Around Town: Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones honored

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Tributes to Honorary Oscar winners Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones, as well as a salute to John Wayne and a new documentary on famed ‘B’ movie producer/director Roger Corman, who nurtured the careers of filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Ron Howard, are among the highlights of the week’s cinematic events.

With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards set for Saturday evening, the organization is screening Steven Spielberg’s 1985 ‘The Color Purple’ Thursday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. The Oscar-nominated box office hit marked the film debut of Winfrey, this year’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian recipient, for which she earned an Oscar nomination. On Friday evening, the academy salutes Honorary Oscar-winner Jones with a screening of 1970’s ‘The Great White Hope,’ for which he received a lead actor Oscar nomination. On Wednesday the academy presents ‘Pierre Etaix: The Laughter Returns,’ an introduction to the films of Etaix, a writer/director/actor inspired by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati. His five features and three shorts have been restored. Screening Wednesday is 1962’s short ‘Happy Anniversary,’ which won the short subject Oscar, and the 1969 romantic farce. ‘The Great Love.’ Etaix will appear in person. Leonard Maltin and Genevieve Bujold host.

The Jules Verne Festival celebrates John Wayne on Thursday evening at the Cinerama Dome with the presentation of the Jules Verne Award to members of the Wayne family, including his sons Patrick and Ethan. There will be a screening of 1969’s ‘True Grit,’ for which the Duke received his only Academy Award.

Film Independent at LACMA screens the new documentary ‘Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel,’ Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater. Corman and the film’s director Alex Stapleton will appear in person.


‘Cinema Italian Style 2011' kicks off Friday and continues through Nov. 15 at the American Cinematheque’s Aero and Egyptian Theatre. The opening night presentation at the Egyptian on Friday is the 2011 drama ‘Terraferma,’ which is Italy’s Oscar submission in the foreign language film race. Other highlights include the L.A. premiere of ‘Tatanka’ and ‘The Father and the Foreigner.’

The New Beverly Cinema screens two rarities from the 1960s-1965’s ‘Return from the Ashes’ with Maximilian Schell and Ingrid Thulin, and 1968’s controversial ‘The Killing of Sister George.’

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre gets its blue suede shoes on Thursday with two bopping rock documentaries -1973’s ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ and 1972’s ‘Elvis on Tour.’ John Water’s most famous leading lady, the late Divine, is remembered Saturday evening with a ‘Divine Rarities Show’ and Waters’ 1972 ‘Pink Flamingos.’ On Sunday, the 1950s heartthrob turned gay icon Tab Hunter will appear at the Silent Movie Theatre for a screening of Waters’ 1981 film, ‘Polyester,’ with the actor and Divine.

The 2011 Valley Film Festival opens Saturday and through Sunday at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. The festival will feature 30 films including 18 premieres and five foreign films.

LACMA curator Ritz Gonzalez and filmmaker and Asco catalogue contributor Jesse Lerner join forces Friday evening at the Bing for film-related works by Asco as well as a screening of Agnes Varda’s 1981 film, ‘Murs Murs,’ which features a performance by Asco. And on Tuesday, the LACMA matinee is Frank Capra’s 1939 classic political drama ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,’ starring Jimmy Stewart in his first lead actor Oscar-nominated role.

UCLA Film and and Television Archive’s ‘L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema’ enters its second month at the Billy Wilder Theatre Sunday with a one-day symposium Saturday. The event is free. And on Sunday evening, the archive presents Larry Clark’s 2002 revisionist western, ‘Cutting Horse’ and the 1973 Charles Burnett short, ‘The Horse.’ Clark will appear in person.

Sunday morning at the Wilder, the archive offers a free family matinee of Robert Altman’s 1980 musical comedy version of ‘Popeye’ with Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall.

UCLA’s ‘Days of Glory: Masterworks of Italian Neo-Realism’ offers Emanno Olmi’'s 1961 drama, ‘Il Posto,’ Wednesday evening. Also on Wednesday, the archive’s presentation at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles presents David Lean’s multi-Oscar-winning 1962 epic, ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ with Peter O’Toole in his star making role as the enigmatic Englishman.

German director Wim Wenders will appear in person Friday at the Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre for a screening of his 1987 fantasy ‘Wings of Desire’ and the 1993 sequel, ‘Faraway So Close!’

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre presents the 1961 Jules Verne fantasy, ‘Mysterious Island,’ Sunday afternoon. The fantasy features the special effects of Ray Harryhausen and an evocative score by Bernard Herrmann. Appearing at the screening is Grover Crisp, VP of Sony Pictures Film Restoration, documentarian, historian and soundtrack producer Nick Redman and visual effects artist Randall William Cook. That evening the Cinematheque presents the 50th anniversary screening of ‘An American in Paris,’ a best picture Oscar winner directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin.


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-- Susan King