With the vice president shooting people in the face and everyone still getting over their chocolate hang over from Valentine's Day, this week it's hard not to feel a general malaise and slight discomfort about the new releases line up. However as always, New York's repertory film scene comes through in the clinch keeping Gothamist inspired when it comes to movie viewing.
The bad news first, ie new wide releases out this week: Our former Buffy the Vampire Slayer girl crush Alyson Hannigan stars in Date Movie, one of those gross out genre satires this time spoofing the sappy universe of romantic comedies. While we love Alyson as the sweet Lily on CBS's How I Met Your Mother, any movie that features a fat suit always makes us wince so our recommendation is guarded. Hunky Paul Walker stars opposite a bunch of cute Alaskan huskies in the Disney dog sledding movie Eight Below which looks like it'll be interesting for only those under 8 years old and Julianne Moore appears with Samuel L. Jackson in the thriller Freedomland about racial tensions and a small town car jacking. One that might be worth catching, Zooey Deschanel stars opposite her former co-star from Elf Will Ferrell plus Ed Harris in Winter Passing about a young actress who returns home to coax her reclusive author father into publishing his old love letters. Will and Zooey together again on screen makes Gothamist happy.
As for the better news, ie repertory screenings: Check out Desert Wind at Film Forum. It's a documentary about a dozen regular guys on a trek through the Tunisian desert with psychologist Alexis Burger, and director François Kohler captured the men revealing their inner most emotions before the camera. There will be a Q&A with Dr. Burger and three of the participants after the 8:15 pm screening tonight.
Another intriguing non-fiction film -- this one at the Pioneer Theater on Saturday afternoon -- 24 Hours On Craigslist directed by Michael Ferris Gibson, is about the myriad of oddity that traffics on that favorite message board. Also IFC Center is screening, as part of their ongoing series of Fassbinder films, the German director's classic menage trois of meanness The Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant. Three women, sexual jealousy and many mannequins makes for a truly unique cinematic experience.
The Gothamist pick this week isn't so much a single film as a suggestion to include an entire series on your film-going radar. The annual Film Comment Selects program began on Wednesday and it features some really amazing films from around the world curated by the bi-monthly film magazine from Lincoln Center. Some highlights of the run include a new release by Stanley Kwan, a focus on writer/director/comedienne Elaine May's work and photographer William Eggleston's 1974 documentary Stranded in Canton which screened last night. Please make it a point to peruse the line up and make time in your busy schedules to see at least a few of the offerings at the Walter Reade.
Finally one more movie related event tonight at the Kip's Bay Borders, see author and Gothamist interview subject Josh Horowitz interview writer and director John Hamburg (Zoolander, Along Came Polly) at 7 pm to promote Josh's new book of director essays The Mind of the Modern Moviemaker. Should be a film geek-tastic time.
Production still from Winter Passing with Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel.