Today, on about 3,000 screens, you can see a quartet of libidinous, superficial women drink and shop their way through Manhattan. Or, on just a few screens, you can see these...
INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
- Savage Grace is a true, tawdry story about a socialite (Julianne Moore) and her weird relationship with her weird son. Cinematical's Kim Voynar reviewed it somewhat favorably at Sundance; Nick Schager is less flattering in his review. (For what it's worth, I'm more on Nick's side on this one. It's icky.) Opens today at the IFC Center and Clearview's 62nd & Broadway in NYC.
- The Foot Fist Way, a low-budget R-rated comedy about a Tae Kwon Do teacher, premiered at Sundance way back in 2006, then might have slipped into oblivion had it not been noticed by Will Ferrell and his collaborator Adam McKay. They've championed the film into getting released, and by all accounts it's a pretty funny movie. Opens today in New York and L.A.; expands in the coming weeks.
- Bigger, Stronger, Faster, another widely praised Sundance alumnus, is a documentary about steroid use in the United States. (Cinematical's Eric Kohn has an interview with the director here.) It opens today at a few New York and L.A. locations.
- Stuck is a twisted horror/comedy about a young woman (Mena Suvari) who hits a pedestrian with her car then drives home, unaware that the victim is still alive and still attached to the vehicle. Our man Scott Weinberg spoke highly of it at Toronto last fall, and Peter Martin liked it too. It opens today at the Angelika Film Center in NYC, and the Nuart in L.A.
Austin: Everyone takes a date to the movies, or their kids to the movies, or even their parents to the movies. But how often do you get to take your dog to the movies? The Alamo Drafthouse, as part of its Rolling Roadshow series, is screening the Christopher Guest classic Best in Show under the stars at Republic Square Park on Saturday night. You're invited to bring your pooch along for pre-show festivities that will include brief dog-training lessons, some Stupid Pet Tricks, and plenty of doggie snacks. Plus, everyone knows that dogs love movies about other dogs.
Beverly Hills, Calif.: The ninth annual Hollywood Black Film Festival kicks off Tuesday and runs through next weekend, focusing mainly on new works by up-and-coming African American filmmakers. The opening-night film is Two Turntables and a Microphone, a doc about rap legend Jam Master Jay
Brooklyn, N.Y.: While Carrie and the girls are sippin' their cosmos in Manhattan, the real fun will be over the bridge in Brooklyn, where the Brooklyn International Film Festival is happening now through June 8. It's a relatively small fest, with 17 narrative features, seven docs, and a number of shorts, but it's a pretty solid lineup of diverse subjects. Plus, the fest's acronym is BIFF, which seems appropriate for Brooklyn.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Hey, things are swingin' out in BK this week! The Sundance Institute is bringing a couple dozen titles from this year's Sundance Film Festival out to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for a week of screenings and parties. (Erik Davis wrote a bit about it yesterday.) These aren't just a bunch of leftovers, either: They're some of the best films that screened at Sundance this year. Go check 'em out if you're in the NYC area.
Denver: Next Thursday is DocNight at the Starz FilmCenter, and the film being honored is Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), a harrowing examination of corruption in Brazil. The doc won top honors at Sundance last year, and its director, Jason Kohn, will be at the screening for a Q&A. Also, despite the film's title, please do not bring bullets to the screening.
Hoboken, N.J.: Make fun of New Jersey all you want -- go ahead, I'll wait -- but Hoboken, just across the Hudson river from Manhattan, has a hip vibe to it. After all, it was Frank Sinatra's hometown. The third annual Hoboken International Film Festival, running today through next Thursday, is an impressive event that can boast a few celebrities, including this year's lifetime achievement award recipient Billy Dee Williams (!). The fest's website doesn't make it easy to just see a list of what's playing, but I do note these titles: Uwe Boll's Postal, Les Paul: Chasing Sound, about the legendary guitarist, and Unspooled, a mockumentary set behind the scenes of an indie film.
Los Angeles: Can you think of a better way to spend your time this weekend than watching Alfred Hitchcock thrillers on the big screen? I didn't think so. Get yourself to the Egyptian Theatre, where American Cinematheque has The Man Who Knew Too Much and Strangers on a Train tonight, Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt on Saturday, and North by Northwest and Dial M for Murder on Sunday.
Los Angeles: Here's a rare opportunity: The legendary director Blake Edwards will be at the Aero Theatre on Wednesday to introduce screenings of two of his personal favorite Blake Edwards films, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966) and A Shot in the Dark (1964). The man is 86, so don't miss this chance to see him in person and hear his thoughts on these two old gems.
Mendocino, Calif.: This coastal town in Northern California is a lovely little artists' community, and now they've got themselves a film festival. The Mendocino Film Festival runs this weekend, with a nice mix of narrative, docs, and shorts. Noteworthy titles include Caramel, Underbelly (about belly dancing), and Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm (about the history of the vibrator). (Yes, that's right.)
New Brunswick, N.J.: Make fun of New Jersey all you want -- go ahead, I'll wait -- but it's home to Rutgers University, and Rutgers is one of those fancy smart places. So there. Rutgers' New Jersey International Film Festival runs on the weekends through June, starting tomorrow, with a mix of local and international features and shorts, many of them making their area premieres.
New York City: Happy birthday, Israel! To commemorate the country's big 6-0, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting a week-long mini-fest of Israeli films from the 2000s, showing the current state of cinema there.
Panama City Beach, Fla.: OK, mostly I just like the name of this sci-fi convention and film festival: The Wrath of Con. Running this weekend, it's a three-day geekfest with the usual panels and events and so forth, along with screenings of a couple dozen appropriate features and shorts. No big premieres or top-secret surprises or anything, but fun stuff nonetheless.
Portland, Ore.: You may recall that the best parts of last year's Grindhouse were the fake trailers. Well, a two-hour program of some real grindhouse trailers has been packaged together for your viewing pleasure, screening Saturday night at the Hollywood Theatre. Come see the inspiration for Machete!
Portland, Ore.: The city is already host to a fine gay and lesbian film festival, and now here's one with an even narrower focus: It's QDoc, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, happening this weekend at the Clinton Street Theater. The closing night film is 1984 Oscar-winner The Times of Harvey Milk, with director Rob Epstein in attendance. (Gus Van Sant, currently working on a biopic about Milk, was scheduled to attend but has had to cancel.)
Salt Lake City: Good ol' Spike and Mike are back for another year of their Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation, screening tonight and Saturday at midnight at -- where else? -- the Tower Theatre. Is the midnight start time an effort to prevent clueless parents from bringing their kids? Just wondering.
Seattle: It's Fashion Week in the Emerald City -- or it is at the Northwest Film Forum, anyway. Tonight is the start of "Pret-A-Filmer: A Week of Fashion Films," featuring documentaries about Karl Lagerfield, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton. I dare you to show up wearing sweats and a T-shirt.
Stockton, Calif.: This Northern California city, about an hour east of San Francisco, is home to the first international San Joaquin Film Festival, which opens Wednesday and runs through next weekend. They have a nice lineup, especially considering its their first year, and one of the opening films is a Spanish flick called The Clown and the Fuhrer, about a clown who has to perform for Hitler. If they fight, it will be hard to know who to root for.