Classic movies in SoCal: ‘Lincoln,’ ‘The Searchers,’ ‘Prisoner of Azkaban,’ ‘Up’ and more

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"
Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the 16th U.S. president in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 historical drama “Lincoln.”
(DreamWorks Pictures / Twentieth Century Fox)

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.

‘Betty Blue’
French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix, who died in January, is remembered with a screening of his erotic 1986 art-house hit about an aspiring novelist (Jean-Hugues Anglade) who has a passionate affair with a volatile younger woman (Béatrice Dalle). American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. $8, $13.

‘Days of Heaven’
Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard form a romantic triangle in 1916 Texas in writer-director Terrence Malick’s visually ravishing 1978 period drama. The Frida Cinema, Calle Cuatro Plaza, 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. 5:45 and 8 p.m. Feb. 23-25. $10.50.


Hans Zimmer spent a year with Terrence Malick before “The Thin Red Line” score was done. James Newton Howard lost a shot at an Oscar because Malick used classical masterworks with Howard’s score for “A Hidden Life.” But Howard says working with the director was worth the Academy snub. Here’s why.

‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew’
A celebration of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini includes the director’s hypnotic, neo-realist 1964 retelling of the life of Christ, which screens with the Pasolini-directed 1965 making-of documentary “Sopralluoghi in Palestina per il vangelo secondo Matteo.” In Italian with English subtitles. Presented in 35 millimeter. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Ted Mann Theater, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21. $7-$12.

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’
Daniel Radcliffe plays the former and Gary Oldman the latter in this 2004 entry in the fantasy franchise adapted from the J.K. Rowling novels. Alfonso Cuarón directs. Alamo Drafthouse, 700 W. 7th St., downtown L.A. 2 and 5:45 p.m. Feb. 19, 5 p.m. Feb. 20, 2:45 p.m. Feb. 21 and 23, 6 p.m. Feb. 22. $18.

‘La Dolce Vita’
When in Rome, Marcello Mastroianni does as the Romans do in Federico Fellini’s acclaimed 1960 comedy-drama about a journalist living the sweet life in the Eternal City. Presented in 35 millimeter. In Italian, English, French and German with English subtitles. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Feb. 18-19, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20. $12; advance purchase recommended.

‘Lady Sings the Blues’
Motown legend Diana Ross is jazz legend Billie Holiday in 50th anniversary screenings of this 1972 bio-drama. Sidney J. Furie directs and Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor also star. TCM Big Screen Classics, various local theaters (see website). 3 and 7 p.m. Feb. 20, 7 p.m. Feb. 23. $15.

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” tells the tale of the FBI’s targeting of the jazz singer, whose “Strange Fruit” became a protest anthem.

‘Mala Noche (Bad Night)’ with ‘Hide & Seek’
The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s “Pioneers of Queer Cinema” retrospective gets underway with a double bill that pairs filmmaker Gus Van Sant’s black and white 1986 debut feature with Su Friedrich’s black and white 1996 coming-of-age fable. Presented in 35 millimeter and 16 millimeter, respectively, with Van Sant on hand for a Q&A. UCLA Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Free; advance registration closed; standby line available.

‘The Searchers’
John Wayne stars as a relentless former Confederate soldier on a mission to rescue his young niece (Natalie Wood) from a Comanche raiding party in John Ford’s epic 1956 western. American Cinematheque at the Los Feliz 3, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 4 p.m. Feb. 19. $8, $13.

‘Stormy Weather’
Black showbiz legends Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Cab Calloway, Dooley Wilson, Fats Waller and the Nicholas Brothers take it to the stage in this jumpin’ 1946 musical. UCLA Film & Television Archive, UCLA Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19. Free; advance registration recommended; standby line available.

‘The Story of a Three-Day Pass’
An African American soldier in Paris romances a local shop girl in pioneering Black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles’ underappreciated 1968 drama adapted from his own novel, “La Permission.” In French and English with English subtitles. Brain Dead Studios at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 3 p.m. Feb. 20. $12; advance purchase required.

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”

‘The Tree of Life’
What do Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, the big bang, dinosaurs, the Old Testament and a filmmaker’s childhood in suburban 1950s Texas all have in common? Your guess is as good as ours in the aforementioned Terrence Malick’s sprawling 2011 exploration of life, the universe and everything. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Ted Mann Theater, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 2 p.m. Feb. 18. $5.

A widower and a stowaway Boy Scout take to the sky in a balloon-powered house in this fantastical 2009 animated adventure from the kindly folks at Pixar. With the voices of Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer. Santa Monica Airport, 3233 Donald Douglas Loop S., Santa Monica. 6 p.m. Feb. 19. $20 per car plus $8 per person; ages 3 and younger, free; advance tickets required.

‘Young Mr. Lincoln’ with ‘Lincoln’
A Presidents’ Day double feature kicks off with Henry Fonda as Honest Abe in the aforementioned John Ford’s 1939 biopic, followed by Daniel Day-Lewis’ turn as the Great Emancipator in Steven Spielberg’s monumental 2012 historical drama (presented in 35 millimeter). Secret Movie Club at the Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 21. $14-$24; advance purchase required.