Friday, April 20
Noir City heads into its final weekend of classic crime movies with a humdinger of a Joseph Losey triple feature. The Prowler, which premiered at the American Cinematheque several years ago, is still one of the most significant “finds” in its class — a downbeat yet gripping thriller with deep insight into the postwar American psyche. The second feature, M, is Losey's remake of Fritz Lang's masterpiece about the hunt for a child murderer, shot in and around L.A.'s Bunker Hill. Rounding out the evening's program is The Big Night, the director's last film before absconding to England to avoid the HUAC-induced blacklist. John Barrymore Jr. plays a teenager who embarks on an all-nighter to confront the man who beat up his father. All three films will be presented in 35mm, as is customary; Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation will introduce the program. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 20, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Lucrecia Martel visits Los Angeles to premiere her first film in nine years. Zama is a free adaptation of Argentine author Antonio di Benedetto's novel about an 18th-century officer in the Spanish army and the existential crisis that arises from his request for a promotion. Martel's previous work, including The Headless Woman and The Holy Girl, identified her as a master of mood and cinematic tempo, and this hotly anticipated film arrives on the West Coast following a successful round of festival screenings. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., April 20, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Chilean-born, Montreal-based experimental filmmaker Malena Szlam will visit the Echo Park Film Center for a retrospective of her work, Inexistent Time, presented by Los Angeles Filmforum. According to Becca Keating, Szlam's films “explore notions of time, self, the natural world and materiality” via a number of formats (35mm, 16mm, Super 8). A “special screening” will be announced at the show. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Fri., April 20, 8 p.m.; $10. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org.
Saturday, April 21
The Aero continues its hat-tip to French New Wave luminary Jean-Luc Godard with a double feature. First up is Breathless, his most widely seen and consistently enjoyable experiment in genre deconstruction. Whether driving around Paris in a stolen convertible or flirting in bed after an afternoon nap, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg remain one of world cinema's coolest couples. Anna Karina headlines the second feature, Band of Outsiders, which draws from the same well of influences, namely American crime movies. This is the one that features the “minute of silence” and sprint through the Louvre, and is Exhibit E or F in the case for Godard being the most exciting filmmaker of the 1960s. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 21, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Thursday, April 26
Bob Rafelson's satiric time capsule Head, reportedly conceived over a weekend in Ojai involving large quantities of cannabis, and then adapted into screenplay form by Jack Nicholson while under the influence of LSD, effectively ended the career of The Monkees. A box office flop in 1968, the film has resurfaced as a cult item worthy of wider recognition. It will screen at the Bing Theater in conjunction with Film Independent at LACMA. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., April 26, 1 p.m.; $10. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.