November. Rainer Sarnet’s award-winning surrealist fantasy drama is set in the 19th century in his home country of Estonia, where peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, who has eyes for a visiting German baroness. Things grow ever more complicated—we’re talking spirits, plagues, thieves, werewolves and an appearance by the Devil himself—in this black-and-white gem that won the Best Cinematography Award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 26, 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.
2018 Newport Beach Film Festival. Writer/director Bart Layton’s crime drama American Animals, which is based on the true story of four friends who attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history, opens the festival. Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan and Blake Jenner star. The film is followed by a gala featuring sample plates from several Orange County restaurants; a hosted bar by Tito’s Vodka, Tequila Herradura and Lagunitas; and performances by the band Side Deal and dance act Academy of Villains. (Cocktail attire required, with a coat or jacket recommended because of outdoor partying.) The festival includes more parties; seminars; and more than 350 short, documentary and narrative feature films from around the world. Newport Beach Film Festival opens at Edwards Big Newport 6 (screen 5), 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; www.newportbeachfilmfest.com. Thurs., April 26, 7:30 p.m. $225 (includes gala). Gala at Fashion Island, Bloomingdales Courtyard, 555 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. Thurs., April 26, 10 p.m. $175 (gala only). Festival continues at various locations and times. Through Thursday, May 3. Most screenings, $15; check website for event prices.
The Rebel. In this short thriller from Jamaal Grimes, who hails from Long Beach and Chapman University, combat veteran Bernie Berel develops an unusual interest in a family living across the hall. It produces a new call to action that brings Bernie face to face with good and evil. The screening is followed by a conversation with the creators, and drinks and a buffet dinner are served. Fourth & Olive Bistro & Wine Bar, 743 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 269-0731. Thurs., April 26, 7 p.m. $40.
Army of Darkness. Nostalgic Nebula returns to Frida to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the U.S. release of the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is accidentally transported back to 1300 A.D., where his foes include Bad Ash! The screening is preceded by a musical tribute to the horror-comedy film’s composer, Joe LoDuca. Each attendee gets a personalized S-Mart employee name tag. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 26, 8 p.m. $15.
The Endless. Filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead star as brothers in this sci-fi mind-bender follow-up to their 2014 Lovecraftian modern cult classic Spring. Ten years after escaping a death cult as children, Justin and Aaron receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to return. They believe going back will bring them closure, but they are confronted by unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 2, 4:30 & 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 4:30 p.m.; Sun., 4:30 &8 p.m.; Mon., 1:30, 4 & 10 p.m.; Tues., 1:30 & 4 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., May 3, 1:30, 4 & 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. Director Sophie Fiennes spent five years with the pop-culture mega-icon to present her public and private worlds. Musical sequences are interspersed with personal footage to create a documentary that is as unconventional as its androgynous glam-pop diva subject. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 2:30, 5, 7:30 & 10 p.m.; Sat., 1 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30, 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs., May 3, 2, 7 & 9:30 p.m. $7-$10.
Contracorriente (Undertow). Long Beach City College’s second-annual Foreign Languages Department Film Festival continues with the World Cinema Audience Award winner at Sundance 2010. Miguel, a young fisherman on the northern coast of Peru, is torn between the duty and affection he feels for his wife, Mariela, who is carrying his baby, and the sheer desire provoked by the enigmatic Santiago, his male lover. Guest speaker is Eric Carbajal, assistant professor of Spanish American Literature & Culture at Cal State Fullerton and a native of Huancavelica, Peru. Long Beach City College, PCC Campus, Dyer Hall QQ112, 1305 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach; www.lbcc.edu/foreignlanguages. Fri., 6 p.m. Free.
Senior Thesis Cycle 6 Film Screenings. These student-made films premiere, though not in this order: Sugar; A Snake Through the House; Hounds of Love; Coffee Break; Duet; and Home. Titles are subject to change, and the films are also live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event and click the link.) Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6765; chapman.edu/dodge/. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
The Wicker Man: Final Cut. OC Weekly’s Friday Night Freakouts entry is Rialto Pictures’ 2K restoration of director Robin Hardy’s 1973 British shocker about a police sergeant (Edward Woodward) who travels by seaplane to a remote Scottish island after receiving an anonymous letter about a missing 12-year-old girl. The devoutly Christian inspector finds the islanders cheery, although they have no use for his badge or his religious devotion. Because they worship pagan gods of old through a Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), the copper fears the girl was sacrificed. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. $7-$10.
The Met: Live in HD: Cendrillon. Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role of Massenet’s take on the Cinderella story, which has never before been performed at the Met. Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote fills the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim is the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe plays the imperious Madame de la Haltiére. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s storybook production that is sung in French with English subtitles. AMC Marina Pacifica, 6346 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 430-8790; 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 Century 20 Huntington Beach, 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; 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; www.fathomevents.com. Live, Sat., 9:55 a.m.; encores, Wed., 1 & 6:30 p.m. $18-$24.
