A weekly roundup of what else is screening around town.
$3.50-$8.50. 108 E. Butler Ave. 215.345.7855. www.amblertheater.org
(2007) (Shown on DVD): Ostensibly meant to show the harsh realities of living way up north, this doc cutes up walruses and a family of polar bears, complete with a fart scene. You know, for the kids. Queen Latifah narrates. (Not reviewed.) Sat., March 1, 11am.
$3.50-$9.25 (unless otherwise noted). 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. 610.527.9898. www.brynmawrfilm.org
Empire of the Sun
(1987) (Shown on DVD): On the heels of One Book, One Philadelphia comes One Film, One Philadelphia, which, like Dave Eggers' What Is the What, focuses on living through war. Adapted by Tom Stoppard from J.G. Ballard's quasi-memoir, Steven Spielberg's early attempt at seriousness finds a rich British boy residing in Shanghai (Christian Bale, giving a great child performance), separated from his parents after the Japanese invasion. Be sure to catch one of the many screenings over the second week; if you can't make any of them be sure to rent it. For more events check the site. B- Wed., Feb. 27, 7pm.
The Secret of NIMH
(1982) (Shown on DVD): After famously leading a group of animators away from Disney, Don Bluth (An American Tail) premiered this vibrantly animated feature, which only slightly tones down the Robert C. O'Brien original, featuring escaped lab rats, a widow protagonist and even someone dropping the D-word. B Sat., March 1, 11am.
(2005) (Shown on DVD): Making it to Philly after a brief Manhattan run, Joseph Cedar's Israeli war drama focuses on the Israeli Defense Forces, who occupied the titular Lebanese castle from 1982 all the way to 2000. Cedar's film catches soldiers in the final months before pull-out and the absurdities of following through on military tradition when said tradition is about to become extinct. (Not reviewed.) Sun., March 2, 7pm.
Into Great Silence
(2006) (Shown on film): Not so much slow as purposefully inert, Philip Gr�ning's doc on the Chartreuse Monastery in the French Alps forgoes facts, background and even interviews (except at the end) in order to fully immerse the audience in the non-lives of monks. Transporting stuff, even (especially?) for the merrily godless, though its total lack of shape is bound to suffer when removed from the cathedral of a movie theater. Hell, I'm not sure why it was even released to DVD. Consider this screening a blessing from God herself. B+ Wed., March 5, 7pm.
Free. Screening room at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library, 8711 Germantown Ave. 215.248.0977. www.armcinema25.com
Lancelot du Lac
(1974) (Shown on film): Late in his career French minimalist Robert Bresson (Pickpocket) tackled the Arthurian legend with predictably out-there results: There's no Excalibur, no Merlin, no magic--just a rotting empire. Set in the final days after the pursuit of the Holy Grail has proved futile, du Lac finds its titular knight returning to Camelot right when a series of in-fights literally put the kingdom on the scrap heap of history. Bresson almost seems to be smirking as he puts his fondness for elusive plotting and flat actors in the legend--a midfilm tournament scene is almost comically whittled down--and the film calmly builds to a brazenly elided climax. Monty Python dorks take note: The Black Knight scene wouldn't have happened without this one's gory opening. A- Tues., March 4, 7:30pm.