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Award-winning Italian and French classics on tap this week

March 21, 2013|By Susan King
  • Federico Fellini's Oscar-winning masterpiece "La Strada" stars his wife, Giulietta Masina.
Federico Fellini's Oscar-winning masterpiece "La Strada"… (Janus Films )

Italian classic films directed by masters of cinema Federico Fellini, Vittorio de Sica and Michelangelo Antonioni will be vying for viewers' attention Thursday evening.

The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood presents Fellini's haunting 1954 drama "La Strada," starring his wife, Giulietta Masina, and Anthony Quinn. Released in the U.S. in 1956, "La Strada" won the very first foreign language film Academy Award.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of De Sica's neorealism masterpiece, "Bicycle Thieves." The film won an honorary Oscar as the best foreign language film.

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And the New Beverly presents Antonioni's enigmatic 1964 "Red Desert," with Monica Vitta and Richard Harris. The second feature is Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning 1961's "Through a Glass Darkly," the filmmaker's first entry in his "Death of God" trilogy.

The New Beverly travels to France on Friday and Saturday with the first local 35-millimeter screening of the new restoration of Jean Renoir's 1937 World War I drama, "Grand Illusion," starring Jean Gabin, Erich von Stroheim and Pierre Fresnay. Also screening is the 2004 restoration of Jean-Pierre Melvillle's 1969 "Army of Shadows."

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre also travels to France on Friday and Saturday. On tap for Friday are shorts by the legendary filmmaker Chris Marker, including his influential  1962 short, "La Jetee," which Terry Gilliam later adapted into 1995's "Twelve Monkeys," followed Saturday evening by the 30th anniversary presentation of Marker's "San Soleil."

And Sunday's offerings are the fourth-hourlong episode of the French documentary on Jerry Lewis, "Bonjour Mr. Lewis," followed by the cinematic clown's 1960 hit,  "The Bellboy."

Both LACMA and Outfest showcase gay cinema this weekend. LACMA presents "Outlawed! Queer Cinema Before the Culture Wars" on Saturday evening. Screening are "America's Most Wanted: The Queer Underground," "Mapplethorpe Projection," "My "Hustler" and "Mala Noche."

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Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival takes place Friday and Saturday evening at the REDCAT and the Egyptian Theatre. Among the feature-length and short films being screened are "Homeboy," "Fusion Retrospective Shots, "My Brother the Devil," "White Frog," "Audre Lord" and "Talking with the Taxman About Poetry." There will also be a 10th anniversary fusion gala screening and party Saturday evening at the Egyptian.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's Festival of Preservation continues Saturday night at the Billy Wilder Theater with the charming 1934 comedy "Thirty Day Princess," co-written by Preston Sturges, starring Cary Grant and Sylvia Sidney, and the 1933 comedy "The Working Man," starring George Arliss in a rare light role along with a young Bette Davis.

The Nuart Theatre's Midnight Movies series presents the new restoration of the truly creepy "White Zombie," on Friday at midnight. Bela Lugosi stars in what is considered to be the first zombie thriller.

Critics and audiences weren't very enthusiastic over Alfred Hitchcock's 1969 thriller, "Topaz," screening Tuesday afternoon at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Leo S. Bing Theater. But even minor Hitchcock is worth a look. John Forsythe and Frederick Stafford star.


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