Hello, My Name Is Doris
There hasn’t been much local programming that has dealt with female experiences and representation on screen. This drought makes the Museum of Photographic Arts’ “Aging Women in Film” series a welcome addition to the pre-Summer arts calendar. Five movies that run the gamut from comedy to international art house will be included, each trying to “reinforce positive images” on a range of subjects that include aging and sexuality.
Michael Showalter’s Hello, My Name is Doris kicks off the series on Thursday, April 13, and it’s a worthy opener. Starring Sally Field as a middle-aged data processor who becomes obsessively attracted to a younger colleague (Max Greenfield), the film explores themes of regret and emotional trauma from an underrepresented perspective while poking fun at hipster absurdity.
Despite its relevant subject matter, the series itself doesn’t represent especially daring programming choices. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones try to spice up their boring marriage in the 1998 comedy Hope Spings (April 21). The French drama Party Girl (April 27) from 2014 poses some nuanced questions about difficult transitions that happen later in life, but is ultimately pretty forgettable as a character study. 2001’s Iris (May 5) and 2016’s Zoology (May 11) close out the schedule.
MOPA has also played host to a monthly film program dedicated to “Famous Firsts.” Previous screenings included Jean-Luc Godard’s electric debut Breathless and John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, the first and only X-rated film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
On Friday, April 14 the series continues with 1948’s Drunken Angel, the initial collaboration between Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and the great actor Toshiro Mifune. In this stirring neo-noir, post-WWII Tokyo is a rotting cesspool that swallows up good people. Takashi Shimura’s drunken doctor tries his best to save Mifune’s TB-stricken gangster. While not on par with Seven Samurai or High and Low, it’s nevertheless a prickly exploration of pride that hints at the greatness to come.
Cezanne et Moi: Two renowned French artists—painter Paul Cézanne and writer Emile Zola—develop a friendship that experiences many ups and downs.
Colossal: Anne Hathaway stars as a drunken unemployed writer who realizes she may be controlling a gigantic monster currently ravaging Seoul, South Korea.
Gifted: Single father Frank (Chris Evans) tries to figure out the best course forward after realizing his young daughter is a math genius.
My Life as a Zucchini: In this whimsical Oscar-nominated animated film, a young boy who goes by the name Zucchini is sent to a live in a foster home after the death of his mother. Opens Friday, April 14, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Fate of the Furious: Vin Diesel’s Dominic Torreto gets seduced by a mysterious woman and turns on his crew of hot-rod loving criminals, causing a ripple effect of mayhem. F. Gary Gray directs the eighth entry of this wildly popular Hollywood franchise.
The Freedom to Marry: This social justice documentary tells the inside story of the same-sex marriage movement through the eyes of those who led the fight.Opens Friday, April 14, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Lure: In this shocking horror-musical hybrid, two mermaid sisters become caught in a love triangle when they fall for the same man. Opens Friday, April 14, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Their Finest: In Lone Scherfig’s new comedy romance, a British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.
Tommy’s Honour: Sam Neill stars in this biopic about the original founders of golf in the United Kingdom.