More than just another blast of rancid vapors from the old reliable Death Is the Best Career Move crypt, the theatrical premiere of evocative character study Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean promises an engrossing confluence of sociocultural and psychosexual elements. With Dean doppelganger James Preston running the melodramatic gamut of the outsider idol's enigmatic worldview and ever-shifting stock of sexual percentages and stunner Dalilah Rain making quite a convincing play for the distaff team, the film examines the doomed actor's — at the time — scandalous proclivities, all served up in a rich bundle of shadowy, high-noir atmospherics, stark desert rapture and intensely affectionate and craftily delivered Hollywood fetishism. Captured on film through vintage Cooke lenses, it's got a rich, authentic old-school look, thoughtful understated performances and an all-around appealingly serious tone that sets the flick apart from mere slavish Dean fan-mania. Writer-director Matthew Mishory and members of the cast and crew will on hand for some unspecified interaction and general celebratory hoopla. Art Theater, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach; Wed., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; $15. (562) 438-5435,

Dec. 12-18, 7 p.m., 2012

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