Too late to wrap up Halloween horror movies, too early to break out your yuletide holiday fare. However, it’s the perfect time to start catching up on some offbeat classics and cult fare before the year-end holiday crush begins in earnest. (I’m not kidding. I screened no less than three movies last Thursday alone.)
Here are some of the best screening options for the next seven days:
Monday, Nov. 12: The Misfits (Riverview Theater)
It’s both ironic and sad that Marilyn Monroe’s swan song came at the hands of machismo-obsessed director John Huston, working from a screenplay by Monroe’s then-husband Arthur Miller about a divorcee caught between two studs — sad that a star who so clearly commanded the center of attention would get her send-off surrounded by grunts, and ironic that the movie’s famously torturous production resulted in Monroe and Miller’s own divorce. Monroe said of Clift that “he’s the only person I know who is in even worse shape than I am,” but not only a few years later, Clift was the only one of the three leads from The Misfits still alive (albeit for only another additional few years).
Wednesday, Nov. 14 through Thursday, Nov. 22: The Connection (Trylon Microcinema)
Take-Up Productions has filled their calendar this week with screenings of Shirley Clarke’s grim, prowling drama The Connection, all in service of not only elevating the film, which was adapted from Jack Gelber’s off-Broadway play about heroin addicts, from its underground status — it was initially barred from being screened in the same New York City in which it takes place — but also to raise some dough for Sound Unseen, KBEM, and (on Give to the Max Day) for the Trylon Microcinema itself. Watch addicts slowly kill themselves on dope to the strains of Freddie Redd and Jackie McLean’s jazz score, and help the Trylon get a new marquee. Win-win.
Thursday, Nov. 15: Tom Wolfe Gets Back To Blood (Heights Theater)
Enough about the white suit, already! Well, OK, maybe a little more. Twentieth-century American literature’s favorite fashion icon hits the streets of Miami in this documentary portrait to do some research for his new novel Back to Blood, and as an added bonus, he shops for white, off-white, seersucker, ivory, ecru, shell, powder, azure, creamy beige, bone and antique white suit jackets. It’s called investigative reporting!
Friday, Nov. 16 through Thursday, Nov. 15: Somewhere Between (St. Anthony Main)
Four young Chinese girls take a long hard look at their origins in this documentary covering the repercussions of China’s one-child-per-family policy, and in particular what it does for those who are adopted to American families. At one point, one of the four girls explains that she sees herself as a banana: “yellow on the outside, white on the inside.” Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, who has herself adopted a Chinese girl, Somewhere Between benefits from the engaging presence of its central quartet.
Saturday, Nov. 17: Regis Dialogue: Claire Denis with Eric Hynes (Walker Art Center)
Claire Denis takes the stage at the Walker this weekend to talk about her impressive filmography, which critic Kent Jones says makes her the foremost candidate to take the crown as the new century’s foremost filmmaker. For the last few weeks, the Walker has been presenting a retrospective of all but a couple of her films (poor Friday Night), and the celebration reaches its climax this Saturday. Read more about her films in our earlier movie blog, with capsules written by Jonathon Sharp and myself.