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Shirley Temple: The academy honors her 80th with two films.

August 21, 2008|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

Shirley Temple is probably the most popular child star in cinema history. During the 1930s, the golden-haired mop top sang and danced the Depression blues away in a series of musicals. She even won a special juvenile Oscar in 1935 in "grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution of screen entertainment during the year 1934."

Temple, who would later become the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia, celebrates her 80th birthday this year. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences celebrates the event Friday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater with newly restored prints of her 1937 drama "Wee Willie Winkie," based on the Rudyard Kipling story and directed by John Ford, and the 1938 musical "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," with Randolph Scott and Gloria Stuart of "Titanic" fame.

On Wednesday, the academy celebrates the centennial of fantasy film director, producer and animator George Pal with a screening of a newly restored print of his 1953 classic production "War of the Worlds" and a discussion hosted by director Joe Dante with several actors and technicians who worked with Pal, including Alan Young, Ann Robinson, Barbara Eden and Russ Tamblyn.

It's a big week for Southland film festivals. Kicking off Friday and continuing through Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre is the Feel Good Film Festival, a nonprofit showcase encouraging "the production and distribution of short or feature length films" . . . that "make audiences laugh and capture the beauty of our world." Among the films being screened is the documentary "Certifiably Jonathan," about comic Jonathan Winters, who will also be feted at the festival. www.fgff .org

For those with a bleaker outlook on life, there's the American Cinematheque's Post-Apocalyptic Film Festival, which begins Friday at the Aero Theatre with Ralph Bakshi's 1977 "Wizards," "Damnation Alley," also from 1977, and the 1975 cult favorite "A Boy and His Dog," with Don Johnson. Saturday's triple bill features two early adaptations of Richard Matheson's sci-film novel, "I Am Legend": 1964's "The Last Man on Earth" and 1971's "The Omega Man." Rounding out the bill is Terry Gilliam's 1995 thriller "12 Monkeys."

Legendary production designer Gene Allen, who won an Oscar for 1964's "My Fair Lady," will discuss his career at the Art Director Society Tribute to him Sunday at the Aero Theatre. Also on the program is the 1960 George Cukor film, "Heller in Pink Tights," for which he was art director.


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