WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 12/4/2020

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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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Black Bear: A couple host a filmmaker at their lakeside retreat; drama and mind games ensue. Producers are keeping the plot details obscure, but it’s been described as “mind-bending.” In theaters somewhere, but due to the pandemic, expect VOD to be the main venue. Black Bear official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Slamdance (Online, Feb. 12-25, 2021):

While we await announcement of the 2021 Sundance lineup (which will be held virtually and at scattered venues across the USA), Slamdance, Park City’s younger, punkier counterpart that’s restricted to films with budgets under $1 million, has finalized its plans. This year’s festival will be held largely online, with a couple of drive-in debuts at Joshua Tree and Los Angeles. But the best part is, it’s free to the public—if you sign up before December 31. (It’s $10 for an online festival pass thereafter).

As usual, it can be hard to tell what might be weird based on just the one-sentence synopsis, but we hold out some hope for the following entries:

    • Hurrah, we are still alive! – An artistic commune of filmmakers awaits the return of the Director, who disappeared without a trace, despite his absence, the Director seems to control all of the troupe’s actions
    • Man Under Table – In an anachronistic dystopian landscape, a beleaguered young man attempts to navigate his way through the indie film scene in LA.

Slamdance official home page.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

“Wisteria” (2021?): That’s the working title for a new series to screen on Netflix. There are basically no other details than this—not enough for solid speculation, at least. It’s probably not a new season of “Twin Peaks,” as Mark Frost has denied any participation in the project. We’ll just have to wait and see. A few more details at What’s on Netflix.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Crash (1996): Read Shane Wilson’s apocrypha candidate review! The Criterion Collection adds ‘s tale of sex and car crashes to its catalog, on DVD or Blu-ray. Buy Crash.

The Fifth Element (1997): Read our review. Testifying to its continued power and popularity, ‘s wildly overstuffed sci-fi cult film is now released on 4K Ultra disc (with a standard Blu-ray included). Buy The Fifth Element.

Greatland (2020): A timely, low budget psychedelic satire pitching itself as “the most WTF film of 2020,” starring an (unrecognizable) Eric Roberts. The trailer got almost half-a-million views, but it just recently showed up on Amazon Prime (free to subscribers) with no fanfare. Watch or rent Greatland.

CANONICALLY WEIRD ONLINE SCREENINGS:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920): Featuring the 2020 electro-acoustic score by the Invincible Czars. Half of the proceeds benefit Tuscon’s Loft Cinema. Carried over from last week. Buy tickets for online screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

Theaters across North America are shuttering-up again as a new wave of coronavirus hits, and we’re down to a single canonically weird drive-in screening to report. If things don’t get worse, they’ll get better next week.

FREE MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Akira (1988): Read the canonically weird entry! The seminal weird anime export about a telekinetic maniac wrecking neo-Tokyo. Dubbed version only, and not from the newly restored print, unfortunately. Listed as “leaving soon.” Watch Akira free on Tubi.tv.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: As you hopefully already read, our 2020 Yearbook is now out—on Kindle only. (The print version should be ready next week, and hopefully/possibly as early as this weekend.) You can read more about it in our announcement post, or if you’d like to purchase the Kindle version immediately and without further thought you can do so through this link.

Also, you have until Sunday to nominate a film for our December Netflix watch party. You can do so here.

With the Yearbook out of the way, next week we’ll be returning to a full lineup of reviews. Pete Trbovich catches us up on one of the classics we have yet to cover, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Giles Edwards can’t resist anything with , so he jumps at the chance to review the jejune Jiu Jitsu (2020). And will dip into the long-neglected reader-suggested review queue for a peek at the 2004 serial killer comedy (?), Lucky. 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.

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