Lasso of Hell Yeah [Special Screenings, April 19-26]

Wonder Woman. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Borg vs McEnroe. Janus Metz Pedersen’s multilanguage, internationally co-produced, 2017 sports biopic is set during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, at which Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason), the placid, No. 1 professional tennis player in the world, was challenged by John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), a volatile, rising star. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; Thurs., April 19, 2, 5, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. $7-$10.

Valhalla Rising. The Directors series at Frida continues with Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2010 death-metal-fueled medieval odyssey that stars Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) as One Eye, who has been forced to fight in brutal combat for the entertainment of his evil captors. After escaping imprisonment, One Eye discovers there are even worse evils outside his cage. The Frida Cinema; Thurs., April 19, 2:30, 4:30 & 7 p.m. $7-$10.

High School Musical Marathon. Warning: You really, really have to be a fan of director Kenny Ortega’s franchise to sit through all three films in one day/night. Naturally, they are presented in order. High School Musical (2006) has Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) meeting as disparate teens at a karaoke contest, where they discover their mutual love of music. High School Musical 2 (2007) has the East High Wildcats landing summer jobs at an exclusive country club owned by the families of Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel). High School Musical 3 (2008) has Troy, Gabriella and the rest of their fellow senior Wildcats staging a musical to express their hopes and fears about their futures. Cal State Fullerton, Titan Student Union Titan Theatre, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (657) 278-2468. Thurs., April 19, High School Musical, 4 p.m.; High School Musical 2, 7 p.m.; High School Musical 3, 10 p.m. Free.

Seeing Strange Again: Experimental Documentary as Practice. It’s “a screening of short Latin American experimental films and conversation with Luciano Piazza.” He’s the Buenos Aires-born director of the short film Windows By Night and the 62-minute Las Vegas in 16 Parts. UC Irvine, McCormick Screening Room, Humanities Gateway 1070, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Thurs., April 19, 5 p.m. Free.

Laguna Art Museum at 100. It’s the premiere of Dale Schierholt’s artumentary chronicling the museum’s history, from the formation of Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918 to its transformation to Laguna Art Museum in the mid-1980s and on to the current mission of presenting California art. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971. Thurs., April 19, invitation-only VIP reception, 6 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. Free with museum admission ($5-$7; children aged 12 or younger, free).

Inside Out. This 2015 Pixar-animated flick had kids reaching for the scalpels because a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) experienced the basic emotions inside her gradually coming to life. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., April 19, 6:30 p.m. Free.

Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future. Just in time for Earth Day (April 22), OC Parks, Newport Bay Naturalists and Newport Beach Film Festival present a documentary filled with solutions to global eco-crises. Writers/directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson unveil the inspiring stories of people changing their lives and communities in sustainable and regenerative ways. Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 923-2290; Thurs., April 19, 7 p.m. Free.

The Riot and the Dance: A Cinematic Celebration for Creation. It’s an encore presentation of the Gorilla Poet Productions documentary about Gordon Wilson, a faith-based biologist who traverses the planet “basking in God’s masterpieces.” Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, 26701 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342; Thurs., April 19, 7 p.m. $10-$12.50.

The Exhibition Room Silent Film Series. The speakeasy, which one enters with a password and through a phone booth, and Long Beach Heritage Museum team up for the first of what will be semi-regular screenings of batches of silent films through at least early next year. Up first are two with Mickey Mouse (Shindig and Choo-Choo) and three with Felix the Cat (Switches Witches, The Smoke Scream and Felix Follows the Swallows). Fine spirits and Roxanne’s delightful hors d’ouerves are served. The Exhibition Room—Long Beach Craft Cocktails, 1117 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, (562) 826-2940; Thurs., April 19, 8 p.m. $40.

Imitation Girl. Horror website returns to Frida with Natasha Kermani’s 2017 sci-fi flick that stars Lauren Ashley Carter in two roles: as Julianna, an adult-film star questioning her career, and an alien who takes Julianna’s form. The Frida Cinema; Thurs., April 19, 10 p.m. $7-$10.

November. Rainer Sarnet’s award-winning surrealist fantasy drama is set in the 19th century in his home country of Estonia, where peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, who has eyes for a visiting German baroness. Things grow ever more complicated—we’re talking spirits, plagues, thieves, werewolves and an appearance by the Devil himself—in this black-and-white gem that won the Best Cinematography Award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The Frida Cinema; Fri.-Thurs., April 20-26, 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.

Human Flow. Photo courtesy Amazon Studios

Human Flow. UC Irvine’s Film and Media Studies, University of California Office of the President Multicampus Research Programs and Initiative Funding, the UC Humanities Research Institute, Women’s Voices Now, and UCI Global Middle East Studies present an all-day symposium titled “(B)orders of Empire: Colonial Pasts, Imperial Presents, and Implicate Futures of the Global Middle East.” One small part of it is a screening of internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s powerful visual expression of massive human migration. Though Weiwei’s subjects, whom he captured over one year in 23 countries, from Afghanistan to Kenya, are some of the more than 65 million people around the world who were forced to flee their homes because of war, famine and climate change, he manages mostly with images and few words to find beauty, humor and unrelenting humanity. UC Irvine, McCormick Screening Room, (949) 824-6117. Fri., 4:45 p.m. Free.

