Friday, July 6
Form and content unify in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World — a movie about a video game nerd that itself resembles a video game. Edgar Wright's exuberant, deftly funny comedy features Michael Cera in top form as a likable nerd who must win his girlfriend's heart by defeating her seven evil exes. It's one of the best films ever shot in Canada, and the Nuart will screen it in 35mm as part of its long-running Cine Insomnia series. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., July 6, 11:59 p.m.; $12. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com.
Saturday, July 7
Still at the peak of her popularity, Greta Garbo made her second-to-last film, Ninotchka, at age 34, for which she received her fourth Oscar nomination. But it's Ernst Lubitsch, who directed the picture with his characteristic light touch, who's the subject of the evening. Revered film historian Joseph McBride's new book, How Did Lubitsch Do It?, explores this master of modern comedy in scintillating detail. The evening will conclude with Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner, the sparkling, Christmas-themed romantic classic starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. McBride will sign copies of his book before showtime. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., July 7, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Tuesday, July 10
Cradle Will Rock is a period piece about a period piece: a 1999 film about the staging of a 1937 left-wing Broadway opera. The federally funded musical, produced by John Houseman and directed by a young Orson Welles, was shut down but not before igniting a trenchant debate about censorship. Tim Robbins directed the film, which takes plenty of artistic liberties but features a dazzling array of talent, including Bill Murray as a down-and-out ventriloquist and John Turturro as a fervent anti-fascist. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tue., July 10, 1:30 p.m.; free. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org.
Thursday, July 12
Malcolm X, Spike Lee's 3½-hour biopic of the incendiary civil rights activist, is one of the director's most ambitious undertakings. Oscar-nominated Denzel Washington's charisma carries the viewer through Malcolm's early days as a small-time criminal, his transformative spiritual education in prison, and his emergence as one of the key political activists of his day. Laemmle Theatres will screen it as part of its Throwback Thursday series in partnership with Eat/See/Hear. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, Thu., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com.
Echo Park Film Center presents A Canyon Cinema Celebration, an evening honoring the independent film distributor founded by experimentalist Bruce Baillie in the early 1960s. Now a nonprofit in its 50th year, the Canyon Cinema Foundation houses and distributes rare prints of avant-garde and other noncommercial films for educational purposes. The evening will feature a program of Super 8 and 8mm works drawn from Canyon Cinema's archives. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., July 12, 8 p.m.; $5. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org. —Nathaniel Bell