It’s been so hot lately that you might not know that it’s fall, but the fact that there’s a film festival going on this coming weekend should be a dead giveaway.They run rampant throughout the season. Last week we had the San Diego Film Festival, and later this month, we’ll be looking at the San Diego Italian Film Festival and the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Shoehorned in the middle is the second German Currents San Diego Film Festival, which runs at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7.
The German fest is relatively small, just four pictures in all, kicking off with Kriegerin, which translates in English as Combat Girls. You might think of it as kind of a German American History X, though there’s certainly something ironic about that comparison. The film is about 20-yearold Marisa (Alina Levshin), who’s completely committed to her neo-Nazi gang. But she finds her loyalties compromised when she meets Svenja (Jella Haase), a 14-year-old girl who wants to get into the gang, and Rasul (Sayed Ahmad), an Afghan immigrant who makes her think that perhaps her extreme views are a little too strong. This one’s won all kinds of awards in Germany, and the screening will be accompanied by a reception.
The other films are Westwind, which takes place just before the fall of the Berlin Wall; Was Bleibt (Home for the Weekend), about a young author who takes his son to visit his own parents the same weekend that his mother decides to go off her meds; and Die Unsichtbare (Cracks in the Shell), about a young actor selected to play the lead in a new production of Camille. Get all the details at germancurrentssd.com.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.
Butter: This political satire pits a goodhearted, young, black girl against a conservative, will-do-anything-to-win, white lady. In Iowa.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel: This documentary about the influential legendary fashion editor was co-directed by Vreeland’s grandson’s husband.
Flamenco, Flamenco: The San Diego Latino Film Festival presents this documentary about the forbidden dance. No, wait, that’s the Lambada. This one is much cooler, and it’s at UltraStar Mission Valley.
Flight of the Butterflies: It turns out Monarch butterflies are much like SDSU students—every year, thousands of them head to Mexico. This IMAX film captures their beautiful trip. The butterflies, that is.
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton hasn’t made a film that’s been an original idea in years, so it sort of makes sense that he’d remake one of his own movies.
OMG—Oh My God!: Bollywood comedy about an antiques dealer who loses faith after his shop is destroyed by a tornado.
The Other Dream Team: Doc about the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, which came in third against the likes of Jordan, Barkley and Pippen.
Taken 2: Remember all those dudes Liam Neeson killed in the thoroughly violent Taken? At least one of them has a family member out for a little payback.
V/H/S: This found-footage horror flick is about thieves who break into a house and watch a bunch of found-footage horror flicks on VHS. Yeah, that can’t end well.
One Time Only
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Kubrick’s anti-war masterpiece is hysterically funny. Peter Sellers, who plays three roles in the movie, would have played four if he hadn’t been injured. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Rad: Greatest BMX movie of all time. No, really, it’s rad. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The Wrong Man: This Hitchcock classic is based on a true story and stars Henry Fonda as a guy mistaken for a stick-up man. Screens at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
Lawrence of Arabia: It’s one of the greatest films of all time, it’s 50 years old and it’s been digitally restored. David Lean’s epic is also more than four hours long, so decide if you want to see it at 1 or 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct 4, at several area theaters. Hit fathomevents.com for details.
Legend of Aahhh’s: Not a porno—this is the latest extreme-skiing film from Greg Stump, who’ll be in town to screen it at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at UltraStar Mission Valley.
Basicicata Coast to Coast: The San Diego Italian Film Festival presents this road-trip movie about a band and a journalist who cross a region in Italy to get to a music festival. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Entre Les Bras (Step Up to the Plate): This documentary, about French chef Michel Bras’ attempt to hand his restaurant over to his son, will be served with a meal as part of UCSD’s ArtPower Film!’s Foovie series. Food at 7 p.m. movie at 8 on Thursday, Oct. 4, at The Loft at UCSD.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Marilyn’s the blonde, Jane Russell is the brunette, and the two are headed to Paris for some singin’, some dancin’ and, yeah, some romancin’. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct.4, through Saturday, Oct. 6, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Here’s hoping Tim Burton’s return to stop-motion is better than his last few films. At the very least, catch one of his best at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at AMC Mission Valley, before the midnight premiere of Frankenweenie.
Knife in the Water: The Public Library starts up a month of Roman Polanski films, kicking off with his first feature, a Polish picture about a married couple who take a hitchhiker sailing with them, only to end up in a triangle of sexual tension. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Goodfellas: Scorsese’s gangster epic stars Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, the low-ranking mobster who has to decide whether his own skin is worth selling out his buddies, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Full Moon Drive-In in Pacific Beach.
