This Week in Movies
What to watch: A Spanish thriller, a controversial biopic and international loveon Austin screens
If you've been distracted by the many events going on around Austin the past couple of weekends, maybe now is the time to check out some of the indie and foreign cinema screens around town have to offer. You're just in time to catch new releases like a mysterious and strangely erotic thriller from one of Spain's most celebrated filmmakers, a somewhat controversial biopic written by, directed by and starring Oscar winners and a refreshingly real and down-to-Earth romantic drama.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
It's hard to go into too much detail about The Skin I Live In, the new film from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother), without spoiling its many surprises which begin very early in the film and keep coming until the very end. In it, Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is a master plastic surgeon who has developed a revolutionary and impervious synthetic skin. In a locked room in his home is a deeply mysterious woman (Elena Anaya) who is testing the new technology. As The Skin I Live In unfolds, Robert's relationship with the woman is slowly revealed to have a long and troubled history. It's a film full of genuine thrills and strange passions and is the best film coming to Austin screens this week. It opens Friday at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (where they will be pairing the film with custom tapas and wine), Regal Arbor Cinemas, and Violet Crown Cinema.
This Weekend at Violet Crown
Client Eastwood's latest directorial effort J. Edgar is a biopic about the FBI's first director, a man who policed American from his post for 48 years. The film jumps back and forth across the timeline of J. Edgar Hoover's (played here by Leonardo DiCaprio) life and career and asserts that the allegations that he was a closeted homosexual man are, in fact, completely true. His relationship with his deputy director Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) is profiled, the tension between their profession and their passion fueling his actions through his career. J. Edgar is written by Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay for Milk) and early reviews are mixed, some calling the film silly and others calling it a straightforward biopic with deep personal touches. Either way, as a movie from a filmmaker of Eastwood's caliber, it's at least worth giving a shot to see for yourself. (J. Edgar also opens Friday at Regal Arbor Cinemas)
This Weekend at Regal Arbor Cinemas
Fresh off a festival circuit run (it recently played at Austin Film Festival) is Like Crazy, a romantic drama stripped of sweeping moments and grand scenes allowing the relationship at its core to be captured in fleeting moments. Anna (Felicity Jones) is a British girl studying journalism in Los Angeles where she meets and subsequently falls for an aspiring furniture designer named Jacob (Anthon Yelchin). When her visa expires, the two are separated and their lives begin to grow apart. As they begin their respective careers, Anna and Jacob struggle to maintain a relationship separated by such a great distance and they each take more convenient significant others into their lives. Of course, as it goes with these sorts of romantic films, it's more than likely they are still crazy for each other despite their diverging life paths. Like Crazy shows the love between two people, the combined relationship, as a scattered series of incremental moments, many unspoken, as opposed to an easily defined story full of well-rehearsed speeches.
Beyond the Weekend
At the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, Fix: The Ministry Movie will play November 14-16. It's a rare, candid look into the band which pioneered the industrial music movement in the 90s. The band is interviewed as are members of other acts influenced by Ministry, an impressive list that includes Nine Inch Nails, Tool and many, many more. Later in the week and also at South Lamar, Academy Award nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt will be in town for two shows (11/16 and 11/17). An Evening With Don Hertzfeldt will include some of the filmmaker's earlier works, audience Q&A, and his entire newest trilogy (Everything Will Be OK, I Am So Proud of You, and the brand new It's a Beautiful Day) in 35mm. This is a special event not to be missed!