Around Town: Herzog and Godard, a noir festival, bowling movies, Richard Brooks and Mel Brooks, too

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Films by two veteran European directors -- German filmmaker Werner Herzog and France’s iconoclastic Jean-Luc Godard -- are on view this weekend.

The Cinefamily’s Silent Movie Theatre and the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles presents ‘The Estactic Truths of Werner Herzog,’ opening Friday with 1977’s short ‘La Soufriere,’ his 1992 ‘Lessons of Darkness’ (which examines the destruction caused by the Kuwaiti oil fires of the first Gulf War) and 1971’s ‘Fata Morgana.’

Screening Saturday are 1989’s ‘Wodaabe: Herdsmen of the Sun,’ 1993’s ‘Bells From the Deep: Faith and Superstition in Russia,’ 1974’s ‘The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner’ and 1976’s ‘How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck.’ Sunday’s offering is 1971’s ‘Land of Silence and Darkness’ and 1990’s ‘Echoes from a Somber Empire.’

LACMA is presenting four screenings of Godard’s acclaimed 1980 film ‘Every Man for Himself,’ starring Jacques Dutronc as a filmmaker, Nathalie Baye as a TV producer and Isabelle Huppert as a call girl. Godard called the movie his ‘second first film’ because it was his return to narrative cinema after a decade of video experimentation and activist filmmaking with the Dziga Vertov Group. The UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates the career of the late writer/director Richard Brooks commencing this Friday at the Billy Wilder Theatre and continuing through May 25. The retrospective opens with ‘In Cold Blood,’ his 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote’s best-seller about the Clutter murders, and the 1950 noir ‘Mystery Street,’ for which he wrote the screenplay. Scott Wilson, who appears in ‘Cold Blood,’ will be in attendance. On tap for Saturday afternoon is 1957’s ‘Something of Value,’ with Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier, and 1953’s ‘Battle Circus,’ a Korean War drama with Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson. The evening’s double bill is 1947’s ‘Boomerang,’ which is based on Brooks’ novel, ‘The Brick Foxhole’ and 1946’s ‘Swell Guy,’ for which he wrote the screenplay. Sunday’s offerings are the 1950 thriller ‘Crisis,’ which marked his directorial debut; Cary Grant stars; and 1951’s Ku Klux Klan drama ‘Storm Warning,’ for which he supplied the screenplay.


The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre welcomes ‘Noir City: Hollywood’ beginning Friday. The 13th annual film noir festival opens with 1947’s ‘High Wall,’ starring Robert Taylor and Audrey Totter, and an early Anthony Mann thriller, 1944’s ‘Strangers in the Night.’

Saturday’s offerings are Jules Dassin’s 1947 prison drama, ‘Brute Force,’ starring Burt Lancaster, and 1957’s ‘House of Numbers,’ starring Jack Palance. Sunday opens with 1948’s ‘Whiplash,’ featuring Dane Clark, Alexis Smith and Zachary Scott, followed by 1948’s ‘The Hunted,’ with the actress known as Belita. Scheduled for Wednesday is the 1947 noir ‘The Two Mrs. Carrolls,’ which marks the only on-screen pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck, followed by the 1946 ‘The Dark Mirror’ featuring Olivia de Havilland and Lew Ayres.

The Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre on Thursday is presenting a rare 70mm print, reportedly in pristine condition, of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 1968 sci-fi epic, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’

On Friday, the Aero scores a strike with a double bill of bowling movies: the Coen Brothers’ cult classic ‘The Big Lebowski’ with Jeff Bridges as the Dude, and the Farrelly brothers’ 1996 comedy ‘Kingpin.’ The first 20 people admitted will receive free bowling passes to AMF’s Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica.

The fun continues Saturday with a memorial tribute to actor Kenneth Mars by way of a double bill of Mel Brooks’ classic comedies in which Mars appeared: 1974’s ‘Young Frankenstein’ and 1968’s ‘The Producers.’ Brooks is tentatively scheduled to appear. And sci-fi comedies are on tap for Sunday: Brooks’ 1987 ‘Star Wars’ spoof ‘Spaceballs’ and the 1999 ‘Star Trek'-like ‘Galaxy Quest’ starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver.

The Downtown Independent unleashes the Heavy Metal Film Festival from Thursday through Sunday. The head-banging begins with ‘Marimbas Del Infierno.’ Other highlights include ‘Promised Land of Heavy Metal,’ ‘The Story of Anvil’ and ‘Blood, Sweat and Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century.’

Fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte stop by the Silent Movie Theatre on Thursday to present a double bill of ‘double’ movies: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s 1991 drama ‘The Double Life of Veronique’ and Brian DePalma’s 1973 classic ‘Sisters.’

Gayle Ferraro’s documentary, ‘To Catch a Dollar,’ shows Thursday at the Mann Chinese 6, the Culver Stadium and the Westlake Village 8.

The New Beverly Cinema’s midnight screening this Friday and Saturday is Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 noir classic ‘Pulp Fiction,’ for which he won an Oscar for screenplay. And the Nuart presents the ultimate gonzo movie, Terry Gilliam’s 1998 ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ midnight Friday. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro star.

The Silent Society of Hollywood Heritage celebrates its 25th birthday at the Hollywood Heritage Museum with a daylong screening focusing on leading ladies of the silent screen. The action starts with 1916’s ‘The Innocence of Ruth,’ with Viola Dana. Next is 1919’s ‘The Veiled Adventure’ with Constance Talmadge, 1918’s ‘The Forbidden City’ featuring Norma Talmadge, 1912’s ‘A Dash Through the Clouds’ with Mabel Norman, and 1926’s ‘Ella Cinders’ with Colleen Moore. Michael Mortilla supplies the live musical accompaniment.

Whole Foods Market is getting into the film festival business with its ‘Do Something Reel’ festival in celebration of Earth Month. The festival, according to the market, ‘is a collection of six provocative, character-driven films that focus on food, environmental issues and everyday people with a vision of making a world of difference.’ The festival begins Saturday and continues through Sunday and several other days in April at Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino, Laemmle’s Playhouse in Pasadena and Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex in Santa Monica.

The Art Theatre of Long Beach will present the Oscar-winning ‘Spirited Away’ Saturday morning as a benefit for the survivors of the Japanese earthquake.

Filmmaker Betzy Bromberg will be appearing Monday at Redcat for ‘Betzy Bromberg’s Voluptuous Sleep Series,’ which is her first film in five years. And beginning Wednesday at Redcat is Between Disorder and Unexpected Pleasures: Tales from the New Chinese Cinema. The first offering Wednesday is the L.A. premiere of the 2010 film, ‘Zhu Wen: Thomas Mao.’

Skirball’s free Tuesday afternoon movie matinee is 1971’s ‘Klute,’ the acclaimed mystery for which Jane Fonda won her first lead-actress Oscar. Donald Sutherland plays a private detective.

-- Susan King