WEIRD HORIZON FOR 7/2/2021

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Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS(Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France, July 6-17):

Cannes is an odd duck. Not known as a “weird-friendly” festival—movies like ‘s Crash and Antichrist have been famously hooted at by Cannes crowds who were having none of that—it aims to flatter the mainstream arthouse crowd with middle-of-the-road dramas. Cannes programmers typically revel in the dry, the conventional, and the pompous; Cannes’ juries’ tastes resemble those of Academy Awards voters, but with an even higher premium placed on boringness. Still, many years, an unusual film will sneak it’s way onto the card and Cannes debut may even end up Certified Weird: most recently, 2012’s Holy Motors.

This year looks like stranger cinema is well-represented, however, with three movies from established weird directors appearing on the card, and a number of possible outsiders waiting in the wings. Movies at Cannes may either be screened “in competition” for the big prize, the Palm D’or; screen out-of-competition; or be entered in the “Un Certain Regard” section (a sort of also-ran competition for films that are either from first time directors, or are considered too daring or different to have a shot at the Palme d’Or).

Here’s what we would be keeping tabs on if we were in Cannes next week:

  • Annette returns with a musical (words and music by Sparks) wherein and give birth to a daughter with mysterious powers. Opening the festival.
  • Memoria‘s first English-language film stars the dependably odd as a Scottish woman traveling in Colombia who “begins to hear strange sounds.” In competition.
  • Vortex – There’s no real plot synopsis available, but Gaspar Noé‘s latest stars and concerns an elderly couple’s final days. Out of competition.

In longer-shot territory, there’s Bendetta, a Paul Voorhoven joint about lesbian nuns; a entry titled France with no plot synopsis; Titane, ‘s horrific followup to Raw;  a new one from ; Tralala, a French musical comedy playing in the “midnight” section about a homeless musician who sees a vision of the Virgin Mary; and a slew of “Un Certain Regard” offerings from directors whose names we do not (yet) recognize. There’s also restorations of Mulholland Drive and the rarely-seen Czech New Wave movie The Cassandra Cat (1963). All-in-all, it’s a promising bounce-back for the most prestigious film festival of all.

Cannes Film Festival home page (English)

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

A Dim Valley (2020): A threesome of university biologists on a field survey in the Appalachians encounter three mysterious female backpackers. Described as “quirky,” but a character in the trailer does say “this is weird… I’m very confused.” Looks like it may only play theatrically in NYC and LA, at least initially, so a VOD release later this year seems like your best bet. A Dim Valley official Facebook page.

STREAMING:

The Criterion Channel July Animation: First, they put up a Doris Wishman movie. Now, the Criterion Channel is again upping its game with a slate of July features celebrating animation—with a focus on weird animation. This month they will be adding the following Canonically Weird movies to their service: Belladonna of Sadness (1973), Fantastic Planet [La Planète Sauvage] (1973), Alice [Neco Z Alenky] (1988), Mind Game (2004), Paprika (2006), Waltz with Bashir (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011). They’re also adding the Apocryphally Weird films The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [Baron Prásil] (1962) and The Wolf House (2018). If that’s not enough, there’s a number of other movies we’ve featured on these pages, including ‘s Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955) and Invention for Destruction (1958), ‘s Watership Down (1978) and The Plague Dogs (1982), ‘s Faust (1994), A Town Called Panic (2009), Mary and Max (2009), The Rabbi’s Cat (2011), and even Son of the White Mare (1981)? Of their 31 selections, we previously reviewed more than half of them—it’s like they’re using 366 Weird Movies as a crib sheet for new acquisitions!

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

George Washington (2000): A group of small town children have a secret to cover up. Previously on DVD (and in our reader-suggested queue), the Criterion Collection upgrades this to Blu-ray this week. Buy George Washington.

Memories (1995): An anthology of three short science fiction anime films, all adaptations of stories (Ohtomo directs the last, most experimental, one). Now on Blu-ray. Buy Memories.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971): Read the Canonically Weird entry! A 50th anniversary release with a 4K disc, Blu-ray, and digital copy, and extra features that have been seen in previous editions. Buy Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

This section will no longer be updated regularly. Instead, we direct you to our new “Repertory Cinemas Near You” page. This week we expanded that list to include The Loft in Tuscon (screening Akira this Saturday), The Nuart in L.A. (screening Mulholland Drive on Sunday), The Roxie in  San Francisco (screening Donnie Darko Friday and Saturday), the Plaza in Atlanta (screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show this Friday and Tokyo Drifter throughout the week), the Brattle in Boston (screening Beauty and the Beast [La Belle et la Bete] Sunday and Wednesday), and the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Springs, MD (screening 8 1/2 all week). We will continue to mention exceptional events from time to time in this space, however, like the one below:

Ferrara’s latest, Siberia, will also be playing all week.

FREE WEIRD MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Brazil (1985): Read the Canonically Weird entry! Terry Gilliam‘s dystopian satire of the 20th century and its preoccupations—bureaucracy, terrorism, plastic surgery, and tubing—is now listed as “leaving soon” on Tubi. Watch Brazil free on Tubi.tv.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: We’re going to go ahead and officially announce our next weird Netflix Party: Jiu Jitsu, starring (sort of) , to play on our personal virtual screens July 10 at 10:15 PM ET. Save the date.

In reviews, next week Giles Edwards takes another look at the recently Blu-rayed (and, see above, Criterion Channeled) psychedelic fable Son of the White Mare. Then, we’ll chip away at the ridiculously long reader-suggested queue as digs up the absurd Killdozer (1974), and tries on 1961’s 3-D Canadian semi-surrealist horror, The Mask. Onward and weirdward!

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that we have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

One thought on “WEIRD HORIZON FOR 7/2/2021”

  1. Gregory, I can’t wait to read your writeup for Roffman’s The Mask. For it’s time, it’ was trendsetting horror in The Great North and well-deserving of its future cult status.

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