Friday, Feb. 22
USC will be showing a free advance screening of Phantom, starring Ed Harris as the captain of a Cold War Soviet submarine who faces off against a rogue KGB agent (David Duchovny) trying to seize control of a nuclear missile. The film starts at 7 p.m. at the Ray Stark Family Theatre.
The Terminator is back, as promised, at the Aero Theatre. Our former "governator" stars in the film that launched James Cameron's career. Get an eyeful of a nude Arnold Schwarzenegger in the opening scene in all his former Mr. Universe glory at 7:30 p.m.
Cal State Northridge film student Miles Alva brings his independent feature film, The Islander, to the Fremont Centre Theatre at 9:45 p.m. This neo-noir centers around two LAPD detectives in their pursuit of a cult involving a Hollywood screenwriter, a talent agent and an actress. We can't guarantee quality, but two other screenings did sell out, and if you're curious to sample a local film student's work, ticket info and a trailer is at facebook.com/Islanderfilm. Plus, it won't cost you a cent.
Saturday, Feb. 23
Opera lovers are in for a treat on Saturday as USC Visions & Voices presents a broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's production of Verdi's Rigoletto in Michael Mayer's new production, set in 1960s Vegas. A pre-opera discussion at noon features Elizabeth Hynes, chair of the vocal arts and opera department, and Leah Morrison, adjunct professor of musicology, at the Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall.
Meanwhile, in Long Beach, the Art Theatre will show Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning Traffic at 11:30 a.m. Adapted from a British television series, the film explores the world of illegal drug trading through three interwoven storylines set in Mexico, Ohio and San Diego.
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At Echo Park Film Center, the monthly New Works Salon starts at 8 p.m. Hailing from the Bay Area is Valerie Soe with The Chinese Gardens, an experimental documentary that examines racism against the Chinese in the Pacific Northwest since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.