Grand Hotel. First, Long Beach Art Deco author John Thomas, the past president of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, explores the set designs and themes of Cedric Gibbons, the art director for the Best Picture Oscar winner of 1932. That’s followed by the black-and-white classic that is set in Berlin’s lavish Grand Hotel, where “nothing ever happens.” But it does on one tumultuous day, when once-wealthy Baron Felix von Gaigern (John Barrymore), who supports himself as a thief and gambler, romances an aging ballerina (Greta Garbo) and teams up with a dying accountant (Lionel Barrymore) to scam a crooked industrialist (Wallace Beery) and his ambitious stenographer (Joan Crawford). Sayeth the New Yorker: “If you want to see what screen glamour used to be, and what, originally, ‘stars’ were, this is perhaps the best example of all time.” Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.
Kubo and the Two Strings. From acclaimed animation studio LAIKA comes director Travis Knight’s breathtaking 2016 stop-motion masterpiece about a young boy who lives a quaint, standard life in an oceanside village. When Kubo accidentally summons a spirit from his past that storms down from the heavens to avenge a historic grudge, he runs off with Monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) to find the only thing that can defeat the spirit and rescue his family: his late father’s mystical suit of armor. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat.-Sun., 11:30 a.m. $7.
Santa Ana Sites: Brent Green—A Brief Spark Bookended By Darkness. Santa Ana Sites and Grand Central Art Center present a live experimental cinema experience in which self-taught visual artist and filmmaker Brent Green narrates some of his acclaimed short films while his longtime collaborator and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty serves as percussionist and foley artist. Among the works included are A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness, Carlin, Paulina Hollers and Strange Fates. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.
The Room. Did you know that on the last Saturday of every month in 2018, the Frida screens the odd 2003 indie thriller written, directed and produced by, as well as starring Tommy Wiseau? Consider yourselves warned. He plays an amiable banker having a grand old time in a gorgeously shot San Francisco with his fiancée (Juliette Danielle)—until his conflicted best friend (Greg Sestero) joins in to form a love triangle. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 11 p.m. $7-$10.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The pioneering midnight movie starts with the car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaking down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). The transvestite scientist’s home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien) and assorted freaks, including a hunk of beefcake named “Rocky.” Shadow cast Midnight Insanity performs in front of the screen. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.
Summer In the Forest. Talk about pre-release buzz! This documentary’s producers received the following message from the Vatican: “His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to affirm his warm support of all initiatives to foster and integrate at the heart of our societies the mentally disabled.” Labeled “idiots,” Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick were locked away and forgotten in violent asylums until the 1960s, when the young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand and secured their release. Together, they created L’Arche, a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris, where a quiet revolution was born. As director Randall Wright (Hockney, Lucian Freud: A Painted Life) and his crew show, Vanier is now in his 80s and still at L’Arche, where he has discovered something that most of us have forgotten: what it is to be human, to be foolish and to be happy. Following the screening, the We Love LB nonprofit hosts an audience Q&A with three special guests whose lives are inspired toward shaping a Long Beach community that is more loving, inclusive and aware. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.
Labyrinth. Fathom Events, Sony Pictures and the Jim Henson Co. present a three-day fan celebration of the 1986 fantasy adventure and cult favorite starring David Bowie as the Goblin King Jareth, who snatches away the baby brother of 15-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly). After thinking that wishing her sibling Toby away would never lead to anything, Sarah suddenly has 13 hours to get the little guy back. The event includes special introductions by Connelly and Brian Henson, an excerpt from the award-winning fantasy series The Storyteller and an invitation to audience members to attend in costume. For safety reasons, masks, face-concealing makeup and fake weapons are prohibited, as are any costumes that conceal what you are carrying, your natural body shape or face. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; Tues.-Wed., 7 p.m. $12.50.
Gaza Surf Club. For Arab Film and Media Institute Community Night, see this documentary on the emergence of surf culture amid the rubble, debris, abandoned tanks and bombed-out buildings on the Gaza Strip. Filmmakers Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine reveal ever-burning formations of hope thanks to surfing becoming an outlet for down-trodden youth. Olive Tree Restaurant, 518 S. Brookhurst St., No. 1, Anaheim; arabfilminstitute.org. Sun., 6:30 p.m. $10.
Senior Thesis Documentaries. Student-made films premiere, the titles of which are TBA, though they will be live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event and click the link.) Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, (714) 997-6765; chapman.edu/dodge/. Mon., 7 p.m. Free.
Troll 2. HorrorBuzz.com returns to Frida with the 1990 horror flick that features no trolls but does have goblins. The inspiration for the making-of documentary Best Worst Movie has the ghost of a grandfather appearing to warn his young grandson that terrible things await his family if they move to the farming town of Nilbog. (Hold that name up to a mirror!). Naturally, the family moves there, and what Gramps warned about comes true. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Mon., 8 p.m. $7-$10.
