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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Image Book (2018): The Image Book at Kino-Lorber.takes images from films of the past, digitally alters them, and philosophizes in voiceover. More late for cinema masochists (we’ll probably end up joining them).
FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 24-Feb 3):
The 2019 movie season officially kicks off with Sundance, where a hundred hopeful independent movies, including a few off-the-wall ones, come to vie for a handful of distribution contracts. In recent years, Sundance added the “Next” and “Midnight” screening sections to add some weirdness to the otherwise tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems (alternating with imported dramas about underprivileged brown people and their problems). This year, however, that hasn’t helped much, as there doesn’t appear to be a Sorry to Bother You or a Swiss Army Man lurking in the program. Maybe we missed them, though.
Here’s what we’ll be tracking in the coming months:
- “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” – The latest installment in this ongoing popular but terrifying puppet show will screen as part of the Indie Episodic Program 1 collection of curated shorts Jan. 29-31.
- Greener Grass – Seeing as how this is an extension of a Saturday Short we previously featured on these pages, we’re pretty certain it will be weird; we’re not sure how this idea can expand to fill 100 minutes, but we’re eager to find out. Playing in the Midnight category on Jan. 26, 29, 31, and Feb. 1-2.
- Koko-di Koko-da – A Nordic fairy tale ” set within the nightmarish landscape between wakefulness and sleep” about a couple with relationship problems beset by “outlandishly distorted nursery-rhyme antagonists” while camping. Screens Jan. 25-27, 31, and Feb. 1.
- “Now Apocalypse” – The first three episodes of a new Starz series from about (who would have guessed?) oversexed young people in surreal situations début at Sundance on Jamuary 29, with an encore January 30.
- Paradise Hills – A young woman wakes up to find she’s been imprisoned in a hoity-toity Victorian finishing school/reform school on an island; the best case scenario is that this “NEXT” feature turns out to be The Love Witch meets “The Prisoner.” Jan. 26-27, 29, 31, or Feb. 1.
FILM FESTIVALS: Slamdance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 25-31):
Slamdance is Sundance’s punkier, sometimes (usually) weirder little brother, a low-budget alternative to the mid-budget institution. We’ll be reviewing a few that caught our eye a few days from now (with a bonus shorts reviews thrown in)…
- Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture – Despite the imposing subtitle, this is a sometimes tasteless mockumentary showing the rise and fall of Junie Spoons, a child superstar in the mold of Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus, told with dolls. Screens January 25 and 28.
- A Great Lamp – An experimental film, with animated and magical realist segments, following three alienated young men as they await a rocket launch. January 27 and 29.
IN DEVELOPMENT (pre-production):
The Color out of Space (end 2019/early 2020?): SciFi4Me has the scoop.to star in an adaptation of ‘s “The Colour out of Space,” directed by ? Yes, we’ll buy a ticket, thanks. “Space,” Lovecraft’s 1927 tale of a meteorite which falls to earth and brings unspeakable horrors with it, has been (largely unsuccessfully) adapted for screen many times, notably as Die, Monster, Die! with .
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Best F(r)iends Vol.1 + Vol. 2 (2018): The Room‘s and Greg Sestero reunite; Sestero plays a homeless man rescued by Wiseau’s corpse-robbing multician, and they go on a quirky road trip. The world gets almost four more hours of oddball Wiseau engaging in adventures described as “surreal” and “bizarre.” Blu-ray only. Buy Best F(r)iends Volume 1 + 2.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Bloomington, IN, 1/25 – The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989). At Indiana University Cinema.
- Boston, MA, 1/31 – Altered States (1980), with Night of the Bloody Apes (1969). At the Brattle Theatre.
- Dallas, TX, 1/25 – Metropolis (1927), with a new live score performed by David Didonato. At the Texas Theater.
- Los Angeles, CA, 1/26 – Fight Club (1999). At the Aero Theatre.
- New York City, NY, 1/25-1/26 (midnights) – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 1/25-1/26 (midnights) – Suspiria (1977). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 1/25-1/26 (midnights) – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). At IFC Center.
- Oakland, CA, 1/26 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). At the New Parkway Theater.
- Oakland, CA, 1/31 – Blue Velvet (1986). At the New Parkway Theater.
- Pittsburgh, PA, 1/25-27, 1/29-1/31 – Metropolis (1927). At Row House Cinema.
- Pittsburgh, PA, 1/26-1/28, 1/29-1/31 – Blancanieves (2012). At Row House Cinema.
- Pittsburgh, PA, 1/26, 1/30 – Un Chien Andalou (1929) (free). At Row House Cinema.
- San Francisco, CA, 1/30 – Paprika (2006). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1/28 – Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) with Mandy (2018) (double feature with discounted tickets if you see both). At the Rio Theatre.
FREE MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:
Bronson (2008): Read the Canonically Weird review! ‘s stylized and surrealistic biopic about Charles Bronson, Britain’s most violent prisoner, with a terrifying starmaking performance from . Watch Bronson free on Tubi.tv.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE:
Next week we’ll bring you a little preview of three feature films (and a short or two or three) from Slamdance (see above), which may or may not be making their way to your screens soon. El Rob Hubbard will also knock another one out of the reader-suggested review queue with 1985s little-seen advertising satire Bliss. We’ll wrap up the week by announcing our nominees for the 9th installment of our annual “Weirdcademy Awards”—and open up voting to members of the Weirdcademy (that’s you, by the way). Stay tuned!
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.