Classic movies in SoCal: ‘Sweet Sweetback,’ ‘Raiders’ ‘Mulholland Drive,’ ‘2001’ and more

A Black man wears a black hat and a black suit.
Melvin Van Peebles directed, wrote and starred in the landmark indie film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.”

Find a flick with our weekly curated list of classic movies, cult favorites, film festivals, etc., playing at theaters and pop-ups and/or streaming online. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.


“Bringing Up Baby”
A weekend’s worth of classic comedies starring Cary Grant kicks off with the dapper actor opposite Katharine Hepburn — and a leopard! — in this 1938 romp directed by Howard Hawks. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo. 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13. $10, $12.

“Bubba Ho-Tep”
An aging Elvis impersonator who claims he’s the real deal and an elderly Black man who thinks he’s JFK join forces to put the kibosh on a reanimated Egyptian mummy raising a ruckus at their retirement home in Don Coscarelli’s 2002 horror comedy. Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis star. Alamo Drafthouse, 700 W. 7th St., downtown L.A. 7 p.m. Nov. 15 and 17. $20.


“Castle in the Sky”
Thirty-fifth anniversary screenings of legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s sumptuous 1986 anime fable about two orphans trying to keep a magical amulet from falling into the wrong hands. Fathom Events, various local theaters (see website). Dubbed in English: 3 p.m. Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Nov. 18; in Japanese with English subtitles: 7 p.m. Nov. 15. $15.

“Chess of the Wind”
New restoration of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Reza Aslani’s long-lost 1976 mystery drama about an aristocratic family torn apart by greed and betrayal following the death of their matriarch. In Farsi with English subtitles. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. 3:10, 5:20 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-18. $9.50, $12.50. (310) 473-8530.

“La Dolce Vita”
Marcello Mastroianni does as the Romans do in Federico Fellini’s acclaimed 1960 comedy-drama about a journalist for a gossip mag living the sweet life in the Eternal City. Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimée also star. In Italian, English, French and German with English subtitles. Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Laemmle Glendale, 207 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale; Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Laemmle Newhall, 22500 Lyons Ave., Newhall. 7 p.m. Nov. 17. $12.50.

“Mulholland Drive”
Twentieth anniversary of David Lynch’s dark and surreal 2001 Hollywood fable about an aspiring actress (Naomi Watts) who forms an unlikely bond with an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring). The Frida Cinema, Calle Cuatro Plaza, 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 6 and 9 p.m. Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m. Nov. 14. $10.50.

Holiday titles range from ‘The Power of the Dog’ and ‘King Richard’ to ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ and ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home.’

Nov. 10, 2021


“Mysterious Skin”
Two teens — one a gay prostitute, the other obsessed with alien abductions — come to terms with a dark episode from their shared past in Gregg Araki’s gripping yet sensitive 2004 indie drama. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet. Brain Dead Studios at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 10 p.m. Nov. 14. $12; advance purchase required.

“Mystery of the Wax Museum” with “Doctor X”
UCLA Film & Television Archive returns to in-person screenings with this double bill of 1930s horror thrillers directed by Michael Curtiz, both starring Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray and both presented in 35mm. UCLA Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Free; advance registration closed; standby line available.

“The Night of the Hunter” with “All That Jazz”
Double bills pairs Charles Laughton’s atmospheric 1955 B&W thriller starring Robert Mitchum as a psychotic preacher with Bob Fosse’s semiautobiographical 1979 fantasy starring Roy Scheider as a Fosse-like director-choreographer. Both presented in 35mm. Secret Movie Club at the Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 6 and 8:15 p.m. Nov. 13. $14-$24; advance purchase required.

“The Piano”
A monthlong salute to Jane Campion continues and includes the New Zealand filmmaker’s Oscar-winning 1993 period drama about a mute Scottish woman (Holly Hunter) who finds herself married off to a Kiwi farmer (Sam Neill). With Harvey Keitel and Anna Paquin. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, David Geffen Theater, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14. $5-$10.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Intrepid archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) whips the Nazis, saves the girl and gets the goods in this thrilling 1981 adventure directed by Steven Spielberg. With Karen Allen. Rooftop Cinema Club Presents the Drive-In at Santa Monica Airport, 3233 Donald Douglas Loop S., Santa Monica. 4 p.m. Nov. 14. $25-$58; advance purchase required.

“Straight Time” with “Thief”
Double bill pairs Ulu Grosbard’s gritty 1978 drama starring Dustin Hoffman as an ex-con trying to stay on the right side of the law with Michael Mann’s stylish 1981 thriller starring James Caan as a career criminal looking for one last big score before he gets out of the game. Both presented in 35mm. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., L.A. 6 and 8:25 p.m. Nov. 12-14. $12; advance purchase recommended.

“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”
The late, great Melvin Van Peebles wrote, directed, financed, starred and stuck it to the Man on the mean streets of L.A. in this landmark 1971 indie drama, the sine qua non of the Blaxploitation genre. American Cinematheque at the Los Feliz 3, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 10 p.m. Nov. 17. $8, $13.

A filmmaker, playwright and novelist, Melvin Van Peebles was an influence on generations of artists with audacious, rebellious movies such as “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” and “Watermelon Man”

Sept. 22, 2021

“2001: A Space Odyssey”
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider in Stanley Kubrick’s trippy, effects-laden 1968 sci-fi epic about an interplanetary mission jeopardized by a sentient computer gone rogue. With Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea. Presented in 70mm. American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13-14. $10, $15.

Film festivals

AFI Fest
The American Film Institute’s annual showcase for all things cinema returns with a big batch of red-carpet premieres of major studio releases as well as in-person and virtual screenings of foreign films, documentaries and shorts, plus filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions and more. TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., and TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Various showtimes through Nov. 14. In-person: $17, $25; passes: $150; virtual screenings: $10.

Cinelounge International Film Festival
The inaugural edition of this four-day showcase features indie flicks, foreign films, cult classics, short films and more. Cinelounge, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. Various showtimes through Nov. 14. All screenings are free; reservations required. Details at

Coast Film Festival 2021
This annual celebration of outdoor sports and recreation — surfing, skiing, etc. — includes documentaries, shorts, panel discussions and more. Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Various showtimes through Nov. 14, with a virtual version of the festival streaming online Nov. 16-28 (see website for details). $15, $35; passes: $55-$375.

PXL This 31 Toy Camera Film Festival
An online edition of this annual showcase features works created by contemporary filmmakers using a low-fi 1980s-era children’s camcorder made by Fisher-Price. 7 p.m. Nov. 14. Free.,

3rd Taiwan Biennial Film Festival
This showcase for recent Taiwanese cinema continues with virtual screenings through Nov. 12. $5; passes, $15, $20.