Friday, July 20
While American rock band The Velvet Underground were being managed by Andy Warhol in the mid-'60s, their frequent performances at the Factory became a mainstay of the East Coast avant-garde. Warhol filmed some of their activities, resulting in two feature-length films: The Velvet Underground and Nico (subtitled “A Symphony of Sound”) and The Velvet Underground Tarot Cards. The former is about as close to a concert film as the band ever made; the latter is essentially visual content designed to play in the background during concerts. MoMA has lent its 16mm prints of the films to the American Cinematheque for a double feature at the Egyptian, giving audiences a peek into the world of the New York counterculture. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., July 20, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Saturday, July 21
UCLA's Ernst Lubitsch retrospective forges ahead with two of his strongest comedies. To Be or Not to Be — perhaps the finest of them all — concerns a troupe of Shakespearean actors left behind in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Critics pooh-poohed it for poor taste when it premiered in 1942; now it's widely regarded as an emotionally rich masterpiece. One Hour With You, a pre-Code musical about the temptations of a married couple (Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald), is a remake of Lubitsch's silent The Marriage Circle and one of the sexiest films of its era. “How Did Lubitsch Do It?” is the name of the series, and the answer to that question can be found at the Billy Wilder Theater. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., July 21, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Secret Movie Club will screen a 35mm print of the original summer blockbuster, Jaws, at midnight at the Vista Theatre. Steven Spielberg's sensational thriller about a gigantic, ravenous shark terrorizing a New England island community broke box office records in 1975 and continues to grip all these years later. The then–27-year-old director's icy-hot temperament, in which cold violence alternates with warm human drama, had already been well honed, and the cast is terrific, most ostentatiously Robert Shaw as a Captain Ahab–esque old salt. Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Drive, Los Feliz; Sat., July 21, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (323) 660-6639, vintagecinemas.com/vista.
Sunday, July 22
Los Angeles Filmforum presents the Los Angeles premiere of Matria, a portrait of Antolin Jiménez, a soldier who fought beside Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution. In his film, new-media artist Fernando Llanos, who's also Jiménez's grandson, unveils a multitude of interesting facts surrounding his mysterious ancestor, resulting in a personal and illuminating documentary statement. Llanos will be present for a Q&A discussion following the screening. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., July 22, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.
Tuesday, July 24
LACMA's weekly Bluth-a-thon concludes with a screening of All Dogs Go to Heaven. Director Don Bluth, a devout Mormon whose visions of suffering, death and the afterlife always ran a shade darker than Disney's, delivers a potent depiction of heaven and hell in this tale of a dog who seeks vengeance after surviving an out-of-body experience. Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise provide the two main voices, which isn't as distracting as that sounds. Kids get in for $2. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., July 24, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell