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Movie Picks: Bonjour Tristesse, Tarkovsky, Resnais, NY Indie Fest, Verhoeven, Thai Westerns, Grindhouse + more!

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Bonjour Tristesse
As part of its ongoing Saul Bass mini-tribute, the Skirball Center will screen Bonjour Tristesse, a drama directed by Otto Preminger that stars David Niven as a suave playboy-turned-father and Jean Seberg as his pixie-ish daughter. Their dissolute existence of tromping across Europe from nightclub to cocktail party to casino is upended when Niven falls for the hopelessly upright Deborah Kerr. I also highly recommend the mildly smutty book by Françoise Sagan on which the film was based; translated as "Hello Sadness," the book was written by Sagan when she was only 18 and was an immediate international success upon its release in 1954.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 27 at 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Skirball Center, 2701 N. Speulveda Blvd. in W. Los Angeles

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The Mirror & The Sacrifice
It's a double bill of Andrei Tarkovsky films at the New Beverly. I don’t even know where to begin to describe Tarkovsky's films, so I'll just tell you this story. The first time I saw The Sacrifice years ago (at the Nuart by the way) I sat there for the bulk of the 2.5-hour movie baffled and angry at the director and the incomprehensible movie he had made, but by the end I was weeping. I have returned to see this movie ever since. Made in 1986 in the midst of the Cold War by a Russian filmmaker, The Sacrifice stars Swedish actor (and Bergman regular) Erland Josephson as a journalist and former philosopher who in despair turns to God after World War III breaks out on the night of his birthday. He offers God everything to "take back" the war, which requires a huge sacrifice on his part. If you've never seen a Tarkovsky film, be prepared to see all sorts of iconic images that have been aped in music videos, movies and pop culture. The Mirror is also awesome.

WHEN: Wednesday Feb. 28-Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 & 9:35 p.m.
WHERE: The New Beverly, 7165 Beverly Blvd. (1 block West of La Brea)