The Maltese Falcon: The San Diego Museum of Art’s First Friday Film series is built on its current German-expressionism exhibit. In any case, you’ve got Bogart, a gorgeous dame, three seriously creepy bad guys and the black bird. There’s a lecture at 7, and film rolls at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in Balboa Park.
To Kill a Mockingbird: The Ken’s 100thanniversary celebration continues with this masterful adaptation of Harper Lee’s masterful novel. Gregory Peck won an Oscar, and lots of cool little boys were given the name Atticus. Screens at noon, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7, at the Ken Cinema.
Vertigo: Hitchcocktober has taken over Reading Cinemas Gaslamp, and this classic—recently named the greatest film of all time in a poll by Sight & Sound magazine— screens at 7 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9.
The Adventures of Tintin: There’s some amazing motion-capture stuff in Spielberg’s adaptation of the Belgian graphic novels about a boy reporter and his intrepid dog. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Full Moon Drive-In in Pacific Beach.
Hysteria: Hugh Dancy and Rupert Everett invent the vibrator, and women far and wide rejoice. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Rear Window: That other James Stewart- Alfred Hitchcock collaboration. He’s a photojournalist laid up with a broken leg who thinks he might have spied his neighbor committing a murder. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Sure, Mickey Rooney’s performance as the upstairs neighbor is nothing more than a racist caricature. But ain’t Audrey Hepburn grand as Holly Golightly? Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
10 Years: It’s the night of his 10-year high-school reunion, and Jake (Channing Tatum) is about to propose to his girlfriend (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) when he runs into a classmate (Rosario Dawson) he hasn’t seen since they graduated.
Hellbound?: This documentary explores whether or not hell exists. The interview with Satan is a dead giveaway.
Hotel Transylvania: You won’t be surprised to hear that this new animated film involves vampires. And 3-D.
Kamaal Dhammal Malamaal: This Bollywood remake of a Bollywood blockbuster, screening at Horton Plaza, is about a timid young man desperate to win the love of the village’s hottest girl.
Looper: Director Rian Johnson (Brick, Brothers Bloom) teams once again with Joseph Gordon-Levitt for this time-twister; JGL is a hit man whose future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to be rubbed out.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This adaptation of the beloved young-adult novel has made plenty of old adults feel for their youth.
Pitch Perfect: Anna Kendrick is the new girl at college who finds her place by joining a bad-ass all-girl vocal group.
Stars in Shorts: No Daisy Dukes involved. This collection of seven short films features some names you’ve heard before, like Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Jason Alexander and plenty of others. Ends Oct. 4 at the Ken Cinema.
Soloman Kane: A vicious, 16th-century guy finds redemption when he’s instructed by one of Satan’s minions to kill the really bad guys who are trying to take over England. You know they must be bad if Satan thinks so, right?
Vulgaria: Chinese film about a down-on-his-luck film producer forced to humiliate himself in order to get funding for the remake of a soft-core ’70s flick. It’s also oddly meta, breaking the fourth wall on a regular basis.
We Are Family: Bollywood dramedy screening at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp about an uptight fashion designer who has to change her way of life when her husband’s ex-wife gets cancer.
Won’t Back Down: Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal are two angry moms who, um, won’t back down after taking on the bureaucracy that makes the school their kids attend so crappy.
End of Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are L.A. cops targeted by a Mexican cartel after a routine traffic stop.
Dredd 3D: Karl Urban straps on the helmet and cruises the streets of MegaCityOne as judge, jury and executioner in the latest adaptation of the popular U.K. comic book.
The House at the End of the Street: Jennifer Lawrence and her mother, Elisabeth Shue, move next door to a house where there’d been a brutal murder. When Lawrence makes friends with the sole surviving family member, things get dangerous.
The Master: The new one from Paul Thomas Anderson looks at the relationship between drifter Joaquin Phoenix and emerging religious figure/cult leader Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It is intelligent, artistic, cerebral, and challenging.
Trouble with the Curve: Aging baseball scout Clint Eastwood would have much more success if he’d stop talking to chairs.
Unconditional: A woman’s faith is tested after her husband is murdered.
Heroine: This new Bollywood movie is about a film actress whose career is on the decline.
The Mistress: This romantic comedy is the latest entry in Horton Plaza’s Filipino film series.
Arbitrage: Richard Gere is a hedge-fund billionaire who makes some serious mistakes while trying to stay rich.
