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Arts and Entertainment

Weekly Movie Picks: Indian Film Fest, COL.COA, Wild Party, Cry of the City

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Monday and Tuesday it's The Muthers, a combination blaxploitation and women-in-prison flick that stars Janine Bell and Rosanne Katon as a pirate duo who must rescue Bells sister from the private jail of an evil coffee plantation owner, followed by Fight for Your Life, a revenge thriller about a pacifist black minister whose family is taken hostage and tortured by a trio of convicts, until he finally snaps and wreaks his vengeance.

Wednesday and Thursday it's kung fu action featuring Barry Chan in Dragon's Vengeance and a chop-socky take on Chinese folk hero Fong Sai Yuk in Kung Fu: The Punch of Death.

The weekend kicks off with a trio of sexploitation flicks involving barmaids, pussycats and cheerleaders: The Swinging Barmaids, The Swingin' Pussycats and The Swinging Cheerleaders.

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WHEN: Mon., April 16 - Sat., April 21; various times
WHERE: The New Beverly: 7165 Beverly Blvd. (1 block West of La Brea Ave.)

COL.COA - City of Light, City of Angels
COL.COA brings Paris to Los Angeles for a week of French film premieres that includes Guillaume Canet's film noir Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne); Claude Berri's romantic wish-fulfillment drama starring Audrey Tautou, Hunting And Gathering (Ensemble, c’est tout); Lionel Bailliu's psychological thriller Fair Play; Twice Upon A Time (Désaccord parfait), a romantic comedy about middle-aged people (one of whom is Charlotte Rampling) falling in love; and Olivier Dahan's biopic of Edith Piaf, La Vie En Rose (La Môme).

WHEN: April 16-22
WHERE: The Directors Guild Theater: 7920 Sunset Blvd. (at Fairfax)
COST: $10 general admission; $7 seniors; $5 students under 21; $7 for members of ASC, ICG, IFTA, SAG, The American Cinematheque, Film Independent, LACMA and Women in Film.

Year Of The Dog
Written and directed by Mike White (writer of Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Nacho Libre, School of Rock), this dark comedy stars Molly Shannon as Peggy, a happy-go-lucky secretary who descends into emotional turmoil when beloved beagle, Pencil, unexpectedly dies.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Melnitz Movies at the James Bridges Theater: 1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA Campus (Westwood)


Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
As LAist's own tomdog said, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles celebrates its fifth anniversary this year and is now six days long. There will be over 40 films, both shorts and features.

Tonight's Opening Night Gala showcases the Los Angeles premiere of Provoked: A True Story, the British-Indian version of a standard Lifetime fem-jep movie. Based on a true story it stars Aishwarya Rai as a Punjabi woman who leaves India to marry a man in London. The marriage turns into a nightmare, and after years of physical, mental and sexual abuse she murders the bastard and ends up in prison. A reception will follow at Ivar featuring a DJ set from the Bombay Dub Orchestra.

More interesting is the tribute to Indian actress Deepti Naval on Thursday, April 19, which includes a discussion with the actress and screenings of three of her films; the new Bollywood By Night series, which features late night, 21+ screenings of Bollywood blockbusters; and EcoVision, a program that showcases films on sustainability, utilizing eco-friendly products and processes.

WHEN: April 17-22
WHERE: Arclight Cinemas: 6360 W. Sunset Blvd. (between Vine and Ivar in Hollywood)
COST: $11 general admission; $9 seniors, children, AFI and ArcLight members; $60 opening and closing night galas; $15 tribute.Click here for tickets.

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The Wild Party
Come see original "it girl" Clara Bow in her first sound film. Directed by Dorothy Arzner, one of the few lady directors working in Hollywood at the time, The Wild Party stars Bow as Stella, a flirty coed who's more interested partying than going to classes. Sound familiar? When Professor Gilmore (Frederic March) saves her from "trouble" at a local bar, Stella falls for him. But unseemly gossip links the two and Stella must prove her decency and win the professor's respect. Directed by Dorothy Arzner, one of the few lady directors working in Hollywood at the time.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Melnitz Movies at the James Bridges Theater: 1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA Campus (Westwood)


Radical Communication: Japanese Video Art 1968-1988
This series, which combines a survey of the early history of video art in Japan (1968-1988) with presentations of contemporary Japanese video, is part of a series of events focusing on postwar Japanese art in conjunction with the Getty exhibition "Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970" on display at the Getty until June 3.

The first program in the series provides an overview of Japanese video art through a presentation of short works by 20 artists spanning three generations: the late 1960s, when artists began incorporating video imagery into 16mm films, the 1970s, when artists focused on video's social and political possibilities, and the 1980s, when video art became more playful and layered.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18-Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 7:30 pm
WHERE: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Drive (West L.A.)
WHERE: MOCA: 250 South Grand Ave. (between 2nd & 3rd St. in Downtown)

Journey From The Fall
Written and directed by Ham Tran, this drama tells the true story of Vietnamese refugees who fled their land after the fall of Saigon -- and those who were forced to stay behind. Tran will be on hand after the screening for a Q&A.

WHEN: Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm
WHERE: Melnitz Movies at the James Bridges Theater: 1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA Campus (Westwood)


Acting Jewish
Film critic Kenneth Turan hosts an evening of Jewish silent films as part of the festival, Acting Jewish: Film, TV, Comedy, Music. East and West (1910) stars Morris Brown as a father who returns to his native Galicia with his very American daughter, Mollie (Molly Picon) for a family wedding. Mollie and her cousin, who is about to be married, couldn't be more different, but Mollie unexpectedly falls for an engaging young yeshiva scholar. A Child of the Ghetto (1923) stars Dorothy West as Ruth, a young seamstress struggling to support herself after her mother's death. After her employer’s son steals money and Ruth is accused of the crime, she flees New York for the country.

WHEN: Saturday, April 21 at 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Melnitz Movies at the James Bridges Theater: 1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA Campus (Westwood)


Film Noir
The American Cinematheque's Festival of Film Noir continues with a double feature of Cry Of The City (1948) and the ultra-rare Sony gem City Of Fear (1959), a gritty thriller that's like Panic In The Streets meets Kiss Me Deadly with some modern-day WMDs thrown in. Escaped convict Vince Ryker (Vince Edwards) is headed to Los Angeles with a substance known as Copat 60, a powder so radioactive it could destroy the entire city. Vince also doesn’t know that exposure to the element is slowly killing him. The manhunt is on as authorities chase Ryker and try to save Los Angeles.

WHEN: Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: American Cinematheque at The Egyptian Theater: 6712 Hollywood Blvd., (1 block East of Highland Ave. in Hollywood)