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
Movies of the Week:
Oscar Nominated Shorts. If those who venture into the cineplexes to see all the Academy Award-nominated films up for best picture, director and the top acting categories are the cat’s pajamas, what are we to make of the folks who’ve seen every frame of Oscar-nominated shorts? Heck, even the people voting on them probably have not seen them all. You can be the envy of your cinema club by taking advatage of the fourth-annual Oscar Nominated Shorts screening presented by Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International. You will be treated to short live-action nominees Auf Der Strecke (On the Line), directed by Reto Caffi; New Boy by Steph Green; Toyland by Jochen Freydank; The Pig by Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh; and Manon on the Asphalt by Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont. You’ll also get a load of animated-shorts nominees Lavatory-Love Story, directed by Konstantin Bronzit; Oktapodi by Julien Bocabeille; Le Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato; This Way Up by Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith; and Presto by Doug Sweetland. It all clocks in at a butt-munching, theater-seat-friendly 131 minutes. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Opens Fri. Call for show times and ticket prices.
The Compass. Live music, red-carpet arrivals and a cocktail reception for a local charity are promised at this world premiere of a film John Spencer Ellis says he conceived after “many contemplative hikes” through Orange County foothills. It is based on his guidebook, co-authored with Tammy Kling, to help people live their dreams. Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 712-2700. Sun., 5 p.m. $47-$97.
Desert Odyssey. A 9-year-old boy embarks on his first camel caravan through the Sahara. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Wed., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Get Thrashed. The Road Less Traveled continues its Conscious Cinema (that is screened next door) with Rick Ernst’s 2006 documentary about the early-’80s thrash-metal scene that brought the world Metallica. Oh, joy. @Space Gallery, 2202 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-8727; theroadlesstraveledstore.com. Sun., 5:30 p.m. Free admission and hot tea.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Classic Film Night presents Sergio Leone’s 1966 shoot-’em-up/rope-’em-up that is arguably the best spaghetti western. If you don’t know it by Eli Wallach’s full Frito Bandito baddie or Clint Eastwood’s dusty poncho—which he’d wear through all three “Man with No Name” movies—then you certainly can peg it by Ennio Morricone’s hyena-in-pain title theme. Double and triple crosses abound when the Good (Eastwood), the Bad (Lee Van Cleef) and the Ugly (Wallach) try to acquire a bounty of gold hidden in a cemetery. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
Hearts and Hands. Pat Ferrero’s documentary on 19th-century quilt makers and the social history reflected in their work. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., Feb. 5, 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
In Love We Trust. Wang Xiaoshuai’s look at a divorced couple who learn the only way to save their little blood-diseased daughter is to have another child. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6334; www.fullertonlibrary.org. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Free.
North By Northwest. Any time I pass this 1959 Alfred Hitchcock mistaken-identity suspenser on a screen, I have to stop and watch what the American Film Institute dubbed the seventh best mystery of all time. But I eventually get obsessed with how much Cary Grant’s suit must stink after he’s chased 3,000 miles through cities, farms, and up and over Mt. Rushmore—even after getting it “sponged and pressed.” Cinema Fusion at Anaheim’s GardenWalk, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 399-0300; www.cinemafusionanaheim.com. Wed., 7 p.m. $7.50.
Nowhere in Africa. The second of the three-part “The Colonial Experience in Africa” series is this 2001 drama that dramatizes the experiences of a German Jewish refugee family adjusting to farm life in 1930s Kenya. The series closes March 12 with Cry, The Beloved Country. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Oliver Kahn. This 2003 film named after a famous European soccer player is not a biopic, but rather artist Steve Fagin’s exercise in the construction and reconstruction of memory. UC Irvine, University Art Gallery, 712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, (949) 824-9854. Open Tues.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Through Feb. 7. Free.
Reversion. UC Irvine’s Film and Video Center kicks off the two-film “Women Direct Movies” series, which explores why there are so few women directors and hero/protagonists in feature films, with Mia Trachinger’s 2008 tale about a woman named Eva desperately trying to avoid a destiny in which she kills her lover, Marcus, while roadtripping through LA. Film and Media Studies prof Fatimah Tobing Rony curates this screening, which is preceded by a reception and followed by a question-and-answer session with Trachinger. Indonesia’s Chants of Lotus (Perempuan Punya Cerita) is the concluding film on Feb. 26. UC Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., Feb. 5. Reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Savanah Homecoming. Two women journey between bustling cities and East Africa’s golden plains. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Fri., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Showgirls. The 1995 bomb that almost derailed the careers of director Paul Verhoeven, writer Joe Eszterhas and star Elizabeth Berkley has been magically resurrected into a cult classic. Berkley plays a drifter who spends a lot of time naked, clawing her way to the top as a Vegas showgirl. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 428-5435; www.mondocelluloid.com. Fri., 11:59 p.m. $9.50.
Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang). Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien’s sentimental tale of unfinished love bounces between three time periods with actor and actress Shu Qi and Chang Chen playing the leads in each segment. “A Time for Love” (1966) follows a young woman and a soldier struggling to maintain contact; “A Time for Freedom” (1911) has a married diplomat battling his modern principles when winning the admiration of a courtesan during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan; “A Time for Youth” (2005) finds a young bisexual woman involved in a three-way love affair against the backdrop of war in China. UC Irvine Film and Video Center presents what was voted 2005’s Best Undistributed Film by Film Comment and the Village Voice National Critics Poll as part of its Taiwanese Cinema Festival, which concludes Feb. 19 with Hsiao Chu-chen’s Grandma’s Hairpin. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
When Harry Met Sally . . . There was a lot of whoop about this Rob Reiner film from a Nora Ephron script when it came out in 1989. Don’t know why. Seemed like just a big Billy Crystal-vs.-Meg Ryan cute-off. It’s shown as part of Movies on the Fox, which is where they show movies on the historic Fox Theatre’s outdoor wall to raise awareness and money (through concessions sales) for future entertainment inside. Wear warm clothing, bring a blanket, and would it kill you to call your mother? Fox Theatre, Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, (714) 870-0069; www.foxfullerton.org. Thurs., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Free.
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