Special Screenings

Movie of the Week: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Jane (Bette Davis) and Blanche (Joan Crawford) are two aged sisters who were stars in their youth. Now, with their glory days long past, the two share a crumbling mansion, with the increasingly erratic and embittered Jane caring for the wheelchair-bound Blanche. But when Blanche decides to sell the house they've been haunting lo these many years, Jane snaps, taking years of resentment and frustration out on the helpless Blanche. Let's say you somehow stumble into this screening having never seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?before, and you only know it by its campy reputation. You know it's something about two weird old ladies, and maybe you saw some parody sometime, one of those things with two guys in bad drag screeching at each other. You settle in, expecting some silly B-picture, but then the show starts, and you're completely unprepared for what just might be the most horrifying, grotesque movie you've ever seen. The film was so successful it spawned its own, short-lived genre of rabid-grandma movies, variously dubbed psycho-biddy or grande dame guignol. See it today, and you'll be just as horrified as audiences were when the film premiered in 1962. There's no gore to speak of, but trust me, this thing is Hostel nasty. 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.

Also Showing

Al Khadar Demolition. The Cousins Club of Orange County presents this short film where Ibrahim Issa, director of the Hope Flowers School in Palestine, takes international observers to a home demolition site. Also screening is a short version of Robert Greenwald's latest film, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (see "Money for Nothing"). A discussion period follows. Irvine Ranch Water District Offices, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, (949) 642-5767; www.cousinsclub.org. Tues., 7:30 p.m. Free.

Annie Hall. One of Woody Allen's most stylish and insightful films, the tone of which is summed up reasonably well by the now-all-but-forgotten subtitle, A Nervous Romance. Annie Hall has influenced countless romantic comedy/dramas in the years since, but don't hold that against it. The screening is introduced by Robert Kline, producer, former executive vice-president for 20th Century Fox Television and co-founder of Lifetime Television. Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach, (949) 644-3296; www.nbplfoundation.org/filmseries.html. Tues., 6 p.m. $10-$15; tickets must be purchased online or by mail.

The Bank DickandBlock Heads. A double feature of classic comedies: 1940's The Bank Dick features W.C. Fields in fine, misanthropic form, while 1938's Block Headssees Laurel and Hardy getting themselves into yet another fine mess. 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.

The Breakfast Club. Don't you . . . forget about this screening of John Hughes' beloved '80s dramedy, starring Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy as disaffected teens forced to share a long Saturday in their high school library. And yes, I did just use "John Hughes" and "beloved" in the same sentence. Pierside Surfcity, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-3151. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $7.

Dracula. Bela Lugosi is sinister perfection in Tod Browning's classic film version of Bram Stoke's vampire tale. Pop in your plastic fangs and go nuts. Screw Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. DiPiazza's Restaurant, 5205 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-2461. Wed., 10:30 p.m. Free.

An Inconvenient Truth. In that slow, gentle, Mister Rogers-esque voice, Al Gore explains how our planet is doomed unless we take some drastic action, like, yesterday. God love him for it, and here's hoping this movie has changed some minds on the subject . . . but, man, I'd pay 10 bucks to not have to see this thing. We're all screwed, Al. I get it. Now will you please run for president again and stop making incredibly alarming and depressing movies? Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, 1259 Victoria St., Costa Mesa, (949) 646-4652. Sat., 6:30 p.m. Free.

The Little Mermaid. Take your own little mermaid (or little merman, what the hell) to see this schmaltzy but indisputably charming Disney cartoon, then stick around to enjoy the fishy wonders of the Aquarium of the Pacific. If you're a parent, you've probably already heard Ariel warbling "Part of Your World" 6,000 times, so what's one more? Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Wy., Long Beach, (562) 590-3100. Limited seating; advance reservations required. Fri., 2, 4, 6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m., 1 p.m. $5, plus cost of museum admission, $9.95-$17.95.

The Look of Law. A program of six short videos, organized by Professor Simon Leung (UC Irvine's Department of Studio Art), presented in conjunction with an ongoing exhibition in the University Art Gallery and an Oct. 19 conference of the same name. The videos "address the affective ramifications of state and political power using hybrid forms of verbal and textual narration that owe as much to the history of video art in galleries as they do to experimental cinema and video." Just reading that sentence made my brain hurt. Filmmaker Nate Harrison (Stock Exchange) appears at the screening. UC Irvine Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Wed., 7 p.m. $3-$5.

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