Never Let Go of That Promise [Special Screenings, Feb. 16-23]

The Warplands. Exhibition of recent work by Cauleen Smith includes a short film drawn from her current research on the influence of Alice Coltrane, the American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, singer, composer, swamini and second wife of John Coltrane. Activist responses were created in Chicago, where Smith has lived since 2012. UC Irvine Contemporary Arts Center, 4000 Mesa Rd., Irvine; Open daily through March 25. Free.

Cosi Fan Tutte. Are you ready for three hours and 40 minutes of steaming opera? How about streaming opera? Sit, watch and hear this Opera National de Paris presentation that’s done in two acts, sung in Italian and beamed in from the Opéra de Paris (Palais Garnier). Mozart and Da Ponte’s final collaboration has two young idealists putting their lovers’ fidelity to the test in a wager with cynical old philosopher Don Alfonso. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Thurs., Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Design for Modern Living. It’s a documentary on Southern California painter Millard Sheets, who left for that great art institute in the sky in 1989. Director and producer Paul Bockhorst introduces his work as part of Laguna Art Museum’s 2017 Film Night program. The series is organized into four categories—contemporary films, documentaries, artists’ picks and classics—with screenings on the third Thursday of each month through December. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971. Thurs., Feb. 16, 7 p.m. Free with museum admission.

Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Proving that Broadway can mine gold out of even the worst Disney movie musicals, Fathom Events and Disney Theatrical Productions once again beam into theaters nationwide the Tony-winning musical as captured live at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood last September. Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan, reprising his Tony-nominated performance), a charismatic newsboy, leads a ragged band of teenaged “newsies” who dream of better lives far from the hardship of the streets of turn-of-the-century New York. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right. The original Broadway cast’s Kara Lindsay (as Katherine), Ben Fankhauser (Davey) and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Crutchie) return, as does North American Tour star Aisha de Haas (as Medda Larkin). AMC Downtown Disney, 1565 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 776-2355; AMC Fullerton 20, 1001 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, (714) 992-6962; AMC Marina Pacifica, 6346 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 430-8790; AMC Orange 30, 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; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, 26701 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Foothill Towne Center Stadium 22, 26602 Towne Center Dr., Foothill Ranch, (949) 588-9402; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Metro Pointe Stadium 12, 901 South Coast Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 428-0962; Regal Garden Grove Stadium 16, 9741 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, (844) 462-7342; Thurs., Feb. 16, & Wed., 7 p.m.; Sat., 12:55 p.m. $20.

Finding Cleveland. The award-winning documentary, which explores the little-known immigration of Chinese Americans in the deep South, is just one part of what the sponsoring Chinese Cultural Arts Council bills as the “Finding Cleveland Experience.” There is also music, an audience Q&A with filmmakers Larissa Lam and Baldwin “Only Won” Chiu, and hot, fresh dim sum! Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600. Fri. Dim sum, 6:30 p.m.; program, 7 p.m. $9-$12.

A Charlie Chaplin Valentine! Three great Charlie Chaplin short comedies are presented back-to-back: The Floorwalker (1916), in which the Little Tramp is a customer who catches on to a rip-off scheme involving a department-store manager and his floor walker; The Immigrant (1917), in which the Tramp finds love and false accusations of theft on the boat ride across the Atlantic to America; and Behind the Screen (1916), where Chaplin plays a stagehand in a plot involving a labor strike and a woman who dresses like a man to become his co-worker. These silents are accompanied by live, completely improvised music from award-winning composer Michael D. Mortilla. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6595; Thurs., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. $12.50-$25.

The Babadook. In honor of the four female filmmakers behind new horror anthology XX that opens Friday at the Frida, Orange County’s most ambitious cinema and OC Weekly‘s Friday Night Freakout brings back director Jennifer Kent’s critically acclaimed feature adaptation of her award-winning short Monster. Widow Amelia (Essie Davis), whose husband was tragically killed in a car crash while rushing her to the hospital to deliver their newborn son, finds herself six years later struggling to discipline her troubled boy Samuel, whose dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill both of them. When the disturbing storybook The Babadook turns up at their house, Sammy is convinced that the title character is the creature he’s been dreaming about, and Amelia comes to believe him. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.


Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. Composer/producer Scott Freiman was previously seen on this same movie screen deconstructing the Beatles’ White Album. Now he turns his attention to the concept album that Rolling Stone called the most important rock & roll LP ever made. Freiman explores the history behind the music and the creative process that was employed during the recording sessions. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Fri., 11 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

The Birth of Motion Pictures: An Illustrated History of Silent Film 1910-1929. This retrospective exhibition kicks off Brea’s centennial celebrations with works on loan from the private collection of the city’s own Dwight Manley, the multimillionaire rare-coin collector, developer of his hometown’s downtown and a sports agent whose clients have included Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. One of the largest such compilations, it features exquisite, never-before-shown silent-movie posters, an actual “silent Oscar,” original posters from Brea’s centennial year (1917, duh!), posters from Academy Award-winning films, and movie memorabilia. A red-carpet, black-tie reception kicks off the celebration with cocktails, live music and screenings of silent flickers. Brea Gallery, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea; Sat., 6-10 p.m. $3.

Allegiance. This musical, which is inspired by the true-life experiences of Star Trek‘s George Takei, is about a family whose life is upended by the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Fathom Events beamed a live Broadway performance into theaters nationwide months ago. This recording of that show is being presented on Japanese American Day of Remembrance and the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which gave way to the internment program. AMC Orange 30, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium, (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; Sun., 12:55 p.m. $18.

