Aloha From Graceland [Special Screenings, May 25-June 1]
Long Strange Trip: Grateful Dead Documentary. Directed by Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese (The Last Waltz), Long Strange Trip explores the fiercely independent vision, perpetual innovation and uncompromising commitment to their audience that made the Bay Area band one of the most influential musical groups of their generation. Candid interviews with the band, road crew, family members and notable Deadheads reveal the untold history of the Dead and the freewheeling psychedelic subculture that sprouted up around it. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Thurs., May 25, 3 & 8 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.
JFK Remembered: 100 Years Later. Never-before-seen materials give a fresh new look at John Fitzgerald Kennedy's presidency. The Kennedy family and JFK presidential library participated in the production. Regency San Juan Capistrano, 26762 Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 661-3456. Thurs., May 25, 6:30 p.m. $15.
High Anxiety. If Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein were never made, would this 1977 Mel Brooks comedy be considered his best? I mean, if The Producers also did not exist. In this sendup of Hitchcock films (which apparently received some input from Hitch), Brooks plays a newly arrived psychiatrist at the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous, where he tries to help a blonde (Madeline Kahn) get her father out alive despite two scheming staffers (Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman). You'll never guess who assumes the Norman Bates role in the hilarious shower scene. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 25, 8 p.m. $7-$10.
Blue Hawaii. With Orange County college screenings dried up because of finals, graduations and summer breaks, outdoor family films have arrived to fill the void. Up first is this Movies On the Lawn screening of the 1961 Elvis Presley vehicle about a returning soldier who opts out of the family pineapple business to work for his girlfriend's tour agency. Bring low-backed chairs and blankets, and take a picnic or purchase items from food trucks or the snack bar. Orange County Great Park, 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, (949) 724-6247. Fri., dusk (but arrive sooner for a prime spot). Free.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? In honor of Colleen Happ, a Frida board member and volunteer who is relocating to Canada, her favorite film rolls. It's also among the (many) best from the Coen brothers, who follow three members of a 1937 Mississippi chain gang who escape and set off for buried treasure—and cut a little ditty in a sound studio that unwittingly turns them into musical stars. George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro, John Goodman and Holly Hunter star. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 25, 8 p.m. $7-$10.
MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
Poltergeist. This 1982 horror thriller—and OC Weekly Friday Night Freakout selection—is often misremembered as a Steven Spielberg joint, but while he co-produced and wrote the story the screenplay is based upon, it was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre helmer Tobe Hooper in the director's chair. Hooper certainly brought the same frightening intensity to this more mainstream flick about there being much more wrong with a family's new cookie-cutter home than a cracked foundation. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.
The Angry Birds Movie. It's an outdoor screening of the animated flick from last year about mysterious green piggies making outcast birds Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) angry. Thus, the title. See the instructions on how to enjoy the movie in the Blue Hawaii entry. Orange County Great Park, (949) 724-6247. Sat., dusk (but arrive sooner for a prime spot). Free.
The Maltese Falcon. The 1941 film noir by then-first-time director John Huston, who based his script on Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel of the same name, is about San Francisco private investigator Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) taking a large retainer to find the sister of his femme fatale client Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor). What follows in Frida's Classics-Film Noir series selection is much confusion and a healthy dose of creepy courtesy of Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, who would team up with Bogey the following year in Casablanca. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30 p.m. $7-$10.
The Maltese Falcon
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaks down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist whose home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O'Brien) and assorted freaks who include a muscular man named "Rocky." Watch what's on and in front of the screen thanks to the Midnight Insanity shadow cast. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.
1967 In Film: A Fifty-Year Retrospective. Local author and film enthusiast Robert James—known for the "Who Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars" series—discusses one of the greatest years in film history. Cross your celluloid fingers he brings clips. Cypress Library, 5331 Orange Ave., Cypress, (714) 826-0350. Sat., 2 p.m. Free.
Jaws. Now here is the Steven Spielberg movie that so infiltrated pop culture it spawned many imitators, started blockbuster thinking inside Hollywood studios and turned a little piece of John Williams' music that played whenever the killer Great White was around into the Universal Tune for Foreboding, in any situation. Dollars to doughnuts that if the current shark infestation along the Orange Coast gets worse this summer, our fearless leaders will look the other way as Amity Islands' did. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $8.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It is with much delight that I bestow a feeling to many of you that I experienced the first time I heard U2 on an oldies radio station: The first film, from 2001, in director Peter Jackson's franchise based on the Tolkien books, is now billed as a classic. In a small village in the shire, young Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) has been entrusted with an ancient ring. He must embark on an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom to destroy it. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $8.
Blazing Saddles. Returning as part of Frida's Directors Series is Mel Brooks' comedy that is rightly considered among the funniest movies of all time. The new black sheriff of Rock Ridge (Cleavon Little), his gunslinger-turned-drunk sidekick (Gene Wilder) and the "salt of the earth . . . morons" inhabiting a frontier town battle baddies bent on clearing everyone out for a new railroad—and a classic pie fight. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed.-Thurs., May 31-June 1, 8 p.m. $7-$10.
History as Visual Splendor: Nostalgia as Ideological Colonization in Bollywood Films. Ruhi Khan, a professor of media and cultural studies at UC Riverside, gives a talk and shows videos in this UC Irvine Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture event. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway (HG) 1030, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Thurs., June 1, 9:30 a.m. Free.
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