Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 3/14/19 – 3/20/19

The story on this week’s New Orleans big screens is music: from local brass to Norwegian black metal to outer-space synths. Shake off that post-Mardi Gras funk and soak in the sounds. Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in the city this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Climax I usually have very little patience for shock value schlockteur Gaspar Noé’s edgelord posturing, but I can’t help but be excited for his latest provocation. It appears to be a psychedelic interpretive dance gore fest, like a We Are the Flesh-themed dance party. Also, bless their hearts, A24 is pushing the film into wide release, so you can see all its extremist glory on the corporate big screens of mainstream venues like AMC for an extra layer of sadistic novelty.

Buckjumping A New Orleans music scene documentary about local dance traditions that premiered at last year’s NOFF, screening now as a special presentation in the Seeing Music series at NOCCA this Thursday, March 14.

Apollo 11 The Space Race is a subject that’s had more than its due over the decades of cinema since the Cold War, but this documentary offers something new by pulling raw materials directly from the past. Restoring 70mm footage from NASA’s historic 1969 mission to the Moon and setting it to a spooky analog Moog-synth soundtrack, this promises to be a one-of-a-kind big screen spectacle, despite the over-familiarity of its subject.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

Lords of Chaos – Rory Culkin stars in a true-crime dramedy about the infamous 90s black metal band Mayhem, whose “breakup” story involved a spectacularly violent murder. It’s a darkly funny satire about how hardline shithead metal nerds are mostly just trust fund kids with loving parents & aimless suburban angst – zapping all of the supposed Cool out of their church burnings, murders and animal cruelty by treating them as the edgelord trolls that they were. Screening only at the new & improved Zeitgeist cinema in Arabi, which is continuing its adventurous film programming in a more proper, immersive theatrical environment.

Greta Isabelle Huppert revives the post-Baby Jane psycobiddy thriller in a late-career goof-em-up from once-respected British director Neil Jordan. It takes a little patience for the psychobiddy antics to heat up, but once Huppert is fully unleashed her crazed old-lady-killer cruelty leads to some A+ delirious camp.

Fighting with My Family British comedy mainstay Stephen Merchant writes & directs a shockingly compelling biopic about WWE wrestler Paige in her early rise to power. This is the most I’ve cried and the hardest I laughed in a movie I didn’t expect either from since that Breakfast Club-style reboot of Power Rangers. Even if you have zero interest in pro wrestling as an artform, it’s still very much worth your time.

-Brandon Ledet

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Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 3/7/19 – 3/13/19

Mardi Gras was beautiful and exhausting (check out our own Divine-themed walking krewe to get a taste of what of what I mean) so in the spirit of a soothing recovery, let’s keep this week’s big screen roundup short & sweet. Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
Frenzy (1972) – A London-set serial killer thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in what ended up being his second to last feature. Playing Sunday 3/10 and Wednesday 3/13 as part of Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

Greta I honestly have no idea what’s going on in this movie beyond Isaelle Huppert & Chloë Grace Moretz trading some deliciously vicious Lifteime Movie cruelty in a struggle for power. That alone is more than enough to sell my ticket.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

Fighting with My Family British comedy mainstay Stephen Merchant writes & directs a shockingly compelling biopic about WWE wrestler Paige in her early rise to power. This is the most I’ve cried and the hardest I laughed in a movie I didn’t expect either from since that Breakfast Club-style reboot of Power Rangers. Even if you have zero interest in pro wrestling as an artform, it’s still very much worth your time.

Happy Death Day 2U The locally-shot, Groundhog’s Day-riffing time loop slasher is back for a second round, this time pivoting from horror comedy to absurdist sci-fi. This is just as much ofa hoot as the first Happy Death Day, if not only for offering locals another opportunity to see sports mascot The King Cake Baby fulfill his obvious destiny as a horror movie villain.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 2/28/19 – 3/6/19

We’re exhausted from the Oscars; Mardi Gras might just finish the job and kill us all. In that spirit, let’s keep this week’s big screen roundup short & sweet.

There are still a few great Oscar-nominated movies playing around town but you either already know where to find them or you’ve already seen them. Either way, we’re all tired of talking about them. Here are the few other movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Greta I honestly have no idea what’s going on in this movie beyond Isaelle Huppert & Chloë Grace Moretz trading some deliciously vicious Lifteime Movie cruelty in a struggle for power. That alone is more than enough to sell my ticket.

