Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 3/18/20 – 3/25/20

As you likely already know, the governor has ordered the indefinite closure of all Louisiana movie theaters in response to the COVID-19 crisis. That decree makes our weekly What’s Playing in Town report something of a sham, but I thought I’d share some movie recommendations anyway (all in an effort to maintain the fictional veneer of Normalcy). I’ll just be shifting into Online Streaming options as a substitute.

In that spirit, here are some suggestions for movies that you can stream at home while under quarantine. Let’s start with the last few movies Swampflix rated 5-stars that are currently available for home viewing.

Streaming with Subscription

The Housemaid (1960) – From Britnee’s review: “I absolutely loved this movie. It kept me on the edge of my seat for its entirety, and I was surprised to see how far it pushed the envelope. I was in complete shock by how dark certain parts of the film were, and that’s a film quality that I will always have mad respect for.” Currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.

The Future (2011) – From my review: “The official, miserable onscreen death of Twee Whimsy. This time-obsessed breakup drama for a pair of listless thirty-somethings captures that post-youth stare in the mirror when you first realize you’re not special and that life is largely pointless & devoid of magic. It’s a painful but necessary rite of passage, one that directly mirrors my own experience with wonder & self-worth over the past ten years.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Mister America (2019) – From Britnee’s review: “Gregg Turkington has a great moment where the ‘documentary’ crew follows him hunting for VHS tapes in the actual trash (destined to become future Popcorn Classics for On Cinema), and it’s something that I personally related to way too much.” Currently streaming on Hulu.

Streaming VOD

True Stories (1986) – Our current Movie of the Month! From Boomer’s intro: “A fearless peeling back of Byrne’s public persona (as unobtrusive as it is) to lay bare the core of this being called ‘David Byrne.’ It’s truly a celebration of the specialness of the mundane, and even the specialness of something as ugly as suburban tract housing. Who can say it’s not beautiful? There ought to be a law.” A $3 rental on all major VOD platforms.

Mildred Pierce (1945) – From my review: “Even with all the Old Hollywood elegance classing up the joint, this manages to land some perfectly outrageous fits of drama & dialogue that outshine even the over-the-top fervor of Crawford’s post-Baby Jane psychobiddies. That combination of the refined & the obscene is exactly what makes it such a joy – an exquisite clash of violence & melodrama.” A $3 rental on all major VOD platforms.

Upstream Color (2013) – From my review: “A closed loop of human connection and subhuman exploitation that makes for a legendarily weird trip for as long as you allow yourself to remain under its spell. It’s just also an uninviting one that doesn’t reveal its true shape until you’ve made it all the way through the loop yourself.” A $3 rental on all major VOD platforms.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 3/12/20 – 3/18/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

The Hunt A Blumhouse cheapie thriller that updates the frequently adapted short story “The Most Dangerous Game” for the MAGA era. This is the kind of throwaway genre schlock that would normally be released DTV with little to no fanfare, but it somehow became an alarmist talking point for Fox News last year – a nontroversy that ultimately delayed its release for months, earning it (likely exaggerated) cultural cachet as Dangerous Art. Playing wide.

The Invisible Man Elizabeth Moss reroutes her Olympian acting showcases from artsy-fartsy projects like Her Smell & Queen of Earth to enhance a Blumhouse horror cheapie in the Universal Famous Monsters tradition. In this case she’s the gaslit, traumatized target of the titular Invisible Man – reshaping the typical purpose of the source material to center the villain’s female victims instead of his own leering persona. Directed by Leigh Whannell, who recently killed it with his technophobic action thriller Upgrade. Playing wide

Wendy Nearly a decade after sneaking the (surprisingly divisive) arthouse fairy tale Beasts of the Southern Wild into mainstream distribution & Oscars consideration, local film dweeb Benh Zeitlin is back with a proper follow-up: an abstracted interpretation of Peter Pan. Playing wide.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

Swallow An eerie, darkly humorous thriller in the style of Todd Haynes’s Safe, in which a newly pregnant woman is compulsively drawn to swallowing inedible objects – much to the frustration of her overly controlling family & doctors. Our favorite movie we caught at last year’s New Orleans Film Fest and CC’s favorite movie from 2019, full stop. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire Céline Sciamma’s latest is an 18th Century lesbian romance that builds towards an explosively emotional climax on a foundation of silent glances & subtle, electric body language. Everything Sciamma touches is gold, and this is no exception. Playing only at The Broad Theater.

