Reporting Eric Henderson
In the summer, audiences flock to movie theaters to cool down in the air conditioning. At least, I hope that’s the only excuse for anyone actually ducking into the likes of Zookeeper or The Green Lantern.
But as temperatures cool off in autumn, local programmers at our trusty retro houses are turning up the heat on their offerings.
Both Take-Up Productions and the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul have well-stocked fall calendars with something for just about everyone.
Or, in the case of one movie playing St. Anthony Main in a couple weeks, something that has just about everyone.
The much-buzzed-about documentary Life in a Day will be making an appearance here in the Cities in September. The doc is the result of a YouTube campaign to get as many people to show off what they were doing on July 24, 2010. The final product was culled from (no joke) 80,000 entries. Look closely, and you might just see someone you know — unless you spent your July 24, 2010 totally unplugged from the social network.
Perhaps a tad less sweeping in its depiction of terra firma is Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s World on a Wire. The recently unearthed (OK, no more puns) and restored sci-fi epic is, at 3.5 hours, a spry dessert when held up against the 12-hour encyclopedia cinematica that is Berlin Alexanderplatz.
And even if you don’t think so, check out the groovy production design, which suggests The Matrix‘s grandfather bleeping and blooping somewhere west of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The movie plays this evening as part of Trylon’s ever more impressive Premiere Tuesdays series (which, later this year, will bring two of the newest offerings from the just recently red-hot Romania (Tuesday, After Christmas and Aurora).
Comedians of very different stripes get month-long retrospectives thanks to Take-Up. Preston Sturges’ screwball classics will take center stage at the Heights all throughout October. Speaking as one of the biggest skeptics I know regarding the comedic worth of some of screwball’s most beloved flicks, Sturges is about as entertaining as they come.
I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say Tim Burton, in his early heyday, didn’t seem a closer match with my sensibilities, no more so than in his downright perfect 1988 ghost tale Beetlejuice, where wonky visuals, an imaginative concept (i.e. the afterlife can be just as mundane as the here-before) and a few well-placed Harry Belafonte ditties add up to one of the only sui generis hits of the entire decade.
Of course, if it lives up to the trailer, I could imagine In My Sleep (St. Anthony Main’s offering this coming weekend) racking up as many laughs as both series combined. At the very least, it promises to be the most shirtless thriller of the year, and you can go ahead and use that blurb in the ad campaign, publicists.
The Film Society will also have a spotlight on China, a two-film series combating bullying (presented as Anoka-Hennepin battles multiple lawsuits over allegedly allowing an environment of harassment) and a new film from John Sayles … whose work used to make snobs everywhere salivate. (Ah, the ’90s.) See the full Film Society calendar by clicking here.