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A USC Comedy Festival, and Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth: Your Weekly Movie To-Do List

Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lee Daniels' The Butler

Friday, Nov. 8

Join a discussion with acclaimed actor-producer Forest Whitaker at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre, followed at 8 p.m. by two of his recent films. Lee Daniels' The Butler follows Cecil Gaines (played by Whitaker) from his days as a slave in the South to his employment as a White House butler. Ryan Coogler's directorial debut, Fruitvale Station, which Whitaker produced, depicts the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, who was killed by BART police in Oakland.

Saturday, Nov. 9

This weekend, USC celebrates comedy with Comedy@SCA Festival, Volume 2, at the Ray Stark Family Theatre and Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall. Starting things off at 11 a.m. on Saturday is Homer, Shrek and Cleveland Walk Into a Bar, an animated comedy panel discussion with the likes of David Silverman (director of The Simpsons Movie), The Simpsons writer James L. Brooks, Mike O'Callahan of Animaniacs and more. Other familiar panelists throughout the festival include Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Betty White, Mitchell Hurwitz (creator of Arrested Development), Conan O'Brien and Greg Daniels (executive producer of The Office). The festival is free, but you must RSVP at cinema.usc.edu. Even then, seating is not guaranteed, so get there early.

Sunday, Nov. 10

On Sunday, things take a tragic turn with the Downtown Independent's showing of Macbeth from National Theatre Live at 2:30 p.m. In the broadcast version of Manchester International Festival's acclaimed production of Shakespeare's play, Kenneth Branagh takes the title role and co-directs, and Alex Kingston plays Lady Macbeth. If you miss this screening, you have two more chances later this month: Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

See also: More L.A. Weekly Film Coverage

Thursday, Nov. 14

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA will show an Allan Sekula series at 7 p.m. as part of its two-day tribute. Edward Dimendberg and Elizabeth Hesik will introduce Thursday's program of video work by the late artist, who was known for his critique of "the imaginary and material geographies of the advanced capital world." On Nov. 17, the Egyptian Theatre screens Sekula's final work, The Forgotten Space -- a film essay he made with film theorist Noël Burch -- at 7:30 p.m.


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