Movies Out

What to go see this week

FRIDAY may 10

Moonrise Kingdom

If not Wes Anderson's best, Moonrise Kingdom is certainly Wes Anderson's best in quite some time. As a filmmaker, he's got his champions and his detractors, but Anderson's mastery of the miniature isn't really up for debate. His films look gorgeous and interesting, even if the resonance of the characters and story sense sometimes suffer as a result. Anderson sets Moonrise on an island off the coast of New England called New Penzance. It's the 1960s, and a courageous, dorky boy scout runs off with his highly intellectual crush (the stunning teenager Kara Hayward, in her Hollywood debut) and they stumble upon the magic of a secret first love. As the critic Anthony Lane has suggested, Wes Anderson's great gift is catching generations as they intersect, and in Moonrise, the droll humor and frequent moments of tenderness arrive when the adults look back -- Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray all conspire to find the missing 12-year-olds -- and the children look ahead. It's playing at 9:20 tonight and at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Sam Allard)

11141 East Boulevard, 216 421 7450,

Sound City

In the opening moments of this documentary, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who also directed the film, talks about the hopes and aspirations he and his Nirvana bandmates had when they went to record their 1991 album Nevermind at the space. But after they arrived at the space, they were initially let down. As he puts it, "I remember pulling into the parking lot and thinking, 'Really? This is Sound City.'" Famous for its brown shag carpet on the walls, the studio wasn't the kind of place where you would want to hang out. As one engineer puts it, "You could piss in the corner and no one would care." And yet, bands did hang out there. After Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks recorded their self-titled debut at Sound City in 1973, they spent some time just hanging around the studio. That's where they met Mick Fleetwood, who was listening to some of their recordings when Buckingham walked in on him. A segment of the film chronicles the recording of that first Fleetwood Mac album featuring Buckingham and Nicks. From that point, the hits just kept coming: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Foreigner, Rick Springfield and REO Speedwagon all recorded some of their biggest albums there. As Petty says, "Music isn't supposed to sound perfect. It's about people relating to each other." This fascinating documentary validates Petty's statement and provides a fascinating look at a historic studio. The film shows tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (Jeff Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2465,

Upstream Color

Writer-director Shane Carruth's film has been described as a "head-scratching science fiction drama." That's a pretty apt description. Carruth also stars in the film and plays Jeff, a guy who falls for Kris (Amy Seimetz) as she's putting her life back together after a petty thief drugged her after making her ingest some kind of weird bug. The burglary is particularly strange as the guy made Kris sign over all her assets, including whatever equity she had in her house. When she wakes up from the drug-induced stupor, she realizes she has lost everything but with Jeff's help begins to get her life back in order. With its ominous score and slow sequences, the film is effectively creepy in a Cronenberg kind of way but because it features so little dialogue, it's often difficult to understand just what the hell is going on. The film opens today at the Capitol Theatre. (Niesel)

1390 W. 65th St., 216-651-7295,

Saturday may 11

The Monk

Strange film here, starring the crazy-eyed Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Irreversible) as a monk in 17th-century Spain. Cassel is Ambrosio, an orphan boy who rises to regional renown as a sermonizer of ferocious and addictive faith. He becomes entangled in the advances of a novice, Valerio, who wears a freaky mask and admits to Satanic affiliations. Ambrosio's moral compass goes promptly haywire as he falls head-over-heels for a woman and deals with Valerio's secrets. As a movie, it's on the cusp of a few fairly distinct genres -- elements of horror are present throughout, though it's not, strictly speaking, scary -- and has the visual ambition of something like Tarsem Singh's The Fall crossed with Alejandro Jodorowsky's cult classic El Topo. It moves slowly (almost monastically) and though it deals with heavy themes, it lacks the deft script writing to make historical problems seem relevant today. It shows tonight at 9:40 p.m. and tomorrow at 8:25 p.m. at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Allard)

11141 East Boulevard, 216-421-7450,


The sparse and lovely Best Foreign Language Picture from writer/director Michael Haneke is an unblinking portrait of a woman, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), in physical and mental decline, cared for by her stalwart husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant). The film is bleak and somber and ferociously monotonous, but it's saved from its tedium by an intense singularity of purpose. Haneke hasn't romanticized the lives of people in their eighties as their component parts break down; he's embalmed them. It's got that slow, bare-bones aspect of something adapted from a short story. And in general, there's a mesmerizing quality to the everyday-ness of these vignettes. Everything's small-scale and quiet. There's no bawdy tears, no melodrama. Haneke and his cinematographer have choreographed the film beautifully but unobtrusively. We continue to rediscover Anne and Georges' apartment with them. We become party to the physical space, and party to the routine that their lives become. When Georges tells his daughter, before Anne returns from the hospital after an unsuccessful operation, "It's all terribly exciting," the irony (and the elegance) is that it's not at all. It plays tonight at 7:15 and tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Allard)

11141 East Boulevard, 216 421 7450,

Wednesday may 15

In Another Country

They say location is everything and that's partly the premise for this funny dramedy  from South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo. In order to pay off a debt, a young woman writes three different screenplays (all set in a small South Korean coastal town) that she thinks will sell. In the first, a French film director meets a young lifeguard and nearly falls for him. In the second, a French woman takes a vacation to secretly visit her Korean lover. And in the third, a married man tries to hit on a French woman. In each of the vignettes, Isabelle Huppert plays the French visitor (all named Anne) and there's a good deal of overlap with the characters, too, making it seem as if you're watching three different versions of the same movie. The repetition gets a bit tedious, but the film is well-acted and well-written (and competed for the Palme d'Or in 2012 at Cannes). It shows at 7 tonight at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (Niesel)

11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2465,


One of heavy metal's best live bands, Judas Priest celebrated its 40th anniversary with a tour that band members said would be their last "large-scale world tour." That final date — a May 26, 2012 show at London's HMV's Hammersmith Apollo — was filmed for theatrical release. The resulting film, simply dubbed Epitaph, is just now making its way to theaters. The concert film features the band playing some 23 songs (and at least one track from each of its 14 studio albums), including hits such as "Living After Midnight," "You've Got Another Thing Coming" and "Breaking the Law." The film shows at 7 tonight at the Capitol Theatre. (Niesel)

1390 W. 65th St., 216-651-7295,

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