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From screwball to Singles to "Outrageous Fucks"

Thursday, Feb 9 2012
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Thurs., Feb. 9

Eminent cartoon historian Jerry Beck returns to the Silent Movie Theatre for Valentoons, a program of love-centric cartoons in luscious Technicolor prints. The show marks the second day of Cinefamily's "Seven Days of Valentines" program, which continues with screenings of John Cassavetes' Minnie and Moskowitz and Cameron Crowe's Singles over the weekend, and culminates with the "NSFW to the max" "100 Most Outrageous Fucks" show at 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Animation is the plat du jour across town, too: The Aero is playing Only Yesterday. Directed by Isao Takahata (the visionary behind Grave of the Fireflies), this adult-oriented drama follows 27-year-old Taeko as she trips back and forth in time, trying to reconcile the memories of the past with the present.

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Fri., Feb. 10

The New Beverly is having a Rita Hayworth double bill with William A. Seiter's You Were Never Lovelier and Charles Vidor's Cover Girl. In the former, Rita's under pressure to get married and falls for dancing fool Fred Astaire, a match not approved of by her family. The latter offers just as much dancing and musical comedy high jinks. Rita plays a chorus girl working at the nightclub run by boyfriend Gene Kelly — the only American to ever give Astaire's dancing shoes a run for their money. (Also Sat.)

Meanwhile, the screen at the Egyptian will be graced with two canonical staples from Orson Welles: Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons.

Sat., Feb. 11

Love is in the air this weekend, and there's no better way to spend it than at the Aero's screwball comedy double feature, where you can watch the sparks fly off the dueling tongues of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, in Frank Capra's road movie It Happened One Night, and Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant, in Howard Hawks' newspaper comedy His Girl Friday.

Wed., Feb. 15

The Los Angeles Filmforum's Alternative Projections series returns to Cinefamily, this time with Rock & Roll Experiments. Some of the films to screen include The Emperor, a documentary about '60s disc jockey Bob Hudson made by George Lucas during his student days at USC, and prog rock god Frank Zappa's Burnt Weeny Sandwich. —Veronika Ferdman

Reach the writer at veronika.ferdman@gmail.com

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    As video-on-demand continues to become the preferred route of distribution for a certain kind of independent film, much is being made of Nicolas Cage's willingness to slum for a paycheck, with recent examples including already-forgotten, small-screen-friendly items like Seeking Justice, Trespass, Stolen, and The Frozen Ground. (His character names in these projects -- Will Gerard, Kyle Miller, Will Montgomery, and Jack Halcombe -- are as interchangeable as the titles of the films.) Aside from citing the obvious appeal of doing work for money (a defense Cage himself brought up in a recent interview with The Guardian), it's also possible to back Cage by acknowledging the consistency with which he's taken on "serious" roles over the years.

    David Gordon Green's Joe, which hits limited release this weekend (more details on that here), marks the latest instance of this trend, with Cage giving a reportedly subdued performance as an ex-con named Joe Ransom. In that spirit, we've put together a rundown of some of the actor's finest performances, all of which serve as proof that, though his over-the-top inclinations may make for a side-splitting YouTube compilation, Cage has amassed a career that few contemporary actors can equal. This list is hardly airtight in its exclusivity, so a few honorable mentions ought to go out to a pair of Cage's deliriously uneven auteur collaborations (David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes), 1983's Valley Girl, 1987's Moonstruck, and Alex Proyas's Knowing (a favorite of the late Roger Ebert).

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    Read our full Muppets Most Wanted movie review.

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