Saturday, Jan. 20
Tommy Wiseau, the artistically incompetent yet fascinating visionary behind the 2004 cult film The Room, will visit the Egyptian Theatre to introduce his sole feature. Wiseau appeared last month to a sold-out house in preparation for The Disaster Artist, the new film enshrining him — via a charismatic lead performance by James Franco — as an auteur whose belief in his subject (namely, himself) transcends aesthetics. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Sunday, Jan. 21
Los Angeles Filmforum's momentous screening series Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America celebrates the accomplishments from that region with a program titled Misreadings/Malas Lecturas. The program, composed of several short pieces, explores the interplay between text and image. Cuban experimentalist Nicolás Guillén Landrián's Coffea Arábiga will be a highlight of the evening. The screening will be preceded by a book signing at 2 p.m. with Luis Ospina, Pablo Marín, Poli Marichal, Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza, the editors of Ism, Ism, Ism/Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Experimental Cinema in Latin America, the essay collection released in tandem with the series. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Jan. 21, 3 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Tuesday, Jan. 23
LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series continues to keep the legacy of pioneering female filmmaker Dorothy Arzner alive with a screening of The Bride Wore Red. Joan Crawford stars as a chorus girl who is granted access to a posh Swiss resort wherein she is courted by two wealthy suitors (Francot Tone and Robert Young). Beneath the whimsy of this modern Cinderella story is a strong social awareness typical of the work of its maker, the only woman director in Hollywood in the 1930s. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 23, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
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Thursday, Jan. 25
CSUN launches a semester-long retrospective of the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Curated by Tim Halloran, the series kicks off with A Generation, the first of Wajda's "war trilogy." The story involves a teenager (Tadeusz Lomnicki) who joins the resistance, falls in love and provides underground opposition to the Nazi occupation in Warsaw at great cost. Famous for his baroque visuals, suspenseful plots and striking religious imagery, Wajda quickly became Poland's leading filmmaker, a reputation that would sustain a long and accomplished career. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Jan. 25, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu.
Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia, a sprawling and ambitious mosaic of misery set in the San Fernando Valley, returns to theaters for a single evening as part of Laemmle's Throwback Thursday series. Often and accurately described as a "beautiful mess," the film follows a dozen or so characters — each experiencing some form of acute unhappiness — as their lives intersect and influence one another. Praised as much for the energy of its mise-en-scene as the strength of its all-star ensemble (which includes Tom Cruise in an Oscar-nominated turn), the film is an exemplar of late-'90s American filmmaking, highlighted by a now-classic Aimee Mann soundtrack. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Thu., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com.