We're nearing the witching hour, and while that means hardcore horror marathons for some of us (worry not, I have a guide to help you with programming that coming later this week!), there's still plenty of selections both mysterious and spooky and otherwise to keep us occupied locally.
Monday, Oct. 21: Fruitvale Station
7 and 9:20 p.m. @ Oak Creek Value Cinema ($1.75, also plays Tuesday through Thursday)
If you're like me and missed your opportunity to catch this film on its first run through theaters, this is your last chance to take it in on the big screen. Nearly unanimously praised for its gut-wrenching portrayal of a real life act of senseless violence, with Michael B. Jordan bringing Oscar Grant III's tragic story to stunning life. Racking up awards every step of the way, I'd be surprised if this doesn't make a splash this upcoming Oscar season.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Before Midnight on DVD/Blu-Ray
For sale @ all finer DVD retailers
I feel like I've probably said more than enough with my earlier, rapturous review of the film while it was in theaters, but I'm going to implore you to check this out again (or for the first time, if you missed out in theaters). A beautiful continuation of the series started 18 years earlier, and proof that the collaboration between Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater is as fruitful as ever. As truthful a portrayal of a long-term couple as you're likely to see in theaters this year, it's equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking and well worth your time. And now (even better), you can watch all three in a row, and get swept away by the simple truths and emotional beauty contained therein.
Wednesday, Oct. 23: Letter from an Unknown Woman
7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/5/Free for Adults/Seniors and Students/Museum Members)
After their celebration of all things Bing, Charles Allis Art Museum is a taking a trip to Vienna for its next set of screenings, celebrating depictions of “Old Vienna on the Screen.” And if you're looking for a romantic mid-week getaway, I can think of no better place for a rendezvous that catching Max Ophuls' sumptuous tale of unrequited love between a famous pianist (Louis Jordan, in his American film debut) and Joan Fontaine as the young woman who fell in love with him and continues to seek him out over the years.
Friday, Oct. 25: Friday the 13th
Midnight @ The Times Cinema ($5!)
A rare chance to see how it all began on the big screen. This is the baby daddy of a nearly endless parade of teenage massacres that have come out in the three-plus intervening decades, and is likely not at all the film you'd imagine it to be. Don't go in expecting hockey-masked mayhem, instead catch the origin of one of cinema's most beloved slashers and a young-as-hell Kevin Bacon. At the very least, watch this delightful trailer that preceded its initial release (my personal favorite is number nine):
Friday, Oct. 25 – Sunday, Oct. 27: Drinking Buddies
10/25: 9 p.m., 10/26: 7 p.m. and 10/27: 7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre ($6/5/4 for General Public/UWM Faculty, Staff & Alumni Association Members; all non-UWM Students; and Senior Citizens. All w/ proper ID /UWM Students)
After dipping his toes in the mainstream ever so slightly with a few projects (directing a segment of the horror anthology V/H/S, nearly stealing the show as the annoying brother in You're Next), Drinking Buddies appears to be director/writer Joe Swanberg's melding of his “mumblecore” style (dialogue both improvised and with an improvisational feel, a focus on the parts of a relationship that mainstream cinema tends to ignore, a refusal to shy away from physical and emotional intimacy) with some truly mainstream names: Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston and Jason Sudeikis are all part of this blurring of the lines of friendship as Wilde and Johnson play co-workers at a Chicago brewery whose supreme chemistry with one another is only thwarted by the fact that they're both currently in relationships. Definitely check out the Milwaukee premiere of this critical darling, and then waltz to a local alcohol repository and treat one's self to a locally brewed ale as you discuss the film. Sounds like a solid night to me.
Saturday, Oct. 26: The Uninvited
7:30 p.m. @ 2648 North Hackett Avenue
The Focus Film Society brings the goods with this underappreciated haunted house jam from 1944, with Ruth Hussey and Ray Milland leading the way in this tale of paranormal activity. Boasting atmosphere and special effects ahead of their time, this is a great chance to catch this flick during the perfect time of year for it. But don't take my word for it, check out this rad vintage trailer: