Film­mak­ing tra­di­tion shaped by ex­ile

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - — Justin Chang

The name Ophuls is one of the most revered in French cin­ema, and “Shad­ows of the 20th Cen­tury: Ophuls Film Fes­ti­val” is a chance to put the work of fa­ther and son film­mak­ers in a rich cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal con­text through June 8.

The UCLA-cu­rated pro­gram in­cludes screen­ings of Mar­cel Ophuls’ World War II doc­u­men­taries “The Sor­row and the Pity” (1969), “The Mem­ory of Jus­tice” (1976) and the Os­car-win­ning “Ho­tel Ter­mi­nus” (1988), plus a Mon­day con­ver­sa­tion with my Times col­league Ken­neth Tu­ran on the in­flu­ence of Ophuls’ fam­ily’s ex­ile from Europe on his work.

Also on the pro­gram are films di­rected by Ophuls’ fa­ther, Max, in­clud­ing the pre­ex­ile Ger­man hit “Liebelei” (1933) and Hol­ly­wood clas­sics such as “Let­ter From an Unknown Woman” (1948) and “Lola Mon­tès” (1955). Info: www.cjs.ucla.edu.

Movie rec­om­men­da­tions from critics Ken­neth Tu­ran, Justin Chang and other re­view­ers.

Harold and Lillian: A Hol­ly­wood Love Story

Di­rec­tor Daniel Raim’s cap­ti­vat­ing doc­u­men­tary on sto­ry­board artist Harold Michel­son and re­searcher Lillian Michel­son not only chron­i­cles their mu­tual ado­ra­tion and re­spect, but also Hol­ly­wood’s love for them, and the joy they de­rived from their work. (Sheri Lin­den) NR.

The Lost City of Z

Based on David Grann’s non­fic­tion best­seller about the Bri­tish ex­plorer Percy Fawcett (well played by Char­lie Hun­nam), James Gray’s rich, med­i­ta­tive and deeply trans­port­ing ad­ven­ture epic is the sort of clas­si­cal film­mak­ing that feels pos­i­tively rad­i­cal. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

The Lovers

Azazel Ja­cobs’ exquisitely funny-sad ro­mance stars a su­perbly matched De­bra Winger and Tracy Letts as a long-mar­ried cou­ple whose feel­ings for each other are rekin­dled at the most in­con­ve­nient

pos­si­ble mo­ment. (Justin Chang) R.

Nor­man: The Mod­ern Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Sub­tle, un­set­tling, slyly amus­ing, Is­raeli di­rec­tor Joseph Cedar’s first English-lan­guage film pro­vides Richard Gere with a splen­did role as a hus­tler for­ever on the make in Manhattan. (Ken­neth Tu­ran) R.

A Quiet Pas­sion

Cyn­thia Nixon gives a bril­liant per­for­mance as Emily Dickinson in Ter­ence Davies’ mas­ter­ful bi­o­graph­i­cal por­trait of the great 19th cen­tury poet, which be­gins as a ra­zor­sharp draw­ing-room com­edy be­fore edg­ing al­most im­per­cep­ti­bly to­ward tragedy. (Justin Chang) PG-13.

Their Finest

Ge­nial and en­gag­ing with a fine sense of hu­mor, this story of mak­ing movies in World War II Bri­tain stars Gemma Arter­ton and a mar­velous Bill Nighy and makes blend­ing the comedic with the se­ri­ous look sim­pler than it ac­tu­ally is. (Ken­neth Tu­ran) R.

Christo­pher Pfuhl As­so­ci­ated Press

FRENCH DOC­U­MEN­TAR­IAN Mar­cel Ophuls is the fo­cus, along with his film­maker fa­ther, Max, of a fes­ti­val, “Shad­ows of the 20th Cen­tury,” cu­rated by UCLA.

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