Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon's affectionate, informative "Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud" (at the Sunset 5 Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m.) will make most people realize how little they know about the visionary best known as the creator of the geodesic dome.
Born a century ago, Fuller comes alive through a combination of astute narration, clips from Fuller's adult lifetime of lectures and public appearances, and the remarks of such diverse friends as the late composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, architect Philip Johnson and director Arthur Penn. Fuller, a forthright New Englander Johnson calls "the last of the great believers," never enjoyed any real success until his mid-50s.
After trying his hand at many things, including a streamlined three-wheel car in the early '30s, Fuller might have come into his own in the dire housing shortage after World War II. He designed a cheap aluminum-and-plastic onion-shaped house that drew 37,000 orders, only to allow his company to go bankrupt when his backers refused to let him construct a second prototype, a stand for integrity that nevertheless scrapped his chance to revolutionize human habitation in a world of dwindling natural resources.
He had much better luck with his geodesic dome, which surfaced in 1951 and has led to about 100,000 such structures. Fuller spent much of his later life--he died at 87 in 1983--lecturing on the preservation of the planet, perceiving "a race between education and catastrophe."
Information: (213) 848-3500.
Pickford's "Fauntleroy": "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (Silent Movie, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a handsome, enchanting 1922 version of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel in which Mary Pickford plays the title role and Fauntleroy's mother.
Information: (213) 653-2389.
At the Melnitz: Geoffrey Rogers' investigation into ozone therapy, "Ozone and the Politics of Medicine" (UCLA Melnitz Theater, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.), which will screen along with Robert Richter's "School of Assassins" and Danny Schecter's "Countdown to Freedom."
Information: (310) 206-FILM.