Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 7/18/19 – 7/24/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week and are presumably much, much worthier of your time & money than the goddamn Lion King remake.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

The Art of Self Defense Jesse Eisenberg stars in a Foot Fist Way-reminiscent dark comedy set in a martial arts studio, satirizing Men’s Rights Activists and the general milieu of toxic masculinity. Playing only at AMC Elmwood.

Crawl The killer shark genre has already been revived in recent summertime trash titles like The Shallows & 47 Meters Down, so we’re far past due to bring back an even cooler killer creature from schlocky cinema past: the alligator. There’s no telling whether Crawl will stack up to killer-gator classics like Alligator & Alligator People, but our trashy, swamp-dwelling asses are excited no matter what.

Wild Rose – Irish pop singer Jessie Buckley follows up her excellent performance in last year’s criminally underseen thriller Beast with a critically lauded film about an aspiring country musician from Scotland. Features songwriting contributions from Mary Steenburgen of all people, who claims to have woken up from an arm surgery with the uncanny ability to write country hits. Playing only at AMC Elmwood.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Last Black Man in San Francisco – One of the best movies of the summer is a bizarro 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.

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.

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) – A brilliant coming-of-age queer teen comedy that filters the abusive horrors of gay conversion “therapy” through a 90s John Waters aesthetic while somehow maintaining a sweetness & empathy that combination should not allow. Easily one of the greatest films of all time, fresh off its 20th  anniversary. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Wednesday 7/24 at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 7/11/19 – 7/17/19

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)

Crawl The killer shark genre has already been revived in recent summertime trash titles like The Shallows & 47 Meters Down, so we’re far past due to bring back an even cooler killer creature from schlocky cinema past: the alligator. There’s no telling whether Crawl will stack up to killer-gator classics like Alligator & Alligator People, but our trashy, swamp-dwelling asses are going to be in those theater seats opening weekend no matter what.

Ash is Purest White A Chinese crime thriller & class-conscious melodrama that competed at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2018 to outstanding reviews. Catch it on the big screen now so you’re not scratching your head when it pops up on Best of the Year roundups in December. Playing only at Chalmette Movies.

Babylon (1980) – A British cult classic about class disparity & racism in Brixton, starring members of the London reggae scene and featuring their music on the soundtrack. The film initially competed at Cannes in 1980, but never saw an official theatrical release in the US until this recent restoration. Playing for one week only at The Broad Theater.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Wizard of Oz (1933) – Return to the pinnacle of Technicolor by watching this intensely, wonderfully artificial fantasy-musical on the big screen in the city’s oldest running movie theater. Screening Friday July 12 through Wednesday July 17 as dual programming for The Prytania’s Classic Movies series and Summertime Kids’ Films series.

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.

Child’s Play (2019) – Although it’s a drastic deviation from the 1988 original in terms of plot & tone, this decades-later remake feels like the kind of nasty, ludicrous horror flick kids fall in love with when they happen to catch them too young on late-night cable – the exact too-scary-for-children-but-too-silly-for-adults dynamic that made the early Chucky movies cult classics in their own day.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 7/4/19 – 7/10/19

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.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 6/27/19 – 7/3/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including some classic summertime gems and some recent documentaries on badass women.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story (2011) – To memorialize local culinary legend Leah Chase, who recently passed away, the New Orleans Film Society will be playing this short documentary about her life & her art. Screening free to the public Thursday 6/27 at The Orpheum theater immediately followed by the 2016 documentary Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache A long overdue documentary about the life & art of Alice Guy-Blanche, who has been almost entirely forgotten by male-dominated film criticism circles despite being a significant director in the Silent Era of early cinema. Playing all week (along with a recently restored short from Guy-Blache) at Zeitgeist Theater & Lounge, including a special screening with live musical accompaniment Saturday 6/29.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017) – Wrap up the final days of Pride Month with this documentary profile of Marsha P. Johnson, legendary queer rights activist. The movie includes rare interview footage with Johnson herself, as well as research on the mysterious circumstances of her death. Screening for free at The Dragonfly, Friday June 28, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Jaws (1975) – The ultimate 4th of July movie is a Steven Spielberg-directed, big-budget mutation of the Roger Corman creature feature, in which a gigantic shark terrorizes a summertime beach crowd just trying to enjoy their vacation. Screening Sunday 6/30 and Wednesday 7/3 as part of The Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

Independence Day (1996) – The second-most ultimate 4th of July movie is a Will Smith-starring, big-budget sci-fi action epic, in which space aliens invade America on its birthday. Screening outdoors on Wednesday 7/3 via Front Yard Productions.

