Reporting Eric Henderson
The Zombie Pub Crawl may be dead and buried (or is it?), but there are still plenty of thrilling, chilling horror classics among this week’s best bets for moviegoers who want to escape the multiplex. Here are five suggestions for the next seven days:
Monday, Oct. 15 through Thursday, Oct. 18: The Intouchables (St. Anthony Main)
To the wonderment of the international film community, The Intouchables broke all existing box officer records in its native France. The story of a crusty old millionaire who is paralyzed in a paragliding accident and comes to depend on the Senegalese man who becomes his caretaker, the film is corny as you please, but you may as well get used to it now. It’s all but certain to get nominated for the best foreign film Oscar next January, and many are betting it can win.
Tuesday, Oct. 16: Kuroneko (Trylon Microcinema)
All October long, the Trylon is presenting some of the landmarks of Japanese horror cinema, continuing this week with Kaneto Shindo’s sparklingly gorgeous feminist ghost story. I wrote about it when it was revived at Uptown last year: “The movie shows the devastation that stems from the rape and murder of Yone and her son’s wife Shige after they are left alone during Japan’s violent Sengoku period. After they are deflowered and destroyed by a band of military misfits, their spirits persist, ensnaring soldiers left and right to wreak vengeance on … well, men in general.”
Thursday, Oct. 18: A Renegade’s Vision: An Evening of Stan Brakhage Films (Heights Theater)
Stan Brakhage is the granola god of American avant-garde filmmaking. His films were hand-glued, hand-appliqued, hand-baked and otherwise directly created from the outside in, oftentimes eschewing the camera entirely. In his landmark Mothlight, he applied moths’ wings, leaves, stems and blooms directly between two strips of Mylar tape and running it through an optical printer. Later on, his hand-painted technique became increasingly bold and disorienting (at 24 frames per second, it can be downright dizzying), but the Walker’s program focuses a bit more on his earlier, comparatively idyllic works.
Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21: The Front (Trylon Microcinema)
A sleeper classic from the ’70s, The Front features Woody Allen (working here solely as an actor, and not also writer-director) as a ne’er do well bookie who, during the height of 1950s McCarthyism, gets roped into putting his name on television scripts written by his blacklisted writer friends. His newfound success blinds him from the moral dilemma at hand. As the doomed actor and Red sympathizer Hecky Brown, The Producers‘ Zero Mostel pours his blood, sweat and tears into a role that took a page from his own life. It’s a unique and heartbreaking performance.
Friday, Oct. 19 through Thursday, Oct. 25: How To Survive A Plague (Lagoon Theater)
No, the title isn’t another reference to zombies, although the reality behind this documentary is easily more terrifying. Plague presents the history of ACT UP, the activist group that grabbed the American establishment by the loins and forced everyone to give a damn about the growing AIDS epidemic. Militant and inspiring, ACT UP’s actions are also still controversial, especially as one revisits the 1980s rhetoric of politicians like Jesse Helms and comes to realize many of the same sentiments are still being espoused in our current election cycle.