Senior Thesis Cycle 5 Film Screenings. These senior thesis films premiere, but not in this order: Take Me Home; The Third Death; Fruit; Naughty Mr. Claus; Julie Wants a Girlfriend; and For Emma. Titles are subject to change, and the films are also live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event and click the link.) Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6765; Fri., 7 p.m. Free.

Bus Party to Hell. Celebrate 4/20 for $4.20 with cast members, crew members and their 2017 horror flick from Gravitas Ventures (The Nightmare, Jug Face) that is this week’s OC Weekly Friday Night Freakouts entry. Tara Reid stars as a party girl on a bus full of fellow sex-crazed young adults bound for Burning Man. After their flyer breaks down in the Nevada desert, they realize they are being hunted by Satan worshippers. After an ending that will have you jumping out of your seat, writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky takes such audience questions as “Does this theater stock baby wipes because I just scream-shat?” The Frida Cinema; Fri., 11 p.m. $4.20.

Purple Rain. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Purple Rain. To mark the second anniversary of Prince’s passing, the Art presents his first motion picture (directed by Albert Magnoli), in which The Artist plays The Kid, the leader of Minneapolis club band the Revolution, who uses music to escape a tumultuous home life. But looking to steal The Kid’s spotlight and girlfriend (Apollonia) is rival band leader Morris (Morris Day). Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Fri., 11 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

International Ocean Film Tour 5. First, over 120 minutes, see these ocean adventure and/or environmental short films: And Then We Swam, The Ocean Rider, Paradigm Lost, Vamizi, Water II and The Big Wave Project: A Band of Brothers. Next, fire questions at Henry C. Lystad, producer of the International Ocean Film Tour, and Sandy Trautwein, interim vice president of Husbandry and curator of Fish and Invertebrates at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. See one of the late, great Gene Wilder’s best performances, as the recluse who gives five lucky people a chance to win a lifetime supply of Wonka candy, tour his chocolate factory and learn his secrets. Oompa loompa doompety dee, mofos! The Frida Cinema; Sat.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. $7.

Searching for Simón Bolívar. Photo courtesy MOLAA

Searching for Simón Bolívar: One Poet’s Journey. Celebrate Poetry Month with José Sánchez-H’s documentary that is based on the Phi Kappa Phi award-winning book The Delirium of Simón Bolívar that was written by award-winning poet Tina Datsko. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-1689. Sat., 2 p.m. $10.

The Greatest Time to Be Alive: A Gospel Patrons Film Night. Throw on your fancy shoes, bring a couple of friends, watch four short films, engage in meaningful conversation, and end the night at a “hip” coffee shop for after-party drinks and desserts. Gospel Patrons sponsors the event that is open to all. The Frida Cinema; Sat., 6:30 p.m. Free.

Trolls. In the 2016 animated family adventure comedy, which is projected onto a 20-foot inflatable screen, the Bergens invade Troll Village, forcing Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) to set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Seating is available on the grass, so bring a blanket or low lawn chair. Hurless Barton Park, 4601 Casa Loma Ave., Yorba Linda, (714) 961-7192. Sat., 8 p.m. Free.

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 Midnight Insanity performs in front of the screen. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Straws. Dine LBC presents a special Earth Day screening of Linda Booker’s documentary on a movement that first caught traction around here in Huntington Beach: the attempt to ban plastic straws, 500 million-plus of which are estimated to be used once and tossed every day. Unfortunately, they are non-recyclable, and many of them end up in landfills, on streets and bobbing in the ocean. (Ocean Conservancy ranks straws as the No. 5 litter item most found on beaches.) Tim Robbins narrates the film that is followed by an audience Q&A with Long Beach activist Steve Rice; chef Paul Buchanan, owner and executive director of Primal Alchemy Catering; and John Sangmeister of Gladstones Restaurants. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 10:30 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

A Plastic Ocean. Photo courtesy Plastic Oceans Foundation

A Plastic Ocean. This documentary project began when journalist Craig Leeson sought an elusive blue whale but found plastic waste in what should have been pristine ocean. That prompted him to team up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, who together travel to 20 spots around the world over four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans—and come up with solutions to save them. An audience Q&A with a guest to be named follows this special Earth Day screening. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 11:30 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

The Cat Returns. Part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2018, which is presented by GKIDS and Fathom Events, Hiroyuki Morita’s 2002 anime has Haru walking home after a dreary day of school. She jumps in front of truck in busy traffic to save a cat with a small gift box in its mouth. To Haru’s amazement, the cat gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off and thanks her very politely. That night, the King of Cats shows up at Haru’s doorstep in a feline motorcade, showers the girl with gifts, and decrees that she marry the Prince and live in the Kingdom of Cats. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, 99 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; Sun., 12:55 p.m. (dubbed in English from Japanese); Sun., 7 p.m. (in Japanese with English subtitles); Wed., 7 p.m. (dubbed). $12.50.

