Around Town: Westerns, disco movies and LACMA films

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Three high-profile film retrospectives come to a close this weekend: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s ‘Celebrating Classic Cinema: Curator and Audience Favorites,’ plus UCLA Film & Television Archive’s ‘Reflections in a Mirrored Ball’ and ‘Tracking the Cat: Robert Mitchum in the West.’

LACMA’s series, the last curated by outgoing film department head Ian Birnie, features Orson Welles’ heady 1948 film noir ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ starring his second wife, Rita Hayworth, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s seminal 1970 drama ‘The Conformist,’ with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Dominique Sanda, on Friday evening at the Bing Theater. Saturday’s early evening offering is 1951’s ‘The River,’ Jean Renoir’s lush Technicolor adaptation of Rumer Godden’s novel about her childhood in India. The second feature is Yasujiro Ozu’s acclaimed 1962 drama, ‘Late Autumn.’

A young Mitchum has his second leading role in the low-budget 1945 western ‘West of the Pecos,’ screening Thursday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater along with the 1948 romantic western ‘Rachel and the Stranger,’ with Loretta Young and William Holden. Saturday’s offering is 1966’s ‘El Dorado,’ which stars John Wayne and James Caan. Directed by Howard Hawks, the hit film is a remake of the director’s 1959 Wayne classic, ‘Rio Bravo.’

As for the mirrored ball, a tribute to disco fever, Sunday evening is the 1993 documentary ‘Wrecked for Life: The Trip & Magic of Trocadero Transfer’ and Whit Stillman’s 1998 film ‘The Last Days of Disco’ with Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale. For those not so into disco, the Don’t Knock the Rock Festival at the Cinefamily’s Silent Movie Theatre features ‘Kevin,’ a documentary short from director Jay Duplass (‘The Puffy Chair’) about Austin, Texas, musician Kevin Gant on Thursday evening. Duplass and Gant will be there in person. On tap for Friday’s midnight horror flick is 1987’s ‘The Kindred’ with Oscar-winning Kim Hunter and Rod Steiger. Co-director Jeffrey Obrow will participate in a Q&A. On Sunday evening, funnyman Doug Benson and his friends will wax comedic during a screening of 2010’s ‘Piranha 3D.’ Cinefamily presents a free screening of the indie film ‘Bellflower’ on Monday evening. You must pre-register for the seating.


Animation historian Jerry Beck will screen the 2006 anime film ‘Paprika’ as well classic cartoon shorts starring the likes of Bugs Bunny and Pluto that revolve around dreams. And on Wednesday, Cinefamily screens the 1928 drama ‘The Barker,’ restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive, starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Betty Compson, who earned an Oscar nomination.

The Japan American National Museum’s ‘Summer Classic Anime Film Series’ continues Thursday evening with a program of vintage anime from the 1920s and ‘30s including ‘The Unlucky Butterfly’ and ‘Sanko and the Octopus: A Fight Over a Fortune.’

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents a new digital restoration of the 1961 comedy-drama classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Patricia Neal, Friday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. The film was adapted by George Axelrod from the novel by Truman Capote and directed by Blake Edwards. The program is sold out, but there will be a standby line before the show. And on Monday evening the academy’s ‘Summer of Silents’ features the 1927 romantic drama ‘Seventh Heaven’ with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell at the Goldwyn. ‘Seventh’ is one of the three films for which Gaynor won the first best actress Oscar.

The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre on Thursday evening hosts a screening of George Pal’s 1964 fantasy ‘7 Faces of Dr. Lao,’ with Barbara Eden and Tony Randall, followed by a discussion with the actress, who starred on the classic ‘60s sitcom ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ Before the program, she’ll sign copies of her memoir, ‘Jeannie Out of the Bottle.’ The Egyptian continues the fantasy theme Friday with the 1939 ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and Jim Henson’s 1985 ‘Labyrinth’ with David Bowie and a teenage Jennifer Connelly.

On tap for Saturday is the ‘Architect John Lautner Turns 100 Tribute,’ which features the 2010 short ‘The Desert Springs Motel,’ the 1991 documentary short ‘The Spirit in Architecture: John Lautner’ and the 2008 documentary feature ‘Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner.’ The intimate Spielberg Theatre screens the risque 1923 silent, ‘The Untameable,’ as well as silent shorts on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, the Egyptian features a ‘Rise of the Latin Lover’ lecture presented by the Art Deco Society and a screening of Busby Berkeley 1943’s camp musical, ‘The Gang’s All Here’ featuring Carmen Miranda performing ‘Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat.’ And on Wednesday the Cinematheque kicks off its ‘Lonely Places: A Nicholas Ray Centennial’ with the director’s best-known work, 1955’s ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ starring James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo as troubled teens.

The Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre is throwing a 25th-anniversary birthday party for the Tom Cruise action hit ‘Top Gun,’ which also starred Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Tom Skerritt, on Thursday evening.

Cary Grant’s only child, Jennifer, will be signing her new book, ‘Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant,’ and talking about her famous dad at Friday evening’s screening of two of his great comedy hits directed by Howard Hawks--1938’s ‘Bringing Up Baby’ and 1940’s ‘His Girl Friday.’

The Tony and Oscar-winning production and costume designer Tony Walton will chat with Art Directors Guild President Thomas A. Walsh early Sunday evening at the Aero after a screening of Ken Russell’s 1971 musical ‘The Boy Friend,’ for which Walton supplied the production design.

Two film noirs--1953’s ‘The Big Heat’ and 1947’s ‘Framed'--starring the iconic Glenn Ford screen Friday and Saturday at the New Beverly. Saturday’s midnight movie is 1983’s ‘Psycho II,’ which marked the return of Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. Sunday’s offering is an extended cut of the 1994 BBC documentary ‘Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror.’ And on Tuesday, the Beverly offers a free screening of ‘Bellflower’ one day after the Cinefamily sneaks the indie.

The Los Angeles Filmforum welcomes independent animator, curator and historian in training Jodie Mack on Sunday evening at the Egyptian’s Spielberg Theatre. Among the films being screened are ‘The Future Is Bright’ and ‘Posthaste Perennial Pattern.’

The late great Luciano Pavarotti plays a famous opera singer in 1982’s ‘Yes, Giorgio.’ The critical and commercial failure screens Tuesday afternoon for free--thank goodness--at the Skirball Center.

-- Susan King