Thursday’s double bill of A Place in the Sun and Suddenly, Last Summer kicks off the seven-film, two-week tribute to Elizabeth Taylor at the Egyptian Theatre. Further screenings include a second double bill, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Taming of the Shrew (Fri., May 6, 7:30 p.m.), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (May 11, 7:30 p.m.), Giant (May 15, 7:30 p.m.) and the real gem, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (May 7, 7:30 p.m.) — in its original 70 mm, in what must surely be the ideal theater to see it in the United States. Mankiewicz’s 250-minute epic remains the second most expensive American film ever made, and it’s a fascinating document of the classic Hollywood spectacle at the fin de siècle.
Canadian media artist and filmmaker Alex Mackenzie will be on hand at the Echo Park Film Center (7:30 p.m.) to present The Wooden Lightbox: Ways of Seeing. This ongoing paracinema project uses a homemade, hand-cranked wooden projector to explore the cinematic image at its most basic levels. A can’t-miss event for fans of the live performance work of Ken Jacobs and Jennifer Reeves.
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At the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum: The Aero presents a 70 mm screening of Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour Hamlet (5 p.m.) as the final showing of its five-film series dedicated to the Northern Irish director/Shakespeare junkie. Friday sees a double bill of Much Ado About Nothing and A Midwinter’s Tale (7:30 p.m.), while Saturday brings the series’ only non-Shakespeare film, the oddly stylish thriller Dead Again, and its best, Branagh’s directorial debut, Henry V (7:30 p.m.).