This week in Bay Area cinema, you can see the new Black Panther. You can also see the new Black Panther. And, of course, you can see…the new Black Panther. But there are some other films screening, as well.
Festivals & Series
- The American Indian Film Festival goes through the week and beyond
- The Arab Film Festival opens today and also continues through the week & beyond
- The Napa Valley Film Festival runs until Sunday
- The Tiburon International Film Festival opens today and runs through this week.
35mm! Another Planet & The Castro Theater celebrate Stephen King’s 75th Birthday. I have never seen Stand by Me (I know I should have) and haven’t seen Carrie since the 1970’s. I can’t tell you if these films are masterpieces or muck.
Another chance to see (theatrically)
A Before Midnight (2013)
The third film in Richard Linklater’s Before series is a gem – perhaps as good as the first, and much better than the second. It also stands entirely on its own. Even if you’ve never seen either of the previous Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy talkfests, you’ll still laugh, cry, and cringe at this study of a relationship in crisis. If you’re not acquainted with the first two films, watch the whole trilogy in order.
A The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Balboa, Thursday, 7:30pm
Martin Scorsese takes us into a glamorous world and makes it look ugly and degenerate. Leonardo DiCaprio brings energy, charisma, recklessness, and charming evil as the lead role of a crooked stockbroker swimming in very profitable larceny. He’s also swimming in drugs and whores. Funny and grotesque, Wolf occasionally tricks you into rooting for DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort, but not for long. Everything in this fast-paced, three-hour film just fits perfectly.
A To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), various theaters, Sunday & Wednesday, check theaters and times
The film version of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel manages to be both a nostalgic reverie of depression-era small town Southern life and a condemnation of that life’s dark and ugly underbelly. Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch is the ultimate decent and moral father, a character so virtuous he’s only believable because the story is told through the eyes of his six-year-old daughter. (It’s worth noting that in the long-awaited sequel to the novel, the now-grown daughter discovers her father’s terrible flaws.) A TCM Big Screen Classics event.
B Donnie Darko (2001), Balboa, Wednesday, 7:30pm
35mm! How many alienated-teenager-in-suburbia-time-travel-science-fantasy comedies can you name? Okay – there’s Back to the Future and its sequels. Add the adjectives horrific and surreal to that description, and Donnie Darko stands alone. And how many alienated movie teenagers must deal with a slick self-help guru and a six-foot rabbit named Frank (think Harvey, only vicious). It’s not entirely clear what’s going on in this strange movie, but that just adds to the fun.
Films of historical interest
? His People (1925), Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday, 7:30pm
16mm. I haven’t seen this film, although I plan to see it at Niles Saturday night. In a New York Jewish ghetto, the two sons of a rabbi take very different paths. With a pre-Mickey Mouse cartoon from Disney and a Charley Chase comic short. With Bruce Loeb on the piano.