INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
Two films that played at Sundance (they both played at other fests, too) are opening in New York and L.A. today. You can expect them both to expand in the coming weeks. They are:
- The Visitor, starring Richard Jenkins as a man who returns to his New York City apartment to find an immigrant couple living there. The film is notable for being the sophomore effort by Tom McCarthy, whose Station Agent was an indie darling a few years ago. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg spoke favorably of The Visitor when he reviewed it at Sundance.
- Young @ Heart is a documentary about a group of senior citizens who perform covers of rock songs. Everyone who's seen it says it's six different kinds of awesome. That includes our Scotty O'Weinberg, who reviewed it at SXSW last month and James who just reviewed it yesterday.
Austin: OK, this isn't movie-related per se, but it does take place at a movie theater, so I'm counting it. The Alamo Drafthouse will help you relive your childhood Saturday with a 2 1/2-hour cartoons-and-cereal party. They provide the cereal and the cartoons on the big screen; you just hafta bring yourself. You can even wear pajamas and bring your favorite cereal spoon if you wanna. The one nice concession they've made is that even though the Saturday morning cartoon binges of our childhood usually began at some ungodly hour like 7 a.m., the Alamo's event starts at 12:30 p.m. Whew!
Boston: The Coolidge Corner Theatre's fifth annual Coolidge Award is being presented to British film producer Jeremy Thomas, whose productions include films by Bernardo Bertolucci, David Cronenberg, Wim Wenders, and Jonathan Glazer. Retrospective screenings are part of the celebration, culminating in an awards ceremony this week. Nicolas Roeg, Bob Rafelson, Debra Winger, Julien Temple, and Tim Roth will be in attendance, too.
Boston: A couple of cool foreign flicks from the '60s are at the Brattle Theatre on Harvard Square this week. A new 35mm print of Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt (1963) is playing daily, while Saturday at 11 a.m. there's a one-time-only free screening of Black Girl (1966). This was the first film by Senegal's Ousmane Sembene, the godfather of African cinema. Film history, people! Learn it, live it, love it.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: I don't know what it means that Paul Simon is "in residency" this month at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Is he sleeping on a couch in the office? Doing odd jobs around the building? Surely Paul Simon has better things to do. (Art Garfunkel, on the other hand....) At any rate, in honor of his BAM affiliation, they're screening an archival print of The Graduate (1967) Saturday night, which of course is the movie most closely associated with Mr. Simon's work.
Chicago: The Music Box Theatre continues its infatuation with Teeth, the smart horror/comedy about a girl with a man-eating vajayjay, tonight and Saturday at midnight. Showing simultaneously in the other theater will be a movie for the boys: Masters of the Universe (1987), starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor. I applaud the Music Box's commitment to diversity.
Denver: They're calling it "a fairy tale for troubled times." It's The Kite (2003), a Lebanese film about a 16-year-old who doesn't want to marry the stranger she's betrothed to because she's in love with the Israeli soldier who works at the border checkpoint. It's screening Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the Starz FilmCenter, courtesy of the Denver Film Society.
Houston: The awkwardly titled WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival kicks off today and runs through April 20, with an impressive array of about 50 international features screening. This is the 41st edition of the fest, making it the third oldest competitive international film festival in North America (after San Francisco and New York) -- so they must be doing something right.
Los Angeles: Helen Hunt: Do you like her? Who doesn't! (Besides Peter Griffin. But he's fictional, and a cartoon character.) American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre happens to be celebrating her work this weekend, and that happens to coincide, quite coincidentally, with the upcoming release of her directorial debut, Then She Found Me. Anyhoo, Then She Found Me is screening Saturday night, with Hunt on hand for a Q&A afterward. On Sunday, it's a double feature of Project X (1987) and As Good As It Gets (1997), for which she won an Oscar.
New York City: The 15th annual New York African Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, continues through Tuesday, with screenings of 40 films from 22 countries. Other continents' films get plenty of worldwide attention, but Africa's cinema remains unfamiliar to most people. So here's a fantastic chance to see some of the films that have been overshadowed, with selections both from Africa and about the African experience.
Oxford, Ohio: It's the second year for the ambitious new Oxford International Film Festival in Ohio, which opened last night and runs through the weekend. (Oxford is in the southwestern part of the state, near the Indiana border.) A few dozen shorts and 25 features are on the agenda. One that I know I can recommend is Kabluey, which Cinematical's Kim Voynar and I saw last month at another Oxford film festival -- the one in Oxford, Mississippi. (If the Kabluey guys are taking their film to all the Oxfords in the world, I recommend the one in England next. It's very pretty.)
Palm Beach, Fla.: If you're in South Florida and not quite ready to show yourself at the beaches yet, the Palm Beach International Film Festival can provide you with some entertainment in the meantime. The fest is running through April 17, with screenings of more than 100 features, docs, and shorts. An impressive number of them are world or U.S. premieres, so that's kinda cool.
Seattle: When I was a kid, my family had a VHS tape of Annie (1982) that we'd taped off TV sometime around 1985. I'm pretty sure it had been severely truncated for broadcast television (gotta make room for commercials), but my brothers and sisters and I watched it over and over again. We knew all the lines and all the songs. My theory is that the film is actually probably quite bad -- but if you live in the Seattle area, you can find out for yourself this weekend, as the Northwest Film Forum is showin' it on the big screen as part of its "See You in the Funny Pages" comic-strip-to-movie series. Even if the film's not so good, I know the songs are catchy. Take the kids!