You know how it goes when you get back from vacation … you have twice as much on your plate as you did when you left and you curse yourself for even daring to give yourself license to unwind. The maxim holds true for movies as well. I get out of town for seven days and look at all the things I either missed or am in danger of missing in local theaters. This week alone, The Act of Killing, Prince Avalanche and Computer Chess are set to close in a matter of days. That’s to say nothing of the other retrospective screenings that only got or are going to get one showing during this crucial catching up period. But enough about my problems. Here is a list of some of the best limited release options you’ll want to check out this week.
Monday, August 12: In the Pit (Walker Art Center)
The Walker Art Center’s Summer Music & Movies season continues tonight with a performance by distaff hip-hop trio The Chalice, which precedes a screening of In the Pit, a gritty documentary about the human cost of progress. The film details the experiences of laborers constructing Mexico City’s Periferico Beltway. The film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, will be shown at Loring Park.
Wednesday, August 14: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty + The History of Future Folk (Trylon Microcinema)
Sound Unseen brings an exciting two-fer to the Trylon Microcinema this month. Critics have been going mad for Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, an experimental mélange that combines documentary and animation into an intoxicating look into the lines between romance and “friend zone.” The film features original music from Flying Lotus. Also screening on Wednesday is J. Anderson Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker’s The History of Future Folk, a bugged out sci-fi comedy musical, or somewhere in the vicinity. Dee Snider co-stars.
Thursday, August 15: Scarface (Heights Theater)
“Say hello to my little … inferior remake!” I yield to no one in my fandom of director Brian De Palma, but his garish 1983 Scarface is but an ugly, overblown mess compared to Howard Hawks’ economically brutal, rat-a-tat-tat gangster classic, which stars a menacing Paul Muni as Tony Camonte. Lean, mean and absolutely giving no ground to the censors at the Hayes Office, Scarface is one of the towering masterworks of crime cinema.
Friday, August 16 & Saturday, August 17: The Warriors (Uptown Theater)
Expect a bunch of Baseball Furies to come out to plaaaaaay at the Uptown Theater this weekend as one of the greatest cult hits of the ’70s gets a midnight berth. Based very loosely on Xenaphon’s Anabasis, Walter Hill’s funky The Warriors details the efforts of an outcast street gang to get back to their home turf on Coney Island after a peace summit in the Bronx goes awry and the Warriors find themselves blamed for an assassination. Filled with vintage NYC grit, pulsing Barry De Vorzon music and trademark Walter Hill action sequences, The Warriors should be everyone’s Saturday night thing.
Friday, August 16 through Thursday, August 22: Breakin’ + Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (Parkway Theater)
Long overshadowed by its title, which has come to stand as code for “unnecessary sequel,” Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and its antecedent Breakin’ are, if not much else, priceless time capsules for a specific musical moment in American pop culture history, in that vague but richly rewarding period when post-disco comingled with proto-hip-hop. Both boast essential soundtracks — Chaka Khan and the Bar-Kays knocking boots with Ice-T, Carol Lynn Townes and George Kranz’s irresistible “Din Daa Daa.” Catch both in another Parkway double feature.