Spartacus. Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 drama is about a rebellious slave (Kirk Douglas) who leads a revolt with 78 fellow gladiators against his owner (Peter Ustinov) and a corrupt Roman senator (Laurence Olivier) to save a female companion (Jean Simmons). Tony Curtis shows up to give a most memorable reading of the line, “I love you, Spartacusssss.” Friend of the Weekly Arthur Taussig, fresh from recharging his batteries in Venice (lucky dog!), gives a live analysis of the movie that won four Academy Awards. An internationally recognized authority on the psychology and sociology of film, Taussig has been a professor of film at Orange Coast College for more than 20 years and the adjunct curator of film at the Orange County Museum of Art for seven years. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 1 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Titanic. I never saw this 1997 blockbuster, but I did see the really wide VHS box holding it on a shelf for years. Wonder whatever happened to that video? I think the reason I never plopped it in is because I believed I knew everything there was to know based on all the ads, clips, skits, stories and other pop-culture references to it. Then, just the other day, I discovered, “Holy shit, Bill Paxton was in it?” Anyway, here is a rare opportunity to see it somewhere other than in your home theater, on your laptop or on your smartphone. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues. Call for show time. $8.

The Sky Blue Symphony: The Story of the Korean Schools in Japan. See this documentary about the long history of discrimination against Zhainich Koreans, the students who are educated in ethnic schools and students’ daily lives in North Korea. Then, ask director Park Yeong-I about his film. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway Room 1010, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Tues., 3 p.m. Free.

Citizen Kane. Despite the success some film critics and bodies have had in recent years knocking this 1941 masterpiece off its pedestal as America’s greatest-ever motion picture, it’s still a great fuckin’ film (although, as I’ve no doubt repeatedly written, Touch of Evil remains my personal Orson Welles favorite). Charles Foster Kane is a super-rich sombitch who acquires massive power and influence but not the one thing he desperately requires: love. Is that “Rosebud” I hear coming from Trump Tower? Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.


Being Mortal. The PBS Frontline film follows Dr. Atul Gawande, who explores the hopes of people facing terminal illness and the doctors who treat them. A conversation accompanies the film. Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (657) 278-2011. Thurs., Feb. 23, 4:30 p.m. Free.

New World. In this Park Hoon-Jeong crime drama, the death of a mob boss ignites a power struggle in which an undercover cop caught in the middle must choose: death or loyalty? This is part of the Graduate Students of East Asian Languages and Literature’s East Asia Cinema Series of free screenings and discussions, which include free drinks and snacks. UC Irvine, Humanities Gateway Room 1010; Thurs., Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m. Free.

Far From Vietnam. Six revolutionary filmmakers from France’s New Wave era—including Jean-Luc Godard and Agnés Varda—came together to document their collective contempt for the Vietnam War in this 1967 release. War footage combines with pop culture snippets such as commercials to inflate the insanity. Interviews with politicians including Ho Chi Minh are featured, as well as a dialogue between a Vietnamese woman and the widow of a protester. The screening is part of “Documenting War: Mellon Sawyer Seminar,” a multidiscipline series hosted by the UCI Art History Department that continues through March 17. UC Irvine, McCormick Screening Room, Humanities Gateway Room 1070, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Thurs., Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m.; also Feb. 27. Free.

A Night at the Oscars. Robert Kline and Stephanie Heredia present a pre-Academy Awards party that includes scenes from this year’s nominated films. They also share behind-the-scenes dish on what it takes to bring that little golden Oscar figurine home. Regency San Juan Capistrano, 26762 Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 661-3456. Thurs., Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. $16.

Is Genesis History? Is the Book of Genesis—which posits the universe was created in six days, God made man in his image and a global flood destroyed the world—an accurate record or Old Testament myths? The producers of this doc, which is being beamed live into theaters nationwide by Fathom Events, say, “Is Genesis History? shines new light on our origins, providing a positive argument for Biblical Creation and the Flood. Two competing views . . . one compelling truth.” With Becky DeVos’ confirmation as education secretary, this should be rolling in public schools any day now. AMC Orange 30, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium, (714) 532-9558; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Brea Stadium East 12, 155 W. Birch St., Brea, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Thurs., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. $12.50.

Truth & Beauty. Bradford J. Salamon and Stan Yan’s short documentary examines the art and artistic process of Tom Dowling, who, like his wife, Lisa, is a longtime Orange Coast College art instructor. Dowling uses “minimalism” to describe his art, although he has added, “My preferred term would be reductive painting: a bare-boned formal approach to image making. . . . I have a formally reductive sensibility that (in over 30 years of painting) has developed into a language of my own.” Oakland-based artist Tony DeLap, San Pedro abstract resin artist Eric Johnson, Ontario abstract artist (and UCI grad) Jan Taylor, and Cal State Fullerton Nicholas and Lee Begovich Gallery Director Mike McGee also appear in the film. Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5072. Thurs., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Free.

Salaam Mumbai (Hello, Mumbai). Ali is a medical exchange student from Iran doing his cardio residency in Mumbai. He saves the life of his classmate Karishma, a rich Indian who attempted suicide. Little by little, as Ali tries to talk to Karishma, he gives her hope and happiness. Can love be far off for these crazy kids? Mohammad Reza Golzar, Benyamin Bahadori and Dia Mirza star for director Ghorban Mohammadpour. Regency South Coast Village;, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. $8-$13.

Blade. Cyber Fools hosts a new monthly curated film series that starts with this 1998 vehicle for the then-red-hot Wesley Snipes, who plays the titular Marvel Comics vampire hunter who uncovers an underworld plot to raise blood for the god La Magra, something Blade must stop at all cost. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435; Thurs., Feb. 23, 8:30 p.m. $8 (cash only; visit the Facebook page for pre-order).

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