Do Savannnah

Film Scene: Lucas hosts Savannah premiere of painted picture ‘Loving Vincent’

 

Film Scene: Lucas hosts Savannah premiere of painted picture ‘Loving Vincent’

27 Sep 2017

By the time this issue of Do hits the streets and the web, Armstrong State University’s annual celebration of Latino arts and culture will have already begun, and with that, the second annual installment of the school’s Spanish Film Festival.

However, there are still plenty of critically acclaimed and/or award-winning Spanish-language feature films to catch for free on campus over the next few days. All these films are open to the public and will be shown with English subtitles, to broaden their appeal. As always, more details on all the screenings mentioned in Film Scene can be found in the sidebar listings accompanying this column.

International renown

These motion pictures include the 2012 Costa Rican drama “The Return,” about a man’s attempts to reconcile his troubled past. It won Best International Feature at the 2011 New York Latino Film Festival, and will be shown at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28. Later that same day, at 6 p.m., check out Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, “Neruda,” the 2016 biopic about the poet and Communist senator of the same name.

The next day, at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 29, director Daniel Burman’s low-key, celebrated father-and-son comedy “The Tenth Man” will screen, followed at 6 p.m. by director Tatiana Huezo’s emotionally affecting, female-centric Mexican documentary “Tempest.”

Finally, the following day, Sept. 30, sees Cuba’s official entry to the Academy Awards, “The Companion,” being shown. Set in the late 1980s, when the HIV crisis first ravaged the world, it portrays the unlikely bond that grows between a boxing champion and an ill patient during confinement to a military-run “AIDS center.”

The university’s Ogeechee Theatre serves as the setting for each of these notable foreign films. I suggest arriving at least 15 minutes before showtime to park and find your way to the building if you are unfamiliar with Armstrong’s campus, as the layout can be a bit confusing.

Makeup date with Dustin

Heading from the southside of town out to Tybee Island, that beach community’s lovely, restored single-screen historic Tybee Post Theater offers a one-show-only revival of director Mike Nichols’ beloved late-’60s romantic dramedy “The Graduate” on Sept. 28. Starring an impossibly young Dustin Hoffman (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Tootsie”) in the role that jump-started his lengthy career, as well as the wonderfully talented Katharine Ross and Anne Bancroft, it’s a stone classic of awkward interpersonal relationship humor. This is a makeup date, as the originally scheduled screening was postponed because of Hurricane Irma. Showtime is 7 p.m., with admission prices including a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate.

Faith and anime

At the exact same time that same night back out behind the Savannah Mall, Fathom Events presents a one-show-only digital streaming event at both the AMC 11 multiplex (formerly known as the Carmike Wynnsong) and the Regal Stadium 10 right next door.

It’s the new documentary “Steve McQueen: American Icon.” As with many of Fathom’s special programming, at first glance, this appears to be a straightforward doc on an iconic Hollywood star; however, if you dig a bit deeper you’ll find it’s a Christian-oriented “message documentary” using the late superstar actor’s story as the backdrop for an examination of the spiritual journey he undertook late in his life. The film is hosted by celebrity pastor (and McQueen fan) Greg Laurie, and centered around an extended, candid interview with McQueen’s widow. It also screens in Bluffton, S.C., at the Cinemark as well. Showtime at all venues is 7 p.m.

Fathom has another faith-based film on tap for a three-night run at both the Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark starting Oct. 3 through Oct. 5. It’s “Mully,” the inspirational true story of Charles Mully, who was abandoned by his family at the age of 6 in impoverished Kenya, yet raised himself on the streets and eventually became an incredibly powerful and wealthy man determined to use that wealth and influence to help Kenya’s orphan community. The film screens each night at 7 p.m. in both locations.

The last of Fathom’s special cinema events this week occurs Oct. 5 and Oct. 8 at all three of their occasional area locations: the AMC Savannah 11, Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark. It’s another in their ongoing series of big-screen presentations of Asian animated features (which rarely receive nationwide theatrical release here in the states).

This time, it’s “No Game No Life Zero,” a complex, futuristic sci-fi action tale about an idealistic young man who attempts to lead humanity through a dark time of chaos and war while simultaneously attempting to guide a female android in the ways of human emotions. In addition to the film itself, there will be an added bonus feature including special footage with the cast and crew of the film. Oct. 5 screenings are in spoken Japanese with English subtitles, while the Oct. 8 shows are dubbed in English.

Against all odds

The rest of this week’s notable alternative cinema events take place in beautiful Historic Downtown Savannah, starting Sept. 29 with SCAD’s Cinema Circle presentation of director Philip Kaufman’s impressive and captivating 1983 docudrama “The Right Stuff.” It’s based on legendary writer Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book of the same name detailing the behind-the-scenes drama of the U.S. government’s original Mercury 7 astronauts and the small army of top scientists and technicians responsible for launching those brave adventurers into space against all odds.

