What’s Screening: December 3 – 9

Now that you’ve seen Dune, you can see the Dune that never happened. You can also revisit the comedy that made all the kids laugh 30 years ago. More adult fare? How about Mozart, or vampires (perhaps I should spell it vampyrs). If you prefer sex and nudity over a good movie, you can watch Stanley Kubrick’s painfully bad last film.

And, of course, we have two film festivals.

Festivals & Series

Promising events

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013), New Parkway, Saturday, 12:00 noon. Also showing Saturday, 10:00pm

Long before Denis Villeneuve made his version of Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel, and even before David Lynch’s awful 1984 version, Alejandro Jodorowsky attempted to create a cinematic Dune. If I remember, the cameras never rolled, but the pre-production illustrations were wild. Jodorowsky was a darling of avant-garde cinema in the 1970s, with films like The Holy Mountain and El Topo. By comparison, David Lynch seems conventional. This 2013 documentary tells us how this widely imaginative auteur tried and failed to do a major spectacular. I saw this doc a few years ago, and I’m guessing I’d give it a B+ if I saw it again today.

Home Alone, New Parkway (1990), Thursday, 9:30pm

I saw this children’s comedy more than 30 years ago (with my then, young son), so I can’t really say much about it, now. I recall that most of the critics bombed the movie, but it made a lot of money. Of course, critics don’t always understand what they’re watching, and my biggest memory of Home Alone was a theater packed with children laughing their heads off. Clearly, the film hit its designated demographic. And yet, the New Parkway is screening the movie relatively late at night.

Theatrical revivals

A Amadeus, New Parkway, Sunday, 8:30

In this tale of two composers, the successful Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) works hard to achieve greatness. On the other hand, Mozart (Tom Hulce) composes easily, but struggles to sell his work. Only Salieri can see that Mozart is the better composer. A story of talent, jealousy, and the creative spark, accompanied by some of the best music ever written. And much of that spark comes from director Milos Forman.

A- Vampyr (1932), Roxie, Wednesday, 9:00pm

16mm! Carl Theodor Dreyer’s part talkie belongs on any list of great horror films. This is a movie where you’re not always sure just who is a vampire; even the vampires aren’t sure themselves. The story isn’t much, but individual sequences will stick in your memory, including the young woman who seems to look just a bit too hungry, and the funeral procession and burial, viewed from the point of view of the corpse.

D+ Eyes Wide Shut, Balboa, Tuesday, 7:30pm

Stanley Kubrick’s last film is one of his worst. It starts well, when an attractive and wealthy couple (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – a real-life couple back then) flirt with others at a party. Back at home, the couple discuss their adulterous sexual fantasies – mostly hers. But then the movie goes off the rails. The husband wanders through New York late at night with hundreds of dollars in cash. And that’s not the only stupid thing he does throughout the night. The famous orgy scene is so stupid that I was tempted to do some MST3K-like riffing. A bad ending to Stanley Kubrick’s career.

Continuing engagements

Frequently-revived classics