Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a wealth of artsy-fartsy counterprogramming to the summertime blockbuster season.
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
When I Get Home – A multi-media music video/art film directed by adopted local Solange Knowles as a visual accompaniment to her album of the same name. Screening only at The Broad, one of a select few movie theaters in the country playing it.
Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood – Billed as the ninth feature film from genre sommelier (and obnoxious blowhard) Quentin Tarantino, this appears to be an irreverently obscured retelling of Sharon Tate’s murder by the Manson Family cult. Expect something just as immorally entertaining as that descriptor implies.
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 Thursday 8/1 at The Orpheum.
Pasolini (2014) – Abel Ferrara directs Willem Dafoe in a biopic about the dying days of famed Italian iconoclast filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.
Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed
The Farewell – Lulu Wang’s story of emigration, family, and truthiness amounts to a great, deeply personal film with an impressive tightrope balance between morbid humor and quiet emotional anguish. Starring Aquafina in a long-time-coming breakthrough role.
The Art of Self-Defense – Jesse Eisenberg stars in an absurdly dry satire about MRA types who run a militaristic karate dojo in a strip mall, framing Toxic Masculinity as a literal cult. Directed by the same cheeky sicko who made Faults. Playing only at AMC Elmwood.
Midsommar – Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary is yet another lengthy, morbidly funny meditation on grief, but this time wrapped around the folk horror template established by The Wicker Man. It’s a divinely fucked up melodrama about empathy, gaslighting, breakups, and finding your flock – whether they be academia bros or bloodthirsty cultists.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco – One of the best movies of the summer is a bizarre Sundance drama about gentrification & friendship. A wildly inventive directorial debut that filters anxiety & anger over housing inequality through classic stage play Existentialism & Surrealism touchstones like Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead. Playing only at The Broad Theater.