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 at the official site links.
Summer is over and the weird movie world is heating up now that blockbuster season is past…
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Challenge (2017): Experimental low-dialogue documentary about the strange hobbies of wealthy Qatari sheiks who converge for a meeting in the desert. In a generally negative review, Variety nonetheless suggests it’s a “non-fictive but scarcely less fantastical (or mannered) equivalent to Matthew Barney’s cinematic oeuvre.” The Challenge U.S. distributor site.
Napping Princess (2017): In the near future a student discovers that the secret to freeing her arrested father may lie in her dreams of a science fantasy kingdom. Light, whimsical anime magic. Napping Princess U.S. distributor site.
FILM FESTIVALS – Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Ont., Canada, 9/7-9/17):
TIFF continues to be one of the world’s major film festivals, even as it continues to evolve and find its own niche in a crowded field. This year, they have narrowed down the slate (from 296 to 255 films) and appear to be focusing more on potential awards contenders, perhaps in an attempt to position themselves as Oscar kingmakers. (Thanks to Variety for recognizing the trend.) Unfortunately, this shift in emphasis means that a few scrappy, weirder films may be the first to be shunted aside for more conventional titles—but there’s still plenty of unusual stuff hiding in the program. Aside form a few titles we’ve noted elsewhere (like s rock opera Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, James Franco’s biopic The Disaster Artist, ‘s The Shape of Water, ‘s mother!, and Palme d’Or winner The Square), here’s what caught our eye:
- All You Can Eat Buddha – A mysterious man performs miracles at a tropical result in this low-key film programmers describe as a “trippy and complex cinematic experience.” Screens Sep. 11-14.
- The Crescent – Hallucinatory horror about a grieving woman and her 2-year old child. Sep. 13-15.
- Gutland – Billed as a “surrealist rural noir,” the scenario involves a German drifter who wanders into a strange village in Luxembourg. Sep 8, 10, 12, 13, 16.
- I Am Not a Witch – Magical realist story about an African girl exiled from her village on suspicion of witchcraft. Sep. 8, 13, 14, 16.
- The Killing of a Sacred Deer – The Lobster‘s ‘ latest reunites him with
- Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez Bronzer les Cadavres) – Gold thieves engage in a shootout with cops in this tribute to Italian poliziotteschi films; doesn’t look as weird as their previous giallo-inspired work, but it’s always interesting to see what Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are up to. Sep. 9, 13, 14, 17.
- Mom and Dad – Pitch black comedy wherein mass hysteria causes parents to hunt their own children; what makes it notable, however, is cranky director again) with ever-hammy . Sep 9, 10, 13, 16. teaming up (
- Motorrad – Brazilian dirt biking kids are hunted by a machete-wielding biker gang; we probably wouldn’t have noticed this one except that the programmers called it “wild and weird” (twice!) Sep. 9, 11, 13, 16.
- Oblivion Verses (Los Versos del Olvido) – An elderly cemetery caretaker sets out to bury a woman killed by the secret police in a world gone mad. Sep. 11, 12,. 13, 15.
- Occidental – Set entirely inside a stylized French hotel, where the arrival of a gay couple sets off a series of absurd xenophobic events. Sep. 9, 10, 14, 16.
- On Body and Soul – Two Hungarian slaughterhouse employees try to recreate the identical recurring dream they share. Sep. 15-17.
- Redoubtable – This biopic portrait of at an artistic crisis point after making 1967’s flop La Chinoise is not weird, but potentially of interest. Sep 9, 14, 15, 17.
- Simulation – Gritty Iranian drama told in reverse chronological order with dreamlike moments. Sep. 12, 14, 17.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Cabin in the Woods (2012): Read our review. There’s nothing new in this Blu of the ultimate meta-horror except for the fact that it’s been updated to a 4K Ultra HD presentation for those with next generation TVs. Buy The Cabin in the Woods [4K Ultra HD Blu-ray].
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Bloomington, IN, 9/8 (midnight) – The Holy Mountain (1973). At Indiana University Cinema.
- New York City, NY, 9/8-9/9 – Stalker (1979). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/9 – Eraserhead (1977). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/11 – Phantom of the Paradise (1974). At Videology Bar & Cinema.
- New York City, NY, 9/13 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). At the Metrograph.
- Pittsburgh, PA, 9/8 – 9/14 – Batman Returns (1992). At Row House Cinema.
- Tuscon, AZ, 9/13 – The Holy Mountain (1973). At the Loft Cinema.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada, 9/8 – Run Lola Run (1998). At the Rio Theater.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada, 9/10 – The Tin Drum (1979). At the Rio Theater.
- Venice, Italy, 9/8 – Zéro de conduite (1933). At Sala Casino, restored for the Venice International Film Festival.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
“toco toco”: toco toco is a professional short documentary series profiling Japanese artists. Their latest offerings should be of interest to our readers: interviews with Robogeisha) and Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police). Both contain clips from these arterial auteurs gory films and therefore come with a “viewer discretion advised” warning. Highly recommended for fans. Watch them free on YouTube: Noboru Iguchi Episode — Yoshihiro Nishimura Episode.gurus (
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.