Not feeling particularly excited about any of the movies currently out in theatres? Have no fear! Living in Southern California means we have access to more than just the latest blockbuster or romantic comedy. Here is our curated list of cinematic adventures you can get into this weekend.
Friday, Jan. 27
Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award winning magnum opus Spirited Away was the most successful box office hit in Japan and solidified Miyazaki's icon status. The film tells the story of 10-year-old Chichiro who is separated from her parents at a carnival and discovers a dream-like world. She comes into contact with a vast menagerie of spirits and beasts, both friendly and antagonistic, and must somehow find a way back to the world her parents inhabit. A must see -- especially on the big screen! -- for any fan of Japanese animation and cinema.
Written, directed and edited by Mexican filmmaker Salvador Carrasco, The Other Conquest (2000) tells the dramatic story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 1520s. Told from the POV of the Aztec people, the film explores the various intense changes brought about by the colonization of Mexico's native people. In Spanish and Nahuati with English subtitles.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Your last weekend to see the "Tale as old as time" on the big screen and in three dimensions. The beloved Disney classic, which really needs no introduction, ends its special one-month 3-D run on February 1.
Another masterpiece from Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, based on the print comics, or manga, of the same name. Set in Japan a thousand years after a nuclear holocaust, the film tells the story of princess Nausicaa, an orphan who must use her special powers to protect and unite her people against absolute destruction.
Sunday, Jan. 29
Where: The Cinefamily
Time: 12:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
With an all-star cast including Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, and Kieran Culkin, and a spot on many a critics' top-10 list for 2011, it's surprising that Margaret never got a full theatrical release. Margaret tells the story of a New York teenager who faces emotional turmoil after playing a part in the death of an innocent woman. This may be your only chance to see Margaret in theatres, so get it while its hot!
Where: USC's Ray Stark Family Theatre
Cost: Free and open to the public
Time: 2 p.m.
Reserve a seat
This politically charged documentary tells the story of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oligarch and businessman who was arrested for fraud (and later embezzlement and money laundering) and sentenced to 14 years in prison. There is controversy surrounding his imprisonment, and Amnesty International claims that Khodorkovsky was arrested for political reasons after he spoke out against corruption in the country's government. A film sure to offer some interesting contrast between the prison and political systems in U.S. and Russia.