The third and final German Gems, a single-day showcase for new and vital German-language cinema, arrives Saturday for its farewell appearance at the Castro Theatre. Otherwise, it's a week of birthdays at the city's historic movie palace.
1. Army of Darkness
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Jan. 13
It's the End of the World As We Know It, and She Feels Fine: Kirsten Dunst Embraces Misery in 'Melancholia'
Kirsten Dunst needs a jolt. It’s 10 a.m. on the first Sunday of this year’s Toronto Film Festival, where Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic new drama Melancholia is making its North American debut. And though she arrives not a second late – punctuality is a point of pride with the Point Pleasant, New Jersey, native – the jetlag is beginning to show.
“Look at me, this is totally pathetic,” she says with a bemused grin. “Coca-Cola in one hand, a coffee in the other. Coca-Cola is absolutely terrible for you, but I drink it anyway. It’s one way to start the morning.”
By now, it doesn’t take a well-honed Spidey sense to recall that, almost exactly a year ago, Tobey Maguire (35), Kirsten Dunst (28) and director Sam Raimi (age unimportant) parted ways with Sony Pictures and Marvel over the studio's decision to send superhero alter ego Peter Parker back to high school, essentially changing horses midstream and rebooting a billion-dollar franchise still seemingly at the peak of its powers.
Normally this space is reserved for the latest features to arrive at the local indie theaters, but for one week, in the mischievous spirit of Halloween, we're going to mix it up. If you're looking for a good scare, you've come to the right place. Rather than recommend the genre's best-known titles – Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the original Nightmare on Elm Street, to name three personal favorites – I've tried to compile a list of less obvious shockers, all available at your local video store or via Netflix. Enjoy.
Halloween has arrived early this year thanks to the weekend’s two biggest major-studio releases – The Final Destination (in 3-D!) and Rob Zombie’s latest supplement to the never-ending saga of famed serial killer Michael Myers. If you don’t feel like celebrating, there are several excellent alternatives now playing at an indie theater near you.
Ah, those gypsies and their mystical curses. What will they think of next?
Nothing good, I suspect. Ancient curses and supernatural spells have long given filmmakers license to indulge their most exotic fantasies, inspiring scenarios so deliriously macabre they seem more surreal than shocking. And perhaps no American director has proved more adept at playing on our fascination with the occult than Sam Raimi.
No, it’s not quite the return of John Carpenter that longtime fans have been anxiously awaiting since the 61-year-old director’s last film, 2001’s underrated Ghosts of Mars. But that’s no reason to scoff at the news that Ronald Moore, the creative force behind the Sci-Fi Channel’s much-heralded Battlestar Galactica relaunch, is planning a prequel to Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing.
Bruce Campbell isn’t opposed to making a fourth installment in the Evil Dead series that has helped secure his reputation as a B-movie superstar. In fact, both he and childhood friend Sam Raimi, who used the Evil Dead movies as a launching pad to the mammoth success he now enjoys as the architect of the Spider-Man franchise, have gone on record as saying that another sequel is tentatively in the works.
Just don’t expect Campbell, still boyishly handsome at 50, to leap at the prospect simply because it exists.