The Best Classic Movies to See in L.A. This Week

The ThingEXPAND
The Thing

Friday, Feb. 27

John Carpenter is responsible for a bevy of sci-fi and horror classics, none better than The Thing. The New Beverly is screening it along with Runaway Train, which scored Oscar nods for stars Jon Voight and Eric Roberts, tonight at 7:30. Set on an Antarctic research station, Carpenter’s body-horror benchmark is haunted by an alien life form that invades and kills its hosts, who show no signs of their transformation — the thing can be, and usually is, anyone in the room. Just as wintry is Runaway Train, which concerns a driverless, out-of-control locomotive in Alaska. thenewbev.com

The genre thrills don’t end there, as the Nuart presents a midnight screening of Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond. The middle entry in the Italian gore-master’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, the cult classic was heavily censored upon its initial stateside release. After inheriting the Seven Doors Hotel in Louisiana, a woman learns that said doors actually lead to Hell. As you might imagine, this causes quite a few problems for her and the local community. landmarktheatres.com

Saturday, Feb. 28

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After nearly two months and 20 films, UCLA’s Cecil B. DeMille retrospective concludes with his Best Picture­–winning The Greatest Show on Earth at 7:30 p.m. DeMille was one of early Hollywood’s key filmmakers, crafting several of the era’s finest spectacles (the original Cleopatra and The Ten Commandments among them). This backstage portrait of circus life belongs to that tradition, with an enormous cast including Charlton Heston (as the man running the show), Jimmy Stewart (an enigmatic clown whose makeup never comes off) and more than 1,000 human and animal extras from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s. cinema.ucla.edu

Sunday, March 1

Recycled Cinema With Roger Beebe is a night of experimental shorts at Los Angeles Filmforum. Beebe is a filmmaker-philosopher who teaches at Ohio State, and three of the eight works (most of which were shot on either Super 8 or 16mm) being shown are L.A. premieres. One of these, AAAAA Motion Picture, will be screened on two projectors simultaneously and accompanied by a live score courtesy of Cody Hennessy; TB TX Dance is also a dual-projector experience. lafilmforum.org

Luis Buñuel remains an icon of surrealism 115 years after his birth and 30 after his death. In celebration of his legacy, the American Cinematheque and the Luis Buñuel Film Institute co-present a 35mm double feature of That Obscure Object of Desire and The Young and the Damned at the Aero 5 p.m. The former was his swan song, the latter one of several forays into Mexico for the auteur (who renounced his Spanish citizenship the year before he made the film in 1950). americancinemathequecalendar.com

Monday, March 2

REDCAT presents Hardcore Home Movies, a collection of short LGBT works made between 1989 and 2001, at 8:30 p.m. Filmmakers on the program include G.B. Jones, Greta Snider, Jill Reiter and Jonesy, with the latter two in person. Jonesy’s Fiend, which was shot on Super 8 more than 20 years ago, has never been screened; the show takes its title from Snider’s look at the late-’80s punk scene in San Francisco. redcat.org

Tuesday, March 3

The massively influential template for countless coming-of-age movies is this week’s Tuesday Matinee at LACMA: François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. The French New Wave stalwart’s debut nabbed him Best Director honors at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and launched the story of Antoine Doinel, the wayward adolescent about whom Truffaut would go on to make four more films. This is one of the most affecting dramas of its kind and essential viewing for moviegoers of any age. lacma.org 

For more things to do in L.A. visit laweekly.com/calendar.


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