While it’s a week to celebrate two Saoirse Ronan films in rotation, and the next seven days will see two Elle Fanning films in the same frame, it’s also a time to wonder why Houston (one of the largest cities in North America) doesn’t have a guaranteed booking of the 70mm re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
There are two theaters in Houston with 70mm projectors. The Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 and the AMC Gulf Pointe 30. If you frequent either of these places, next time you are there, politely but firmly ask one of the managers when they expect to open the pod bay doors.
On Chesil Beach offers sumptuous rewards for those looking for a romantic film willing to ask some serious questions about the human condition.
Ronan stars with Billy Howle, with the screenplay by Ian McEwan (Atonement) based on his novel of the same name. Noted theater director Dominic Cooke makes his feature film debut.
A just married couple spends the majority of the film about to consummate their wedding night. As each emotional beat progresses, we slip into a series of flashbacks that offer clues as to the true nature of their relationship. The year is 1962, while additional scenes set in the late-1970s, and again when the couple are in their sixties bring the story to a full circle.
Chesil Beach is a barrier beach, and in fact a protected beach, with fines for removing any of the stones covering its surface.
While the story flows in linear pattern, the plot twists are so loaded with spoilers that this writer must suffice to highly recommend the film without revealing another hint of what pleasures await the viewer.
On Chesil Beach opens exclusively at the River Oaks Theatre this weekend.
There are films that are described as ahead of their time. How to Talk to Girls at Parties seems to unwind decades after its time.
A group of humanoid aliens descend on London at the height of the late-1970s punk movement. Elle Fanning is the otherworldly Zan and Alex Sharp (Tony Award winner) plays punk rocker Enn. Zan and Enn develop a romance much to the chagrin of his friends and her alien counterparts.
Nicole Kidman and Ruth Wilson ham it up in supporting roles while John Cameron Mitchell directs with energy and verve. Only Mitchell can’t seem to get under the skin of his characters in the way that similar films like Earth Girls are Easy (1988) managed to. Where is Julien Temple when you need him?
Fanning acts with her eyes, she acts with her spit, she sings like a diva and acts with her feet. Elle Fanning may well be the very reason to see this film. (Fanning also stars in next week’s release Mary Shelley.)
How to Talk to Girls at Parties unwinds at a handful of local theaters including the Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park.
Boom for Real unreels with such a passion for its subject that it’s easy to say that this documentary is the best yet exploration of the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The full title is Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Living up to its title, the doc takes the audience from the time a teen Basquiat was living on couches up to the sale of his first painting.
Director Sara Driver previously produced some early films of Jim Jarmusch and made a name for herself as a driving force in the 1980s New York City indie film scene. Indeed, Jarmusch pops up with some candid recollections of late night conversations with the fledgling artist.
Other talking heads include graffiti artist Lee Quiñones, who claims that Basquiat appropriated his “Samo” design, along with Fab 5 Freddy, a true chronicler of that creative time. Driver keeps the momentum in flux with films clips of the era as well as never-before-seen footage of young Basquiat.
The closing song, “Dream Baby Dream,” by Suicide, perfectly fits the closing credits with its navel gazing beat.
Boom For Real plays exclusively at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on June 1, 7 & 8. The Museum also unwinds two narrative films by Driver on June 2. Sara Driver will attend the June 1 and June 2 screenings.