$4.50-$8.50. 20 E. State St., Doylestown. 215.345.6789. www.countytheater.com
(1990) (Shown on DVD): Please come out of retirement, Joe Pesci. Your 30 seconds in The Good Shepherd don't remotely count. C Sat., Dec. 15, 11am.
Various prices. 401 S. Broad St. www.pjff.org
Love and Dance
(2006) (Shown on film): The son of a macho Russian father and a cultured Israeli mother, a conflicted young boy tries to split the difference by taking up ballroom dancing under the tutelage of two Russian champions. (Not reviewed.) Sat., Dec. 15, 8pm, and Sun., Dec. 16, 2pm. $10-$12.
(2005) (Shown on film): The basis for the forthcoming same-named HBO show with Dianne Wiest and Gabriel Byrne, this beloved Israeli drama about a group of therapists and their patients will be shown as part of the Jewish Film Festival. (Not reviewed.) Mon., Dec. 17, 7pm.
$5-$7. 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. www.ihousephilly.org
Free Radical: The Films of Len Lye
(Shown on film): Those who think New Zealand film culture begins with The Lord of the Rings or even the early works of Peter Jackson or Jane Campion know nothing about Len Lye, a Kiwi sculpturist and experimental film pioneer. Born in 1901, Lye liked to make "kinetic sculptures," like the free-floating 45-meter "Wind Wand" that still stands in Tanaka on New Zealand's northern island. Clearly motion was his thing as he got into film starting in the late 1920s, churning out Tusalava, a piece of animation in which two rapidly evolving abstract forms seem to either mate or duke it out for supremacy. Lye was a practitioner of "direct" filmmaking, meaning he'd paint or scratch directly onto the film's surface. The lively, multilayered and unfathomably colorful shorts--often backed by upbeat jazz numbers--are obvious influences on fellow direct filmmaker Stan Brakhage. Not that Lye's output is limited to mere riots of color and shapes. What appears to be an early form of rotoscoping can be found in 1936's Rainbow Dance, while 1937's Trade Tattoo finds Lye doodling, recoloring and generally mucking up archival footage of Britain's working class. Lye often lent his services out to businesses like the British Post Office and Chrysler, but he never treated assignments like mere work. The first of a two-part evening devoted to New Zealand's avant-garde--and the last I-House film function before it closes for renovations through January--the Lye section offers up a whopping 15 of his shorts, the aforementioned among them, as well as 1935's A Colour Box and 1958's Free Radicals, both regularly cited as some of the very best animated films ever made. Sat., Dec. 15, 7pm.
Explosions Into Colour: New Zealand Experimental Film 1980-'84
(Shown on film): Around the time Kiwi Jane Campion (The Piano) was embarking on her acclaimed run of shorts (all found on Criterion's DVD for her feature debut Sweetie), New Zealand saw a new rush of experimental filmmakers whose influences spanned Warhol to Godard to Dreyer to Len Lye himself. Seven of these works are highlighted in the second part of the evening, which ranges in styles but shares an interest in Maori (and generally Pacific) cultures, abstraction and color. Among the highlights is The Search for Otto, in which a woman dreams of an eerily placid man (whose face we never quite see) walking around situations either mundane or surreal. Gregor Nicholas' Mouth Music depicts various human interactions that've been stripped of sound and plugged instead with various noises--stressing the importance of body language and facial tics in conversation. There'll also be the archival film mockery of Chris Knox's Tall Dwarfs' Turning Brown and Turn Into Two--which wound up on Beavis and Butt-Head--as well as shorts from the collectives City Group and Fetus Productions. Sat., Dec. 15, 8:30pm.
$5. 7141 Germantown Ave. 215.247.3020. www.mtairyvideolibrary.com