A Gatsby Showdown this week
The summer movie season is now starting in earnest. With the lowering of the intellectual bar for cinema that this implies (although a handsome film critic told me this Iron Man 3 flick is a pretty good bet), it’s more important than ever to maintain a well-balanced cinematic diet. So let ‘On the Marquee’ count your weekly calories for you, lest you become as bloated as the blockbusters that will now begin to flood our local screens.
Monday, May 6th: Side Effects
Budget Cinema South @ 12:05 p.m., 2:35 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ($2!)
Why not start your week by pouring one out for the purported last feature film from one of the world’s best filmmakers Steven Soderbergh, with the pharmaceutical thriller Side Effects working as his final bow. That way when July hits, and the movie explosions seem to all meld together into one summer-long shockwave, you can remember there was once a filmmaker making smart, visceral entertainment for adults without pandering to demographics and quadrants. This may prove to be your last chance at seeing Soderbergh’s final film on the big screen. Don’t miss such an opportunity.
Tuesday, May 7th: Upstream Color
On sale at all finer DVD retailers (prices may vary)
The last time I spoke to you in this column I recommended the Upstream Color screening for Milwaukee Film members. Now, I bear the great news that you needn’t a membership to watch this soul-immersing cinematic experience any longer, as it hits on DVD/Blu-Ray this week. And for those of you lucky enough to have already seen what will definitely be one of the year’s best, I assure you it only will grow in estimation for you with multiple viewings.
Wednesday, May 8th: Chasing Ice
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (Free!)
The Union Theatre’s Share the Earth environmental film series concludes with this visually ravishing document of one man’s efforts to capture visual evidence of the global warming effect with regards to the continual disappearance of glaciers from our natural landscape. James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey project is an attempt at taking time-lapse photographs of the vanishing glaciers over a four-year period, and this documentary follows him on this dangerous and inspired mission to provide the world with irrefutable visual evidence of the havoc we’re wreaking as a society. These visuals demand to be seen on the big screen, regardless of where you stand on global warming.
Wednesday, May 8th: The Great Gatsby (1949)
7 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for adults/seniors and students/museum members)
Before you see the adaptation on the big screen in bright and gaudy 3-D later this week, take some time to check out an early adaptation of the classic, with Alan Ladd in the lead. This is considered by some to be the cream of the crop in terms of Gatsby adaptations up until this point, and the film hasn’t been made available on DVD or VHS, so this is an exceedingly rare opportunity to see this picture projected on film the way it was intended to be seen. See this first, then head out to theaters for our next film and judge for yourself whose adaptation is more successful.
Friday, May 10th: The Great Gatsby (2013 aka ‘The Bootiest Edition’)
Opens @ theaters nationwide (check local listings for showtimes and pricing)
This Friday sees the wide release of a movie that will either prove to be ravishing and delightful or a complete and utter disaster (or both!) in Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Those looking for extreme novelistic fidelity need not apply. One need look no further than Luhrmann’s 1996 film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet to get an idea of what sorts of stylistic liberties he might take with the source material. My review will be forthcoming on Friday, and I look forward to digging into this film for your viewing pleasure.
Saturday, May 11th: Fanny By Gaslight
7 p.m. @ The Church in the City, 2648 N. Hackett Ave. ($3)
The FOCUS Film Society continues to screen cinematic treasures otherwise forgotten by modern audiences the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month and this week’s offering looks particularly appealing: Stewart Granger as our dashing and handsome male hero and the fantastic James Mason as a rake and roustabout as a young girl returns home from school and discovers some unsavory truths about her family. Their eclectic programming is always worth checking out.
Saturday and Sunday, May 11th and 12th: Labyrinth
10:30am @ Times Cinema ($4)
I can think of no finer way to round out your cinematic week than with David Bowie and his Oscar-nominated codpiece in the Jim Henson-helmed cult classic Labyrinth. Featuring a young Jennifer Connelly and a host of fantastic Henson-crafted puppetry, the movie is both deeply silly and exquisitely charming. In my opinion, Jareth out-glams Ziggy Stardust in my annual Tournament of Bowies (don’t worry, there’s still time to send in your Bowie brackets!), and you only need to watch him strut around the scene like a live-action anime character here to see why.
That does it for this week, quite a bit worth checking out. Is there anything I missed? Do you virulently disagree or passionately endorse my selections? Let me know in the comments field! Happy cinema-going everyone!