Your Weekend in Film

More than mere faces in the crowd

Some people you remember, most you don't. Those featured in the films this weekend are both worth remembering and exploring more after the credits have rolled. Other than the new releases, deserving your attention is last weekend’s visually scrumptious and subtext-laced Blade Runner 2049.

This Week’s Pick: Faces Places

Travel documentary features two visualists, director Agnès Varda and muralist JR, and their distinct methods of capturing what they see. Varda expert Marjorie Baumgarten says “Varda and JR find suitable subjects, hear their stories, take their pictures, and then glue the images of these people on walls, barns, and anything else that’s large and workable.” 4.5 stars.

Also Reviewed

Barracuda. Half-sisters meet for the first time in this Austin-based mystery. Steve Davis: “This narrative tension … sustains your interest in Barracuda, even when the screenplay goes off the rails a bit in the shaky third act when things get a little grisly.” 3 stars.

Loving Vincent. The life and death of a famous painter – painstakingly painted. Josh Kupecki: “If this were a video essay tableau of fluid re-creations of the master’s work, I would have been more than happy." 2 stars.

Marshall. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall biopic centers on the historical figure's early career. Marc Savlov: “This biopic of Thurgood is wise in its own way, too, focusing as it does on just one of the young NAACP lawyer’s early cases, instead of following the entirety of the man’s considerable lifetime achievements.” 3 stars.

Wasted! The Story of Food Waste Time to heed the grownups’ “finish your plate” directive and restaurants’ “don’t take more than you can eat” sign. Marjorie Baumgarten: “Wasted! nimbly throws out appalling statistics about food waste for our gen eral consumption, but where the movie excels is with living examples.” 3 stars.

The Florida Project chronicles the adventures of a lively 6-year-old in a cheap motel not far from Disney World. Marjorie Baumgarten: “Depending on your perspective, Moonee is either youth incarnate making the most of her circumstances, or Dennis the Menace determined to drive the oldsters stark-raving mad.” 3.5 stars

Happy Death Day. It's kinda like Groundhog Day with a younger cast and a baby-masked killer on the loose. You know what? It's not like Groundhog Day at all. Danielle White: “Rothe sports a millennial, less-than-thrilled-to-be-here stare, with just a touch of exhaustion to indicate the perpetual Monday morning hangover that she’s doomed to repeat." 3 stars.

Lucky. After a sign that his health is in decline, the titular character goes on a spiritual journey. Kimberley Jones: “Here, in one of his final roles before his passing in September, Stanton’s face fills near every frame – a face, famously hangdog even in the bloom of his youth, that is as epic and breathtaking as the desert mountains Lynch lenses at dusk.” 3 stars.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. How did Princess Diana of Themyscira came to be in the household of one Harvard professor and his two lovers – a wife and a coed? “Robinson … renders this trio of pioneers in human sexual studies (akin to Kinsey and co.) something deeper than merely their private lives behind the bedroom door and the contributions they made to their field.” 3.5 stars.

Also Opening

The Foreigner. Martial arts legend Jackie Chan flaunts his license to kill in this political thriller, which also features former 007 Pierce Brosnan.

Special Screenings

October is meant to be spooky, and so indulge in cinematic crimson this month. From now to the end of the month, AFS Cinema, Violet Crown, and Blue Starlite Drive-In will screen horror series that will get the goosebumps rising.

Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival features reels about, or starring, people with disabilities.Friday and Saturday.

The General

“The Great Stone Face” returns – twice. Physical comedy icon Buster Keaton shows up in two films this weekend, Three Ages and The General. Of the latter, which screens Saturday and Sunday, Marjorie Baumgarten says: “Keaton is a wonderful treasure no matter the movie, and The General is certainly among his best.”

The Magic Flute like you’ve never seen it before. Julie Taymor’s stylish take on Mozart’s opera, screening Saturday, graces the big screen. In HD, too.

Vamonos con Pancho Villa! The Classical Mexican Cinema series at AFS concludes Sunday with a tale about the “The Lions of San Pablo” and Francisco Villa taking on the government.


Check out the Chronicle's Film Listings for daily showtimes, reviews, and Special Screenings.

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