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May 15, 2008|Kenneth Turan | Times Movie Critic

There just might be a lot to look forward to this summer. And not just because of the films that the studios are pushing out across the entire country, but because of what is happening specifically in Los Angeles.

On the nationwide front, the newest film from Pixar, "Wall-E," has to be the most intriguing, especially coming from a studio that has produced nothing but hits. Even if you ignore the title of the new Adam Sandler film, "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," and decide to do so, you don't want to get in Pixar's way.

This summer, June 19-29 specifically, is the time when the vibrant Los Angeles Film Festival takes over Westwood and environs and brings the best kind of excitement to the film life of the city with its mixture of premieres, revivals, discussions and even outdoor screenings (lafilmfest.com).

On the revival front, the most exciting event has to be a first-time-in-L.A. screening of the original, uncut Russian "War and Peace" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma.org; June 6-20). The abbreviated, dubbed six-hour version directed by Sergei Bondarchuk was good enough to win the best foreign language film Oscar in 1968, but the original seven-hour Russian language film has not surfaced before in this neck of the woods. See it and amaze your friends.

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