It is shortly after the American Civil War, and some sort of sea creature is ramming and sinking warships. The U.S.S.Abraham Lincoln is dispatched to investigate, with marine biologist Professor Arronax (Paul Lukas), his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre) and master harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) aboard. But when their ship is rammed and they’re plunged into the briny depths, they discover the culprit is no monster—it’s a fabulous submarine built and piloted by tortured genius Captain Nemo (James Mason). Nemo is a pacifist with a twist: he’s declared war on war itself, and now that Arronax, Conseil and Land know his secret, he’ll never let them leave his ship.
Jules Verne’s undersea adventure novel has been filmed at least 11 times so far, with yet another version now on its way to the big screen. But no other so far seriously compares to Richard Fleisher’s 1954 classic, and no matter how much CGI spectacle they throw at it, it’s highly doubtful the new remake will either. With a superb cast, a punchy script, stunning art direction and special effects that hold up remarkably well today (the giant squid attack is still pure nightmare fuel), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is indeed a whale of a tale. 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.
Instandstillnessence. New video artwork from John Oswald features very, very slowly changing photo portraits of the people of Toronto. Hey, it’s a “special screening” of a sort! Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach. (949) 759-1122. Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thru May 31. $8-$10. Free admission every Thurs.
Las mantenidas sin sueos (Kept & Dreamless). Vera Fogwill & Martin Desalvo’s 2005 drama promises to “immerses us in the intimacies of the feminine world” as we follow a feuding mother and daughter through their domestic travails. It’s the latest picture in UC Irvine’s Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instructional Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Sat., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Matando Cabos (Killing Cabos). Alejandro Lozano’s 2004 Mexican dark comedy about a group of kids caught up in a kidnapping scheme involving a retired wrestler and a parrot. It’s the latest picture in UC Irvine’s Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Fri., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Mulholland Drive.After a lengthy period of relative obscurity and creative dithering following the cancellation of Twin Peaks, David Lynch returned to prominence with this dreamy tale of two young women—one an aspiring actress, one suffering from amnesia following a car accident—whose identities begin to blur. Edwards Rancho Santa Margarita, 30632 Santa Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-3358. Tues., 8 p.m. $6; Edwards South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 540-1970. Wed., 8 p.m. $6.
Oxhide. 23-year-old Chinese filmmaker Liu Jiayin makes her directorial debut with this arty documentary portrait of her family. Comprised of 23 fixed shots, featuring only her family onscreen and shot mostly in the middle of the night, the film captures a family dynamic Jiayin describes as “narrow, depressive, dim and warm.” Jiayin appears at the screening. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., May 11, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
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Pioneering video artists. The Orange County Museum of Art presents a new selection of video artwork at South Coast Plaza, including 1973’s Global Groove by Nam June Paik and Cory Arcangel and Frankie Martin’s 2004 satire on early ‘90s pop culture, 414-RAVE-95. OCMA’s Orange Lounge atSouth Coast Plaza, third floor of the Crate & Barrel wing, 3333 Bear St., Ste. 303, Costa Mesa, (949) 759-1122, ext. 272; www.ocma.net/orangelounge/. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free.
Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn stars as a spunky princess, bored with palace life, who flees into the arms of down-to-earth reporter, Gregory Peck. A charming trifle from director William Wyler, starring two people who are both so annoyingly beautiful to look upon that they make the rest of us look like sad, shambling apes. Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Thurs., May 18, 6 p.m. $6-$8.
Transnational Tradeswomen. Former construction worker Vivian Price directs and narrates this documentary look at women construction workers around the world. Price appears at the screening. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., May 18, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
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 email@example.com. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.