Like Arrows: Parenting Is a Journey. FamilyLife’s first feature film, from director Kevin Peeples, explores the joys and heartaches of parenting through the story of Charlie (Alan Powell of ABC’s Quantico) and Alice (Micah Lynn Hanson of NBC’s Nashville). Over a 50-year span, the couple discovers the power of family and need for God. 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; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Brea Stadium West 10, (714) 672-4136; Edwards Foothill Towne Center Stadium 22, (949) 588-9402; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Regal Garden Grove Stadium 16, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Tues. & Thurs., May 3, 7 p.m. $12.50.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Follow Arthur, King of the Britons; Sir Lancelot the Brave; and Sir Robin the Not-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot as they follow God’s directive to find the Holy Grail. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $8.
Molly’s Game. FPL Arthouse presents the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote the script that is based on Molly Bloom’s book Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World. Bloom (Jessica Chastain) had trained to be an Olympic skier but dropped out because of an injury and went on to organize underground poker games for celebrity clients. She faced possible jail time after her establishment was raided by the FBI. Idris Elba co-stars as her lawyer, and Kevin Costner plays her father. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Wed., 6 p.m. Free.
Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple. Crunchyroll Movie Night returns to Frida with a highly anticipated anime feature that has never been shown before in North America. The Armed Detective Industry is tasked with saving Yokohama when a power struggle tips in favor of the enemies of those with supernatural powers. Besides the movie, the audience gets a special message from the voice cast. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed., 7:30 p.m.; also May 5, 7:30 p.m.; May 6, 5:30 p.m. $7-$10.
Raiders of the Lost Ark. Reacquaint yourself with the first flick in the Spielberg/Lucas popcorn franchise before Harrison Ford returns in 2019 with what’s tentatively titled Indiana Jones 5. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.
Dreamgirls. The 2006 film, which is based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, is a work of fiction strongly inspired by the Motown record label and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson and Danny Glover star in the most expensive American film to feature an all-African-American cast. You can bring light snacks and covered beverages to this screening, but alcohol is not allowed. Fullerton Public Library, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., May 3, 1 p.m. Free.
Community Voices Documentary Screening and Filmmaker Q&A. Through Community Voices, groups of Chapman University students are assigned to produce a short character-driven portrait film of an Orange County nonprofit. The films are then used in the outreach and fundraising campaigns of these organizations and distributed via PBS broadcast, online streaming, educational distributors and festival release. Tonight’s screening is followed by a panel with the filmmakers and a reception. Here is the program: The virtual-reality documentary experience Parallax (by Jack Bauhs, Shiv Rajagopal, Breanna Greenup and Jacob Seligmann for Orange County Astronomers) showcases the wonder of outer space. In Farmacy (by Melissa Leardi, Hannah Riddle, Brynne McKee and Jordan Valdés for Cultivate Together), three farmers find mental and physical healing through growing their own food. Running On Pink (by Stephanie Clabeaux, Michaela McLeod, Jordyn Romero and Spencer Santini for Girls On the Run) is an examination of the benefits sports have for girls, particularly on their self-confidence and body image. The phenomenon and study of hate, seen through the eyes of several experts and a man who has overcome some of the very worst hatred of all, is shown in Rewired (by Brianna McFadden, Maddie Gwinn, Dimitri Lazarashvili, Dylan Leslie and Justin McWilliams for the Anti-Defamation League). And Care (by Akshay Arora, Dylan Chant, Catherine Heath and Nancy Pickett for Writer’s Room Productions) celebrates the stories all children tell as one woman navigates her way through growing her family and her organization. Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, (714) 997-6765; chapman.edu/dodge/. Thurs., May 3, 7 p.m. Free.
Redes (Fishermen’s Nets/The Wave). From 1937 comes Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann’s vivid documentary-like dramatization of the daily grind of men struggling to make a living by fishing on the Gulf of Mexico. Made with a mainly nonprofessional cast of real fishermen, what began as a documentary project by photographer Paul Strand for Mexico’s progressive Federal Department of Fine Arts was re-envisioned by a group of fellow left-wing international artists as a treatise on the struggle of poor fishermen to overcome exploitation. What emerged was a powerful call-to-arms tale of oppression and revolt. First-time film composer Silvestre Revueltas’ score is considered a classic of film music, something Leonora Saavedra, associate professor of Musicology at UC Riverside, talks about during a presentation and audience Q&A after the screening. The event concludes the four-film Latin American Studies in Motion series at Frida, which partnered with UC Irvine and Bowers Museum, with the support of a Humanities for All grant made possible by California Humanities, UC-Mexus and UCI Illuminations. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 3, reception, 7 p.m.; screening, 7:30 p.m. Free.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.