Austin: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Coens' beloved Big Lebowski, the Alamo Drafthouse is sponsoring a screening tonight at ... a bowling alley. You'll watch the movie, and you'll bowl a few frames. Dressing up as a Lebowski character is encouraged. So is drinking, I suspect, though it's not mentioned specifically.
Boston: The 48 Hour Film Project is a nationwide event where participants write, shoot, and edit a short film all in two days. This year's Boston contest happens next week; this weekend, they're showing some of the all-time favorite films to come out of past events. You can catch them at midnight tonight and Saturday at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
Boston: At the Brattle Theatre, they're running their "Recent Raves" series, where they take another look at quality films that may have gone unseen during their initial theatrical runs. Still to come in the series: the Bob Dylan-y I'm Not There; Jessica Yu's unconventional documentary Protagonist; Francis Ford Coppola's crack-smoking fever dream Youth Without Youth; Charlie Wilson's War; and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. That's a fine batch of cinema right there.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) is about a young widow who's neat, organized, efficient -- and a part-time whore. There, now that I've gotten your attention and oversimplified this quiet European realist drama, you can watch it -- all 3 1/2 hours of it -- at BAMcinématik on Monday. It's part of the "30 Years of J. Hoberman" series in which the Village Voice critic selects some of his favorite movies.
Chicago: If ever a movie was born to be a midnight cult classic, it was Teeth, a smart comedy/horror/satire about a teenage girl with a carnivorous hoo-hah. It's playing at midnight tonight and Saturday at the Music Box Theatre -- and hey, so is the 1986 animated film Transformers: The Movie. So there's one for girls, and one for boys.
Denver: The "Mile High Sci-Fi" series at the Starz Filmcenter lets you watch a cheesy classic on the big screen while listening to the heckling of three local comedians, MST3K-style (except a little naughtier). This month's selection, showing twice tonight, is WarGames, which predated the era of Internet paranoia by a good 15 years. Ahead of its time!
Kent, Conn.: The Kent Film Festival is new (this is the third year), but it's growing fast. This year's edition, running through the weekend, features a master class by Albert Maysles, plus screenings of two dozen features and a like number of shorts. Plus, it's in a beautiful part of the country, just a couple hours north of New York City. Go! Enjoy the trees!
Los Angeles: One of the late Brad Renfro's best performances was in Bully (2001), the chilling film about a group of kids who commit a murder. American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre will pay tribute to Renfro with a screening of the film tonight, and director Larry Clark will be on hand for a discussion afterward. If nothing else, you can ask Clark the question that's long been on your mind, which of course is, "What is the matter with you?" (Or possibly: "What is your deal?")
Los Angeles: The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica has got musical fever! Toe-tapping classics are running all weekend, featuring Singin' in the Rain (1952) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) tonight, Hello, Dolly! (1969) on Saturday, and Show Boat (1951) and Carousel (1956) on Sunday. Bless the Aero Theatre's beautiful hide.
New York City: The Film Society of Lincoln Center's "New Directors/New Films Classics" series runs all next week, with screenings of some of the best films by directors who are (or were, in their heyday) among the "best new directors." Kevin Smith will be represented by Clerks (1994) and Dogma (1999); Todd Solondz has Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and Storytelling (2001); Charles Burnett's My Brother's Wedding (1983) and To Sleep with Anger (1990) are included; then there's Clean, Shaven (1993) and Keane (2004) by Lodge Kerrigan; and Gregg Araki wraps things up with The Living End (1992) and Totally F***ed Up (1993). Come to think of it, that last title would fit about half the movies on the list.
Portland, Ore.: The Faux Film Festival comes to the Hollywood Theatre this weekend, presenting shorts and features that are spoofs, parodies, satires, or in some other way "faux." One of the features is Plans 1 to 8 from Outer Space, a title that tickles me mightily.
Salt Lake City: Sure, Napoleon Dynamite is a modern cult classic, and it makes sense to program it as a midnight movie. But there are few better places to do it than Salt Lake City, close to where the filmmakers went to school (Brigham Young University) and surrounded by the adorably nerdy types so lovingly mocked in the film itself, people who actually say "Gosh!" It's at the Tower Theatre tonight and Saturday. Voting for Pedro is so 2004, but you'll never get tired of it!