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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.

FILM FESTIVALS – Japan Cuts (New York City, August 20-Sep. 2):

Japan Cuts is a small but exclusive NYC film festival focused, as the name suggests, on Japanese cinema, old and new. This year’s main event may be the U.S. premiere of ‘s The Great Yokai War: Guardians (a sequel to his kid-friendly 2005 fantasy that is now playing for Canadians at Fantasia). For us, the slate is highlighted by a new restoration of ‘s second film, Hiroku the Goblin (1991) (screening online only) and a theatrical screening of ‘s final epic Labyrinth of Cinema on Sep. 2. We also take note the films listed below (no idea if these will become available outside of a festival setting, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled).

  • The Blue Danube – Adventures of a trumpet-playing soldier in an imaginary war; screening in the “experimental” category. Streaming online only.
  • To Sleep so as to Dream (1986) – Restoration of a “dreamlike” ode to silent cinema about an actress whose daughter is kidnapped. Streaming online.
  • Wonderful Paradise – A farewell party turns into a surreal carnival with the arrival of uninvited guests (including ghosts). Streaming online.

Japan Cuts homepage.


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) – Read the Canonically Weird entry! The beloved, heartwarming family film about a whimsical child-murdering candy man is back in theaters for its 50th Anniversary, with extra content courtesy of Turner Classic Movies. At multiple locations across the USA on August 15th and 18th courtesy of Fathom Events.


“Brand New Cherry Flavor”: A woman goes to Hollywood to make a movie but gets involved in witchcraft. This limited Netflix series looks like it’s going for a ian vibe (the 1990s time frame and Los Angeles setting specifically recalls Mulholland Drive). “Brand New Cherry Flavor” debuts today on Netflix.

Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (2021): The fourth and final installment (3.0 + 1.0 = 4.0) of ‘s reboot of the Evangelion series sees its feckless teen bot-pilot coming to his existential reckoning. The film broke records in its Japanese theatrical release, and Amazon snapped up exclusive streaming rights worldwide. Watch Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time (Prime subscription required).


Silip: Daughters of Eve (1985): The adventures of two sisters—one a prude, one a slut—in a remote Filipino village. Silip became notorious on release for its explicit sex and violence in a Catholic setting, but by all accounts its a serious (if deranged) work. Buy Silip: Daughters of Eve.


This section will no longer be updated regularly. Instead, we direct you to our new “Repertory Cinemas Near You” page. This week, Austin Film Society in Austin, TX is back in business big time with screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey  on August 14-16 and Son of the White Mare August 14-18. Also, American Cinematheque has begun programming  the historic Los Feliz theater, and they’ve got an incredible lineup this week: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams ends a short run this afternoon, but they follow up with Naked Lunch Friday night, Zazie dans le Metro and Holy Motors on Saturday, Mulholland Drive on Sunday, Eraserhead on Wednesday and Thursday, and The Swimmer on Thursday. We will continue to mention exceptional events in this space from time to time.


The Beast Pageant (2010): While researching Strawberry Mansion, we discovered that has uploaded his surreal first film, The Beast Pageant, to Vimeo. The short synopsis modestly describes it as “a man goes on an adventure,” but further reading reveals that the man goes on an adventure at the prompting of a tiny singing cowboy who bursts out of his belly. Watch The Beast Pageant free on Vimeo.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Be sure to check in and RSVP or suggest a film (or date) for our latest Amazon Prime Party, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 21 at 10:15 PM ET. We’ll leave the discussion up through the weekend before making a final screening decision.

Next week, our coverage continues with a trip to the surreal locale Hotel Poseidon, along with the also surreal (though less so) experience of Giving Birth to a Butterfly. Then, Giles Edwards will run through the animated shorts the fest has to offer. It’s possible something else from the Festival will find its way into our lineup, but meanwhile will review Touki Bouki (1973, released on Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection this year) for some non-Fantasia content. 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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