On Screen: Hedwig at Twenty, Sound & Vision, Serial Mom, The Crazies, Ray & Liz

This week’s mainstream new releases include previously-reviewed Blinded By the Light (a heart-on-it-sleeve biopic about the life-changing powers of Bruce Springsteen), Where’d You Go Bernadette (Richard Linklater and Cate Blanchett take on Maria Semple’s Seattle-set novel), and The Good Boys (a comedy about boys who are maybe not always good? just a guess).

There’s also the aforementioned North Bend Film Festival for those who want to head east and get weird.

Other options outside of the multiplex:

  • Put on your make up: Hedwig and the Angry Inch is turning 20. The gender-bending rock musical has been given the Criterion Collection treatment with a new 4K restoration and accompanying essay from Stephanie Zacharek. Writer/director/star, John Cameron Mitchell will be at SIFF Uptown to introduce the film on Saturday August 17 (6:00 pm); you can sing along to more screenings of the film through next week.
  • Cinerama continues to pass the summer doldrums with another mini-festival of classics. For the next two weeks, the theme is “Sound and Vision“, which basically means movies that look cool or have great soundtracks, which is reason enough to bring back this collection of films to the giant screen. Friday has Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pan’s Labyrinth; Saturday, Labyrinth, Back to the Future, and Inception; Sunday brings back recent biopic Amazing Grace and a dystopian duo of the Fifth Element, Mad Max: Fury Road (Black & Chrome); Monday and Tuesday are dedicated to the recently remastered 4K restoration of Francis Ford Copolla’s Apocalypse Now: Final Cut; Wednesday lightens up with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice; Thursday has two sprawling unconventional family masterpieces by unrelated Andersons, Wes’s The Royal Tenenbaums and Paul Thomas’s Boogie Nights.

Chris recommends:

  • Serial Mom This biting satire of suburbia starring Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, and a young Ricki Lake is my hero John Waters’s stab at making something resembling a “respectable” film. It’s also hilarious and still very much a John Waters film. The new Beacon Cinema in Columbia City is giving you three opportunities to catch this unique film as part of “You Only Moved the Headstones: The Unburied Violence of Suburbia” series. (August 18, 20, 21, Beacon Cinema)

Tony recommends:

  • The Crazies. His Living Dead movies get the lion’s share of the attention, but the late George Romero’s 1973 shocker is a pretty effective paranoid thriller in its own right. A military biological weapon’s accidentally unleashed in a backwoods American town, and it turns the infected into homicidal maniacs. Romero’s manifestation of his acrid distrust of authority in general–and the US Government in particular–remains (maddeningly) timely. (August 16, Blue Mouse Theatre)
  • Ray and Liz. Award-winning photographer Richard Billingham steps behind the movie camera for his first feature, an unflinching but reputedly incredibly well-done evocation of his childhood in a rundown Birmingham flat. (August 16, 17, 18,  Grand Illusion Cinema)