Monday, January 8, 2018

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Contamination, The Thing That Couldn't Die, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children

This is going to be a great week; not only are Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday back, two of the movies I've been really excited for are both screening in the next five days! First the Super Shangri-La Show returns to the Balboa Theatre for a Dowsing double feature on Wednesday, which consists of the water seeking episode of In Search Of..., followed by The Thing That Couldn't Die. I've been thinking about that title for weeks now. The stills I've seen from the film are all insane! The other movie on my list starts a short run at the Roxie Theatre this Friday and I was beyond relieved to find that out. This film combines multiple elements that I love into one finished package and I was dreading having to wait and hunt it down. I'm talking about the adorable and ominous French animated film Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. It's playing in the Little Roxie each time, so get tickets early!

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 9th @ 9:30pm (1hr 35min)
Horror/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
A former astronaut helps a government agent and a police detective track the source of mysterious alien pod spores, filled with lethal flesh-dissolving acid, to a South American coffee plantation controlled by alien pod clones.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 10th @ 9:30pm (1hr 26min)
Fantasy/ Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
A cornerstone of Indonesian horror! A true-blue genre classic! Cathy, a young Australian girl, travels abroad to write a paper on black magic rituals. After meeting up with a Leak - a cackling queen of black magic - problems arise for our intrepid international overachiever. Problems like vomiting insects. Problems like turning into a wild boar. Problems like keeping her head on and her internal organs internal. Problems like flying away into the night night to suck fetuses from the womb. Go ahead, re-read that last line. If that doesn't hook you, nothing will. Truly gonzo over-the-top action and, uh, "interprative" dubbing gurantees your jaw is stapled to the floor for the total running time of MYSTICS IN BALI. We haven't even mentioned the warlock battle straight outta THE SWORD AND THE STONE.

Super Shangri-La Show

Wednesday 10th @ 7:30pm (30min)
Documentary/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
Are you a water dowser? If not, these are basically people who can use an object (usually a stick) and point it to the ground where they will eventually find water buried. We get to hear from scientists as well as a couple people who have the ability to locate water underground.


Wednesday 10th @ 8pm (1hr 9min)
Horror (IMDB)
A psychic young woman with a talent for divining discovers a centuries-old human head in this low-budget horror film. The head turns out to be rather lively and hypnotizes the woman into helping him look for the rest of his body.

David Bowie's 71st Birthday
Double Feature

Labyrinth (1986)
Monday 8th @ 7pm (1hr 41min)
Adventure/ Fantasy (IMDB)
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.


The Hunger (1983)
Monday 8th @ 9pm (1hr 40min)
Fantasy/ Horror/ Romance (IMDB)
"John (David Bowie) is the lover of the gorgeous immortal vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), and he's been led to believe that he'll live forever, too. Unfortunately, he quickly deteriorates into a horrible living death, and Miriam seeks a new companion. She soon sets her sights on Sarah (Susan Sarandon), a lovely young scientist, who quickly falls under Miriam's spell. However, Sarah doesn't warm up to the concept of vampirism easily, leading to conflict with Miriam."

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Wednesday 10th @ 2:30pm & 7pm (1hr 55min)
Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback. The screenwriter believes he can manipulate her, but he soon finds out he is wrong. The screenwriters ambivalence about their relationship and her unwillingness to let go leads to a situation of violence, madness, and death.


The Player (1992)
Wednesday 10th @ 4:35pm & 9:05pm (2hrs 4min)
Comedy/ Crime/ Drama (Rotten Tomatoes)
Robert Altman's provocative satire of the movie industry stars Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, an unscrupulous Hollywood studio executive who finds himself threatened not only by up-and-comer Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher) but by the stranger sending out postcards calling for Mill's death. Having concluded that the mysterious correspondent is screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose film treatment Mill rejected, the producer arranges a meeting that ends with Mill killing Kahane, resulting in a murder investigation.

Tuesday 9th @ 9:05pm (1hr 3min)
Wednesday 10th @ 9:20pm
Mystery (IMDB)
Commissioned by SFFILM, THE GREEN FOG is a visual collage by cultural iconoclast Guy Maddin and co-directors Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson, with an original score recorded by Kronos Quartet and composed by Jacob Garchik.
Director Guy Maddin's interpretation of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo, pieced together using footage from old films and television shows shot in and around the San Francisco area.

Thursday 11th @ 6:30pm (2hrs 29min)
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.

Nippon Nights

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973)
Thursday 11th @ 9:15pm (1hr 27min)
Crime/ Drama/ Thriller (IMDB)
Following her successful prison break at the end of Joshu Sasori Dai 41 Zakkyobou, Scorpion (Meiko Kaji) begins this third episode in the series hiding in a brothel. Her prostitute friend tries to keep her identity secret, but the brothel's madam discovers that Scorpion is the ex-girlfriend of the vice officer who killed her lover. Torture follows, as the madam's lover was a member of the Yakuza, and his thuggish cohorts frame Scorpion and get her re-arrested. This was the final film in the series for director Shunya Ito, but Kaji returned one more time in Joshu Sasori 701-go Urami Bushi (1973). 

Opens Friday 12th (1hr 16min)
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)
Sci-Fi (IMDB)
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!


No comments:

Post a Comment