Newport Beach Film Festival. Orange County's 18th-annual cinextravaganza kicks off with the opening-night film Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton, followed by a lavish gala, then continues through the official closing-night picture, The Exception, and another party. In between are more than 350 short, youth, foreign, music, family, action-sports, narrative, community, documentary, environmental or art/architecture/design films and music videos. Many screenings are followed by audience Q&As with filmmakers and still more parties. Newport Beach Film Festival at Big Newport Theater (including opening-night film), 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; Island Cinemas at Fashion Island, 999 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; Starlight Triangle Cinemas, 1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa; Regency Lido Theater (including closing-night film), 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach; Fashion Island grounds (opening and closing-night galas). Thurs., April 20-Thurs., April 27. Visit newportbeachfilmfest.com for the lineup, show times and more details; go to newportbeachfilmfest.tix.com for tickets.
Patrimonio. You have two chances to see Sarah Teale and Lisa F. Jackson's documentary about locals banding together to save their way of life and delicate ecosystem when a multibillion-dollar American mega hotel and condo project is poised to engulf a small coastal community in Mexico. First, there is a UC Irvine screening followed by an audience Q&A with Jackson and community leader Quirino Cota that is sponsored by the UCI's Illuminations, Latin American Studies Center, Humanities Research Institute, Film and Media Studies and UC-Mexus. The first three UCI groups also sponsor a Bowers Museum screening that benefits the museum's education programs. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway 1070, McCormick Screening Room, West Peltason and Campus drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Thurs., April 20. Courtyard reception, 5:15 p.m.; screening, 6 p.m. Free and open to the public; Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Norma Kershaw Auditorium, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3677. Sun., 1:30 p.m. $6.
Tomboy. French director Céline Sciamma's tender childhood drama is about a little girl's innocent deception quickly snowballing into something that gradually becomes a crucial component of her identity. This World Languages Film Screening is sponsored by the Department of Languages at Wilkinson College, which has not yet released the title for the April 27 movie. Chapman University, Argyros Forum 119A, 1 University Dr., Orange; events.chapman.edu. Thurs., April 20, 6:30 p.m. Free.
The Grateful Dead Movie 40th Anniversary. Jerry Garcia and Leon Gast co-directed the film plucked from a five-night run at San Francisco's iconic Winterland in October 1974, while the band was supposed to be in "retirement." Before the feature, watch a short documentary about the most famous Dead show of all time, on May 8, 1977, in Cornell University's Barton Hall. Wonder how many homemade cassettes from that one are circulating? AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, 26701 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Thurs., April 20, 7 p.m. $12.50.
Grizzly Man. In anticipation of "An Evening with Werner Herzog," on April 27 at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, his compelling 2005 documentary about Timothy Treadwell, who tragically miscalculated the dangers of trying to live among grizzly bears in the Alaska wild, screens. Chapman Studios West, 535 W. Palm Ave., Orange; events.chapman.edu. Thurs., April 20, 7 p.m. Free, but seating is first come, first served.
Memory Keepers. Before World War II, the Jewish community flourished in Sighet, Romania, where important Jewish thinkers such as Elie Wiesel were nourished. But in May 1944, the vibrant city was devastated as 13,000 men, women and children were deported to Auschwitz. Seventy years later, more than 100 descendants of the community gathered in Sighet to reveal rich stories of the past. The 21-minute documentary's director Molly Blank appears at the screening during "An Evening of Remembrance," which includes a special tribute to the late Wiesel, dance and symphony performances, and reflections from Rabbi Elie Spitz (Congregation B'nai Israel, Tustin), Gail Stearns (dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Chapman University) and Marilyn Harran (Stern Chair in Holocaust Education at Chapman). Chapman University, Memorial Hall, Orange, (714) 532-7760. Thurs., April 20, 7 p.m. Free, but call to reserve a seat.
Sunset Boulevard. From the mind of Billy Wilder comes one of the best skewerings of Hollywood and fame. A struggling screenwriter (William Holden) finds the easy life in the mansion of faded silent-film queen Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Due to Norma's escalating madness, things don't end so well for the writer, as you learn at the very beginning, in what may have been the first use of such a character-narration storytelling device. Laguna Art Museum curator Janet Blake introduces the 1950 film as part of the museum's 2017 Film Night program of screenings presented by special guests. These are organized in four categories—contemporary films, documentaries, artists' picks and classics—and screen on the third Thursday of each month through December. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971. Thurs., April 20, 7 p.m. Free with museum admission.
Easy Street and The Rink. The return of Silent Film Night features these Charlie Chaplin flickers as originally intended: accompanied by live, period-correct music. Historical context is provided by a Long Beach Heritage Museum expert. Before the screening, there is a tasting that pairs Breaker Bourbon with hors d'oeuvres. Cocktails can be purchased. The Exhibition Room, 1117 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, (562) 826-2940. Thurs., April 20, 8 p.m. $30.
