By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
Regency Theatres brings back their Weekend Foreign & Indie Film series with this Palestinian drama about two childhood friends who are planning a strike on Tel Aviv when they meet a young woman who causes them to reconsider. In her Nov. 3 review, our Ella Taylor observed that Paradise Now is "an agonized inquiry into the minds of a dispossessed new generation of Palestinians, who come off more introspective and internally divided than you'd think," and that Palestinian writer-director Hany Abu-Assad, "who made the lovely 2002 film Rana's Wedding, is a far more gifted observer of the everyday than he is an action director, which is why, in Paradise Now, he productively sidetracks into a persuasive and often very funny portrait of the irrationalities of life under occupation. In the age of pontification about the Mind of the Terrorist, that's a plus." Laguna South Coast Cinema, 162 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-1711. Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. $5.50-$8.
Grease. An enormously amiable and silly-headed '70s version of the '50s, featuring the young John Travolta and Olivia Newton John at the heights of their evil powers. What the heck; be a dork, dig your old Fonzie jacket out of the back of your closet and then bop on down to the show with your main squeeze to spend a couple of hours in the back row passing one piece of bubblegum back and forth. Edwards Rancho Santa Margarita, 30632 Santa Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-3358. Tues., 8 p.m. $6; Edwards South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (800) 326-3264. Wed., 8 p.m., $6.
One Flight for Us. Based on Professor David Wyman's The Abandonment of the Jews, this picture follows an Israeli Air Force general convinced that the Allies knew the Nazis were exterminating the Jews, yet stood by and did nothing. By way of protest, he flies a jet over Auschwitz to make a statement in the sky. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director/producer Haim Hecht appears at this preview event for the Pacific Jewish Film Festival. Jewish Community Center, Myers Theater, One Federation Way, Irvine, (949) 435-3400. Thurs., 7 p.m. $10-$12.
Ran. Akira Kurosawa's gorgeously ferocious, epic 1985 screen adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Set in ancient, feudal Japan, the film follows a powerful old lord who has spent his life waging war and now hopes to bring peace to the land by dividing his kingdom between his sons. One son, a loyal but unfortunately honest fellow, points out that this is a terrible idea, and is banished for it. That leaves the lord's other, more duplicitous son to battle it out for the rights to their father's power, and nobody–not even their father–will get in their way. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanitites.uci.edu/fvc.. Thurs., Feb. 9, 7 p.m. $5; students, $3.
Tale of Cinema. Korean "new wave" director Hong Sangsoo uses an arty, highly elliptical style to tell this dark tale of two men and a woman brought together over their love for the movies. Sangsoo appears at this screening, after an introduction by Akira Mizuta Lippit, professor of Critical Studies (Cinema-Television) and Comparative Literature, USC. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanitites.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., Feb. 16, 7 p.m. $5; students, $3.
The Unforgiven. No, this is not the ass-kickin' Clint Eastwood western. What it is, is a 1960 John Huston western which was rather celebrated in its day. Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn star. Short subjects, cartoons and other goodies are also on the bill, so get over your disappointment that this isn't the Clint Eastwood movie and give it a chance. Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000, ext. 7198. Dec. 16, 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
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