Friday, January 6, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): A Monster Calls, Videofilia, Viva

Hey guys, happy Friday ☺ It's a weird kind of weekend we have coming towards us; there isn't too much horror, exactly, but a lot of sci-fi and adjacent genres screening in the bay area. A Monster Calls gets a wide release today. From what I can tell, it would be a cool thing to take an unsqueamish kid to. I get a kind of Where the Wild Things Are vibe from it, but I could be wrong. The Castro Theatre will be showing David Bowie double features in order to pay tribute to hos birthday, which would have been Sunday. Also on Sunday, the Roxie Theatre will be showing a collection of Anna Biller's (The Love Witch) short films, as well as her previous movie, Viva. Both screenings will be followed by a Skype interview with Ms. Biller.

Opening Today

A Monster Calls (2017)
Opens Friday 6th (1hr 38min)
Comedy/ Drama/ Sci-Fi
A visually spectacular drama from director J.A. Bayona ("The Impossible"). 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Toby Kebbell plays Conor's father, and Liam Neeson stars in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting Monster of the title.

Alien (1979)
Friday 6th @ 7:30pm (1hr 57min)
Horror/ Scifi (IMDB)
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.


Lifeforce (1985)
Friday 6th @ 9:40pm (1hr 40min)
Action/ Horror/ Sci-fi (RottenTomatoes)
When alien vampires terrorize London, it's up to a determined police inspector and an astronaut to stop them. American and British space travelers discover humanoids while exploring near Halley's Comet. The astronauts bring three of these aliens aboard their spaceship and head back to earth. However, their guests turn out to be evil vampires who kill all but one of the astronauts -- Carlsen. After the ship arrives in London, the monsters -- led by a beautiful female -- escape and wreak havoc throughout the city, transforming humans into zombies. Meanwhile, the surviving astronaut and Caine, a determined police inspector, frantically try to track down the creatures, and destroy them. But the "Space Girl" has a strange hold over Carlsen, and he has trouble fighting the urge to join her.

Bowis's Birthday Weekend

Labyrinth (1986)
Saturday 7th @ 7:30pm (1hr 41min)
Action/ Cult/ Fantasy (RottenTomatoes)
Fifteen-year-old Sarah resents her baby brother Toby and secretly wishes that he will just disappear. Her wish comes true when goblins kidnap the boy. Feeling responsible and guilty about his abduction, she sets forth to retrieve him, and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. To rescue her brother, she must sneak into the castle of the Goblin King, which is in the center of a fantastical labyrinth. But, the task is easier said than done, for the maze is filled with strange creatures and mind-bending puzzles, and nothing is really as it seems.


Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
Saturday 7th @ 9:25pm (1hr 30min)
Documentary/ Music (IMDB)
Documentarian D.A. Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back) focuses his lens on a 1973 concert by David Bowie and his glam-rock backing band, the performance of which would be the last for his androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The live show is augmented by brief backstage footage but the focus is on the jams — everything from hits to album cuts to Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground covers.

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Sunday 8th @ 2pm & 7pm (2hrs 28min)
Drama/ Sci-Fi/ Fantasy (RottenTomatoes)
Space alien (Bowie) crash lands on Earth, seeking help for his drought-stricken planet. By securing patents to advanced technology, he becomes a fabulously wealthy industrialist. However, money and its attendant decadence ultimately exert a stronger gravitational pull. Bowie seemed perfectly cast as the space traveller, and the film further cemented director Roeg's status as one of the most unique filmmakers of the 1970's. Originally cut by 20 minutes in its 1976 US release, this anniversary presentation is the complete version.


Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Sunday 8th @ 4:35pm & 9:35pm (2hrs 3min)
Drama/ War (IMDB)
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence was the first English-language project of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (Death by Hanging, In the Realm of the Senses). In tune with his previous filmic essays on racism and brutality, Merry Christmas concentrates on a war of wills between rebellious POW David Bowie and camp commandant Ryuichi Sakomoto. Assuming that his other prisoners' unwillingness to protest their cruel treatment is a sign of weakness, Sakomoto is most impressed by Bowie's enigmatic defiance. While Bowie and Sakomoto seem to be operating on a high spiritual and intellectual plane, bilingual prisoner Tom Conti (the "Mr. Lawrence" of the title) engages in a more standard adversarial relationship with sadistic sergeant Takeshi Kitano.

Friday 6th & Saturday 7th @ 7pm (1hr 52min)
Sunday 8th @ 8pm
Art House/ Comedy/ Drama/ Sci-Fi (RottenTomatoes)
VIDEOFILIA (and Other Viral Syndromes) begins with a teenage misfit spending her first days out of school slacking, experimenting with drugs and cyberspace. She meets Junior online. He's an aspiring amateur porn dealer, who's into conspiracy theories and is convinced that the Mayan Apocalypse is happening. Once they meet in the 'real world,' a series of bizarre events unfold in this contemporary non-love story portraying postmodern Lima as a glitchy computer virus full of corruption, psychedelia and ancient ruins.

Director Juan Daniel F. Molero IN PERSON for Q&A after 7pm show on Friday, 1/6, 
and after 7pm show on Saturday, 1/7
Related image

Sunday 8th @ 3:30pm (1hr 38min)

16mm, 1994, 26 min.

16mm, 2001, 45 min.

16mm, 2001, 27 min.

Followed by a Skype Q&A with Anna Biller

Sunday 8th @ 6:30pm (2hrs)
Art House/ Comedy/ Drama (RottenTomatoes)
Before THE LOVE WITCH, Anna Biller made VIVA. Sharing its sucessor’s sumptuous colors, impeccable costuming and sets while shedding a new light on the swinging lifestyles of the sexploitation era, VIVA is an impeccably recreated romp through a lost era of film, sharp, fun and kinky.
Abandoned by her perfect Ken-doll husband, Barbi is dragged into trouble by her girlfriend, who spouts women’s lib as she gets Barbi to discard her bra and go out on the town. Barbi becomes a Red Riding Hood in a sea of wolves, and quickly learns a lot more than she wanted to about the different kinds of scenes going on in the wild ’70’s, including nudist camps, the hippie scene, orgies, bisexuality, sadism, drugs, and bohemia.

Followed by a Skype Q&A with Anna Biller


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