The Biggest Little Farm. John Chester’s new documentary follows two dreamers with a dog and plans to bring harmony to their lives and the land. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Thurs., May 23, 12:15, 2:30, 4:50, 7:15 & 9:45 p.m. $9.50-$12.50.
Trial by Fire. Edward Zwick’s new drama is based on the true-life bond that formed between a Texas death-row inmate (Jack O’Connell) and a Houston mother of two (Laura Dern) fighting for his freedom. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Thurs., May 23, 1, 4, 7 & 9:50 p.m. $9.50-$12.50.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The OC run has been extended for Bi Gan’s noir-tinged, cinematic sensation that centers on a solitary man (Huang Jue) in southwest China’s Guizhou province haunted by loss and regret. There’s a 59-minute-long, gravity-defying 3D sequence that plunges the protagonist (and audience) through a labyrinthine cityscape. Presented in Mandarin with English subtitles. Edwards University Town Center 6, 4245 Campus Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342. Thurs., May 23-Tues., 12:30 p.m. $10.20-$13.25.
Ask Dr. Ruth. Ryan White’s new documentary is on Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Thurs., May 23, 1:30 & 6:30 p.m. $9-$12.
Non-Fiction. Olivier Assayas’ 2018 French dramedy is about publisher Alain (Guillaume Canet); his TV-actress wife, Selena (Juliette Binoche); his novelist friend, Léonard (Vincent Macaigne); and Léonard’s companion, Valérie (Nora Hamzawi). Alain turning down Léonard’s latest manuscript complicates the relationship between the four. Edwards University Town Center 6, (844) 462-7342. Thurs., May 23, 1:30, 4:30 & 7:45 p.m. $10.20-$13.25; also at Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Thurs., May 23, 1:55, 5:10, 7:10 & 10 p.m. $9.50-$12.50.
Shadow. The new wuxi epic from director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) is set in China’s Three Kingdoms period, when Commander Yu (Deng Chao) uses a body double (also played by Chao) in a plot against Pei’s king (Zheng Kai). Presented in Mandarin with English subtitles. Edwards University Town Center 6, (844) 462-7342. Thurs., May 23, 1:30, 4:30 & 7:45 p.m. $10.20-$13.25.
Brazil. Frida’s Terry Gilliam month continues with the director’s cut of his 1985 sci-fi satire about a low-level, daydreaming bureaucrat (Jonathan Pryce) getting caught up in a scandal surrounding a typo that led to a man’s death. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 23, 2:30, 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 10 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 4 p.m. $7-$10.50.
Zarathustra, the Golden Star. After eight years of extensive study, hundreds of hours of filming and tens of thousands of hours of editing, What is billed as the first and most unbiased documentary on Zarathustra and the faith he founded in Iran is presented in seven parts. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 23, 4 (part III), 5 (part IV), 6 (part V) & 7 p.m. (part VI); Fri., 4 (part IV), 5 (part V), 6 (part VI) & 7 p.m. (part VII); Sat., 4 (parts I & IV), 5 (parts II & V), 6 (parts III & VI) & 7 p.m. (parts IV & VII). $10.50.
Bellingcat—Truth in a Post-Truth World. Cinema Orange, the collaboration between the Orange County Museum of Art and the Newport Beach Film Festival, presents Hans Pool’s 2018 documentary about the revolutionary rise of Bellingcat, the “citizen investigative journalist” collective exposing the truth of impenetrable news stories around the globe, from the MH17 disaster to the Syrian Civil War to the mysterious poisoning of a Russian spy in the United Kingdom. OCMA Expand, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana; ocmaexpand.org. Thurs., May 23, 7 p.m. Free, but limited first-come, first-served seating.
The Cold Blue. Legendary Hollywood director William Wyler went to Europe in 1943 to document the air war in progress, but his raw color footage was only recently discovered deep in the National Archives vaults. The screening includes a making-of featurette. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Thurs., May 23, 7:30 p.m. $15.
Sly. Kamal Tabrizi’s 2018 Iranian dramedy is about a chap (Hamed Behdad) who wants to become a member of parliament despite a reputation for recklessness and taking arbitrary action. Starlight Cinema City, 5635 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (714) 970-6700. Thurs., May 23, 7:30 & 9:55 p.m. Call theater for ticket prices.
Warmthness. Writer/director Adam Von Carr’s drama is about childhood besties (Bryarly Bishop and Maggie Manyan) who, as adults, catch up after not seeing each other for two years. As their night together unfolds, it is obvious their relationship is more strained and complicated than either would like to admit. Von Carr participates in an audience Q&A after the show. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Thurs., May 23, 9 p.m. $9-$12.
The Third Wife. In writer/director Ash Mayfair’s 2018 drama, a 14-year-old (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) becomes the third wife of a wealthy landowner (Long Le Vu) in 19th-century rural Vietnam. She seeks to change her status the only way possible: by giving birth to a male child. Regency Westminster, 6721 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, (714) 893-4222. Fri. & Mon.-Thurs., May 30, 1:50, 4:25, 7 & 9:40 p.m.; also Sat.-Sun., 11:05 a.m., 1:50, 4:25, 7 & 9:40 p.m. $8.50-$10.50.
