Weekend: A Tribe Called Doc
A Sampling of the Latest Releases
Saturday, January 7 • 7, 9:45; Sunday at 3 • 126m
Takashi Miike, 2011 • The era of the samurai is waning. The evil Lord Naritsugu, younger brother of the Shogun, kills and rapes at will. Hired in secret by a senior government official, veteran samurai Shinzaemon and his 11 assassins (joined by a mysterious hunter named Kiga Koyata) are the only true, loyal warriors with the ability and will to stop Naritsugu and his elite guard of 200. Cult director Takashi Miike is in master form, helming the finest film of his career: a mystical, challenging, and thrilling period piece culminating in a cinematic battle sequence that rivals even Seven Samurai.
Saturday, January 14 • 7, 9:30; Sunday at 4 • 117m
The Skin I Live In
Pedro Almodóvar, 2011 • Almodóvar’s newest masterpiece is filled with the themes that have marked his recent work. Sexuality and love, mothers and daughters, identity and misrepresentation all reappear here. But the mood is darker, the drama more twisted. A plastic surgeon, played with sinister appeal by Antonio Banderas, imprisons, observes, and obsesses over a patient with a mysterious past. The story jumps backwards and moves forwards, revealing the shared history of doctor and patient and complicating their relationship in the present. By the film’s end, no one is left fully sane, no one is whole, and no one is intact.
Saturday, January 21 • 7, 9; Sunday at 3 • 98m
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Michael Rapaport, 2011 • Formed in Queens, New York in the mid 1980’s, A Tribe Called Quest pioneered rap music with their innovative fusion of hip hop and jazz, recording some of the finest albums ever made along the way. Rapaport traces the influence of the group on the music spectrum, from the effects of their masterpiece The Low End Theory through the group’s genre-challenging use of positive, Afrocentric lyrics. Highly stylized and unquestionably funky, Beats, Rhymes & Life is a movie about truth and integrity.
Saturday, January 28 • 7, 9:45; Sunday at 3 • 133m
Bennett Miller, 2011 • A movie about number-crunching disciples of “sabermetrics”, a system of baseball statistical analysis? You might think, "Wow. They've created something even more boring to watch than baseball!" But you'd be wrong. More Seven Samurai than Field of Dreams, Moneyball is the story of odd couple Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), General Manager of the low-budget Oakland A's, and Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a Yale-educated Econ major with a picture of Plato hanging over his bed. Together, they’ll find a way to win this “unfair game”. With a sharp screenplay co-written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Moneyball is perfect for baseball lovers, Yankee haters, and normal people who just love a great story.
Saturday, February 4 • 7, 9:15; Sunday at 3 • 121m
Jeff Nichols, 2011 • Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon in a career-defining performance) is living a good life in suburban Ohio. He has a house and a daughter and a wife (the flawless Jessica Chastain) who loves him. He’s happy, satisfied, content. And then his dreams start, and then his life falls apart. Take Shelter is a vivid portrait of a breakdown, an allegorical tale about middle-class middle America in the middle of a recession, and an edge-of-your-seat, heart-stopping, ready-to-burst-into-tears-at-any-moment thriller. You’ll leave the theatre sweaty, provoked, and mesmerized.
Saturday, February 11 • 7 (part one), 9:15 (part two) • 212m
World on a Wire
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973 • Somewhere in the future, a supercomputer hosts a project called Simulacron that simulates an artificial world of 8,000 “identity units” who live as human beings, unaware that their world is artificial. When project leader Henry Vollmer dies, his successor Dr. Fred Stiller experiences some odd phenomena. Could Simulacron have something to do with it? Originally shot in 16mm and made for German television, Fassbinder’s lost sci-fi odyssey is presented here in a new 35mm print from Janus.
Saturday, February 18 • 7, 9; Sunday at 3:30 • 105m
Into the Abyss
Werner Herzog, 2011 • In 2001, Sandra Stotler, her son, and her son's friend were murdered simply because two Texas teenagers, Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, wanted a red Camaro. Perry was sentenced to death for his crimes and Burkett to life. Herzog interviews the killers (Perry, eight days before his death), the victims' families, Burkett's incarcerated father, the woman who married Burkett in prison, along with those working in the Texas death industry. The film is profound in odd moments, as when the death row chaplain speaks and weeps about the squirrels he almost hit with his golf cart. "Tell me about the squirrel," Herzog implores.
Saturday, February 25 • 7, 9; Sunday at 3 • 90m
John Turturro, 2010 • Passione traces the musical history of Naples, Italy, from its roots in European, Arabic, and African music through traditional Neapolitan Song and into the modern day. Employing archival footage to invoke the past as well as many modern performances, Passione is an eloquent tribute to the power, history, and culture of music. The songs, and performers, are allowed to speak for themselves, with Turturro gently guiding the film, never a forceful narrator. But no homework will be collected, and no professorial indulgence is required. Sit back and simply absorb the emotion and excitement of Passione.
Saturday, March 3 • 7, 9:45; Sunday at 3 • 136m
Lars Von Trier, 2011 • A depressing film about depression, Melancholia was conceived, not surprisingly, while Lars himself was depressed. Divided into two acts and set to Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, the film focuses on the psychological drama that unfolds between two sisters (played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourgh) after one of them is wed. As a rogue planet, Melancholia, threatens to collide with earth, both characters begin to experience eerie and fatalistic feelings of calm before the storm. The surreal gradually folds in on the real, offering insight into the complex mechanics of the human psyche.
Saturday, March 10 • 7, 9; Sunday at 4 • 100m
Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011 • Your boyfriend Ryan “Baby Goose” Gosling plays a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver for hire in this neon-lit tone poem slash action film. At times almost ethereal, Drive’s sparse dialogue and haunting photography—not to mention its truly incredible 80’s-esque electro-pop soundtrack—combine to fill the space of the film with a strangely palpable sense of emotion. Ryan Gosling gives a stellar performance, as does Carey Mulligan, playing his neighbor and love interest. Drive received a 15-minute standing ovation when it premiered at Cannes, and won Nicholas Winding Refn the Best Director award.
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