Labyrinth (1986) David Bowie steals babies, hangs around with goblins, and thrusts his crotch across every square inch of a Brian Froud fantasy dimension. It’s a dream. Playing Friday 6/28 and Saturday 6/29 as part of The Prytania’s Summer Kids’ Movies Series.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 6/20/19 – 6/26/19

Here are the few movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a couple verified classics and some brand new genre trash.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Child’s Play (2019) – I’m not entirely sold on the new CG design for Chucky himself and there’s almost no chance it’ll compare to the best of its franchise (1990’s Child’s Play 2, obviously), but this big-budget remake at least tries something new in updating the evil doll by connecting him to automated future-tech like drones & home security systems. Plus, Audrey Plaza’s there so it can’t be all bad.

The Dead Don’t Die Jim Jarmusch’s latest is disguised as a goofball horror comedy about a zombie invasion but is reported in its early reviews to be yet another low-key, meandering indie dramedy from a director who’s built an entire career off just that. There’s no telling whether Jarmusch’s low-stakes, low-effort schtick will be charming here (as it was in Down by Law) or painfully pointless (as it was in Coffee and Cigarettes), but it’s also impossible to deny the appeal of a zomcom with a cast this stacked: Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Carol Kane, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, the RZA, Selena Gomez, etc.. etc., etc.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Rear Window (1954) – An intense, perversely funny Hitchcock thriller about a disabled man (Jimmy Stewart) who can only watch in horror as he pieces together the mysterious murder of a neighbor by her traveling salesman husband. Screening as part of The Prytania’s Classic Movies series on Sunday 6/23 and Wednesday 6/26.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – A Tennessee Williams stage adaptation (featuring performances from Paul Newman & Elizabeth Taylor) just boiling over with alcoholic fury, repressed homosexuality, and intense Mississippi heat. Enjoy it out in the authentic Southern humidity on the roof of the Catahoula Hotel Wednesday 6/26.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 6/13/19 – 6/19/19


Here are the few movies we’re excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including plenty of genre trash to help you party through the summer.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

42nd Street (1933) – A pre-Code Hollywood adaptation of a backstage Broadway musical about a love triangle that develops during the Great Depression. Nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and featuring choreography from the legendary Busby Berkeley. Screening Sunday 6/16 and Wednesday 6/19 as part of The Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

The Dead Don’t Die Jim Jarmusch’s latest is disguised as a goofball horror comedy about a zombie invasion but is reported in its early reviews to be yet another low-key, meandering indie dramedy from a director who’s built an entire career off just that. There’s no telling whether Jarmusch’s low-stakes, low-effort schtick will be charming here (as it was in Down by Law) or painfully pointless (as it was in Coffee and Cigarettes), but it’s also impossible to deny the appeal of a zomcom with a cast this stacked: Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Carol Kane, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, the RZA, Selena Gomez, etc.. etc., etc.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Godzilla (1954) – Before Godzilla was a campy punchline and a hero to children everywhere, he was a deeply sad expression of grief & anxiety from a country that was nearly destroyed by nuclear war. If you weren’t totally satisfied by the (totally adequate) Michael Dougherty film Godzilla: King of the Monsters that’s currently in theaters, here’s your chance to revisit the powerful original on the big screen to restore you faith in the divine creature. Playing only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge in Arabi.

Ma The director of The Help teams up with the cult horror geniuses at Blumhouse to deliver a mainstream psychobiddy revival, featuring Octavia Spencer in the over-the-top role of a lifetime. Spencer dances, slashes, tortures, and winks her way through one of the most delightfully trashy horror films we’ve seen all year, but the real draw is watching her mutter the lyrics to Debbie Deb’s “Look Out Weekend” while maniacally scrapbooking. It’s a wonder to behold.

-Brandon Ledet

Podcast Movie Report: The Overlook Film Festival 2019

For this week’s new-releases podcast report, Brandon and CC discuss all the films they caught at the 2019 Overlook Film Fest,  an international horror festival staged in downtown New Orleans, “The Most Haunted City in America.”