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family.  Returning to The Prytania Theatre for a one-week run.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 3/5/20 – 3/11/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

The Invisible Man Elizabeth Moss reroutes her Olympian acting showcases from artsy-fartsy projects like Her Smell & Queen of Earth to enhance a Blumhouse horror cheapie in the Universal Famous Monsters tradition.  In this case she’s the gaslit, traumatized target of the titular Invisible Man – reshaping the typical purpose of the source material to center the villain’s female victims instead of his own leering persona.  Directed by Leigh Whannell, who recently killed it with his technophobic action thriller Upgrade.  Playing wide

Wendy Nearly a decade after sneaking the (surprisingly divisive) arthouse fairy tale Beasts of the Southern Wild into mainstream distribution & Oscars consideration, local film dweeb Benh Zeitlin is back with a proper follow-up: an abstracted interpretation of Peter Pan.  Playing wide, but The Prytania has multiple live Q&A sessions with Zeitlin listed in their showtimes.

Ace in the Hole (1951) This classic Kirk Douglas noir was director Billy Wilder’s first critical & commercial failure in the initial time of its release, but has since gradually earned respectable stature as a standout of its era.  It’s especially notable for eviscerating the ethical shortcomings of the newspaper journalism industry in its time.  Playing Sunday 3/8 and Wednesday 3/11 as part of the Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

Movies We Already Enjoyed

Portrait of a Lady on Fire Céline Sciamma’s latest is an 18th Century lesbian romance that builds towards an explosively emotional climax on a foundation of silent glances & subtle, electric body language.  Everything Sciamma touches is gold, and this is no exception.  Playing at The Broad and AMC Elmwood.

Birds of Prey Harley Quinn emerges from the beloved-by-all Suicide Squad in a hyperviolent, femmed-out action comedy of her own where she beats the shit out of dirtbag men, models sparkly costumes, and mugs directly at the camera for two hours of pure sugar-rush. Instantly one of my favorite superhero pictures of all time, and it felt nice to finally enjoy a Deadpool-style movie for once (it helps that Margot Robbie is, unlike Ryan Reynolds, actually funny). Playing wide.

The Lodge Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala follow up their art-house torture porn oddity Goodnight Mommy with another story about spooky children being isolated in close quarters with their overwhelmed female guardian.  Boomer reports that he initially found it effectively chilling but wildly uneven, then was gradually won over by it over the next few days to the point where he gave it a 4-star review.  Make of that what you will.  Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 2/20/20 – 2/26/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, in case you want to escape the maddening revelry of Mardi Gras with some amusing genre schlock.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

The Lodge Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala follow up their art-house torture porn oddity Goodnight Mommy with another story about spooky children being isolated in close quarters with their overwhelmed female guardian. Looks traumatic. Playing wide.

Brahms: The Boy II An out-of-nowhere sequel to the bonkers evil doll movie The Boy, which boasts one of our favorite go-for-broke horror endings of the last decade (and somehow landed high on our Top Films of 2016 list). Playing wide.