Happy Death Day 2U The locally-shot, Groundhog’s Day-riffing time loop slasher is back for a second round, this time pivoting from horror comedy to absurdist sci-fi. The first Happy Death Day was a hoot, if not only for offering locals an opportunity to see sports mascot The King Cake Baby fulfill his obvious destiny as a horror movie villain.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

Fighting with My Family British comedy mainstay Stephen Merchant writes & directs a shockingly compelling biopic about WWE wrestler Paige in her early rise to power. This is the most I’ve cried and the hardest I laughed in a movie I didn’t expect either from since that Breakfast Club-style reboot of Power Rangers. Even if you have zero interest in pro wrestling as an artform, it’s still very much worth your time.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – To commemorate the passing of legendary Hollywood director Stanley Donen, The Prytania Theatre is screening his beloved musical on Ash Wednesday, when we’ll all need a good pick-me-up. From my review for our Roger Ebert Film School series: “A comedy about a fictional movie studio’s struggles to transition from the Silent Era to talkies, Singin’ in the Rain takes great pleasure in staging Technicolor recreations of old forms of entertainment like black & white silent romance pictures & traditional vaudeville acts. Hollywood’s favorite subject in general has always been itself, echoing an even more ancient tradition of art about art, and Gene Kelly’s career seems to be an essential part of that introspective self-indulgence.” Screening Wednesday 3/6, 7:30pm at The Prytania Theatre.

-Brandon Ledet

The Swampflix Guide to the Oscars, 2019

There are 37 feature films nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony. We here at Swampflix are conspicuously more attracted to the lowbrow & genre-minded than we are to stuffy Awards Season releases, so as usual we have reviewed little more than half of the films nominated (so far!). We’re still happy to see so many movies we enjoyed listed among the nominees, though. Last year was an incredibly rare occurrence where three films from our own Top Films of 2017 list were nominated for Oscars, two of which won major awards – Get Out (our Movie of the Year) for Best Original Screenplay and The Shape of Water for Best Picture. That’s astonishing, given the Academy’s historic distaste for the weirdo genre films we passionately seek out. I doubt we’ll ever see that anomaly again (not that I wouldn’t love to be proven wrong). This year’s list of nominees, for instance, has zero overlap with Swampflix’s Top Films of 2018 list; none of our consensus picks even snuck into the technical categories where bizarre phrases like “The Academy Award-Winning Suicide Squad” are born. Still, plenty of movies we enjoyed did land some high-profile nominations, and 50% of the Best Picture nominees were reviewed with great enthusiasm on the site (the less we say about the other 50%, the better). The Academy rarely gets these things right when actually choosing winners, but the last two Best Picture victories (for The Shape of Water & Moonlight) have felt like a welcome change in the tide. Even if the statues ultimately go home with the wrong nominees, though, the list below isn’t half-bad as a representation of the cultural landscape of 2018 cinema.

Listed below are the 20 Oscar-Nominated films from 2018 that we covered for the site, ranked from best to . . . least-best, based on our star ratings. Each entry is accompanied by a blurb, a link to our corresponding review, and a mention of the awards the films were nominated for.

1. Black Panther, nominated for Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing

“Representation can and must transcend dramatization and metaphor-making of real world trauma; the past and the framework it created for contemporary existence cannot be denied, but looking to the future is important too. This movie may not be for you, but you will be better for having seen it, and the huge numbers of white Americans who would never pay to see a movie with an (almost) all black cast were it not a Marvel property will also be better for it. This is a film company that has become an indomitable box office powerhouse using that power for good, and that’s worth celebrating.”

2. BLacKkKlansman, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), Best Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay

“It’s been a while since a movie had me ping-ponging from such extremes of pure pleasure & stomach-churning nausea. What’s brilliant about BlacKkKlansman is that it often achieves both effects using the same genre tools. Even when it’s taking the structure of an absurdist farce, its humor can be genuinely funny or caustically sickening. Racism is delivered kindly & with a wholesome American smile here, without apology; shamelessly evil bigotry is presented in the cadence & appearance of a joke, but lands with appropriate horror instead of humor. Lee only further complicates his genre subversion by mixing that horror with actual, genuine jokes, so that the film overall maintains the structure of a comedy.”

