Welcome to L.A. Weekly’s Movie Guide, your look at the hottest films in Los Angeles theaters this week — from indie art house gems and classics to popcorn-perfect blockbusters and new movies garnering buzz. Check here every week before you make your big screen plans.


Saturday, June 15

Nina Menkes is one of those filmmakers for whom the word “independent” is well and truly earned. Each of her seven feature films are hermetic, provocative, and divisive—in other words, must-sees for the serious cinephile. UCLA will showcase the brand-new 35mm restoration of her 1991 feature Queen of Diamonds completed by The Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the EOS World Fund, and Arbelos. A study of alienation with echoes of Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, the film follows the humdrum daily existence of a blackjack dealer (hauntingly played by the director’s sister and creative collaborator, Tinka Menkes) amid an arid Las Vegas landscape. This will be followed by a rare screening of The Bloody Child, a chilling crime drama inspired by a news item in which a Gulf War veteran was discovered burying the body of his slain wife in the Mojave Desert. Menkes, a UCLA alumna, will appear to comment on her work.

UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.

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