Movies We Already Enjoyed

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s sold out screenings & earned ecstatic critical praise for four solid months as its distribution & Awards Attention exponentially spread, culminating in a 4-category sweep at this year’s Oscars ceremony. It appears as if its New Orleans run might be coming to an end this week, though, so don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Birds of Prey Harley Quinn emerges from the beloved-by-all Suicide Squad in a hyperviolent, femmed-out action comedy of her own where she beats the shit out of dirtbag men, models sparkly costumes, and mugs directly at the camera for two hours of pure sugar-rush. Instantly one of my favorite superhero pictures of all time, and it felt nice to finally enjoy a Deadpool-style movie for once (it helps that Margot Robbie is, unlike Ryan Reynolds, actually funny). Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 2/13/20 – 2/19/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including some Mardi Gras-appropriate programming and plenty of delectable genre schlock.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Parasite: Black & White Bong Joon-ho’s twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment has been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution & Awards Attention exponentially spreads. Thanks to its monumental Best Picture win at last week’s Oscars ceremony, it’s even seeping back into wide distribution.  But it’s also playing at The Prytania in a new “Black & White” edition (à la Mad Max: Fury Road‘s “Black & Chrome” makeover), just in case you need another excuse to see a great film in a proper theatrical environment.

Eat Brains Love The director of over-the-top trash cinema relics Idle Hands & Leprechaun 2 returns to genre filmmaking with a Louisiana-shot romcom about a zombie outbreak.  Looks like perfect Valentine’s Day fodder (as long as you happen to be romantically involved with a fellow immature goofball).  Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) – The vaudevillian comedy duo Abbott and Costello board a rocket to Mars, only to crash land into Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, mistaking our revelry for an alien planet. Screening Sunday 2/16 and Wednesday 2/19 as part of The Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series.


Movies We 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 free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 2/13 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

Cane River (1982) – A locally-produced romance melodrama with an all black cast & crew, considered “lost” since it first screened in New Orleans in 1982 (largely due to the director’s untimely death before it landed distribution) until this five-years-in-the-making restoration started making the rounds. It’s sweet, surprisingly funny, and loaded with local, historical, and political significance. Playing only at The Broad Theater.

Color Out of SpaceRichard Stanley returns to filmmaking after a lengthy, storied hiatus following early triumphs like the sci-fi chiller Hardware. For his much-anticipated comeback, he directs Nicolas Cage in an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft classic “The Colour Out of Space,” a staple of the cosmic horror genre. Playing only at The Broad Theater.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 2/6/20 – 2/12/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a few major Oscar contenders.

Oscar Nominees

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution & Awards Attention exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing at AMC Elmwood and Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood! I enjoyed Tarantino’s latest overwritten provocation despite it communicating a sentiment I couldn’t agree with less. Do I wish the macho drunkards & Westerns of Old Hollywood kept clogging up LA with their mundane traditionalism forever and ever? Not at all, but it’s still amusing to watch an idiosyncratic filmmaker with niche interests passionately wax nostalgic about the gross bullshit only they care about. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Knives Out Rian Johnson cashes in his Last Jedi money to make an old-fashioned Agatha Christie throwback whodunnit with a massive cast of celebrity faces. He’s clearly having a ton of fun with the genre, and the best part is that the joke at the expense of the Nazi dweebs and Middle America fascists who hounded him for supposedly making TLJ too SJW. Playing at AMC Elmwood.


Other Movies

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 2/12 at the All-Ways Lounge with a Q&A from director Tim Wolff and complimentary king cake.

Cane River (1982) – A locally-produced romance melodrama with an all black cast & crew, considered “lost” since it first screened in New Orleans in 1982 (largely due to the director’s untimely death before it landed distribution) until this five-years-in-the-making restoration started making the rounds. It’s sweet, surprisingly funny, and loaded with local, historical, and political significance.  Playing only at The Broad Theater.

Color Out of Space – Richard Stanley returns to filmmaking after a lengthy, storied hiatus following early triumphs like the sci-fi chiller Hardware.  For his much-anticipated comeback, he  directs Nicolas Cage in an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft classic “The Colour Out of Space,” a staple of the cosmic horror genre. Playing only at The Broad Theater.

Gretel and Hansel – Oz Perkins warps the age-old fairy tale into one of those new-fangled “elevated,” Atmospheric Horrors everyone loves to rattle on about. After the director’s past work on the moody slowburns The Blackcoat’s Daughter & I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, it’s nice to see him have fun with this looser, sillier effort. It’s as beautiful & creepy as it is goofy, and I kinda wish more movies allowed themselves to just dick around like this one. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 1/29/20 – 2/5/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including major Oscar contenders and a rare chance to see short films on a proper screen.

