Smile Politely

What to Watch: November 11-14

The Art Co-op Theater is turning 100 this week, people, and on Tuesday, November 12th, there will be a double-fisted salute to our beloved local movie palace. At 6 p.m., the Art will hold the premiere screening of The Art Lives, a short documentary film by local filmmaker Luke Boyce (of Shatterglass Studios), followed by a presentation of a new book entitled The Art Theater: Playing Movies for 100 Years with authors Perry C. Morris, Joseph Muskin, and Audrey Wells.

Then, at 8 p.m., comes the Main Event. A series of classic short films, spanning the majority of 20th century film (including Buster Keaton and some 60s avant-garde works) will be shown along with accompaniment from the Andrew Alden Ensemble. This program—entitled TIME TRIP—was specifically created by the Art’s general manager, Austin McCann, along with Andrew Alden.

Tickets are available for the whole event for just $18 ($15 for co-op owners). It’s well worth your while to come out and celebrate with this artistic institution. Happy anniversary, Art Theater! Or Happy Birthday. Or whatever it is that buildings have.

Here’s this week’s What to Watch.

All Is Lost (The Art Theater Co-Op): Robert Redford stars as a man fighting forsurvival while being stranded at sea.

Why to Watch: The premise of this film is so simple and yet so grand in scope. A man is sailing, alone with the sea, when his boat is damaged. Suddenly he is in a struggle with nature for his very life. One actor, alone on screen, in a virtually wordless performance of great depth and expression. Robert Redford has always been a star, a fact that has sometimes overshadowed his acting ability. Now, in what one would have to call his “retirement-age” years, he has taken on a bold enterprise. In what is sure to be a very contentious Oscar race, surely this performance will be one of those recognized.

Showing almost constantly this week… Monday @ 6 and 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday @ 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday @ 3:30 and 6 p.m.; and Thursday @ 2:30, 5, and 7:30 p.m.

12 Years A Slave (Savoy 16 & Carmike 13): Chiwetel  Ejiofor gives a career-making performance as Solomon Northup, a man forced into slavery after being a free manfor most of his life.

Why to Watch: Right off the bat, it’s about time people started seeing Ejiofor for the amazing actor his is. If you didn’t see him as Denzel’s partner in Inside Man, or as the villain in Joss Whedon’s Serenity, you missed out. (And I know you didn’t see his performance in David Mamet’s Redbelt, so go rent that ASAP.) 12 Years A Slave is undoubtedly going to be a film that is tough to stomach. Slavery is a dark time in the history of the United States. This does not mean that the stories of the people who suffered acts of inhumanity should be silenced. Steve McQueen, who directed the films Shame and Hunger (both with Michael Fassbender, who appears here as a repellant slave owner), knows how to tell the story. He also knows that film can be a powerful tool in the right hands—a mirror reflecting even our most disappointing and haunting moments.

Savoy 16: 12:30 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 6:10 p.m., and 9 p.m. Carmike 13: 10 a.m., ‎ ‎1 p.m.,‎ ‎4 p.m.,‎ ‎7 p.m.,‎ and ‎10 p.m.‎

Vampyr (The Art Theater Co-op): An atmospheric, spooky classic with a live musicalscore by Andrew Alden Ensemble. What more do you need?

Why to Watch: This is a great work by Carl Theodor Dreyer, full of creepy imagery and great old-school camera tricks. A vampire story for the ages. And with live accompaniment by Andrew Alden Ensemble, playing an original composition, this evening is going to be a treat. Come check out a brilliant old movie with some spanking new music, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Showing Wednesday night @ 8:30 p.m.

Freaks of Cinema (The Art Theater Co-Op):  For The Art’s 100th Anniversary Late Night show, feast your eyes on Tod Browning’s legendary cult classic Freaks, a 1932 Pre-Code horror film about sideshow performers. Plus, check out a specially-selected batch of freakish short films.

Why to Watch: One reason I love short films from yesteryear is that they show how to tell a great story in a simple way. The Art Theater is honoring these shorts for their 100th Anniversary, and they are all worth viewing.

Showing Thursday night @ 10 p.m.

Thor: The Dark World (Savoy 16 & Carmike 13): The hammer-wielding Marvel herois back to save the day. And the earth. And Asgard. And probably other things.

Why to Watch: Chris Hemsworth has done a fine job portraying the Asgardian demigod in both Kenneth Branagh’s Thor and Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. He’s an imposing physical specimen, sure, but it turns out he can also act. But, for all of Hemsworth’s flowing hair and shiny armor, the real draw here is Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s malevolent brother Loki. Hiddleston has turned this character into a breakout role, and it’s no surprise that his sly humor steals the show. Add to this mix the always interesting Christopher Eccleston as the film’s Big Bad, and you have quite the confluence of things to cinematically geek out about.

Too damn many showtime to list. Savoy 16 here. Carmike 13 here.


Enders Game (Savoy 16 & Carmike 13): Ender Wiggin is a twelve-year-old boy who must learn to be a leader in order to save his planet from invasion in an intergalactic war.

Why to Watch: I read the novel Ender’s Game at the end of my junior year of high school. For me, as well as many others, it is considered a classic of Young Adult literature. I love the military tactics of the book, and they translate well to the screen. It’s also incredibly gratifying to see that the virtual reality practice games are displayed exactly as I pictured them in my mind. Asa Butterfield proves to be a compelling star in a film that asks a lot of the audience, including what it means to be a soldier and what it means to be humane. Also, you have to be intrigued by a movie that has, in its supporting cast, Sir Ben Kingsley, Oscar-winner Viola Davis, and Harrison Ford. Recommended viewing for Young Adults of all ages.

Savoy 16: 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2:05 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:20 p.m., and 9:50 p.m. Showing on the IMAX screen @ 5 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. Carmike 13: ‎10 a.m,  ‎11 a.m.,‎ ‎1 p.m.,‎  ‎2:00 p.m., ‎4 p.m., ‎5 p.m., ‎‎7 p.m.,‎ ‎8 p.m.,‎ and ‎10 p.m.‎


Dallas Buyers Club (Art Theater Co-op): This film features a couple of likely Oscarcontenders in Matthew McConaughey (as protagonist Ron Woodruff) and Jared Leto (as his transgender business partner, Rayon). McConaughey is having a career renaissance right now, from Magic Mike, Killer Joe, and Mud on through to this film and this winter’s The Wolf of Wall Street. And it should be pointed out that there has been quite a bit of buzz about Leto’s performance. It just might be that the former teen pin-up and part-time rock star finds himself up for some gold as well. The trailer is a knock-out, and I can’t wait to see this at The Art.

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