This story first appeared in the Jan. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Mizoguchi at the Hammer | 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
The new year of L.A. repertory offerings kicks off on a high note at the Hammer Museum with an overdue retrospective on Japanese master Kenji Mizoguchi. Running through Feb. 15, the series includes such feudal, female-driven classics as The Life of Oharu and Sansho the Bailiff, but more importantly is a rare chance to see his early masterworks: Utamaro and His Five Women (Jan. 26), The 47 Ronin (Feb. 15) and the incomparable The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Feb. 6).
LACMA Classics | 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
The next weeks offer particularly note-worthy films at the city's largest art museum. In addition to a 16mm presentation of the Jules Dassin rarity Uptight (an African-American spin on John Ford's The Informer; Jan. 30), there will be 35mm screenings of Akira Kurosawa's popular action epic Seven Samurai (Jan. 29), Stanley Kubrick's ravishing period masterpiece Barry Lyndon (Jan. 31) and Woody Allen's enduring romantic comedy Annie Hall (Feb. 6).
French Cinema With Live Music | 611 N. Fairfax Ave.
In December 2013, harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler performed a live score for French filmmaker Philippe Garrel's 1968 homage to the dawn of experimental cinema, Le Revelateur, in Marfa, Texas. The event was so successful that they spent the last year touring with the film. On Feb. 5, the duo brings the performance to Cinefamily, giving those who may have caught Garrel's latest film, Jealousy, during its recent L.A. run the chance to catch up with one of the director's most beautiful early works.
Forest of Bliss at Los Angeles Filmforum | 6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Cinephiles suffered a loss with the recent passing of Robert Gardner, who helped pioneer an ethnographically inclined movement in nonfiction filmmaking. On Jan. 25, in tribute to Gardner's legacy, long-running nonprofit LA Filmforum will screen his 1986 documentary, Forest of Bliss, an observational portrait of ruination rituals and sacrificial rites in Benares, India, at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater. [THR]