Friday, June 8
Until his untimely death at 54, Bill Gunn was a talent to be reckoned with. A celebrated playwright and screenwriter, he also directed three features, including Personal Problems, a rarely seen 1980 “experimental soap opera” co-written with Ishmael Reed. This epic ensemble piece — running 165 minutes — dissects the African-American experience with a savagely satirical eye. Kino Lorber recently oversaw a digital restoration of this rarely screened indie, which will make its Los Angeles premiere at the Billy Wilder Theater. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., June 8, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Tuesday, June 12
Charles Chaplin's ability to combine rib-tickling comedy with heart-tugging pathos made him the most famous movie star in the world. In 1931, when the rest of the American film industry had transitioned to talkies, he continued to work in the silent tradition. Masterpiece City Lights contains some of his funniest bits — a hilariously choreographed boxing match, a drunken nightclub act — as well as an ending to rank with the most sublimely romantic in film history. LACMA will screen a 35mm print as part of its Tuesday Matinees series. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 12, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
Wednesday, June 13
Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is 50 years old, and the American Cinematheque is marking the occasion with a new 70mm print supervised by Christopher Nolan. The gist of this new transfer is that it's entirely non-digital, which accordingly reproduces the color and textures of the original 1968 release more faithfully than ever before. Audiences can see this purely photochemical “un-restoration” of the landmark sci-fi epic at the Aero during a weeklong run. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., June 13, 7:30 p.m.; thru Tue., June 19; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Thursday, June 14
Explore the dark side of Tinseltown with a double feature starting with Valley of the Dolls, the 1967 pill-popping camp classic based on Jacqueline Susann's best-seller. Even better is What's the Matter With Helen?, Curtis Harrington's scathing thriller about two middle-aged friends who come to Los Angeles in the early 1930s to start a new life, only to be chased by the ghosts of their past. Harrington, a true horror stylist, creates an unsettling atmosphere of guilt and repression worthy of Nathanael West, but there's a rich vein of wry humor to balance the proceedings. Sue Cameron, author of Hollywood Secrets and Scandals, will introduce the evening's program and sign copies of her book. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., June 14, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Tisa Bryant and Ernest Hardy's sweeping, mixed-media retrospective The Black Book examines black aesthetics from a pop-historical standpoint. Tonight the Hammer hosts a free public screening of Car Wash, Michael Schultz's richly enjoyable 1976 comedy that knits together a quilt of African-American life clustering around the titular establishment (a real car wash in L.A.'s MacArthur Park neighborhood). Bryant and Hardy will hold a Q&A after the screening. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., June 14, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000.