Movie of the Week:
The Crowd. King Vidor’s 1928 masterpiece has been called excruciatingly long and the best silent film ever made. It tells the mundane story of an average Joe—named John (James Murray)—who seems to be just another man in the New York “crowd.” He meets, courts, and then marries Mary (Eleanor Broadman), and their gloomy existence just plods along—until tragedy strikes. Vidor concoted many striking images to capture the couple’s believable and lamentable lives, without passing judgment on them. Many scenes were filmed on New York City streets using real crowds instead of extras, as well as real buses, trains and even traffic cops. When one police officer looks into the camera to say, “Move along,” it’s an actual cop addressing Vidor and his film crew, all in disguises. So that’s how they came up with the plot to Bowfinger! UC Irvine’s Film and Video Center presents The Crowd with Howard Cowles’ live piano accompaniment. 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. 29, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
American Quilts. It’s 80 minutes of steaming documentary on quilts as historical records, quilts as symbols of family and community, and quilts as works of art. Starring . . . quilts! 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). Sixteen years after Gianni (Kim Rossi Stuart) left his developmentally disabled son to be raised by an aunt and uncle after the child’s mother—Gianni’s wife—died during labor, he is asked to take his teenager, Paolo (Andrea Rossi), to Berlin for a battery of tests, forcing the father to weigh his obligations against his desires. 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).
Enemies, a Love Story. Paul Mazursky’s intriguing 1989 film adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s novel about Holocaust survivor Herman (Ron Silver), who brings his new wife (Margaret Sophie Stein) to New York in the late 1940s—but is unfulfilled. Herman falls into the arms of another woman (Lena Olin), who gets pregnant, so he marries her. Then Herman’s first wife (Anjelica Huston), who supposedly was killed during the war, shows up. Before you can say, “Big Jewish Love,” ol’ Hermie’s in a pickle. “A delighful deli dinner” is served after this Jewish Senior Film Buffs screening. Cliff Drive Community Center, 301 Riverside Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 721-9800. Sun., 4:30 p.m. Free.
Evil Dead II. I always confuse directors Sam Mendes and Sam Raimi, so just so you know Mendes is married to hot-as-hell Kate Winslet while Raimi is the one who helmed and co-wrote this gore fest about a dude named Ash (Bruce Campbell) holed up in a cabin with his girlfriend, some strangers and a chainsaw as flesh-eating demons attack. This is not a sequel to Raimi’s 1981 cult hit breakout The Evil Dead, as some assume, but a prequel of sorts. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.
Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in). 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. Then come the murders. How could Oskar not be smitten? See Thomas Alfredson’s Swedish little gem before Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ English remake hits the cineplex in 2010. 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.
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).
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Oliver Kahn. This 2003 film is named after the famous soccer player from Bayern Munich, but instead of a biopic, viewers get a montage of famous moments in European fútbol that artist Steve Fagin alternately watches, reenacts and comments on to question how memory is constructed and/or reconstructed. UC Irvine, University Art Gallery, 712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, (949) 824-9854. Open Tues.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Through Feb. 7. Free.
Quilts in Women’s Lives. Pat Ferrero’s first-person narrative of seven renowned quilt makers returns. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., Jan. 29, 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Restless Waters. An African man risks his family’s savings for a chance at a better future with the majestic Lake Victoria as his backdrop. 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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.