written by: Alan Zilberman, Svetlana Legetic, Brandon Wetherbee, Avery Anapol, Ross Bonaime, Kaylee Dugan, Vesper Arnett, Dominique O’Neill, Rachel Kurzius
Welcome back cinephiles and voyeurs! Yes indeedy, time for BYT FALL/WINTER GUIDE WEEK. After a suprisingly reasonable summer weather wise, brace yourself for a pleasant cool down and then (inevitably) brutal Fall and Winter. And what better way to beat the weather than by letting the BYT film team guide your screening choices? Award bait season is on the horizon—we’ve got those covered, along with indies, documentaries, mindless action and comedies. On top of that, we’ve laid out a neat menu a Best Worst Movies list, home entertainment must sees and all of the best DC film events.
My Old Lady (September 10) – First of all, you can never go wrong with Maggie Smith. She is a bad ass bitch and you should all worship her daily if you don’t already. Put up a shrine, throw on Sister Act, offer up a spot of tea for sacrifice, and relish in the greatness that Maggie Smith produces. But really, we all know that British films trump American films by meters. Kilometers, even. And knowing British comedies, you’ll probably go in expecting a laugh and come out convinced that there is a new, better way to live your life and you’ll never love in the same way again because you are just a stupid American. See this movie. Let Maggie change you. Let her touch your insides. -Dominique O’Neill
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (September 12) – The movie is a classic break-up tale. It is also only 1/3 of a full picture. Ned Benson, making his directorial full length debut, wrote & filmed the story as a two parter: HIM and HER which told this story from both of our leads’ perspectives, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year. We, as a lowly, non-festival going movie audience, get a 68 minutes shorter version called THEM, created undoubtedly as a date movie compromise for the smart, cool movie going dates out there, now with a trimmer two hour running time, still leaving a little bit of a window for a glass of wine afterwards and that inevitable conversation about how “This will never happen to us, right?”.
The thing is, it might. The movie, while I am sure it lacks some subtlety and depth of the longer version, is still somehow a deep, subtle, gorgeous meditation about how, no matter how hard you try, bad things can still happen. Conor and Eleanor (and yes, Rigby is her real last name) did seemingly everything right: they met, they fell in love, they stayed in love, they got married, they stayed faithful, they worked on things they both cared about, they were supportive, they got pregnant, they had a baby, they were a beautiful family and then something happened, and they didn’t know how to deal with it and now, here they are, broken.
She is gone, and he doesn’t know how to reach her and, in theory this is no one’s fault, and yet everything is pretty awful. Just like life can be. READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE –Svetlana
The Drop (September 12) – From the man who brought us Bullhead, comes a pretty straight shootin’ crime thriller notable mainly because: a. Gandolfini LIVES (seemingly forever) and b. Tom Hardy is on a roll. – Svetlana
Before I Go to Sleep (September 12) – The cast may imply “Rom Com,” but the plot says “Psychological Thriller.” Nicole Kidman plays a woman suffering from psychogenic amnesia, with Colin Firth as her husband, who must remind her daily of all the elements of her life. Throughout the film, secrets are revealed and suspicions are heightened. Like most films, nothing is as it seems. The story itself does not feel original, but the superb acting talents of both lead actors should make this a gripping film anyway. -Avery Anapol
The Skeleton Twins (September 12) – From the outset, it is easy to call The Skeleton Twins a small movie. After all, it does center on a small cast of characters, living small lives, in a small town, dealing with their life problems which, while maybe big to them, are small if put into the grand scheme of how the world works. But, much like most best “small” films, the topics it handles are so universal the movie maybe becomes bigger than it even set out to be, tackling issues such as love, family, tolerance and yes, failure, in ways that are both heartbreaking and instantly identifiable. READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE. – Svetlana
The Maze Runner (September 19) – This adaptation of a popular Young Adult novel is gunning for the attention of the wider action flick starved public. After a summer of sad films with PG-13 ratings, and with Guardians of The Galaxy in theaters for almost two months, it’s about time another easily digestible flick came along. It stars Dylan O’Brien (TV’s Teen Wolf) as a kid who gets kidnapped, has his mind erased, and is dumped in an all-boys community where they’re forced to run in a literal labyrinth of danger and possible freedom. Apparently Kaya Scodelario (UK Skins) shows up. Will this be a good story or will it just be fun to watch? It might turn this O’Brien kid into the next Robert Pattinson if he does it right, so it’ll be one to watch just so you don’t have to admit to watching Teen Wolf. -Vesper Arnett
Pride (September 19) – Pride is sure to be added to the canon of historically based queer films such as Milk, Boys Don’t Cry, or The Matthew Shepard Story that precede the upcoming British drama. The film is being distributed by Pathé, a French production company that also released 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire, but also Digimon and Austin Powers, so who knows if it’s credible. But hilarity will ensue, with Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) traipsing around Wales with a pack of LGBTQ youth to support the miner’s strike. -Dominique O’Neill
Tusk (September 19) – A few years ago, Kevin Smith announced that he would soon retire from directing, stating that he no longer had any stories that he wanted to tell. At that point, Smith was more interested in his podcasting empire than a life behind the camera. However the stories him and co-podcast-host Scott Mosier told on his SModCast birthed the idea for Red State, Smith’s 2011 horror film that marked a complete 180 in the style and substance of his filmwork. Tusk continues this horror-comedy trend, with Justin Long playing a podcaster who meets up with a man – played by Michael Parks – who wants to turn a human being into a walrus. Early reports from TIFF have stated that love it or hate it, it’s a wholly unique experience, especially coming from a director who once claimed to make his living with dick jokes. READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE. -Ross Bonaime
This is Where I Leave You (September 19) – This really could have been a contender. And what we ended up with is while not necessarily unpleasant or unenjoyable, still just a middling movie that will do OK in the movie theatres, and then probably be played around the holidays on TBD ad nauseum for years to come (e.g. The Family Stone). READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE– Svetlana
A Walk Among the Tombstones (September 19) – A Walk Among the Tombstones plays like a pulp crime thriller that doesn’t know it’s pulp. The lurid content is all there: the troubled private detective, the seedy underworld, the grizzly crime and its inhuman-to-the-point-of-demonic perpetrators. And then there’s New York City and its boroughs, which in this case plays like the rundown little brother to the nameless urban wasteland in Seven. Yet the film’s tone and construction are surprisingly restrained. Most of that grounding is thanks to Liam Neeson, who has built himself quite a niche elevating otherwise B-material with the sheer force of his acting prowess. READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE. – Jeff Spross
