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Cinema stuff for the week of March 22

Happy Friday, everyone. Today marks the DVD & Blu-ray release of the Hugh Jackman-helmed Les Miserables and Judd Apatow's This is 40, so head here for your weepy epic musical and/or raunchy romantic comedy needs. If you're looking to get off the couch, here's some of what's on screens this week:


SIFF Cinema welcomes two new films this week. Turning is a Danish documentary that merges the music of singer Antony Hegarty (from Antony and the Johnsons) and the work of video artist Charles Atlas. It's described as "a sensual and moving exploration of femininity and the basic desire of belonging." Ginger and Rosa stars Alice Engler and Elle Fanning as two teenage best friends growing up amongst the changing social landscape of early '60s Britain. It was written and directed by Sally Potter (Orlando).

Continuing their SIFF runs this week are Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film War Witch, the story of a teenage girl trapped in the guerilla warfare of the African jungle featuring a fierce performance by fifteen-year-old Rachel Mwanza; the "coming-of-old-age comedy" Quartet starring Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Dame Maggie Smith (my grandmother recently told me it was great); and Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner Searching For Sugar Man. It's all about singer/songwriter Rodriguez, who will be coming to our neighborhood in April at the Neptune Theatre.


The L.A. Rebellion series at Northwest Film Forum ends this weekend with a screening of Compensation (the dream-like story of a deaf woman and a hearing man falling in love), a panel film discussion and short film collection, and Haile Gerima's Child of Resistance. Visit the schedule page for all the film and event details.

The Men of Dodge City, winner of the Jury Award for Best Feature at the NWFF's 2012 Local Sightings Festival, plays all this week. This thoughtful and charming film tells the story of "three young friends transplanted to Detroit with the aspiration of transforming an abandoned cathedral-sized church into a lively arts space, are trying hard to articulate their enthusiasm and noble ideas." Director Nandan Rao will be in attendance for Friday's screenings.

On Thursday, NWFF and Yelp present The T.A.M.I Show, a 1964 performance filmed live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium that features an insane amount of talent: James Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Leslie Gore, The Beach Boys, and many others. It's one of our favorite things to play in the store when we're in the mood for something musical. The event is FREE but you need to RSVP via Yelp to attend.


Central Cinema has Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring--in alpahbetical order--alcohol, Richard Burton, marital strife, and Elizabeth Taylor. There's also Paul Verhoven's Basic Instinct, which if you can't remember anything about it other than Sharon Stone in that one infamous scene, then you need to revisit it. Monday's screening will be in Hecklevision with your clever retorts appearing on screen via text messaging. Tuesday brings the welcome return of MovieCat Trivia--we've heard from several noted film fans that it's quite a good quiz. Then on Thursday, there's an encore screening of Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel. Local director Wes Hurley's gender and genre-bending musical comedy follows diva Waxie Moon's search for love amongst our lovely city and its lovely, talented people. The evening will be hosted by BenDeLaCreme.


The 007-a-thon concludes this week at Grand Illusion Cinema with two of Roger Moore's best. The Spy Who Loved Me (starring Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel as Jaws) plays Friday through Sunday, followed by the space adventures of Moonraker (starring Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead) Monday through Thursday. This is your last chance to enjoy the suave spy action of James Bond in 35mm, so clear some time on your calendar now.

On Saturday the Sprocket Society hosts the finale of the Saturday Secret Matinee series with one last thrilling classic film. Here's a hint: "A sci-fi classic based on Shakespeare's The Tempest!"


Trader Joe's Silent Movie Mondays spotlighting the Women of Silent Film continues at the Paramount Theatre. This Monday's movie is The Kiss, a 1929 romance/drama/murder mystery starring Greta Garbo. It will be shown from a 35mm restored print courtesy of UCLA Film and Television archive and feature live accompaniment by Jim Riggs on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. You can get $2 OFF tickets online or at the box office with the promo code WOMEN.


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