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:
Fresh off leaving the well-coiffed crowd in stitches for his line “Suck on that, Anthony Dod Mantle!” at Sunday’s Academy Awards, Schindler’s List cinematographer Janusz Kaminski appears in Santa Ana for a Polish Film Festival-LA screening of his second directorial effort, Hania. The 2007 film follows childless couple Ola (Agnieszka Grochowska) and Wojtek (Benjamin Lewandowski), who invite an orphan boy into their home on Christmas Eve. Kacper (Maciej Stolarczyk) talks to trees, says he can fly and is so darling the couple should eat him up, but he triggers in Wojtek memories of an unhappy childhood. Can the child, like Jesus, bring about a Christmas miracle? Afterward, you can ask Kaminski about being Steven Spielberg’s favorite director of photography, what it was like working with Vanilla Ice and how the hell the Oscars got him on that half-baked couch next to Seth Rogan and James Franco. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (949) 861-1835; www.polishfilmla.org. Sat., 9 p.m. $15.
Nothing Like the Holidays
Mexican-born filmmaker Alfredo De Villa’s flick is about Puerto Rican family members from all over descending on mami and papi’s house in west Chicago for Christmas. You’ve got your damaged Iraq combat-vet son (Freddy Rodriguez), your struggling-actress daughter (Vanessa Ferlito) and your yuppified-attorney eldest son (John Leguizamo), who has brought along his hedge-fund-executive wife (Debra Messing). And the matriarch (Elizabeth Pena, who made a deal with the devil to be in any film revolving around a Latino family) has a bombshell: She’s dumping the patriarch (Alfred Molina). Can another crisis come along to bring la familia back together? Ask De Villa about his choices at this UC Irvine Film and Video Center “Cosecha Latina/Latin Harvest” presentation. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., March 5. Reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Africa, the Serengeti
Filmed in Kenya and Tanzania, this film exposes the extraordinary Great Migration. 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).
Eighty-minute documentary examines quilts as historical records, works of art and symbols of family and community. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Tues., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Chants of Lotus
Four female filmmakers explore the lives of marginalized Indonesian women in the final installment of UC Irvine Film and Video Center’s “Women Direct Movies” series. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., Feb. 26, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Relive this guilty pleasure from the ’80s featuring Valerie Vomit, Ali Gator, Nat Nerd and other acne-ridden plastic deformities in this latest Mondo Celluloid presentation. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 428-5435; www.mondocelluloid.com. Fri., 11:59 p.m. $10.
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., March 5, 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Attempting to find out where our food comes from, friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move from the East Coast to Iowa, where they grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on 1 acre of soil. But as Aaron Woolf’s 2007 documentary shows, when the new farmers try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, they learn troubling things about how we eat and farm. The Road Less Traveled store’s Conscious Cinema presentation actually screens next door. @Space Gallery, 2202 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-8727; roadlesstraveledstore.com. Sun., 5:30 p.m. Free admission and hot tea.
Leopards of Zanzibar
Young men from the sunny island off Africa’s eastern coast keep pace with modernity as they compete in a championship soccer match on the mainland. 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).
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
If you missed South Coast Village’s Ash Wednesday screening of this demented classic, you get four more chances to witness the hilarious “It’s just a flesh wound” scene on the big screen in Seal Beach. Bay Theater, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988; www.baytheatre.com. Fri., 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon. & Wed., 8 p.m. $5-$8.
A Powerful Noise
Sheila C. Johnson’s documentary presents an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam, a survivor of the Bosnian war and a worker in Mali’s Bamako slums to demonstrate the power of women on International Women’s Day. A town-hall discussion follows. AMC at the Block, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy, 2457 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 258-7036; Century Bella Terra, 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Century Stadium, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; Regency Irvine Spectrum, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 450-4920; www.apowerfulnoise.org. Thurs., March 5, 8 p.m. $12.50-$15.
The Thomas Crown Affair
Apparently, John McTiernan’s 1999 suspense yarn starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo has achieved what Norman Jewison’s 1968 original starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway could not: classic status. Hey, it’s part of Classic Film Night, so it must be true. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
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