Movie of the Week:
You thought the wars over crude oil were nasty? Wait until you get a load of the coming wars over water. Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary tagged the global water crisis as the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century. She builds her case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh-water supply through five years’ worth of interviews with scientists and activists, all of whom warn the corporate water grab has begun despite no one having determined whether one can really own water. What’s next? Air? Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, reviewing Flow upon its initial 2006 release, wrote, “As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, the quietly apocalyptic Flow makes a good case that what’s going on with our planet’s water supply should make you very, very afraid.” But Salina also exposes viewers to the people and institutions coming up with practical solutions to the crisis. That can’t happen soon enough, as one authority tells Salina, “We have wars going on over oil. Water can be oil all over again.” The Road Less Traveled store’s Conscious Cinema presentation actually screens next door at @Space Gallery, 2202 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-8727; roadlesstraveledstore.com. Sun., 5:30 p.m. Free admission and hot tea (made with water).
The Art of Quilting
The myriad techniques and artistry reflected in contemporary American quilts is celebrated in this hour-long documentary. 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 tackle different stories about the lives of marginalized women in Indonesia 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.
This 2006 film out of Israel, which screens as part of the 2009 Pacific Jewish Film Festival, follows a mild-mannered man who, after he and his wife are almost killed, pursues a reckless driver but gets caught up in a group of gangsters. Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Ste. 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400; www.jccoc.org. Sat., 9 p.m. $9-$10.
Based on Anne Michaels’ novel, this 2007 Canadian/Greek production, screening as part of the 2009 Pacific Jewish Film Festival, concerns a man who deals with haunting experiences in World War II Poland by writing and finding love. Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Ste. 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400; www.jccoc.org. Sun., 5:30 p.m. $9-$10.
You’ve got your Steven Spielberg story. Your Chris Columbus screenplay. Your Richard Donner direction. Your younger-than-you-remember-’em Josh Brolin, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman. Your furry little puppets. How could hilarity not ensue? Well, this turdcicle from 1985 not only hasn’t aged well, but it was never very good to begin with. Cinema Fusion at Anaheim’s GardenWalk, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 399-0300; www.cinemafusionanaheim.com. Wed., 7 p.m. $7.50.
This 2000 documentary chronicles the attempt by filmmaker Chu-Chen Hsiao’s father to return to mainland China after he was exiled to Taiwan in 1949. Meet Chu-Chen at this final film in UC Irvine Film and Video Center’s “Taiwanese Cinema” 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. 19, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Prête-moi ta main (I Do)
Pampered, 43-year-old Frenchman Luis (Alain Chabat) loves his single life, especially since his mother and five sisters do his laundry, cook his meals, and wait on him hand and foot. Sick of it all, they set him up on a string of blind dates, so he hatches a plan to fake an engagement with a hired woman who will leave him at the altar. But things don’t go as planned once Luis hooks up with Emmanuelle (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The Laguna Beach Film Society presents the local premiere of this film, which reviewers have called “contrived” and “hilarious,” which doesn’t mean it’s not both. Laguna South Coast Cinema, 162 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971, ext. 201. Thurs., Feb. 19, 7 p.m. $15; $20 if you attend the 6 p.m. wine and hors d’oeuvres pre-reception around the corner in the Wells Fargo community room.
The Legend of God’s Gun
Notorious, scorpion-venom-drinking El Sobero and his band of banditos return to depraved Playa Diablo to exact revenge on the town sheriff. A gun-slinging preacher returns to town to exact revenue on El Sobero. With a bounty hunter bringing up the rear, one thing is certain: Someone’s eating lead. Mondo Celluloid presents Mike Bruce’s low-budget homage to spaghetti westerns with live musical accompaniment from Spindrift, “America’s best psychedelic western band.” Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 428-5435; www.mondocelluloid.com. Fri., 11:55 p.m. $10.
Love In the Sahei
Two young men engage in age-old rituals at a desolate edge of the Sahara, where they are guided by nature’s complex rhythms. 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).
Matok Ve’Mar (Bittersweet)
Middle-aged, intellectual friends gathered for a dinner party in a Tel Aviv home have their fragile harmony disrupted when a fortune teller unexpectedly arrives in this 2007 Israeli film screening as part of the 2009 Pacific Jewish Film Festival. Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Ste. 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400; www.jccoc.org. Thurs., Feb. 19, 7 p.m. $9-$10.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Python film with the hilarious “It’s just a flesh wound” scene was supposed to be the first feature directed by Terry Gilliam, but he got pissed at the actors part way through and left to nap under a tree. The other Terry, Terry Jones, then took over and directed the rest of the film. Both were credited in the end, but it also partially explains the rep Gilliam would go on to earn as a director. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
The Orchestra of Piazzo Vittorio
Bowers Museum’s Cinema Italiano presents this 2006 documentary about Agostino Ferrente’s creation of the Apollo 11 Group to save Rome’s historic Apollo Theatre from being turned into a Bingo parlor. Together with a group of Roman intellectuals, they form a resident orchestra with professional musicians and beginners drawn from a neighborhood populated by 60 different ethnic groups. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., Feb 19, 7 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
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A Place In the Sun
Based on the Theodore Dreiser novel and Patrick Kearney play An American Tragedy, this 1951 George Stevens film stars Montgomery Clift as an ambitious young fellow named George Eastman who meets Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters) on the assembly line. But once ol’ Georgie gets a taste of high society—and babealicious deb Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor)—he forgets about Alice, until she forces him to remember. Oh, Monty, what a motherfucker you could be. Bay Theater, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988; www.baytheatre.com. Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon. & Wed., 8 p.m. $5-$8.
This 2008 film from Israel and France—the final offering in the 2009 Pacific Jewish Film Festival—follows a large Jewish Moroccan/Israeli family grieving over the loss of a son during the 1991 Gulf War. Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Ste. 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400; www.jccoc.org. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $9-$10.
The 2007 French film and 2009 Pacific Jewish Film Festival entry examines the Jewish experience during France’s Nazi occupation through the eyes of a family living on the edge. Merage Jewish Community Center, 1 Federation Way, Ste. 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400; www.jccoc.org. Fri., 7 p.m. $9-$10.
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