Fort Bliss (September 19) – “Support the troops” is a phrase that gets thrown around. It must to be the point that it annoys veterans: regular folks and politicians pay lip service, without actually thinking about what the military experience is like. Among other things, Fort Bliss is a reaction to that idea: Michelle Mognahan stars as an army medic who returns after a tour in Afghanistan. Her young son does not recognize her, her ex husband resents her service, and there are other challengers regarding mundane civilian life. It is tough, sobering drama that strikes a perfect balance between sentiment and honesty. Fort Bliss is the sort of movie that shows an aspect of American life that Americans should really understand. – Alan Zilberman
Tracks (September 19) – As someone who is only used to seeing Adam Driver as obnoxious, hipster-bro characters (aka all of his roles), this film looks promising for the depth I know this actor is capable of. Opposite him is the lovely and talented Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, a young woman who solo-treks nearly 2,000 miles of Australian wilderness. This true story is part adventure, part coming-of-age, and at the very least, a National Geographic style spectacle. -Avery Anapol
The Zero Theorem (September 19) – Completing Terry Gilliam’s trilogy of “Orwellian triptychs”, The Zero Theorem focuses on Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), a programmer/computer prodigy who is tasked with the Douglas Adams-esque project of working on a formula to uncover the meaning of life. While Gilliam’s latest movie has all the right ingredients for an awesome sci-fi film, so far reviews have been very mixed. While it will be difficult (or impossible) for The Zero Theorem to compete with Brazil or 12 Monkeys, I’m confident that at the very least, the costumes and set designs will be incredible. Which is better than nothing. READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE. -Kaylee Dugan
Two Night Stand (September 26) – Two people meet, hook up, sleep through a blizzard and wake up to find themselves now snowed in and forced to spend another morning, afternoon, evening, night together. It could happen to anyone. But, in the case of this VERY promising looking rom com those two people are played by the insanely, loosely charming Miles Teller (of Spectacular Now, That Awkward Moment and seemingly every other movie we want to see right now) and Analeigh Tipton (of Crazy Stupid Love and Damsels in Distress) and as far as people we’d be (more than) ok to get snowed in with, these two rank pretty high. We’re in for the ride. – Svetlana
The Boxtrolls (September 26) – God, I’m sick of CGI. It all has this super-polished sheen, as if imperfections terrorize animators and studios. Amid these impeccably rendered characters, LAIKA Studios still does thing the old fashioned way: with stop-motion animation. Their 2012 film ParaNorman was a funny, subversive fable about dead bodies, friendship, and the necessary sacrifices that happen when you realize your potential. This year’s The Box Trolls continues with the same cute, weirdly sinister style of animation, only with more ambition: according to one article, there are hundreds of characters, as opposed to only a couple dozen, and there’s even a complex scene where they’re all dancing at once. Stop and think about the precision that goes into animating all that with stop motion. Insane, right? Coupled with a steampunk fish-out-of-water story, The Box Trolls might be good enough so that you, too, will get sick of the same old CGI. -Alan Zilberman
Hector and the Search for Happiness (September 26) – We’d watch Simon Pegg in anything. We’d watch Rosamund Pike in anything. The premise feels a little too much like a cross between The Invention of Lying and Seeking a Friend For the End of The World, but before prestige season kicks in, this may just turn to be the smart, absurdist, funny little movie we all need after the superhero summer we survived. – Svetlana
The Equalizer (September 26) – The plotline is as basic as it gets: a tough guy is trying to leave his past behind but cannot help but stand up to protect a young girl from the control of a bunch of Russian gangsters but the movie DOES involve Denzel Washington reuniting with his Training Day director (Antoine Fuqua) and the cast (including Chloe Grace Moretz as not your typical underage prostitute) seems to elevate the whole operation beyond the classic Liam Nesson movie du jour it could all have turned into in the wrong hands – Svetlana
Good People (September 26) – In kind of a Shallow Grave for 2014 turn, a couple in debt take the money they find on their dead tenant, only to (naturally) find themselves the target of a thief the money belongs to. With Franco and Hudson as the leads, the potential for annoyingness is pretty high but the ever reliable Tom Wilkinson and Omar Sy join in to keep things (hopefully) fun, smart, and watchable. – Svetlana
The Two Faces of January (September 26) -A con artist, his wife and a mysterious stranger find themselves entagnled in a web of lies, deceit, murder and possibly worse, while wearing amazing outfits and escaping gorgeous locales. The directorial debut of the man who wrote Drive for us is based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, and the collective cheekbones of Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac add up to this being (fingers crossed) The Talented Mr Ripley of 2014. Lets actually make that fingers AND toes crossed. – Svetlana
Annabelle (October 3) – A sort of prequel to the throwback horror film The Conjuring, Annabelle takes a deeper look at the backstory behind one of James Wan’s creepiest creations. Like many of Wan’s films, Annabelle follows the story of a young happy couple, John and Mia Gordon (Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton), who are expecting their first child. John, ever the doting husband, gives his wife a beautiful vintage doll in a long white dress. Of course, from that point forward, everything gets much spookier. Wan has a lot of experience making dolls and puppets seem much more terrifying than they already are (Dead Silence, Saw), so I’m willing to bet we’ll all be leaving the theater terrified of children’s toys for months to come. -Kaylee Dugan
Gone Girl (October 3) – David Fincher is a master craftsman, a director so thorough and thoughtful it’s hard to catch the depth of his skill on the first go. To give you an idea of what I mean, check out this slideshow about Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher’s thought process is amazing, and the scene in question is only a flashback. That same thoughtfulness will be necessary for his adaptation of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s massive 2012 thriller. I don’t want to give too much away, so let’s just say it’s about a married couple named Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike), and what happens after Amy goes missing (hoo-boy, there are a lot of twists beyond that). Flynn adapted her own novel to the screen, and I’m curious to see just how her and Fincher handle the change to celluloid since the book hinges upon shifts in character perspective. Apparently Flynn changed the ending, too: I loved the ending of the book precisely because it cynically obliterates one major institution after another. So Flynn better not make the new conclusion too happy, but knowing her and Fincher, I’m fairly certain she did not. -Alan Zilberman
