Starship Oz [Special Screenings, April 27-May 4]
Newport Beach Film Festival. Orange County's 18th-annual cinextravaganza concludes with first-run and repeat screenings of 2017 entries, the official closing-night picture The Exception and a closing-night party. Newport Beach Film Festival at Big Newport Theatre, 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 the closing-night film), 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach; Fashion Island grounds (closing-night gala). Thurs., April 27. Visit newportbeachfilmfest.tix.com for ticket information and newportbeachfilmfest.com for the lineup, show times and more details.
You Are the Apple of My Eye. Taiwanese author Giddens Ko made his directorial debut with this 2011 Taiwanese romance, based on his semi-autographical novel. A mischievous male high school student and a female on honor roll have been classmates since junior high, but they really don't get to know each other until he takes the blame for a mistake she actually made in class. Feeling guilty, she helps him become a better student—and then they really get to know each nother. This World Languages Film Screening is sponsored by the Department of Languages at Wilkinson College. Chapman University, Argyros Forum 119A, 1 University Dr., Orange; events.chapman.edu. Thurs., April 27, 6:30 p.m. Free.
You Are the Apple of My Eye
Courtesy Star Ritz Productions
Tenemos a Carne (We Are the Flesh). Emiliano Rocha Minter's mind-blowing, disturbing, polarizing, shocking, mesmerizing and altogether surreal art-house puzzler has a young brother and sister roaming an apocalyptic city while 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, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 27, 9:30 p.m. $7-$10.
Senior Thesis Cycle 6 Film Screenings. These short works by Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts students are presented, including Annabelle Crane, Binary, The Chocolate Soldier, Jeff Lag, Siblings and We're Not Afraid. The public is invited to the no-cost event, but seating is first-come, first-served. You can also view it via live streaming at www.chapman.edu/dodge/student-life/live-event-streaming.aspx. Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Folino Theater, 283 N. Cypress St., Orange; chapman.edu/dodge/. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
Starship Troopers. OC Weekly's Friday Night Freakouts selection is Dutch auteur filmmaker Paul Verhoeven's 1997 smarter-than-your-average-monster-bugs-from-outer-space film that was adapted from Robert A. Heinlein's military science-fiction novel. In the not-so-distant fascist future, when Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects, an elite human military unit travels to distant planets to take the war to the bugs, leading to one relentlessly violent and gruesome battle after another. The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.
Ma Vie En Rose
Ma Vie En Rose (My Life In Pink). Long Beach Opera presents Alain Berliner's colorful and poetic movie that bends not only the lines between reality and fantasy, but also the notions of gender roles as it tells the story of a 7-year-old boy who creates family chaos when he announces he wants to be a girl. At first, everyone shrugs off the boy's desire as a childish phase, but when he starts appearing publicly dressed as a female and stating that he someday intends on marrying the boy next door, the upstanding and proper peers and neighbors get seriously worried—and then outright hostile. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11 a.m. $11.50.
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.
SoCal Student Film Festival. It's a showcase of the world's top films made by high school students. Partnered with Taco Bell and sponsored by Canon, QSC, New York Film Academy, FilmEd and the Academy of Media Arts, the ninth-annual event awards and promotes top films and filmmakers, provides industry explorations/workshops/Q&As, and hosts a red-carpet networking opportunity in a professional setting. Last year, more than 775 submissions from 50 states and 56 countries were received. Arnold O. Beckman High School, Performing Arts Center, 3588 Bryan Ave., Irvine; socalsff.squarespace.com. Sat., 3-10 p.m. $15.
A Hero of Our Time
Damir Yusupov/Bolshoi Ballet
A Hero of Our Time. Bolshoi Ballet presents the story of Pechorin, adapted from Mikhail Lermontov's literary masterpiece, which is encapsulated in three separate pieces that recount the larger-than-life hero's heartbreaking betrayals. Taped from the latest production in Moscow, the ballet was choreographed by Yuri Possokhov for Bolshoi principals, soloists and corps de ballet. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446; Regency South Coast Village, 1561 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Sun. & Tues. Call for times and ticket prices.
Tending the Wild. The Long Beach Indigenous Solidarity Network presents the screening that is followed by a discussion with Southern California indigenous community members. The documentary, produced by KCET and the Autry Museum, shines light on the environmental knowledge of local indigenous people, knowledge that has been passed down for generations. Larry Smith, who hosts American Indian Airwaves on KPFK-FM 90.7 and is affiliated with the event's presenter, moderates the discussion with cultural educators Craig Torres of the Tongva Nation and Heidi Perez of the Acjachemen/Ohlone nations. Proceeds benefit the speakers and the venue. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun. Doors open, 10 a.m.; opening remarks, 10:45 a.m.; screening, 11 a.m.; discussion follows. $10-$15.