3. Roma, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina De Tavira), Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay

“The crisp black & white cinematography and the epic scale of its cast of extras could cynically be perceived as an empty attempt to ‘elevate’ domestic labor to the perceived prestige of Oscar Worthy filmmaking. The film is not pretentious or coldly distanced enough to fully justify that cynicism, however, as it’s packed with enough flaccid dicks, dogshit, and general pessimism about the routines & familial dynamic of this kind of labor to be dismissed as ingratiating or watered down.”

4. The Favourite, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, and Best Production Design

“The jokes fly faster & with a newfound, delicious bitchiness. The sex & violence veer more towards slapstick than inhuman cruelty. The Favourite is Yorgos Lanthimos seeking moments of compromise & accessibility while still staying true to his distinctly cold auteurist voice – and it’s his best film to date for it.”

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

“A shockingly imaginative, beautiful, and hilarious take on a story & medium combo that should be a total drag, but instead is bursting with energetic life & psychedelic creativity. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen the feat achieved onscreen with my own two eyes – which are still sore from the vibrant, hyperactive swirl of interdimensional colors & spider-people that assaulted them in gloriously uninhibited 3D animation.”

6. If Beale Street Could Talk, nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Regina King), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score

“On just a basic level of aesthetic beauty, If Beale Street Could Talk is a soaring achievement. The fashion, music, and portraiture of its vision of 1970s Harlem are an overwhelming sensual experience that fully conveys the romance & heartbreak of its central couple in crisis. It’s initially difficult to gauge exactly how tonally & structurally ambitious the film will become, but by the time Tish is recounting America’s long history of Civil Rights abuses over real-life photographs from our not-too-distant past, it almost feels like an excerpt from the James Baldwin-penned essay film I Am Not Your Negro, a much more structurally radical work from start to end. If Beale Street Could Talk‘s merits as a boundary-testing art piece require patience & trust on the audience’s end, but it’s something Barry Jenkins has earned from us (and then some) with his previous work.”

7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?, nominated for Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant), and Best Adapted Screenplay

“Marielle Heller’s greatest achievement in this film is in inhabiting Israel’s voice & POV, the same way the infamous forger inhabited the voices of the literary figures whose graves she robbed. No matter how prickly or destructive Israel can be in the film, we never lose sight of the fact that the world let her down first, that life is a bum deal that doesn’t deserve a single ounce of effort whether or not she’s willing to give it.”

8. Shoplifters, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film

Shoplifters is a little less patient, a little more formalist, and a lot more blatant in its themes about the unconventional shapes families form in poverty & crisis, but the overall effect is just as tenderly devastating here as it was in Kore-eda’s earlier film Nobody Knows. I think I even slightly preferred the less documentarian approach here, if not only because Nobody Knows is so punishingly somber while this one is more open to notes of sweetness & sentimentality even if both films share in the same grim themes.”

9. A Quiet Place, nominated for Best Sound Editing

“Disregarding Platinum Dunes’s shaky reputation within the horror community and Cinema Sins-style logic sticklers’ nitpicky complaints about its premise & exposition, it’s remarkable how much personality & genuine familial tension John Krasinski was able to infuse into this genre film blockbuster; it’s the most distinctive film to bear Michael Bay’s name since Pain & Gain.”

10. Isle of Dogs, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Score

“A stop-motion animated sci-fi feature about doggos who run wild on a dystopian pile of literal garbage, the basic elevator pitch for Isle of Dogs already sounds like a Madlibs-style grab bag of the exact bullshit I love to see projected on the big screen, even without Wes Anderson’s name attached. As he already demonstrated with Fantastic Mr. Fox, the director’s twee-flavored meticulousness also has a wider appeal when seen in the context of stop-motion, which generally requires a level of whimsy, melancholy, and visual fussiness to be pulled off well. That’s why it’s so frustrating that Isle of Dogs is so flawed on such a fundamental, conceptual level and that I can’t help but thoroughly enjoy it anyway, despite my better judgment.”

11. Ready Player One, nominated for Best Visual Effects

“I’m baffled by the consensus that Ready Player One is intended to be seen as a fun popcorn movie. To me, it’s a nightmare vision of a plausible near-future Hell that we’re helplessly barreling towards. Maybe that qualifies me as a hater. I wouldn’t know; you’d have to ask a fanboy. I do suspect, though, that the film’s director shares that same point of view somewhere beneath his King Nerd exterior.”

