Now that the St. Patrick’s Day craziness has abated, we can get back to the business of looking for cool and unexpected movies which are showing in special engagements around the area – or to the occasional mainstream film which is being screened at an independently run, community theater. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of every event in both of those categories which is taking place over the next seven days. Choose wisely, and thanks for supporting local cinema presentations.

The Post

This week out at the beach, the historic restored Tybee Post Theater presents three different feature films – each of which is bound to attract its own unique crowd.

First up is the recently released CGI animated smash “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” which is the latest (and, reportedly, the last) entry in the family-oriented franchise based on a best-selling series of similarly-named kids’ fantasy novels. It’s made tons of money at the box office and received almost universal praise from critics. Showtimes are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on March 21 and 22.

 

On March 24, the Tybee Post hosts a way-cool screening that is not only open to the public, but free. It’s a “viewing party” for the brand-new feature “Love to the Rescue,” which was shot on and around Tybee awhile back. It’s a G-rated rom-com made expressly for the Hallmark Channel that centers around two single parents of opposite genders who meet when their young children both want to adopt the same rescue dog. Before you can say “flea bath,” the sparks fly between the mom and the dad and a blended family seems to be a forgone conclusion.

Plenty of local dogs were tapped to appear in this made-for-cable movie, and those animal thespians are also invited to this free screening, in case they, or, more likely, their owners, want to catch a glimpse of themselves on the big screen. No, seriously. This is a true viewing party, in the sense that the Post will simply be streaming the actual cable TV broadcast onto their screen. That means there will be traditional commercial breaks, during which the audience members are encouraged to make a run to the concession stand for popcorn or drinks.

As with their past viewing parties for TV programs that were made on the island, there’s no ticket charge to attend, but online reservations are highly recommended, as they only have room for 200 guests. They will also gladly accept any voluntary donations to the nonprofit venue. Showtime 6 p.m.

 

On March 28 the Post presents a one-show-only engagement of last year’s critically acclaimed arthouse thriller “Lizzie,” which takes a slightly new spin on the true story of Lizzie Borden, who was charged, but ultimately acquitted, of brutally murdering her father and stepmother in 1892 Massachusetts.

Co-produced by one of its stars, Chloë Sevigny, the film also features Kristen Stewart, Kim “The Zero Effect” Dickens and Denis O'Hare. It received mixed reviews, but many found it an intriguingly feminist take on a story most probably felt had been covered enough in the past. “Lizzie” was also praised for its captivating cinematography and, as such, is best seen in a dark, theatrical setting. No less than Manohla Dargis, chief film critic for the New York Times, named it as one of her “top films of 2018,” so it’s easily worth a look – even if you weren’t curious to see our area pass for New England. Showtime is 7 p.m.

 

The Mars

Heading out to nearby Springfield, the Mars Theatre is showing the just-released Christian-themed indie drama “Run the Race,” which focuses on two young brothers who find that playing football helps them to cope with the death of their mother and their father’s disinterest in their futures. This feel-good movie with a religious message was executive produced by none other than openly Christian football star Tim Tebow and features such known actors as Mario Van Peebles, Mykelti Williamson, and Frances Fisher in supporting roles. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on March 21 through 23 and at 3 p.m. on March 24.

 

The Lucas

Speaking of restored, vintage movie houses, the massive 1,200-seat Lucas Theatre – which is more of a movie palace, if we’re being honest – will host a special matinee screening of “Funny Girl,” esteemed director William Wyler’s 1968 musical-comedy-biopic of female Broadway star and comic Fanny Brice. Barbara Streisand reprises her role as Brice, from the Broadway run of the play this feature is adapted from, and took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her efforts.

The film also stars Omar Sharif, Anne Francis and Walter “The Monster, the Monster from the Id!” Pidgeon. It was the first musical directed by Wyler, who was primarily known for large-scale epic drams like “Ben-Hur” and classic screwball comedies like “Roman Holiday.” It is essentially a star vehicle for Streisand, who almost absurdly outshines most every other talent on the screen. One of the rare American pictures of its time (or of any other, for that matter) to offer a sympathetic portrait of a powerful Jewish woman, it also garnered Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Score of a Musical Picture. This is part of the Lucas’ ongoing Musical Matinees Series, and showtime is a 3 p.m.

 

The campus

Heading out to the Southside, on March 27, GSU Armstrong Campus offers another installment in its showcase of eye-opening documentaries called the “Education Exposed Film Series.” Made possible through a Campus Life Enrichment Committee grant, this series is free and often features post-show discussions with local experts on the subject.

This time around, the featured selection is “The School in the Cloud,” a 90-minute 2018 doc from award-winning filmmaker Jerry Rothwell that profiles a TED Prize-winning scientist and Indian school professor who arranges for an unmanned internet kiosk to be installed in a remote village in the South Asian region of Bengal near Nepal, Himalaya and Burma. Three years in the making, this movie focuses on small children who are encountering the world wide web for the very first time, and seeks to understand whether or not this technology will enrich their lives and allow them to improve their futures, or if it will wind up degrading and destabilizing their unique, rural way of life. Showtime is 6 p.m., but I advise allowing extra time to find parking on the Armstrong Campus before heading to its Student Union building.

 

PFS: The Caan 

Last, but certainly not least, on March 27 at the Sentient Bean Coffeehouse on Forsyth Park, the Psychotronic Film Society continues its weekly Wednesday night screenings of underrated or downright obscure feature films from around the globe with a special 79th birthday salute to Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated actor James Caan.

Best known for memorable dramatic roles in such timeless movies as "The Godfather,” “El Dorado,” “Brian’s Song,” “Rollerball,” “Elf” and “Freebie and the Bean,” Caan can also be seen opposite Barbara Streisand in the aforementioned “Funny Lady.” However, this classically trained stage actor — a student at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre under the iconic Sanford Meisner — has also starred in a few genuinely oddball and strange feature films over the years. This includes “The Dark Backward,” “Lady in a Cage” and the unnamed motion picture the PFS will screen in his honor.

The exact title of this extremely twisted suspense film will remain a closely guarded secret right up until showtime. However, it can be said that it stars another macho actor with a cult following. The film has rarely been seen since its theatrical release decades ago. Adventurous moviegoers are encouraged to take a chance, buy a ticket and be pleasantly surprised by this little-known gem the PFS has uncovered. They’ll show an original, uncut widescreen print of this forgotten oddity. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Until next week, 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: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

When: 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Mar. 21-22

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: $5-$8

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Run the Race”

When: 7 p.m. March 21-23; 3 p.m. Mar. 24

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

Cost: $7

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: “Funny Girl”

When: 3 p.m. March 24

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $5-$8

Info: lucastheatre.com

 

What: “Love to the Rescue”

When: 6 p.m. March 24

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: Free (Reservations Suggested)

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “The School in the Cloud”

When: 6 p.m. March 27

Where: Ogeechee Theatre, GSU Armstrong Campus Student Union, 11935 Library Drive

Cost: Free

 

What: “James Caan 79th Birthday Mystery Screening”

When: 8 p.m. March 27

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

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

 

What: “Lizzie”

When: 7 p.m. March 28

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: $8

Info: tybeeposttheater.org