Wonderful You [Special Screenings, March 29-April 5]

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Photo courtesy Opposite Field Productions

Una Mujer Fant‡stica (A Fantastic Woman). Writer/director Sebastian Lelio’s 2018 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner has Marina (Daniela Vega), a transgender waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, facing persecution after the death of her older boyfriend (Francisco Reyes). The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., March 29, 12:30, 2:45, 5, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. $7-$10.

Senior Thesis Cycle 1 & 3 Film Screenings. These student-made films premiere, but not in this order: Still Breathing; Micro Love; Sin; Second Unit; and The Red Cliffs. Titles are subject to change, and the films are also live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event, then 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; chapman.edu/dodge/. Fri., 7 p.m. Free.

Best F(r)iends. Finally coming to theaters is the follow-up project from Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, who created and starred in 2003’s lamesterpiece The Room (which plays at Frida Saturday night) and who were portrayed in 2017’s stinging The Disaster Artist. Now playing is Volume One, in which a drifter (Sestero) is taken in by a peculiar mortician (Wiseau), and the two hatch an underground enterprise before greed, hatred and jealousy consume them. Volume Two hits screens in June. 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 (April 2 only); 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; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Fri. & Mon., 8 p.m. $12.50.

Best F(r)iends. Photo by Kristopher MacGregor

A League of Their Own. In honor of National Women’s History Month, Frida presents Penny Marshall’s fact-based story of two sisters who joined the first female professional baseball league. Geena Davis, Madonna and Tom “There’s No Crying in Baseball . . . and I’m David S. Pumpkins” Hanks star. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 8 p.m. $7-$10.

What We Started. Aiming to become the defining documentary on electronic music, the film juxtaposes the stories of industry pioneers such as Carl Cox and young superstars of today including Martin Garrix. Their journeys mark an unprecedented moment for electronic dance music and leave open the question of where the genre goes next. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Fri., 10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Southland Tales. OC Weekly’s Friday Night Freakouts entry is one of the most polarizing films of 2007: It was nominated for the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or and named the Worst Film of the Year in the Village Voice Film Poll. Ironically, the sprawling apocalyptic epic from Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Strange Days, Idiocrasy) seems more prescient today. The lives of an amnesia-stricken film star (Dwayne Johnson), an ambitious porn actress and talk-show host (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a troubled policeman (Seann William Scott), and assorted political rivals intersect in a dystopian Los Angeles as the U.S. is under the threat of a nuclear attack and a presidential election is drawing to a close. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m. $7.

Cosí fan tutte. Photo courtesy the Metropolitan Opera

The Met: Live in HD: Cosí“ fan tutte. Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes is set in a carnival-esque environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island. The cast includes Christopher Maltman as Don Alfonso and Tony winner Kelli O’Hara as Despina. The opera is sung in Italian with English subtitles. AMC Marina Pacifica, 6346 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 430-8790; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, 2457 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 258-7036 (March 31 only); AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; 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 Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Sat., 9:55 a.m.; Wed., 1 & 6:30 p.m. (dubbed). $18-$24.

Popeye. Robert Altman, musician Harry Nilsson, Disney and Paramount Pictures teamed up to bring the classic cartoon to the big screen in live-action form. Popeye the sailor man (Robin Williams) journeys to the port town of Sweethaven to find the father (Ray Walston) who deserted him as a baby. It is there Popeye falls in love with Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall) and discovers abandoned baby Swee’Pea, who he intends to raise as his own. But bully Bluto (Paul L. Smith), Olive’s spurned suitor, kidnaps her and the child, causing Popeye to reach for the spinach. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat.-Sun., 11:30 a.m. $7.

The Awakening: Discovering Your Life’s Purpose. The film, which is based on Glenn Grant’s book The Awakening: An Existential Life, has the author addressing the nihilism that plagues modern man and arguing there is more to each of us than what we do, what we earn and what we own. Grant, who aims to bring consciousness to a higher level to unlock one’s full potential, speaks live at the screening event, which also features music from Jami Lula, Steven Rushingwind and Modern Vinyl. You’ll also see cameras filming the event for later insertion into the movie. Curtis Theatre, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, (714) 990-7722. Sat., 7 p.m. $30.

