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.

Limited/art house

Friday, April 11

Claire Denis, vanguard of the contemporary French cinema, will be in town this weekend for a retrospective organized by the American Cinematheque. The series begins on the day her newest film, High Life, opens on U.S. screens. Friday evening's program features Chocolat, Denis' highly regarded 1988 debut set in colonial Africa. Giulia Boschi plays the wife of a French officer who recalls feeling drawn as a child to the family “houseboy” (Isaach de Bankolé), who develops a close bond with her. White Material finds Denis returning to French Africa for a harrowing story of racial disharmony, starring Isabelle Huppert as a coffee plantation owner in the midst of an uprising. Both films will screen in 35mm; the director will appear in conversation with critic Mark Olsen before the first feature. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., April 12, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Claire Denis' Beau Travail; Credit: Janus Films

Claire Denis' Beau Travail; Credit: Janus Films

Saturday, April 13

The Claire Denis retrospective co-presented by the American Cinematheque and the French Film & TV Office, French Consulate offers a 35mm print of Beau Travail, her mysteriously beautiful 1999 Herman Melville adaptation concerning an officer of the Foreign Legion (Denis Lavant) and his obsessive hatred of an angelic young soldier. Denis will appear in person for a post-screening discussion. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 13, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Also opening Friday: After; Billboard; A Dark Place; Dogman; Hellboy; Her Smell; I Am Cuba; Little; Long Day's Journey Into Night; Mary Magdalene; Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy; Mia and the White Lion; Missing Link; The Most Dangerous Year; Penguin Highway; Satan & Adam; Stockholm; Teen Spirit; Wild Nights With Emily; Working Woman

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