24 Exposures – Billy (Adam Wingard) has carved out a niche for himself by staging gruesome murders of beautiful women and photographing them. Naturally, this stirs a sexual attraction in him, I wonder what Freud would have to say about that. His girlfriend, Sophia Takal, has quite the open mind and goes along with it, but a disillusioned detective, Simon Barrett, doesn’t and brings Billy under investigation for a series of murders. Written, directed, and edited by Joe Swanberg, who seems to be churning them out fast and furious these days, and in limited release from IFC Midnight.
Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys – Cinema can be a window into a world we rarely glimpse. Such is the case with this documentary that spends a year with a family of reindeer herders. Their lives revolve around the cycle of seasons, migrations, and work. Rugged, quiet people, doing what comes naturally to them. Aarne Aatsinki, Lasse Aatsinki, and Raisa Korpela are the subjects, Jessica Oreck is the writer/director and Argot Pictures is the label that gives this document of human life a limited release.
Gimme Shelter – Agnes (Vanessa Hudgens) was separated from her mother by the age of eight, in and out of foster homes by ten, on the streets by twelve, and knocked up at the tender age of sixteen. Now she needs to find away to pull her life together so that she does not curse this child to the same fate that has befallen her. Rosario Dawson plays her drug-addicted mother, Brendan Fraser, Ann Dowd, James Earl Jones, and Stephanie Szostak all try their best to help and Ron Krauss writes and directs. Out in limited release from Roadside Attractions.
Gloria – Gloria (Paulina Garcia) is a woman of a certain age trying to feel young again. Or better yet, she’s trying not to feel old. And she’s doing a bang up job, social outings, dancing the night away, allowing herself to get caught up in adventure, until one guy turns her wants and desires. He is Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández) and he seems perfect, except for one little hitch. He’s married. Oh dear, better luck next time, Gloria. Co-starring Diego Fontecilla, Fabiola Zamora, Alejandro Goic, and Marcial Tagle. Written by Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza with Lelio directing as well. Roadside Attractions gives this beautiful portrait of a life in the middle a limited release this weekend.
I, Frankenstein – Victor Frankenstein’s creation, Adam (Aaron Eckhart) has sided with humans and decided to fight for their future. The demons want him because they want the secret to his immortality, the humans want to destroy him because he is a monster, and the producers of Underworld want to dump this project because they released it in January. Co-starring Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, and Socratis Otto. Written by Kevin Grevioux and Stuart Beattie with Beattie directing as well.
Old Goats – Britt (Britton Crosley) has lived the better part of his life on a houseboat and hasn’t spent nearly enough time in the arms of a lover. Bob (Bob Burkholder) is working on his memoir, staying fit, and staying active-especially with the ladies. Dave (David Vanderwal) spends his days working on his retirement and golfing. All three are close, have stayed true to their natures, and are doing a wonderful job enjoying life. A breath of fresh air in a medium crowded by youngsters trying to figure out their life’s significance. Written and directed by Taylor Guterson and with a limited theatrical release from Music Box Films.
Papirosen – The Papirosen family moved from Poland to Argentina after WWII. Gastón Solnicki, shot over 200 hours of home movie footage, here edited down to 74 minutes of what four generations of a family looks like. If you let the camera roll long enough, people will forget that it was there in the first place. In limited release from Film Movement.
Run & Jump – A husband and father (Edward Macliam) suffers a brain-debilitating stroke that regresses him to the state of a child. A wife (Maxine Peake) tries her best to keep her family life together, and a doctor (Will Forte) comes to live with the family to chronicle the healing process. The husband and wife once had that special bond, and now have lost it. The doctor is here and might spark it. Brendan Morris, Ciara Gallaghar, and Sharon Horgan co-star in this Irish family drama written by Ailbhe Keogan and directed by Steph Green. Out in limited release from IFC Films.
Stranger By The Lake – Frank (Pierre Deladonchamps) is looking to get himself into a little trouble. He likes to spend his summer days cruising a French lake for companionship, and when he meets Michel (Christophe Paou), things heat up considerably. But there is a murder in the lake, and Frank and Michel come under suspicion, which just makes their torrid affair even more enticing. Co-starring Patrick d’Assumçao, Jérôme Chappatte, Matthieu Vervisch, and Gilbert Traina. Written and directed by Alain Guiraudie and in limited release from Strand Releasing.
Visitors – Writer/director Godfrey Reggio is not one for conventionality. His major work, Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance) was a wordless collection of slow motion and time-lapse to give a poetic impression of the world. With Visitors, he re-teams with Philip Glass and Jon Kane to create the impressions that technology has on us, using only seventy-four shots. If experimental art films have always intrigued you, then here is a perfect place to start. Out in limited release from Cinedigm.