The Apu Trilogy
Satyajit Ray's acclaimed trilogy—1955's Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), 1956's Aparajito (The Unvanquished), and 1959's Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)—all presented on newly restored 35mm prints. Whitsell Auditorium.
A tight Dirty South revenge thriller. Most notable is the almost entirely wordless first act, which introduces Dwight (Macon Blair), a high-functioning hobo on the Delaware boardwalk, and sets him on an odyssey of mayhem and graphic crossbow wounds. In many ways Ruin feels like a rebuke to blockbuster murderfests, with languorous editing, intentionally low stakes, and periodic moments of levity. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's clearly the product of talent you should keep an eye on. BEN COLEMAN Cinema 21.
The Cosmic Eye
Faith Hubley's 1986 animated film follows a spaceship manned by "three hipster jazz musicians with acute homesickness" who visit Earth. It also features the voice of Dizzy Gillespie as "Father Time," just in case you weren't feeling bad enough about your comparative lack of creativity. Whitsell Auditorium.
So... anyone in the mood to see Woody Allen being all Woody Allen-y? Anyone? The Brooklyn-set Fading Gigolo costars Allen as Murray, the enterprising pal of Fioravante (John Turturro); with Fioravante strapped for cash, Murray arranges for him to have sex with rich ladies for money. (Hearing Turturro ask, "You wanna turn me into a ho?" will go down as one of the actor's not-greatest moments, right alongside that time he got peed on by a transformer.) Given that the women he bones are played by Sofía Vergara and Sharon Stone, one would think Fioravante would have it made—but then he goes and falls in love with Hasidic widow Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), who, in turn, is more or less being stalked by Dovi (Liev Schreiber), a member of Williamsburg's Shomrim. Written and directed by Turturro, Fading Gigolo is messy and vague; while Turturro's performance is sweet and earnest, his story never gels. The best thing about the movie is Allen's funny, likeable turn, which should lead to a fun question for everybody in the audience: How much will the most recent allegations against Allen affect your enjoyment of Woody Allen being all Woody Allen-y? ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Finding Vivian Maier
Finding details the landmark uncovering of now-deceased photographer Vivian Maier's secret archives—more than 100,000 images that document the streets of New York, Chicago, South America, rural France, and beyond in the latter half of the 20th century with an arresting sense of timing, humanity, and melancholy. As an introduction to the mysterious artist who's arguably one of the most important street photographers of all time, Finding is fantastic, even if the motives of the filmmaker (who happens to be the sole caretaker of her archives) are at times questionable. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.
The German Doctor
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
"In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig." Hollywood Theatre.
Michael Cimino's career-ending western. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
2003's animated adaptation of Daft Punk's Discovery. Obviously this gets a star. Hollywood Theatre.
Fifteen percent of the United States' population lives in poverty. That's a lot of poor people, living a lot of different kinds of lives. It's weird, then, that when poor people turn up in movies and on television, their stories always seem to feature the same few elements: 1) The South, 2) Bad teeth, and 3) Weird sex stuff. David Gordon Green's Joe hits those povertysploitation benchmarks with the businesslike efficiency of a dead-eyed, trailer-trash hooker. (Check!) ALISON HALLETT Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
Kung Fu Theater
A 35mm screening of 1977's Shaolin Invincibles, which features wizards with four-foot tongues and "a small army of kung fu gorillas." KUNG FU GORILLLLAAAAAAS Hollywood Theatre.
Remember when Spike Lee made good movies? Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Moms' Night Out
A PG-rated, Christian-themed "mom-com" that wasn't screened for critics. Various Theaters.
A doc about Dr. Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer, accompanied by a performance from Solovox. Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
NW Animation Festival
Animated short festivals are a dicey proposition in this day and age, given that you can find all or most of the material on YouTube. On top of that, you'll usually have to sit through an hour of conceptual scribbles that some film board has convinced itself is high art. Thankfully, that isn't the case for the annual NW Animation Festival, where the majority of selections are solidly entertaining cartoons you should be supporting with your money. More at nwanimationfest.com. BEN COLEMAN Hollywood Theatre.
The Other Woman
A lot like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except the pants are Jaime Lannister and they give everyone who wears them chlamydia. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival
Festival runs from Thurs May 15 to Sun May 18. For more info, see next week's Mercury or queerdocfest.org. Whitsell Auditorium.
Here's a hell of a sentence: Stage Fright is a horror musical starring Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf. Hollywood Theatre.
The Wild One
The Wild One was instrumental in defining a certain strand of American masculinity—or at the very least, defining an aesthetic that became synonymous with a certain strand of American masculinity. But Brando's vacuous rebellion, his "Whaddaya got?" posturing, is pitched against a bygone world, one that even within the film seems like a caricature. ALISON HALLETT Laurelhurst Theater.
Film site MovieBoozer presents 1988's Working Girl, preceded by comedy by Sean Jordan. Mission Theater.