By Eric Henderson
scarlet street Movie Blog: Feb. Retro Showings Movie Buffs Will Love

(credit: Universal)

Valentine’s Day isn’t so far away now, and if you’re fortunate enough to be in a relationship with a movie buff, there are plenty of great options over the next few weeks to build up to the event.

And some of them are even new. First off, the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul has some offbeat selections forthcoming, including the lushly visual Norwegian Wood from Cyclo director Tran Anh Hung.

Based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, the movie stars Oscar-nominated Rinko Kikuchi, who is one of three players caught up in a love triangle beset by depression, insanity and the 1960s.

Also at the Film Society (in St. Anthony Main) — and admittedly a little bit after Valentine’s Day but totally worth waiting for — will be a run of Kenneth Lonergan’s much-buzzed-about New York drama Margaret, which was all but dumped by its distributor Fox Searchlight until a grassroots Twitter movement by film critics (hashtag: #TeamMargaret) sought to rescue the film.

Such was the campaign that Margaret went from a nearly instantly forgotten movie into a cause célèbre that ultimately wound up in some critics prizes. Don’t miss it.

Now for the retro showings.

If you want to treat your beloved by putting them in the same room as an Oscar-nominated star, you could do worse than buying tickets to the Feb. 3 Parkway Theater showing of The Buddy Holly Story, which will feature an appearance by Gary Busey.

He’s set to join the house band to perform some of Buddy Holly’s top tunes, like “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day.”

Throughout February, the Lagoon Cinema will present movies that will steal your hearts. No wait, I meant the movies will be stealing your money.

All month, the theater is presenting some of the best heist movies of all time. They’ll start on the 1st with a screening of John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, and follow up with Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge, Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, and Sidney Lumet’s extremely romantic Dog Day Afternoon.

You can complete each caper-laden movie night by absconding with a free drink over at Kinsen Noodles and Bar, provided you part with your ticket stub.

Those four movies belong to miscreants, but if you want to see love curdle into a festering, nihilistic pit of doom, check out what the Heights Theater is running on Feb. 6.

Fritz Lang directed some dark masterpieces in his day, but few wind up as deeply in despair as the final few minutes of Scarlet Street, a remake of Jean Renoir’s La chienne. Edward G. Robinson stars as the bulldog-faced man who ignores all signs that should keep him away from Joan Bennett. Of course, this being noir, that doesn’t happen. Instead, everyone either dies or winds up ruined for life.

Tell a friend.

Finally, the Trylon Microcinema will unleash all seven films in one of the greatest director-star love affairs of all time. More on the Marlene Dietrich-Josef Von Sternberg series next week.

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