Happy Friday everyone! I hope we all managed to avoid any major catastrophes this week and are about to embark on an enjoyable weekend. Maybe even see a couple of movies :) And this is a light weekend, so I have only a couple of highlights to share. First off, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, my most anticipated movie of the month, begins its week and a half long run at the Roxie tonight. It's time there was actually extended by several days, and its opening night is of course sold out. And did I take my own advice and get tickets early? No. Which means I'll be going by the Little Roxie on another night.
This is a strange week, where the Roxie seems to be supplying us all of our genre screenings, including The Shape of Water, which also kicks off a brief stay at the movie house. There are also a couple of features coming to VOD but they both seem like a gamble, so proceed at your own risk.
Friday 12th & Saturday 13th @ 7pm (1hr 16min)
Sunday 14th @ 6:30pm
Animation/ Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
There is light and beauty, even in the darkest of worlds. Winner of Spain's Goya Award for Best Animated Feature (where the director separately won Best Animated Short Film in the same year), Alberto Vázquez's debut feature is a darkly comic, mind-bending fantasy based on his own graphic novel and award-winning short film. Striking graphic imagery brings to life a discordant world populated by adorable (and adorably disturbed) animated critters, searching for hope and love amid the ruin. Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a dangerous plan to escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has shut himself off from the world, pursued by the police and haunted by demon tormentors. But unbeknownst to anyone, he contains a secret inside him that could change the world forever.
Friday 12th @ 7pm (1hr 52min)
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th @ 8:45pm
A glitzy updating of Andy Warhol's Trash with aliens, this campy, stylish, but ultimately depressing film is one of the most keenly observed portraits of New York's early '80s downtown new wave scene. Anne Carlisle, who co-wrote the script, is terrific in a dual role as the wan lesbian Margaret and her arrogant gay nemesis, Jimmy. Tiny space aliens see Margaret shooting up and choose her to feed their heroin-like addiction to a substance produced in the human brain during sexual climax. Her partners end up vaporized, but since most of them treat her like dirt, Margaret doesn't mind. Meanwhile, a German scientist (Otto von Wernherr) has been tracking the plate-sized alien craft and observes it from the apartment of a horny Jewish woman (Susan Doukas); all the while, he is oblivious to her comic frustration and increasingly blatant sexual advances. Despite the sci-fi elements, considerable humor, cool music, and a gorgeous production design, this is really a film about desperation and ugliness. Other than Von Wernherr and Doukas -- who are outside the punk scene -- the characters all loathe themselves and treat each other horribly. Most of their sex involves rape, and when they die, each seems to be better off. Perhaps the bitter aftertaste of this film explains why it never really caught on as a midnight movie, but it is a dark gem and well worth seeing.
Screening in 35mm on Friday, January 12 featuring a Skype Q&A with director Slava Tsukerman!
Saturday 13th @ 4pm (2hrs 29min)
Sunday 14th @ 3pm
Art House/ Drama (Rotten Tomatoes)
The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration. The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander's, who promises God that he'll give up everything he holds dear--including his beloved 6-year-old son -- if war is averted. Allan Edwall, a local mailman with purported mystical powers, offers to intervene with the Creator on Josephson's behalf. The Sacrifice is so dependent upon its visuals and overall mood that any attempt at a detailed synopsis would be woefully inadequate. The willingness of Tarkovsky's protagonist to forego all his possessions may well have sprung from the cancer-ridden director's awareness that he, too, would soon be giving up everything to face his Maker. The Sacrifice won four awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Grand Prix.
Saturday 13th @ 9:15pm (2hrs)
Drama/ Horror/ Mystery (Rotten Tomatoes)
Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the '60s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.
Available on VOD Friday 12th (1hr 40min)
Horror / Thriller (IMDB)
Young mother-to-be Sarah is trying to rebuild her broken life: recently widowed in a shattering car crash that left her partially deaf, with her baby's birth uncomfortably long overdue and alone, unpacking in unfamiliar surroundings having just moved home. She can only just stay afloat. As night descends on her deserted suburban street, there's an unexpected arrival at the doorstep: Sarah receives a most unwelcome visitor. Alone and carrying her baby, Sarah faces a calculating, cold-hearted and predatory woman--an adversary who will stop at nothing to snatch her unborn child. Trapped and disorientated, barely able to hear the evil that stalks her, Sarah must unleash all her reserves of strength to protect her baby and survive the night. Never underestimate a mother's protective fury!
Available on VOD Friday 12th (1hr 31min)
In 1914, Crestwick, a demonic spirit named Nefas surfaced to prey on a family, ending with the death of an innocent young girl. The mysterious events haunted the mid-western community for years. Now, decades later, a skeptical doctor must stop history from repeating itself by confronting his personal demons and fighting to save the life of a teenage girl who has become possessed in his family's old house.