Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 8.31.30 AM.png

Philadelphia's independent voice
for film criticism.

This Week in Philly: The Wind, Rottentail, Zama, and more!

This Week in Philly: The Wind, Rottentail, Zama, and more!

Every Week, Philly has tons of film events to offer! We’re featuring as many as we can each Monday! Got an upcoming film event in the Philadelphia area? Submit it here to be featured!

Monday, April 15th

The Wind (dir. Emma Tammi, 2019) @ Philadelphia Film Center, 6:30 PM.

In what appears to be a limited run, this new horror western will grace the big screen at the Philadelphia Film Center for nightly screenings throughout the week. The Wind boasts a predominantly female cast, who have to tend with a threatening supernatural force on the American frontier in the 19th century. It sounds like the kind of experience that would be greatly enhanced in a theater. 

The Shawshank Redemption (dir. Frank Darabont, 1994) @ Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 1:30 4:30 & 7:30 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Shawshank Redemption will also be playing at BMFI all week long. It is one of the most popular Stephen King adaptations, and one that has the particular distinction of spending the last twenty years in the top five of IMDb's Top 250 List. Since, 2008, it has been #1! But it wasn't always so well regarded; it famously flopped at the box office, but started winning over audiences from repeated television airings (which is where I, and probably you, first saw it) and then monstrously good business on home video. Like the film itself, the enduring legacy of Shawshank is a testament to humankind's boundless capacity for optimism in the face of miles of shit. 

Tuesday, April 16th

Wrestle (dir. Suzannah Herbert & Lauren Belfer) @ PhilaMOCA, 7:30 PM. 

Right in the midpoint of the Cinedelphia Film Festival comes this documentary following four high school wrestlers in Alabama, all striving for victory in a failing public school. It looks like a deeply empathetic slice of modern American life, following in the footsteps of films like Hoop Dreams and Minding The Gap. 

Dr. Strangelove (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964) @ Ritz Five, 7 PM. 

Our very own Dan Scully will be introducing the repertory screening of this classic film, Stanley Kubrick's farcical satire of cold war nuclear annihilation. Despite being over 50 years old, it is the type of film that (unfortunately) never stops being relevant for very long. Just remember- there is no fighting in the war room. 

Zama (dir. Lucrecia Martel, 2018) @ Lightbox Film Center, 7 PM

This was a film that showed up on many top ten lists for 2018. Set in the 1890's in Argentina, Don Diego de Zama is an officer of the Spanish Crown, who is awaiting a promotion that never seems to come, in the final years before the independence movements of Central and South America. Martel is a director who has been quietly making beloved and acclaimed films for years now, and was even considered, somewhat condescendingly, for a Marvel directing gig. 

Wednesday, April 17th

Walkabout (dir. Nicolas Roeg, 1971) @ Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 6:30 PM. 

The second film from the acclaimed English director will be the subject of BMFI's Cinema Classics Seminar series, where they take influential films and put them under the spotlight with an informed lecture, and if you would like to pay a little more, take part in an extended post screening discussion. Walkabout is set in the Australia, when two young white siblings from the city get lost in the outback, and have to depend on a young Aborigine boy for survival. It is the type of slow burn hypnotic film that is just begging for a big screen experience. 

Trip To The Moon (dir. Georges Melies, 1902) & The Black Pirate (dir. Albert Parker, 1926) @ Ambler Theater, 7:30 PM.

Local organist Brett Miller will provide the live soundtrack for these two silent movie classics, the first of which is one of the oldest and most iconic pieces of film history. If that weren't special enough, you get to see it in the Ambler Theater, which is almost 90 years old. That sounds enough to transport me on a magical journey through the silver screen itself. 

Thursday, April 18th

Splatter University (dir. Richard Haines, 1984) @ PhilaMOCA,  7:30 PM.

Yet another feature of the Cinedelphia Film Festival, this repertory screening of a forgotten slasher film features an interesting wrinkle that CFF is now known for doing. The original composer of the film, Chris Burke (The Toxic Avenger) will be there doing a live score accompaniment! That is simply the type of thing you only get to see at the Cinedelphia Film Festival.  

