Friday, Dec. 6

Starting on Friday this weekend is the L.A. EigaFest, a film festival to showcase Japanese films for American audiences, at the Egyptian Theatre. Opening the fest is the U.S. premiere of Unforgiven, the Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood's 1992 Best Picture Oscar winner, in which a former samurai breaks his vow of nonviolence to help avenge an attack on a prostitute. A $15 ticket includes red-carpet access starting at 7 p.m., followed by the screening,  director Lee Sang-il's Q&A and the after-party. A festival pass is $68 with the opening film, $49 without.

For all wannabe filmmakers or actors, USC is hosting a public Masterclass With Actor James Frain: Communicating With Actors at 3 p.m. at the Ray Stark Film Theater. Frain, whose 20-year career spans many films (Where the Heart Is, upcoming The Architect) and TV shows (True Blood, 24, The Tudors), will give a one-hour lecture followed by a Q&A. It's free and open to the public but you must RSVP at

Sunday, Dec. 8

Christmas comes early with The Muppet Christmas Carol screening at 11 a.m. at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum. Sing along with Kermit and Miss Piggy in this retelling of Charles Dickens' classic about Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), who needs a reminder of the Christmas spirit.

Then at 1:15 p.m., the Orpheum Theatre opens its doors for a screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, the stop-motion film that follows Jack Skellington as he accidentally stumbles into Christmastown and decides to re-create the Christmas spirit in his own Halloweentown. You can explore the theater before and after the screening, and enjoy the holiday music played by Dean Mora on the Orpheum's Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Tickets (at are $15 general, $10 Conservancy members, $5 kids 12 and under. Show your ticket at the nearby Umamicatessen or Two Boots Pizza for special discounts (Sunday only).

See also: More L.A. Weekly Film Coverage

Thursday, Dec. 12

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, downtown's Grand Central Market hosts a screening of Roman Polanski's Chinatown at the Million Dollar Theatre. Private eye J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) finds himself in the middle of murder and corruption — all revolving around the California water wars. For this one night only, the Grand Central Market will remain open till 8 p.m. for dinner. The film starts at 7:30 p.m.

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