INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
- Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? hits about 100 theaters today after playing at Sundance and South By Southwest, among other festivals. It's Morgan Spurlock's attempt to summarize the War on Terror, and Cinematical's James Rocchi reviewed it favorably at Sundance.
- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a documentary about how people who believe in evolution are big meanies who don't understand why "Intelligent Design" (i.e., that God made everything) should be taught in science classes, too. Somehow the teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is involved. The people distributing the film have been very careful not to let any critics see it, going so far as to require preview audience to sign nondisclosure agreements. You know it must be a great film when the only way you're allowed to see it is if you promise not to tell anyone about it -- anti-word-of-mouth. I almost don't even want to mention it here, except that it is an indie film and it is opening in several hundred theaters today. So there you go.
Austin: Tell those damn dirty apes to get their hands off you so you can come down to the Alamo Drafthouse on Sunday for a one-time-only screening of a brand-new 35mm scope print of Planet of the Apes (1968). It's part of the Drafthouse's Sci-Fi Classics series, and a fitting tribute to the recently departed Charlton Heston, too. (Speaking of sci-fi, they're also showing John Carpenter's The Thing all this week.)
Boston: You love zombies and cannibals, right? Sure, we all do. So you'll want to take part in J. Cannibal's Feast of Flesh VI at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, starting at midnight Saturday night. There'll be a Celtic metal band, followed by a grotesque comedy troupe, followed by a screening of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) -- a rare European cut edited by Dario Argento.
Boston: The next seven days at the Brattle Theatre will be filled with samurais, gunfighters, and giant moths, all part of the Nikkatsu Action and 60s Japan repertory series. Twelve films, most of them not available on home video, comprise the series, including titles such as A Colt Is My Passport and Plains Wanderer. Oh, and Mothra. Because why not?
Brooklyn, N.Y.: BAMcinématek is celebrating the work of a director you've never heard of all this month, in a series fitting titled "Tomu Uchida: Discovering a Japanese Master." Uchida worked in the 1920s through the 1950s, covering a variety of genres and styles (just like a lot of Hollywood directors from that era did). Most of his films are extremely rare, so this may be your only chance to see some of these hidden Japanese gems -- on the big screen and from archival prints, too.
Chicago: One of the fun things about The Big Sleep (1946) -- which you can see at 11:30 a.m. matinees this Saturday and Sunday at the Music Box Theatre -- is that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's characters spend a lot of time talking about sex, except since it's 1946, it's all couched in euphemisms. I definitely remember a scene with a lot of discussion of "horseback riding." Hot.
Denver: I fear many people only know Crispin Glover from Back to the Future and don't appreciate just how crazy he is. Denver residents will have a chance to find out this weekend, as he'll be appearing live at the Starz FilmCenter, courtesy of the Denver Film Society. He'll present his "Big Slide Show" (that's not a euphemism), plus a screening of his bizarre film What Is It?, which nearly defies description. (Slugs and the mentally handicapped are featured in equal measure.) Q&A, book signing -- this will be the complete Crispin Glover experience.
Los Angeles: In honor of David Mamet's new film Redbelt (in theaters May 9), American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre is presenting a retrospective of the writer/director's work. Tonight is a double feature of Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) and American Buffalo (1996); Saturday is The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and Heist (2001); and Wednesday is House of Games (1987) and Homicide (1991).
Los Angeles: At the Egyptian Theatre, American Cinematheque's 10th annual Festival of Film Noir concludes this week, with a number of rare and hard-to-find flicks playing on the big screen. Tonight is an Edward G. Robinson double feature of Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) and The Red House (1947); Saturday has a doubleheader of "unjustly accused" dramas, Boomerang! (1947) and Count the Hours (1953); Sunday is The Clay Pigeon (1949) and Nora Prentiss (1947), with a live Q&A with Clay Pigeon actress Barbara Hale between films; and Thursday is Night and the City (1950) and Woman in Hiding (1950). Femmes will be fatale; stoolies will be snuffed; guns will be fired.
New York City: Remember how everyone got all hot for Romanian cinema last year after 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu wowed festival audiences? Well, it turns out Romania has actually been producing quality cinema for decades! We just weren't paying attention! The Film Society of Lincoln Center will seek to remedy our ignorance this week with an impressive series called "Shining Through a Long, Dark Night: Romanian Cinema, Then and Now." Films from the 1980s are the focus, with a few newer ones sprinkled in, as well as two from the 1960s.
Portland, Ore.: So back in the 1980s, some teenagers spent six years making a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark with their camcorders and homemade props. Now the whole thing, called Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation will play on the big screen this weekend at the Hollywood Theatre, with the amateur filmmakers on hand to discuss the project. What do you want to bet their amateur remake is actually better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
Salt Lake City: Did you read a few weeks ago where John Cusack had a stalker? Makes sense. He seems nice and accessible -- oh, and he once played a stalker himself, in Say Anything.... Come on, standing outside the window in the middle of the night, blaring Peter Gabriel songs on the boom box? There's a fine line between romantic and creepy, that's all I'm saying. Anyway, you can see that classic teen comedy on the big screen at midnight tonight and Saturday at the Tower Theatre.