The Good Lie (October 3) – The mandatory feel-good drama of the Fall season centers on a group of Sudanese refugees arriving to Kansas and a government employee (Reese Witherspoon, keeping herself busy this season after Fincher decided to not give the role fo Amy in Gone Girl to her, despite her being the person holding the movie rights in her hands) who changes their lives forever. Sounds appropriately heartwarming and schmaltzy but it is also Philippe Falardeau’s English language debut, and if his lovely Monsieur Lazhar is any indication, it will be just the right kind of heartwarming and schmaltzy. Bonus: MORE Corey Stoll. – Svetlana
The Judge (October 10) – In his latest move towards world domination, Robert Downey Jr. now has a production agency and its first film is this story of family dysfunction and coutroom drama. Downey Jr. stars as the master-of-the-universe lawyer Hank Palmer (are people called Hank anywhere but in movies anymore?) who returns to his hometown after his Mother’s death, only to find his estranged, hard-ass judge of a Father (Robert Duvall) suspected of murder. Do you think he stays and defends him all the while maybe, just maybe, reconnecting those severed ties?- Svetlana
Kill the Messenger (October 10) – A journalist uncovers a scandalous government conspiracy and faces threats as he continues to investigate the story. No, Jeremy Renner isn’t playing Glenn Greenwald (though he totally should and you heard it here first), but an investigative reporter named Gary Webb in the movie Kill the Messenger. In the mid-90’s, Webb discovered a connection between cocaine smugglers and the CIA’s efforts to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The film adaptation of Webb’s non-fiction book promises government lackeys played by the likes of Barry Pepper and Michael Sheen saying “Nothing to see here” in increasingly ominous fashion, lots of explosions, and Michael K. WIlliams as Ricky Ross, one of the most famous drug dealers in history. Interestingly, it looks like the villains Webb found most formidable weren’t the state but instead other members of the media. Anyone in DC can relate to the fear of craven journalists reverting to pack mentality. -Rachel Kurzius
One Chance (October 10) – I feel like I’ve been seeing trailers for this film for the past year and a half. It’s possible that I’m just confusing it with commercials for the seemingly endless list of singing competitions on television. Nonetheless, this biopic of Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, looks to be simply good fun and entertainment. It’s a film where mostly nothing appears to go wrong, and the happy ending has already been worldwide news, so spoilers aren’t possible. This is a big year for leading man James Corden, who is set to replace Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, and is also starring in December’s Into The Woods. If you’re like me in that you helplessly sob at people winning talent competitions, this will be the tearjerker of the season for you. -Avery Anapol
Whiplash (October 10) – Ever since Whiplash received near-unanimous praise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I’ve been dying to see it. The story is familiar – a talented jazz percussionist (Miles Teller) wants to be the best – but he finds a foe in his demanding instructor (JK Simmons). But writer/director Damien Chazelle takes the student/teacher model and turns it on his head. Teller’s character is not merely talented; he’s single-minded and angry, the sort of guy who’d rather hurt himself than back down. Simmons’ character is not merely a teacher; he’s physically and emotionally abusive, the sort of guy who uses his temper and eye for talent to push his students beyond their limits and sanity. Whiplash is not so much about jazz or music; it’s a battle of wills that won’t end until one person breaks (early reviews already note Teller plays the drums until his hands bleed). Too many movies play it safe in the beats they hit. Whiplash promises to upend one cliche after another, leaving us breathless in its wake. -Alan Zilberman
Book of Life (October 17) – This is an animated movie starring Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, and Channing Tatum. It’s an original story, seemingly taking on the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations and transforming them into an adventure spanning the three days of celebration. It looks bright and beautiful, with a mix between marionette-style movements and smooth animation. BONUS: The extended trailer even has Ice Cube quoting his most famous song. I’m sold. -Vesper Arnett
Nightcrawler (October 17th) – I never thought I’d say this, but no actor excites me quite like Jake Gyllenhaal. After a disastrous turn as a leading man – lest we forget Prince of Persia – Gyllenhaal now prefers brooding character roles. Prisoners and End of Watch were both remarkable films, and even though his characters were both cops, they could not be more different. Aside from the fucking scariest ending I’ve ever seen, this year’s Enemy has a fascinating dual performance from Gyllenhaal, who plays duplicates of himself that are different in perfectly subtle ways. Nightcrawler continues in that terrific tradition – yes, it’s a tradition now – of dark thrillers. He plays a hungry freelance reporter who bends ethical rules to get the story, perhaps even creating trainwrecks just so he can film them. Gyllenhaal lost a lot of weight for the role, and when he’s creepily gaunt, maybe he’ll finally get the recognition he richly deserves.- Alan Zilberman
Birdman (October 17) – Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu has had an interesting career. His debut film Amores Perros was a Tarantino-esque yarn about dogs, dog lovers, and violence. It was filled with compassion, energy, and it depicted Mexico City in a way that most gringos hadn’t yet seen. His subsequent films were increasingly dour: 21 Grams is so depressing that no one ever watched it twice, while Babel and Biutiful continued his heavy themes of death and morality. Birdman is a refreshing change of pace. It’s a satire of the entertainment industry, for one thing, and it stars Michael Keaton, who may be the most underrated actor since, well, the start of the movies. That’s about to change, though: Birdman was a hit on the festival circuit, critics are raving about Keaton’s performance, and Iñárritu performs some formal daring that has to be seen to be believed (it’s filmed to look like one continuous shot). With a cast that includes Emma Stone and Edward Norton, the filmmaker finally broke out of his relentlessly morose spiral. – Alan Zilberman
Listen Up Philip (October 17) – As far as supreme BYT movie going bait goes, the Listen Up Philip trailer scores pretty high across the charts: Jason Schwartzman as a braggy-but-insecure neurotic writer (for all those Bored to Death Fans out there), Elisabeth Moss as his girlfriend (perfect for the STILL ONGOING Mad Men cold turkey season we’re dealing with), Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter and Dree Hemingway along for the ride, and a dialogue/visual style that is just the right balance of quirky and comfortable enough to make writer/director Alex Ross Perry garner some NEXT WES ANDERSON/NOAH BAUMBACH buzz on the festival circuit. Lets hope it delivers. – Svetlana
Dear White People (October 17) – Recognized and supported by Indiewire, Tribeca, Sundance, Variety, and Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, Dear White People was originally a pet project of writer/director Justin Simien, who used crowdsourcing to keep the project largely independent. Its early success both critically and financially should come as a relief as American cinema has been burdened with harmful black stereotypes. Dear White People’s independent financing will allow the film to address these tropes without reservations. The trailers and promotional “PSAs” to support the release of the film acknowledge microaggressions and the current forms that racism occupies today. The trailer takes an active role in addressing the audience by the narrative form: A young black woman announces on her radio show ways that white people could be better allies. The title of the film itself alerts the majority population that we are doing something wrong. That a message is being sent out, and that we should listen. And the film operates as a satire, which is for the best, so we can all laugh our way out of ignorance. -Dominique O’Neill
