Starring: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, Erskine Sanford

The Lady from Shanghai

In Brief: To commemorate Orson Welles' 100th birthday, the Asheville Film Society has booked the new 4K restoration of the filmmaker's 1947 twisty — and twisted — film noir thriller The Lady from Shanghai. Not as well known as some of Welles' works, The Lady from Shanghai is one of his most strikingly visual films…
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi, Federica Mastroianni, Fiore Argento

Phenomena (Creepers)

In Brief: Heavy-metal music blares from the sound track — sometimes for no very good reason. Jennifer Connelly gets telepathic with insects. A crazed killer prowls a girls school (named for Richard Wagner — whose name is pronounced incorrectly in the film’s one use of narration) in Switzerland. Gory killings abound. There’s sleepwalking, unsafe buildings just anyone can…
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Leonor Varela, Harold Pinter

The Tailor of Panama

In Brief: Never the most prolific of filmmakers (most of his films are separated by two to four years), Boorman had willfully bitten the hand that was feeding him at least twice with Zardoz and Exorcist II: The Heretic by convincing major studios to pour money into what were essentially limited audience “art” films disguised as mainstream productions.…
Starring: Leon Frankel, Gideon Lichtman, George Lichter, Benny Morris, Paul Reubens, Judy Rubenfeld

Above and Beyond

In Brief: The Asheville Jewish Film Festival's film this week is Roberta Grossman's documentary Above and Beyond — a movie about the origins of the Israeli Air Force. Since the film was produced by Steven Spielberg's sister, Nancy, it is — as you may imagine — a slick, top-notch production in every way — up…
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Bérénice Marlohe, Glenn Close, Frank Langella, Lambert Wilson, Olivia Thirlby

5 to 7

The Story: Romantic comedy about a slightly naive 24-year-old man and a married 33-year-old woman. The Lowdown: Witty, charming and poignant, 5 to 7 is something of a minor miracle in today's world — a thoroughly romantic movie that believes in romance and its transformative power. Not to be missed.
Starring: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky, Andrés José Cruz Soublette

Teorema (Theorem)

In Brief: While this surreal — and sexually charged — drama is certainly nowhere near the most unsettling thing Pier Paolo Pasolini ever made (that would be 1975's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom), Teorema is high on the Not for Everyone list. It's less that the film is upsetting (though some will find it so) than…
Starring: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Sofía Vergara, Emjay Anthony, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr.


In Brief: Up front, I thought Jon Favreau's Chef was a thoroughly mediocre movie when it descended on us last year to play in what seemed like perpetuity. I cut it some slack at the time because it was at least pleasant. It still had a transparent — almost nonexistent — story, mostly flat dialogue…
Starring: Susan Brownmiller, Kate Millett, Ellen Willis, Rita Mae Brown

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

The Story: Documentary detailing the origins of the women's movement. The Lowdown: Entertaining, informative and often disturbing film that effectively blends the activist and historical documentary with surprising balance.
Die Schlemmerorgie
Starring: George Segal, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Morley, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort

Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

In Brief: Apart from the enjoyable business of seeing actually pleasant, attractive people in a cleverly written romantic comedy (something we see far too little of these days), Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? is generally representative of the kind of star comedy that no longer seems to be made. You know the kind: tailored…
Starring: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Athene Seyler, Maurice Denham

Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon)

In Brief: Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957) -- originally released in the U.S. with 12 minutes cut and under the title Curse of the Demon -- is this wonderful oasis in the midst of the general run of bad horror movies from the 1950s. And there’s virtually no reason it should have been. Not only were…
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Douglas M. Griffin, J. D. Evermore, Rachel Whitman Groves, Jodie Moore, Bryce Romero


The Story: A man takes his zombie-infected daughter home to take care of her before her inevitable "turning." The Lowdown: A not entirely successful attempt to turn the zombie movie into a kind of teen angst weeper. It's unusual and it sometimes works, but not enough to give it a solid recommendation.
Starring: Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Shirley Venard, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

The Story: A Japanese office worker becomes obsessed with finding the buried money from the movie Fargo. The Lowdown: This is a good — but not entirely likable — film that might have been great but isn't quite, owing to a central character who becomes increasingly unsympathetic. Certainly worth a look, though.
D-Train Movie
Starring: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, Russell Posner, Henry Zebrowski

The D Train

The Story: One of the least popular members of the class of '94 decides to turn that around by getting the most popular — and seemingly successful — classmate to come to the 20-year reunion. The Lowdown: A very different movie than you think, this is a warm, generous, kindhearted film that dares to go…
Starring: David "Ziggy" Gruber, Jerry Stiller, Fyvush Finkel, Cantor Jack Mendelson, Gene & Pam Gruber, Mary McCaughey Gruber

Deli Man

In Brief: The 2015 Asheville Jewish Film Festival starts on Thursday, May 7, at the Fine Arts Theatre with its opening-night film and reception at 6 p.m. (all tickets include both and are $22; the film alone plays again on Friday, May 8, at 1 p.m. with tickets at $8.50). This year's opening film is…
Starring: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Constance Moore, Thurston Hall

You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man

In Brief: Despite certain shortcomings — at least when compared with his more nuanced performances at Paramount — You Can't Cheat an Honest Man presents W.C. Fields in the guise of his screen persona most people think of. This is the Fields of legend and of caricature. It's actually the Fields born of radio —…
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Story: The latest entry in the Marvel Comics series. The Lowdown: It's too big. It's too frenzied. It's too full of characters it can't contain. Mostly, it's just too much everything. It's not bad — it will please a lot of people — but it provides a lot less fun than The Avengers did.
Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew

The Age of Adaline

The Story: A woman who — through a freak accident — has been 29 for nearly 80 years falls in love with a man of about 30. The Lowdown: It has a solid romantic fantasy premise and excellent performances from the supporting cast, but the central romance itself is tepid and barely involving. It's by…
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Johnny Flynn, Angela Winkler, Hanns Zischler

Clouds of Sils Maria

The Story: An aging actress agrees to appear in a revival of the play that launched her career, but playing the older lead character. The Lowdown: The first full five-star movie of 2015. A wholly remarkable and richly layered film examining the thin line between art and life, about change, aging, death and identity, built…
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Warrick, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane

Citizen Kane

In Brief: This year marks the 100th birthday of Orson Welles -- May 6, in fact -- and the Hendersonville Film Society is marking the event with a screening of Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941). While that might seem the most obvious choice -- almost too obvious -- it really isn't. In fact, this is…
Starring: Ruddy Rodríguez, Rosmel Bustamante, Guillermo García, Gonzalo Cubero, Héctor Mercado

The House at the End of Time

In Brief: Alejandro Hidalgo's The House at the End of Time (2013) is exhibit B for the case that we are indeed in the midst of a horror film renaissance -- the only question is how much some of the best examples are even being seen. In the case of this Venezuelan movie (supposedly the country's first…