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. Here are the best art-house screenings in town this week.
Saturday, Feb. 9
Norman Jewison's accomplished and eclectic career encompasses a number of styles and genres and includes several Oscar nominations. Now, at the age of 92, the inveterate craftsman will appear at the Aero for a four-night retrospective. Saturday's program includes what might be his most crowd-pleasing opus, Fiddler on the Roof. Jewison will introduce this warmly engaging musical about a family of Russian Jews who weather a political tempest in the early 20th century. The song score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick includes such cherishable tunes as “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “L'chaim (To Life).” Topol garnered a heap of critical acclaim as Tevye the milkman. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Sunday, Feb. 10
Luchino Visconti, the Italian-born aristocrat who pioneered neorealism before rebranding himself as a master orchestrator of opulent melodramas, is the subject of a retrospective at the American Cinematheque. Sunday night's showing of the rarely screened Ludwig will surely be a highlight of this series. A four-hour spectacle about the rise and fall of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this 19th-century period piece was recently restored and released on a handsome deluxe Blu-ray by Arrow Films. The Egyptian Theater presents it in complete form in 35mm. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 10, 6 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Elaine May takes the spotlight for the third weekend in UCLA's “Liberating Hollywood” series, a retrospective celebrating the surge in female directors in the 1970s. May, the legendary comedian who rose to fame in the 1950s as the performing partner of Mike Nichols, directed The Heartbreak Kid from a cracking screenplay by Neil Simon. The film stars Charles Grodin as a newly married nebbish who falls in love with the woman of his dreams (Cybil Shepherd) while honeymooning with his bride (Jeannie Berlin, May's daughter, in an Oscar-nominated performance). In A New Leaf, May directs herself as a klutzy heiress who becomes the unwitting target of a broke playboy (Walter Matthau) who plans to marry and murder her for her fortune. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Monday, Feb. 11
Renowned artist and avant-garde filmmaker Malcolm Le Grice will visit REDCAT for a rare evening celebrating his decades-spanning body of work. Le Grice turned from painting to film in the 1960s and his cinematic works frequently function as meta-critiques of the medium. Berlin Horse (1970), for example, multiplies an image from a Cecil Hepworth film from 1900, transforming it into a kaleidoscopic rumination on the origins of the art form. The program, titled “Malcolm Le Grice: Before and After Cinema,” was curated by Mark Toscano, Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud, and will include an appearance by Le Grice himself. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Feb. 11, 8:30 p.m.; $12. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.