Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including repertory screenings of an Oscar Winning classic set in New Orleans.
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
Suspiria (2018) – Luca Guadagnino is cashing in the clout from the critical praise he earned for Call Me by Your Name to lavishly reimagine (not remake) Dario Argento’s classic witchcraft-giallo Suspiria. I’ve purposefully avoided the advertising for this one so far because I want to go in as blind as possible, but here’s what I know: it maintains the original’s ballet school setting but not much else, it’s polarizing critics into divisive extremes, and it’s by all accounts an artsy-fartsy gore fest. We did an entire Ballet Horror episode of the podcast a couple years back, and I’m stoked to find out how this one participates in that traditionally sensuous, eerie subgenre.
Panic in the Streets (1950) – An Oscar-winning noir about a plague outbreak and simultaneous murder investigation, set (and shot on location) in New Orleans. The film is notable for including many locals in its cast & crew, or at least more than you’d expect from an Old Hollywood production; so even if its Academy Award-winning “Best Story” doesn’t grab your attention, its documentation of a local past might. Playing Sunday 11/4 & Wednesday 11/7 as part of Prytania’s Classic Movies series.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – An Oscar Season actor’s showcase for a once-goofy-now-serious comedian in a tonally muted biopic would normally not be something I’d rush out to see. The talent on-hand here is too substantial to ignore, however, as the comedian in question is the consistently-compelling Melissa McCarthy and the director behind her is Marielle Heller, whose previous feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl might just be one of the best dramas of the decade. My genre-bias is showing in my struggle to stir up enthusiasm for this one; all signs point to it being a total stunner.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
Halloween (2018) –This David Gordon Green-directed, Danny McBride-cowritten, Blumhouse-produced soft-reboot of the eponymous John Carpenter 1978 proto-slasher has to satisfy two entirely different audiences: people who want to know what Original Final Girl Laurie Strode is up to 40 years later and first-weekend horror audiences who just want to see some interesting slasher kills. I believe it did a great job of satisfying both sides of that binary in two separate tracks, then converging them in a thoughtful way that has a lot to say about Fate, senseless violence, and the obsessive thought-loops of trauma recovery.
Venom – A C-grade superhero movie that treads water for at least a half-hour, then mutates into an A+ slapstick body-horror comedy with an outright Nic Cagian lead performance from Tom Hardy. Venom is a less satirically pointed, big-budget version of Upgrade or a modernized Henenlotter, but its highs are also much funnier (and surprisingly queerer) than either of those reference points. It’s a lot of fun if you maintain your patience through the first act.
Mamma Mia! (2008) – You may know that this ABBA-themed jukebox musical is popular enough as a crowd-pleasing rom-com to have inspired a decade-late sequel this past summer. What you may not remember all this time later is that it is absurdly, deliriously horny. Mamma Mia! slyly slips under the radar as a cartoonishly horned-up sex comedy disguised in wholesome Family-Friendly clothing in a way we haven’t seen on this scale since Grease. For a refresher on how desperately thirsty this comedy-musical is, catch up with its Fathom Events 10th Anniversary screenings Sunday 11/4 & Tuesday 11/6, check out our recent podcast discussion of its prurient charms, or just have a peek at Christine Baranski pretending a flower is her dick: