Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week.
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins follows up his Best Picture winner Moonlight with an adaptation of a James Baldwin novel set in 1970s Harlem. From what I can tell without spoiling it for myself, it appears to be brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.” Looks heavy, but emotionally powerful.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening – Fine art photographer RaMell Ross sets his gorgeous portraits of impoverished Southern lives in motion in his debut feature as a documentarian. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art will be screening the film for free on Friday 1/11, followed by a The Dismantling of Southern Poverty panel discussion with Ross & other artists on Saturday, 1/12.
Saboteur (1942) – A film noir spy thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, featuring a co-writing credit from Dorothy Parker. Playing Sunday 1/13 & Wednesday 1/16 as party of Prytania’s Classic Movies series.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos follows up the stubbornly obscure The Killing of a Sacred Deer with his most accessible feature yet: a queer, darkly funny costume drama about a three-way power struggle between increasingly volatile women (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz). It’s both a gorgeous laugh riot and a pitch-black howl of unending cruelty & despair. Fun!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – In the abstract, the concept of a 2010s CG animation Spider-Man origin story sounds dreadful. In practice, prankster screenwriter Phil Lord explodes the concept into a wild cosmic comedy by making a movie about the world’s over-abundance of Spider-Man origin stories (and about the art of CG animation at large). Spider-Verse is a shockingly imaginative, beautiful, and hilarious take on a story & a medium that should be a total drag, but instead is bursting with energetic life & psychedelic creativity.
Escape Room – The first significant release of 2019 is essentially the ideal version of Saw, with all the nasty torture porn & (most of) the nu-metal removed for optimal silliness. All storytelling logic & meaningful character work are tossed out the window in favor of full, head-on commitment to an over-the-top, truly preposterous gimmick, making for some delicious early-January trash.