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Offering chances to get acquainted

July 05, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

DESCRIBING itself as the "last independent independent film festival," Dances With Films celebrates its 10th edition beginning Friday at Laemmle's Sunset 5. It's billed as the only festival in the U.S. in which all the features, shorts and documentaries feature no known actors, directors or producers.

The eclectic offerings include "Father G and the Homeboys," a documentary from directors John Bohm and Pete Tapia about L.A. priest Father Greg Boyle, who works with gang members; "The Last Magic Show," a fairy tale from New Zealand; "The Rat Thing," a comedy caper set in Venice, Calif., that features a cameo from attorney Gloria Allred; and "Bruno," a dramatic short about an asthmatic misanthropic bicyclist who lives in Trenton, N.J.

For film buffs unable to take a vacation to the South Seas, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre has almost the next best thing: its third annual Enchanted Tiki and Luau Weekend. The three-day event not only serves up movies but also music and a luau.

Kicking off the festivities Friday is a rare screening of George Roy Hill's 1966 epic "Hawaii," based on James Michener's bestseller. Max von Sydow plays a strict missionary who marries a woman (Julie Andrews) who doesn't love him; together they leave New England in the early 19th century to spread God's word in Hawaii.

Artist Kevin Kidney hosts an hour of tiki-themed TV programming from the early 1960s on Saturday afternoon. In the evening is "The Sophisticated Misfit," a 2007 documentary about Los Angeles artist Shag. Director Mark Chervinsky and Shag will be on hand to discuss the film after the screening. Afterward, the 1954 seafaring action-adventure "His Majesty O'Keefe" stars Burt Lancaster at his muscular best as a sea captain.

On tap for Sunday evening is 1953's sultry "Miss Sadie Thompson," starring Rita Hayworth. In this version, Sadie is a down-on-her-luck singer who is left out to dry on Samoa, the home of a U.S. Army base. She finds solace in the arms of a sweet lug of a GI (Aldo Ray) but finds a nemesis in a self-righteous minister (Jose Ferrer) who wants her deported.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Hammer Museum are going outside for the series "Hot + Bothered: Films of Temptation and Destruction," which screens in the courtyard of the museum.

The 1970 cult classic "The Honeymoon Killers" opens the five-night series at 7 p.m. Friday. Loosely based on the story of the Lonely Hearts Killers, this off-kilter tale stars Shirley Stoler and Tony LoBianco. Martin Scorsese was the first director on the film, but he was replaced by Leonard Kastle after the first week.

In conjunction with UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History's current exhibition "Architecture of the Veil: An Installation by Samta Benyahia," the museum is presenting a documentary series about women and Islam. Scheduled for Wednesday at noon are Diane Ferrero's "They Call Me Muslim" and Elli Safari's "The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud," about a woman who defied 1,400 years of Islamic tradition by leading a mixed-gender prayer congregation in New York in 2005.

Elsewhere: Laemmle's Sunset 5 and Landmark's Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena are presenting the Thai supernatural action-comedy "Dynamite Warrior." Directed by Chalerm Wongpim and starring Dan Chupong, the film focuses on a young man seeking revenge for his parents' death. The movie will screen at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Sunset 5, and midnight Saturday at the Rialto.

The Alex Film Society presents the 1956 sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet" at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

Researcher John Hankey's latest documentary, "Radical Politics in Mainstream Media: Gleaning Grains of Truth From Mountains of Chaff," screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the 7 Dudley Cinema in Venice.


Dances With Films

When: Friday to next Thursday

Where: Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood



Enchanted Tiki and Luau Weekend

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood



"The Honeymoon Killers":

"They Call Me Muslim" and "The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud":

"Dynamite Warrior": laemmle


"Forbidden Planet":

"Radical Politics in Mainstream Media":


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