Your Weekly Movie To-Do List
The incredible boom in nonfiction digital filmmaking from China is one of the most important developments in 21st-century cinema, and Video Art From the New China, presented in two parts at the Getty Center (at 4 and 7 p.m.), does a great service by offering audiences the chance to see works by directors who don't have the Stateside profile of Jia Zhang-ke or Wang Bing. Featuring a number of films that are more or less impossible to see, by directors including Yang Zhezhong, Wang Qingsong and Cao Fei, this promises to be a revelatory day of politically and socially engaged filmmaking. It's also the perfect primer for the essential New Chinese Cinema series set to take over REDCAT for four days in April. Both Getty programs are free, but reservations are required; call (310) 440-7300.
Quite a night: Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre presents two of Roman Polanski's most underappreciated films, Cul-de-sac and The Fearless Vampire Killers (7:30 p.m.); Cinefamily will host Whit Stillman for a 30th-anniversary screening of his masterpiece of manners, Metropolitan (8 p.m.); and L.A. Filmforum celebrates 35 years with a night of films by Stan Brakhage, Phil Solomon, Will Hindle, Robert Fulton and Mike Kuchar, all shot on the recently deceased Kodachrome film stock (7:30 p.m.). Depending on your mood you might opt for the bristling black comedy of Cul-de-sac, the serene wit of Metropolitan or the sumptuous 16mm images on display at Filmforum, but you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose.
Edgar Wright's rich stint as guest programmer at the New Beverly (which includes double bills of Wild at Heart and True Romance on Jan. 27 and The Wanderers and The Warriors on Jan. 28-29) wraps up with George Armitage's 1990 crime film Miami Blues. Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Fred Ward all do work on par with the best of their careers, and Armitage's direction is by turns tender and lively. Miami Blues screens as the second half of an evening with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, the Cimino/Eastwood heist film recently seen in LACMA's True Grit series.
There's hardly a lack of classic noir on the rep screens of L.A., but animation guru Jerry Beck's February edition of Animation Tuesdays at Cinefamily (8 p.m.) offers a new take, with Bogart and Mitchum instead of Daffy and Goofy. That's right: Cartoon Noir. There's not a full slate available, but the chance to see prints of this many animated classics — sure to be full of literally inky black shadows — makes this a can't-miss.
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