Special Screenings

Movie of the Week: La Belle et le Bete (Beauty and the Beast)

When Beauty (the suitably ravishing Josette Day) arrives at the Beast's enchanted castle, she finds candelabras held aloft by living human arms extending from the walls, mirrors and doors that whisper ominously in her ears, and statues that watch her from their darkened alcoves with cold, inquisitive eyes. This sure as heck ain't the Disney version. There are no singing tchotchkes here (although this film's Beauty is surrounded by furniture a good deal more animated than she might care for), and Jean Marais' Beast is a world away from Robbie Benson; he's a fearsome, pitiful creature with eyes that glow in the darkness and hands that smoke whenever he kills. Marais is nothing short of magnificent in the part, and his performance is all the more extraordinary when you factor in the Chewbacca-like makeup he's somehow managing to emote through. Cocteau's lyrical, surreal, 1946 adaptation of Mme. Marie Leprince de Beaumont's fairy tale (this "tale as old as time" actually dates back a mere two centuries) is at once darker and more magical than anything today's Disney studio could ever dream up. History credits Cocteau with many achievements—filmmaker, playwright, poet, essayist, painter, actor, et al.—but this film proves that there is yet another title Cocteau deserved: master sorcerer. A discussion will be hosted by Signe Johnson. Orange Coast College, Fine Arts Building, Room 119, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5599. Fri., 6:30 p.m. $5-$6.


also showing
 

Baby FaceandThe Sin of Nora Moran. It's a double feature this week. First, you got Baby Face, a 1933 shocker starring Barbara Stanwyck as a sassy little number who sleeps her way to the top. Widely banned in its day for scandalous sexual content, the film is, of course, fairly tame stuff by modern standards (although Stanwyck is still a memorable hellcat). It's followed by The Sin of Nora Moran, a 1933 drama about a woman (Zita Johann) sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit, but she refuses to admit the truth because she's convinced it would harm her loved ones. Short subjects, cartoons and other goodies are also on the bill. Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000, ext. 7198. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.Casablanca. A pretty good script, skilled direction, gorgeous photography and flawless casting come together to create a masterpiece far greater than the sum of its parts. The film's dark look was highly influential on the film-noir thrillers that came along a few years later, and its story has since "influenced" dozens of movies, everything from Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (by now, we all know that Bogie never actually said that, right?) to that infamous Pamela Anderson bomb Barb Wire. This is your chance to see this true classic on the big screen. Go. Pierside Surfcity, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-3151. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $7.Clerks. Kevin Smith's directing debut is a grungy, fitfully amusing portrait of Gen-X losers in those early-'90s days of service-industry jobs and endless Return of the Jedi references. A decade on and one dot-com bubble burst later, many of us are once again back behind the counter of the local video store, cracking wise about Ewoks when we're not worrying about how the hell we're going to feed our kids. Sigh. Smith made a sequel recently, and holy Jesus, did these boys not age well. DiPiazza's, 5205 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-2461. Wed., "10-ish." Free.Colorblind. Orange County producer/director Pamela Peak appears at this screening of her documentary examining race relations in America. Reuniting classmates from Peak's 1967 Detroit grammar-school class, they look back at the race riots of the era and reminisce about their beloved, African-American teacher, Mr. Bell. The Woodbridge Theatre, 4626 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 733-0980. Thurs., Sept. 28, 7 p.m. $4-$5.Loose Change. Dylan Avery's documentary (presented here in a newly updated version) purports to demonstrate a direct connection between the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and United States federal agencies. 1259 Victoria St., Costa Mesa, (949) 548-8772. Sat., 7 p.m. Free.Maquilapolis. This Sergio De La Torre and Vicky Funari documentary looks at workers in maquiladoras, Tijuana's foreign-owned factories. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Sun., 3 p.m. Free with museum admission ($8-$10).The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Midnight Insanity troupe gets its Time Warp on at a new location, with dancing, costume contests and other special-event gaiety on different theme nights. So if you've been looking for an excuse to bust out those fishnets, go crazy, fellas. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 694-4411 or (562) 235-8053; www.midnightinsanity.com. Every Sat., midnight. $8 tickets go on sale at 10:30 p.m.Rosemary's Baby. Mia Farrow stars in Roman Polanki's classic tale of a young mother who suspects her baby may be Satan's spawn. The movie is plenty scary enough, but check out the original artwork of theater manager Eddie Allen on display in the lobby: quaint old ladies and gentlemen who transform, via some sort of black magic, into wild-eyed, bloodsucking freaks as you walk past them. That's pure nightmare fuel, baby. Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Fri., 10 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Wed., 8 p.m. $6-$8.Short films by Marie Jager. A selection of science-fiction work related to Jager's work in the Orange County Museum of Art's 2006 California Biennial show, featuring a live performance by the West Coast Encounter Group. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Thurs., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. Free with museum admission ($8-$10).

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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