Drive. Photo courtesy Filmdistrict 6

Drive. Nicolas Winding Refn could count this 2011 crime drama about a mysterious Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Gosling, who barely speaks) moonlighting as a getaway driver as his most controversial film through 2016, when Refn’s The Neon Demon was released. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 8 p.m.; Mon.-Tues., 7 & 9:15 p.m. $7-$10.

The Room. It’s an odd 2003 indie thriller written, directed, produced by and starring Tommy Wiseau as an amiable banker having a grand old time in a gorgeously shot San Francisco with his fiancée (Juliette Danielle) until his conflicted best friend (Greg Sestero) joins in to form a love triangle. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 11 p.m. $7-$10.

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 alongside what’s flashed on the screen. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

April Fool’s Day. HorrorBuzz presents the slash-’er-up about a group of college students spending spring break at the secluded island estate of their wealthy classmate Muffy (Deborah Foreman), who likes to pull practical jokes. But more than pranks are to blame when guests begin turning up dead. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sun., 8 p.m. $10.

Laberinto Yoeme. Photo courtesy Mantarraya Films

Laberinto Yoéme. As part of the 2018 Latin American Film Festival, whose films explore themes of “Cultural Memory and Environmental Conflicts in Latin America,” UC Irvine’s Latin American Studies presents this documentary chronicling the hardships of the Yaqui tribe of Sonora, Mexico, where their ancestral land is threatened. An audience Q&A follows with director Sergi Pedro Ros and producer Cesar Talamantes. The following day, the pair join Yaqui tribe leader Tom‡s Rojo in Santa Ana for a reception before and audience Q&A after a screening presented by UC Irvine, Frida and Bowers Museum as part of the Latin American Studies in Motion series of cultural events. UCI, McCormick Screening Room, Humanities Gateway 1070, Campus and West Peltason drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Wed., 5 p.m. Free; also at the Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 5, reception, 7 p.m.; screening, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. FPL Arthouse presents writer/director Angela Robinson’s bio-drama about psychologist William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) and his polyamorous relationship with his wife (Rebecca Hall) and his mistress (Olive Byrne) who would inspire his creation of the superheroine, Wonder Woman. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Wed., 6 p.m. Free.

The Godfather Part II. If this 1974 classic was not the first sequel that was better than the film that preceded it, it is certainly among a rarefied few. Francis Ford Coppola brilliantly crafts two stories showing young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) growing up in Sicily and 1910s New York and Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) growing into his role as the family crime boss in the 1950s. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $8.50.

The Wizard of Oz. Photo courtesy MGM

The Wizard of Oz. A treat of my childhood was the yearly screenings of Victor Fleming’s family classic about Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto winding up in the wonderful world of Oz after a large tornado picks up her aunt and uncle’s house on a Kansas farm. With new friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy seeks a way home from the Great and Powerful Oz in Emerald City. You won’t be viewed as a flying monkey if you bring light snacks and covered beverages to this screening, although alcohol is not allowed. Fullerton Public Library, Osborne Auditorium, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., April 5, 1 p.m. Free.

Eating You Alive. The documentary feature explores the dysfunctional relationship Americans have with food and takes a scientific look at the reasons we’re so sick. The exclusive cinema event includes a step-by-step tutorial on how to integrate a nutritional approach to wellness into your daily routine. Advocates include Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron, Samuel L. Jackson and Penn Jillette are among the advocates cheering you on. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; 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 Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Thurs., April 5, 7 p.m. $12.50.

#Screamers. Dread Central presents Dean Matthew Ronalds’ 2016 horror flick that centers on a tech company that capitalizes on “screamers,” which are those unsettling web videos that end with a loud jump-scare to shock viewers. When the producers begin to notice similarities and patterns in the videos, they investigate the origins—and discover a nightmarish hell. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 5, 10 p.m. $10.

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 paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *