[Special Screenings] Local Showings of 'The Heart of the Sea,' 'Blazing Saddles,' More

Movie of the Week:

The Heart of the Sea
Lisa Denker and Charlotte Lagarde’s award-winning documentary from 2002 chronicles the amazing life of the late Rell “The Queen of Makaha” Sunn. Born in Makaha on Oahu in 1950, she was given the Hawaiian name Kapolioka’ehukai (“Heart of the Sea”). Sunn lived up to that name by excelling at surfing, bodysurfing, spearfishing and open-water outrigger canoeing, becoming the first lifeguard on the west side of Oahu and being instrumental in establishing the Women’s Professional Surfing Association in the early 1970s. Through her Children’s Menehune Surf Contest, Sunn guided many young Hawaiians from troubled childhoods into promising careers and mentored future surf professionals such as Kalani Rob, Bethany Hamilton, Carrisa Moore and Sunny Garcia. She was also a fixture at Huntington Beach and San Onofre surf breaks, competing in several annual Doheny Longboard Contests. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983, Sunn was given a year to live, but she continued to surf despite pain and weakness from chemotherapy and the disease. She died on Jan. 2, 1998, and more than 3,000 people attended her memorial service, where her ashes were scattered off Makaha. Sunn is remembered for being completely humble, unselfish and filled with the aloha spirit, which lives on in her surf contest, now in its 34th year raising funds for various family, children’s and environmental causes. Laguna Beach Film Society and the Rell Sunn Educational Fund Foundation team to present this benefit screening hosted by Sunn’s daughter, Jan Sunn Carrera, and featuring entertainment from Orange County Le Polynesia. Choose the Makaha Package option to get a Hawaiian “Bento Box” dinner, drinks, “premiere seating” for the film, and 20 raffle tickets for an array of prizes donated by the surf industry and Hollywood players such as actress/foundation member Tia Carrere, who has secured the rights to produce and star in a feature film about “The Queen of Makaha.” Festival of Arts, Forum Theater, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971, ext. 201; rellsunn.com. Sat., 6 p.m. $15; Makaha Package, $35.


Also Showing:

Whatever happened to Geena Davis? She once opened Hollywood pictures, as she did portraying the title character in this 1994 dramedy directed by Martha Coolidge, Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Television’s spring semester “Industry Insider.” Angie Scacciapensieri dreams of a better life beyond everyone she knows in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst section. But realizing those dreams proves tough when she’s knocked up by her boyfriend Vinnie. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., April 2, 7 p.m. Free.

Blazing Saddles
This 1974 skewering of westerns and racism, the same year’s Young Frankenstein and the original The Producers of 1968 are comedy masterpieces and clearly the best films Mel Brooks ever made. These are also the only three Brooks films that Gene Wilder stars in. Repeat players such as Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn and Kenneth Mars did not appear in all three, although you do see Brooks in Blazing Saddles and hear his uncredited voice in the other two. Weird, eh? If you’ve only seen the PC version of Saddles on television, mosey on down to Classic Film Night for the uncut original. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.

Kilimanjaro, To the Roof of the World
Who knew the world had a roof? Hope it doesn’t have leaks or roof rats or Dick Van Dyke and his chimney brush. Step in time with five trekkers and their Chagga Mountain guide as they travel through five climate zones to reach the summit’s arctic glaciers. 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).

Leopards of Zanzibar
Young men from the sunny island off Africa’s eastern coast keep pace with modern changes as they compete in a championship soccer match on the mainland. 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).

You can attend an advance screening of this independent film starring Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Cynthia Nixon and Emma Roberts, but only if you RSVP to the etnies-sponsored “The Cinema” Facebook page. “The Cinema” series is curated by aSneak.com and features live Q&A sessions with the people behind the films. At Yost, we get director Derick Martini and co-writer Steven Martini. Yost Theater, 307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana; etniesculture.com. Fri., 8 p.m. Free with RSVP.

Material Girls
Martha Coolidge presents her 2006 flick that finds two sisters and cosmetics heiresses (Hilary and Haylie Duff) roughing it with the riff-raff when their fortune disappears. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., March 26, 7 p.m. Free.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
See Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry and Barry Bostwick circa 1975, when you’d still do them. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $6.50.

The Shining. Did The Simpsons ruin this 1980 Kubrick classic for anyone else? Time was mention of Entertainment Weekly’s Scariest Film of All Time would immediately produce the image of Jack Nicholson’s head peering dementedly through the freshly axed door, followed by his menacing “Heeere’s Johnny!” reading. Now all I think of is Groundskeeper Willie, in his Scottish brogue, telling Bart, “You’ve got the shinning.” You just think about that at Mondo Celluloid’s latest midnight fright night. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 428-5435; www.mondocelluloid.com. Fri., 11:59 p.m. $10.

La vita che vorrei (The Life I Would Like to Have)
Giuseppe Piccioni’s 2004 film within a film has a famous, established actor and young, aspiring actress coming together and pulling apart while working with each other on films. This Cinema Italiano screening includes a reception. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., March 26, 7 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).

Viva Cuba
Cuban take-off on Romeo and Juliet from writer/directors Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti and Iraida Malberti Cabrera concerns the friendship between two children that is threatened by their parents’ differences. Malu’s upper-crust, single mom does not want her child playing with Jorgito, whose mother is a poor, proud socialist. When the children learn that Malu’s mother is planning to leave Cuba and take Malu with her, they set off for the other side of the island to find Malu’s father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it. San Clemente Library, 242 Ave. Del Mar, San Clemente, (949) 492-3493. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.

Voice of the Forest
The Baka people of Cameroon and Gabon fight for survival. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Thurs., April 2, 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 edewitt@ocweekly.com. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.



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