LAist Film Calendar 09/15-09/18: Quebeckers & Kurosawa

Parlez-vous francais? When you think of our filmmaking neighbors to the north, it's probably English-language production in Canada's creative capitals Vancouver & Toronto (much of it belonging to our favorite TV shows). In recent years, an independent French film movement has flourished in another province, Quebec. Quebec in Hollywood is the first local retrospective for these films, running all weekend at the Egyptian.

The series kicks off Friday with the international premiere of Starbuck, a quirky comedy about a 40-something bachelor who discovers his frequent deposits at the sperm bank decades ago have sired some 500 children. As if that's not a big enough "family", his current girlfriend is expecting too. Writer-director Ken Scott appears alongside producer Andre Rouleau.

Saturday features an evening shorts program, followed by two more premieres: the international premiere of A Sense of Humor & the California premiere of Funkytown. A Sense of Humor is a screwball comedy about a man who kidnaps two stand-up comedians after they mock him as part of their on-stage act. If they can make him laugh, he might let them live. Funkytown is a slick, sexy '70s-set film about the disco era. Following in the footsteps of Saturday Night Fever & Boogie Nights, there's more to the movie than leather pants & mirror balls. While virtually unknown this far south, both set Canadian box office records earlier this year. Producer Denise Robert appears to support A Sense of Humor, while director Daniel Roby and actors Justin Chatwin, Romina D'Ugo, and Sarah Mutch bring their boogie shoes for Funkytown.

Sunday, Quebec in Hollywood closes with two festival darlings, The Salesman & Curling. The Salesman is a poignant character study about a model employee whose world crumbles alongside his car sale industry. Curling presents a portrait of a single father & his secluded daughter fending for themselves in frigid isolation (think Dogtooth with snow). A growing number of strange characters & incidents threaten their desire for disconnection. Both films played earlier this year at the LA Film Fest, so if you missed them then, here's your chance to play catch up. The Salesman director Sebastien Pilote appears for a discussion between films.

Let's break from the Americas for a moment. Master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa is best known for warrior epics like Seven Samurai, Ran & Yojimbo. The 1952 drama Ikiru ("To Live") shares the samurai ethos of honor & humanity, with nary a sword in sight. The film follows Kanji Watanabe (Seven Samurai's Takashi Shimura), a bureaucrat who hides from the world behind mounds of paperwork. When he develops terminal cancer, he tries to lose himself in decadence, only to find what may be his true legacy through his community. Although it hinges on mortality, Ikiru is not morose. Rather, it's a celebration of life & the discovery of what makes it worth living.

Laemmle's Sunset plays Ikiru all week alongside the newer Japanese drama The Neighbor. Released 60 years after Ikiru, The Neighbor isn't a remake per se, but draws upon elements of its elder inspiration. Its protagonist, Shunsuke Takeda, is still a lonely bureaucrat who grows a deep relation towards those in his community he was once indifferent to. But unlike Ikiru, it's a young man facing a crisis of faith, spurred by a mysterious old woman who claims to have waited 400 years to marry him. You'll need to set aside an afternoon for this double feature - combined running time is just shy of 4 & a half hours - but it's time well spent. And for $15 (less than a single 3D movie at the Arclight), it's a bargain too!

Full list appears below. See you at the movies!

All Week
3 (2010) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Another Earth (2011) (Lammle's BLVD)
Burke & Hare (2010) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Detective Dee and the Mystery Phantom Flame (2010) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7)
Drive (2011) (The Landmark) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
Happy, Happy (2010) (Nuart Theatre)
The Hedgehog (2009) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
Higher Ground (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Long Way Home: The Loving Story (2011) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
Love Crime (2010) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
My Afternoons With Margueritte (2010) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)
The Neighbor (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Neighbor (2011) / Ikiru (1952) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Point Blank (2010) (Lammle's BLVD)
Restless (2011) (The Landmark)
Shut Up Little Man (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Special Treatment (2010) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Summer Pasture (2010) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
We Were Here (2011) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7)

