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SPECIAL SCREENINGS

'Andrei Tarkovsky' At The Nuart

March 09, 1987|KEVIN THOMAS | Times Stff Writer

In "Andrei Tarkovsky: Poet in the Cinema," screening at the Nuart through Tuesday, veteran Italian documentarian Donatello Baglivo succeeded admirably in getting the late Soviet director, who was the most enigmatic and least compromising of film makers, to discuss with precision and clarity his work (which is glimpsed in generous, apt clips), his life and his credo. Tarkovsky believed we're on earth to "enhance spirituality" and that the purpose of art is to serve that end. For showtimes: (213) 478-6379, 479-5269.

Filmforum will present the world premiere of Stan Brakhage's 50-minute "Faustfilm: An Opera," plus an array of Brakhage shorts at the Wallenboyd Center Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Made in collaboration with composer Rich Corrigan, "Faustfilm" is the realization of a 31-year-old dream on the part of Brakhage, a giant of the avant-garde cinema. Brakhage's Faust is an ordinary-looking guy (Joel Haertling), described by the film maker as feeling "estranged from God." Shot in several cluttered rooms in an old house, "Faustfilm," a triumph of maximum effects from minimal means, reveals Brakhage's mastery in the use of light and in composition to create piercing images of longing and desire; leave it to Brakhage to discover the cosmic in a homely, everyday setting. Corrigan's eerie score has the sound of "infernal machinery" a la David Lynch. Brakhage will be making his first personal appearance in Los Angeles in five years at this signal event. (213) 276-7452; (714) 628-7331.

The UCLA Film Archives "Homage to the Cinematheque Francaise" continues Thursday in Melnitz Theater with "Le Brasier Ardent" ("Infatuation") (1923), directed by and starring Soviet emigre Ivan Mousjoukine, star of the recently restored "Casanova." In this sophisticated Lubitsch-like romantic comedy, Mousjoukine plays a debonair Paris detective hired by an elderly financier (Nicolas Koline) suspicious of his much-younger wife, an opulent brunette (played by Nathalie Lissenko, Mousjoukine's then-wife). This thoroughly delightful film of much style and subtlety is highlighted by fantasy sequences as amusing as they are dazzling. (213) 825-9261.

The Workman and Temple Homestead Museum, 15415 E. Don Julian Road, City of Industry, will present at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays throughout March "L.A.: Mecca of the Movies," a series of films depicting early Los Angeles and Hollywood. A lecture by Margaret Bach, founder of the Los Angeles Conservancy, will accompany three shorts from the '20s sure to captivate anyone interested in the history of our city: "The Water Trail," a Department of Water and Power production outlining the design and function of the Los Angeles Aqueduct (and containing a prophetic warning of our need to develop further water resources); a promotional film of the ARO Realty Co., that is an invaluable record of the appearance of a wide variety of streets and neighborhoods--too bad Vine Street didn't turn out to be the Fifth Avenue of the West, as predicted here; and a similar Foster and Kleiser promotional. (818) 968-8492.

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