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
Movie of the Week:
The Violin. Don Plutarco is a humble farmer and musician who uses his talent with the title instrument to charm a Mexican army captain into complacency, allowing Plutarco to recover ammunition he has hidden in his fields to support the Campesina peasant-guerrilla movement. Academy Award-nominated director Guillermo del Toro called it "One of the most amazing Mexican films in many a year." Osborne Auditorium, Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6325. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Free.
The Business of Being Born. Rikki Lake produced and stars in this documentary about the birthing business and the way American women give birth. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with local women's-health-care practitioners. Cal State Fullerton, Titan Student Union, Gabrielino Room, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 598-5174; www.filmmovement.com. Tues., 6 p.m. $10; students and faculty, free.
Children of Heaven. Iranian director Majid Majidi presents the refreshingly simple tale of two young children forced by economic realities to share one pair of shoes. A film divorced from the bloat of American mainstream budgets, Children of Heaven has to stand on the merits of its performances, story and direction—and it meets the challenge admirably. Iran entered this film as its candidate for Best Picture in 1999. It didn't win, but it was a critical favorite that year and remains an excellent reminder of the humanity of the residents of a nation that mostly makes news as the target of U.S. saber-rattling. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6595; www.themuck.org. Mon., $5.
Deconstructing Harry. Harry Block wrote a best-seller about his best friends. Now, his best friends are about to become his worst enemies. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, 117 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, (714) 667-1517; www.occca.org. Fri., 8 p.m. Free.
A Family Affair/Reveille With Beverly. Family is the first of the Hardy Family film series featuring Mickey Rooney. In Beverly, Ann Miller is a wartime DJ entertaining the troops with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. The Friday Film Forum will present a preshow program of shorts, cartoons and surprises. Long Beach School for Adults, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
Pulp Fiction. This 1994 Quentin Tarantino film made the hyperactive young director a household name and sent shockwaves through Hollywood that are still being felt. Tarantino's pop-culture-laden, ultra-stylized dialogue and comedic/horrific scenarios were a breath of fresh air for filmgoers looking for kinetic, hyperactive entertainment in "independent" cinema. Though many found the film to be overrated, there are few cineastes who have not seen the film and formed a strong opinion about it one way or another. Oh, but what the film hath wrought, as pale, obnoxious imitation after pale, obnoxious imitation continues to trot itself out on the direct-to-DVD market. If you haven't seen this quintessentially postmodern American film on the big screen, now's your chance. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
To Kill a Mockingbird. Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird stands as a sensitive and accurate representation of the novel. Gregory Peck gives an outstanding performance as Atticus Finch, single father and lawyer, who finds himself defending the life of a black man falsely accused of murder in a Depression-era Southern town. The movie boasts tremendous performances all around, especially those of Peck and newcomer Mary Badham as Finch's daughter, Scout. Mockingbird also features Corleone consigliere Robert Duvall as benevolent weirdo Boo Radley. The film is an excellent example of a mainstream-Hollywood production with a compassionate, humanist message and truly deserving of its many accolades. San Clemente Library, 242 Ave. del Mar, San Clemente, (949) 492-3493; www.ocpl.org. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
Mail your press releases (and a videotape or disc, if available) to Special Screenings,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.
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