The Great DictatorEXPAND
The Great Dictator
Wikimedia Commons

Your Weekly Movie To-Do List: The Great Dictator, as Timely as Ever

Friday, June 22

Is it coincidence that the two most influential American horror writers of the 20th century, H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, are both proud New England natives? Maybe it's something in the chilly air that brings out their macabre instincts. The American Cinematheque has curated an evening of "New England Nightmares" to bring the northeastern United States a little closer to our neck of the woods. First up is From Beyond, Stuart Gordon's freaky 1986 adaptation of Lovecraft's short story about a scientist whose experiments with the pineal gland open a portal into another dimension. In the Mouth of Madness is a Lovecraftian descent into insanity helmed by genre master John Carpenter. Finally, Frank Darabont's The Mist, extracted from King's claustrophobic novella, brings the triple feature to a bleak finish. Producer Brian Yuzna will appear for a discussion after the first feature, and producer Sandy King Carpenter will introduce the second. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., June 22, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

The Last Days of DiscoEXPAND
The Last Days of Disco
Castle Rock
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Distinguished writer-director Whit Stillman, American cinema's poet laureate of bourgeois youth, will be in town for a Q&A following a screening of The Last Days of Disco. This droll, pensive, ever-so-slightly condescending pageant revolves around a cadre of hyper-articulate Manhattan clubbers as they dance, fall in love, and talk (and talk and talk) on a myriad of subjects. The ensemble cast is superb, and Stillman's ear for banter never errs. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., June 22, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Top Gun
Paramount Pictures

Rooftop Cinema Club is the outdoor answer to ArcLight. Patrons can grab a comfy deckchair and take in a stunning L.A. sunset before settling down for a popular movie. The wireless headphone system also cancels out the sounds of the guy munching corn nuts in your ear. Friday night's feature atop the Neuehouse Hollywood is the ever-watchable Top Gun, Tony Scott's '80s adrenaline-pumping cult favorite concerning a group of hot-shot naval aviators. Ticket pricing varies: $17 gets you a lounge chair, $20 a lounge chair and popcorn, and $24 a love seat and popcorn. No alcohol at this venue, but the movie will leave you buzzed. Rooftop Cinema Club, NeueHouse Hollywood, 6121 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Friday, June 22, 8 p.m.; $17. (207) 635-5517, rooftopcinemaclub.com.

Twilight on the Rio GrandeEXPAND
Twilight on the Rio Grande
Republic Pictures

Saturday, June 23

Autry Museum of the American West has been programming a steady stream of vintage films and television programs for years now. On the fourth Saturday of every other month, two films starring American singer-actor-rodeo-performer Gene Autry are screened in the museum's Wells Fargo Theater. This month's double feature offers The Big Show and Twilight on the Rio Grande, two B-movies shot 11 years apart for Republic Pictures that feature Autry's trademark crooning. Come to the museum early to browse the exhibitions. Wells Fargo Theater at Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sat., June 23, noon-2:30 p.m.; free with museum admission. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org.

Tuesday, June 26

Shortly after the Nazis took France, Charles Chaplin released The Great Dictator, his first true sound film. Its most notable feature — besides the timing — is its satirical takedown of Adolf Hitler, the so-called Fuhrer, via Chaplin's character Adenoid Hynkel, Der Phooey. Chaplin lamented going through with it after the facts about the Holocaust came to light, but it remains an important piece of film history, with a stirring final speech. LACMA will show a 35mm print to close out its four-week series honoring the British-born film genius. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 26, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org


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