Guy Maddin Mind-Mangler

The new film from Guy Maddin arrives at the Roxie to shake up and mangle the minds of viewers dulled by a little too much turkey. It’s a story that begins with the doomed crew of a submarine, but Guy Maddin definitely doesn’t do a “will they survive or won’t they” tale.

Your other must-see of the weekend begins with a beekeeping family living off the grid in rural Tuscany. But as Alice Rohrwacher’s new film progresses, it slowly slides away from literal realism.

A Fool

In this Chinese import, poor farmer/shepherd Latiaozi and wife Jinzhizi are horrified to learn their son has been condemned for a crime. A hastily raised 50,000 Yuan goes to fixer Li Datou to get the son’s sentence reduced. But Li does nothing, and refuses to return the money. But an accidental encounter with a fool might lead to some changes in the situation.

Now at the AMC Metreon 16

The Forbidden Room

The latest cinematic mind-masher from Guy Maddin mixes classic cinema with Italo Calvino’s sensibility. The film properly begins with a doomed submarine crew trying to get more oxygen into their lungs by chewing on flapjacks. A lost woodsman amazingly wanders into the crew’s midst and tells a story of fearsome cave dwellers. From there, viewers get treated to a globe-trotting adventure which somehow involves skeleton women and vampire bananas in some way. Among the actors appearing here are Mathieu Almaric, Geraldine Chaplin, and Elina Lowensohn.

Opens November 27 at the Roxie Theater

Forbidden Room Still

Still from Guy Maddin film The Forbidden Room


In this Indian romantic drama, young Tara’s Corsican vacation goes south when she loses all of her possessions. A chance encounter with backpacker Ved saves the lost girl. The duo wind up spending a wonderful week together thanks to Ved’s suggestion that they make their trip unpredictable by not disclosing their true identities to each other. Four years after separating, Tara finds Ved again. However, this time she thinks Ved is a dullard. This unhappy encounter spurs Ved to re-discover the self he lost and to win Tara’s heart again.

Now at the AMC Mercado 20 and the AMC Metreon 16

The Wonders

Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes Film Festival prize winner offers a tale of drudgery and illusion. A family of beekeepers living in Italy’s Tuscan countryside find their lives changing during one fateful summer. Mounting financial problems force them to take on two long-shots: the services of a silent juvenile delinquent and participation in a TV reality show contest. But the biggest changes of all may be occurring inside the heart of eldest daughter Gelsomina.

Opens November 27 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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