Marching with the Castro

  • by David Lamble
  • Tuesday February 28, 2017
Share this Post:

March at our Castro Theatre movie palace is a delicious cinema potluck with a dash of almost everything in the modern repertory cupboard. As usual, the Castro is a great place to catch current awards-season fare.

Jackie (2016) This bio-pic from Chilean director Pablo Larrain (No), aided by Noah Oppenheim's brilliant script, doesn't ask where you were when the "Camelot" presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy ended abruptly on a beautiful fall day in Dallas, Texas. Jackie instead seduces you into imagining what it must have been like for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy when the sound of three bullets shattered her regal world forever. (3/6)

Incendies (2010) French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve concocts a Middle East travel puzzle that starts with a brother/sister attending a reading of their father's will. With Lubna Azabal and Remy Girard. In French with English subtitles. (3/7)

Manchester by the Sea (2016) Casey Affleck is moving as a small-town New England janitor drowning in sorrow who's a human hand grenade capable of pulling his own pin. Just when his life appears to have bottomed out, Lee gets the news that his older brother has died, leaving him in charge of his teenage nephew. Kenneth Lonergan withholds crucial information about the source of Lee's dark mood until late in the film when everything is painfully and poignantly clear. With a great supporting cast: newcomer Lucas Hedges battles his emotionally unstable uncle like a pro, while Michelle Williams scores as a reformed alcoholic ex-spouse. (3/8)

CAAMFEST Opening Night: The Tiger Hunter . (3/9)

Grease Sing-a-long. (3/10-12)

Fences (2016) This powerful African American family drama, adapted by Denzel Washington from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, concerns the fate of four generations, particularly the patriarch of the clan, Troy Maxson (Washington). He turned his back on a major-league baseball career only to find himself angry and trapped at precisely that moment when a man should feel pride in family and work. (3/14)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) The Rebel Alliance moves to steal plans for the Death Star. Director Gareth Edwards helms a cast including Diego Luna, Felicity Jones and Alan Tudyk. (3/16-17)

Julieta (2016) In queer Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's latest, our heroine (Emma Suarez) is sharing a Madrid flat with a boyfriend. The couple plans a move to Portugal when by chance Julieta reconnects with the best friend of her long-absent adult daughter Antia. Heartbroken that her child, now married and living in Switzerland, has not been in touch for 12 years, Julieta cancels her trip and returns to her old apartment, hoping that Anita will know where to find her. (3/21-22)

Lost Highway (1997) David Lynch's noirish offering features a top-drawer cast: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Blake, Natasha Gregson, Richard Pryor, Lisa Boyle, Jack Nance, Henry Rollins, Gary Busey, Robert Loggia, Marilyn Manson and Giovanni Ribisi.

In Cold Blood (1967) In the hands of veteran director Richard Brooks, Truman Capote's nonfiction novel traces a tragic arc from the senseless slaughter of a Kansas farm family to the apprehension and punishment of their feckless killers. The only thing this brilliant drama lacks is a sense of its author and how his attraction to one of the murderers would lead to his own downfall. (both 3/23)

Vertigo (1958) Of all the Alfred Hitchcock top-drawer material, this chilly San Francisco-lensed thriller is the hardest to sassy up to. Jimmy Stewart is a retired cop who becomes obsessed with an old pal's estranged wife (Kim Novak). The retro shots of Stewart cruising around Nob Hill are matched only by Bernard Herrmann's addictive soundtrack score. (3/24-26)

The Last Embrace (1979) The always reliable Roy Scheider returns as a CIA agent who witnesses the murder of his wife and wonders if he's next. With Janet Margolin, John Glover, Sam Levene, Christopher Walken and Charles Bapier. (3/24)

20th Century Women (2016) Writer/director Mike Mills on how hard it is to ever really know anyone. The film is a fabulous homage, specifically to Mills' mom, but also to any woman, about what to value and when not to shut up when bullies threaten. Plays with Certain Women. (3/28)

Manhattan (1979) My pick for Woody Allen's finest hip romantic two hours in widescreen b&w. Opening to the strains of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," Woody, as writer Isaac Davis, opines over a montage of Gotham City at work: "Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. New York was his town, and it always would be." (3/29)

The Disposable Film Festival. (3/30)

Young Frankenstein (1974) This comic romp from Mel Brooks, in collaboration with writer/co-star Gene Wilder, pulls out all the stops, leaving no childish prank unreferenced. Especially good is then-rising action star Gene Hackman's cameo sending up the memorable blind-man scene in Bride of Frankenstein.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) One of the most memorable horror/comedy combos ever produced. Beyond camp, the lusty travesty features Tim Curry as the musical transvestite from Transylvania, with original comic/faux horror turns from a very young Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meatloaf, Charles Gray and Patricia Quinn, directed by Jim Sharman. Generations of school-age revelers throwing rice and singing along to madcap lyrics can't all be wrong. (both 3/31)