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 (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Congress (2013): Read L. Rob Hubbard and Alex Kittle’s review. Ari Folman‘s partly-animated sci-fi satire about personalities for sale is receiving a decent (if not comprehensive) rollout courtesy of cult-movie saviors Drafthouse Films. The Congress official site.
Patema Inverted (2013): A girl and boy from connected worlds with directly opposite gravities fall in love. Although this is a Japanese anime aimed at children, an almost identical idea was tackled in last year’s disappointing live action feature Upside Down. Patema Inverted official site.
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013): Read Alex Kittle’s review. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani‘s stylishly surreal giallo gets an American theatrical release. Debuting this week in New York and LA with major US cities to follow. The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears official Facebook page.
FILM FESTIVALS – Venice International Film Festival (Venice, Italy, Aug. 27 – Sep. 6):
Venice is the oldest and second most prestigious (after Cannes) film festival in Europe. Since Venice accepts only films making their world premier in competition, there is no overlap with the Cannes slate of films. Here are a few the movies we’ll be keeping an eye on:
- Fires on the Plain – A Japanese soldier in WWII roams an island which has become hell on earth; the plot description of Tetsuo: The Iron Man director Shinya Tsukamoto‘s latest hints at cannibalism. Screening Sep. 2.
- Pasolini – Outsider filmmaker Abel Ferrara creates a scenario about the day Pier Paolo Pasolini was murdered; programmers call it “dreamlike and visionary, a blend of reality and imagination.” World premier Sep. 4.
- A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – Roy Andersson‘s latest collection of absurd vignettes contrasting the banal and the mystical is the third installment in what the director calls his “Living” trilogy; the previous two movies were Certified Weird. Screening Sep. 2.
- Reality – All that’s known about Quentin Dupieux‘s latest project is that it’s about a horror film director searching for a perfect scream. Screening tonight (Aug 29) only.
NEW ON DVD:
All That Jazz (1979): Bob Fosse’s poorly-disguised autobiographical movie about an uppers-abusing, womanizing choreographer in the midst of a nervous breakdown, seeing an angel of death while he works on his latest project. Released by the Criterion Collection; it’s also in our reader-suggested review queue. Available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack only. Buy All That Jazz [Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD].
The Dance of Reality (2013): Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s first movie in 23 years is a hallucinatory autobiography. Ironically, in 2014 a film about a movie Jodorowsky never made—Dune—stole the thunder from this movie he actually did make. Hopefully Dance will get more exposure now that it’s on DVD. Buy The Dance of Reality.
The Double (2013): Jesse Eisenberg stars as a timid man whose physical double arrives one day and begins to take over his life. This nearly exact match of Enemy continues 2014′s reputation as the Year of the Doppelganger. Buy The Double.
L (2012): The absurd story about what happens to a 40-year old man who lives out of his car when he loses his job delivering honey to his only client. Co-written by Efthymis Filippou, who also co-wrote Dogtooth, so its New Weird Greek pedigree is solid. Buy L.
President Wolfman (2012): The President of the United States is infected with lycanthropy while trying to fend off a hostile takeover by the Chinese (who want to merge the two countries to form “Chimerica”). Made from public domain footage (mostly The Werewolf of Washington) that’s been redubbed (a la What’s Up Tiger Lilly?), the ad copy promises “you’ve simply never seen anything like it before.” Buy President Wolfman.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
All That Jazz (1979): See description in DVD above. Buy All That Jazz [Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD].
The Dance of Reality (2013): See description in DVD above. Buy The Dance of Reality [Blu-ray].
The Double (2013): See description in DVD above. Buy The Double [Blu-ray].
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.