Homes for Gods and Mortals. The documentary by film scholar Gayatri Chatterjee—who has taught and lectured in the U.S., Europe and her native India—explores the ways history and mythology mingle. An audience Q&A and lecture by Chatterjee on “Indo U.S. Intersections: Commerce, Culture, Literature, and Cinema” follow. UC Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building 135, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Fri., 2 p.m. Free.
The Running Man. The Grindbin and Bombs Away podcasts, which are dedicated to trash/exploitation and bad cinema, respectively, join forces to present Paul Michael Glaser’s 1987 sci-fi thriller that is based on a Stephen King novel set in 2019. By now, we were supposed to have game shows on which losing contestants get public executions, which is what a wrongly convicted man (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is trying to avoid. The “swapcast” follows the movie. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 7 p.m. $15.
Belladonna of Sadness. Eiichi Yamamoto’s 1973 erotic, animated, psychedelic experience has a young woman acquiring the power to exact revenge after being branded a witch and shunned. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri.-Sun., 10 p.m. $15.
Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable. Sasha Waters Freyer’s new documentary, which won the SXSW Special Jury Prize, is about the photographer who captured New York City in the 1960s—and is said to have influenced Mad Men—before taking his lenses to Texas and Los Angeles. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Sat.-Mon., 11 a.m. $9-$12.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The pioneering midnight movie starts with the car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaking down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). The transvestite scientist’s home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien) and assorted freaks, including a hunk of beefcake named “Rocky.” Shadow-cast troupe Midnight Insanity performs live. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $9-$12.
The Fisher King. The monthlong Terry Gilliam retrospective closes with one of his most acclaimed and awarded films: this 1991 dramedy about the bond that forms between a troubled shock jock (Jeff Bridges) and a homeless man (Robin Williams) who is on a mission to find the Holy Grail in New York. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Mon.-Tues., 2:30, 5:30 & 8:30 p.m. $7-$10.50.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Frida Volunteer of the Month Chloe Lambaren selected Tobe Hooper’s 1974 masterpiece (splatterspiece?). Given all the imitators that followed, you’d be forgiven for forgetting or being unaware of how unique The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was at the time. It’s inspired by the Ed Gein murders, by the way. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Mon.-Tues., 2:30, 5:30, 8 & 10 p.m. $7-$10.50.
The Goonies. A group of misfits seek pirate treasure to save their home in Richard Donner’s 1985 take on Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg’s script. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $8.
Puzzleys. Docunight: Iranian Documentary Series continues with Mehdi Ganji’s 2017 film on four small-town IT students who, despite suitable job opportunities and family opposition, decide to start up a business and head to Tehran to find backing and experience. In Persian with English subtitles. A discussion, Q&A, and reception follow. UC Irvine, McCormick Screening Room, 4100 Humanities Gateway, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Wed., 6:30 p.m. Free, but RSVP required at bit.ly/2J2Iha5.
Funny Girl. William Wyler’s 1968 bio-dramedy is on Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand), who rose from being a Ziegfeld Girl in the early 1900s to one of the most famous entertainers of the era. The musical also explores her personal life with Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif). Starlight Cinema City, (714) 970-6700. Wed., 7 p.m. Call theater for ticket prices.
Heartbreak Ridge. Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this 1986 war drama as a hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant who takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.
The Icarus Line Must Die. Michael Grodner’s 2017, black-and-white drama is set against the backdrop of the LA music scene. Joe Cardamone, the front man of the actual post-hardcore band the Icarus Line, essentially plays himself gigging, grappling with potential label deals and balancing his private life with his ambition. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed., 7:30 & 10 p.m.; Thurs., May 30, 8 & 10 p.m. $7-$10.50.
Once Upon a Superhero. John M. Kline’s 2018 sci-fi drama is not a Marvel mega-movie but a low-budget indie. Superhero Solar Flare (Adam Marcinowski) fell from the sun and landed in LA, where he has lost his powers and is now a homeless man. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed., 8 p.m. $7-$10.50.
Transformers: The Last Knight. Michael Bay’s 2017 sci-fi action-adventure has a deadly threat from Earth’s history reappearing, Optimus Prime and his creator meeting (in space!), and Autobots and Decepticons hunt ing. Mark Wahlberg stars. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., May 30, 1 p.m. Free.
Watchmen: Director’s Cut. Nostalgic Nebula celebrates the 10th anniversary of this adaptation of Alan Moore’s limited comic series. Set in a 1985 America, where costumed superheroes are part of everyday life, Zack Snyder’s film has masked vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) uncovering a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. You are to attend dressed as your favorite character and enjoy themed drinks, then stick around after the film for a Q&A with screenwriter David Hayter. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., May 30, 7 p.m. $15.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.