Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including some high-brow art cinema and some dumb-as-rocks summertime trash.
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
Midsommar – Ari Aster follows up last year’s excellent occultist drama Hereditary with a three-hour descent into daylit horror madness. It appears to be a darkly funny, playfully cruel update to The Wicker Man, which makes it the perfect folk-horror counterprogramming to combat more traditional summertime entertainment.
Fast Color – A critically-beloved festival darling superhero drama starring GuGu Mbatha-Raw that might have been a big commercial hit but was instead quietly shoveled off to VOD. This is likely your only chance to see it on the big screen. Playing for one week only at Chalmette Movies.
The Bayou Maharaja (2013) – A warts-and-all documentary about local-legend pianist James Booker, whom Dr. John once described as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” Directed by Lily Keber, whose more recent doc Buckjumping is a gem. Screening free to the public Wednesday 7/10 at The Orpheum.
Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed
E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982) – Steven Spielberg’s alien invasion classic that everyone remembers as an adorable buddy comedy between a kid & his extraterrestrial pal but is actually a heart-wrenching traumatic drama about loneliness, grief, codependency, and isolation. Playing Friday 7/5 and Saturday 7/6 as part of The Prytania’s Summer Kids’ Movie Series.
Avengers: Endgame – Thanks to the emergence of yet another Spider-Man film on this week’s docket and Disney’s bizarre desperation to beat out Avatar’s box-office records, this year’s biggest superhero behemoth is back in AMC theaters with new promotional materials included after its end credits. Boomer was a big fan and, although less enthusiastic about it overall, I personally found it fascinating as a tipping point for our New Nerd America, so maybe there are worse ways to escape the summer heat.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Cool monsters, boring humans; achieves the bare minimum required for a decent Godzilla flick. These things are never going to be as charming as they were when they were stitched together with rubber costumes & hand-built miniatures, but this movie’s Pokémon-style approach of collecting all your favorite kaiju creatures for spectacular battles is still entertaining enough on its own terms.