Film » Film Shorts

Film Shorts

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

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recommended Brazil
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

Breathe In
The standard-bearer for Lolita-esque films about sexy teens having inappropriate relationships with other people's husbands/father figures is 1992's Poison Ivy. Breathe In follows a similar premise, except with all the fun, sexy parts drained out and replaced by self-serious pretension. Keith (Guy Pearce) is a frustrated classical musician with an unsupportive wife (Amy Ryan) who's trying to sentence him to death by boredom in the suburbs, and Sophie (Felicity Jones) is their sophisticated, uptight English exchange student. Melodramatic piano performances abound. There is rain and broken dishes, and long scenes of people staring meaningfully at things and playing handsies. There is a girl who crashes her car in an impulsive fit of emotional distress. There are no leather jackets with boobs and swords painted on them. There are no tattoos sterilized with spat-out hard liquor. This is a bad thing. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10.

recommended Captain America: The Winter Soldier
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Drunken Master
See My, What a Busy Week! Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Enemy
Jake Gyllenhaal's mild-mannered professor becomes obsessed with his doppelganger (also Jake Gyllenhaal), a small-time actor he spots in a rented video. Director Denis Villeneuve's claustrophobic picture is captured in jaundiced yellow, filled with heavy-handed symbolism (tell me what the spider represents, please), and moves far too slow for its first hour—but it picks up steam and intrigue when the two Jakes cross paths. The film's final shot, which I won't spoil, has got to be one of the most what-the-fuck endings of all time. In the end, it's worth the slog. NED LANNAMANN Living Room Theaters.

recommended Ernest & Celestine
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Faux Film Festival
The Faux Film Festival returns with its usual shtick of "faux commercials, faux trailers, spoofs, satires, parodies, and mockumentaries." More at fauxfilm.com. Clinton Street Theater.

Goodbye World
When technology causes the apocalypse, a bunch of annoying people take refuge in their richest friend's sustainability fortress. They spend their days chopping wood and covertly trying to decide who wants to fuck whom, while mean soldiers get all martial-law and their neighbors try to steal their medicine. Adrian Grenier wears a scrunchy, and Ryan from The O.C. frowns a lot. It's basically the worst. Gaby Hoffmann is cool, though. ALISON HALLETT Living Room Theaters.

The Great Flood
Bill Morrison's documentary about the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and the resultant "Great Migration of rural southern blacks to Northern cities [that] saw the Delta Blues electrified and reinterpreted as the Chicago Blues, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll." Clinton Street Theater.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Andy Sidaris' insane and fantastic 1987 action flick—presented by KPSU, with "live comedic commentary of the film live on stage." Hollywood Theatre.

Interior. Leather Bar.
James Franco & Co. recreate the deleted 40-minute S&M scene from William Friedkin's infamous 1980 film Cruising, with a straight, married friend of the celebrity uncomfortably assuming the Pacino role. (The scenes where the cast talk about how brave Franco is, as they put on leather codpieces and prepare to get paddled, are a hoot.) The idea of reinterpreting a once-reviled film as a positive gay landmark is intriguing, but the emphasis on Franco goading on his star from the sidelines makes this seem more like an elaborate edition of Punk'd, albeit one with occasional flashes of hardcore sex. ANDREW WRIGHT Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Kung Fu Theater
A 35mm screening of 1981's Masked Avengers. Hollywood Theatre.

The Lady from Shanghai
A 1947 noir starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. Not to be confused with Shanghai Noon, a 2000 noir starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Mistaken for Strangers
If you've seen one music documentary, you've seen them all: The huddled musicians lost in concentration behind some dimly lit recording studio soundboard, the "real" backstage personas (usually relatable, since rock stars are just like you), and the occasional bouts of inter-band horn locking, since they are, after all, artists struggling in their craft. Mistaken for Strangers has none of these things. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Hollywood Theatre, On Demand.

recommended Noah
To watch Noah is to see Darren Aronofsky earnestly trying to flesh out a Bible story that, in the original version, doesn't necessarily make a ton of sense. Noah is a movie that posits the profound hypothesis that maybe mankind is forever cursed to defy God and nature because of our irrational love of our own progeny. That's a pretty heavy thought, and to see it come from a movie full of prehistoric hoodies, pregnancy tests performed with a leaf, a protagonist who growls "I want justice!", and CGI rock people voiced by Nick Nolte (who, let's be honest, was born to voice a rock person), is completely, righteously, gloriously fucking insane. VINCE MANCINI Various Theaters.

Nymphomaniac
Lars von Trier's four-hour-long meditation on fucking, fly fishing, and the futility of love takes a kind of smug satisfaction in the severity of its indulgences—it revels in explicitness, violence, and anguish to an even greater degree than the director's already thoroughly misanthropic previous works. Even for the divisive Dane's long-suffering partisans, it's a little much—but for all its gluttony, Nymphomaniac still manages to be surprisingly thin on the director's (admittedly dubious) redemptive qualities. ZAC PENNINGTON Cinema 21, Hollywood Theatre, On Demand.

Rocco and His Brothers
Luchino Visconti's 1960 "chronicle of family loyalty and disintegration." Whitsell Auditorium.

Romantic Macabredy
Short films by Dave Hanagan, set in a world "where buffoonery and eeriness are abundant in equal measure." Director in attendance. Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Teenage
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

The Visionary and the Vision
As part of the Mississippi Records Music & Film Series, archivist Mark Toscano presents two nights of "rarely seen films by or about visionary artists." More at hollywoodtheatre.org. Hollywood Theatre.

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