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
The Loved One. Loosely based on his experiences in America during the filming of his book Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel The Loved One took on both Hollywood and the funeral industry with Waugh's characteristically withering gaze. Tony Richardson's 1965 film version set out to be the film with "something to offend everyone", and it was indeed quite controversial in its day, with The New York Times' Bosley Crowther declaring, "What is offensive about it—what is hideous and gross—is the violent, undisciplined excessiveness of its morbid ribaldry." Of course, nowadays the film seems much less excessive, morbid and ribald when stuff like Wonder Showzen (or, heck, Desperate Housewives) is being broadcast into America's living rooms every week, but The Loved One is still a fascinating, freaky little curio.
If you didn't know better, you'd swear John Waters directed this thing: the cast is sheer camp perfection, a rogue's gallery including Tab Hunter, Liberace, James Coburn, Milton Berle, Roddy McDowall and Sir John Gielgud. Jonathan Winters steals the film in a flashy duel role, although he gets plenty of competition from Rod Steiger as an effeminate embalmer with a mother who weighs 800 pounds. (Seriously, do we know for sure that Waters didn't direct this movie?) This film is currently unavailable on DVD, so if you're fortunate enough to pick up this issue the day it hits the stands, rush out to UC Irvine and catch this rare treat. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., May 4, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Big Fish. Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange and Helena Bonham Carter star in Tim Burton's 2003 box-office disappointment about a man (McGregor) trying to find the truth in the tall tales told by his dying father (Finney). Local film authority Dr. Arthur Taussig hosts the screening and discussion afterward. Orange Coast College, Fine Arts Building, Room 116, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5599. Fri., 6:30 p.m. $5-$6.
The Exorcist. All the crappy sequels and prequels aside, William Friedkin's original, 1973 horror show remains one of the scariest pictures of all time. It was a nightmare to shoot, with so many mishaps on the set—injuries, illnesses, fires and even an indoor snowstorm—that a real priest was called to the set in hopes of clearing out some of the bad mojo. The resulting picture was enormously controversial, with an outraged Billy Graham claiming that an actual demon lived within the film's reels. 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.
Instandstillnessence. New video artwork from John Oswald features very, very slowly changing photo portraits of the people of Toronto. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122. Open Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $8-$10; free admission on Thursdays.
Night Watch. Edgardo Cozarinsky's drama follows Victor, a rent-boy on the prowl on the streets of Buenos Aires. It's another picture in UCI's Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Sat., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Nine Queens. Cinemania presents Fabian Bielinsky's tale of two small-time conmen, Juan (Gastůn Pauls) and Marcos (Ricardo Darin), who team up for the biggest score of their lives. In Spanish with English subtitles. Cultural Stage of Art, 410-B W. Fourth St., Ste. 4, Santa Ana, (714) 543-0613. Sat., 6 p.m. Free.
Otra Vuelta. A young filmmaker returns to his hometown in Argentina intending to make a film about a writer killed during the dictatorship, but instead finds himself drawn into the mystery surrounding the death of a childhood friend. It's the latest picture in UC Irvine's Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Fri., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Pioneering video artists. The Orange County Museum of Art presents a new selection of video artwork at South Coast Plaza, including 1973's Global Groove by Nam June Paik, as well as Cory Arcangel and Frankie Martin's 2004 satire on early '90s pop culture, 414-RAVE-95. South Coast Plaza, Orange Lounge, third floor of the Crate & Barrel wing, 3333 Bear St., Ste. 303, Costa Mesa, (949) 759-1122, ext. 272. Open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free.
The Poseidon Adventure. Sure, that new remake has the state-of-the-art CGI effects and all that, but the fans attending this screening of the original upside-down oceanliner flick will tell you that none of that compares with Shelley Winters treading water. This screening offers a rare chance to see the film on the big screen and features in-person appearances from Stella Stevens and Carol Lynley. Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. Sixth St., San Pedro, (310) 548-7672; warnergrand.org. Sat., 4 p.m. $15-$20. For the return of another Irwin Allen disaster flick, see Nicole Campos' DVD review ofThe Towering Inferno.
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