Well, the snow is back once again, so for at least one more week you can expect to not be spending much time enjoying the great outdoors, unless you’ve got a pair of snowshoes. For everyone else, there’s always the option of trying something offbeat in the comfort of a heated movie theater. Here are some of my favorite options this week around town:
Monday, March 4: Gilda (Heights Theater)
The book that somehow eventually became the top-ranked movie of all time over at the IMDB was originally titled Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. This is the movie that informed the other, less well-known half of that title. Rita Hayworth stars as the title character, a femme fatale who, as the posters screamed, “there never was a woman like.” Check out the original to see what exactly it was that drove Morgan Freeman and the rest of the convicts at Shawshank wild about the way Hayworth tossed her hair back, and see what that gesture does to the men Gilda deals with directly.
Monday, March 4 & Tuesday, March 5: Neighboring Sounds (Trylon Microcinema)
Trylon Microcinema kicks off a particularly strong month of local premieres with director Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds, a darkly expressive Brazilian drama about the inhabitants of a coastal town who are given to varying levels of paranoia, mainly stemming from their economic inequities. The sell-line might very well be “sex, lies and videotape as if ghost directed by Robert Altman in his 3 Women horror-vague period,” but that hardly serves as an accurate description of its rolling, sonically active sense of dread.
Tuesday, March 5: Supporting Characters (St. Anthony Main Theater)
Screening at the St. Anthony Main Theater as part of the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival (more on that later this week), Supporting Characters stars the HBO series Girls‘ Alex Karpovsky as one of a pair of best friends who are recruited to save a troubled film production, only to find their own relationships in jeopardy as a result. (Lena Dunham, the star of Girls, also makes an appearance.)
Wednesday March 6 & Thursday, March 7: Z Fest (Riverview Theater)
Prizes, awards, glory and bragging rights go to the winners of the fourth annual Z Fest at the Riverview Theater. The fest encourages teams to create their own 7-minute films (as well as an accompanying 30-second trailer) about anything they want. All qualifying films will be presented this Wednesday and Thursday, and the best of the fest will be screened next week at the Theatres at the Mall of America, which is where the contest winners will also be announced. More information can be found here. Also, take a moment to vote for the best trailer at the Z Fest Facebook page.
Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10: Shoot the Piano Player (Trylon Microcinema)
François Truffaut’s first feature film The 400 Blows was perhaps a bit more focused and sentimental than the French New Wave seemingly required. His follow-up, Shoot the Piano Player, went all in on the tropes of the movement, and the result was the loosest, jazziest film of his entire career. The story of a classical pianist (Charles Aznavour) caught up with gangsters and a dame oftentimes comes off like Truffaut trading fours with Jean-Luc Godard. It’s not a comfortable fit, but it makes for a compelling test case. Years later, Godard and Truffaut would have a major falling out, leaving only movies like this behind to indicate their former proximity.