S is for Stanley
Friday January 20 through Thursday February 2 at IFC Center: individual screenings, $14
To celebrate the premiere of the S is for Stanley, a documentary that takes a rather unique approach to the life and work of Stanley Kubrick, IFC Center is throwing a two-week retrospective for the director, and it’s starting this Friday. Which is actually perfect timing, really, because if there’s one day this year that you’re desperately going to want to hide from the world, Inauguration Day is probably it.
Like many filmmakers, director Alex Infascelli has long been a Stanley Kubrick obsessive, to the point where he says, “I thought I knew everything about the man.” But when he meets Emilio D’Alessandro, an Italian race car driver and Kubrick’s personal assistant for 30 years, Infascelli realized that Kubrick was much more complex than the dark, reclusive, super serious great-genius type that he has so often been portrayed.
IFC’s retrospective, on the other hand, has no problem calling Kubrick an “unparalleled genius.” Featuring 15 films that you’d expect to make the list (Full Metal Jacket, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Eyes Wide Shut, etc.) there’s bound to be at least one you haven’t seen, or maybe one you haven’t seen in a while. I mean, certainly, you never bothered with A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a film that Kubrick started and Steven Spielberg directed and completed in none other than the year of our lord 2001 (I mean, come on, seriously?)
Film Fundraiser Benefit for Oakland Ghost Ship
Thursday January 19, 6 pm at Bar Matchless: $10 to $25
There’s not a whole lot of info about this show, but I get the feeling that you won’t need a whole lot of convincing, given the title. The double header features two films, MLK Jr. Way and Remember You’re Special, that organizers say “were made possible directly because of an incredibly supportive and inspiring community of artists, musicians, and creators in Oakland. Time for us to return the favor.”
“MLK” ain’t quite a documentary, so keep in mind that the film about “two young Mexican American guys who lose their jobs (partly from laziness partly from the recession), and their home (due to the rocky climate in West Oakland)” is definitely scripted. Still, the grainy sunrise-to-sunrise shots of living the young/broke party life in Oakland feels spot on (uh, also keep in mind I spent, like, a very hazy week and a half there a few years ago at the top of my drinking game, livin’ it up before grad school got super cereal). The struggle is real, but so are the good times. And if all those slinky nightlife thrills feel somewhat like a giant question mark, consider that the predicament these characters and many of us are in right now (aka lol jobs) is decidedly different from what’s popping in SF, where fratty frat tech bros are swimming in VR money absent of any taste whatsover.
Likewise, Remember You’re Special is all about the hustle. The mumblecore style doc-ish feature follows a group of friends, all so-called Millennials living in the SF/Oakland area and trying to make it (whatever that means) amidst “deferred dreams, student debt and complicated romantic relationships.” As executive producer and actor Sean Conroy told the SF Gate: “There’s a lot of media and older people who think our generation is one of laziness and entitlement, and we think that’s deliciously ironic because we graduated into a financial system that they broke. What we see around us is people trying as hard as they can to do what we can.” True that.
Saturday January 21, midnight at Spectacle: $5
Here’s a great way to get a date this weekend, and you won’t have to compromise even an inch of human dignity in the usual ways. (Let’s be real, the last time you checked Tinder, you ended that beers outing with friends by softly crying into your phone when you realized you had zero matches.) Just pick the next suitor of your choice and say, “Hey babe(s), wanna go check out this Egyptian “disco vampire” thriller at Spectacle?” S/he positively can’t say no.
Fangs takes all the super-camp and gender-bending sexy time of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and magnifies it simply by virtue of the fact that the star has much better bone structure than Tim Curry. Add in some shots that look a whole lot like odes to Holy Mountain through that vaseline-coated-lens hue we know and love from soap operas, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed good time.
Spectacle writes, “However much director Mohammed Shebl may have worn his love of that cult icon [Rocky Horror] on his sleeve, his ambitious and wildly imaginative attempt to transcribe it into contemporary 1981 Egypt makes for something wholly his own.”