Up In Smoke. Cheech & Chong's hilarious breakout comedy from 1978 is presented in celebration of 4/20 and on 4/20—but not at 4:20. Unemployed pothead and amateur drummer Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) meets kindred spirit Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin), and they embark on a cross-border adventure that puts them in the crosshairs of drug fighting police Sergeant Stedenko (Stacy Beach) and his band of merry idiot cops. Somehow the picture ends up at the Roxy, where the Dils, the Whores, and Cheech & Chong's own Alice Bowie are among the entrants in a battle of the punk bands, but did you know an early lineup of the Germs was also supposed to be included? Legend has it Darby Crash and his band mates were cut out because they started a food fight; their song "Sex Boy" (with sounds of the resulting riot) can be heard on their album MIA. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 20, 8 p.m. $13-$15.
Total Recall. OC Weekly's Friday Night Freakouts continue with a 4K restoration of this 1990 Paul Verhoeven mind-bender that is based on sometimes-Orange County resident Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." In 2084, a construction worker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a memory implanted so he can live out a fantasy on Mars, but things go terribly wrong. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.
Eugene Onegin. The Met: Live In HD series, which simulcasts into movie theaters nationwide, presents Tchaikovsky's opera sung in Russian with English subtitles. Eugene Onegin (Peter Mattei) rejects the love of Tatiana (Anna Netrebko) until it's too late. Robin Ticciati, music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, conducts the revival of Deborah Warner's staging, which opened the Met's 2013-14 season. During intermission, interviews with cast, crew and production teams take you backstage. AMC Marina Pacifica, 6346 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 430-8790; AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, 2457 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, 99 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, 26701 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Sat., 9:55 a.m.; Wed., 6:30 p.m. $18-$24.
AutFest Film Festival. The Autism Society presents the first film festival celebrating autism awareness "from spectrum to screen." Shown over two days during Autism Awareness Month, the fest includes an audience Q&A with Ben Affleck after one film screens, plus one with Pixar filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera and the Hollywood heavyweight trio being honored at the VIP closing ceremonies. The lineup of short films, all made in America, includes: The Adventures of Pelican Pete: A Bird Is Born, directed by Dani Bowman, one of a pair of festival films written and directed by filmmakers on the autism spectrum (part one of a trilogy based on the locally renowned books by Hugh and Frances Kaiser, it has Pelican Pete's parents building nests and raising their young); The Buddy System, directed by William Harris and Megan Smith-Harris, in which a dog makes a difference in the life of a child with autism; Even in Death, directed by Zac Davis, in which a young boy in New Orleans is visited by the Grim Reaper, who takes him on a charming adventure through the Big Easy (the second fest entry from a filmmaker on the spectrum); The Fox, directed by Donna Lyons, an offbeat comedy in which a 12-year-old boy believes he is a fox; Spectrum: Story of the Mind, directed by Jill Jones, in which autism is explored through the lens of diverse characters on the spectrum, including Dr. Temple Grandin; and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, directed by Adam Smith, in which an 8-year-old autistic boy who never had a friend lives in an imaginary world of dinosaurs . . . until a 2-foot-tall robot arrives. Nine feature-length films are also shown, including Aspergers Are Us; the Oscar-nominated documentary Life, Animated; The Accountant (followed by the Q&A with Affleck); and Inside Out (followed by the Q&A with Docter and Rivera). Closing night also includes presentations of awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance, Audience Award and Best Autistic Filmmaker. Films at AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets; www.autfestasa.com. Sat., 10 a.m.; Sun., noon. $10. Closing Ceremony VIP Reception at Cafe Tu Tu Tango at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange; www.autfestasa.com. Sun., 8 p.m. $200.
I Am the Blues. Take a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and moonshine-soaked barbecues in the North Mississippi Hill Country to hear blues musicians—rooted in the genre's heyday and many in their 80s—still living in the Deep South and touring the Chitlin Circuit. Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, RL Boyce, LC Ulmer, Lil' Buck Sinegal appear. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. $8:50-$11:50.
Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale. Kirito, Asuna and their party members from the mega-hit light novel/TV anime series explore the world of Ordinal Scale, a popular new game utilizing augmented-reality technology. But it turns out not to be all fun and games. The Frida teams up with Azoland Pictures for this one-night-only event that screens a new English dub of the recently released anime and includes a free poster for all who attend. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 8 p.m. $13-$15.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Midnight Insanity, the longtime Rocky shadowcast troupe and freaky movie presenter in both Orange County and Long Beach, once again uses props, costumes and audience participation to enliven the story about newlyweds whose car breaks down in the woods before they arrive at a mad scientist's bizarre castle. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8:50-$11:50.
