Step Outside Oscar's Hype and Sample Eight Great Repertory Films This Week

Categories: Film and TV

groundhog.jpg
Alamo gets a head start on eternity with this early screening of Groundhog Day.
With so many Academy Award nominees currently in theaters, it's natural for your competitive side to activate.

But there's still a month before you don an old prom dress, eat a shrimp ring and watch the Oscars -- that's plenty of time. Be decadent this week: Treat yourself to eight classic favorites.

DMN's Chris Vogner noted North Texas' repertory film resurgence earlier this month in a sit-down with Shawn Mahan, general manager of the Magnolia and creator of the theater's Big Movie series. In the last few years Dallas has seen the vault unlocked with greater frequency as Texas Theatre, the Magnolia, the Angelika, Alamo Drafthouse, Dallas Film Society and others bring immersive retro line-ups to the big screen.

Last week Fort Worth jumped in the mix, announcing ArthouseFW, Lone Star Film Society's new series set to toggle between the Kimbell and the Modern and provide a thorough cinematic background check. You'll see its first offering this Friday at the Modern, when ArthouseFW presents John Carpenter's dystopian fever dream, Escape from New York.

Whether you're seeking camp classics, forgotten works or just great movies you loved passionately a time back, you'll find it in these eight repertory classics.

Groundhog Day
Alamo Drafthouse
Saturday, 2.1 (1 p.m.)

Weirdly, this isn't playing on Groundhog Day. Alamo Drafthouse programmer James Wallace explained nobody would get to see it if it ran directly against Sunday's Big Game, so catch it Saturday instead.

A decade ago The New York Times reported on MOMA's series The Hidden God: Film and Faith, and its peculiar selection of Groundhog Day as the program's opener. Once you go beyond the rodent puppet, the ice sculptures and the morning radio flip of "I Got You Babe," you find a film beloved by religious leaders of many, many faiths. It's interesting, really, how translatable this idea of rebirth and reinvention is and how seemingly opposing sects believe it mirrors their own message. And by that rational: Is Bill Murray our collective messiah? Because I could seriously get into that.

*****

Liquid Sky
Texas Theatre
Saturday, 2.1 (8:30 p.m.)
(Bonus: Q&A with Slava Tsukerman, Sky's director, and a behind the screen glow-in-the-dark dance party.)

Imagine a live-action, drugged-out, sci-fi, club kid version of JEM and you're one step closer to Liquid Sky. A multi-fest award-winner, this film was bolder and more avant garde than other indie circuit releases in 1982 and scored a soft spot in pop culture's vacillated artery.

Texas Theatre not only digs out the hypercolor indie for one screening Saturday, it also brings a Q&A with its creator, Slava Tsukerman. When your mind reaches pigment saturation, fill it further with a glowing dance party happening behind the screen.

*****

Escape From New York
The Modern
Friday, 1.31 (10 p.m.)

You've got to love ArthouseFW for creating a film series (nested within a film series) called Cinemuse, dedicated to John Carpenter/Kurt Russell camaraderie. Kicking things off Friday is Carpenter's iconic future/past tale, starring Snake Plissken's eye patch. Hopefully follow-up films will include Big Trouble In Little China and the best work-out flick my Movie Gym's ever shown, The Thing. It ties in nicely with the museum's Late Night.

*****

Sixteen Candles
Alamo Drafthouse
Tuesday, 1.28 (7:30 p.m.)

I've never understood Sixteen Candles. Samantha's brooding, lurking and complete inability to pass notes somehow results in her capture of Jake Ryan, known hottie and stand-up dude. I suppose there's a message in there somewhere?

It's showing at Alamo Drafthouse, so grab your gaggle of gal pals and go knock back some yard chards, dig?

*****

Nashville
Magnolia
Tuesday, 1.28 (7:30 p.m.)

Robert Altman's epic of overlapping story arcs gets aired out Tuesday at the Magnolia Theater. Set in the wake of Watergate, this musical pile-up unites Lily Tomlin, Shelley Duvall, Jeff Goldblum and 21 other famouses through its musical, interwoven plot. It's the latest Big Movie install.

*****

Harry and the Hendersons
Alamo Drafthouse
Thursday, 1.30 (7:30 p.m.)

The 1980s were a magical time for family-friendly science-tousled kid flicks. From classics like Real Genius and Weird Science, to the downright unwatchables (we're looking at you Howard the Duck), it seemed anything could be green-lit. Hence, John Lithgow's weirdest film role ever, patriarch of the Hendersons. (Fun fact: This film actually won an Academy Award. For Best Makeup, sure. But it did win one.)

The screening ties into a beer promotion. Alamo now carries 903 Brewers Sasquatch brew, so your $7 ticket comes with a pint of the stuff.

*****

Willow
Angelika
Friday, 1.31 and Saturday, 2.1 (11:30 p.m.)

Sometimes Willow gets overshadowed by Legend ('85), Labyrinth ('86) and Princess Bride ('87). Was the vaguely medieval/fantasy youth market saturated by the time Ron Howard released the thing in 1988? Had we sort-of seen this all before, but starring Bowie, Cruise and Curry? Maybe.

It's been 25 years since Child You watched Willow in a proper movie theater. See it again with fresh eyes and maybe a cold beer, because you can do that now. It runs two nights, back-to-back as part of Angelika's After Hours series.

*****

Dr. Strangelove (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
Alamo Drafthouse
Wednesday, 1.29 (7:45 p.m.)

On the 50th anniversary of its release, Alamo Drafthouse will screen a pristine 35-mm print of Kubrick's classic war romp. Is there any film better engrained in our collective conscious? Any satire that cuts quite so deep? Could anyone ride an atomic bomb better than Slim Pickens? Nope.

Stick around post-credits so DMN's Robert Wilonsky and Chris Vognar may regale you with fun Strangelove facts, like that screenwriter Terry Southern was from these parts and Slim Pickens almost didn't make it in, 'cuz he didn't have a passport. (The latter is both adorable and fitting.)


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