12. Hale County This Morning, This Evening, nominated for Best Documentary Feature

With the fractured, narrative-light meandering of a photojournal in motion, Hale County This Morning, This Evening plays more like a diary than a proper documentary. Ross appears to be gathering moving images to either calcify a concurrent photography project or to supplement those photographs with a curated installation piece. Either way, the experiment makes for rich raw material to pull from in the editing room when repurposed for a feature-length non-fiction piece, no matter how disjointed the result.

13. Solo: A Star Wars Story, nominated for Best Visual Effects

“The dependency upon references to past material (and presumably planting seeds to be reaped in future Star Wars stories, every year from now until you’re dead, so just shut up and give Disney your money already you pathetic fleck of lint) drags this movie down. Although it’s occasionally buoyed back up by strong performances and jokes that actually land, and it somehow manages to stick the landing, there’s just so much here that you’ll want to forget. There’s almost a good film in here, but there’s also definitely a pretty bad one. If you happen to miss the first thirty minutes, you’ll likely have a much better time, but there’s no guarantee.”

14. Cold War, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography

“As impressed as I was with the film’s storytelling efficiency, it felt like the deadly attraction at its core kept getting cut short every time it started to heat up. The result was very pretty to look at, but also frustratedly stilted in its movement.”

15. Minding the Gap, nominated for Best Documentary Feature

“We’re so used to seeing skateboarding highlights meticulously edited into the music video-cool montages that make it seem like the most transcendent sport on Earth. That informal training ground is exactly where Bing Liu cut his teeth as a filmmaker, but Minding the Gap finds him stripping all of that perceived cool away to reach for a difficultly intimate level of honesty & vulnerability.”

16. Avengers: Infinity War, nominated for Best Visual Effects

“I’m sure that future re-watches (especially at home, on a screen that’s smaller and thus better at hiding the flaws of bad computer imagery) will likely leave me with a more positive feeling (and I reserve the right to change my opinion at a later date), especially after the second half of this narrative is released next summer. For now, though, I just can’t bring myself to love this. It’s not because it’s a bummer; I think that was a good choice and I usually prefer that. It’s not because it’s popular, either; that’s never been a problem for me. Ultimately, the problem for me has nothing to do with what’s in the movie, but everything that it’s missing.”

17. A Star is Born, nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott), Best Cinematography, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay

“Someone with a much kinder ear for the proto-country Dad-rock Cooper & Gaga perform as a duo in the film will likely have a much easier time swallowing its attacks on the Authenticity of high-gloss pop music than I did. Even if not, the improv looseness of the film’s early, pre-popshaming stretch is infectiously charming, enough so that it carries the film though much of its second-half rough patches.”

18. Mary Queen of Scots, nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup

“Had the potential to function like a one-on-one rivalry on Drag Race All Stars, but instead quietly passes the time like an especially subdued BBC miniseries. My desire for the former is certainly more a result of boisterous portrayals of Elizabeth from actors like Bette Davis, Quentin Crisp, and Judi Dench than anything to do with historical accuracy, but dutiful scholarship isn’t really this movie’s main concern anyway.”

19. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Song

“‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ is a wonderful novelty in isolation; it’s the ‘Other Tales of the American Frontier’ that drag this anthology down into regressive tedium as a collection. The Coens’ usual fixation on the philosophy & brutality of Death are perfectly at home with the genre – to the point where they get perilously uncomfortable with its worst trappings.

20. First Reformed, nominated for Best Original Screenplay

“Without Travis Bickle’s moral repugnance making his physical & mental decline a complexly difficult crisis to engage with, Reverend Toller’s unraveling feels like a much less interesting, less essential retread of territory Schrader has explored onscreen before, even if the political anxiety driving it this time is more relatable.”

-Brandon Ledet & Mark “Boomer” Redmond

Oscar-Nominated Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 2/21/19 – 2/27/19

In so, so many ways it’s crunch time in New Orleans right now.  Parades are rolling, Mardi Gras costume supplies are frantically being hot-glued together, and everyone’s social calendars are bursting at the seams.  Awards Season movie distribution slows down for no one, though, and the 2019 Oscars ceremony is arriving this week whether or not this city is prepared for it.

