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Alternative Cinema Weekend
It may not be the film festival, but there's no shortage of interesting movie choices this weekend
Vincent Cassel in 'Mesrine: Killer Instinct'

Savannah still might not have an independent movie theater, but for fans of alternative cinema, the lineup of local film screenings this weekend might pass as a reasonable facsimile of an art house theater.

The Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah, the SCAD Cinema Circle and the Lucas Theatre’s Southern Circuit Tour of Filmmakers will host a total of four screenings over five days this week. The diversity of their offerings are enough to make even the most diehard cinephiles reach for some popcorn.

Although the screenings will turn this week into its own unofficial film festival, which PFS founder Jim Reed dubbed “Alternative Cinema Weekend,” there was no pre–meditated planning for the screenings to coincide, but hopes are that the screenings will help boost attendance

“By and large, most folks tend to only frequent (or even be aware of) one or two particular venues or film societies,” says Reed. “There are important, one–day–only film screenings taking place year–round in town, not just once a year during the Savannah Film Fest.”

The weekend kicks off with And Everything is Going Fine, a documentary by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) about renowned monologist Spalding Gray (Swimming to Cambodia) who passed away in 2004. The film received rave reviews from audiences at Slamdance and SXSW, among other festivals, in 2010.

And Everything is Going Fine will screen at Muse Arts Warehouse on Friday as a benefit for both the PFS and Muse, which have joined forces for the ongoing “Movies Savannah Missed” series curated by Reed.

“JinHi Soucy Rand, who runs Muse Arts Warehouse, and myself are huge Spalding Gray fans, so we leapt at the opportunity to bring this to Savannah, as it would otherwise never come here,” he says.

On Saturday, Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece Metropolis will be shown as part of the SCAD Cinema Circle’s 2010–11 season of films. Even if you’ve managed to see it in the 84 years since its original release, this weekend’s screening is a rare opportunity to catch it on the big screen.

“There is no comparison between viewing a film at home and seeing it projected on the big screen surrounded by an engaged audience,” says Sheila Bolda, the Programming Manager for the Trustees. “The feeling of being encompassed by a film in a large dark theater with very few distractions or interruptions is an essential cinematic experience.”

An allegory about revolutionary power of the proletariat, Metropolis is set in a futuristic city where workers toil underground while the wealthy live in luxurious skyscrapers. The story follows a young man from the upper crust who goes underground to see how the other half lives.

True to its mission “to provide film lovers and students with an enriched viewing experience of first–class, award–winning and cutting–edge films from around the world,” SCAD Cinema Circle will screen the recently restored version of the film, which includes footage that had been lost from previous releases of the film over the years.

From 1920s Germany to 1960s France, Sunday’s screening will take film lovers back to Muse for the Savannah debut of Mesrine: Killer Instinct, the recent bio–pic of French gangster Jacques Mesrine that has drawn comparisons to genre–defining classics like Goodfellas.

Starring Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Eastern Promises), the stylish film is the first of a two part series about the legendary gangster who was France’s “public enemy #1” during the 1960s and ’70s. Mesrine: Killer Instinct follows the early days of young man, recently returned home from war and drawn in by the easy money of criminal life. The second installment in the series will screen at Muse later this month.

Following a brief respite Monday, the film–tastic week culminates with a screening of Woodpecker at the Lucas Theatre that will include an appearance by filmmaker Alex Karpovsky.

Woodpecker is a faux–documentary about a man searching the Arkansas bayou for the elusive ivory–billed woodpecker who goes to great (often comical) lengths to spot the bird that many believe to be extinct.

For an indie with a small budget, the film had a good run on the festival circuit and was critically praised by Variety and Film Threat, among others. (For a closer look at Woodpecker, check out Bill DeYoung’s interview with Karpovsky in this issue).

And Everything is Going Fine

When: Friday, January 7 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Where: Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 D Louisville Rd.

Cost: $10


Delete - Merge Up


When: Saturday, January 8 at 7 p.m.

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: $6–8


Delete - Merge Up

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

When: Sunday, January 9 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Where: Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 D Louisville Rd.

Cost: $7