Page 30 - LA Weekly 110118
P. 30

YOUR WEEKLY MOVIE TO-DO LIST
One Plus One
EXPANDING OUR FILMIC HORIZONS
Friday, Nov. 2
The 21st annual Arpa International Film Festival kicks off at the Egyptian Theatre with Monday Night at Seven, an intimate drama about an Iranian-American man’s budding romance with a young woman from Mexico. The fest celebrates inter- national cinema that promotes “global empathy and cross-cultural dialogue.” Opening-night festivities include a red- carpet reception at 6 p.m., the screen- ing, a ceremony for the annual Lifetime Achievement Award (given this year to Edward James Olmos) and a post-screen- ing reception in the courtyard. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Nov. 2, 8 p.m.; $40. (323) 466-3456, arpafilmfestival.com.
Saturday, Nov. 3
UCLA screens The Sin of Nora Moran, a 1933 “fallen woman” picture that employs a dizzying flashback structure to tell the story of a woman’s descent into iniquity. Zita Johann (fresh from Universal’s The Mummy) stars in this B-movie gem, part of the Archive’s Down and Dirty in Gower Gulch series celebrating the artistic freedom of Poverty Row, the nickname given to the string of smaller studios that kept American cinemas full during the 1930s and ’40s. The 65-minute film will be preceded by a Hearst Metrotone newsreel and an Ub Iwerks animated short, Balloon Land. A Q&A is scheduled with actress Cora Sue Collins. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; $10 (available online only). (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles (LACLA) inaugurates its annual program, Cine Nepantla, at the Vincent Price Art Museum. The free event “seeks to create a liminal, in-between space of transformation” through movie screen- ings and live music. Premiering tonight is The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo, a biopic of Chicano lawyer-author-activist
COURTESY ABKCO
Oscar Zeta Acosta. (He was the inspiration for the Dr. Gonzo character in Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled memoir Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.) A post-viewing Q&A with director Phillip Rodriguez will follow. Singer-songwriter San Cha will provide live music for the event. Vincent Price Art Museum, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park; Sat., Nov. 3, 2 p.m.; free. (323) 265-8841, lacla.org/cine_ nepantla_2018.
Tuesday, Nov. 6
Jean Harlow is the star of the month at LACMA’s Tuesday Matinees series, and Hell’s Angels is first on the docket. A dazzling early talkie directed by Howard Hughes (with uncredited work by James Whale and Edmund Goulding), the film fol- lows the fortunes of two brothers as they join the Royal Flying Corps during WWI. The dialogue is stilted (it was originally conceived as a silent) but the picture is pre-Code sexy, and the aerial sequences still astonish. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 6, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
Thursday, Nov. 8
Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA presents the restored original cut of Jean-Luc Godard’s rarely screened One Plus One. Better known under the title Sympathy for the Devil, this documentary on the Rolling Stones was tampered with significantly, provoking Godard to punch out producer Iain Quarrier upon its premiere at the Na- tional Film Theatre in London. A 4K restora- tion funded by ABKCO now allows us to see it the way it was originally intended, which will hopefully decrease the likelihood of physical violence. Cinematographer Tony Richmond will introduce the film. MOCA Grand Avenue, Ahmanson Theater, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., Nov. 8, 7 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.
—NATHANIEL BELL
28
polite — and cagey — to say what that means on camera. (Alan Scherstuhl)
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND Forty-seven years after its first day of filming, Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind hits theaters and Netflix on Nov. 2. While critics will pant with curious glee, it’s hard to imagine the average Joe Schmo lasting more than 10 minutes with Welles’ long-lost project, a film-within-a-film- within-a-film. Welles’ idea was to present Wind as a reconstruction of recently discovered documentary footage of director Jake Hannaford (John Huston) attempting to show his own unfinished movie to his guests; it’s perhaps
the first “found-footage” movie ever made.
The notion of Welles inadvertently begetting Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project is far more delicious than anything presented in this 122-minute edit of his last film. Regardless, there’s merit to be found in The Other Side of
the Wind. From a visual perspective, it is pure Orson. His meticulous handiwork is evident in the framing and composition both in the black- and-white footage that constitutes the ersatz documentary footage and the color scenes that represent Hannaford’s movie. There’s a fun “spot the actor-director” vibe to the latter, which features real people such as Claude Chabrol in- termingling with other directors who are them- selves playing characters. But the editing — the current cut was assembled recently — is often jarringly misjudged and unlike Welles. This The Other Side of the Wind has a haphazard “well,
he shot it, so we better include it” vibe. One wonders just how much of the existing editing Welles got to oversee himself; the answer is: probably not much. There’s a tight, 80-minute feature trapped in The Other Side of the Wind, one that Welles most likely would have exhumed had he not run out of money while filming. (Odie Henderson)
TIME TRAP Patton Oswalt used to have a bit where he talked about how animation studios would call him in to add funny, off-screen dialogue over unfunny scenes in a movie. That leapt to mind as I watched Time Trap, a movie where the cast seemed to have spent more time in post looping lines than they did actually saying lines on camera. The ironic part is that while a lot of these actors say the most annoy- ingly dumb shit, both on and off camera, you probably don’t want to hear what they have
to say anyway. The film is about some young folks in search of a professor (Andrew Wilson) who went missing in some caves. Once they get there, they discover time portals that send the inhabitants speeding through the future. (The caves also house prehistoric humans,
