Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets
Yes, we’re now in June, the primetime for summer offerings. Every weekend brings at least one hopeful blockbuster, if not a few. This weekend was all about Maleficent, but the rest of the month more or less belongs to the men. Or does it? Well, for starters, among the many new or new-adjacent offerings at Landmark Theaters, one to maybe check out is François Ozon’s uneasy tale of a teen girl, Young and Beautiful. (Here’s Jonathon Sharp’s review from last Friday.) Meanwhile, the battle royale between a simple Kansas girl and battling witches is getting a screening at the Heights. Of course, the Trylon is also devoting this month to the most “manny” of male stars of the ’70s, so your Bechdel test mileage may vary. Here are this week’s best bets:
Monday, June 2 & Tuesday, June 3: Charlie Victor Romeo (Trylon Microcinema)
Charlie Victor Romeo is a recreation of six different airline emergencies as “scripted” by actual cockpit voice recorder transcripts, offering a unique but still nerve-wracking examination of those heated moments — like a binge-watch of Mayday episodes filtered through Lars Von Trier’s Dogville.
Wednesday, June 4 through Sunday, June 8: Out Twin Cities Film Festival (Theaters at Mall of America)
Celebrating five years, the Out Twin Cities Film Festival is honoring the LGBTQ community with a full slate of films and shorts at Theaters at Mall of America. Among this year’s selections is the local premiere for To Be Takei, a documentary look at the life and times of Star Trek alum and Facebook news feed superstar George Takei. The opening night selection is The Rugby Player, a documentary about the heroic actions of Mark Bingham, the openly gay athlete who was among those who fought to take back control of United 93 from 9/11 hijackers. And there are a few frothier, more prurient options to consider as well, including the My Best Friend’s Wedding spin of The 10 Year Plan, and the potentially down-and-dirty likes of Power Erotic and Folsom Forever. There’s also a family-friendly slate of selections too, so come one come all.
Thursday, June 5: The Wizard of Oz (Heights Theater)
I still love how easy it is to pick apart this movie — which was clearly assembled by committee during the peak of the Hollywood studio system — for any and every sneaky subtext that might be lurking underneath the surface. Some think it’s a parable for the diaspora from Oakland during the Dust Bowl, others are pretty sure it’s a parable for post-New Deal populism. (More on that here.) And others still think it serves as the pre-retroactive accompaniment to a certain Pink Floyd album. For once, set that all aside and enjoy the movie for the machine-tooled entertainment powerhouse it always was and always will be. Of practically any movie from the legendary year 1939 (which the Heights is paying tribute to this summer), The Wizard of Oz is the one that truly needs no introduction … and arguably no annotations.
Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8: The French Connection (Trylon Microcinema)
Kicking off a month-long look at arguably the finest American actor of the 1970s, Trylon this weekend presents the gritty, grimy crime thriller that arguably helped cement the decade’s trend of feel-bad “I Hate NYC” realism. Gene Hackman stars as Popeye Doyle, an unscrupulous, loose cannon police officer tracking with maniacal obsession a heroin-shipping ring from out of Marseilles. The movie’s downbeat, cynical default mode were a product of their turbulent times, but they’ve helped the film endure as a genre classic even as its now somewhat quaint chase sequence (hailed at the time of its release as the best of its kind ever) has taken a back seat to hundreds of other more elaborate action showpieces.
Friday, June 6 through Thursday, June 12: The Dance of Reality (Uptown Theater)
Cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky (who just recently was at the center of a documentary depicting his failed attempts to get an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune off the ground) sets his sights on his own past, detailing his childhood growing up in coastal Chile the son of a Communist militant and a doting, eccentric mother. Jonathon Sharp should be reviewing the film later this week, so keep an eye out for that.