FilmBeat | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It


Getting with the programs

There's no shortage of options at multiplexes and arthouses, and some of the upcoming releases look mighty promising. I'm particularly eager to see The School of Rock (Oct.3), a collaboration between director Richard Linklater (Slacker, Waking Life), writer Mike White (Chuck and Buck, The Good Girl), and actor Jack Black. But there's a whole other universe of film-going options--besides the first-run theaters--in the form of the Triangle's various film societies. Because these are so-called "non-theatrical" releases, advertising for these films is restricted. Therefore, it's important to know they're there, and to seek them out accordingly.

In advance of next week's Fall Guide preview, here's a survey of some of this fall's special programming highlights. This isn't definitive, so be sure to check out the Web sites listed herein.

This Thursday, Sept. 11, those who wish to cinematically observe the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks can go to the N.C. State University campus at 7 p.m., to view In Memoriam: New York City 9/11/01. If you're in need of a pick-me-up afterward, the summer's biggest smash, Finding Nemo, will play at 9:30. Another September highlight at

Witherspoon is the multi-night run of Cedric Klapisch's L'Auberge Espagnole, a comedy about international grad students sharing an overcrowded apartment in Barcelona. This film begins on Sept. 18. Info about programming at N.C. State can be found at

On Sunday, Sept. 14, Cinema Inc., the Triangle's oldest film society, will kick off its 38th season with Tom Tykwer's Run, Lola, Run, the energetic and entertaining film that made a Euro-star out of Franka Potente. At press time, season subscriptions to Cinema Inc. were still available. After 38 years and allowing for inflation you still can't beat it with a stick: 12 movies for $20. For more information, visit

On the Duke campus, the Screen Society is continuing its penchant for screening films that tackle some of the thorniest geopolitical debates in the world. Two films about Algeria will screen this month, including the three-hour Chronicle of the Years of Embers, the Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina Palm d'Or winner from 1975. This film will be shown Sept. 22. For more info about the Screen Society, consult A word of caution: The venues can vary!

On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Triangle's first Asian Film Festival will swing into gear with an all-day event at UNC law school. True to the non-traditional venue, the festival sponsor is the N.C. branch of the National Association of Asian-American Professionals (NAAAP). The festival will feature work by such Tar Heel filmmakers as Wes Kim and Khang Mai, as well as numerous works by Walter Boholst. For more info, check

Also this month, Duke's two undergraduate film societies begin another year of eclectic programming. Quadflix , which specializes in recent mainstream hits, will screen The Pianist Sept. 13 and 14. Meanwhile, the programming highlights for the artier Freewater Presentations will include a second go-round for Alexander Sokurov's one-shot masterpiece Russian Ark and several Peter Sellers films, including Being There (Sept. 16) and Dr. Strangelove (Sept. 30). Information about Duke film programming is online at www.duke. edu/web/duu/freewaterpres.htm, but at press time it hadn't been updated.

In October, Freewater will screen several films about getting lost in the mists of the East. There's Seven Years in Tibet (Sept. 7), Martin Scorsese's Kundun (Sept. 21), Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche (Sept. 28), and, winding up on Nov. 4, The Saltmen of Tibet. A difference kind of getting lost will be seen on Oct. 23 and 24, with the screening of Lost in La Mancha. This would-be cult film never found its audience last summer, and now viewers will have another chance to see this chronicle of Terry Gilliam's disappearing movie set and other calamities.

Over at N.C. State's Witherspoon Theater , the College of Humanities and Arts and Sciences will continue a semester-long series devoted to the African-American youth experience, with a screening of Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., including an introduction by faculty member and occasional Indy contributor Maria Pramaggiore.

If there's any hole in the regular art-house programming in this area, it's the dearth of Asian films. However, Duke's Screen Society will help redress that problem with several recent flicks from the Pacific rim. Most felicitously, Oct. 5 will see the only local screening of an experimental video by the extra-hip Japanese auteur "Beat" Takeshi Kitano. Called Dolls, this film finds its inspiration in the traditional bunraku doll theater. (Let's hope none of these Barbies' eyes gets impaled by chopsticks.) Another programming coup this month at the Screen Society is a newly restored director's cut of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Cercle Rouge (1970), complete with 40 minutes of the proverbial never-before-seen footage. The influence of Melville (Bob le Flambeur, Le Samorai) has been felt far and wide, particularly in Asia, and screening of Le Cercle Rouge is one of the most exciting cinephile events of the fall.

Halloween falls on a Friday this fall and there are some special frights in store all month long. Cinema Inc. has Murnau's 1922 Weimar classic, Nosferatu slated for Oct. 12 while Retrofantasma at the Carolina Theater will devote the first half of its Oct. 24 slot to an all-new sub-set series, the beautifully titled Escapism Film Festival. Walter Hill's 1979 actioner The Warriors will kick off the evening, before the second bill returns to horror territory with John Carpenter's 1988 frighter They Live! Then, on Halloween itself, Duke will screen a triple bill of Psycho, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and Exorcist.

The big film event this month is called simply the Happening . Slated for Nov. 14-16, it's sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies and features a weekend of documentaries, workshops and conversations with the people who make them. Every year there's a guest of honor, and this year's visitor will be Hannah Weyer, maker of films about the immigrant experience. For more information, visit

Once again scooping up underseen gems, Duke's Screen Society will be showing the Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi's Marooned in Iraq on Nov. 12. (Those who've seen Ghobadi's last film, the stunning A Time for Drunken Horses will be ready to follow him anywhere.) In what's shaping up to be a political month, Cinema Inc. in Raleigh will be showing Point of Order, a documentary about the Joseph McCarthy-Joseph Welch smackdown in 1954. It's a great film, though it helps if you're rooting for Mr. "Have you no sense of decency" Welch, who is revealed to be a bit of a street fighter underneath the snooty Boston-Mandarin accent.

On Nov. 8 and 9, Freewater will be providing a refresher course on the Matrices 1 and 2, just in time for the third and final installment, Matrix Revolutions.

Most of the films series wind up in early December so the kiddies can take their finals. The rest of us, of course, will be hit with the year-end flood of Oscar bait. However, the screenings will go on at Cinema-Inc., which will be showing an early Ang Lee crowd-pleaser, Eat Drink Man Woman on Dec. 14. EndBlock


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review

Twitter Activity


Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Lurid and Trashy? Clint Eastwood is a true pioneer of cinema-in front of the camera and in the directors chair.For …

by jde on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Americans are really good at watching movies and everyone knows that they spend a lot of money on watching them, …

by Anil Sharma on The Average American Sees Five Thousand Movies in a Lifetime. Half of Them Come Out This Week. (Film Review)

I read a couple of good reviews about this movie in Hungarian papers. Actually it could be my mother's and …

by Gabor Lukacs on Ferenc Török’s 1945 Is a Dark Fable and a History Lesson Wrapped in Fine Cinematic Storytelling (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation