Today: You can see Incredible Hulk, which is a biopic of the Jolly Green Giant; or you can see The Happening, which is based on the '70s sitcom What's Happening!!! -- or you can ignore those blatant mistruths and check out some of these...
INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
- Baghead is proof that the Mumblecore movement has arrived, because it's a spoof of it. Well, a spoof, and a thriller, and a straightforward Mumblecore, and -- well, just watch it. I reviewed it at Sundance earlier this year and liked it quite a bit. It opens today in Austin and will expand in the coming weeks.
- My Winnipeg comes from Guy Maddin, Canada's weirdest filmmaker, and it's sure to be a treat. Created in the style of a documentary about the snowy title city, it was described by Cinematical's Monika Bartyzel as hilarious when it debuted at Toronto last year. It opens today in New York, next week in L.A., and so on until it conquers the world.
After the jump, more indie theatrical releases, and a rundown of events happening all over the country....
- Encounters at the End of the World is the latest documentary by Werner Herzog (speaking of crazy people...), about Antarctica and the hardy souls who live and work there. It opened Wednesday in New York.
- Quid Pro Quo stars Nick Stahl as a paralyzed writer investigating a subculture of able-bodied people who want to become paralyzed, including one played by Vera Farmiga. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg praised it at Sundance earlier this year. It opens today in New York and L.A.
- To the Limit: German documentary about mountain climbing. It's gotta be hardcore. Opens today in New York.
Austin: In honor of the Republic of Texas Bike Weekend (though I think that's just an excuse), the Alamo Drafthouse is showing two biker movie classics Saturday and Sunday: Angels from Hell (1968) and The Black Angels (1970). Bring your hog and your old lady! Whatever those may be.
Boston: Because so many legendary cinematic figures have passed away already in 2008, the Brattle Theatre is honoring several of them in a week-long repertory series simply called "Tribute." Screenings will include: Planet of the Apes (a new 35mm print!), a double feature of Kiss of Death and Night and the City (in honor of director Jules Dassin and actor Richard Widmark), Pickup on South Street (Widmark), and Topkapi (Dassin).
Brooklyn, N.Y.: This year is the 40th edition of the Directors' Fortnight, an independent film festival that has run parallel to Cannes since 1969. To celebrate the milestone, BAMcinématek is holding screenings of past DF premieres for the next few weeks. First up: Jacque Rivette's Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974). Visit BAM's site for the complete schedule.
Chicago: The Music Box Theatre's midnight movies for the next several weeks will feature works by Italian horror master Dario Argento. This weekend is Creepers (aka Phenomena, 1985) -- but don't worry, it's only on one screen, and Pretty in Pink is on the other. So you have someplace safe to go if you need to.
Denver: How much was Disturbia a rip-off of Rear Window? Find out tonight, when the Denver Film Society at the Starz FilmCenter shows them both, back to back. They'll show you kids what a real voyeuristic thriller looks like!
Las Vegas: It might be time to retire the phrase "Vegas, baby!" -- but until that's official, the CineVegas Film Festival offers many reasons to endure the 150-degree heat and the general appalling gaudiness of Sin City. The fest, now in its 11th year, runs through next weekend with some high-profile premieres (like Get Smart) and some high-buzz indie films (like Choke and The Great Buck Howard). Cinematical's Patrick Walsh and myself are in town, so watch for reviews and other coverage over the next several days.
Los Angeles: The state of modern Spanish cinema is the focus at the Egyptian Theatre this week, with U.S. premieres tonight of Mataharis and 13 Roses, the latter of which won four Goya Awards. Check out the full schedule here, and start brushing up on your Spanish. Or, you know, your subtitle-reading abilities.
Los Angeles: John Carpenter, folks. You know him, you love him, you're terrified of him. The Aero Theatre is hosting a retrospective of his work this week, and the man himself will be on hand tonight and Saturday for a discussion. On the agenda: The Thing and The Fog tonight; Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. on Saturday; Halloween and Christine on Sunday; and Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13 on Wednesday.
New Orleans: The New Orleans Film Society is hosting a free screening of Whale Rider on Saturday evening, with a discussion following. Free screening? Whale Rider? That sounds both big and easy! (Because New Orleans is called "the Big Easy," you see. Ahem.)
New York City: When it's used correctly, film can drive home the urgency of a message better than any other medium. The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, running through June 26 under the auspices of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, will showcase 20 movies from around the world that shine a light on some of the injustices and disasters taking place now. It's a good way to become educated about the troubles that face the world, and to find out how you can help.
Oklahoma City: The DeadCenter Film Festival (named in reference to OK City's geographical location in the United States) kicked off last night and runs through the weekend. Check out the lineup at the fest's official site.
Portland, Ore.: The folks here love local boy Gus Van Sant. In fact, they love him so much that they'll even show his slow, ponderous, nearly plot-free movies. (But hey, different strokes for different folks.) The Northwest FilmCenter has Gerry tonight, Elephant tomorrow, and Last Days on Sunday -- something for everyone, really.