According to the URL for this blog post, this is the 100th edition of “This Week’s Best Bets.” How time flies when you’re sitting in the dark for an untold number of two-hour chunks. And what better way is there to spend the aftermath of a long election campaign drawing to a close and some of the first snowflakes promising a long, cold, harsh winter ahead?
This weekend kicks off Cine Latino, a film festival put on by the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul that seeks to celebrate movies in Spanish and Portuguese. Here are capsule reviews of a few of the films that caught my eye.
Whether it’s because a new generation of directors weaned on the classics are coming of age or whether it’s because the terrors of real life are informing a newer, nastier breed of them, horror movies have been on a tear in recent years.
Nothing quite says Happy Halloween like a spaghetti western set in Iran featuring a hijab-wearing vampire and a kick-ass soundtrack. Director Ana Lily Amirpour debut is a work of striking confidence and imagination; it’s a draft of life, a vein of new blood. Her work rings of the stuff of David Lynch and Harmony Korine, yet all the weirdness works to open the way for sonorous (and somehow gentle) emotion. Even if you’re allergic to zombies and vampires, this black-and-white gem isn’t one to hold a cross to. Moreover, it’s pretty much perfect that it’s screening Halloween night at the Walker.
Much like comedy, horror is one of the most subjectively-received movie genres out there. Just as you can’t really argue what people think is or isn’t funny, it’s difficult to convince anyone that they’re not scared if they’re squeezing the blood right out of your closest thigh.
The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul is presenting what it calls the “region’s largest celebration of Spanish and Portuguese language film,” and tickets for the general public go on sale Monday.
When the Twin Cities Film Fest, now in its fifth year, organizers pinpointed October as their chosen berth for the buffet of new films, it wasn’t arbitrary. TCFF executive director Jatin Setia said it was a very conscious decision to have the fest appear exactly six months after the more well-established MSPIFF. And, of course, there was one other major reason.
Does your life change, ever so slightly, whenever you happen to hear a song from Elliott Smith’s “Figure 8″? If so, you might want to carve out some time next month to attend Sound Unseen, […]
I feel a little like Dom DeLuise’s Nero in Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I. Only when he yelled, “More wine! More women!” I’m instead yelling, “More horror!” Yes, another October week with a number of scary screening options around town.
Nick Cave, the legendary musician and writer, who was frontman of post-punk band The Birthday Party and currently heads Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is the beating, bleeding, open heart of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film so full of strange set pieces that it feels wrong to call it a documentary.
Basketball. The sport has been around for longer than football, but for whatever reason, there just aren’t anywhere near as many films centered around the sport as there are for football or, especially, baseball. So bear in mind of course that by “ever,” I basically just mean from the last three or four decades.
Check out this week’s best bets from repertory and limited-run screenings!
A colleague of mine noted that David Fincher’s new film Gone Girl completes a trilogy of sorts detailing male-female relationships gone awry (or, perhaps in the case of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, relationships that start at “awry”).
Toward the end of The Last Days in Vietnam, a marine who was part of the evacuation of Saigon describes the terrible episode as the Vietnam War “in microcosm.” That is to say: It had the tragic mix of good intentions and poor leadership that led to broken promises and a country’s demise. Yet, filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s vital and moving documentary on the Fall of Saigon isn’t so much about her pointing a finger, as it is about highlighting the pain, panic, heartbreak, and heroism wound up in those dark days in the spring of 1975.
With this week comes the arrival of October, and you know what that means — it’s my favorite time of year. It’s prime horror movie-watching season! I restrained myself somewhat, and limited this week’s best bets selections to include only two horror-related entries.