Barfi!: This Bollywood romantic comedy is about a speech- and hearing-impaired boy who runs into the love of his life years after her parents rejected him because he wasn’t normal enough for their daughter.
Finding Nemo 3D: All those fish are going to look great in 3-D.
Resident Evil: Retribution: Lots of actors whose characters died in the first four episodes, like Michelle Rodriguez and Oded Fehr, are back for this one—which seems appropriate, since the movies are all about zombies.
Sleepwalk with Me: This American Life regular Mike Birbiglia teams up with Ira Glass on this story of his serious sleep disorder. Ends Sept. 27 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Last Ounce of Courage: A small-town mayor tries to bring religion back to the community after his son dies in action, only to be challenged by those rascals at the ACLU and that pesky separation of church and state.
Samsara: Shot in 70-millimeter film on several different continents over half a decade, this is the latest from the folks responsible for Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka.
The Words: Bradley Cooper plays a successful writer who must finally face up to the fact that he stole someone else’s work.
For a Good Time, Call...: Two girls (Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller) who couldn’t stand each other in college start up a phone-sex line in order to afford a fabulous New York apartment.
Lawless: The new film from John Hillcoat, about three brothers (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) running moonshine during Prohibition, looks great but feels long and somewhat lifeless.
The Possession: A young girl buys a cool-looking box at a yard sale, only to find out it hosts an evil spirit. Not the bargain she was looking for.
2016: Obama’s America: A right-wing doc designed to terrify the faithful.
Premium Rush: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a Manhattan bike messenger being pursued by corrupt cop Michael Shannon, who thinks Gordon-Levitt’s got something more than irony and attitude in his messenger bag.
Robot & Frank: In the not-too-distant future, an elderly jewel thief (Frank Langella) gets a robot butler as a gift.
The Expendables 2: Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme join the aging-action-star party, along with Stallone, Statham, Lundgren, Willis, Li and the Governator.
ParaNorman: Everyone thinks Norman, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee, is a freak because he can talk to ghosts. That talent comes in handy when his small town is invaded by the undead. New 3-D stop-motion film from Laika, the folks who made Coraline.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green: Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton can’t have a kid. That is, until there’s a knock on the door and an odd little boy who apparently grew in their garden tells them that he’s theirs.
Searching for Sugar Man: When two South Africans try to learn how an obscure American singer-songwriter from the ’70s died, they get more than they bargained for. Despite that sounding like a feature, it’s a pretty damn good documentary.
The Bourne Legacy: Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise, which is now directed by Tony Gilroy, the guy who wrote all of the other Bourne movies and directed Michael Clayton.
The Campaign: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis spar over a North Carolina congressional seat.
Hope Springs: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones turn to Steve Carell to put some zip back into their marriage.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days: If it feels like they release one of these every summer, that’s because that they release one of these every summer.
Total Recall: Less a remake of Arnie’s 1990 flick than a new adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s short story. Colin Farrell plays Quaid, a man who starts to believe that everything he remembers might not be real. Kate Beckinsale is in the Sharon Stone role; Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston also star.
Step Up Revolution: This time the dancing is in 3D! And Miami!
The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy concludes.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: This Sundance success, about a little girl living in Louisiana after an apocalyptic environmental disaster, is beautiful and beguiling.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: So cold.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Apparently, he does whatever a spider can. In 3-D, too.
Deep Sea: This IMAX undersea film was made by Del Mar’s Howard and Michele Hall and is narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Ted: Mark Wahlberg’s girlfriend gives him an ultimatum: It’s either her or his walking, talking, foul-mouthed teddy bear, voiced by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, who also wrote and directed.
Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in 1965, this new one about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from the dysfunctional adults in their lives will be adored by those who worship at the altar of Wes Anderson.
Madagascar 3: Apparently kids still fall for this. Parents, too.
Flying Monsters 3D: No, it’s not a crappy studio blockbuster—this one is all about dinosaurs and was written and directed by Richard Attenborough, using Avatar-like technology, and plays the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
The Intouchables: French blockbuster sensation about an aging Caucasian paraplegic who hires a poor young black man to be his caretaker. Ends Sept. 27 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
The Avengers: It set box-office records for the biggest opening weekend ever, and for good reason. Joss Whedon’s take on the Marvel franchise is well-written, superbly edited, funny and enormously entertaining.
To the Arctic 3-D: Cute-animal-movie alert No. 2. Meryl Streep narrates this new IMAX movie about a mama polar bear and her two cubs.
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: Liam Neeson narrates this IMAX film, screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.