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.
Friday, March 15
Kino Lorber's recent 4K restoration of Alex Cox's Highway Patrolman will premiere at the Egyptian Theatre. This underrated 1991 film follows a rookie cop (Robert Sosa) in northern Mexico whose morals are tested in the midst of institutional corruption. Shot in brilliant deadpan long takes, the movie shifts gears from comedy to drama while maintaining a sharp eye and a clear conscience. The American Cinematheque has paired it with Walker, Cox's 1987 film about a villainous American mercenary (Ed Harris) who enjoyed a brief stint as president of Nicaragua. Cox will appear between films for a discussion. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 15, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Los Angeles Filmforum hosts experimental filmmaker and photographer Babette Mangolte at Echo Park Film Center for an evening of four short films, each centering on the art of dance. The program, titled Babette Mangolte: Dance/Art/Film, includes Staging Lateral Pass (2013); Steve Paxton at Dia:Beacon (2014); Je, Nous, I or Eye, Us (a 2014 film originally shot on 16mm); and Edward Krasinski's Studio (2012). Mangolte, born in France but working in New York, will be present for a Q&A. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Fri., March 15, 8 p.m.; $5. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org.
Creature From the Black Lagoon, one of the first and best horror films to emerge from the original 3-D craze of the early 1950s, has a special screening with in-person guests at the Aero on Friday night. Scientists exploring the Amazon River get more than they bargained for when an ancient gill-man becomes territorial. Mitchell Danton, son of star Julie Adams, will introduce the film with Alan K. Rode. The feature will be followed by a documentary featurette about the making of the 1954 film. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., March 15, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Saturday, March 16
UCLA presents a double feature pairing a Fay Wray classic with a Robert Riskin pre-Code “fallen woman” picture. Viva Villa! stars Wallace Beery as the Mexican revolutionary and Wray as the beautiful daughter of a wealthy landowner. Virtue stars Carole Lombard as a prostitute who attempts to conceal her past when she falls in love with a cabbie. The program is part of UCLA's retrospective occasioned by the release of Victoria Riskin's new book about her parents, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir. The series was curated by Jan-Christopher Horak. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Saturday., March 16, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Also opening Friday, March 15: The Aftermath; Ash Is Purest White; Captive State; Chimera Strain; Combat Obscura; Faith, Hope & Love; Finding Steve McQueen; Five Feet Apart; The Highwaymen; The Hummingbird Project; Iceman; Knife + Heart; Mission of Honor; Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase; Never Grow Old; The Mustang; The Sex Trip; Superpower Dogs; Wonder Park