Late January is a notoriously slow period for film releases, but as ever when major studios lag, decent indies crop up to pick up the slack. Check out our rundown of this week's offerings:
Millennium Film Journal: 35th Anniversary - The pre-eminent avant-garde media art journal turns 35 this year and celebrates accordingly with a screening of their favorite work in film and video, accompanied by discussion and a guided trip through eye-popping covers past. YBCA, Sat only.
12 O'Clock Boys - Out of nearly nowhere rides this doc about Baltimore's stunt-loving urban dirt bikers, zeroing in on 12-year-old upstart Pug, who finds both salvation and danger in the life of which we're granted an exciting but only momentary glimpse. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Roxie.
African Film Festival - The Euro-orbiting showcase of new and exciting African work continues this week after its launch last Friday. Highlights include Alain Gomis' last-day-on-earth fable Tey, Zarafa, a new animated flick from the team behind The Triplets of Belleville, and David Tosh Gitonga's Oscar nominated Nairobi Half Life. PFA Berkeley.
24 Exposures - Indie go-to guy Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) goes way out there with this throwback sleaze-piece about a fetish photographer (You're Next director Adam Wingard) embroiled in a plot of murder and deceit. More Red Shoe Diaries than Roman Polanski, it's appropriately fast and loose. Rotten Tomatoes: 36%. Roxie.
Noir City - The silver-toned juggernaut (previewed here) continues on through the weekend, with well-known French flicks (Pepe Le Moko, Rififi) on Saturday classic American orientalism on Sunday. Castro Theatre through Monday.
Blue is The Warmest Color- One Oscar nom we didn't check off in last week's roundup is this hotly contended Cannes-winning first lesbian love drama. Many critics (including Chron's Mick LaSalle) hailed it as a masterpiece, while others found it a dreadfully boring affair. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Castro. Monday only.
Labor Day - This award-baiting drama starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin was bumped from its original release date to the barren hinterlands of late January--never a good sign. Rotten Tomatoes: 35%. Bay Area Theaters.