If you’re the sort who avidly scours the first few pages of each issue of The New Yorker looking for reviews of edgy or slightly left-of-center feature films to ruminate on, then CinemaSavannah is the local organization for you.

For several years now, this one-man labor of love has resulted in one-night-only Savannah screenings of dozens of first-run indie and foreign dramas, thrillers and documentaries, as well as the occasional comedy, which would otherwise never grace our local screens.

Their latest booking takes place Dec. 6 in the auditorium of the Jewish Educational Alliance. It’s “Wildlife,” the feature-length directorial debut of critically acclaimed dramatic actor Paul Dano, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan as a rural couple in 1960s Montana who must grapple with raising a child despite marital discord. This deeply emotional drama has received generally strong and positive reviews and is clearly worth a look.

Showtime is 7 p.m., with seating at 6:30 p.m. CinemaSavannah accepts cash only at the door, so come prepared. Admission prices for all Film Scene listings can be found in the accompanying sidebar.


A classic

That same night at the exact same time, the Tybee Post Theater screens the bona fide holiday season classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” from iconic producer-director Frank Capra. In fact, it was Capra’s personal favorite of the great many motion pictures he made. This heartwarming black-and-white 1946 romantic dramedy about a guardian angel who helps an idealistic yet depressed young man recapture his zest for living serves as a sort of populist fable.

It was considered a massive financial flop when first released to theaters, but wound up with five Oscar nominations and eventually earned a deserved reputation as one of the greatest American films made to date. Over the decades it has become a staple of Christmas television programming, but has only recently enjoyed a resurgence of interest in big-screen showings.

If you’ve never seen this picture alongside a quiet and respectful crowd, now’s your chance. Admission to this Tybee Post event includes your choice of a drink, hard or soft, and a small piece of chocolate.


Shark day

A few days later, Dec. 9, the same venue will host two special screenings of the recent over-the-top giant shark-themed action flick “The Meg,” accompanied by a live presentation on Megalodon sharks. First, before the PG-13 movie screens, Doug Duch, a local shark tooth collector who has completed over 700 dives in the Wilmington River, will display some of his most prized shark teeth artifacts — many from this exact species. Then, following the film, the Tybee Marine Science Center’s curator will conduct a fact-filled Q&A with the audience about Megalodons.

Proceeds from the day benefit the science center. Shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with discounted admission for those 12 and younger.


Ready, Freddie

Heading down the road a ways to the nearby town of Springfield in Effingham County, on Dec. 6 their historic, restored single-screen Mars Theatre opens a three-day engagement of the box-office smash rock music biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which dramatizes the formation and subsequent worldwide fame of British glam-rock quartet Queen in the 1970s and 1980s. That anthem-laden spectacle has received decidedly mixed reviews from critics but is earning raves from the general populace. It screens at 7 p.m. Dec. 6-8.

The very next day, Dec. 9, the Mars offers a one-show-only 3 p.m. matinee of the aforementioned Jimmy Stewart vehicle “It’s a Wonderful Life.” So, if it’s more convenient for you to get to Springfield than the beach, you can still catch that timeless tearjerker on the big screen.


For young filmmakers

Moving back toward midtown, on Dec. 7, Savannah Arts Academy will host its second holiday-themed “movie night” fundraiser of this year. Their first, held around Halloween and featuring a quartet of horror films, was geared toward teens but open to the general public as well. It drew close to 100 people and raised much needed funds for the school’s well-regarded filmmaking department.

This Yuletide-themed double-feature offers two time-honored favorites: the 2003 Will Ferrell and James Caan comedy “Elf,” followed by Henry Selick and Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion animation fantasy gem “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

The entire event gets underway at 6 p.m., and will be done by 10 p.m. Tickets can be charged online in advance at a slight discount, or purchased at the door. Popcorn, soft drinks and Chick Fil-A sandwiches will be available for sale throughout the films. Tell ‘em Film Scene sent ya.


Tatted up

And finally, on Dec. 12, the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah’s long-running Wednesday night series of underappreciated world cinema continues at The Sentient Bean with a rare public viewing of the low-budget 1978 crime-action flick “The Tattoo Connection,” starring esteemed martial arts actors Jim Kelly and Bolo Yeung — both of whom are perhaps best known for their supporting roles in the iconic Bruce Lee vehicle “Enter The Dragon.”

“The Tattoo Connection” was made in Hong Kong and stars Kelly as a former CIA agent who is hired by an insurance company to try and retrieve a stolen diamond from Chinese organized crime figures. When it first hit the USA in 1979, it was released to theaters in a severely edited print that compromised the storyline, and with a lackluster English-dubbed soundtrack that inadvertently added an element of camp humor to the picture.


For decades, the only version of the film that could be found was a cropped, scratchy, full-frame print featuring that lame English dialogue track. However, at long last, the PFS has acquired a nicely restored, uncut widescreen Chinese print of the film that boasts its original spoken Mandarin soundtrack and newly created English subtitles. Now this above-average independent film can once more be seen as its creators intended. 8 p.m. showtime, with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the movie, plus a full vegetarian dinner menu.

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.




What: “Wildlife”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.

Cost: $10, cash only

Info: tomwar@bellsouth.net


What: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10

Info: tybeeposttheater.com


What: Double feature, “Elf” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Savannah Arts Academy, 500 Washington Ave. 

Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at the door

Info: seatyourself.biz/saa


What: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 7, 8

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

Cost: $6

Info: marstheatre.com


What: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

When: 3 p.m. Dec. 9

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

Cost: $6

Info: marstheatre.com


What: “The Meg” and Shark Talk

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 9

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $8-$10

Info: tybeeposttheater.com


What: “The Tattoo Connection”

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 12

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

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav