Togas Against Trump [Special Screenings, Feb. 9-16]

Let the Bullets Fly. Director Jiang Wen’s 2010 action-comedy has him starring as a bandit who descends on a town where he poses as the governor. 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 HG1010, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine; Thurs., Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m. Free.

SoCal Film Fest. Opening the festival, now in its 12th year, on Thursday, Feb. 9, is sci-fi/horror/thriller Occupants, which has a couple capturing their home life on cameras set up in their house—only to discover they live parallel lives. Friday: Impossible Dreamers, a documentary on senior athletes, and Baby, adapted from Joseph Monninger’s young-adult novel about a girl surviving on the streets with her drug-dealer boyfriend. Saturday: the feature The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a true-to-the-text retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story, is preceded by a day of shorts, including Learning to Catch, Truth Seekers, Aspirations of the Pamirs, Nobody Dies Here, 17 Years Together, Crazy 4 U, Frequency, Stuck In Time, The Bus Stop, Going to the Dentist, Hide and Seek, Monsters, The Evans Girls, The Opera Singer, A Bumpy Ride, Echoes of the Sea, Flotsam, Hot Chocolate, On Schedule, Solo, The Moon and the Sun, From the Bassment—The Undertakers Wife, Overcame the Sun, RealEyes, Run, Gorilla, Exit Surey, Millions of Drops, Mulva Lends a Hand, Texting My Ex, and L.I.P.S. Some filmmakers participate in post-screening Q&As. Huntington Beach Central Library Theater, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach; Thurs., Feb. 9, 8 pm.; Fri., 6 & 8 p.m.; Sat. Directing the Actor seminar, 11 a.m.; shorts programs, noon; feature screening, 8 p.m. $3.75-$30.

Oscar Nominated Short Films. Four programs of short films nominated for Academy Awards are presented on three different days. Animated: Borrowed Time (directors Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, USA, 7 minutes); Pearl (director Patrick Osborne, USA, 6 minutes); Piper (director Alan Barillaro, USA, 6 minutes); Blind Vaysha (director Theodore Ushev, Canada, 8 minutes); Pear Cider and Cigarettes (director Robert Valley, Canada and UK, 35 minutes). Live action: Sing (director Kristof Deak, Hungary, 25 minutes); Silent Nights (director Aske Bang, Denmark, 30 minutes); Timecode (director Juanjo Gimenez Pena, Spain, 15 minutes); Ennemis Interieurs (director Selim Aazzazi, France, 28 minutes); La Femme et la TGV (director Timo von Gunten, Switzerland, 30 minutes). Documentaries, Program A: Joe’s Violin (director Kahane Cooperman, USA, 24 minutes); Extremis (director Dan Krauss, USA, 24 minutes); 4.1 Miles (director Daphne Matziaraki, USA, 22 minutes). Documentaries, Program B: Watani: My Homeland (director Marcel Mettelsiefen, UK, 39 minutes); The White Helmets (director Orlando von Einsiedel, Syria, 41 minutes). Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Animated: Fri., 11:30 a.m., 4:45 & 9:55 p.m. Live Action: Fri., 1 & 7 p.m. Documentaries, Program A: Sat., 11:40 a.m. Documentaries, Program B: Sun., 11:30 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Strike a Pose. Here is how my colleague Aimee Murillo recently described this documentary that picks up more than two decades after Truth or Dare: “Twenty-five years later, filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan followed up with the six surviving dancers, discussing the impact of Madonna’s tour on their lives. Strike a Pose checks most of the boxes of the run-of-the-mill show-biz doc—the early stages of fame, the fall from grace, experimentation with drugs, the comeback. But Gould and Zwaan elegantly balance each dancer’s narrative and elevate the film to something bigger.” Fuckin’ A! Now you want to see it, right? Fortunately, Cinema Orange—the collaboration between Orange County Museum of Art and Newport Beach Film Festival—makes that possible. This is on a free Friday, when there is no museum admission charge, and there are food trucks outside for an inexpensive meal. But here is the deal: OCMA members can reserve Cinema Orange seats in advance. Free tickets are handed out beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the screening; unclaimed OCMA member tickets are released 10 minutes before show time. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Live shadow-cast troupe KAOS presents especially Valentine-y time warping in the aisles. Forgot your newspapers, rubber gloves, playing cards and/or toilet paper? Damn it, Janet, sweat not: Prop bags on sale for $2 at every KAOS event support the costume and prop budget. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; Fri., 11:30 p.m. $8-$10.

Little Shop of Horrors. It’s two nights in a row with the all-dancing, all-costumed, all-lip-syncing “shadow cast” KAOS, which takes on everybody’s favorite musical about a carnivorous plant. This is actually the director’s cut of the easier-to-watch 1986 remake from helmer Frank Oz, who has meek flower-shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) caring for his plants and pining for busty co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. After Seymour feeds Audrey’s boyfriend, Orin (Steve Martin), to the plant after Orin’s accidental death, Seymour must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant. . . . KAOS promises PROPS! COSTUMES!! A CLIMAX!!! The Frida Cinema; Sat., 8 p.m. $8-$10.