Rudderless (October 17) – After decades of being the best thing in 95% of movies he’s in, William H. Macy makes his directorial debut with a story of a man fighting to keep his son’s memory alive after he discovers a box of demo tapes and music the young man had written and never shared before his death. So he does the one thing he can think of – he starts a band. Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin head up the cast, which also has Laurence Fisburn, Felicity Huffman and H. Macy himself bringing up the heavy side, with Selena Gomez and Kate Miccuci (of Garfunkel & Oates) bringing up the light, feminine angle. – Svetlana
Maps To The Stars (October TBA) – Cronenberg has has a semi-spotty record of late (Cosmopolis, anyone?) but Maps to The Stars was well received in Cannes and its story about a LA family deeply obsessed with fame is just the right kind of dark humor absurd for its smart, cool cast (namely the Mia Wasikowaska and Julianne Moore tandem) to sink their teeth into. – Svetlana
Ouija (October 24) – There’s nothing I love more than a good ouija board story. Once I was even kicked out of a party in middle school because I kept freaking out my friends by spelling things with the planchette. So I’m far more excited than I should be about Hasbro’s first horror film, Ouija, which tells the story of a group of friends who use the spirit board in an attempt to contact their recently departed friend. While this certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to be the best horror film, October is the perfect time to binge watch anything spooky. Even if it’s mediocre spooky. -Kaylee Dugan
St. Vincent (October 24) – Sadly not associated with Annie Clark, this long delayed coming-of-age drama could very well be Bill Murray’s most “Bill Murray-ish” role yet, in which he gets to do/say mostly whatever he wants. As war veteran Vincent, Murray takes on the responsibility of babysitting his next-door neighbor, Oliver, played by the innocent and adorable Jaeden Lieberher. Throughout the film, Vincent “mentors” Oliver, by way of introducing him to gambling, alcohol, and prostitutes. Inevitably, the two form a heartwarming father-son bond. The cast includes comedic wonders Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd, rounding out what is sure to be a thoroughly enjoyable film experience. -Avery Anapol
Laggies (October 24) – Laggies is an R-Rated comedy about girls not old enough to get into an R-Rated comedy. Keira Knightley is Megan, a 28-year-old stuck in permanent adolescence. She tells her fiancé she is going on a retreat, but instead spends a weekend doing shots and engaging in other teenybop behavior with Chloë Grace Moretz’s character, Annika, and her hot dad (Sam Rockwell). Like Knightley’s last film, Begin Again, Laggies looks promising as a chick flick to kill a couple of hours without too much emotional investment. -Avery Anapol
Low Down (October 24) – Jeff Preiss, who was up until now best known as the cinematographer on Lets Get Lost, the stunning Chet Baker documentary, turns his eye towards another tortured genius and tracks the life of pianist Joe Albany as he struggles with drug addiction and navigates the jazz music scene of the 60s and 70s. Based on a memoir by Joe’s daughter Amy, what the movie lacks in helming experiece/pedigree, it more than makes up on the cast side: Elle Fanning, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes and Glenn Close are all in it. Nevermind that Jimi Hendrix movie, this may be the music biopic you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for this season. – Svetlana
Force Majeure (October 24) – Described as “Michael Haneke meets Scenes from a Marriage” this Swedish drama following a family in the aftermath of an avalanche descending on their seemingly idyllic vacation is supposedly, dark, funny, visually striking, and phenomenally unsettling. Just what the winter of your discontent needed.- Svetlana
White Bird in a Blizzard (October 24) – Though she may never fully recover from her stint as Amy Jurgens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, there is no doubt that Shailene Woodley has matured into a graceful and deeply emotional actress. In White Bird in a Blizzard, she plays a young woman coping with the disappearance of her mother and her blossoming sexuality. I’m hoping that her performance will be comparable to her role in The Descendants, and less kitschy than The Fault in Our Stars. Eva Green (Casino Royale) and Christopher Meloni (Law & Order) play Woodley’s parents in the film, which is based on a novel by Laura Kasischke. -Avery Anapol
Horns (October 31) – Besides Daniel Radcliffe’s (completely ridiculous) American accent, Horns actually looks pretty good. Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, who is accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. Soon after, he grows a pair of grotesque horns that give him supernatural powers, which aid him on his quest to target the real murderer. Is he a manifestation of the Devil himself? Is Horns a super meta way for Radcliffe to continue to distance himself from his most famous role? These questions and many more may (or may not be) answered in this dark comedy. -Avery Anapol
Big Hero 6 (November 7) – The first time I saw the trailer for this movie I immediately wanted to see it. I’m gonna be real—I don’t know anything about the original Marvel comic, but it looks like it’s an animated multicultural Avengers. Plus, the giant inflatable robot resembles Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man enough that I’m counting him as a distant cousin. Did I mention that Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock!) is the voice of the inflatable robot? I miss 30 Rock. -Vesper Arnett
Interstellar (November 7) – This one is a no-brainer: Christopher Nolan’s first original film since 2010’s Inception, and it stars Matthew McConaughey, who is just so hot right now. Based on a ambitious science fiction spec script, Insterstellar is a bold adventure: it tells the story of a team of astronauts who travel to distant planets in order to save humanity. Nolan’s got the imagination for such an audacious project, and to his credit, the previews give away little about the plot. All we know is that multiple actors play McConaughey’s children (playing with spacetime will do that). I’ve got to admit something, friends: this one comes out right around my 30th birthday, and I’m going to be super-bummed if it sucks. Knowing Nolan and his collaborators, however, I think this birthday will be a good one. – Alan Zilberman
The Theory of Everything (November 7) – Stephen Hawking has long topped my list of “People Who Need to Have a Biopic Made of Them,” and if the emergence of normcore is any indication, 2014 is the year of dreams coming true. Eddie Redmayne is beautifully transformed into the physicist as a young man falling in love, and throughout his physical deterioration due to ALS. The Theory of Everything explores Hawking’s rarely-discussed personal history, and paints a stunning portrait of his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). Heartbreaking and fascinating, I will not be surprised if this film generates a whirlwind of Oscar buzz. -Avery Anapol
Rosewater (November 7) – A journalist is detained in Iran for 100 days of brutal interrogations. Jon Stewart directs. We want this to be very, very good.
