Im Kwon-Taek's 1988 "Adada," which screens Wednesday at 8p.m. at the Four Star Theater as part of Korea Film Week, is regarded as one of the finest Korean films of recent years--and with good reason.
From a simple premise--an aristocratic mute named Adada (Shin Hye-Soo) is married off by her family to an impoverished peasant (Han Ji-Il) sometime in the 1930s--Im and his writer, Yun Sam-Yook, spin an exquisitely wrought fable remarkably rich in implications. Adada may be a woman fated to seek love from men more interested in money than her, but the film becomes a criticism of the lack of status of women in Korean society, an expression of the fear of the corrupting materialism of the modern world and finally an emotion-charged suggestion that money may be the root of all evil after all.
Information: Korean Cultural Center, (213) 936-7141; Four Star, (213) 382-6700.
Silence Is Golden: The Silent Movie's feature attraction Wednesday night at 8 will be MGM's "The Lost World" (1925), which stands as a tribute to the wizardry of special-effects pioneer Willis O'Brien, the man who created King Kong.
Adapted from an Arthur Conan Doyle novel and directed by Harry Hoyt, it is a standard jungle adventure that, in fairness, should be viewed as a precursor to what was to become very, very familiar screen fare. A bushy-haired and bearded Wallace Beery, playing a wild and woolly life force type, leads an expedition up the Amazon in search of a missing fellow explorer, who left behind a notebook filled with sketches of dinosaurs. When one considers the amazing technological resources available to contemporary filmmakers, O'Brien's array of dinosaurs is most impressive.
There's an inevitable romance between reporter Lloyd Hughes and the missing explorer's daughter, Bessie Love; Lewis Stone is dignified as the older man who graciously, if predictably, gives up his pursuit of the much younger Love. "The Lost World" has a naive charm, but its exceedingly slight story is easily overshadowed by O'Brien's gigantic beasts. There will be live piano accompaniment by Sydney Lehman.
Information: (213) 653-2389.
Home on the Range: "North of the Rio Grande," a 1937 Hopalong Cassidy Western screening Thursday through Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum's Wells Fargo Theater, isn't one of the Hoppy series' stronger entries, but it's fun if you haven't seen a vintage B Western in a long time. An extremely slow starter, it has a lively finish with Cassidy, on his white horse, pursuing a train. William Boyd is a relaxed Hoppy, but there's greater interest in seeing such distinguished actors as Lee J. Cobb (as a railroad president) and Morris Ankrum (as the bad guy)--then billed as Stephen Morris--turn up in supporting roles.
For more information on the museum's continuous screenings: (213) 667-2000.