Friday, January 23, 2009

Week of January 23-January 29 (Mann)

What’s On At The Tropic
By Phil Mann

I expect you’ve seen SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE by now. I hope my badgering has succeeded. If not, you’ve got only yourself to blame. It’s the best film of the year, and it’s still playing, now entering a record-breaking sixth, and probably last, week at the Tropic.

Now let me give you a tip on something different, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, which has been held over for a second week. This is a horror movie, a vampire movie to be more specific. Let’s get that clear upfront. If you absolutely refuse to see movies with blood and scary things, skip this discussion.

But let me tell you, this is a different kind of horror movie. It’s true to the vampire myth – super speed and strength, and of course those two little holes at the victim’s jugular. Even the convention that a vampire cannot enter your home unless you permit it, provides a great plot point. However, despite the blood, and despite the gratuitous killing that is essential to the survival of the vampire-heroine – that’s her diet, after all – this is a sweet story. Oskar is a twelve-year old being bullied by some nasty fellow-students. His solace is a seemingly lovely twelve-year old who moves in next door.

But then she says she’s not really a “girl,” and she’s been twelve for quite a while. And her father is a serial killer – to help nourish his daughter, you understand. The twists on conventional good and evil are dazzling. And the story keeps you on edge and rooting for you don’t know whom. At the end, it’s just a love story. What can I say? If you’re ever willing to suspend skepticism and try out a vampire movie, this is the one. It’s in Swedish, but what the heck, the blood is red and poor Oskar is as innocent as they come. Winner of Best Narrative Film Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Foreign Film from the Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Southeastern and Washington Film Critics, this is an extraordinary movie.

Don’t like mystical creatures who feast on blood? How about one who has the ultimate “fairy dust.” In WERE THE WORLD MINE, a gay fellow playing Puck in a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream discovers that a sprinkling of his powder can turn the whole town to his liking. Besides that, it’s a rousing good musical. “An indie alternative to Disney's High School Musical franchise … a small, endearing film” says the New York Times, and it has been winning Audience Awards at festivals all over.

Rounding out this week’s schedule is a continuing run of Daniel Craig in DEFIANCE.

The Monday Night Classic stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in CHARADE. If you haven’t sampled the classic series, this romantic/comic/thriller is a perfect start. Enjoy the movie and Mary Sparacio’s witty discussion.

And there’s also another performance of the opera ROMEO ET JULIETE, rescheduled after a technical glitch last week. That’s 7:00pm on Wednesday.

Coming next week: MILK, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the heroic San Francisco gay activist.

Full info and schedules at Comments to

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