Beginning with famed test pilot Chuck Yeager’s breaking the sound barrier in an experimental vehicle, this terrifically entertaining and gripping film is packed with outstanding production design, period costumes, accurate recreations of historic events and exemplary acting by its ensemble cast (including Scott “The Silence of the Lambs” Glenn, Ed “The History of Violence” Harris and the late, great actor and playwright Sam “Mud” Shepard). A lengthy picture that runs a bit over three hours, this Trustees Theater event will be introduced by Oscar-winning sound editor and author David Stone, who will also lead an informative audience discussion of the film afterward. 7 p.m. showtime.

Are you not entertained?

The next night, Sept. 30, aound the corner from the Trustees at the Lucas Theatre, director Ridley Scott’s epic 2000 action-adventure “Gladiator” will be shown on one of the biggest screens in town. A massive hit worldwide, the film tells the tale of a betrayed general of ancient Rome who returns to his city to seek revenge on those who murdered his family. It stars Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi and — in his final onscreen performance — the always captivating Oliver Reed. “Gladiator” took home a whopping five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. If you have never seen this spectacle as it was intended to be seen (meaning in a huge, dark movie house), now’s your chance. Showtime is 7 p.m.

‘Absolutely stunning’

A few nights later, the Lucas’ new Art House series of first-run independent and foreign films continues with a one-show-only regional premiere of the highly anticipated experimental biopic of master oil painter Vincent Van Gogh. “Loving Vincent” is earning universal praise for its unique approach: namely that each one of the 65,000 individual film frames that make up this full-length picture is an actual oil painting, done by hand by a team of professional fine art painters from throughout Europe. Each contributor traveled from his or home home to take part in this unique and unprecedented labor of love.

The result is an animated exploration of Van Gogh’s own masterpieces which focuses on the artist’s troubled final days before his suicide. Deadline.com’s Pete Hammond calls “Loving Vincent” a “masterpiece” in its own right and predicts viewers will be “amazed and lifted” by this “extraordinary” and “absolutely stunning” film. Booking this somewhat under-the-radar critics’ darling is something of a coup for the Lucas, so please show them some love for their efforts and attend this screening if you can — a strong turnout will encourage them to continue booking such esoteric fare. 7 p.m. showtime.

Tribute to Stanton

And last but certainly not least, on Oct. 4 at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Societys weekly Wednesday night series of underappreciated feature films continues with a special memorial tribute to the hard-living, inimitably grizzled leading man and character actor (and singer and counterculture icon) Harry Dean Stanton (“Paris, Texas,” “Alien,” “Twin Peaks,” “Wild at Heart,” “Repo Man”), who passed away a few weeks back at the age of 91.

Known for his eerily naturalistic depictions of heavily burdened men on the margins of society, Stanton enjoyed a remarkably loyal and enthusiastic following worldwide from the mid-1970s onward, despite never breaking through into household name status.

In honor of his lengthy and incredibly unique career, the PFS will screen one of Harry Dean’s least-known lead roles: that of a timid, low-life criminal in the forgotten 1967 suspense flick “The Hostage,” which despite being a rather dark drama is believed by many to have had a strong, uncredited influence on the 1990 slapstick comedy smash “Home Alone.” Those who only know Stanton for his later-period roles may marvel at how fully formed his onscreen persona and nonchalant charisma was a half-century ago, when he was a complete unknown. Showtime is 8 p.m., with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the show.

Until next issue, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Jim Reed directs Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah. Email psychotronicfilms@hotmail.com.

IF YOU GO

What: Armstrong Spanish Film Festival: “The Return”

When: 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: Ogeechee Theatre, Armstrong State University

Cost: Free

Info: armstrong.edu

What: Armstrong Spanish Film Festival: “Neruda”

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: Ogeechee Theatre, Armstrong State University

Cost: Free

Info: armstrong.edu

What: “The Graduate”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10, includes wine and chocolate

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: Armstrong Spanish Film Festival: “The Tenth Man/El Rey Del Once”

When: 12:15 p.m. Sept. 29

Where: Ogeechee Theater, Armstrong State University

Cost: Free

Info: armstrong.edu

What: Armstrong Spanish Film Festival: “Tempest/Tempestad”

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 29

Where: Ogeechee Theater, Armstrong State University

Cost: Free

Info: armstrong.edu

What: Armstrong Spanish Film Festival: “The Companion/El Acompañante”

When: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 30

Where: Ogeechee Theater, Armstrong State University

Cost: Free

Info: armstrong.edu

What: “Steve McQueen: American Icon”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: AMC Savannah 11, 1150 Shawnee St.; Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.; Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Right Stuff”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 29

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $5-$8 or free with SCAD ID

Info: trusteestheater.com

What: “Gladiator”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 30

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $8

Info: lucastheatre.com

What: “Mully”

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 3, 4, 5

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $14.98

Info: fathomevents.com

What: Harry Dean Stanton Memorial Tribute: “The Hostage”

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 4

Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

What: “No Game No Life Zero”

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 5 and Oct. 8; 12:55 p.m. Oct. 8 (Cinemark only)

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $10.50-$13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “Loving Vincent”

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 5

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $10

Info: lucastheatre.com

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