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.
Hollywood is off on Christmas break, and rather than flooding theaters and stuffing Redboxes with weird, challenging outsider fare, the indies are following suit and spending the holidays nodding out on egg nog. While there are no new theatrical debuts or video releases to mention this week, we did find one event to report on.
FILM FESTIVALS – AN ANIMATED WORLD: CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF GKIDS CLASSICS (New York City, IFC Center, Dec. 20 – Jan. 2):
We’re late getting word on this holiday retrospective of international children’s animation that started on December 20th, but we’re joyously shocked to see just how weird the stuff they’re pawning off as “culture” on today’s kids is. The slate includes many films we’ve already highlighted on these pages, including My Neighbor Totoro (a week-long engagement with the Catbus from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2), the Celtic mysticism of The Secret of Kells (Dec,. 28, 39, Jan. 2), Summer Wars‘s cyberapocalypse (Dec. 27, Jan. 2), the not-exactly-for-kids Judaica of The Rabbi’s Cat (Dec. 30), and the existential/class conflict parable The Painting (Dec. 30).
Here are some new-to-us (or at least, uncovered-by-us as yet) upcoming festival features that Manhattanites can enjoy in the upcoming week:
- Azur and Asmar (2006): A light-skinned boy and his dark-skinned companion are raised as brothers, then become rivals as adults searching for a magical Djinn. Dec. 27 & Jan 1. Also from animator Michel Ocelot: 2011’s shadow play Tales of the Night on Jan 1.
- Nocturna (2007): French/Spanish co-production about a boy exploring the alternate world of Night. Although it’s out on DVD, tonight’s (Dec. 27) screening marks the US theatrical premier. Playing nightly until Jan. 2.
- Sita Sings the Blues (2008): Nina Paley‘s one-woman laptop-labor-of-love: a cutout retelling of the ancient Hindu epic “Ramayana” about a goddess separated from her husband. This hallmark of modern DIY animation is rarely seen on the big screen; catch it Dec. 28 or Jan. 2.
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.