Movie of the Week:
Let the Right One In
Don’t you hate it when critics’ lists of the top movies of the year include films that never screened in Orange County? Such was the case with this Swedish horror film (known in the mother tongue as Låt den rätte komma in), which opened in Los Angeles and New York in October, has been barnstorming the country ever since, but has yet to darken our darkened theaters. It’s winning raves for being the thinking person’s Twilight. Lonely, picked-on 12-year-old Oskar’s wish for a friend comes true when a girl his age named Eli moves in next door. The odd thing is the pale little girl only comes outside at night and seems unaffected by freezing temperatures. Then the murders start happening, Oskar figures out Eli is a vampire, and romance blooms. Fortunately, the UC Irvine Film and Video Center is correcting the . . . wait for it . . . grave injustice of Let the Right One In’s absence from our big screens. And speaking of injustices, like countless other foreign horror films that create a stir in this country, Let the Right One In is being remade in English. Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ adaptation is scheduled to hit American cineplexes in 2010—and you can bet it’ll screen anywhere and everywhere here. The potential mainstreaming of his original doesn’t sit well with Let the Right One In’s Swedish director Thomas Alfredson. “l don’t like to whine,” he told a fan site, “but, of course, if you’d spent years on painting a picture, you’d hate to hear buzz about a copy even before your vernissage!” Maybe Reeves’ take will be great, but if you’re a true horror fan, you must see the original now to prevent the remake from polluting your view. UC Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., Jan. 22, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Did somebody say horror? Brian DePalma peeled this off—Christ, was it really 1976? Damn, I’m old. Yet someone else just spoofed the bucket-of-blood-over-Sissy Spacek bit. Was it South Park? Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job? Martha Stewart Living? Definitely one of those. 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 Century of Quilts
The best 100 quits from the 20th Century—and the stories behind them—are featured in this 77-minute 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).
Le Chiavi de Casa (The Keys of the House)
Bowers Museum’s Cinema Italiano series presents this heart-tugger adapted from Giuseppe Pontiggia’s novel Born Twice. Gianni (Kim Rossi Stuart) left his developmentally disabled son to be raised by an aunt and uncle after the child’s mother—and Gianni’s wife—died during labor. Later, Gianni is asked to take his now-16-year-old son, Paolo (Andrea Rossi), to Berlin for a battery of tests, forcing the father to weigh his obligations against his desires. Director Gianni Amelio apparently took the assignment after meeting first-time actor Rossi, who suffers from muscular dystrophy in real life. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., Jan. 22. Cinema Italiano reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
As part of its King Week festivities, the largest African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Orange County presents this PBS video that focuses on Martin L. King Jr.’s final years, when he moved beyond the civil-rights movement to champion the poor and oppose the Vietnam War. Young people are especially encouraged to attend; a free dinner will be served. Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, 46 Maxwell, Irvine, (949) 955-0014. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
See the black-and-white, uneven-and-hilarious, foul-and-wistful feature that first affixed Kevin Smith to Harvey Weinstein’s backside (or vice versa . . . and in either event: nice image, eh?). South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
The Glow Project
Some women are wildly successful. Others, not so much. Why is that? This movie seeks to answer the question—and inspire females to live their potential. Good luck with that, gals! St. George’s Episcopal Church, 23802 Ave. de la Carlota, Laguna Hills, (949) 837-4530; www.meetup.com/Orange-County-Community-Movie-Night/calendar/9346247/. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
Kilimanjaro, To the Roof of the World
Five trekkers (not to be confused with Trekkers) scale the largest freestanding mountain in the world, passing through five climate zones along the way. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Sun., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Mountains of Faith
The story revolves around two young men on the brink of manhood, but the real stars are Ethiopia’s rugged beauty and ancient traditions. 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).
Artist Steve Fagin’s multimedia installation “The Surfing Memory Zone” includes screenings of his 2003 film named after the famous soccer player from Bayern, Munich. But instead of a biopic, viewers are treated to a montage of famous moments in European soccer that Fagin alternately watches, reenacts and comments upon—not to honor fútbol but to question how memory is constructed and/or reconstructed. Look, as long as he makes soccer anything but boring to us Yanks, he’s okay by us. University Art Gallery, UC Irvine, 712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, (949) 824-9854. Open Tues.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Through Feb. 7. Free.
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Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 thriller—and especially its famous shower scene—has inspired countless slasher pics. So why is it every frame of Psycho is forever burned in my brain while I’ve forgotten more than I can remember of the blood-and-guts-a-splatterin’ imitators? UC Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., Jan. 15, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Running the Sahara
New documentary follows three world-class runners from the U.S., Canada and Taiwan who decide to trek 4,300 miles on foot from Senegal to the Red Sea to promote H2O Africa, a charity that promotes clean drinking water for people in the six countries that they crossed. Laguna Beach Film Society’s presentation includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and a discussion before the screening. South Coast Cinema, 162 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971, ext. 201. Thurs., Jan. 15, 7 p.m. $15. (For $5 more, join the prescreening event at 6 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Community Room, 260 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.)
Voices in the Forest
This hour-long doc explores the dense, mysterious rain forest of central Africa’s Congo River basin, home to the Baka people and a complex variety of plants and animals. 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).
Mail your press releases (and a videotape or disc, if available) to Special Screenings, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste. 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or send e-mail to email@example.com. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.