WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/14/10

A 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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Living Wake:  This whimsical story about a self-proclaimed genius traveling about with his biographer in a bicycle/rickshaw on his final day of life before attending his own wake appears perched somewhere halfway between quirky and absurdist.  Reviews have been on the bad side of mixed, but it looks like it should score points for originality, if nothing else.  Opening in New York this week, with Los Angeles and Seattle to follow.  The Living Wake official site.

Metropolis [The Complete Metropolis] (1927): It is with extreme embarrassment that we confess we missed the chance last week to announce the US premier of the restored version of Metropolis, which incorporates 25 minutes of recently discovered footage into Fritz Lang’s expressionist science fiction masterpiece. Fortunately, it’s still playing the Film Forum in New York City for one more week. The current schedule shows that the masterpiece will tour the US through the summer, starting next week, including multiple stops in southern California along with dates in Cleveland; San Francisco; Denver; Minneapolis; Brookline, MA; Detroit; Shreveport, LA; upstate New York (Rochester, Ithaca and Schenectady); Philadelphia; St. Louis; San Antonio; Montreal; Columbus, OH; Kansas City; Tampa; Ann Arbor, MI; Milwaukee; and hopefully more. A new Metropolis is without a doubt the major cinematic event (weird or otherwise) of 2010.  They’re pulling the old short-sighted “embedding disabled by request” trick at YouTube, so view the trailer at The Complete Metropolis official website.

FILM FESTIVALS: CANNES

Cannes is upon us again, before many of last year’s most interesting weird entries (e.g. Dogtooth) have made it to this shore. It will be running from May 12 to May 23, and none other than fallen star Tim Burton is head of the jury. A refresher on Cannes terminology: “In Competition” means that the film is eligible to win one of the major awards like the Palme D’or, while “Un Certain Regard” means the film is too interesting to qualify for a major award.  Films shown “Out of Competition” are either too interesting to be shown in “Un Certain Regard,” or just plain crappy (e.g. Robin Hood).  Here are the movies we’ll be keeping an eye on this year (in what frankly looks like a very bland year):

  • Filme Socialisme:  Tell the truth: you didn’t realize Jean-Luc Goddard was still alive, either.  His latest film is enigmatically described as “a symphony in three movements,” titled “Things Such As,” “Quo Vadis Europe,” and “Humanities.”  The press kit is certainly weird, even if nothing else is.  Un Certain Regard.
  • Kaboom: Gregg Araki is growing up: the 53 year old has graduated from making movies about high schoolers to making movies about college students.  This one involves a hunky bisexual protagonist,  hallucinogenic cookies, and a murdered dream girl, and is also described as “a sci-fi story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students.”  Out of Competition.
  • Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project [Szelíd teremtés – A Frankenstein-terv]: A loose adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, with the part of the monster played by a son returning home from a mental institution.  Hungarian, In Competition.

NEW ON DVD:

Malice in Wonderland (2009):  Another twist on the Alice in Wonderland legend, this time deliberately dark and surrealistic.  This one is currently sitting in our reader-suggested review queue, and that’s a good sign! Buy Malice in Wonderland.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Rock n’ Roll High School (1979):  OK, this campy/spoofy tale of teen punk rebellion produced by Roger Corman and featuring the Ramones isn’t all that weird, but it is cult-y and psychotronic-y, and there’s a good chance it will interest those who also love weird movies. Buy Rock ‘N’ Roll High School [Blu-ray].

Samurai Princess (2009): Another Japanese exercise in absurd gory excess from the distributors of Meatball Machine and Tokyo Gore Police. Two words will tell you whether you’re interested in this: breast grenades. Buy Samurai Princess [Blu-ray]. We missed the announcement back in November 2009, but this is also available on DVD.

NEW ON VIDEO ON DEMAND:

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2009): We noticed this very weird sounding movie, an absurdist comedy about janitors undergoing male pregnancy, way back in April 2009 and were wondering if it would ever see the light of day. Well, it’s finally shown up on Amazon Video on Demand, and we’re hopeful a DVD release will follow. Watch The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle on Video on Demand.

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.

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