Thursday 9/15
Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011) (Arclight Sherman Oaks) (21+ show)
Columbiana (2011) (Arclight Beach Cities) (Arclight Hollywood) (21+ show)
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2011) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Flux Screening Series (free event w/ filmmakers) (Hammer Museum)
Julia Holter, Scott Cazan, & Jana Papenbroock (w/ filmmakers) (Echo Park Film Center)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) (Aero Theatre)
The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010) / Submarine (2010) (New Beverly Cinema)
Our Idiot Brother (2011) (Arclight Sherman Oaks) (21+ show)

Friday 9/16
2011 Q Film Festival (Art Theatre of Long Beach)
The Bank Dick (1940) (Old Town Music Hall)
A Clockwork Orange (1968) (w/ Malcolm McDowell) (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)
The Color of Money (1986) / Hoosiers (1986) (Aero Theatre)
Cria Cuervos (1976) / The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (Visions of Childhood)
Dance in the Rain (1961) / A Sand Castle (1962) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Slovenia Begs to Differ)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) / Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) (New Beverly Cinema)
Idiocracy (2006) (Nuart Theatre) (Cine-Insomnia Midnight Movie)
The Lost Boys (1987) / The Goonies (1985) Drink-a-Long/Beer Pong (Downtown Independent)
Private Parts (1997) (Regency Academy) (Insomniac Cinema Midnight Movie)
Scrappers (2010) (w/ filmmaker) (Echo Park Film Center)
Starbuck (2011) (w/ writer-director Ken Scott & producer Andre Rouleau) (Egyptian Theatre) (Quebec in Hollywood)
Suspiria (1977) (Hollywood Forever Cemetery) (Cinespia Screenings) (Summer Series)

Saturday 9/17
2011 Q Film Festival (Art Theatre of Long Beach)
The Bank Dick (1940) (Old Town Music Hall)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) (free sneak preview) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre)
Cinefamily Pajama Party VIII feat. Superxuxa vs. Satan (1988) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre)
The Descent (2005) (New Beverly Cinema) (New Beverly Midnights)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) (Hollywood Forever Cemetery) (Cinespia Screenings) (Summer Series)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (Long Beach Cinematheque) (Downtown Drive-In)
A Fool There Was (1915) / The Unchastened Woman (1925) (Egyptian Theatre) (Retro Format Silents)
Frogtown (2010) (Downtown Independent)
Funeral Club: Music and Movies (Echo Park Film Center)
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) (Aero Theatre)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) / Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) (New Beverly Cinema)
The Last Circus (2010) (Art Theatre of Long Beach)
The Learning (2011) (free event) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum)
One Day (2011) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)
Quebec in Hollywood Shorts Program (Egyptian Theatre) (Quebec in Hollywood)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Sins O' The Flesh Midnight Show) (Nuart Theatre)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Midnight Insanity Midnight Show) (South Coast Village Regency Theaters)
A Sense of Humor (2011) / Funkytown (2011) (w/ cast & crew) (Egyptian Theatre) (Quebec in Hollywood)
Tombstone (1993) (Autry National Center) (What is a Western?)

Sunday 9/18
The 2011 Festival of (In)appropriation: Contemporary Found Footage Filmmaking (w/ filmmakers) (Los Angeles Filmforum) (Egyptian Theatre)
2011 Q Film Festival (Art Theatre of Long Beach)
The Bank Dick (1940) (Old Town Music Hall)
Curling (2010) / The Salesman (2011) (w/ director Sebastien Pilote) (Egyptian Theatre) (Quebec in Hollywood)
The Last Picture Show (1970) / Texasville (1990) (Aero Theatre)
Machine Gun Preacher (2011) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)
One Day (2011) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)
The Penalty (1920) (Alex Theatre)
Scarface (1932) / Hell's Angels (1930) (New Beverly Cinema)
Stronghold of Toughs (1967) / Paper Planes (1967) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Slovenia Begs to Differ)
World on a Wire (1973) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre)