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The Grateful Dead And The Living Dead

The history of legendary cult rock band The Grateful Dead gets told in an epic documentary that’s one of the must-see special screenings this weekend. Other offerings include a history lesson about the last time American citizens were incarcerated en masse for “security reasons,” a mirrored look at a Stanley Kubrick classic, a tribute to a cinematographer who worked with both Fassbinder and Scorsese, and an Italian horror film which revels in such gory excesses as a maggot storm.

And Then They Came For Us…

2017 marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s shameful issuance of Executive Order 9066. This order led to the incarceration during World War II of over 120,000 people, most of them Japanese-Americans. Photographers such as Dorothea Lange captured images of the damages caused by the implementation of that order. The short film’s a historic object lesson worth remembering when talk comes up of registering or banning Muslims.

Screens May 30 at the New Parkway Theater. Director Abby Ginzberg appears in person for a post-film Q&A.

City Of The Living Dead (AKA Gates Of Hell)

Italian horror meister Lucio Fulci hit a creative high point with this tale pitting Christopher George against “witchcraft, zombies, and a supernatural sex doll.” See the nastiest gutters of Hell open after a priest hangs himself in a graveyard! Watch some unfortunate person vomit their digestive tract! Revel in this pulpishly gory tale complete with prog-rock soundtrack and a maggot storm!

Screens May 30 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead

By music industry standards, The Grateful Dead should have died quickly as a rock group. They didn’t do radio-friendly hits. They gave their live music away to tape traders. News about their concerts came not from heavy advertising but word of mouth. Yet Jerry Garcia and his fellow bandmates created a cult phenomenon that lasted for 30 years. Director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story) and Executive Producer Martin Scorsese present an epic documentary recounting the untold history of The Grateful Dead and the subculture that grew up around the band.

Screens on May 29 at the Rialto Elmwood Cinemas

The Shining: Forwards And Backwards

Yes, this is a screening of the American version of the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. What’s different here is that the film is screened straight but it’s overlaid with the visuals reversed. This experiment allows the viewer to see symmetries and doublings in the film, as well as having a psychedelic experience.

Screens on May 29 at the Roxie Theatre

Tribute To Michael Ballhaus

Come catch a double feature tribute to recently departed Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus. Making his mark with over a dozen collaborations with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ballhaus came to Hollywood and brought his kinetic camerawork to his work with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, and John Sayles. This program features the acclaimed Scorsese gangster drama Goodfellas and Ballhaus’ last collaboration with Fassbinder, the classic The Marriage Of Maria Braun.

Screens May 31 at the Castro Theatre

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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