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Your Weekly Movie To-Do List

<i>Two-Lane Blacktop</i>

Two-Lane Blacktop

Thursday

Luchino Visconti's 1963 Palme d'Or winner The Leopard, one of the cinema's great portraits of dying aristocracy and a major touchstone of European filmmaking in the 1960s, will screen at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre at 7:30. Starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, Visconti's masterpiece of wide-screen composition is essential big-screen viewing.

Friday

For a slightly calmer cultural portrait, head over to LACMA, where the "Golden Age of Road Movies" continues with the series' best film, Monte Hellman's 1971 post-hippie masterpiece Two-Lane Blacktop. Starring James Taylor, Warren Oates, Dennis Wilson and the exquisitely ethereal Laurie Bird, and featuring a script by Rudy Wurlitzer that tumbles again into the existential wanderings of his cult novel Nog, Two-Lane Blacktop is as singular a vision of American life as the movies offered up in the 1970s. Hellman will be present for a Q&A after the film.

Saturday

On Saturday and Sunday, Hollywood maverick (in the truest sense of the word) William Friedkin will be at Santa Monica's Aero Theatre for four of his greatest films: The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A. on Saturday, and Sorcerer (currently unavailable on home video in its proper wide-screen format) and The Exorcist on Sunday.

After the huge success of its run at Cinefamily and two weekend screenings at the Santa Monica 4-Plex, Dogtooth will head east to Pasadena's Laemmle Playhouse 7 for another set of weekend screenings.

Sunday

The essential "Radical Light" series rolls on with a showcase of small-gauge film presented by L.A. Filmforum at the Echo Park Film Center beginning at 7:30. The chance to see Nathaniel Dorsky's 17 Reasons Why is reason enough for any avant-garde aficionado to mark his calendar. The evening also features works by Bruce Connor and Scott Stark, among others.