Oscar Nominees

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution & Awards Attention exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing at AMC Elmwood and Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Oscar-Nominated Shorts Showcases Both The Prytania Theatre & AMC Elmwood 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.


Other Movies

Silent Era Shorts Speaking of rare opportunities to see short films in a proper theatrical environment, Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge will be screening two silent classics with live musical accompaniment on Wednesday 2/5: Charlie Chaplin’s A Night in the Show and W.W. Young’s Alice in Wonderland, both from 1915.

Gretel and HanselOz Perkins warps the age-old fairy tale into one of those new-fangled “elevated,” Atmospheric Horrors everyone loves to rattle on about. Given the director’s past work on The Blackcoat’s Daughter & I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, it promises to be a total creep-out with detailed attention paid to eerie, immersive sound design. Playing wide.

Uncut Gems The Safdie Brothers revise the sweaty desperation of their traumatizingly anxious thriller Good Time by casting Netflix Doofus Extraordinaire Adam Sandler in the lead role, transforming that throat-hold thriller’s template into a darkly comedic farce without losing any of its feel-bad exploitation discomforts. It’s wonderfully stressful. Playing at The Broad Theater & AMC Elmwood.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 1/23/20 – 1/29/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a few major Oscar contenders.

Best Picture Oscar Nominees

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing at AMC Elmwood and Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood! I enjoyed Tarantino’s latest overwritten provocation despite it communicating a sentiment I couldn’t agree with less. Do I wish the macho drunkards & Westerns of Old Hollywood kept clogging up LA with their mundane traditionalism forever and ever? Not at all, but it’s still amusing to watch an idiosyncratic filmmaker with niche interests passionately wax nostalgic about the gross bullshit only they care about. Playing at AMC Elmwood.

Other Movies

Paper Moon (1973) Peter Bogdanovich’s classic roadtrip dramedy about a conman’s unlikely friendship with a young child (who may or may not be his daughter).  One of the true gems of the New Hollywood era. Screening Sunday 1/26 and Wednesday 1/29 as part of The Prytania’s regular Classic Movies series.

Gretel and Hansel– Oz Perkins warps the age-old fairy tale into one of those new-fangled “elevated,” Atmospheric Horrors everyone loves to rattle on about.  Given the director’s past work on The Blackcoat’s Daughter & I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, it promises to be a total creep-out with detailed attention paid to eerie, immersive sound design. Playing wide.

The Turning – Another Atmospheric Horror literary adaptation, this one tackling Henry James’s 19th Century ghost story The Turn of the Screw.  Of particular interest to anyone who’s interested in following the career of the young Brooklynn Prince after her whirlwind debut in The Florida Project. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/16/20 – 1/22/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a couple major Oscar contenders.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Mädchen in Uniform (1931) – A once controversial lesbian drama about a girls’ boarding school in 1930s Germany. Made during the early rise of Nazi fascism and initially banned in the United States, it’s a miracle this film was completed in the first place, much less survived the censorship filters of its era. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 1/16 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

Weathering with You Japanese animation wizard Makoto Shinkai follows up his heart-on-sleeve anime melodramas Your Name. & 5 Centimeters per Second with yet another magical-realist high school romance, this time about a teen girl who can control the weather. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing wide.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/9/20 – 1/15/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Weathering with You Japanese animation wizard Makoto Shinkai follows up his heart-on-sleeve anime melodramas Your Name. & 5 Centimeters per Second with yet another magical-realist high school romance: this time about a teen girl who can control the weather. Playing in special Fan Preview Screenings on January 15 and 16 via GKids before opening wide.

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Jezebel A dramatic memoir about a woman whose sister roped her into being a camgirl in the early days of online sex work in the late-90s. Thematically it falls somewhere between Cam & The Florida Project, but it’s not as stylistically aggressive as either of those titles. Wryly funny, quietly tense stuff but never in a showy way (especially considering the subject). Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

-Brandon Ledet