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Screening Room: The Cinematheque boogies this weekend

January 24, 2013|By Susan King
  • Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John star in "Xanadu," screening at the American Cinematheque
Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John star in "Xanadu," screening… (Universal Pictures )

The American Cinemathque's Egyptian Theatre gets its boogie on with a triple bill Saturday night of campy skating disco flicks.

The first entering the rink is the 1980 cult fave "Xanadu," which was turned into a Broadway musical more than 20 years later. The film stars Olivia Newton-John as a muse sent to Earth, where she helps an artist (Michael Beck) open a roller-disco nightclub. Gene Kelly also stars.

"Xanadu" is followed by 1979's "Roller Boogie" with Linda Blair. The triple bill concludes with 1979's "Skatetown, U.S.A." with Patrick Swayze in his first major role. Even the Unknown Comic appears!

Saturday afternoon at the Egyptian, poster designer and producer Mike Kaplan will chat about the art of the movie poster in the Art Deco era. His talk follows a screening of the 1938 Astaire-Rogers musical "Carefree," which features the Oscar-nominated Irving Berlin tune "Change Partners."

Screening Saturday evening at the Egyptian's intimate Spielberg Theatre are rare silent 8-millimeter films produced by Thomas Ince including "Drummer of the 8th," which will receive a 100th anniversary screening. Cliff Retallick will supply live piano accompaniment.

On Thursday evening, the Cinematheque's Aero Theatre presents the 1959 best foreign language film "Black Orpheus," from Brazil, along with Kenji Mizoguchi's 1954 classic "Sansho the Bailiff."

New at both Cinematheque venues is "The Castle Returns: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli 2013," which kicks off Friday at the Egyptian with the Oscar-winning 2001 "Spirited Away" and 1994's "Pom Poko." The festival continues through Feb. 10. www.americancinematheque.com

UCLA Film & Television Archive presents "Farther Than Far: The Cinema of Jean Rouch," beginning Friday at the Billy Wilder Theater. The late filmmaker and anthropologist was one of the founders of the cinéma vérité style of documentary filmmaking in France. The festival opens with 1958's "Moi un Noir," followed by 1964's "Gare du Nord" and 1953's "Mammy Water."  On tap for Saturday is 1961's "Chronique d'un Été."

Screening Sunday at the Wilder is the 2012 documentary "United in Anger: A History of ACT UP," directed by Jim Hubbard, which profiles the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Hubbard and several others will be talking about the film. www.cinema.ucla.edu

Film Independent at LACMA presents "Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters," Thursday at the Leo S. Bing Theater. The 2012 documentary by Ben Shapiro profiles the contemporary American photographer. Crewdson, Shapiro and the film's writer, Jonathan Lethem, will talk after the screening.

There will be a standby line Friday evening at LACMA for the sold-out screening of the Oscar-nominated Chilean film "No" with Gael García Bernal. Director Pablo Larraín and Bernal will appear.

LACMA's Tuesday matinee is Alfred Hithcock's sexy 1964 thriller "Marnie,"  starring Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Diane Baker. The film was trounced by critics when it was released but has grown in in reputation over the years. www.lacma.org

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a new 35-millimeter print of Roman Polanski's first English-language film, "Repulsion," Friday through Wednesday. The psychological horror film set in a London apartment stars Catherine Deneuve. www.cinefamily.org

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