Opcorn and Andycay: Oldgay Iggersday Ditioneay

Popcorn & Candy was DCist’s selective and subjective guide to some of the most interesting movies playing around town in the coming week. Now with more aggregation!



Co-directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson adapt their popular stage play for the big screen with this spooky triptych framed by the travels of a professor (Nyman) who makes a career out of debunking the paranormal claims.  The professor’s skepticism is unsettled by three stories, told by a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse), an agitated young man (Alex Lawther) and an uptight businessman (Martin Freeman). Cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland shot the film in rich hues that conjure a menace  as eerie as it is beautiful; but the storytelling framework breaks up the tension that should build naturally from a scary tale. One wonders if the stage play, with its more limited resources, was in fact a more frightening prospect.

Watch the trailer.
Opens Friday at Landmark E Street Cinema.



I previewed two titles from this year’s FilmFest DC for the Washington City Paper.  Of this Turkish drama, I wrote, “FilmfestDC has long specialized in the international crowd-pleaser, and this family epic set during a tumultuous era in Turkey is just that kind of politically aware yet ultimately safe movie. Writer/director Yilmaz Erdogan (who starred in the great Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and directed the biopic The Butterfly’s Dream) stars as the mayor of a rural village and the father of three beautiful daughters, each of whom is courted by a hopeful suitor. Sour Apples starts off as a broad 1970s comedy that depicts villagers as country bumpkins who don’t even know how to use shampoo. But as the characters bump into history—namely, the Turkish coup of 1980—and grow up, the more somber tone makes better use of the strong ensemble cast. The mayor’s attempt to tame the sour apple trees in his orchard is too on-the-nose as metaphors go. Still, by the time the movie reaches the 1990s, it succeeds thanks to a simple yet potent dramatic device: the passage of time.”

Watch the trailer.
Friday, April 27 at 6 p.m. at Landmark E Street Cinema.

(Mandarin Vision)


In my WCP preview of FilmFest DC, I wrote, “Ya-che Yang directed this Taiwanese crime drama about Madame Tang (Kara Wai), who lords over three generations of businesswomen caught in the middle of a hopelessly complicated and violent land-grab. Wai, who starred in the 1981 Shaw Brothers classic My Young Auntie, won Taiwan’s equivalent of an Oscar for her performance as the ruthless matriarch, and continues her late-career resurgence with the kind of role that would have been perfect for Joan Crawford in another time and another place. The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful is wildly inventive but too densely plotted for its vivid central performances to really take hold. Still, the movie features intermittent commentary from a kind of Greek chorus in the form of an elderly female musician, decked in fabulous finery, who sings traditional songs about the family’s misfortune. Richly hued costumes and strange magical interludes contribute to a spectacle that will look great on the big screen, but this convoluted tale of corruption is, in the end, a lush, violent story about inflated real estate values.

Watch the trailer.
Saturday, April 28 at 6:15 p.m. at Landmark E Street Cinema.



My Critic’s Pick in this week’s Washington City Paper, in which I wrote, “During the Great Depression, Hollywood responded to America’s bleak mood with even more glamorous spectacle. Some of the greatest musicals of the 1930s feature a wild visual invention that was positively psychedelic—thanks to choreographer Busby Berkeley, whose elaborate staging turned flanks of chorus girls into geometric patterns synchronized to bubbly pop. Gold Diggers of 1933 was the height of Berkeley’s terpsichorean imagination, its famous centerpiece featuring Ginger Rogers wearing a costume made of silver dollars and singing “We’re in the Money”– in pig Latin. But even this escapist entertainment doesn’t ignore the financial crisis in the real world: the movie opens with a rehearsal of a show that’s suddenly shut down because the producers haven’t paid their bills. Shown on a triple bill with 42nd Street and Footlight Parade as part of a book event for Harvey G. Cohen, author of Who’s in the Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal, who will introduce the screening.

Sunday, April 29 at 3:45 p.m. at the AFI Silver. The triple bill starts at 1 p.m.  with 42nd Street.



The Washington Psychotronic Film Society describes this 2004 Thai film as “a delirious camp action-fantasy-musical comedy [that] tells the tale of a rock ‘n’ roll drummer drawn into the ancient struggle between Good and Evil. Our mop-haired hero is on the lam, framed for killing his landlady, dodging cops that couldn’t catch a cold. But there’s gonna be battle-of-the-bands, and he needs to practice the Drums of the Gods. Packed with more gags, parodies, and in-jokes than can possibly be understood by an American.”

Watch the trailer.
Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at Smoke and Barrel.

Also recently opened: Kodachrome, a straight-to-Netflix drama starring Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris. Read my Spectrum Culture review here.


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