Friday, March 15
The New Beverly Cinema is presenting a David O. Russell double feature starting at 7:30 p.m. Russell, whose Silver Linings Playbook recently won an Oscar for Jennifer Lawrence, first gained attention back in 1994 for his controversial film Spanking the Monkey. Inching ever so closely to Oedipal territory, Russell's feature directing and writing debut is about a sexually frustrated son forced to stay home on summer vacation to take care of his incapacitated mother.
Next is something a little lighter: the philosophical comedy I Heart Huckabees. Albert (Jason Schwartzman), an environmentalist, seeks the help of existential detectives Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian (Lily Tomlin) to find the source of his angst. Naomi Watts, Jude Law and Mark Wahlberg also star.
Saturday, March 16
Follow the adventures of the Baggins family with a four-movie Middle-Earth marathon at the Aero starting at 11 a.m. It begins with The Hobbit, as Bilbo Baggins first encounters the ring that leads to some rather pesky problems, including screeching wraiths and back-stabbing wizards. Then, survive The Lord of the Rings trilogy — with each film clocking in at over three hours — to see heart-pumping battles between good and evil, and the crowning of Middle-Earth's rightful king. If you're still conscious by the end, you deserve to join the Elves in the Undying Lands for some serious R & R.
The 2013 Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival for Iranian filmmakers will screen its top six shorts at the Bing Theater at 6 p.m., including As We Pass By from Parisa Gorgin, about a woman who gets carjacked as people around look on without coming to her aid. The festival comes just in time for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. On Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m., the Farhang Foundation will host a full day of activities on the LACMA campus, including the world premiere of the music and dance performance The Dawn of Spring.
Sunday, March 17
Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, co-stars in Bob Byington's new comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me. It's a fable about a man, his best friend and the woman they both adore as life passes them by, delivered with deadpan humor. The film will have a one-week run at Cinefamily starting Friday, but this weekend's nighttime screenings will have Q&As with Offerman, Byington and some celebrity moderators — Sunday's 7:45 p.m. screening will have Zach Galifianakis, while Friday has Chris Pratt and Saturday has Jason Schwartzman. See cinefamily.org for more info.