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The LA FILM FESTIVAL opens tonight, and for the next eight days, cinephiles from all over will gather for this annual celebration of independent cinema. Most of the films listed here are feature debuts for their directors, many of whom will be on hand for Q & A’s.

If you’ve seen the trailer and read the blurb quote (“What might happen if Hitchcock directed Wuthering Heights.”—IndieWire), you already know that LADY MACBETH (dir. William Oldroyd) is a must see. The film stars Florence Pugh and Cosmo Jarvis, and screens on Friday, June 16, at 6:40 pm, at the Arclight Santa Monica.

Later that night at the Arclight Culver City, catch AND THEN I GO (dir. Vincent Grashaw), based on Project XJim Shepard’s novel about teenage bullying and alienation. Friday, June 16, at 9:30 pm, Arclight Culver City.

On Saturday, June 17, two promising features play back-to-back at the Arclight Santa Monica: ANYTHING (dir. Timothy MacNeil)—starring John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, and Maura Tierney—screens at 3 pm. A modern L.A. update of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (dir. Casey Wilder Mott) with a remarkable cast (Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Finn Wittrock, Rachael Leigh Cook, Avan Jogia, and Paz De La Huerta) screens at 5:30 pm.

Mackenzie Davis invariably lights up whatever screen she’s on with intelligence and energetic abandon. In IZZY GETS THE FUCK ACROSS TOWN (dir. Christian Papierniak), she’s joined by Lakeith Stanfield, Carrie Coon, Haley Joel Osment, Alia Shawkat (Paint it Black, LAFF 2016), and Brandon T. Jackson. Saturday night, June 17, at 8:40 pm. Arclight Culver City.

What are the consequences when installation artist Miranda Fall (Mireille Enos) makes a false witness statement to the authorities? Find out in NEVER HERE (dir. Camille Thoman). Sam Shepard, Goran Visnjic, Vincent Piazza, and the great Nina Arianda co-star. Sunday, June 18, at 6:15 pm. Arclight Culver City.

SUN DOGS (dir. Jennifer Morrison) is the story of a would-be Marine, a young runaway, and a case of mistaken identity. Morrison’s directorial debut stars Michael Angarano and Allison Janney. Sunday, June 18, at 8:10 pm. Arclight Santa Monica.

It’s back to monochrome with BUTTERFLY KISSES (dir. Rafael Kapelinski), a dark, stylized kitchen sink drama from Great Britain. The black and white cinematography is by Nick Cooke. Monday, June 19, at 6 pm. Arclight Culver City.

The cast of MOSS (dir. Daniel Peddle) is exceptionally attractive—the two male leads, Mitchell Slaggert and Dorian Cobb, are models at DNA. This impressionistic idyll was shot on Pleasure Island and adjacent Cape Fear River in North Carolina, and screens on Wednesday night, June 21, at 8:30 pm. Arclight Culver City.


LA FILM FESTIVAL, through Thursday, June 22.

ARCLIGHT CULVER CITY, 9500 Culver Boulevard, downtown Culver City.

ARCLIGHT SANTA MONICA, SANTA MONICA PLACE, 4th Street and Colorado Avenue, downtown Santa Monica.


(From top): The young cast of Butterfly Kisses; Mitchell Slaggert and Christine Marzano in Moss; Dorian Cobb in Moss; and Florence Pugh and Cosmo Jarvis in Lady Macbeth. Image credit: LA Film Festival.


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