With studios and movie-goers still emerging from their holiday comas and Oscar creating all that static rubbing his golden mitts together in anticipation, January can be a sleepy time for independent releases. Fear not though, the winter thaw is already beginning--have a peek at this weekend's offerings:
Only the Young
Chronicle scribe G. Allen Johnson's allegation that this matter-of-fact doc "plays like a mumble core film, but it's real" points to something seemingly anachronistic about the quiet lives of the three Southern California teens that it follows. Similarly quiet but entirely satisfying, the film's real raison-d'etre, its skateboarding sequences, are pure porn--gorgeously-lensed and suffused in sunshine from every crevice. Starts Friday at The Roxie.
Austrian writer/filmmaker Michael Haneke's Cannes Palme d'Or-winning meditation on the endurance of love as age withers its participants dissolution was received with such fervor that a victory seemed almost assured before the film even screened. The film's arc, while heart-rending, is as set in stone as its inevitable triumph over the critical circuit (it's now been nominated for a handful of Oscars as well), but it's Haneke's mastery of the craft, not its rather dour machinations that earns the film our attention. Starts Friday at the Clay Theatre.
The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone and Beyond
A timely adjunct to the Django-mania currently gripping all creatures great and small, PFA presents a selection of some of the grittyest Spaghetti Westerns to grace the screen, starting with Sergio Leone's Duck, You Sucker tonight. The program notes emphatically announces "Score by Ennio Morricone" before nearly half of the films--and rightfully so, the music is on display here as much as the films. SFBG's Cheryl Eddy encourages you to "amble over to Berkeley," we suggest you run. Runs January 10 - 27 at PFA.
Wayne's World/Step Brothers/Freddy Got Fingered
This inspired "Man-Children" triple bill presented this Friday by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' Midnight for Maniacs has something of the planetary to it. Consider opener Wayne's World as Earth, the preposterously enjoyable Step Brothers as Mars, and Freddy Got Fingered, which Ficks justifiably praises as a "disturbingly creative, insanely executed modern masterpiece," as a black hole on the outer reaches of our solar system. Plays Friday at the Castro.
Still Playing: Holy Rollers
French auteur Leos Carax's (The Lovers on the Bridge) first feature in over ten years blends the poetic and surreal creating a flexible reality only rivaled by that of star Denis Lavant, who oozes personality on his way through a variety of inspired and ever-surprising scenarios. Without another page at our disposal, there isn't much to be said about this movie that hasn't been already, except this: go see it! Now playing at The Roxie.