Tending the Wild
TED Highlights Exclusive. It's the best of the speakers from the recently concluded weeklong TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. 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 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. Sun., 4 p.m. $18.
Finding Kukan. Filmmaker Robin Lung, who participates in an audience Q&A after the screening, searches for the 1941 film Kukan, which followed the 1937 Japanese invasion of China and holds two Academy Awards. It was the first documentary to win the Oscar and the only movie missing from the Academy of Motion Pictures Archive. As Lung tries to unlock the mystery, he also looks at Kukan's filmmakers; reporter/photojournalist Rey Scott, who received the statuette; and Chinese American producer Li-Ling Ai, who was overlooked by the Academy. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway 1070, McCormick Screening Room, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Mon., 6 p.m. Free.
Nest Egg Productions
Jonah: On Stage! It's the life of everyone's favorite lovable yet stubborn biblical prophet, filmed in front of a live audience at Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When God calls Jonah (hopefully not collect!) to offer mercy and forgiveness to the people of Nineveh, the mariner heads off in the opposite direction. Thus begins a chain of bad decisions that lead to Jonah winding up inside a 40-foot whale. The theater and Fathom Events beam this into theaters nationwide simultaneously. 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 Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Tues., 7 p.m. $12.50.
The Wizard of Oz. A treat of my childhood was the yearly showing of Victor Fleming's family classic about Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto winding up in the wonderful world of Oz after a large tornado picks up her aunt and uncle's house on a Kansas farm. But I dare say I never saw this on a big screen nor without a lame commercial cutting short the scene in which the Cowardly Lion dives out a window in the Great and Powerful Oz's Emerald City fortress. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $9.
American Wrestler: The Wizard. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Fathom Events join forces to beam into U.S. theaters simultaneously the cinematic debut of this coming-of-age story set in the world of competitive high-school wrestling. Ali Jahani (newcomer George Kosturos) stands out as different and therefore unwelcome after the 17-year-old's family arrives in a small California town. He joins his new high school's floundering wrestling team to try to change negative perceptions by becoming a hero. William Fichtner and Jon Voight co-star. The special presentation includes never-before-released footage and exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the filmmaker and cast. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Wed., 4 & 7:30 p.m. $12.50.
American Wrestler: The Wizard
Courtesy Fathom Events
I Am Heath Ledger. Fathom Events and Network Entertainment team up for this nationwide simulcast screening of the new documentary about one of the most gifted Hollywood talents in a generation, having appeared in such seminal films as Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight, for which he won a posthumous Academy Award. Besides the feature-length picture, attendees of the one-night-only event get to see an additional, exclusive segment featuring never-before-seen footage of interviews with Ledger's family and friends, who share personal stories about and memories of the actor and artist. An edited version of the same documentary airs May 17 on Spike TV. AMC Downtown Disney, 1565 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 776-2355; 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 Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; fathomevents.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $8-$14.
May the Fourth Be With You and The Making of Star Wars. It's a tribute to George Lucas' Star Wars franchise—"the biggest sci-fi adventures in cinematic history!"—that is pieced together with video, film clips and parody bits. That's followed by the original 1977 Star Wars "making of" documentary. Besides admission, your ticket covers popcorn, soft drinks, bottled water and two drink tickets for the themed Jedi Knight Cocktail. Advance purchase is strongly recommended because of limited seating. The Filmmaker's Gallery, 2238 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 433-4460. Thurs., May 4, 7 p.m. $10-$15.
Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope
Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope. Hosted by Western Youth Services (WYS) as a fundraiser and shown in honor of Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is this documentary about a groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study that is changing the way childhood stress and trauma are addressed. Here is something eye-opening from the film: Children have four or more untreated ACEs that they carry into adulthood. These can cause toxic stress impacts that develop in the brain and lead to mental issues, according to the movie. The screening is followed by a discussion with Dr. Lorry Leigh Belhumeur, the CEO of WYS, who shares how her service helps to build resilience. The event is dedicated to the memory of Gene Lyons, a fierce WYS advocate and board member who passed away while the screening was being organized. Metropolitan Fiesta Twin (a.k.a. the Frida Cinema), Santa Ana; WesternYouthServices.org. Thurs., May 4, 7 p.m. $20.
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