Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…
Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Woman in the Fifth (2011): Psychological (?) thriller about a down-on-his-luck writer (Ethan Hawke) who meets a mysterious woman while trying to reconnect with his young daughter after a divorce. This looks like one of those stories where it’s hard to tell whether it’s actually weird or not without either seeing it or reading a detailed spoiler-laden review. The Woman in the Fifth official site.
SCREENINGS (Museum of Modern Art, New York City, June 15-18):
UFO in Her Eyes (2011): Chinese authorities try to turn their backwater town into a tourist magnet after a possibly crazy woman reports having seen a UFO. It’s described as “surrealist and ironic” and features Udo Kier as the English-speaking alien. MOMA described this screening as the film’s “U.S. premier”; we can’t find any mention of it playing on anywhere after it finishes this run. UFO in Her Eyes at MOMA.
FILM FESTIVALS: LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL (June 14-24, Los Angeles, CA):
In the summer interval between Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, we keep coming across smaller film fests that have slates full of movies that didn’t make it to the bigger venues. Although we noticed some familiar titles at the LAFF—like the Southern-fired prehistoric monster apocalypse film Beasts of the Southern Wild, the 366-fave demented short Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, and the impressionistic art-school infatuation piece An Oversimplification of Her Beauty—we noticed several new (and a few retro) names popping up that may be worth keeping an eye out for.
- The Banishment (2007) – Read Eugene Vasiliev’s lengthy analysis of The Banishment. This seldom-screened, dreamlike Russian drama about a man who finds his wife is pregnant with another man’s child plays as part of the “Films That Got Away” series. Screening June 24.
- The Compass is Carried by the Dead Man [La Brújula la lleva el Muerto] (2011) – A thirteen-year old Mexican boy tries to make it across a “subtly surreal desert landscape” in his quest to reach Chicago. June 16 & 18.
- Crazy and Thief (2012) – Cory McAbee pauses work on his long-delayed opus Werewolf Hunters of the Midwest to deliver this color film in which two kids search for a cardboard time machine by following a homemade star chart. June 17 & 19.
- The History of Future Folk (2012) – Two aliens are distracted from their plans to conquer Earth when they fall in love with bluegrass music and decide to form a band. June 15 & 17.
- A Night Too Young [Prílis Mladá Noc] (2012) -Two thirteen year old boys are invited to an adult party and watch the grown-up’s strange behavior with wide-eyed amazement. June 17-18.
- P-047 (2011) – From Thailand comes this tale of two young adults who break into other people’s apartments while they’re away for a lark. With fantasy sequences, it’s described by LAFF organizers as “mind-bending.” June 20 & 24.
- The Science of Sleep (2006) – Read the Certified Weird entry. Los Angelinos can treat themselves to this special screening of Michel Gondry‘s Certified Weird dream romance tonight only (June 15) at 7:30 PST.
NEW ON DVD:
Accident (2009): A Hong Kong killer nicknamed “the Brain” who assassinates targets by staging “accidents” turns paranoid and assumes someone is trying to kill him in the same fashion. Weirdness is uncertain but it’s described as one of those “reality or delusion?” movies. Buy Accident.
Don’t Go In The Woods (2010): An indie band goes into the woods and gets killed. This “slasher/musical” debut from Vincent D’Onfrio has been manhandled by critics and audiences alike, but the more we hear about it the more we suspect it might be somewhat surreal, even if only in a “so bad its weird” way. Buy Don’t Go In The Woods.
Harold and Maude (1971): Read the reader recommendation. The black comedy cult classic about the love affair between a death-obsessed teenager and an elderly holocaust survivor gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves. Buy Harold and Maude (Criterion Collection).
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Accident (2009): See description in DVD above. Buy Accident [Blu-ray].
The Dark Crystal (1982)/Labyrinth (1986): Read our capsule reviews of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. A nice double-Blu of Jim Henson’s two oh-so-nearly-weird children’s puppet show fantasies. With an art booklet from designer/art director Brian Froud. Buy The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth [Blu-ray].
Harold and Maude (1971): See description in DVD above. Buy Harold and Maude [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Goth (2003): The synopsis promises it will “blur the boundaries between reality-driven horror and the hallucinatory style of ‘Requiem For a Dream.'” Maybe, maybe not, but it definitely delivers lots of skulls and candles, bad gore effects, stilted line deliveries, and topless girls in black lipstick. According to this film,there are three rules to being goth: “embrace the darkness, kill your fear, and live for death.” Ironically, these are also the first three planks of Mitt Romney’s campaign platform. Watch Goth free on YouTube.
What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.