The Better Angels (November 7) – After a promising Sundance debut, I’m convinced The Better Angels could be one of my favorite films this fall. It covers three years during the Midwestern boyhood of Abraham Lincoln. The historical accuracy is debatable, but the black-and-white aesthetic and sheer interest of Lincoln’s life are both attractive elements of this film. With a short 94-minute run time, it’s already more appealing than 2012’s historical epic. -Avery Anapol
The Homesman (November 7) – It has been almost ten years since Tommy Lee Jones helmed a movie, and apparently this frontier story about a claim jumper and a pious woman transporting three females driven insane by the rough tidings of pioneer life. Hilary Swank plays his partner is transport. – Svetlana
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (November 7) – Robin Williams, lets face it, had a little bit of a questionable movie track record toward the end of his life but IT IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON. AND HIS LAST MOVIE WAS A CHRISTMAS ONE. AND JOEL MCHALE IS IN IT. AND GENA ROWLANDS. AND LAUREN GRAHAM. If that doesn’t spell fun for all the family, we don’t know what does. – Svetlana
Fury (November 14) – The mandatory WWII prestige season submission stars Brad Pitt, is directed by the man behind End of Watch, and follows an army sergeant named Wardaddy (!!!!) as he commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. That thing dripping off your screen as you read this is good, old-fashioned testosterone. Grade A Quality.- Svetlana
Foxcatcher (November 14) – Director Bennett Miller has been on a hot streak, with his last two films Capote and Moneyball earning best picture Oscar nominations and fantastic performances. Foxcatcher looks to be a dark, unnerving film that will certainly put its cast in an entirely new light. Telling the story of Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), a Olympic wrestler and his coach John du Pont (Steve Carell), Foxcatcher shows the bond between pupil and teacher and how this particular story went to tragic levels.
Tatum over the past few years has gone from kind of a joke to a fascinating actor to watch, stealing the scene in everything from the 21 Jump Streetfranchise to multiple Steven Soderbergh films. Yet his role here could very well be his first Oscar nomination. Speaking of which, Steve Carell is a shoo-in for a nomination, after less comedic roles in films like Hope Springs and The Way, Way Back, Carell is almost unrecognizable as du Pont. His horrifying actions seem even more terrifying considering they’re coming from an actor many of us fell in love with for his hilarious, big-hearted characters. Foxcatcher should continue Miller’s success rate and become his most shocking film by far. -Ross Bonaime
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets (November 19) – 25 years after sauntered onto the world music scene, all art-school cool and beyond catchy, PULP return to Sheffield for a reunion concert, and a documentary that is rumored to be as funny, smart, sardonic and well, life changing, as some of their finest songs. Beyond music, topics covered include fame, love, mortality – & car maintenance, interspersing the band’s gives and takes with fantastical, specially-staged tableaux moments featuring ordinary (common?) people recruited on the streets of the town that gave Jarvis & co. their start. We plan to watch this and then PROMPTLY watch it again. And again. – Svetlana
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21) – The revolution has begun in Panem, the dystopian country where Katniss and all of her Hunger Games pals reside, as we learned in the cliffhanger ending to the second movie. The latest film centers on the first half of the final book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy meets potent metaphor for insert-your-ideology-here. Now that the fighting has left the arena that comprised the first two blockbusters, it will be interesting to see how the movie structure changes. Jennifer Lawrence anchors the movie with her steely-eyed, PSTD-plagued heroine, but this movie also boasts series newcomer Julianne Moore and a partially CGI-ed Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Thankfully, this is one of the rare young adult series where the heroine couldn’t care less about having a love interest (even if fans do). While moviegoers will have to wait another year for Part 2, thanks to studios hungry for profit, there’ll be a lot more questions to answer than which points from the love triangle shares the final smooch. -Rachel Kurzius
The Imitation Game (November 21) – Everyone loves a good code cracking spy thriller, and this one comes with the added bonus of revolving around cracking the code that helped win WWII. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Kneightly lead up the bone structure blessed cast, and Morten Tyldum who brought us the relentlessly twisty Headhunters will hopefully be able to keep the tension going despite the fact that we ALL KNOW how this story ends. – Svetlana
Horrible Bosses 2 (November 26) – More of the same (including, thank God, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey all being back). Only with Sudeikis being way more fit now. But we guess, why fix what ain’t broken?
