Counter-Programming: What Movies to Watch this Weekend if You Want to Avoid the Blockbusters

Roger Ebert, Steve McQueen, Orson Wells, and more

With the Los Angeles Film Festival behind us and summer blockbusters (Man of SteelWorld War ZThe Lone Ranger) hitting multiplexes weekly, it’s nice to know there are some under-the-radar alternatives.

This weekend…

Cinefamily will host a tribute to Roger Ebert, screening his gloriously campy sexploitation flick Beyond The Valley of the Dolls on Thursday night at the Saban Theatre. Ebert’s wife, Chaz, will be on hand to present “Siskel & Ebert” memories and outtakes, and ’60s psychedelic band Strawberry Alarm Clock has reunited for a special performance.

American Cinematheque will screen three classic films: the Steve McQueen getaway flick The Great Escape at the Aero Theatre, the re-released 1998 version of Orson Welles’ noir classic Touch of Evil (look for the L.A. locations) followed by a Q&A with Thomas A. Walsh and Norm Newberry as a tribute to production designer Robert Clatworthy at the Aero Theatre, and a 70mm print of David Lean’s epic desert movie Lawrence of Arabia at the Egyptian Theatre.

LACMA launches its screenings of the “Hitchcock 9“—the nine surviving early Hitchcock films, newly restored—this Thursday with The Manxman, the story of two men vying for the affection of one woman. The series, part of a partnership with AMPAS, runs through July 13 and concludes with Blackmail.

This Saturday, the Los Angeles Conservancy is showing a 2 p.m. matinee of the Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman classic Casablanca as part of their Last Remaining Seats series.