The Graduate. Mike Nichols' 1967 picture captured the mood of a generation and catapulted Dustin Hoffman to super-stardom. Now back on the big screen for its 50th-anniversary restoration, expect to hear a lot of this: Doot do do-do doot do do-do doot do do-do do. (And here's to you) Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) preys on the 20-year-old son (Hoffman) of a family friend. The college grad, meanwhile, has the hots for the proto-MILF's daughter (Katharine Ross). The film that garnered seven Academy Award nominations—and a Best Director Oscar for Nichols—is preceded and followed by special commentary from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. The restored print is being presented simultaneously in theaters nationwide by TCM, Fathom Events, Rialto Pictures and StudioCanal. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Sun. & Wed., 2 & 7 p.m. $12.50.
Jurassic Park. It's an outdoor screening of Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster of 1993 about the horrific experiences of paleontologists (Sam Neill and Laura Dern), a mathematician (Jeff Goldblum) and others among a select group as they tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. You can bring picnic baskets (no alcohol, pets or smoking are allowed) or swing around the block and buy concessions at the Frida Cinema, which presents the movie with the Santa Ana Business Council, but you are on your own for blankets and beach chairs. Parking structure, Fifth and Spurgeon streets, Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Free.
TED Cinema Experience. The first two nights of the weeklong TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, are beamed live into theaters nationwide. Opening-night speakers include Tim Ferriss, Garry Kasparov, Laura Galante and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, with a musical performance by OK Go. The next night, it's Serena Williams, acclaimed healthcare reformer Atul Gawande, a talk from "one of the world's most revered figures" (who will be revealed on event night), and the awarding of the $1 million TED Prize and a "wish" for a world-changing idea. TED Highlights Exclusive with the week's remaining speakers is shown in theaters on April 30. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Mon. & Tues., 8 p.m. $18.
Tenemos la Carne (We Are the Flesh). You wanted it back, Orange County—you got it: Emiliano Rocha Minter's mind-blowing, disturbing, polarizing, shocking, mesmerizing and altogether-original, surreal, art-house puzzler has a young brother and sister roaming an apocalyptic city looking for food and shelter. They take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit, who quickly puts the siblings to work building a bizarre cavernous structure in which the hermit will act out insane and depraved fantasies. Viewer discretion advised. Presented in Spanish with English subtitles. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Mon.-Tues. & Thurs., April 27, 9:30 p.m. $7-$10.
American Graffiti. Before sequels to Star Wars ruined George Lucas as a filmmaker, he made this 1973 dramedy about high-school grads spending the last night of their 1962 summer vacation cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college. Like cruising the strip with your buddies, this movie is overrated, although it did kick-start a wave of late-1950s-early '60s nostalgia that TV's Happy Days capitalized on. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues. Call for show time. $8.
Silenced. The UCI Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures' quarterly film series continues with this 2011 film, also known as The Crucible, that is based on a novel depicting actual events that took place at Gwangju Inhwa School for the hearing-impaired in South Korea. Young deaf students were the victims of repeated sexual assaults by faculty members over five years in the early 2000s, and this movie sparked reforms. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway 1010, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Tues., 5 p.m. Free.
Chonda Pierce: Enough . . . Laugh ~ Cry ~ Love. Following her hit Fathom Event and best-selling DVD, Laughing In the Dark, The Christian comedian continues her journey dealing with grief, loss and holding onto self-image. Pierce is joined by special guests to help women look to their relationship with Christ as the answer for completeness, self-acceptance and fulfillment. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Brea Stadium East 12, 155 W. Birch St., Brea, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Metro Pointe Stadium 12, 901 South Coast Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 428-0962; fathomevents.com.Tues., 7 p.m. $14.
The Bridge: Pathways to a Trauma-Informed Community. The Guidance Center presents this screening that includes interviews with its Long Beach and Catalina Island clients, who are families and disadvantaged children dealing with abuse and mental illness. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Wed., 6 p.m. Free.
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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (parts 1 and 2). It's back-to-back Anime Movie Nights screenings, presented in partnership with Crunchyroll, of Tetsuro Araki's films about the arrival of undead monsters forcing the Hinomoto people to barricade themselves inside an iron fortress. Buckle up because Part 1 ("Light That Gathers") and part 2 ("Life That Burns") unfold over nearly four hours at this one-night-only event. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed., 7 p.m. $13-$15.
The African Queen. A gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain (Humphrey Bogart) in Africa is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary (Katharine Hepburn) to use his boat to attack an enemy warship during World War II in this 1951 John Huston classic that was apparently hell to make. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.