The American Cinematheque welcomes 2013 with "Motion Picturesque: Cinema at Its Most Beautiful" festival, which shines the spotlight on the visual splendor of motion pictures.
The series opens Thursday at the Egyptian with Fritz Lang's influential 1927 German expressionistic futuristic epic "Metropolis," followed by Alex Proyas' 1998 sci-fi noir, "Dark City." Over at the Aero on Thursday night there's a double bill of two Technicolor MGM musicals: 1953's "The Band Wagon," with Fred Astaire, and Vincente Minnelli's 1944 delight "Meet Me in St. Louis," with Judy Garland.
Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning 1972 "The Godfather," screens Friday evening at the Egyptian with 1974's "The Godfather Part II" unspooling on Sunday. Gordon Willis was the cinematographer on both films.
If you ever wanted to know what Teller, who is silent in his magic act with Penn Jillette, sounds like, he'll be in discussion Friday evening at the Aero in between screenings of two films, 2012's "Play Dead," which Teller directed with Shade Rupe, and the truly unusual 1989 "Penn & Teller Get Killed," which was directed by Arthur Penn.
Screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who won Oscars for best adapted screenplay for 1977's "Julia" and 1980's "Ordinary People," will visit the Aero on Sunday night to discuss his career. Two films for which he wrote the adaptations will also screen: Peter Bogdanovich's 1973 comedy "Paper Moon," with Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum, who won the supporting actress Oscar, and 1969's quirky love story "The Sterile Cuckoo," for which Liza Minnelli received her first best actress Oscar nomination.
And on Monday, the Cinematheque presents its annual Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Series. Among the films scheduled are Norway's "Kon-Tiki" on Tuesday at the Aero (directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg will appear in person) and Austria's "Amour," directed by Michael Haneke, Wednesday at the Aero.
Film Independent at LACMA welcomes visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan Thursday evening at the Leo S. Bing Theater. Though Nolan will undoubtedly discuss "The Dark Knight Rises," he'll be showing his first feature- 1999's "Following." The screening is sold out, but there will be a stand-by line.
On Saturday evening, Film Independent will presented a new digital restoration of Roman Polanski's 1980 "Tess," based on Thomas Hardy's novel. The film won three Oscars.
And Cinefamily's Shaw Brothers retrospective of Hong Kong kung-fu classics continues Tuesday evening with 1976's "The Magic Blade" and a mystery Shaw Brothers feature.
UCLA Film & Television Archive goes a little crazy on Sunday evening with two screwball comedies at the Billy Wilder Theater: 1936's "Theodora Goes Wild," starring Irene Dunne in her Oscar-nominated turn, and 1937's "True Confession," with Carole Lombard, as well as Fred MacMurray and John Barrymore.
Hollywood Heritage's Evenings at the Barn celebrates the legacy Wednesday of actress Jean Harlow, who starred in such MGM classics as "Red Dust," "Dinner at Eight" and "Libeled Lady," before her death at 26 in 1937. Darrell Rooney and Mark Vieira, co-authors of "Harlow in Hollywood," will be on hand to offer a power-point presentation on the "Blonde Bombshell."