OK, this is one of the stranger Weekly Reelers thanks to Labor Day — a holiday I haven’t taken in 13 or 14 years due to the nature of our deadline, and which I’m convinced mostly exists to make my life more difficult. Here’s the thing — the fine folks at the studios took the day off, leaving the bookers (who did not take the day off) at sea over just what is happening on Friday. This is actually a lot of fuss over one little movie — The Identical — it’s doubtful anyone wants. So rather than fret over whether some faith-based movie predicated on the idea that a fictionalized Elvis’ fictionalized twin brother actually lived and was adopted by others, let’s look at what we do know is coming — three art titles, all of which are reviewed in this week’s paper.
The biggest and best — from my perspective — is Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, a movie likely to be on my Ten Best list. It opens on Friday at The Carolina and boasts what in French terms is an all-star cast — Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy. I warn, however, that this is Gondry at his Gondriest, which is to say the fantasy elements and invention are non-stop. So that means some people will immediately find it not to their liking. It’s a movie where you have to just go with it — and you might be surprised by the results. This isn’t just a goofy romantic fantasy, though. Its playfulness is countered with a surprisingly dark side. I definitely recommend it — and caution you not to bail if the the first five minutes wear you out. It takes some settling into — and that breathlessly creative opening will make perfect sense by the end.
Also up is Land Ho!, which opens on Friday at the Fine Arts. This is essentially an indie take on the odd couple road trip movie — with the key differences being that the odd couple in question are pushing (maybe past) 70 and the road is in Iceland. It isn’t going to surprise you very much, but it’s unfailingly likable and the unusual casting and locale make it a little more than that. The co-director of Land Ho, Martha Stephens will introduce the film on Fri., Sept.5 at 7pm and Sat., Sept. 6 at 1pm. A Q & A will follow both screenings. Viewers may remember Stephens from her first film, Passenger Pigeons, which was produced and co-edited by local filmmaker Joe Chang.
Finally, there’s Charlie McDowell’s (Malcolm’s son) The One I Love starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss, opening Friday at The Carolina. This ambitious indie with a plot the filmmakers would prefer I not discuss in detail is definitely a creative undertaking. Whether it all works is open to question, but it’s definitely something different — call it Romantic Comedy Drama Sci-Fi Fantasy — and is all about a couple whose marital problems find them being sent to weekend retreat that their therapist (Ted Danson) assures them has proven very successful. Most of the film belongs entirely to Duplass and Moss. It’s certainly worth checking out.
This week we don’t actually lose anything of note. though the Fine Arts is cutting Magic in the Moonlight to two matinee shows and Boyhood to one evening show. So far as I know, The Carolina is holding steady on art titles, though I suppose the possibility of The Identical could cause something to be split.
This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show has E.A. Dupont’s The Neanderthal Man (1953) at 8 p.m. on Thu., Sept. 4 in Theater Six at The Carolina. World Cinema is showing Yasujiro Ozu’s Good Morning (1959) on Fri., Sept. 5 in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. The Hendersonville Film Society is running Henry Cornelius’ I Am a Camera (1955) at 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 7 in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society will screen James Hill’s Every Day’s a Holiday (Seaside Swingers) (1965) on Tue., Sept. 9 in Theater Six at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress — with complete reviews in the online edition.
The only intriguing thing this week is Richard Ayoade’s (Submarine) The Double — a film that didn’t play locally.
Notable TV Screenings
I was really hopeful that the end of TCM’s “Summer Under the Stars” would produce a better crop than it has. And while crop isn’t bad by any means, it’s mostly filled with titles that have been shown many times. The notable exception is James Flood and Elliott Nugent’s The Mouthpiece (1932), an often overlooked (and infrequently shown) crime/courtroom drama — with doses of Pre-code Warner Bros. comedy — starring Warren William as an incredibly flamboyant attorney. It’s on Tues., Sept. 9 at 9:15 a.m. and deserves your attention.