You know how some folks of late have taken to using the expression “I can’t even” — as in, they are simply overwhelmed with a given subject or situation or person to the point where they cannot even make it all the way to the end of a short sentence that’s meant to describe how overwhelmed they are without just giving up in frazzled despair?

Yeah, that’s me these days.

Case in point: the column you are reading right now. When it comes to all the specialty cinema events taking place around our area over the next seven days that deserve to be featured in Film Scene, I. Just. Can’t. Even.

So, if the next few paragraphs feel like a bit of a birds-eye view of this week’s offerings from a nearsighted meth-head in a whirlwind, all apologies.

 

Old-school Transformers

First up, the folks at Fathom Events are presenting five different programming options at the Regal Stadium 10 multiplex out behind the Savannah Mall, starting with a one-show-only re-release of the low-budget, old-school animated feature “Transformers: The Movie."

It was the very first theatrical release of any kind from the Saturday morning giant robots TV series, which decades later would be successfully rebooted as a live-action/CGI hybrid and make trajillions of dollars worldwide, despite sucking loudly and longly in most any direction you’d care to name. This 7 p.m. show Sept. 27 features the voice talents of both Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles, so it automatically wails all over anything starring Marky “Violent Assaulter of Foreign People” Mark.

 

Epic family tragedy

That same night at the exact same time, the Regal offers up Britain’s National Theatre Company’s live stage production of Shakespeare’s epic family tragedy “King Lear,” starring none other than “Vicious” randy Freddie Thornhill himself, Sir Ian McKellen in the title role. At almost four hours long, it’s a contemporary retelling of the iconic tale of a familial power struggle that earned rave reviews from theater critics. Catch it at 7 p.m. at this multiplex, or if the Southside is inconvenient for you and you’d like to support a local venue, the exact same program will be screened at 6 p.m. the next night, Sept. 28, in high-def digital projection at downtown’s lovely Lucas Theatre.

 

NASA and anime

Back at the Regal, Sept. 29 marks the premiere of a new, two-hour documentary on the history of NASA, the release of which has been timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of that government administration’s inception. Directed, produced and narrated by the Oscar- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy, it uses rare archival footage and new, exclusive interviews to profile the people and technology responsible for putting humans on the moon, sending roving robotic scouts to Mars and even beyond. It screens at 12:55 p.m. that day, and then at 7 p.m. Oct. 3, and should look fantastic on the big screen.

Sept. 30 finds Fathom showcasing another of Japan’s beloved Studio Ghibli’s iconic animated fantasies. This time, it’s 1988’s “My Neighbor Totoro,” a groundbreaking international smash hit set in the years just after the end of WWII, which deals with two young girls and their father, a professor, who must deal with ghostly spirits in the woods near their home. Beautifully drawn, with a unique, translucent color palette, it was named the greatest animated film of all time by none other than celebrated filmmaker (and "Monty Python" cast member) Terry Gilliam, director of “Brazil,” “Time Bandits" and “12 Monkeys.” The 12:55 p.m. show that day, as well as the 7 p.m. show Oct. 3, will be screened with their dubbed English soundtrack, while the 7 p.m. show Oct. 1 will be shown in the original spoken Japanese, with English subtitles.

 

The prophecy

And finally, on Oct. 2 and 4, the Regal will screen the brand-new “faith-based feature” known as “The Trump Prophecy: A Voice of Hope — A Movement of Prayer.” This two-hour film was made by the film department at Lynchburg, Va.’s Liberty University, and dramatizes the story of one Mark Taylor, a real-life firefighter from Florida who claims that God himself spoke to him in 2011 and told him Donald Trump was destined to be thepPresident of the United States — even though the scandal-plagued business tycoon had yet to formally announce his candidacy at that time.

According to Taylor, whose “vision” was later the focus of a book written by the wife of his medical doctor, Trump’s presidential victory was ordained by the Lord, who is using Trump to “plunder from the enemy” by stealing back money, prestige and influence Taylor believes has been taken from the U.S. by other nations.

Did I mention that thousands of Liberty University students signed a petition demanding the school’s funds, faculty, students and resources not be used to create this film, as it clearly promoted the views of a heretical and un-biblical “false prophet?” Yep. This one should be a hoot. 7 p.m. screenings each night.

 

Burt Reynolds weekend

Heading out to Tybee Island, Sept. 27-29 marks the Tybee Post Theater’s Burt Reynolds Memorial Weekend. They’ll screen three of the late actor’s most popular films, one each night at 7 p.m. First up on Sept. 27 is director John Boorman’s gritty, Oscar-nominated survival-in-the-woods action-thriller “Deliverance.” The next night is the unbelievably funny box-office smash of a slapstick, beer-smuggling comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” co-starring the late Jackie Gleason and Jerry Reed, not to mention Sally Field. And finally, the picture that only featured Burt in a small role (as opposed to his usual leads) but which briefly rehabilitated his waning career: the 1997 American porno film industry docudrama “Boogie Nights,” which earned Reynolds an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

A tearjerker

Speaking of restored, small-town movie houses, the Mars Theatre in nearby Springfield will screen “God Bless the Broken Road” at 7 p.m. Sept. 27-29, and again at 3 p.m. Sept. 30. Another faith-based drama, it takes a tearjerker tale of a young mother who loses her soldier husband in the Afghanistan War that ladles on plenty of NASCAR racing and country music, and stars Jordin Sparks from the Evangelical apocalyptic “Left Behind” film franchise.

Fright Fest

The morning after the Lucas Theatre screens Ian McKellen’s “King Lear,” they open unusually early for a very special event. It’s the 2018 Graveface Psychotronic Fright Fest, which stands as the largest Horror Movie Marathon in the entire Southeast. The restored versions of six cult classic thrillers will be shown on the big screen of this majestic 1926 movie palace, with valuable prizes raffled off before each film, and a lobby full of horror merchandise vendors. All-day passes are $20 in advance (or $25 at the door), while a few remaining VIP packages can be charged directly here. They offer $100 worth of limited-edition souvenir swag (including all-day admission to the event) for $50. For more details, see the feature article elsewhere here at dosavannah.com. Hope to see some of you there!

 

The Look Back series

Sept. 30 is the last Sunday of the month, which means the Savannah LGBT Center on Bull St. near the Starland area hosts The Look Back, an ongoing series of edgy, under-the-radar “queer cinema,” showcasing all manner of aspects of the LGBTQ community and experience. Co-curated by me and Max Arnzen (of provocative local phenoms the House of Gunt), it’s an intimate event held in the center’s 35-person meeting room. Admission and concessions (including popcorn, candy, water and soft drinks) are completely free to all, with voluntary donations of any amount toward expenses always appreciated.

This month’s selection is the uproarious 1976 farce “Norman, Is That You?," which stars the late, great stand-up comic and actor Redd Foxx (TV’s “Sanford and Son”) as a conservative father forced to come to grips with his California-based, college-aged son’s previously hidden homosexuality. One of the first American films to tackle such a difficult subject with care and good humor, it faded quickly into obscurity, but retains a loyal underground following for its unique snapshot of the public’s perception of committed gay relationships in the 1970s. Showtime is 7 p.m.

 

DIY doc

The next night, Oct. 1, Graveface Records plays host to DIY documentarian Skizz Cyzyk, who is touring around the country with his just-finished film “Icepick to the Moon,” which debuted at the 2018 Chattanooga Film Fest in Tennessee.

The motion picture, a labor of love that took a whopping 20 years to complete, investigates the mysterious, ultra-obscure “outsider musician” known by the pseudonym “Rev. Fred Lane.” Beginning in the mid-1980s, this antagonistically bohemian crooner, who is associated with Tuscaloosa, Ala.’s politically confrontational Raudelunas art collective, recorded and released a score of surreal, genre-bending, limited-pressing vinyl LPs that blur the line between truth and fiction. While some of his highly collectible output was eventually reissued by the bold and beloved New York City art-rock label Shimmy-Disc, much of it remains woefully unknown and unheard.

Based on the trailer, this sweeping retrospective of Lane’s output, his diehard fans and the Alabama art scene which birthed — or merely unleashed — his beatnik-inspired dada lounge lizard character in the first place (think Lord Buckley meets Frankie Laine meets St. Janor Hypercleats at a gas-huffing slumber party) looks to be a real blast. It’s the kind of respectful, far-out examination of fringe culture the Psychotronic Film Society would present, and kudos are due the cats at Graveface and local outsider musician Jeff Zagers for bringing this tour through town.

Anyone who cares anything about anything that’s not for everyone should make it a point to show up for this screening with the director in tow. Hey, it’s only $5. Beat that.

Silly spies

Speaking of the Psychotronic, on Oct. 3, the PFS’ weekly showcase of underappreciated feature films from around the world continues at The Sentient Bean with the adorable 1991 French spy comedy “Operation Corned Beef,” starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. An unabashedly silly take on the espionage game that somehow manages to avoid lampooning James Bond-style escapades (and instead concentrates on mocking the un-glamorous, boring minutiae of the real secret agent game), it was nominated for the prestigious César Awards (France’s equivalent to our Oscar), and is highly recommended for fans of the inspired physical comedy of “Dumb and Dumber” and the “Mr. Bean” franchise. They’ll screen the uncut version in spoken French with English subtitles. 8 p.m. showtime.

'Days of Heaven'

And, last, but not least — see, I told you this week was a wild ride — SCAD’s Cinema Circle presents the second in their special screenings of influential and/or important feature films released in 1978 (the year the art college was founded) with a rare public showing at Trustees Theater of esteemed filmmaker Terrence Malick’s gloriously beautiful romantic drama “Days of Heaven,” starring Richard Gere and Brooke Adams as a down-on-their-luck couple in the early 1900s who hatch a risky plan to take advantage of a wealthy farmer in hopes of eventually getting their hands on his estate.

Although a commercial failure, Malick took home the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Fest (one of the very few U.S. directors to ever receive such a prize in that era), and the film’s stunningly beautiful camerawork received the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. It has since been reappraised and is now widely regarded as one of the finest American films to date. For this special screening, this restored version of the film will be introduced by yours truly, and I will moderate a post-show audience discussion on the film’s merits and its legacy. 8 p.m. showtime.

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 the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah.

 

IF YOU GO

What: “Transformers: The Movie" (1986)

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 27

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “Burt Reynolds Memorial Weekend”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 28, 29

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $8 each; $20 for all three

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “God Bless the Broken Road”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 28, 29; 3 p.m. Sept. 30

Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St. Springfield

Cost: $7

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: National Theatre Live "King Lear”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 27

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: National Theatre Live "King Lear”

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $5-$15

Info: lucastheatre.com

 

What: Graveface Psychotronic Fright Fest

When: 11 a.m.-midnight Sept. 29

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $20-$25; $50 VIP

Info: lucastheatre.com

 

What: “Above & Beyond — NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow”

When: 12:55 p.m. Sept. 29; 7 p.m. Oct. 3

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.

Cost: TBA

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “My Neighbor Totoro”

When: 12:55 p.m. Sept. 30; 7 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 3

Where: Regal Stadium 10 and Cinemark Bluffton

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “Norman, Is That You?”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 30

Where: Savannah LGBT Center, 1515 Bull St.

Cost: Free (donations appreciated)

Info: savannahlgbtcenter.org

 

What: “Icepick to the Moon”

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 1

Where: Starland Dairy, 2425 Bull St.

Cost: $5

Info: facebook.com/mcpsociety

 

What: “The Trump Prophecy”

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 2 and Oct. 4

Where: Regal Stadium 10 and Cinemark Bluffton

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “Operation Corned Beef”

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 3

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

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

 

What: “Days of Heaven”

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 4

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $5-$8

Info: trusteestheater.com