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.
IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):
Lucy (2014): Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson as a woman who develops nearly omnipotent psychic powers after being accidentally dosed with an experimental drug. The trailer makes this movie look particularly stupid, and we would have avoided mentioning it if not for early reviews proclaiming that it “ends as a bad LSD trip” (Rolling Stone) and talking up “the sheer weirdness of Lucy‘s imagery…” (A.V. Club). Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, “Lucy” is a slang term for LSD. Lucy official site.
SCREENINGS – (Cinefamily, Los Angeles, July 25-27):
“Sexperiments: A Collection of Turned-on Cinema”: Three nights of libidinous cinematic excess at the venerable Tinseltown institution. Friday night is “a collection of turned-on shorts” featuring obscene experimental movies of the 196os and 1970s, headlined by Warhol/Velvet Underground associate Barbara Rubin’s pre-hippy body painting/orgy film Christmas on Earth (1963), with live musical accompaniment. Saturday and Sunday’s features turn to the X-rated work of Stephen Sayadian, with the post-apocalyptic sex tale Cafe Flesh screening Saturday night (with Sayadian and writing collaborator Jerry Stahl in attendance), followed by the Surrealist porn flick Nightdreams on Sunday. Altogether, it promises to be an erotically exhausting weekend of bizarro sexiness for lusty Los Angelinos. Promo for Sexperiments: “A Collection of Turned-on Cinema at Cinefamily” (warning: trailers are NSFW).
Overlook Hotel (est. 2015): Mark Romanek is in negotiations to helm a prequel to The Shining, showing how evil took root at the Overlook Hotel. Fans of both Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick are already expressing emotions ranging from nervous skepticism to premature outrage. Variety has the scoop.
NEW ON DVD:
“The Essential Jacques Demy”: The Criterion Collection releases a 13-disc (!) DVD?Blu-ray combo set of the works of the famed French musical director. The only film of particular interest to us is the 1970 fairy tale adaptation Donkey Skin, wherein a princess (Demy muse Catherine Deneuve) magically disguises herself as a donkey to avoid marrying her father (!!). Also includes the five features Lola, Bay of Angels, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, and Une Chambre en Ville, along with four Demy short films, three documentaries, and all the usual Criterion bibelots. Buy “The Essential Jacques Demy” [Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD].
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
“The Essential Jacques Demy”: See description in DVD above. Buy “The Essential Jacques Demy” [Criterion Collection Blu-ray + DVD].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON THE WEB:
Evil Brain from Outer Space (1964): Undercover alien superhero Starman fights an evil brain and its band of mutant henchmen. Edited together from three different Japanese films, with about half the original footage removed and furious voiceovers racing to explain why new characters keep popping up all the time, this is the most incoherent of the four Starman features unleashed on unsuspecting American kids in the early 1960s. Given the strangeness of Attack from Space, that’s quite a feat!
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.