Spring Arts Guide: Screens

Y'know, like film and film festivals and TV


The Void
April 7

Reports from festival screenings suggest this alien-siege film isn’t entirely satisfying on a story level, but it’s still a fun, visceral ride that wears its John Carpenter influence on its sleeve.

A Quiet Passion
April 14

Emily Dickinson was one of America’s greatest poets, and while this biopic stars Cynthia Nixon and was shot in Massachusetts, it’s a UK-Belgium production. Even American currency doesn’t want to get involved: The budget is listed as €6,900,000.

April 21

Speaking of things American dollars wouldn’t be spent to produce, Eric Summer and Éric Warin’s animated French-Canadian production follows a girl from rural Brittany who travels to Paris to become a ballerina. (If it were about a rat who wanted to be a chef, on the other hand…)

How to Be a Latin Lover
April 28

That director Ken Marino has been on both sides of the camera in some of the best comedy series in recent years — Party Down, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Childrens Hospital — bodes well for this, his feature directorial debut.

The Lovers
May 5

Even though she ended her self-imposed retirement quite a while ago, it still feels like a cause for celebration every time Debra Winger is in a movie — such as Azazel Jacob’s story of a long-married, unfaithful couple who rediscover their spark.

Paris Can Wait
May 12

Seemingly the last member of the Coppola clan to get around to directing a narrative feature, Francis’ spouse Eleanor’s debut (at 80!) is about a woman married to a self-absorbed filmmaker. It is surely not autobiographical in any way, shape, or form.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
May 19

Sure, we don’t have our Dork Diaries movie yet, but the last three adaptations of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series have been pleasant, family-friendly diversions.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
May 26

The first three Pirates films were directed by Gore Verbinski, the fourth was by Rob Marshall, and the fifth film in the series is co-directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, whose names may well go on to become Swedish slang for “diminishing returns.”

Film Festivals

60th International San Francisco Film Festival
April 5-19

San Francisco’s most prestigious film festival has lotsa neato-keen programs lined up, not the least of which is The Green Fog: Guy Maddin(!) remaking Vertigo as a collage(!!) with a score by the Kronos Quartet(!!!).

A Rare Noir is Good to Find 2
May 5-8

No less international is this festival, which demonstrates that America wasn’t the only country gettin’ dark in the postwar years. Selections include noir movies from Czechoslovakia in 1949 and Egypt in 1958. Who knew?

San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2017
June 1-4

The full lineup has yet to be determined, but the most intriguing of what we are aware of is a restoration of Silence, a previously lost film by Phantom of the Opera director Rupert Julian.

The LCD Teat

Better Call Saul
April 10, AMC

We know Gus Fring will be in Season 3 of the unexpectedly great Breaking Bad prequel, though a Skyler White cameo would also be welcome, just to hear the gnashing of the internet’s teeth.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
April 14, Netflix

This is one of the two 1990s shows that defined my teenage years and which are inexplicably being revived by their original creators. Joel Hodgson is producing, and those of us who are nervous because we kinda preferred the Mike Nelson years should really just relax.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
April 15, Discovery Family

Season 7 leads up to October’s big feature film, but this is also the first year since 2012 not to have an Equestria Girls movie, which means both the season and the October film have a lot to live up to.

April 16, HBO

The first new season broadcast during the Predator-in-Chief’s reign faces a difficult task: satirizing a political world that’s gotten so stupid as to render satire almost irrelevant.

April 19, FX

After seasons set in 2006 and 1979, Noah Hawley’s brilliantly surreal anthology series bounces to 2010, and features Ewan McGregor as twins.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
May 19, Netflix

The miracle of Kimmy being alive (dammit!) continues as she deals with the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne re-entering her world in a big, bad way.

Twin Peaks
May 21, Showtime

Because my first girlfriend and I didn’t know anybody else staying home on Saturday nights in 1991 to watch Twin Peaks’ second season, and then because we saw Fire Walk With Me multiple times in empty theaters in 1992, we would never have guessed how excited everyone else would be about a revival in 2017. Ah, life. It’s weird enough to be directed by David Lynch.

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