The Sleeping Beauty. The enchanted fairytale classic, presented by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, has Princess Aurora “gifted” with a curse by the evil Carabosse on her 16th birthday. The beautiful Aurora then falls into a deep slumber for 100 years, unless the kiss of a prince awakens her. . . . The music accompanying Bolshoi dancers, choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa wrote the libretto (after Charles Perrault). Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Sun. & Tues. Call for show times and ticket prices.

A Dot Com Mom. According to a Mr. Wick E. Pedia, Marathi is an Indian language spoken predominantly by people in Maharashtra. According to the producers, this is the first Marathi movie shot in the United States. Writer/director Meena Nerurkar has a simple middle-class mother from a small Indian town marveling as her son becomes super-rich and successful in the United States. But when she goes to visit him, she cannot cope with the modern ways of the new country nor the stink-eye of her new daughter-in-law. So, she cuts her planned four-month visit short and returns to India—only to be called back by her son. What does she do? Proceeds from ticket sales will be made to Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal of North America (BMM) 2017. Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas, 453 S. Associated Rd., Brea, (714) 257-9377. Sun., 1 p.m. $8-$12.

An Affair to Remember. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fathom Events and 20th Century Fox beam into theaters nationwide the No. 5 most romantic movie ever, as ranked by the American Film Institute. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star as ship passengers who are attached to other people on dry land. But they fall in love and agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building (“the nearest thing to heaven!”) if they leave their respective lovers. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, An Affair to Remember was a remake of 1939’s Love Affair and was itself the inspiration for 1993’s Sleepless In Seattle. 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; 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; Sun. & Wed., 2 & 7 p.m. $12.50.

Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Proving that Broadway can mine gold out of even the worst Disney movie musicals, Fathom Events and Disney Theatrical Productions beam into theaters nationwide the Tony-winning musical as captured live at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood last September. Charismatic newsboy Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan, reprising his Tony-nominated performance) 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, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Foothill Towne Center Stadium 22, 26602 Towne Center Dr., Foothill Ranch, (949) 588-9402; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (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; Sun. & Wed., 2 & 7 p.m. (Also screening Feb. 18 & 22.) $12.50.

Finding Joseph I. This documentary on eccentric Bad Brains front man Paul “HR” Hudson—which features exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photographs and footage, some of it from HR’s own cameras—shows how the pioneering hardcore punker was pulled away from music by his Rastafarian faith and mental struggles. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Mon., 8 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.


It Happened One Night. Frank Capra’s 1934 rom-com won five Academy Awards and is No. 8 on the American Film Institute’s list of Funniest Films. It’s about a no-nonsense journalist (Clark Gable) and a sheltered heiress (Claudette Colbert) striking a bargain in which he gets her exclusive story and she gets an escort back to the marriage her father wants her to annul. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues. Call for show time. $8.

Romeo + Juliet. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the micro-batch, artisanal chocolates from the Romeo Chocolates pop-up shop in the lobby, and then head to the screen for Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Updated to post-modern Verona Beach, where the rival Montagues and Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story, we discover Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the gang war. But when he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a Capulet at the end of one very wild party, the enmity between the two clans becomes the root of his angst. It all builds to an ending where Romeo hears a tragic piece of misinformation that leads him toward a suicide wish. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Tues., 8 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Ixcanul. Join the UC Irvine History Department in watching the 2016 Guatemalan film that centers on transnational indigenous Latina/o identity formation. Promoters say it has a 100 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 65th annual Berlin International Film Festival and was the Guatemala’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. The screening is followed by a discussion on trans-generational narratives. UC Irvine, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6521. Wed., noon. For more details, contact Samantha Engler at en*****@uc*.edu.

Animal House. Some may believe this classic American comedy came out of nowhere when it exploded onto the screens in 1978, but it actually followed a progression that started with the National Lampoon humor magazine becoming huge and spawning stage and radio shows (featuring the likes of John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner, all of whom Lorne Michaels would poach for NBC’s Saturday Night Live). Belushi would return the Lampoon favor by starring in this film, written by Lampooners Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney and Chris Miller. It was supposed to be directed by relatively unknown Lampoon radio producer Ivan Reitman, but he only got the film producer nod as the studio went instead with John Landis, who at least had a directing credit (Kentucky Fried Movie). The setting is Faber College, where the hard partying Delta House boys bedevil Dean Wormer and the only other campus frat (filled with white, Anglo-Saxon, rich young men). Wormer comes up with a plan to 86 Delta House just before the homecoming parade to end all parades for all time. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.

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 and whose name I have not heard in years. Director and producer Paul Bockhorst introduces his work as part of Laguna Art Museum’s 2017 Film Night program of screenings introduced by special guests. These are organized in four categories—contemporary films, documentaries, artists’ picks and classics—and screen 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.

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