They just keep on coming!
July 18 – 23
Most film festivals concentrate on features. This one is all about the shorts – small, low-budget flicks with short running times. It opens July 18 with a party at PianoFight, accompanied by Best Virtual Reality Screenings, and followed by a midnight presentation of Best International Shorts of 2018, Part 1.
Everything else happens over the weekend at the Roxie. The 13 programs to be screened Saturday and Sunday include:
- Best Dramatic Short Films of 2018
- Best Comedic Short Films of 2018
- Best Surf and Skate Films of 2018
- Best Environmental Documentaries of 2018
- Best International Science Fiction and Horror Films of 2018
July 20 – 26
Gotta Dance! The New Parkway will screen musicals and concert films through an entire Friday through Thursday week. Here are my comments on films that I’ve seen recently enough to grade:
A+ Stop Making Sense
Great films can affect you in different ways. Some make you laugh, cry, or think. But the Talking Heads concert movie, Stop Making Sense, makes you want to jump out of your seat and dance. More than any other concert film I’ve seen, Stop Making Sense is a visual experience. The band is constantly dancing, moving in strange ways that look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. If the Parkway screens it in their larger auditorium, there’ll be plenty of room for dancing. Read my A+ appreciation.
- Saturday, July 21, 9:25
- Wednesday, July 25, 9:30
A 20 Feet From Stardom
Morgan Neville’s wonderful documentary covers the full history of rock and roll from the point of view of the women who stand behind the stars, adding vocal texture to the music. We meet the amazing Merry Clayton (“Rape! Murder! It’s just a shot away!”), relative newcomer Judith Hill, and Darlene Love–who actually did quite a bit of lead singing without credit (“He’s a Rebel”). Big name stars (Springsteen, Jagger) pop up among the talking heads (as do The Talking Heads), but this time, the spotlight points to the lesser-known artists who made it all work. And for once, we get a musical documentary that’s filled with music–and joy, laughter, and inspiration. A celebration of the human voice.
- Friday, July 20, 6:20
- Sunday, July 22, 4:15
- Wednesday, July 25, 6:50
A A Hard Day’s Night
When United Artists agreed to finance a movie around a suddenly popular British rock group, they wanted something fast and cheap. After all, the band’s popularity was limited to England and Germany, and could likely die before the film got into theaters. We all know now that UA had nothing to worry about. The Beatles are still popular all over the world. What’s more, Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night still burns with outrageous camerawork and editing, subversive humor, and a sense of joy in life and especially in rock and roll.
- Saturday, July 21, 12:00 noon
- Sunday, July 22, 2:50
B Hamilton’s America
This PBS documentary gives you a taste of the Broadway hit that you couldn’t afford to see in a theater. It’s pretty good.
- Friday, July 20, 5:00
- Sunday, July 22, 2:20