films and screen rarely seen footage they shot of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

The archive's comprehensive retrospective of seminal Italian neorealist filmmaker Roberto Rossellini begins Feb. 16 with a new print of his landmark 1945 drama "Rome Open City."

Photographed on the streets of war-torn Rome and featuring a largely unprofessional cast, the stark drama deals with a radical fighting the Nazis who must flee the city when he learns that the Gestapo is on his trail. Marcello Pagliero and Anna Magnani star. Federico Fellini and Sergio Amidei received an Oscar nomination for their screenplay.

Screening with "Open City" is 1943's "The Man With the Cross," the final of the director's three films that were commissioned by Mussolini's fascist regime.

Scheduled for Feb. 17 is 1946's "Paisan," the second in Rossellini's postwar trilogy. The drama, told in six vignettes, explores the diverse relations between the American GIs and the Italians. The film, released in the U.S. in 1949, was Oscar-nominated for its screenplay.

The second feature that day is the rarely seen 1960 World War II drama "Escape by Night," which stars Giovanna Ralli as a woman who risks her life to hide three escaped POWs — played by Peter Baldwin, Sergei Bondarchuk (who later would direct the Oscar-winning "War and Peace") and Leo Genn.

Rossellini's final installment in his trilogy, 1948's "Germany Year Zero," screens Feb. 18. Shot on location in the bombed-out streets of Berlin, the drama deals with a young boy (Edmund Moeschke), trying to survive with his ailing father, who finds his life taking an even more downward trajectory after a chance encounter with a former teacher.

Pair of McQueens Most of the revival theaters of the 1970s and '80s, such as the Vagabond, the Tiffany, the Sherman, the Encore and the Fox Venice, are now stardust memories. But not the New Beverly Cinema. It keeps chugging along year after year.

On tap at the New Beverly for Wednesday and Thursday is a delectable Steve McQueen/director Norman Jewison double bill: 1965's "The Cincinnati Kid" and the ultra-romantic 1968 caper thriller "The Thomas Crown Affair."

Two underrated Robert Altman films starring Elliott Gould are scheduled for Feb. 18-19: the iconoclastic filmmaker's compelling 1973 re-envisioning of Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye," starring Gould as rumpled L.A. shamus Philip Marlowe, and 1974's quixotic buddy picture "California Split," also starring George Segal.

Gotta have a friend The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica celebrates one of cinema's most endurable genres — the buddy picture — with the retrospective "Buddy Films: The Art of Playing Off of Each Other."

The series kicks off tonight with the hit 1988 comedy "Midnight Run," starring Robert De Niro as a no-nonsense bounty hunter who meets his match in the persona of a manic former Mafia accountant (Charles Grodin). Martin Brest directed. Rounding out the bill is Cheech and Chong's first stoned-out comedy, 1978's "Up in Smoke."

A Paul Newman-Robert Redford double bill is scheduled for Saturday. Spooling first is the multi-Oscar-winning 1973 caper comedy "The Sting," for which Redford received his only best actor Academy Award nomination, followed by the 1969 western that teamed up the leading men for the first time, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." George Roy Hill directed both films.

Two buddy pictures directed by Arthur Penn are scheduled for next Thursday: his seminal 1967 caper drama, "Bonnie and Clyde," starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the infamous Depression-era bank robbers, and the rarely seen 1989 black comedy "Penn & Teller Get Killed," starring the bad boys of magic, Penn Jillette and Teller.

Robert Culp is scheduled to discuss 1972's "Hickey & Boggs," which screens Feb. 18. Culp, who directed the film, stars with his "I Spy" cohort Bill Cosby in this detective noir set in Los Angeles.

Also on the bill is Walter Hill's 1982 comedy-action thriller "48 Hrs." Eddie Murphy made an auspicious film debut as a fast-talking thief on temporary parole to help a world-weary L.A. cop (Nick Nolte) track down some bad guys on the streets of L.A. An added plus is the terrific Busboys tune "The Boys Are Back in Town."

The Great Profile

The Silent Movie Theatre presents the 1927 romantic John Barrymore drama, "The Beloved Rogue," tonight. The Great Profile stars in the handsome period drama directed by Alan Crosland as the infamous French poet and Robin Hood-esque thief.

Marceline Day is his ladylove and Conrad Veidt the vainglorious Louis XI.



UCLA Archive

"The Apartment": 7:30 p.m. Friday

An Evening With László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond: 7 p.m. Sunday

"Rome Open City" and "The Man With the Cross": 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16

"Paisan" and "Escape by Night": 7 p.m. Feb. 17

"Germany Year Zero" and "A Foreign Affair": 2 p.m. Feb. 18

Where: The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

Info: (310) 443-7000


American Cinematheque

"Midnight Run" and "Up in Smoke": 7:30 tonight

"The Sting" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid": 7:30 p.m. Saturday

"Bonnie and Clyde" and "Penn & Teller Get Killed": 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15

"Hickey & Boggs" and "48 Hrs.": 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18

Where: Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica

Info: (323) 466-3456


Silent Movie Theatre

"The Beloved Rogue": 8 tonight

Where: Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.

Info: (323) 655-2520


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