Computer Chess (dir. Andrew Bujalski, 2013) @ Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 7 PM.

If you saw and loved Andrew Bujalski's 2018 Support The Girls, like most people did, it might be a good time to dig into his mumblecore roots. Shot in black and white and set during the 1980's, "a tournament between chess-playing computer programs leads the attending programmers to personal, spiritual, and existential crossroads." Dr. Frank Lee, of Drexel University's Entrepreneurial Game Studio, will introduce the film and host a follow up Q&A. 

Monty Python's Life Of Brian (dir. Terry Jones, 1979) @ Ritz Five, 7 PM.

Back in theaters for its fortieth anniversary, this classic from the legendary troupe ruffled plenty of feathers upon its release. Set in the Roman empire thirty years after the crucifixion of Jesus, it is a dark comedy in a time of crazed religious zealotry. The week before Easter seems like the perfect time to revisit this. 

Friday, April 19th

Capricorn One (dir. Peter Hyams, 1978) @ Lightbox Film Center, 7 PM.

The Lightbox Film Center is doing an Elliot Gould series this month, which is incredibly exciting to me. Gould is known by millennials mostly for his role in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean trilogy, but in the 70's he was a hairy chested Jewish sex symbol. Capricorn One is an early film from director Peter Hyams (Sudden Death, 2010, The Relic) about a faked Mars moon landing. Clearly of a kind with the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the decade, it also boasts an extremely eclectic cast, with support from the likes of James Brolin, Telly Savalas, Karen Black and...O.J. Simpson. 

The Exorcist (dir. William Friedkin, 1973) @ Ritz At The Bourse, 11:59 PM

Midnight madness, baby! This time, one of the scariest movies ever made is here to interrupt your sleep in a big way. There is nothing more to say about The Exorcist that hasn't already been said. However, it should be noted that this will be the extended version that was released in 2000. This means, two words: Spider Walk. 

Saturday, April 20th 

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church (dir. John McDermott, 2017) @ Philadelphia Film Center, 7:30 PM. 

This is a documentary telling the story of Jimi Hendrix headlining the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival. Featuring a whole bunch of interviews from famous guitarists who worship him, it is sure to feature some incredible stories and loads of concert footage. Oh, and the music. I am a little bit curious about why they chose to show this particular kind of film on this particular date. I will leave that up to you to figure out! 

California Split (dir. Robert Altman, 1974) & Little Murders (dir. Alan Arkin, 1971) @ Lightbox Film Center, 7 PM. 

The Solid Gould series continues, with a double feature of two cult classics. What can I say about these two- they each look fantastic and the like kind of things that will simply crackle and pop on the big screen. 

Troll 2 (dir. Claudio Fragrasso, 1990) @ PhilaMOCA, 7:30 PM. 

The Cinedelphia Film Festival clearly saved the Best Worst for last. Get out your popcorn, because Troll 2 is an unmissable experience- and it is a wild dream to be able to see it on a big screen with a crowd. Star of the film George Hardy will be in attendance. Ohhhh myyyy goooooooooodddddd! 

Sunday, April 21st 

Rottentail (dir. Brian Skiba, 2019) @ PhilaMOCA, 6:30 PM.

The Philadelphia Premiere of the mutated killer anthropomorphic bunny movie Rottentail comes just in time for an Easter screening. The plot description on the Ticketfly site describes it better than I ever could. "Geeky fertility researcher, Peter Cotton (Corin Nemec, PARKER LEWIS), is bitten by a mutant rabbit and changes into the half-man/half-bunny Rottentail. What's a boy to do? Why, take a hippity-hoppity trip home of course! Peter begins a bloody killing spree of revenge that culminates in his childhood hometown of Easter Falls." I will be honest and say the very idea of this quite frightens me. I may not be brave enough, but assuredly you are. 

PFF Springfest: The Farewell, Funke, Knock Down The House, Luce

PFF Springfest: The Farewell, Funke, Knock Down The House, Luce

Motel Mist is a sleazy slow-burning mystery from Thailand

Motel Mist is a sleazy slow-burning mystery from Thailand