To help keep the volatile clash of Oscar buzz & Bourbon Street daquiri buzz manageable, we’re going to keep this week’s local screenings round-up as simple as possible. Here are some recommendations for Oscar-nominated movies that are screening around New Orleans, what they’re nominated for, and where to find them.

Roma, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina De Tavira), Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay – Alfonso Cuarón’s staggering black & white period-piece epic & personal memoir is a major Oscar contender, but most people have  only had a chance to see it at home on Netflix. We’re one of the few cities where audiences can fully immerse themselves in its lush cinematography & meticulously detailed sound design on the big screen. Returning for a second theatrical run at The Broad Theater.

The Favourite,  nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, and Best Production Design – 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! Only playing at The Broad Theater.

If Beale Street Could Talk, nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Regina King), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score Barry Jenkins follows up his Best Picture winner Moonlight with an adaptation of a James Baldwin novel set in 1970s Harlem. Brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.” Only playing at The Prytania Theatre.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse nominated for Best Animated Feature Film – 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. Playing at AMC Elmwood & AMC Westbank.

Cold War, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography – A Polish romance drama from the director of Ida, covering multiple decades of a single relationship in 90 swooning minutes of crisp black & white splendor and despair. Playing only at The Broad Theater. Playing at The Broad Theater & AMC Elmwood.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week (French Film Fest Edition) 2/14/19 – 2/21/19

 

In so, so many ways it’s crunch time in New Orleans right now.  Parades are starting to roll, Mardi Gras costume supplies are frantically being hot-glued together, and everyone’s social calendars are bursting at the seams.  Movie distribution slows down for no one, though, and there are two major cinematic events on the horizon worth keeping an eye on: the 22nd annual New Orleans French Film Fest and the 2019 Oscars ceremony.

There are over a dozen titles screening at The Prytania in the coming week for the New Orleans French Film Festival, and The Broad Theater is the final resting place for many of the more worthwhile artsy-fartsy Oscar nominees, so we’re going to keep this week’s local screenings round-up as simple as possible. Here are some recommendations for movies to see at the city’s two most essential indie spots.

Essential Movies Screening at The New Orleans French Film Fest

Beauty and the Beast (1946) Jean Cocteau’s masterful black & white fairy tale adaptation, included as part of Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series. Beauty and the Beast is screening Sunday 2/17, 10am, and Wednesday 10/20, 10am, at The Prytania.

The Nun (1966) A controversial French New Wave political drama about a young woman (played by Anna Karina) who is locked away in a nunnery against her will. The Nun is screening in a new digital restoration Sunday 2/17, 2:15pm (preceded by live music at 1:45pm), and Tuesday 2/19, 12pm, at The Prytania.

The Image Book The latest sensory film collage essay from French New Wave iconoclast Jean-Luc Goddard, a deliberate deconstruction of cinema as an art form. The Image Book is screening Thursday 2/21, 5:30pm, at The Prytania.

Non-Fiction A drama from indie cinema mainstay Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper, Cold Water, Clouds of Sils Maria) set in the publishing industry of Paris, co-starring Juliette Binoche. Non-Fiction is screening Thursday 2/21, 7:45pm (preceded by live music at 7:15pm) at The Prytania.

Oscar Nominated Films Screening at The Broad

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! Only playing at The Broad Theater.

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. Brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.” Only playing at The Broad Theater.

Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda continues the themes of makeshift families struggling to survive in the bowels of poverty that he explored in previous works like the stunning drama Nobody Knows. Awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and recently nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, this film is an event, albeit an emotionally traumatic one. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

Cold War A Polish, Oscar-nominated romance drama from the director of Ida, covering multiple decades of a single relationship in 90 swooning minutes of crisp black & white splendor and despair. Playing only at The Broad Theater. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 2/7/19 – 2/13/19

Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a few Oscar contenders.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Cold War A Polish, Oscar-nominated romance drama from the director of Ida, covering multiple decades of a single relationship in 90 swooning minutes of crisp black & white splendor and despair. Playing only at The Broad Theater. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas Somehow not a gory horror cheapie, this emotional YA romance anime has what’s got to be the most provocative title of the year so far. Screening Thursday 2/7 & Sunday 2/10 via Fathom Events.

Oscar-Nominated Shorts Showcases Both The Prytania Theatre & AMC are packaging this year’s Oscar-nominated shorts in three category-specific showcases: live-action narrative, live-action documentary, and animated shorts. I’m personally only intrigued by the animation package, but it’s honestly just nice to have the opportunity to see short films in a proper cinema, outside of a film festival.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Sons of Tennessee Williams (2011) An essential local documentary about our city’s largely overlooked gay Mardi Gras tradition, detailing the gay krewes & ball culture of both past & present. Screening Wednesday 2/13 at The Prytania Theatre with a Q&A from director Tim Wolff and a performance from drag queen Puddin Tain (to benefit The Krewe of Armenius, who are featured prominently in the doc).

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. Brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.” Only playing at The Broad Theater.

Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda continues the themes of makeshift families struggling to survive in the bowels of poverty that he explored in previous works like the stunning drama Nobody Knows. Awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and recently nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, this film is an event, albeit an emotionally traumatic one. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/31/19 – 2/6/19

Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a few Oscar contenders.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda continues the themes of makeshift families struggling to survive in the bowels of poverty that he explored in previous works like the stunning drama Nobody Knows. Awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and recently nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, this film is an event, albeit an emotionally traumatic one. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

Burning A South Korean mystery drama about a twisty love triangle, starring Steven Yeun at peak sexiness. Widely considered by pro critics to be one of the year’s more glaring Oscar snubs and playing only at Zeitgeist, who are currently raising funds to move to a more traditional theater space.

Serenity A trashy, irresponsible thriller about domestic abuse & brutish fishermen that boasts a talented cast who all should have known better. So why am I recommending it? It apparently has the most ludicrous third act twist of all time, a shocking reveal that pushes it into so-bad-it’s-amazing territory. Read the spoiler here yourself if you need to be convinced.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Glass M. Night Shyamalan continues the off-kilter superhero mythology he established in Unbreakable & Split (is that still considered a spoiler?) in a third, already critically divisive chapter. Split was one of Swampflix’s favorite films of 2017 and Shyamalan was already on a creative upswing with The Visit before that, so we we’re totally on board with his latest era of mid-budget Blumhouse productions.

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!

Can You Ever Forgive Me? An impressive balancing act of admiring & sympathizing with a character while not letting them off the hook for being a difficult asshole. Much more satisfying, nuanced, and darkly comic than the early ads that sold it as an Oscar Season Biopic made it appear, which is what I should have known to expect from the director of The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/24/19 – 1/30/19

Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a few Oscar contenders.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda continues the themes of makeshift families struggling to survive in the bowels of poverty that he explored in previous works like the stunning drama Nobody Knows. Awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and recently nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, this film is an event, albeit an emotionally traumatic one. Only playing at The Broad Theater.

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. Returning to AMC theaters, thanks to its recent Oscar nominations.

Glass M. Night Shyamalan continues the off-kilter superhero mythology he established in Unbreakable & Split (is that still considered a spoiler?) in a third, already critically divisive chapter. Split was one of Swampflix’s favorite films of 2017 and Shyamalan was already on a creative upswing with The Visit before that, so this surprisingly rapid follow-up definitely has our attention.

A Silent VoiceAn emotional teen drama anime along the lines of recent titles like Your Name. & Liz and the Blue Bird. Also a (sadly) rare example of its kind for being helmed by a female director, Naoko Yamada. Sceening Monday 1/28 via Fathom Events.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

The Third Man (1949) – A classic Old Hollywood noir featuring drastic Dutch angles, themes of bitter post-War resentment, and a maniacal Orson Welles in a villainous role. Playing Sunday 1/27 and Wednesday 1/30 as part of Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

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.

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. Brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.”

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/17/19 – 1/23/19

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)

Glass M. Night Shyamalan continues the off-kilter superhero mythology he established in Unbreakable & Split (is that still considered a spoiler?) in a third, already critically divisive chapter. Split was one of Swampflix’s favorite films of 2017 and Shyamalan was already on a creative upswing with The Visit before that, so this surprisingly rapid follow-up definitely has our attention.

The Seven Year Itch (1955) The Billy Wilder romcom that gifted us the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe pinning down the skirt of her white dress while standing on a gusty subway grate. Also features an animated credits sequence from legendary graphic designer (and Phase IV director) Saul Bass, which is always a treat. Playing Sunday 1/20 & Wednesday 1/23 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.

-Brandon Ledet