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):
Surveillance (2008): Psychological thriller from Jennifer (Boxing Helena, daughter of David) Lynch in which FBI agents try to solve a string of grisly killings with the help of three witnesses who tell conflicting stories. Has divided critics over its brutality and perversity, as well as its twist ending. With Bill Pullman and Julia Ormand. Playing New York and L.A. only, with future dates throughout California and Denver, Co. Surveillance Official Site.
NEW ON DVD:
Diary of a Suicide [Le journal d’un suicidé] (1973): There’s little information available on this (perhaps justifiably) overlooked French anthology movie about a man on a cruise challenged to tell tall tales by a mysterious translator. It’s likely being released now to coincide with Last Year at Marienbad (see below), because Suicide also stars Delphine Seyrig. Buy from Amazon.
Karl May (1974): Hans-Jürgen Syberberg picture with an intriguing Kafkaesque premise: in Nazi Germany, Karl May (a real-life writer of potboiler Westerns for German audiences) is put on trial on suspicion that he is a character from one of his novels. Seldom seen. Buy from Amazon.
Last Year at Marienbad [L’année dernière à Marienbad] (1961): Alain Resnais dreamlike classic (written with Alain Robbe-Grillet) about a nameless Man who waits for a year to run away with a nameless Woman–only to find out that she does not remember meeting him when the time comes to reunite–has been shamefully out of print for what seems like forever. The Criterion collection again rides to the rescue with a two disc edition. A major, major event in weirdness. Buy from Amazon. Also available on Blu-Ray.
Phoebe in Wonderland (2008): This well-acted, tearjerking indie drama about an obsessive/compulsive little girl isn’t exactly weird, although it does contain a several fantasy sequences inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Most importantly, it’s been reviewed in these pages. Buy from Amazon.
Waltz with Bashir (2008): Genre-crossing, partially fictionalized Israeli animated documentary on the 1982 Shabra and Shatila massacres and the amnesia of states contains some wonderfully surreal passages on the absurdity of war. This was one of the best films of 2008, and damn weird to boot; it should be reviewed on these pages in the future. Buy from Amazon.
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.