Special Screenings

Movie of the Week: Juliet of the Spirits

After making a series of increasingly wild, surreal pictures about his own troubles, hopes and erotic fixations, Federico Fellini's 1965 phantasmagoria Juliet of the Spirits was intended as a look inside his wife's psyche. Instead, it ended up being Fellini's most bizarre, wonderfully self-indulgent picture yet, with his wife, that pie-faced pixie Giulietta Masina, as an Alice-like housefrau desperately searching for a bit of rationality within the steamy, teeming kingdom of Fellini's imagination.

Masina's Juliet fears her husband is cheating on her. Understandably preoccupied with her domestic crisis, she somehow finds herself in an endless circus parade of chesty dames, stern nuns, mediums, hermaphrodites and lord only knows what else. Her grotesquely sexy neighbor Suzy (Sandra Milo) suggests that fidelity is vastly overrated and runs her own home as a kind of Rube Goldberg-ian bordello, with gentlemen callers carried up to tree house rendezvous via a wicker basket on a line, and a handy chute leads directly from her bed to her swimming pool. The film was made when Masina and Fellini's own marriage was in trouble, lending the whole freaky enterprise a palpable tension. It's not every wife who finds herself a prisoner within her philandering husband's endlessly inventive imagination, and Masina bears it with her usual pained grace. This is the latest entry in Santiago College's Free International Film Festival. Santiago Canyon College, D-101, 8045 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 480-7500. Fri., 6 p.m. Free.

Also Showing

Monty Python's Life of Brian. The Monty Python troupe originally intended this 1979 comedy to lampoon the story of Christ (the project began as a joke title tossed off by troupe member Eric Idle: Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory). But when they actually sat down to research the life of Jesus, they discovered to their dismay that they rather liked him. And so the finished film handles Christ quite respectfully and focuses instead on Brian (marvelously portrayed by Graham Chapman), a well-meaning loser who is just trying to get by in the Judea of 33 A.D. when the locals mistake him for their messiah. The Pythons didn't intend to attack Christ, but they did intend to offend all the right people—and in this, they succeeded handily. In our own blighted age, here's hoping the gospel according to Brian can win over plenty of new converts. Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Fri., 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m. $6-$8.

The Lost Boys. Keifer Sutherland—younger than you can believe and sporting an impressive, new wave mullet—stars in this high-camp, supremely '80s tale of big-haired, Goth vampire teens. Featuring both Coreys—and lines such as "My own brother, a shit-sucking vampire! You just wait until mom finds out, buddy!"—this is either a nostalgic must-see or an absurd curio from your misspent youth. You decide. Just go in knowing that it's a lot, well, gayer than you remember. One of the Coreys (Haim, we think) has a poster of Rob Lowe on his bedroom wall, for instance, and director Joel "rubber nipple Batman" Schumacher fills the film with plenty of lingering scenes of broody pretty boys brooding prettily at one another. So, if you're looking for homoerotic, '80s vampire camp, this is your lucky week! 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.

The Quiet American. Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser star in Phillip Noyce's 2002 adaptation of Graham Greene's story of a terminally jaded English journalist (Caine, but of course) and a dangerously idealistic young American (Fraser) competing for the affections of a dance-hall girl in the Vietnam of the 1950s. The screening is hosted by Michael Berlin, an assistant professor of screenwriting at Cal State Long Beach and a director and producer in his own right. Bowers Museum, Flour Gallery, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3679. Sun., 1:30 p.m. $8-$10.

Spencer's Mountain. Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara star in this pleasant if none-too-memorable 1963 comic drama about small-town, good-hearted poor folks with way, way too many kids. Based on Earl Hamner Jr.'s best-selling, autobiographical novel, which would later serve as the inspiration for the long-running TV series The Waltons. Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000, ext. 7198. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.

Why We Fight. Kicking off with Eisenhower's all-too-prescient warnings about the dangers of the military-industrial complex from his farewell address in 1961, Eugene Jarecki's new documentary/lefty polemic charts how the U.S. has become the undisputed super-bully of the world. It's the latest entry in Regency Theaters' Weekend Foreign & Indie Film series, featuring free coffee from Java City. Laguna South Coast Cinema, 162 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-1711. Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. $5.50-$8.

Mail your press releases (and a videotape, if available) to Special Screenings,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Or send e-mail to gregstacy@earthlink.net. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.

 
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