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American Cinematheque salutes Van Johnson

February 26, 2009|Susan King

Van Johnson was a heartthrob among the bobby-soxer set during the 1940s. But Johnson, who died in December at age 92, was also an underrated actor of surprising power. The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre will pay tribute to Johnson tonight with a double bill of 1954's terrific "The Caine Mutiny," in which he more than holds his own with Humphrey Bogart, and the compelling 1944 World War II historical drama "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo."

The Egyptian's Oscar- winning favorites festival continues Friday evening with 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde" and the Academy Awards' best picture of 1986, "Platoon." www. americancinematheque.com

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10 days of Iimura

Japanese filmmaker and artist Takahiko Iimura will be the subject of a 10-day, multi-venue retrospective Friday through March 9.

The seminal experimental filmmaker will make appearances at the Los Angeles Filmforum, UCLA Film & Television Archive, REDCAT, the USC East Asian Studies Center and School of Cinematic Arts, CalArts Bijou Theatre and UC Irvine. The festival kicks off at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater on Friday with his "Film Poems."

The retrospective moves to the Egyptian on Sunday with a program of experimental films from the 1960s. www.lafilm forum.wordpress.com

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Bombs in a good way

UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Hammer Museum, REDCAT and the Filmforum are presenting "Bruce Conner's Explosive Cinema: A Tribute Part I," a memorial to the filmmaker who used found footage and was often described as the father of MTV-style editing. The festival begins Saturday at the Wilder Theater and continues Monday at REDCAT. www.cinema.ucla.edu and www.redcat.org

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Flicks' flicks

"Wende Flicks: Last Films From East Germany," featuring 14 films unseen outside Germany, will screen Saturday through March 12 as part of a citywide program of German cultural events in conjunction with LACMA's "Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures." www.wendemuseum.org--

susan.king@latimes.com

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