Friday, Sept. 14
If Michelangelo Antonioni set the world of cinema aflame by foregrounding the psychology of the soulless bourgeois, then L'Avventura was the lit match. The alienation of the contemporary world is reflected through the relaxed editing rhythms that emphasized “temps morts” (or the “dead time” between action) in an inversion of Hitchcock's famous maxim, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” Audiences will have a chance to see Antonioni's masterwork in 35mm at the Egyptian Theatre tonight, the first in a series dedicated to this modernist master. The program, co-presented by Luce Cinecittà, will include the short subject Return to Lisca Bianca Island, courtesy of Rai Teche. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
UCLA launches a Jirí Menzel retrospective that will continue through the end of the month. One of the leading lights of the Czech New Wave, Menzel burst onto the international scene with Closely Watched Trains, a gently absurdist tale of a teenage station guard during WWII. Menzel won the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar in 1966 for his work here — not bad for a debut feature. The evening will close with Larks on a String, a political comedy whose anti-communist stance delayed its release until 1990. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Sunday, Sept. 16
L.A. Filmforum's Visions of Possibilities series continues with Half a Life (Mourir à Trente Ans), Romain Goupil's chronicle of the May 1968 uprisings. Twelve years in the making, it took the Caméra d'Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival but never received U.S. distribution. Viewers will have the rare opportunity to see a DCP from France on Sunday night, screened at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.
Monday, Sept. 17
Edgar G. Ulmer's lean noir masterpiece Detour recently received a careful restoration, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will premiere the new 35mm print at the Linwood Dunn Theater. Shot in six days on a shoestring budget, Ulmer's fatalistic tale of a hitchhiker who picks the wrong ride still bites like a slug of whiskey on an empty stomach. Special guest Arianne Ulmer Cipes, actress and daughter of the late director, will be the evening's special guest. Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine St., Hollywood; Mon., Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.; $5. (310) 247-3600, www.oscars.org.
Tuesday, Sept. 18
Cher is in the spotlight at LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series this month. This week's featured film is Suspect, a tightly plotted 1987 thriller in which the singer-turned–movie star plays a D.C. lawyer defending a homeless, handicapped veteran (Liam Neeson, in one of his early roles) against a murder charge. Jury tampering figures prominently in Eric Roth's serpentine screenplay, and Peter Yates navigates the various twists and turns with pure professionalism. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 18, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell