Halloween month means the indie flicks are extra horrifying.
Only Lovers Left Alive
2:30 p.m. Oct. 13
Movies are not cheap. Thanks to a screening that's part of the University of Minnesota conference Politics & Aesthetics of Obsolescence, you can catch a gem of an indie for free.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2015) focuses on the perpetual tug of impulse and identity, as director Jim Jarmusch follows the lives of vampires in modern-day Detroit.
Like anyone else, two on-again off-again lovers, played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, feel the need to be with someone. But that need gets complicated by other desires and environmental factors.
Same for being a vampire. Drinking blood is not a good look. But it's who they are, and what they need.
Jarmusch explores what dictates our priorities, yielding profound emotional reckoning. Indie vet Swinton exhibits her trademark physicality, with another alien-like performance that is somehow unique and relatable.
Who Can Kill a Child?
8 p.m. Oct. 14-16
That's one loaded, fucked-up question. (And those are the best.)
Who Can Kill a Child? (1976) is a horror flick following an English couple off on vacation to an island inhabited by kids who kill adults.
Children usually need to be protected, and, as Spanish director Narciso Ibanez Serrador points out, it’s children who fare the worst in times of war and famine.
However, these truths, like any other we hold dear, do not necessarily negate alternative manifestations or exceptions. A child is a still developing human, innocent, simple, and vulnerable. But that does not preclude a child from performing the unspeakable.
Who can kill a child? Perhaps you, if the circumstances require it. Ibanez doesn't want you ruling anything out.
Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
7 p.m. Oct. 21
$1-$12 suggested donation
Documentary experimentalist Edward Kihn’s Innovation/Degradation is a short program of his works.
His works all shares a theme: the fallout from technology, including political, cultural, and personal. Kihn shoots in grainy 16mm film, giving his pieces a '60s feel. Footage includes bundles of fiberoptic wires braided through a hole in a wall in a massive factory, hundreds of machines, and beautiful cinematography that is dreamy and light.
Kihn hardly reveals himself, unlike many other documentarians who hover just outside of the frame. Kihn only makes himself felt by the one-of-a-kind camera placements and art instillation-like succession of images.
One week, starting Oct. 19
Horror movie tension can stoke our wildest, most paranoid fears.
In The Guilty (2018), by director Gustav Moller and starring Jakob Cedergren, the domestic tensions burbling below the veneer of our everyday lives surface.
Cedergren plays emergency services dispatcher Asger Holm. His day is as routine as anyone’s tied to a desk and a phone, even when the calls deal in distress.
Then he fields a call from a woman who says she’s been abducted, and that her abductor is in the room. The line goes dead. When Holm calls back, a man answers and says the matter is none of his concern.
Holm makes it his concern, calling back to maintain contact and trying to enlist other emergency agencies and people in the search for the woman, but no one wants to help.
The tension and severity of the woman’s circumstances -- a mostly voiced performance by Jessica Dinnage -- ratchet up while forbidding superiors, condescending agency bureaucrats, and indifferent bystanders shrug or scream at him to stop.
Every exhale on the phone, every pause, every clatter or background sound is an exercise in wound-up tension. Every glance from those around Holm as he frantically goes against their wishes, every suggestive look on his face, and every stress-induced physical tic builds and ups the stakes.