Usually, this far into December, we would've blurbed It's a Wonderful Life so many times we'd be absolutely sick of the darn thing. But this year there's been a remarkable scarcity of Christmas movies here in Special Screeningsland—at this writing, we've yet to blurb It's a Wonderful Life even once!—and we were ready for a blue Christmas indeed before the press release for The Bishop's Wife magically appeared in our inbox like a candy cane in our Christmas stocking. This 1947 holiday charmer stars Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young in the tale of a small-town bishop (Niven) who is so caught up in all the busywork of constructing a cathedral he is losing sight of his faith and neglecting his long-suffering wife (Young). He prays for guidance, but it looks like a mixed blessing when his prayers are answered by the appearance of a rakish angel (Grant) who seems to have an eye for the bishop's wife. This movie was remade as the 1996 Whitney Houston/Denzel Washington picture The Preacher's Wife, but don't hold that against it. The Bishop's Wife doesn't screen often—in fact, it's quite possible it hasn't had a public showing in these parts since 1947—so catch it while you can. Short subjects, cartoons and other goodies are also on the bill. Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000, ext. 7198. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
Chasing the Lotus. A new documentary featuring decades of rare surf footage from filmmakers Greg Weaver and Spyder Wills. Pierside Surfcity, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-3151; www.bigredprod.com. Thurs., Dec. 14, 7 N 9 p.m. $8.The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 'Tis the season to be slutty, as the Midnight Insanity gang presents shipboard screenings of Richard O'Brien's cult-classic musical-horror comedy, preceded by live bands. This week: Empty Seat Band. For safety reasons, guests are searched at the door, so arrive prepared to have your package fondled. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 694-4411 or (562) 235-8053; www.midnightinsanity.com. Sat. Band, 11:30 p.m.; screening, midnight. $8 tickets go on sale at 10:30 p.m.The Thing From Another World. Howard Hawks was officially credited as producer for this 1951 sci-fi thriller classic, although by most accounts, he also did plenty of the direction and had a strong hand in the script. The film follows a group of soldiers and scientists at a remote, arctic outpost who encounter a sinister, alien life form. Future Gunsmoke star James Arness appears as the titular monster. During shooting, he complained that his makeup made him look like a killer carrot. He was right, but man, that's one scary carrot. This screening is hosted by Keith Hall. Orange Coast College, Fine Arts Building, Room 119, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5599. Fri., 6:30 p.m. $5-$6.The Wizard of Oz. Man alive, this movie sure has screened a lot lately. Frankly, we've run out of flying monkey puns and jokes about The Dark Side of the Moon, and we don't have anything else to say about the film's gay following. . . . We are Oz'd out! We've O.D.ed on Oz! Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Wed., 8 p.m. $5-$8.
Mail your press releases (and a videotape, if available) to Special Screenings, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Or send e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening. Visit Greg's website at www.gregstacy.wordpress.com.