This week sees the start of both the latest Sound Unseen, one of the most highly-anticipated annual events of the Twin Cities film and music scenes, as well as the astonishingly comprehensive Images of Africa festival at St. Anthony Main. We’ll have previews for both those fests later on this week. If you can find the time between those collective 4 or 5 dozen screenings, consider the following options:
Tuesday, Nov. 12: Elmer Gantry (Trylon Microcinema)
Burt Lancaster huffed and puffed his way to an Oscar win for playing Minnesota author Sinclair Lewis’s charismatic snake oil salesman, a Bible-thumping revivalist who — with shades of The Music Man‘s Harold Hill — captivates provincial small-town Americans until his success starts to garner too much attention. (Appropriately, the future Marion the Librarian from that musical earned an Oscar for Elmer Gantry, playing a prostitute.) Lancaster gives 110 percent, which would be most other people’s 130.
Tuesday, Nov. 12: A Film Unfinished (St. Anthony Main Theatre)
An assemblage, three-quarters of a century after the fact, of footage shot by Nazis in Warsaw and never completed, A Film Unfinished will be presented at St. Anthony Main in partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, The Center for Austrian Studies, European Studies Consortium, Center for Jewish Studies, and the Jewish Community Relations Council to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass.
Wednesday, Nov. 13: Smokey and the Bandit (Theatres at Mall of America)
Movember continues letting its bristles flourish with Burt Reynolds, who did as much as any male celebrity in the bushy ’70s to popularize untamed body hair when he appeared as the nude centerfold in Playgirl Magazine. One of Reynolds’ biggest hits (though arguably far from the best) gets a run at the Mall of America as part of their month-long tribute to the ‘stache.
Wednesday, Nov. 13 & Thursday, Nov. 14: Untamed Heart (Parkway Theater)
After The Mighty Ducks but before Fargo, there was Untamed Heart, a Minneapolis-shot time capsule — Marisa Tomei, Christian Slater, and Rosie Perez form the single most 1993 cast you could even conceive — that you can still see evidence to its existence on display at Pepito’s Restaurant on the south side, at last check. It’s playing at the now Pepito’s-owned Parkway Theater, which is all-too perfect.
Friday, Nov. 15 & Saturday, Nov. 16: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Uptown Theatre)
Marion wielding a frying pan. Melting Nazi heads. “I hate snakes!” In other words, a film that needs no introduction.