By Susan King
9:00 AM EDT, May 9, 2013
The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival kicks off Friday evening at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres at Hollywood & Highland with a double bill of John Carpenter's 1988 "They Live" and his classic 1978 horror film, "Halloween. Carpenter will appear in conversation with Hero Complex's Gina McIntyre.
On Saturday afternoon, McIntyre will welcome Frank Darabont for a screening of "The Mist," his 2007 film based on the Stephen King novella. That evening, visionary director/producer Guillermo del Toro will appear between screenings of his 2001 ghost thriller, "The Devil's Backbone" and his acclaimed 2006 fantasy, "Pan's Labyrinth. "
Sunday's offering is a matinee screening of the 1996 blockbuster "Independence Day" with special guest director Roland Emmerich, to be followed by a 20th-anniversary celebration of the Fox series "The X-Files," with its creator Chris Carter.
"The Closer Look: Recent Czech Cinema," presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, in association with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles and Staropramen, begins Friday at the Billy Wilder Theater with the 2011 film "Flower Buds." Director Zdenek Jirasky is to appear in person.
Scheduled for Saturday evening are two Czech Republic/Slovakia productions, 2011's "Gypsy," directed by Martin Sulik, followed by 2012's "Made in Ash."
On Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater, Film Independent at LACMA is presenting new digital restorations of two films directed by Roberto Rossellini and starring his then-wife Ingrid Bergman -- the influential 1954 drama "Journey to Italy," also starring George Sanders, and "Stromboli," the 1950 drama during which Bergman met and fell in love with Rossellini.
The 13th Beverly Hills Film Festival, which celebrates independent cinema, continues at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres through Sunday. Films include "Paper," "The Coffers," "Lost on Purpose." and "King Tigemore in Strawberry Fields."
American Cinematheque celebrates "The Friedkin Connection: The Films of William Friedkin" Thursday through Monday evening at the Aero Theatre.
The veteran Oscar-winning director will be on hand Thursday to sign copies of his new book, "The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir," before screenings of "Sorcrerer," the lavish 1977 remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Wages of Fear," and the controversial 1980 cop thriller "Cruising," starring Al Pacino as an undercover cop who infiltrates New York's gay leather-bar underworld.
Friedkin will also be in attendance Friday evening for "The French Connection," the 1971 detective thriller for which he won the best director Oscar. The movie also took home the Academy Award for best film, and Gene Hackman won the Oscar for best actor as New York police detective "Popeye" Doyle. The second feature is his is 1985 thriller "To Live and Die in L.A."
Of course, no Friedkin tribute would be complete without a screening of the 1973 horror classic "The Exorcist." The Aero is presenting a new digital restoration Saturday evening. Friedkin will be on hand for the 40th anniversary presentation.
The series concludes Monday with two of the director's earliest films, 1968's "The Birthday Party," based on the Harold Pinter play, and 1970's "The Boys in the Band," based on Mart Crowley's off-Broadway play about a group of gay men at a birthday party.
Los Angeles Filmforum and MOCA present "Time As Material," a series of films exploring time as material, Thursday evening at MOCA's Grand Avenue Ahmanson Auditorium. Among the films in the program are Andy Warhol's 1964 "Mario Banana (Nos. 1 and 2), and 1968's "Hand Catching Lead."
LACMA presents "Young Women Filmmakers From Mexico," a screening series organized with the nonprofit AMBULANTE, Friday and Saturday evenings at the Leo S. Bing Theater. Documentaries included in the series are 2008's "El General," with director Natalia Almada in attendance; 2008's "Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's Intimacies," directed by Yulene Olaizola; and 2011's "The Tiniest Place," with director Tatian Huezo in attendance.
The Autry's "What is a Western?" film series presents a 50th-anniversary screening of Martin Ritt's "Hud" Saturday afternoon. Paul Newman earned a best actor Oscar nomination for his uncompromising performance as a selfish young modern-day cowboy. Patricia Neal won the best actress Oscar as his family's housekeeper, and Melvyn Douglas won for best supporting actor as his rancher father. The Autry is presenting the only 35-milllimeter print still in circulation.
Cinespia is back for its summer screening series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Screening Saturday night is Carol Reed's seminal 1949 thriller "The Third Man," with Orson Welles as Harry Lime and Joseph Cotten.
Retroformat West, which presents silent films on 8-millimeter and 16-millimeter film, presents Rudolph Valentino's 1922 classic "Blood and Sand" Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Fanatic Salon Theatre in Culver City.
The New Beverly Cinema celebrates the comedic genius of Jonathan Winters, who died last month at the age of 87, with a double bill Sunday and Monday, offering 1965's "The Loved One" and 1966's "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences explores "Turning the Page: Storytelling in the Digital Age" Wednesday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. John August, writer of "Go," "Big Fish" and "Frankenweeinie,' is to host the evening featuring several panelists including screenwriter Mark Boal, who won an Oscar for "The Hurt Locker."
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