Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

Audiences chew on a film-fest twofer: Central Standard's indie films and Sound Unseen's musical movies

 

CS -BUNNY

Apache 6 Theaters, Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

"Saudade do Futuro"
Courtesy Laterit Productions
"Saudade do Futuro"

Luda (Petra Tikalova) and Nik (Edward Dratner) are refugees from a war-torn country who begin new lives in Los Angeles. Flat broke, the highly educated couple decides to accept a pair of absurd jobs in an experimental public-works project: Each day they don pink bunny suits and crouch on street corners while passers-by use them for free therapy. Though Luda throws herself into the thankless task, Nik laments the loss of his dignity, and the two eventually separate, driven apart by differing expectations. First-time director Mia Trachinger creates a poignant account of the many difficulties that immigrants face within their adopted cultures. Even through their imposed silence, Luda and Nik speak volumes while absorbing the burdens of others. --Caroline Palmer

 

SU -HOP-FU: HIP HOP MEETS KUNG FU

Oak Street Cinema, Friday at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

This Sound Unseen opener is a godsend for two narrow but overlapping cult audiences: people who love old kung fu movies and people who love hip hoppers who love old kung fu movies. The event does nothing more than take a revered Hong Kong classic directed by Jackie Chan mentor Sammo Hung, The Prodigal Son (1982), and turn the soundtrack over to New York turntablists and remixers DJ Excess and DJ IXL. In their hands, punches are transformed into scratched guitar chords; dialogue (originally dubbed with British accents) is left intact save for occasional dollops of MC slang; a Peking opera singer's croon becomes a Slick Rick lyric; and ancient martial arts get au courant drum 'n' bass accompaniment. Think of it as a What's Up, Tiger Lily? for Wu Tang fans. The two screenings will be followed by an opening night party at the Soap Factory featuring music by Heiruspecs, the Dijonettes, and DJ Kasio. --Peter S. Scholtes

 

CS -BIKE LIKE U MEAN IT

Apache 6 Theaters, Friday at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday at 5:45 p.m.

Like their Twin Cities counterparts, Austin-based bicyclists calling themselves Critical Mass have been filling the streets of their Texas town in protest against automobiles since at least 2000--when police made the mistake of videotaping them. Obtained by subpoena and edited into this hilarious documentary, the footage shows officers plainly ogling riders (I swear that's my ex-girlfriend flashing one of the cops), and trying to identify "leaders" in order to issue them trumped-up citations. Filmmakers Rusty Martin and Susan Kirr know a classic sequence when it unfolds before them, but are agnostic enough to give equal time to critics. (They also cover Amy Babich's one-woman letter-writing campaign against cars.) The result is the best Austin counterculture movie since Slacker. (It screens on a double bill with Urban Warrior, reviewed below.) --Peter S. Scholtes

 

CS -URBAN WARRIOR

Apache 6 Theaters, Friday at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday at 5:45 p.m.

From Ludlow to Waco, the abuse of domestic military power comes as no surprise. But as this important documentary argues, the "militarization" of police work is a relatively new phenomenon--one that took hold in the 1960s, accelerated with the war on drugs, and has been streamlined in the year since September 11. St. Paul-based filmmaker Matt Ehling (Run Some Idiot) presents all-too-familiar scenarios in which death sentences are instantly meted out by S.W.A.T. teams bursting into homes. (Helpful hint: If this happens to you, your hands had better be empty and in the air.) Ehling's ominous soundtrack loads the deck just a tad, but his best face cards are law enforcement officials (such as former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza) who know the dangers of overwhelming force firsthand. (Urban Warrior screens on a double bill with Bike Like U Mean It, reviewed above.) --Peter S. Scholtes

 

CS -THE POOR AND HUNGRY

Apache 6 Theaters, Friday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Though director Craig Brewer used an inheritance of only $20,000 to fund this DV debut feature, The Poor and Hungry hardly looks malnourished. Shot in black-and-white in Brewer's hometown of Memphis, it follows Eli (Eric Tate) and his pint-size hustler sidekick (Lindsey Roberts) on their many misadventures. Eli is a car thief, running parts through a chop shop and supplementing his income at the local strip club. But he isn't a thug: While boosting a Toyota belonging to a cello-playing student (Lake Latimer), he learns how to be a good person. Brewer is clearly influenced by Midnight Cowboy, but, in place of innovation, he imbues this elegant film with rare clarity and patience. --Caroline Palmer

 

CS -KAATERSKILL FALLS

Apache 6 Theaters, Saturday at 2:45 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

An improvised Knife in the Water set on the road and in the mountains, this micro-budget sleeper charts the tension that develops between a young pair of yuppie breeders (Hilary Howard, Mitchell Riggs) and the gruff hitchhiker (Anthony Leslie) whom they impulsively (or implausibly?) decide to pick up en route from Manhattan to their first weekend of baby-making efforts upstate. Invited to spend the night in the couple's rented cabin, the stranger takes no time flat to start waving a knife (in the kitchen, chopping garlic, but still); the wife giddily defies her new fertility regimen by guzzling red wine; and the husband quietly seethes. Codirectors Josh Apter and Peter Olsen (a Minnesota native) accentuate the ordinary menace through claustrophobic close-ups and well-placed jump cuts--none of which cost a thing except imagination. --Rob Nelson

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