Yes, we’re in a little bit of a movie lull right now. As Natalie Kane reported this morning, last weekend marked the year’s worst so far at the box-office, and it’s hardly surprising given how little there seems to be out there. Oh, except for that there’s tons once you get past the multiplex.
Here are five suggestions for the next seven days:
Monday, Sept. 10: Beauty Is Embarrassing (Trylon Microcinema)
Pee-Wee aficionados should not miss this documentary on artist Wayne White, who was one of the guiding forces behind the wonky, kitschy, zonked look of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Whit himself comes off as something like an overgrown kid packrat with an acute sense of self-awareness, and his creations — as, for instance, Peter Gabriel’s super-stuffed music video for “Big Time” — retain that spirit. Includes salient observations from fellow wonk artist Matt (“The Simpsons”) Groening.
Wednesday, Sept. 12: The Sound of Small Things (Trylon Microcinema)
The second Wednesday of the month can only mean one thing: it’s time for this month’s Sound Unseen selection. This month, the music comes from Minneapolis’s own Peter McLarnan, the director of The Sound of Small Things. With some help from local musicians Switzerlind, McLarnan’s film shows the marital tensions brewing between a drummer and his deaf wife. I wrote a little bit more about the movie during this spring’s MSPIFF.
Thursday, Sept. 12: The Day the Earth Stood Still (Heights Theater)
Michael Rennie was ill The Day the Earth Stood Still, according to that pair of disembodied lips welcoming you to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I wonder how many of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s Transylvanian minions have actually taken the time to check out director Robert Wise’s intergalactic Jesus parable. Have you? If the words “Klaatu barada nikto” mean nothing to you, then you should probably check out one of sci-fi’s seminal liberal texts.
Friday, Sept. 14: The Story of Film: An Odyssey (Walker Art Center)
Cinema is more than 100 years old now. Looking to catch up in a hurry? Look no further than critic Mark Cousins’ beyond epic documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, which draws from 1,000 different clips and interviews with tons of film personalities, all in service of distilling the entire history of film down into 15 hour-long segments. Those 15 parts will be presented this weekend (starting on Friday and lasting through Sunday) and, afterward, on a piece-by-piece basis through December.
Saturday, Sept. 15: Sansho the Bailiff (Trylon Microcinema)
Like I wrote last week, “all month long, the Trylon is presenting films from one of the greatest Japanese directors ever.” It was the case last week, it is the case this week, and it will be the case every week thereafter. This week, the Trylon is presenting what many would call his very supreme masterpiece, Sansho the Bailiff. It’s not to be missed.