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Dude, they're wasted

July 26, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

-- Jeff Spicoli, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"


THE "Citizen Kane" of teen sex comedies, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," celebrates its 25th anniversary tonight at American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre.

Not only has the film developed a strong cult following over the last quarter century, "Fast Times" also was the breakout film for three future Oscar-winning best actors -- Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage and Forest Whitaker -- as well its screenwriter, Cameron Crowe. Other now-famous faces in the raucous comedy that barely escaped an X rating include Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards and Judge Reinhold. Veteran Ray Walston also stars as the stern teacher Mr. Hand -- the nemesis of Penn's stoned surfer dude, Jeff Spicoli. Shot at the original Sherman Oaks Galleria and Santa Monica Place, the film was directed by Amy Heckerling, who would later make the ultimate 1990s youth comedy, "Clueless."

The latest high school comedy, "Charlie Bartlett," which officially opens Aug. 3, will be shown tonight at the ArcLight as part of AFI's Director Screenings series. Anton Yelchin ("Alpha Dog") plays a wily high school student who becomes the institution's resident "psychiatrist" who passes out advice as well as pharmaceuticals. Director Jon Poll will participate in a Q&A after the movie.

The songwriting team that wrote many of the tunes that made Elvis Presley swivel his hips -- Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller -- will be saluted Friday evening at the Mods & Rockers festival at the Egyptian Theatre. The duo, who penned such rock standards as "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog," "Love Me" and "Loving You," will be on hand for a 50th anniversary presentation of the movie "Jailhouse Rock" as well as "Smokey Joe's Cafe," a 2002 HBO special of the popular Broadway revue of their songs.

The West Coast premiere of "In the Beginning Was the Image," a 2006 documentary about 1960s iconic British filmmaker Peter Whitehead, will also be shown Friday in the Egyptian's intimate Spielberg Theatre.

Saturday evening features the four-hour, restored director's cut of the breathtaking rock documentary "Woodstock," the 1970 Oscar-winning celebration of three days of peace, love and music that took place in Woodstock, N.Y., in the summer of 1969. Michael Wadleigh directed the film, which features such seminal performers of the era as the Who, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Joe Cocker.

With the special double-disc DVD edition of Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" set for release Aug. 14, the Nuart is presenting a new 35-millimeter print of the 1986 fantasy, Friday through next Thursday. Directed by Henson and written by Monty Python's Terry Jones, "Labyrinth" stars Jennifer Connelly as a teen who wishes her baby brother would be kidnapped by goblins. Her wish is the command of Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie), who takes the tyke to his castle to be goblinized. The Monday screening features a Q&A with conceptual designer Brian Froud; his wife, puppet designer Wendy Froud; and their son Toby, who played the baby.

UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hammer Museum's Friday evening outdoor series, "Hot + Bothered," features John Frankenheimer's brilliantly surreal 1966 thriller "Seconds." Rock Hudson plays a bored middle-age man who makes a mistake when a secret organization approaches him with a proposition about getting a second chance at life.

Elsewhere: The Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame salutes William Cameron Menzies -- the first art director to be given the title of production designer as a result of his Oscar-winning work on "Gone With the Wind" -- with the 1943 Technicolor adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Sunday at the Egyptian. Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman star. A discussion on Menzies' career follows.

Ever fall asleep at the movies? Well, sleep and even snoring are encouraged during "," described as the "most boring talkie ever made," which has its free world premiere Saturday evening at the Grounded CyberCafe in Sherman Oaks.



American Cinematheque

* "Fast Times at Ridgemont High": 7:30 p.m. today, Aero Theatre,

AFI's Director Screenings

* "Charlie Bartlett": 8 p.m. today, ArcLight Hollywood,

Mods & Rockers

* "Jailhouse Rock" and "Smokey Joe's Cafe": 7:30 p.m. Friday

* "In the Beginning Was the Image": 7 p.m. Friday

* "Woodstock": 6 p.m. Saturday, Egyptian Theatre,


* "Labyrinth": runs Friday through next Thursday; special screening at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nuart Theatre,

'Hot + Bothered'

* "Seconds": 7 p.m. Friday, Hammer Museum,

Art Directors Guild

* "For Whom the Bell Tolls": 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Egyptian Theatre,

Grounded CyberCafe

* "": 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Grounded CyberCafe,

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