In lieu of a second review this week (the pickings were slim folks), I thought it might be good to note some worthy film-related news items happening around San Diego this week. Who knows, this could become a regular thing when enough content merits attention.
La Jolla's Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a fascinating series titled "The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Medium of Reinvention" that began on Sept. 23 with a panel discussion about different local artists in the 1970s. This was followed by a Sept. 24 screening of The Sky on Location, a rare film by Babette Mangolte, UCSD professor and former cinematographer for the great director Chantal Akerman.
Screenings continue on Oct. 6 with two Mangolte shorts (1979's There? Where ? and 1991's Visible Cities ). On Nov. 10 Jean-Pierre Gorin's Poto and Cabengo from 1980 will screen, and the series ends with the director's 1986 feature Routine Pleasures on Dec. 8. To buy tickets visit mcasd.org.
Secondly, as of Oct. 1 The San Diego Union-Tribune will no longer be publishing reviews by film critic Anders Wright. It is choosing instead to syndicate reviews from other tronc, Inc. (formerly the Tribune Company) papers like the Los Angeles Times . Wright spent seven years at CityBeat before moving to the U-T in 2013. He announced the news to friends and colleagues via email last week, expressing a genuine excitement about the new opportunities that await him.
While this change isn't surprising considering the current state of newspapers and their dwindling arts coverage, it's an unfortunate and sad revelation nonetheless. San Diego residents will be deprived of a key local voice on the subject of film, and Hollywood studios are less likely to grace our market with travelling press tours and screenings. Only time will tell.
Command and Control : Director Robert Kenner ( Food Inc. ) documents the nightmare scenario that played out in September 1980 at the Titan II missile complex in Arkansas when a worker accidently punctures the hull of a warhead with a socket wrench. Opens Friday, Oct. 7, at Landmark’s Ken Cinema.
Dancer : Virtuoso Russian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin is the subject of this documentary about an artist who walks away from everything to explore his personal and professional identity. Screens through Thursday, Oct. 13, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Denial : Rachel Weisz plays acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt, who must defend historical truth when faced with a lawsuit brought upon a bigoted Holocaust denier.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life : A band of rebellious students decide to hatch a plan that will send their middle school into chaos.
My Blind Brother : Comedian Nick Kroll plays a slacker who must finally come to grips with his blind older brother’s continued achievements and success in life. Screens through Thursday, Oct. 13, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Phantasm: Ravager : The final chapter in director Don Coscarelli’s horror franchise is a multi-dimensional battle across timelines that involves alien planets and altered realities. Screens through Thursday, Oct. 13, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
San Diego Italian Film Festival: Celebrate the latest and greatest Italian cinema at this 12-day festival that showcases narrative, documentary and short films. Screenings will take place beginning Wednesday, Oct. 5, to Sunday, Oct. 16 at Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park and La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
The Birth of a Nation : Nate Parker’s period piece biopic traces the life of Nat Turner from his time as a plantation preacher to the moment he decides to lead the infamous slave rebellion in 1830s American South.
The Girl on the Train : In this thriller from director Tate Taylor ( The Help ) Emily Blunt’s divorcee witness an incident while on a passing train and becomes entangled in a missing persons incident.
One Time Only
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby : Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly co-star as NASCAR drivers who try to stave off the advances of their fierce competition in Adam McKay’s comedy. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Spellbound : Ingrid Bergman’s psychiatrist tries to befriend an amnesiac played by Gregory Peck who may be a murderer in Alfred Hitchcock’s snowbound thriller. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, Oct. 6 – 8, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Coffee Man : Yugoslavian barista Sasa Sestic travels the world from Ethiopia to Seattle in search of the best coffee Screens at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Big Lebowski : Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi star in the Coen brothers’ madcap screwball comedy about bowling, White Russians, and friendship. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.