Thurs., Jan. 12
The Aero's showcase for Golden Globe nominees in the Foreign-Language Film category continues tonight with the Dardennes brothers' The Kid With a Bike. Centered on the eponymous orphan, looking for his father and finding a surrogate mother, it's a gentler and more warmhearted look at the travails of lower-class provincial Belgian life than usual, but no less masterful in its sympathetic realism and eschewal of sentimentality. The brothers will be present for a Q&A after the screening, and also for a Saturday afternoon round table at the Egyptian, with the other nominated directors (Zhang Yimou, Angelina Jolie, Asghar Farhadi and Pedro Almódovar). (Yimou's The Flowers of War concludes the series Fri., Jan. 13.)
Wed., Jan. 18
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrates Paramount's 100th birthday this month with an extensive exhibition and, tonight, a screening of Wings (1927), winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture. A decorated World War I flyer, director “Wild Bill” Wellman knew what he was doing with the aerial sequences, and they remain thrilling today; on the ground, nurse Clara Bow keeps things perky, as does, briefly, Gary Cooper.
It was a great move on the part of the UCLA Film Archive last year to start weekly screenings at the Million Dollar Theater downtown. This was Sid Grauman's first movie house, built in 1918, and if you haven't checked out its revitalized opulence, this is a particularly good night to do so, for a double bill of Sam Fuller's notorious and brilliant Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1964). In the first, a journalist in single-minded pursuit of a Pulitzer goes undercover as a patient in a mental ward; in the second, the incomparable Constance Towers is a statuesque (and bald) prostitute starting over, only to find that big-city sleaze has nothing on a small town's hypocrisy and its pernicious underbelly. Hyperbolic and hard-hitting. —Tom von Logue Newth