Friday, Jan. 18
A master of provocative European cinema, Jean-Luc Godard, doyen of the French New Wave, has a new feature, The Image Book, coming to town later this month. In preparation for its arrival, the American Cinematheque is rolling out the proverbial red carpet with a mini-retrospective showcasing the intellectually insatiable director-critic's remarkable 60-year career. Friday night's double feature consists of Contempt, Godard's gloriously bitter satire of marriage and moviemaking, and Le petit soldat, his somber second feature, denouncing torture during the Algerian war. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Saturday, Jan. 19
The American Cinematheque's second evening of a weekend salute to Jean-Luc Godard begins with Alphaville, a brilliantly inventive sci-fi noir hybrid that transforms modern-day (1965) Paris into a futuristic technocracy without altering it significantly. Raoul Coutard's black-and-white photography transforms the commonplace into the mysterious through a dense network of shadows and inky pools of light. Made in U.S.A. is a brightly colored pop fantasia that frequently abandons its threadbare narrative to comment on 1960s social mores, looking forward to the more aggressively stylized political essay-films that would dominate the latter half of Godard's career. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Sunday, Jan. 20
The third night of the Cinematheque's Jean-Luc Godard festival offers the director's rarely screened One Plus One. Better known under the title Sympathy for the Devil, this discursive documentary on The Rolling Stones was tampered with, much to Godard's consternation, even provoking him to fisticuffs with producer Iain Quarrier when the doc premiered at the National Film Theatre in London. The recent 4K restoration funded by ABKCO Films allows us to see it the way Godard originally intended. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.