The Cat Returns. Image courtesy Studio Ghibli

The Royal Opera House: Carmen. A new production of Bizet’s passionate opera is directed by Barrie Kosky and stars Anna Goryachova. The young soldier Don José intends to marry Mica‘la, a girl from his home village, but then he meets the sensual and fiercely independent Carmen, and everything changes. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446; and Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Live, Sun., 12:55 p.m.; encore, Tues., 7 p.m. $17.

Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story. Another special Earth Day presentation is director Ashley Bell’s documentary on world-renowned Asian elephant conservationist Lek Chailert and a team of rescuers embarking on a daring, 48-hour, 500-mile mission across Thailand to free from captivity a 70-year-old blind Asian elephant. The screening is followed by an audience Q&A with Bell and her film’s producers. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 2 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

The Neon Demon. The Directors series presentations of Nicolas Winding Refn films continue with his 2016 avant-garde mind-bender that has aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moving to Los Angeles, where her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has. The Frida Cinema; Sun., 5:30 & 8 p.m.; Mon.-Tues., 2:30, 5:30 & 8 p.m. $7-$10.

Fragments of Truth: Can We Trust the Bible? Faithlife and Fathom Events present this documentary in which Craig Evans travels the globe to track down the most ancient New Testament manuscripts, finding “groundbreaking new evidence” along the way “demonstrating that the case for the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts is stronger than ever.”. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, 2457 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Brea Stadium West 10, 255 W. Birch St., Brea, (714) 672-4136; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Tues., 7 p.m. $12.50.

Cobra Kai Premiere Featuring The Karate Kid. It’s a cinematic tag-team match that opens with the original 1984 movie The Karate Kid followed by the premiere of the first two episodes of the new YouTube Red series that continues the story, Cobra Kai. In the movie, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother (Randee Heller), but he quickly becomes the target of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), an unassuming repairman and martial-arts master, who takes the boy under his wing. It all builds to a karate competition pitting Daniel against Cobra Kai fighters. The Cobra Kai series picks up more than 30 years later, when Daniel (Macchio) is a married dad running a successful string of car dealerships throughout the valley. His high-school adversary Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) reopens Cobra Kai, reigniting a rivalry that will produce the next generation of “karate kids.” AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Brea Stadium West 10, (714) 672-4136; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Wed., 7 p.m. $12.50.

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. Photo courtesy CPB

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez + I Am Joaquí’n. Frida, UC Irvine and Bowers Museum—with the support of a Humanities for All Grant made possible by California Humanities, UC-Mexus and UCI Illuminations—continue their Latin American Studies in Motion film series with a free double feature. First, it is the 1969 short film I Am Joaquí’n, which launched the directorial career of Luis Valdez (Zoot Suit, La Bamba). A project of his El Teatro Campesino, the film is based on Corky Gonzá‡les’ poem of the same name that is considered a key text of the Chicano movement. I Am Joaquí’n was selected by the National Film Preservation Board for preservation in 2010 and was restored by the Academy Film Archive. So was the 1982 feature film that follows, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, which is set in June 1901, when 600 Texas Rangers chased a Mexican-American ranch hand for 11 days across 450 miles of terrain. The largest manhunt in Texas history was set in motion by an unfortunate mistranslation. Edward James Olmos plays Cortez, whose arduous journey symbolizes the struggles between Anglo-Americans and Mexican-Americans in South Texas. The films are followed by an audience Q&A with Richard Rodriguez, associate professor of Media and Cultural Studies and English at UC Riverside. The Frida Cinema; Wed., 7:30 p.m. Free.

Guys and Dolls. Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra star in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1955 musical about a gambler being challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but that is complicated by them falling for each other. Regency South Coast Village, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.

Wonder Woman. It’s the 2017 smash hit about Diana (Gal Gadot), an Amazonian warrior in training, who leaves home to fight a war—and discovers her full powers and destiny. Your destiny is to bring light snacks and covered beverages to this screening, but alcohol is not allowed. Fullerton Public Library, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., April 26, 1 p.m. Free.

American Animals. Photo courtesy Newport Beach Film Festival

2018 Newport Beach Film Festival Opening Night & Gala: American Animals. The opening film for this year’s festival, which continues through May 3, is writer/director Bart Layton’s crime drama that is based on the true story of four friends who attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan and Blake Jenner star. The film is followed by a gala featuring sample plates from several Orange County restaurants; a hosted bar by Tito’s Vodka, Tequila Herradura and Lagunitas; and performances by the band Side Deal with the Pacific Symphony, as well as dance act Academy of Villains. Cocktail attire required, with a coat or jacket recommended because of outdoor partying. Screening at Edwards Big Newport 6 (screen 5), 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. Thurs., April 26, 7:30 p.m. Gala follows at Fashion Island, Bloomingdales Courtyard, 555 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; 10 p.m. $225; gala only, $175.

Army of Darkness. Nostalgic Nebula returns to Frida to present the third installment from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its U.S. release. But first, there is a musical tribute to the horror-comedy film’s composer, Joe LoDuca. Plus, each attendee gets a personalized S-Mart employee name tag. In the flick, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is accidentally transported back to 1300 A.D., where his foes include Bad Ash! The Frida Cinema; Thurs., April 26, 8 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.

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