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Pan African Film & Arts festival begins with 'Jerusalema'

SCREENING ROOM: The South African drama is among 175 films at the festival.

February 05, 2009|Susan King

Blair Underwood headlines the 17th annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival, which opens tonight at the Directors Guild of America Theater with the South African drama "Jerusalema." The festival, which continues through Feb. 16 at the Culver Plaza Theaters, features more than 175 films from countries around the world. www.paff.org.

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Action takes hold

Get out your tights and mask for the American Cinematheque's Lucha Libre double feature tonight at the Egyptian Theatre: "The Champions of Mexican Wrestling," a 2008 action-comedy, and a surprise second feature.

Masaki Kobayashi's epic, "The Human Condition Trilogy," screens this weekend with "No Greater Love" playing Friday, "The Road to Eternity" on Saturday and "A Soldier's Prayer" on Sunday.

Out of a job? The Aero Theatre is offering free admission to the unemployed (just show your latest Employment Development Department benefit check stub) for its "Great Films of the Great Depression" weekend retrospective. It kicks off tonight with two great Universal monster classics: 1931's "Frankenstein," starring Colin Clive as the good doctor and Boris Karloff as the creature; and 1932's "The Mummy," starring Karloff.

Two slapstick delights are on tap for Friday: the 1933 Laurel and Hardy hoot "Sons of the Desert" and the 1934 W.C. Fields masterpiece, "It's a Gift," which features the infamous Mr. Muckle sequence.

Saturday's offerings are two rarely screened Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals: 1935's "Roberta" and "Follow the Fleet" from 1936.

A newly restored print of the 1937 ghostly farce "Topper" is scheduled for Sunday. Cary Grant, Constance Bennett and Oscar nominee Roland Young star. Also on tap for Sunday is the near-flawless 1938 "Holiday," with Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Lew Ayres. www .americancinematheque.com

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susan.king@latimes.com

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THIS WEEKEND

"Absurdistan" In a desert village, the women make a no-sex vow until the men fix a rickety water pipeline.

"Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh" Documentary about the poet who volunteered for a mission to rescue Jews in 1944 and was executed by the Nazis.

"Chocolate" An autistic girl learns martial arts from movies to exact revenge on those who harmed her mother.

"Coraline" A 3-D stop-motion adventure about a girl who discovers an alternate world.

"Fanboys" Obsessive "Star Wars" fans journey across the country to infiltrate George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.

"He's Just Not That Into You" Intersecting story lines about relationships.

"The Pink Panther 2" Steve Martin as bumbling French police detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau.

"Push" A man and a girl try to save the world from killer paranormal operatives.

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