Escobar: Paradise Lost (November 26) – Thisnovel angle on the Escobar story involves a young surfer arriving to Columbia, falling for a girl, and then meeting her uncle, who turns out to be Pablo Escobar. We’re not sure where this is heading but Escobar is played by Benicio Del Toro so, that’s something, right? -Svetlana
Wild (December 5) – After reading Cheryl Strayed’s memoir this summer, I’ll admit I was skeptical about a film version being about to do justice to the epic internal dialogue that Strayed so eloquently conveys (read: I thought it might be boring). When I saw the trailer, I immediately switched teams. I have an abnormal level of confidence in all of Reese Witherspoon’s endeavors, and am more than ready to see her embark on this solo adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail. -Avery Anapol
Inherent Vice (December 12) – No one knows much about Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, except its source material. He’s always been ambitious, and Inherent Vice marks the first film adaptation of a novel by the postmodern weirdo Thomas Pynchon. I’d love to know how Anderson got Pynchon’s blessing: the writer is famously camera-shy – I think the only public photo that exists of him is from when he was a young soldier – so it’s to the point that his anonymity rivals JD Salinger’s. The novel is Pynchon at his most accessible. It’s a noir-tinged detective story set in Los Angeles during the 1970s, and the cast includes a list of Anderson favorites. Anderson is a filmmaker whose work stands outside modern filmmaking trends: he might be our only genius, a true original who can command the respect that Kubrick and even Wells once did. It’s a blessing that he also has a sense of humor, as he loves characters as weird and flawed as we are. – Alan Zilberman
Exodus: Gods and Kings (December 12) – After the utter travesty that was Prometheus, Ridley Scott jettisons the future for the ancient past in Exodus. We all know the story, of course: it is about how Moses (Christian Bale) leads the Jews out of Egypt and parts the red sea in the process. Nevermind that Scott chose a bunch of English and Australian actors to play arguably the most famous brown-skinned people to ever walk the Earth. This is a director who does not turn away from spectacle, and his marble color palette is a good match for the austere vistas of the desert. Hollywood nowadays is the sort of place where no famous figure actually matters unless he or she is an action hero, so I for one look forward to seeing Moses wielding a bloody god damn spear. – Alan Zilberman
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (December 17) – The journey continues.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (December 19) – This journey continues too. Plus, MORE Robin Williams.
Winter Sleep (December 19) – This year’s Palm D’Or winner follows a theatre actor as he opts for a simpler life running a hotel on the outskirts of Anatolia. But the movie so much more than its narrative sum of parts: called in turns brilliant, refined, introspective, and masterfully subtle by the salivating critics, it is getting a US release JUST in time for Oscar consideration, and rightfully so. –Svetlana
Big Eyes (December 25) – If there is one person that was born to bring to life the story of Margaret Keane, whose 1950s paintings of wide-eyed waifs brought her massive acclaim, only to spend the better part of the 1960s fighting her husband Walter Keane who claimed credit to them, then that person IS Tim Burton. Just think of every movie of his you ever saw-Edward Scissorhands or The Corpse Bride may as well have jumped off the canvas and onto film. The cast includes all-time BYT favorites Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter and Christoph Waltz and this MAY JUST be the film to break Burton’s semi-lackluster live action streak he’s been toiling of late.- Svetlana Legetic
Into the Woods (December 25) – If Rodgers and Hammerstein are the golden duo of musical theater, then Stephen Sondheim is their dastardly teen cousin, who uses song to probe at the oddities and immoralities that make us human. Into the Woods is Sondheim’s musical theater version of Super Smash Brothers, starring all of the storybook characters from your childhood, like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), The Witch (Meryl Streep), The Wolf (Johnny Depp), and more. The film is helmed by Chicago director Rob Marshall in his neverending quest to “bring back” the musical. Consider it brought. -Rachel Kurzius
Paddington (December 25) – It’s unclear if Paddington will be a pleasant excursion into your childhood, or just something to get through. Either way, I don’t think it’s legal to say anything bad about a “young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British” (direct quote from the IMDB plot summary). I’m planning to see this one on Christmas, just because everything in it, from the animated title character to Scottish actor and 12th Doctor (Doctor Who) Peter Capaldi is oh-so-adorable. -Avery Anapol
The Interview (December 25) – What seems like a fun comedy has almost become a matter of national security. Kim Jong-Un has already explained his anger over The Interview, which c’mon man, your dad never mentioned any problem with Team America: World Police, right? Have a sense of humor! Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s last film This is the End was one of the funniest comedies of last year, so The Interview has a lot to live up to. But hey, this could be the first comedy to start a war, and how many films can say that? -Ross Bonaime
Unbroken (December 25) – Based on a Laura Hilderbrand (aka “the Seabiscuit lady”) non-fiction novel of Olympic champion and WWII hero Louis “Louie” Zampieri and the time he spent, AFTER surviving a plane crash, in a Japanes POW camp, is pure Oscar bait season gold. We’re going to pretend that Angelina Jolie directing it is not a bad sign. – Svetlana
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (December 25) – John Cusack is not in it. Adam Scott is. A Christmas release date indicates pretty high levels of confidence from the studio. And, if you need reminding, the first one was actually VERY funny. Regardless, we welcome any addition to the Craig Robinson movie marathons that are permanently running in our hearts – Svetlana.
Leviafan (December 31) – This magnanimous festival favorite is a complex, epic piece of work that seems to be nearly impossible to write about if you haven’t seen it and also the kind of movie you can’t stop talking/writing about once you do. A Best Foreign Language Picture contentder, for sure.
by Brandon Wetherbee
Jimi: All is by My Side (September 26) – This movie has been in the works since the release of The Love Below, at least that’s what Outkast fans have been thinking since 2003. 11 years later, it does not appear that this film has been in the works for 11 years. Start with the age difference. Hendrix passed at 27. André Benjamin is 39. That says a lot. Even if this thing began filming as soon as the last full length Outkast LP was completed, he still would have been too old.
Left Behind (October 3) Private islands cost a lot of money and Jesus Christ has a lot of money.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (October 10) – Steve Carrell has been receiving critical acclaim for his performance in the upcoming Foxcatcher. Steve Carrell has not received any acclaim for his performance in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He does get kicked by a kangaroo in the trailer for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Men, Woman & Children (October 17) – Jason Reitman is a perfectly fine filmmaker. Up In The Air elicited a quality performance from George Clooney. He has a somewhat realistic way with dialogue. But the two-and-a-half minute trailer for Men, Woman & Children has me rethinking of Reitman is a competent writer/director or maybe Clooney is just that good.
Dumb and Dumber To (November 14) – Brought to you by Aaron Sorkin. In my mind this film is brought to you by Aaron Sorkin.
Annie (December 19) – Jamie Foxx is so talented. Jamie Foxx should have won an Academy Award for Collateral in 2004. He did win an Academy Award for Ray in 2004. He was a badass that didn’t need an award for Django Unchained in 2012. He is so talented and also makes garbage movies. For every Collateral, Ray and Django Unchained is a Valentine’s Day, Law Abiding Citizen and Stealth, a not horrible, ultimately pointless, always-on-cable movie.
Fall and winter are all about: feelings, family, more feelings, and a good scare and/or discomfort story thrown here and there for good measure. These should cover all those basis.
