'The Deer Hunter' may be daunting in its darkness, but it's a must-see on the big screen

Robert De Niro starred in 'The Deer Hunter,' the Michael Cimino-directed epic that won five Oscars.
Robert De Niro starred in 'The Deer Hunter,' the Michael Cimino-directed epic that won five Oscars.

On March 19, the Rialto Theatre is showing Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter,” which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, as part of the Monday at the Movies series. Set in the late ‘60s to the early ‘70s, the 1978 war drama stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage as three Pennsylvania steelworkers who serve together in Vietnam. The film won five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director for Cimino, Best Supporting Actor for Walken, Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

"The Deer Hunter” may appear to be daunting in its darkness, and its three-hour length, but like all of the Monday at the Movies’ selections, it’s an emotional must-see on the big screen. 7 p.m. $5. Details: 919-856- 8683 or ambassadorcinemas.com.

Other Highlights

▪ The Carolina Theatre in Durham is hosting FantasticRealm, a festival of fan favorite sci-fi, fantasy, and action films, March 16 to 18, presented by the Retro Film Series. Films include: Franklin J. Schaffner’s “The Planet of the Apes” (1968), Douglas Trumbull’s “Silent Running” (1972), Jimmy T. Murakami and Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond the Stars” (1980), Harry Winer’s “Spacecamp” (1986), Rob Reiner’s “The Princess Bride” (1987), Henry Selick’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble in Little China” (1986), Joe Alves’ “Jaws 3-D,” and Gary Goddard’s “Masters of the Universe” (1987). Tickets are $9.50 for each film (10-Passes are $80). Details: 919-560-3030 or carolinatheatre.org.

• On March 16, the N.C. Museum of Art’s Spring Film Series kicks off with Juzo Itami’s 1985 Japanese comedy “Tampopo,” starring Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki and Nobuko Miyamoto. It starts at 8 pm at the Museum Auditorium in the East Building with an introduction by NCMA film curator Laura Boyes. Tickets are $7 ($5 for students and NCMA members). Details: 919-715-5923 or ncartmuseum.org.

▪ On March 17, The Cary theater is screening Yunus Emre Aydin and Özlem Sariyildiz’s 2016 documentary “Istanbul Notes” presented by the ATA-NC (American Turkish Association of North Carolina) at 2 p.m. That’s followed by Samuel D. Pollard’s 2016 documentary “Two Trains Runnin’” at 7 p.m., and Brett Morgen’s 2017 documentary “Jane” at 9 p.m. (There will be encores of “Two Trains Runnin’” on March 18, at 2 p.m., and March 22, at 2 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.

On March 20, it’s the Rough Cuts Review, an open screen night for North Carolina filmmakers, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, the Cinema Overdrive series is featuring Al Adamson and Samuel M. Sherman’s 1971 horror flick “Dracula Vs. Frankenstein” at 7:30 p.m. On March 22, James Franco’s 2017 comedy drama “The Disaster Artist” screens at 7 p.m. Tickets are $3-$5 for each film, except for “Istanbul Notes,” which is $5, and the Rough Cuts Review event, which is free (reserve at Eventbrite.com). Details: 919-462-2051 or thecarytheater.com.

• On March 18 and 21, Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill will screen Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic “Sunset Boulevard,” which is showing at various Triangle locations as part of the Flashback Cinema series. It shows at Wakefield 10 in Raleigh at 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill at 1:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.; and Park West 14 Cinemas in Morrisville (call for times). Details: flashbackcinema.net.