Friday, March 6

If you like your kids-brutally-murdering-each-other movies with more cruelty and gore than The Hunger Games can fit into a PG-13 production, the Egyptian’s 7:30 screening of Battle Royale may be for you. Kinji Fukasaku’s cult classic opens with a group of 42 teenagers being sent to an island where they’re forced to go at it until only one remains — a simple setup, to be sure, but one that the Japanese filmmaker maximized. Hugely controversial and more entertaining than it probably should be, this one will make for a bloody fun Friday night.

Thom Andersen is a hero of Los Angeles film culture, making REDCAT’s L.A. premiere of The Thoughts That Once We Had a genuine event. Andersen — who teaches at CalArts and has had his acclaimed works screened at festivals the world over — will be on hand to discuss his latest cinematic essay, which, unlike his city-defining Los Angeles Plays Itself, has no geographic restrictions in its explorations of film history. Not a lot of filmmakers operate in this mode, and no one does it as masterfully.

Saturday, March 7

Anytime is a good time for a Powell and Pressburger double feature, but the Aero’s 75th anniversary seems an especially apt occasion to celebrate the famed filmmaking duo. A Matter of Life and Death and Black Narcissus screen at 7:30. The former, a moving portrait of unfinished business and the afterlife, is about a downed RAF pilot trying to stay on Earth just a little while longer. The latter stars Deborah Kerr as a nun overwhelmed by the sensual beauty of her new surroundings at a convent in the Himalayas.

Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet

Sunday, March 8

Sci-Fi Sunday at Old Town Music Hall presents Forbidden Planet, the 1956 classic that inspired countless filmmakers to dive even deeper into the unknown. It was a film of many firsts, as no other film before it had taken place entirely on a planet other than our own, nor had one featured intrepid explorers piloting a spacecraft that they themselves had made. Sci-fi in the ’50s often is regarded as dated and laughable, but the lo-fi charms of this innovator have imbued it with a staying power shared by few of its contemporaries.

Monday, March 9

Perhaps the most unusual offering this week is UCLA’s The Arab-Israeli Conflict as Seen Through the Hearst Newsreels, which screens in the Billy Wilder Theater at 7:30. Roughly 100 minutes of restored 35mm prints (including some nitrate) comprise the program, which covers three decades (from 1938’s Arab revolt in British Palestine through the Six-Day War of 1967) of the Middle Eastern stalemate. Newsreel preservationist Jeffrey Bickel will appear in person.

Tuesday, March 10

LACMA once again gives some Tuesday Matinee love to François Truffaut, this time with Stolen Kisses at 1 p.m. The third entry in Truffaut’s semi-autobiographical Antoine Doinel series (after The 400 Blows and Antoine and Colette) introduces the wayward young adult to Christine Darbon, who becomes his primary love affair and factors heavily into the rest of the series.

It Follows

It Follows

Horror fans, take note: Cinefamily is offering a free sneak preview of It Follows at 7:30. David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to The Myth of the American Sleepover takes the allegorical implications of teens’ hormonal urges to new levels of tension and dread. The moody chiller features an urban-legend premise — an otherworldly entity relentlessly stalks one person at a time until that person has sex with someone, at which point it begins following the new victim — and a breakout performance from star Maika Monroe, whose low-key presence is of a piece with the moody visuals and synth-heavy score. This is the best horror film in years, so come ready.

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