BEGINNERS – Now Streaming on Instant Netflix – stars and budgets aside, this is a very personal story. Here are the facts (as neatly classified by Zach in his interview with Mike): Mike Mills’ father did come out of the closet when he was 75 (not long after his wife passed away); Mike Mills’ father did wear a purple shirt when he came out; Mike Mills did adopt his father’s beloved Jack Russell terrier upon his death; and Mike Mills is a graphic designer (he most recently designed the album art for the Beastie Boys’ Hot Sauce Committee Part II). The rest is what makes a movie a movie: a little sprinkling of magic. – READ OUR WHOLE REVIEW HERE.
MY SISTER’S SISTER (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) – Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are not ok. The three people who never before were in a room together, though in pairs they have complex, real relationships (the two girls are half-sisters, Duplass & Blunt are best friends, and Blunt used to date Duplass’ now dead brother) spend a weekend (week?) at a remote cabin figuring stuff out. Smart, funny and naturalistic in the best way imaginable. Dealing with people is messy, and dealing with people you love is the messiest.
SIDEWALLS (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) – Mariana and Martin are two flawed, sweet people who are: a. perfect for each other, b. live in buildings right next to one another and c. have never actually met (the fact that they’re both borderline agoraphobic may have something to do with it). This Argentinian study of urban alienation, love, and the little things in our everyday lives that could change EVERYTHING is the movie equivalent of a hot toddy. Drink it all up.
A SINGLE MAN (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) – Tom Ford’s directorial debut, based on a Christopher Isherwood novel is predictably stylish and gorgeous, and unpredictably heartfelt. Colin Firth is probably at his post-Darcy finest as a gay college professor coping with loss, loneliness and aging and Julianne Moore as his “goodtime” best friend and Nicholas Hoult as the object of his obsession are both pitch perfect. Bonus: every single screenshot is something you’d want to frame and put up in your apartment to stay there forever.
THE SACRAMENT (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) Ti West’s The Sacrament has been doing the film festival circuit for almost a year now, but it’s finally being released on Instant Netflix after a (Very limited). While it hasn’t really been getting the best reviews, let’s face it, October is made for horror movies so, we’ll take it. The film follows Patrick (Kentucker Audley) as he meets up with his sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) at Eden Parish, the commune she’s been staying at since leaving rehab. Eden Parish seems wonderful at first, but eventually things start to get weird (of course). Despite the lackluster reviews, I’m definitely checking it out. It’s got found footage (I know everyone is sick of this, but I will love it forever), cults, references to Jonestown (one of the creepiest cults there ever was), and an actor named Kentucker. I can’t imagine a better summer horror flick. – Kaylee Dugan
BREAKING THE WAVES (Now Streaming on Hulu Plus) – when we did our GREAT MOVIES I WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN story, the only argument we had in the office was WHICH Von Trier movie to include in it. Breaking the Waves is an early favorite, partially because Emily Watson gives a performance of a lifetime (which did garner her a rare Von Trier based acting Oscar nomination) as a young bride who submits herself to a very unique form of martyrdom after her husband (Stellan Stargaard) suffers a crippling accident. Moody, wrenching, bleak, the very definition of a weekend ruiner. Which, lets face it, some winter weekends are made for.
STORIES WE TELL (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix and Amazon Prime) – READ OUR FULL REVIEW HERE: At the very opening of this terrific documentary, Sarah Polley quotes Margaret Atwood: “When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you’re telling it, to yourself or to someone else”, and it is a perfect introduction to the complex, fascinating, uncomfortable story she is setting out to tell, a tale weaved through archival footage, interviews, and on-point reenactments, all melding seamlessly into something almost more than a straight-up documentary, a family mythology of sorts. Polley is a scholar of relationships, and all her films, at the core, deal with the evolution of long term commitments, and Stories We Tell offers us a glimpse as to where the fascination with that topic may have started. At home, naturally.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) – A dark twist on a family-who-sticks-together angle, this effective, atmospheric horror follows the Parkers, a family bound together by an ancient custom as a storm forces their two daughters to take on duties that will keep the tradition they hold so close that is deeply tied to their very identity alive. Fair warning: Family meals may never be the same again.
LE WEEK-END (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix) – Netflix has an amazing selection of “old people romances” (is this a subgenre yet?) available on their streaming platflorm (Last Love, Unfinished Song, All Together, Last Tango in Halifax… the list goest on) and this Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan vehicle is the latest (and maybe greatest?) addition. Starring as a couple revisiting the location of their honeymoon decades a go (Paris, naturally) the two dance, talk, fight, and scramble their way through the titular week-end with the pizzaz and panache of people decades younger. Jeff Goldblum, at his Jeff Goldblumiest (this is a compliment) offers all the necessary support. Nothing ever stays the same, and we need to learn to deal with it.
LA CEREMONIE (Now Streaming on Hulu Plus) – Based on Ruth Randall’s classic tale of bourgeousie and murder A Judgement in Stone, Claude Chabrol’s La Ceremonie takes the English countryside setting, plops it over to France, engages some of the best people one could have in a thriller (including Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire and Jacqueline Bisset) and builds an atmospheric potboiler
YOU’RE NEXT (Now Streaming on Instant Netflix and Amazon Prime) – READ OUR WHOLE REVIEW HERE – You’re Next, which plays like a combination of Scream’s self-awareness, the contained brutality of Straw Dogs, and the home invasion fear of The Strangers. You’re Next has four siblings reuniting with their significant others in tow at their parents house for their 35th wedding anniversary.
Those expecting something akin to this summer’s other invasion horror film, The Purge, may be surprised by the amount of humor and parody that is going on in You’re Next. Having Tariq (The Innkeepers director Ti West) explain to Drake (Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg) an underground film festival has many layers to it, especially if you know who these filmmakers are.
You’re Next even toys around with the ideas that are usually shouted at screens during similar horror films, such as why the people don’t just leave the house or even how ridiculous it can seem to have one victim really good at killing. While there is a plenty of gruesome killing going on, You’re Next nails its blend of humor and fear, almost like a more grounded The Cabin in the Woods.
Clearly, there is a very big new batch of BRAND NEW TV coming your way (some of it having come already) but here are seven shows we personally are pretty jazzed about, and we’d love to spread that jazzed feeling around.
