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The Moviegoer, Feb. 18-24

John Howard, from left, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in the 1940 movie 'The Philadelphia Story,'
John Howard, from left, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in the 1940 movie ‘The Philadelphia Story,’
(Los Angeles Times file photo)

Europe in Four Themes: Animals The first in the three-film series, French writer-director Robert Bresson’s 1966 spiritual allegory, Au Hasard Balthazer (Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.), about a sensitive farm girl, her donkey and their parallel lives of suffering once separated, will screen on Friday. Next is the 2014 Hungarian film, Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (Feb. 24, 3 p.m.), a work effective as both fable and thriller. The unlikely protagonist, a mutt named Hagen, is cruelly abandoned on the side of the road and when eventually impounded, leads a startling canine-led rebellion. Last is the 1988 made-for-Soviet-TV satire Heart of a Dog (Feb. 25, 3 p.m.), about a stray dog who becomes a Marxist revolutionary. Noted Belgian philosopher Vinciane Despret, author of “What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?,” will discuss the films after each screening. UCLA Film & Television Archive and the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies, Billy Wilder Theatre, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 206-8013. $8-$10. www.cinema.ucla.edu/events

Films of Miloš Forman The Czech director’s 1975 adaptation of counter-culture author Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Feb. 27, 1 p.m.) matches a rebellious psychiatric facility patient (Jack Nicholson) against the sadistic Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher in an especially memorable turn). Winner of five Academy Awards including best picture, director and wins for Nicholson and Fletcher. The series will conclude with Forman’s other multi-Oscar winner, 1984’s Amadeus (Feb. 27, 1 p.m.). LACMA, Bing Theatre, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 857-6010. $4; $2 for LACMA members and ages 65+. www.lacma.org/events-calendar

Fashion and Film: The 1920s Clara Bow’s frisky performance as department store clerk Betty Lou in the silent rom-com It (1927) minted her as an enduring style and beauty icon of the twentieth century. (The film also brought the now-tedious phrase “It girl” into the vernacular.) The film will be preceded by an illustrated presentation on Jazz Age fashion in film. American Cinematheque, Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 466-3456. Feb. 24. Presentation at 2 p.m.; film at 3 p.m. $12; $8 for Cinematheque members. www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/

TCM Big Screen Classics Director George Cukor’s 1940 film adaptation of Philip Barry’s play The Philadelphia Story is simply one of the best romantic comedies of all time. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart are perfection as, respectively, the Main Line socialite, the dashing ex-husband, and the Spy magazine reporter caught in a complicated but oh-so-stylish love triangle. As Hepburn’s Tracy Lord would say, “it’s yar!” AMC, Cinemark, Edwards, Regal and other theaters, Feb. 18 and 21, 2and 7 p.m. www.fathomevents.com

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Laemmle Anniversary Classics Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 black comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is slightly surreal, resplendent in ’80s pop-art color and fashion, and populated with the extreme characters we now know to expect of the Spanish writer-director. Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino; Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Laemmle Theatres, (310) 478-3836. Feb. 21, 7 p.m. $13. www.laemmle.com

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