The Love Witch | Uptown Theatre
Director Anna Biller previously showed a flair for faithfully reproducing the style and iconography of 60s exploitation flicks in Viva. Here, she takes a similar approach with horror films of the same decade. Mod outfits and a groovy soundtrack abound, providing period authenticity to this story about a serial killer witch (Samantha Robinson) who seduces her victims. As the trailer shows, the film is brimming with the sort of aesthetic details that are like crack for genre buffs. Apparently, this movie is among the last to have its negative cut on 35 mm film.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre | The Trylon
If you’ve never seen John Huston’s 1948 classic, put it on the to-do list. Among the most gripping and intense films of its era, The Treasure of Sierra Madre is in a class of its own when it comes to brutal, psychological adventure filmmaking. Walter Huston (John’s dad), Humphrey Bogart, and Tim Holt play three American nobodies trying to make it out of Mexico alive with a lottery jackpot while encountering various challenges, notably Mexican bandits. As Humphrey Bogart starts getting more bearded, he starts cracking up. The growing tension and suspense as the gold diggers succumb to their greedy nature still holds up very well today.
Within Our Gates| The Trylon
Sometimes, the Trylon shows two different classic films over the course of the weekend that both merit a watch, and this one is a vital piece of silent film history. Filmed in response to D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux created a film that was somewhat of a response, criticizing lynchings and white supremacism. Micheaux had a fraction of Griffith’s budget and his effort is less sophisticated, but still works as a tale of a mixed-race woman coming to terms with her ancestry.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them| Various Theaters
J.K. Rowling once swore to leave the Harry Potter world behind, but seems to have changed her mind recently. Fantastic Beasts is apparently the start of a five-picture franchise that will probably run well through the next decade. That is, assuming it will do well financially (which, of course, it will). The newest Potter film involves Eddie Redmayne as a wizard who accidentally releases magical beasts in America. Colin Farrell plays a renegade wizard villain.
Rules Don’t Apply | Various Theaters
This one doesn’t actually arrive in Minneapolis until Tuesday, but such is the case with films released around Thanksgiving. It’s worth shouting out here as the first film in 15 years from Warren Beatty, who plays an elder Howard Hughes in the movie. The film does not focus on Hughes, who is just a supporting character, but rather on a couple (Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins) who both work for the reclusive magnate. Set against the backdrop of classic Hollywood, it has a massive cast including Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Candice Bergen, and Martin Sheen.