The Oscar-nominated Irish-French-Belgian animated feature The Secret of Kells opens on Friday, May 14, for a week-long engagement at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216-321-5411, clevelandcinemas.com). Based on a medieval Irish story, Kells centers on the relationship between Abbott Cellach (Brendan Gleeson) and his nephew Brendan (Evan McGuire), who live in a fortified monastery on a dangerous island surrounded by an enchanted forest. Brendan's strict uncle hopes to prepare his reckless nephew for a possible Viking invasion, but is constantly disappointed by Brendan's tardiness and irresponsibility. Brendan decides to help out master illustrator Aidan of Iona (Mick Lally), who needs him to venture into the forbidden forest and retrieve items for a secret book he's trying to finish. Brendan meets a fairy (Christen Mooney) there who protects him from the forest's bloodthirsty wolves. The two eventually become friends, but run into some problems after Brendan is punished for disobeying his strict uncle. Though Pixar fans might find the film primitive, its hand-drawn geometrical animation is distinctive and mimics the medieval manuscripts that it's based on. It's a terrific piece of filmmaking, designed to appeal to both kids and adults.
The locally produced horror film The Dead Matter doesn't arrive on DVD until July 30, but you can see clips from the movie in a new music video from Matter director Ed Douglas' industrial band Midnight Syndicate. Made to accompany the track "Dark Legacy," the band's first official music video was directed by David Greathouse, who shot the clip at Lakewood's Phantasy Theater. Because Midnight Syndicate is essentially a studio project, the video also marks the first time Douglas and bandmate Gavin Goszka (both of whom play keyboards) have performed live. The clip shows them playing before a dark theater full of zombies. Locally based Precinct 13 Entertainment co-produced the video and provided various props and outfits. The clip will also be featured as an extra on The Dead Matter DVD. You can check it out now at midnightsyndicate.com or at thedeadmatter.com.
Local film buff Barbara Steffeck-Hill introduces William Wyler's 1938 film Jezebel, which stars Bette Davis as a headstrong Southern belle and Henry Fonda as the banker she loves. It screens at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 15, at the Lakewood Public Library's Main Auditorium (15425 Detroit Ave., 216-226-8275, lkwdpl.org). Admission is free.