The Patricio Guzmán retrospective hosted by the UCLA Film & Television Archive kicks off in earnest on Friday, but today's your final chance to catch his latest masterpiece, Nostalgia for the Light, in its theatrical run at the Nuart. It's not currently scheduled to move to another Los Angeles screen, and it shouldn't be missed.
Counterprogramming the celebratory vibe of the TCM Classic Film Fest across town, tonight the Aero is showing one of the most brutally autocritical movies ever made. In Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (7:30 p.m.), Sam Peckinpah drags out the worst of himself and sets it stumbling through Mexico in the form of Warren Oates. The second half of the double bill is The Ballad of Cable Hogue, featuring Jason Robards and the lowest violence-to-comedy ratio of Peckinpah's career.
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Another noteworthy night at the Aero, with Powell & Pressburger's Black Narcissus and Powell's Age of Consent (7:30 p.m.). The former, the highest of melodrama set in the highest of Himalayan convents, hacks its way through austerity with a knife made of garish pinks and grand matte paintings, while the latter, a tale of artistic rebirth whose island setting is Robinson Crusoe via Club Med, is a genuinely sad document of an aging artist tucked inside a tasteless, not very funny romantic comedy.
The humor is better over at the New Beverly, which offers a double helping of Jim Jarmusch's trademark deadpan in Down by Law and Night on Earth.
The title of German film essayist Harmut Bitomsky's Dust, screening tonight at REDCAT, makes no bones about its subject, though the number of social, political and philosophical insights Bitomsky draws out from 90 minutes of folks talking about little specks of matter is nothing to sneeze at.