MARRY ME (NBC, Premieres Oct 14th) – For all those of us still in deep mourning over Happy Endings and all those of us who wish Burning Love was a ten seasoner web series (which should cover just abut all of us), comes a rom com featuring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino as a longtime couple who just can’t seem to get to the next level. We’re rooting for this (and them) SO HARD.
MULANEY (FOX, Premieres Oct 5th) – FOX has been on a roll with “cool sitcoms” for the last few seasons (New Girl, Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine Nine) and Mulaney looks like their 2014 best bet. Starring the stand up powerhouse & should-be-All-American-sweetheart John Mulaney it is a story of what it is like to be young, not-quite-successful, AND A STAND UP COMEDIAN (and some other stuff) in NY. Elliot Gould and Martin Short bring up the old school chops, and Bentzen Ball alum & BYT BFF Seaton Smith heads up the younger side of the cast. If all goes well, this could be the new Seinfeld. Hopefully we didn’t jinx it by saying that just now.
DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY (PBS-Masterpiece Mystery, Premieres Oct 26th) – PD James’ mystery novel of the same name took on an interesting and seemingly irresistible premise: Six years after Pride & Prejudice took place, Darcy and Elisabeth Bennet, now married and all that, are readying for their annual ball when well, DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY. Starring people with some SERIOUS thriller chops: Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Anna Maxwell Martin (Bletchley Circle) and Matthew Goode (Stoker and Match Point) plus enough corsets and brooding by the moors to make the Austen original jealous, this one is a through and through winner, no questions asked.
TRANSPARENT (Amazon, Premieres Sept 26th) – the inimitable Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort, a trans parent: a man who has not quite informed his grown children that he is living as a woman (named Maura) now. Puns aside, this winner of last year’s Amazon Pilot season has been created by Jill Solloway (Six Feet Under) and promises to be not just truly amazing, deeply quotable, surprisingly relatable new show and also that rare breed of a thing we don’t get QUITE as often these days: truly amazing, deeply quotable, surprisingly relatable groundbreaking television. Time to get that Amazon Prime subscription.
GRACEPOINT (FOX, Premieres Oct 2nd) – BBC’s Broadchurch was one of the best things to happen to TV in the last year of so: gorgeously shot, tautly plotted, geniuinely suprising. And while we are suspicious that FOX went and redid it for the American audiences STRAIGHT AWAY (have no lessons been learned with that illfated Returned remake?), the fact that David Tenant signed up for the US version as well makes us trust it just a little more, and well, we could use a good murder mystery this season (one that isn’t in corsets). Bonus: in True Detective (and Broadchurch) form, it will all get wrapped up in 10 swift episodes, so no The Killing overkill risks here.
GOTHAM (FOX, Premieres Sept 22nd) – because every year, we could all use a good, guilty pleasure superhero show, right? And we’d watch Jada Pinkett Smith and Ben McKenzie in pretty much anything.
THE AFFAIR (Showtime, Premieres October 12th) – A shifting point-of-view chiller, The Affair should fit quite nicely into the fall of Gone Girl obsessing. Dominic West’s Noah is married with four children to Maura Tierney, and is also carrying on with Ruth Wilson’s Alison who is married to a local rancher, played by Joshua Jackson. As their sides of the story interchange, we start to question pretty much everything. This also marks a US TV debut for Ruth Wilson who was AMAZING as Idris Elba’s frienemy in Luther and a welcome comeback to must-see television for Joshua Jackson and Dominic West (last seen being VERY untrustworthy in Appropriate Adult). Plus, Maura Tierney. Shouldn’t Maura Tierney be in everything, all the time? We think so.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC, Premieres Sept 25th) – The Shonda Rhimes fest on ABC (up until now featuring Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) now has a third edition: now starring Viola Davis as a sexy, cool tough criminal law professor whose students get entangled in a homicide plot. Just over-the-top enough to make for addictive viewing, this is must-see TV for many reasons but mainly because you don’t want to be left out of any water-cooler chit chat at your office the next day. And you know that chit-chat will be happening. A LOT.
American Originals Now: Jesse Lerner @ National Gallery of Art: – September 13 – 14. Documentary and anthropology junkies will want to attend these screenings. Introduced by the filmmaker, “La Piedra Ausente (The Absent Stone)” and “Ruins” explore antiquarianism, culture, and history. Free.
Latin American Film Festival @ AFI Silver: – September 18 – October 8. AFI is celebrating 25 years of showing the best Latin American cinema, featuring participation from Spain and Portugal this year. We are looking forward to “All About the Feathers,” a Costa Rican “deadpan cockfighting comedy” and Spanish filmmaker David Trueba’s “Living is Easy With Eyes Closed.” General admission is $13, AFI member admission is $10. All-festival passes are available for $150.
Found Footage Festival @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: – October 3. This one-of-a-kind festival screens the best in videos found at garage sales, thrift stores, dumpsters, and basements. Curators Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Letterman, Colbert) present their greatest finds, which include titles such as “Tiger Moves,” “Butt Camp,” and “How to Have Cybersex on the Internet.” This homage to all things found should be refreshing, hysterical, and a great way to be less embarrassed about your early attempts at Youtube comedy. Tickets are $15.
Spooky Movie Film Festival @ AFI Silver: – October 9-18. The schedule for DC’s only genre-based film festival has yet to be released, but we know there will be no shortage of screams in this series of shorts and feature films. Tickets are $12 per film, or $125 for a festival pass.
Fear at the Freer @ Freer Gallery Meyer Auditorium: – Start your Halloween off right with the Japanese film “Ringu” that inspired “The Ring” and kicked off the Japanese Horror craze that dominated your middle school movie nights. The terrifying film that started it all is showing Friday, October 31 at 5pm. Photo courtesy of Freer/Sackler.
Midnight Movies @ Landmark’s E Street Cinema: Your favorite cult classics are still here, with added gore for Halloween. Swing by the E Street Cinema on Friday or Saturday at midnight every weekend, and mark your calendar for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (October 3-4), “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (October 10-11) and “Carrie” with Sissy Spacek (October 17-18).
Two Nights in Telluride @ National Geographic: When it’s (almost) too cold to go outside, watch other people go outside on the big screen. The director of the Mountainfilm in Telluride festival will be at the National Geographic Museum for two nights, screening the best in adventure, mountain culture, and extreme sport films. Tickets are $44 for both nights. Photo by Keith Ladzinsky, via National Geographic.