for some reason.) Directors Mark Dennis and Ben Foster (no, not that Ben Foster) say they wanted to make the sort of kid-friendly adven- ture they used to watch when they were little (they shout out The Goonies a couple of times, in case you haven’t picked up on the obvious ’80s influences). But this movie is just a crazy mishmash of accelerated exposition, grating dialogue, corny performances and blatantly cheapo special effects and action sequences. To tell you the truth, I started to suspect that this was made to show that the filmmakers could handle the sort of campy, low-budget, TV movie bullshit you see on Syfy. Hell, that’s whereyoumightendupseeingthissomeday. (Craig D. Lindsey)
UNLOVABLE With its scenes of its young protag- onist puking or contemplating her bad decisions while in the bath, its motif of cutesy illustrations and stuffed animals and even its one-word
title, much of Unlovable is familiar, but the film at least offers a tale not often told. Charlene deGuzman, who co-wrote the screenplay based on her own life experiences, plays Joy, a woman struggling to recover from sex addiction. That’s a notoriously misunderstood condition, and too much of the conversation around it centers on heterosexual men, so deGuzman’s boldness
is welcome. Director Suzi Yoonessi keeps the tone light. The addiction isn’t presented as a sob story, and the familiar beats of relapse and self-loathing are all there, albeit in a sunny tab- leau. Joy dresses in clothes emblazoned with di- nosaurs and cats, and her hookup bar of choice serves pierogies, aggressively quirky window dressing on a story that is presumably far thornier. In one of the most effectively uncom- fortable moments, Joy sends the same obscene text to a number of different men, her despera- tion seeping through the screen. Melissa Leo, as Maddie, Joy’s 12-step program sponsor, gives a compelling performance, and her tough yet em- pathetic maternal quality proves a strong coun- terpoint to deGuzman’s millennial messiness. John Hawkes plays Maddie’s surly brother, with whom Joy ultimately forms a therapeutic rock band, but the film only scratches the surface of his psychology, settling instead on a lukewarm depiction of unlikely friendship. Early on, sex addiction is called “a gaping hole in the soul” but Unlovable barely has us feel it. (Abbey Bender)
ONGOING
BEAUTIFUL BOY Just out of high school in Marin County and free to attend any of the six colleges that have accepted him, Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet) is handsome, whip-smart and com- pletely addicted to drugs, chiefly crystal meth. “It takes the edge off stupid, all-day reality,” he explains to his father, David (Steve Carell, su- perb), a journalist whose love for Nic and desire to be his best pal have blinded him to the truth of his son’s life. The imperfect yet affecting new film Beautiful Boy, based on memoirs by the real-life Nic and David, examines addiction and its effects on one family. But it’s also a medita- tion on memory and the difficulty of reconciling the happiness of the past with a present that’s become too sad to bear. Belgian writer-direc- tor Felix Van Groeningen (The Misfortunates,
The Broken Circle Breakdown, both Foreign- Language Film Oscar nominees) and his longtime editor, Nico Leunen, juxtapose the worn Nic slumped in the passenger seat en route to rehab with memories flashing across David’s mind of an earlier car trip, when Nic bobbed his head in time to a Nirvana jam on the radio, to his father’s delight. That idealized Nic, so happy and full of promise, will be the one mourned by David, his ex-wife (and Nic’s mother), Vicki (Amy Ryan), his current wife, Karen (Maura Tierney), and even their two young children. Rehab becomes so- briety becomes relapse, a pitiless cycle of hope and disappointment too many of us will experi- ence at one time or another, either as addict or loved one. Chalamet and Carell share a palpably deep connection. (Chuck Wilson)
GO ABREADFACTORYThebiggestsurprise about Patrick Wang’s sweepingly ambitious, two-
part, four-hour ensemble piece A Bread Factory is: The film, a sort of cinematic state-of-the-arts speech, is endlessly warm, playful and lovable, a sprawling and prankish hangout comedy with no clear precedent. Wang favors long, single-shot scenes capturing uninterrupted performance, his actors here often playing actors themselves or poets or tap dancers or singing real estate agents. Surveying the bustle around a small town’s performing arts center, savoring the quirks and ambitions of the artists who populate it, A Bread Factory at times suggests, in its nim- ble comic portraiture within a sprawling milieu, in its spirited blend of naturalism and sketch com- edy, the work of Richard Linklater, Christopher Guest, Robert Altman and Edward Yang. The film is utterly singular, though, the kind of work that will become a point of comparison itself. Even its two halves proceed in different modes. A Bread Factory’s first half, following the fight of the arts center’s founders — Dorothea (Tyne Daly) and Greta (Elisabeth Henry) — to prevent the school
board from withdrawing its funding, plays as a series of blackout scenes and sketches that rib and celebrate the lives of artists and the art-ad- jacent. An independent filmmaker (a wonderful Janeane Garofalo) harangues a Bread Factory au- dience for not having any Qs at a Q&A. Characters give monologues from plays they’re in or works they’re inventing on the spot. The second half proves somewhat darker but also more brazenly inventive in its scene craft. If Part One centered on the role of the arts in the lives of these char- acters and their community, Part Two finds their lives becoming art. Suddenly, song-and-dance numbers break out in parking lots and coffee shops. (Alan Scherstuhl)
FAHRENHEIT 11/9 Fahrenheit 11/9 plays not like a much-needed blast of truth but like an all-pur- pose Michael Moore sequel, a self-congratulatory follow-up to several of his films, with Parkland material in the Bowling for Columbine vein, ref- erences to Sicko and even excerpts from 1989’s
WWW.LAWEEKLY.com | November 2 - 8, 2018 | LA WEEKLY


































































































   28   29   30   31   32