Lars Von Triers latest patch on tormented human nature, Melancholia (opening next month), tests Kirsten Dunst with a planet on a potential collision course with Earth. Its the end of the world as we know it or, as the melancholy Dane would probably put it, good riddance to bad rubbish. A brighter view of our celestial neighbors and ourselves lights up the sky via the shorts compilation Orbit(film). Co-curated by iconoclastic programmer Mike Plante, the mind behind the beloved Lunchfilm series of short works (commissioned for the price of a midday repast), the lineup rejuvenates our sense of wonder while rekindling a respect for science. Most of the filmmakers use footage shot by NASA, offering the rare chance to see your tax dollars at work. Local livewire Brent Hoff is on hand with his heat-seeking Look at the Sun, while Travis Wilkerson treks from Colorado with Pluto Declaration, an impassioned plea to return the ex-planet to its lofty status, and Requiem for Progress, an ode to an era of reduced expectations. Wilkersons masterful 2002 doc, An Injury to One, inspired by the Montana murder of labor organizer Frank Little in 1911, precedes the celestial shorts.
Mon., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., 2011