Anderson & Fisher
Films from Los Angeles filmmakers Thom Andersen and Morgan Fisher, presented by Yale Union. Directors in attendance. More info: yaleunion.org. Hollywood Theatre.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
As evidenced by its chewily purple title, this revisionist western has a lot on its plate—too much, possibly. The result is a film with sustained passages of eerie, Malickian beauty, mixed with increasing stretches of self-conscious artiness. Whether you should see it or not may ultimately depend on your tolerance for shots of windswept wheat and time-lapse clouds. ANDREW WRIGHT Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Beer and Movie Fest
A fest celebrating Portland's vibrant theater pub culture, this year's Beer and Movie Fest (BAM) has an uneven lineup, but the films worth hitting are really worth hitting—like Woody Allen's Annie Hall, Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, and John Woo's Hard Boiled, all of which play this week on 35mm at the Academy. And in the coming weeks, there's Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory and Ridley Scott's The Duellists, both screening from digital prints at the Laurelhurst. (The BAM films at the Academy are on 35mm, while those at the Laurelhurst are digital.) The fest's other, less exciting selections include Road House, Kelly's Heroes, and Where Eagles Dare. For more info, see My, What a Busy Week! ERIK HENRIKSEN Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
Best of Ottawa Animation Festival
Selections from the biggest animation festival in North America. Whitsell Auditorium.
Beyond the Hills
A teenage girl goes to a Romanian monastery to visit her childhood friend. Once there, her mysterious behavior leads the head priest to conclude an exorcism may be necessary. Director Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) steadily builds up the bad vibes, to the point where a 360 head spin would come as a relief. Unfortunately, the lengthy running time tends to blunt the considerable impact of the climactic scenes. Still worth seeing, particularly for a masterfully ironic final shot—but a little less may have been more. ANDREW WRIGHT Living Room Theaters.
See "Money, Cash, Woes." Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
From Up on Poppy Hill
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Hecklevision: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
A romance/horror film by James Nguyen that's basically Hitchcock's The Birds, if The Birds was made by someone who was 1000 percent inept at everything. And tonight it screens in Hecklevision, so your smartass texts about the film will pop up instantly onscreen! Sorry, James Nguyen. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.
The Importance of Being Earnest
Not quite as good as Ernest Scared Stupid, but a little bit better than Ernest Goes to Africa. Whitsell Auditorium.
Jurassic Park 3D
This rerelease made me feel 10 years old again: small, scared, and totally awestruck. Okay, yes, it's kind of bullshit for a studio to rerelease something that already made a bajillion dollars with the cynical intention of making a bajillion more, but come on. It’s fucking Jurassic Park. It is always wonderful, best on the big screen, and you don’t have to beg for an advance on your allowance to see it this time. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
Massacred for Gold
A directors-cut screening of a film set in Hells Canyon, Oregon, in 1887, when the "murder of more than 30 Chinese gold miners casts suspicion over a group of local rustlers and schoolboys." Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
The Place Beyond the Pines
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Luciano has a big, loving, Italian family, and a decent living as a fishmonger. When he's urged to audition for the Big Brother reality show, though, dreams of fame and riches consume his modest Neapolitan life. Director Matteo Garrone opens Reality with impressive and complicated long takes, but the film's pleasures are in its subtle humor and adept characterizations, making its social commentary wholly enjoyable to take. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.
"Hiphop legend Snoop Dogg teamed up with VICE on a spiritual journey to Jamaica to reflect on his past career, including his failures, loves, regrets, and losses." That is a remarkable sentence. Review forthcoming. Clinton Street Theater.
Spiritual Visions in Modern Dance: Sybil Shearer
Working primarily in Chicago, Sybil Shearer was one of the major choreographers of the 20th century. This wee, Cinema Project screens a series of short films by the modern dance pioneer, shot by collaborator and filmographer Helen Balfour Morrison. The videos, recently preserved by the Chicago Film Archive, span the years of 1940-1960 and feature Shearer's characteristic, mystic style: a fluidness paired with intent and obsessive gestures. In attendance will be Sue Bolea, a former dancer in Shearer's company, who will speak about Shearer's life and work. JENNA LECHNER YU Contemporary.
(1) The young college gals depicted in the film invite degradation upon themselves with voracious, proud abandon. (2) Plotwise, there's probably less here than meets the eye. And perhaps most importantly, (3) Spring Breakers may make you come to the sudden, surprising realization you have a big stick up your ass. As someone who's sick of stale, predictable Hollywood product, I loved it. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
A doc shot in 2010, following Stevie Nicks as she records a then-new solo album. Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Whitsell Auditorium.
Twilight Zone! Twilight Zone! Twilight Zone!
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
Welcome to the Punch
A not-screened-for-critics crime flick starring James McAvoy. More like "Nice try McAvoiding bad reviews," right? Ha! Get it? Okay. Laurelhurst Theater.
The newest from French director Quentin Dupieux (who made Rubber, that movie about the bloodthirsty car tire) follows the surreal wanderings of a man named Dolph Springer (Jack Plotnick) who meets tons of weirdos on his search for his beloved pooch. On paper, it sounds delightful; in practice, it feels drawn out and flat. Like Rubber, Wrong suggests Dupieux is capable of making a great film; also like Rubber, Wrong isn't it. COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre.