I’m still figuring out this streaming-based newsletter. But everything seems entirely different than it used to be.
Alteration by Lincoln Spector
Helping a theater
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is more than just a movie theater with a museum attached. It’s also an archive, protecting rare prints. But with the theater and museum closed, no money is coming in for this important work. If you have a few extra dollars, please donate.
Special online events
Stay at Home Movie Night: The Host (2006), Saturday, 7:00, Balboa or Vogue
A barely-functional family fights an uncaring government and a giant mutant predator, and it’s hard to say which is the scarier threat. I didn’t find this quite the masterpiece others saw–the political points are obvious, the third act gets confusing, and the big finale fails to satisfy. But director/co-writer Joon-ho Bong (who since made The Parasite) succeeds where it counts: He makes you care about the characters and scares you out of your seat. I give the film a B+. Visit the website for the promo code and the chat room.
Bedlam (2019), Tuesday, 4:30, Rafael
Free streaming! I know nothing about this documentary except for what’s on the website: “Haunted by the death of a mentally ill sister, psychiatrist Ken Rosenberg takes on the role of filmmaker to examine our national mental health crisis, through intimate stories of patients, families, and medical providers.” Followed by a virtual conversation with the producer and mental health experts.
Streaming for theaters: New & Reviewed
C+ Slay the Dragon (2020), helping the Rafael or Roxie
We all know that gerrymandering is a threat to our democracy. Filmmakers Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance want us to understand how we can end this problem. But their documentary is sometimes scattered, unfocused, and conventional. It’s also occasionally boring. The best moments involve animated maps and cartoons. Here you can really see what the state legislatures are doing. Read my full review.
Streaming for theaters: Continuing Engagements
- A- Sorry We Missed You (2019), helping the Lark. Full Review.
- B+ Thousand Pieces of Gold (1991), helping the Rafael or Roxie. Capsule Review
- B+ Bacurau (2019), helping the Rafael or Roxie. Capsule Review
- B Once Were Brothers (2020), helping the Balboa or Rafael. Full Review.
- B- The Wild Goose Lake, helping the Rafael or Roxie. Capsule Review
- C+ Fantastic Fungi, helping the Rafael or Roxie. Capsule Review
Streaming for theaters: Films I haven’t seen
- And Then We Danced (2020), helping the Rafael or Roxie
- Balloon (2020), helping the Lark
- Beanpole (2020), helping the Balboa or Rafael
- The Etruscan Smile (2020), helping the Balboa or Rafael.
- Extra Ordinary (2020), helping the Balboa or Lark
- Heimat Is a Space In Time (2019), helping the Roxie
- The Hottest August (2019), helping the Lark
- The Infiltrators (2019), helping the Roxie
- No Data Plan (2019), helping the Roxie
- Saint Frances (2019), helping the Rafael or Roxie.
- The Times of Bill Cunningham (2020), helping the Balboa
- Vitalina Varela (2020), helping the Lark or Roxie
- The Whistlers (2019), helping the Roxie