Saturday, May 26
The luminescent Norma Talmadge was a hugely popular silent movie star whose prominence waned with the advent of talkies. After two straight box office duds, she cut her losses, retired and lived well into the 1950s. In a program titled #MeToo From the Silent Screen, the American Cinematheque presents The Social Secretary, a 1916 comedy starring Talmadge as an attractive young woman who resorts to making herself look dowdy to avoid sexual harassment at work. The 8mm screening is part of the Retroformat series and sponsored by the George Lucas Family Foundation. Cliff Retallick will provide a live score, and the feature will be accompanied by several short subjects TBA. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., May 26, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
REDCAT's International Children's Film Festival is such a good idea it's a wonder there aren't more like it. Essentially a highbrow immersion in international cinema (except, you know, for kids), the fest spans three weekends of short subjects from around the globe. Each program costs $5, lasts approximately 90 minutes, and mixes animated subjects with live-action films. Fun, as they say, for the whole family. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Sat., May 26, noon; $5. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.
Sunday, May 27
The events of May 1968 have been re-created many times on celluloid, but there is probably no more comprehensive a cinematic document of the tumultuous period than William Klein's May Days. Shot in the cinéma vérité style, the film throws a spotlight on Sorbonne students, strikers and factory workers as they attempt to negotiate the terms of their revolution amid the civil unrest. Klein, a street photographer who was recruited by the students to document their cause, shot on 16mm and completed the film 10 years later. Los Angeles Filmforum presents a digital transfer of this rare piece of history as part of its series 1968: Visions of Possibilities. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., May 27, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.
Tuesday, May 29
Michael Cimino's devastating, controversial Vietnam drama The Deer Hunter plays as part of Laemmle's Anniversary Classics series. Clocking in at an emotionally and physically exhausting three hours, the film provides a novelistic immersion into the horrors of war as it slowly unfolds the destinies of three male buddies from a rural Pennsylvania steel town. The film was simultaneously praised — winning five Oscars, including Best Picture — and criticized for its harrowing visions of life in a Vietnamese prison camp, ultimately prevailing as one of the most famous American films of the 1970s. John Savage, who received his first big break playing Steven, will appear after the screening to reflect on his crucial role. Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tue., May 29, 7:15 p.m.; $15. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com.
Thursday, May 31
The American Cinematheque launches a four-day retrospective of Czech animator Jirí Trnka, a key figure in the development of stop-motion animation in his native land. The series kicks off with The Emperor's Nightingale, a feature-length adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, plus two bonus shorts. This is a golden opportunity to experience Trnka's enchanting style of puppetry, much of which was intended for grown-ups but can be safely approached by children. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., May 31, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.