1) Shot in Chagrin Falls, The Kings of Summer is the kind of indie flick that festival audiences love; the film’s sweet coming-of-age storyline will benefit more from positive recommendations than from a big marketing campaign, even though the film isn’t without its star power (Parks and Rec’s Nick Offerman, for example, has a significant part, as does Community/Mad Men’s Alison Brie). Though it’s the first effort from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (who works with a sharp script by Chris Galletta), don’t hold that against it. It’s well-shot and makes good use of its small-town setting to tell the story of a Joe (Nick Robinson), a teen who’s a bit of a longer and can’t identify with his stern father Frank (Offerman). (Jeff Niesel).
2) London: The Modern Babylon, a documentary film which wistfully celebrates the UK’s capital and largest city, is the finale in the 2013 National Docurama Festival. British filmmaker Julien Temple — known foremost for his music documentaries — races through London’s twentieth century (up to the 2012 Olympics), showcasing his hometown as a metropolis of breathtaking frenzy and diversity. Through archival footage, pop music, and the voices of London’s most powerful and most ordinary folks, Temple amasses a vast and splendid collage of culture and history. He’s got a knack for divining extra (or meta) meaning from historical events by superimposing contemporary music over images from the past. The film screens at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, 6/8, at 11 a.m. (Sam Allard).
3) The Room: If “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” hasn’t become a staple in your stable of relevant cultural quotes, then you aren’t a relevant member of the culture. Take that. You should see this cult classic at least once, just so you can say you’ve personally experienced the absolute silt of art’s age-old duck pond. It’s been dubbed by many the worst film in the history of cinema. It not only reorients but transcends the so-bad-it’s-good paradigm. The Room is, at root, a San Francisco love story. Johnny, played by the iconically awful Tommy Wiseau (who also wrote, directed and produced the film, bless him) is deeply in love with Lisa, who’s cheating on Johnny with his best friend Mark. God, this piece of shit is utterly, utterly senseless, and features memorable scenes like this one. Just please make sure you have a designated driver when you go to see it at the Cedar Lee at Midnight Saturday. (Allard).
4) Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s ability to feed off one another worked to precision in the very funny 2005 flick Wedding Crashers. The magic isn’t completely back in The Internship, the new film that pairs them together again for the first time since Wedding Crashers. But even if its Bad News Bears-like plot is telegraphed from the start, the film provides a nice respite from a summer of special effects-laden blockbusters. The plot is simple: Billy (Vaughn) and his best bud Nick (Wilson) have just lost their jobs as traveling salesmen and have somehow wrangled an internship at Google despite the fact that they’re old enough to be the dads of most of their fellow interns. Their lack of computer knowledge notwithstanding, they somehow manage to find a way to fit in as they compete for a full-time gig by going up against the other “Nooglers,” as Google interns are called. Critics have panned the flick but Wilson and Vaughn deliver their lines of witty dialogue like a couple of pros and the movie does a decent job of poking fun at the millennial mindset. (Niesel).
5) The heavy Cannes darling I Killed My Mother is nowhere near as gruesome as it sounds. In fact, the “killing” referenced in the title is more Freudian than anything, the destruction of one’s parents to self-actualize as an adult or something. This is flick comes from something of a wunderkind auteur. Xavier Dolan, who also stars, was 20 when he directed the film and 16 when he wrote the script. It’s full of mother-son shouting matches and dramatically composed close-up shots and slo-mo sequences, but is really just about a gay teenager who can’t connect with his mom. There’s an emotional intensity here that you simply won’t find in Fast and the Furious 6. Plays at the Cinematheque today and tomorrow. (Allard).