movies this week: inconceivable, dude

“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes.”
“I need a baby, Hi. They got more than they can handle.”
“That rug really tied the room together.”
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!”
“I want my two hundred dollars!”
“Son, you got a panty on your head.”
“I’m not left-handed either.”
I bet everyone reading this can recognize at least one of the above quotes. Who the hell cares which new movies are opening in Austin this week, when you can hear those lovely lines in theaters all around town? And by “theaters” I also mean the Rolling Roadshow setup at Republic Square Park and the Dart Bowl.
You’ve got your Coen brothers, The Princess Bride, some of the very best Bogdanovich movies, and a good movie involving George Lucas. Can’t ask for much more, but if you did, there’s also Ingmar Bergman and Audrey Hepburn (not in the same movie).

New movies in Austin this week:
Crash—No, not the Cronenberg film that Joe Bob Briggs considers one of the profoundly disturbing movies of our time. This is written and directed by Paul Haggis, who adapted Million Dollar Baby for the screen. Big-name actors are all over this movie about the effects a car crash has on various groups of people in Los Angeles.
House of Wax—All anyone can talk about is that Paris Hilton is in this movie and her character dies horribly. There are probably 90 or so Paris-free moments but no one seems to care. Another lame attempt to cash in on the recent horror-movie trend. What’s next, a remake of The Birds? (Actually, yes.)
Kingdom of Heaven—Ah, another epic from Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator). This one is about the Crusades. Orlando Bloom? Give me Harrison Ford.
Palindromes—Todd Solondz’s latest film sold out in Austin during SXSW. Reviews have been very much mixed for this movie about a teenage girl who wants a baby and the colorful characters surrounding her. Many critics suggest watching Welcome to the Dollhouse again instead. I confess I haven’t seen any of Solondz’s films and suspect this isn’t the place to start.
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
Autumn Sonata—Playing at the Paramount on Thurs-Fri. 5/12-13 as part of a tribute to Ingmar Bergman. Paramount is advertising this as a new print.
The Big Lebowski—Playing Fri-Sat. 5/6-7. Rolling Roadshow is showing this Coen brothers movie at the Dart Bowl. Admission price includes a free White Russian and shoes/lane rental after the movie.
Cries and Whispers—Playing at the Paramount on Thurs-Fri. 5/12-13 as part of a tribute to Ingmar Bergman. Paramount is advertising this as a new print.
The Last Picture Show—Playing at Alamo South on Friday 5/13 with Peter Bogdanovich in attendance. Definitely worth seeing in a theater.
Light Switch—This isn’t a movie—it’s an outdoor “video installation” taking place after dark on Sat. 5/7 around the College of Communication on the UT campus (the formerly rusty building on 26th and Guadalupe and the two around it). Students in RTF and other fine arts programs will be projecting images onto the buildings. Sounds groovy.
Mask—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Sudan 5/15 with Peter Bogdanovich in attendance. This is the director’s cut.
Paper Moon—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Sat. 5/14 with Peter Bogdanovich in attendance. I just saw this movie on DVD, but I may go to this so I can see it on a bigger screen. It ought to look incredible. (I wish I could have snagged one of those tickets for all three Bogdanovich movies plus the dinner at the Leagues’ house but they were sold out and let’s face it, it was probably out of my budget anyway. But a girl can dream.)
The Princess Bride—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Sat. 5/7. Alamo is also doing a dating event involving this movie on Sun. 5/8. Adorable and endlessly quotable.
Raiders of the Lost Ark—Playing at Alamo Village all week at 12:55 and 9:55 pm. All week long! Alamo is promoting this movie as an opportunity to prepare for all the big summer adventure blockbusters, but quite frankly, after you see this movie, the others are going to suck in comparison.
If you see one movie involving George Lucas this summer, this is the one to see, not that sequel thing opening in a couple of weeks.
Raising Arizona—Playing at Republic Square Park on Thurs. 5/12. What a perfect choice for the Movies in the Park series! I don’t know anyone who dislikes this movie.
Roman Holiday—Playing at Alamo South on Sun. 5/8. Ticket price includes a special Italian menu for Mother’s Day. (I still think a much better Mother’s Day movie would be The Manchurian Candidate. Don’t tell my mom I said that.)
The Silence—Playing at the Paramount on Tues-Wed. 5/10-11 as part of a tribute to Ingmar Bergman.
Ten Under Ten—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Wed. 5/11. The Texas Documentary Tour is sponsoring this evening of 10 documentaries, each under 10 minutes long and costing $10 or less to make.
Through a Glass Darkly—Playing at the Paramount on Tues-Wed. 5/10-11 as part of a tribute to Ingmar Bergman.
Umbrellas of Cherbourg—Playing at Alamo Village on Sun. 5/8. Ticket price includes a special French menu for Mother’s Day.
On top of all these goodies, I still would like to see Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Plus, we have The Bad News Bears to watch at home (we seem to be going through the films of Polly Platt) and My Little Chickadee should be arriving in the mail any day now.
I still need to write reviews for Kung Fu Hustle, But I’m a Cheerleader, Paper Moon, Spy Kids 2, The Celluloid Closet, The Iron Giant, Raging Bull, and Maria Full of Grace. And I’d like to write something about seeing The Forbidden Zone at Alamo last week, but who knows when I’ll get to that.

3 thoughts on “movies this week: inconceivable, dude”

  1. Palindromes is *definitely* not the place to start with Solondz. I actually thought it was a very interesting movie experience, but I would not recommend it to someone not already familiar with his particular body of work. If you ever want to check his stuff out, I think either Welcome to the Dollhouse or Happiness would be the better way to go.

  2. As soon as the ‘Chili finger’ story started to unravel, I thought of the toe in Lebowski. Just read the latest news : the finger belongs to an associate of the Ayalas. Didn’t they remember that this plot didn’t work out too well in the movie??

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