You can stay up to date with our podcast through SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or by following the links on this page.

– CC Chapman & Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 6/6/19 – 6/12/19

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)

Ma Octavia Spencer stars as an unhinged spinster who terrorizes a group of idiot teens who just want a place to party. Along with other recent titles like the Isabelle Huppert thriller Greta and the Lifetime Original Movie camp fest Psycho Granny, this looks to be part of an unexpected revival of the psychobiddy horror film, a genre we’ll be discussing on next week’s podcast.

The Souvenir Joanna Hogg’s A24-distributed British drama about a 1980s film student who falls in love with a potentially dangerous man. Features a supporting performance from the always-reliable Tilda Swinton and is now playing at AMC Elmwood, just a few short months after making waves at Sundance.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

BooksmartThis may not be the most consistently hi-larious example of the femme teen sex comedy (in the Blockers/The To Do List/Wetlands tradition), but it is one with an unusually effective emotional core and more Gay Stuff than the genre usually makes room for. It’s very reassuring just to see that the kids are more than alright.

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) – The Frank Oz-directed musical comedy was filmed on location in New York City, features a cavalcade of 1980s somebodies, introduced the world to The Muppet Babies, and was the final Muppet film completed before Jim Henson’s death. Playing only at The Prytania as joint programming for their Summer Kids’ Movies series and their ongoing Classic Movies series.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week: The Overlook Film Fest Edition

Last year’s sudden appearance of the Overlook Film Festival on the local calendar was an unholy, unexpected blessing. There are only a few substantial film fests that are staged in New Orleans every year, so for an international horror film festival with world premieres of Big Deal genre movies to land in our city was a major boon, almost too good to be true. I attended the festival as a volunteer, catching three artsy-fartsy creature features (all directed by women) and a couple live podcast recordings over the course of a few days, hungry (bloodthirsty?) for more. This year, Swampflix will be attending Overlook with legitimate press credentials, meaning we’ll be able to cover even more films playing at the fest – a prospect I’m incredibly excited about.

The trick is knowing what films to cover. There are 23 features and 18 shorts from 11 different countries screening at the festival over the course of a single weekend. It’s overwhelming. Self-described as “a summer camp for genre fans,” The Overlook is centrally located, corralling all of its movie screenings to just a few venues: Le Petit Theatre for its more prestigious premieres, the UNO Performing Arts Center for a repertory screening of The Faculty (with Robert Rodriguez in attendance), and what is now the ghost of the old Canal Place theater for the bulk of its heavy-lifting. That means you can pack in a lot of movies in a very short time. You just need to know how to narrow down your selections.

Personally, I like to use film fests as an opportunity to see smaller films that are unlikely to get wide theatrical distribution otherwise, as opposed to bigger movies I know I can see at a corporate multiplex just a few weeks later. It’s incredibly cool that The Overlook will be hosting early screenings of Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, the follow-up to Goodnight Mommy (The Lodge), and the upcoming Octavia Spencer psychobiddy revival Ma, but I plan on catching those a little later down the line. Listed below are ten genre films I’m incredibly excited about that are screening at The Overlook Film Festival this weekend but most likely will not play in a proper New Orleans cinema otherwise. Take advantage of this super cool genre film extravaganza before they leave us for another city (which is entirely possible, given the recent death of the Canal Place theater) by catching something offbeat & adventurous that you wouldn’t be able to see projected large & loud in any other context.

In Fabric : “At the height of winter sales in a modern UK department stores, a cursed dress passes from owner to owner, leaving a path of destruction in its wake in this wry, visionary comedy from the director of Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy.Friday, May 31st – 4:30 PM – Le Petit Theatre & Saturday, June 1st – 7:15 PM – Canal Place

Greener Grass : “Writers, directors and stars Jocelyn DeBooer and Dawn Luebbe create a hilariously deadpan hellscape of competitive suburbia with a boldly stylized absurdist chain of events that unfurls with increasing fervor after one soccer mom asks her best friend for her baby.” Friday, May 31st – 8:00 PM – Canal Place & Saturday, June 1st – 9:45 PM – Canal Place

One Cut of the Dead : “In one of the year’s most crowd-pleasing surprises, this twisty horror comedy sees chaos ensue when a low-budget film crew, hard at work on a zombie flick in a WWII bunker, comes face to face with real terror lurking outside.” Friday, May 31st – 3:30 PM – Canal Place & Sunday, June 2nd – 7:45 PM – Le Petit Theatre

Paradise Hills : “With razor-sharp artistic direction and searing wit, Alice Waddington’s directorial debut tells the story in which a young girl is sent to a mysterious reform school specializing in crafting ladies to be more ‘proper.'” Friday, May 31st – 12:30 PM – Canal Place & Sunday, June 2nd – 7:15 PM – Canal Place

Horror Noire : “A free community screening and panel discussion of this refreshing and incisive documentary tracing the history of Black Americans in Hollywood within the horror genre. Hear from Jordan Peele (Get Out), Tony Todd (Candyman), Rachel True (The Craft), Keith David (The Thing) and many more about representation in our favorite genre from the beginning of cinema to today.” Sunday, June 2nd – 2:45 PM – Le Petit Theatre

Come to Daddy : “Norval, a troubled young man travels to a small seaside town to answer a letter from his long-lost father. When he gets there, the two begin to reconnect, but Norval can’t shake the feeling that something is drastically off. Elijah Wood stars in this hilarious and terrifying twisty thrill ride, the directorial debut of lauded horror producer Ant Timpson.” Friday, May 31st – 7:00 PM – Le Petit Theatre

Knives and Skin : “Calling upon echoes of Twin Peaks, artist and filmmaker Jennifer Reeder serves up an eerie teen noir punctuated with haunting 80s covers and unforgettable imagery centering around the effects of one girls’ disappearance on a small town.” Saturday, June 1st – 2:45 PM – Canal Place & Sunday, June 2nd – 12:15 PM – Canal Place

Satanic Panic : “When a pizza delivery girls’ final order of the night turns out to be for a blood-hungry group of Satanists thirsting for a sacrifice, all hell breaks loose…literally. From the Overlook alum writers of We Are Still Here and Paperbacks from Hell, and director Chelsea Stardust comes the goriest of comedies.” Friday, May 31st – 9:30 PM – Le Petit Theatre & Sunday, June 2nd – 7:00 PM – Canal Place

Vast of Night : “First-time filmmaker Andrew Patterson smashes onto the scene with the elegant telling of a 1950s radio DJ and his switchboard operator companion, who stumble upon a strange frequency that may be carrying evidence of other-worldly life.” Saturday, June 1st – 12:00 PM – Canal Place & Sunday, June 2nd – 12:30 PM – Le Petit Theatre

Porno : “Equal parts hilarious and grotesque, this take-no-prisoners horror sex comedy sees a group of ultra-Christian movie theater employees face their worst fears when a mysterious set of pornographic reels releases a little more than their repressed desires.” Thursday, May 30th – 9:30 PM – Canal Place & Saturday, June 1st – 4:30 PM – Canal Place

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 5/23/19 – 5/29/19

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)

Booksmart I’m a huge sucker for films like The To Do List, Blockers, and Wetlands that reclaim the (traditionally macho) gross-out teen sex comedy for a freshly femme perspective, and Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut promises to be an exciting new entry in that canon.

Rafiki A lesbian love story that was temporarily banned in its native Kenya “due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.” Only screening at Zeitgeist.

Shadow A new historical martial arts epic from the legendary wuxia director Yimou Zhang, best known for Hero & House of Flying Daggers. Only screening at Zeitgeist.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Godfather Part II (1974) Surely, you’ve seen Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscars-sweeping mafia epic by now, but have you ever seen it projected on the big screen? Maybe so; I don’t know your life’s story. Screening Sunday 5/26 & Wednesday 5/29 as part of The Prytania’s Classic Movies Series.

Long Shot A formulaic Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron romcom that’s funny & cute in all the traditional ways you’d expect. What’s really interesting about the film, though, is how it manages to pull that off while discussing something most by-the-books romcoms actively avoid: politics.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu A very silly neo-noir blockbuster in which Ryan Reynolds voices a wisecracking Pikachu. Not everything onscreen works but, no matter what you have to put up with to get a look at them, the Pokémon themselves remain very, very cute and worthy of your patience.

-Brandon Ledet