A weekly roundup of what else is showing around town.
(2006) (Shown on film): A big hit in France, Lisa Alessandrin's rom-com closes out the '07-'08 Jewish Film Festival. Like the recent Lebanese pic Caramel, Gorgeous! cribs the Sex and the City template--group of friends balancing various problems--for a cinematically underrepresented group. This time it's Sephardic Jewish women, though by all accounts it's more fizz than depth. (Not reviewed.) Sat., May 3, 8:30pm; Sun., May 4, 2pm; Mon., May 5, 7pm.
$5-$7, unless otherwise noted. 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. www.ihousephilly.org The Blood (O Sangue)
(1989) (Shown on film): Not long after I-House books a welter of Thai master Apichatpong Weerasethakul films comes this retro on another of today's cinephilic sensations: Portuguese super-minimalist Pedro Costa. Next week you can catch the Philadelphia premiere of his biggest film, the stripped-down slum epic Colossal Youth. Till then, don't even think of ignoring his first two films (see below), which find the future video-camera-wielder shooting in some of the lushest 35 mm you've ever seen. Borrowing the stark blacks and milky whites of Jacques Tourneur and Night of the Hunter, The Blood, Costa's precocious feature debut, is a genre overhaul about two brothers and a young girl who form a makeshift family unit after the former's father walks out on them. Not that you can ever be totally sure what happens. Most of the big plot developments are truncated or outright elided, giving the film the feeling that it's hovering between dream and living nightmare. Preceding The Blood will be a sort of sneak preview of the minimalism to come: Costa's 2005 short Ne Change Rien, in which French actress/chanteuse Jeanne Balibar (recently of The Duchess of Langeais) croons three songs in three static black-and-white video shots with varying degrees of both closeness to its subject and visual clarity. B+ Tues., May 6, 7pm.
Down to Earth
(1994) (Shown on film): Costa graduated to a name international cast (Isaach De Bankol� and Edith Scob) with his second feature, in which a young nurse gets stuck in a small Portuguese village after finding the home of a comatose worker injured at his Lisbon job. More on this--and the director's four other features and plenty of shorts--next week. (Not reviewed.) Wed., May 7, 7pm.
Free with purchase of dinner. Point of Destination Cafe, 6460 Greene St. www.reelblack.com Neo Ned
(2005) (Shown on DVD): With a plot detailing the romance between a neo-Nazi (Jeremy Renner) and a black woman who thinks she can channel Hitler's spirit (Gabrielle Union), there's only one way for Van Fischer's indie to go but up. Luckily this festival fave--a hit at both Tribecca and Slamdance--goes far higher than expected. With refreshingly tiny exceptions, Fischer's not out to make big honking points on racial relations in America so much as to loosely follow its characters, who drag the story in some unexpected directions. Renner, terrific in the likes of Dahmer and The Assassination of Jesse James et al., in particular gives a disarmingly charming performance, always reminding us that his (mostly good-natured) energy is simply misdirected. Fischer more or less follows Renner's lead, which guides the film even through some of its rockier third-act patches. With Cary Elwes, Sally Kirkland, Ethan Suplee and far too little of onetime Manson portrayer Steve Railsback. B- Fri., May 2, 7pm.
$3. 1003 Arch St. 215.922.LIVE. www.thetroc.com Nacho Libre
(2006) (Shown on DVD): Jack Black is fat. Mexicans are inherently funny. Repeat for 91 minutes. C+ Mon., May 5, 7:30pm.
Wooden Shoe Books
Free. 508 S. Fifth St. 215.413.0999. www.woodenshoebooks.com Young, Jewish and Left
(Shown on DVD): Irit Reinheimer and Konnie Chameides doc examines the many outside of mainstream Judaism. (Not reviewed.) Sat., May 3, 7:30pm.
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