On Screen: The Lighthouse, Dolemite is My Name, O.G. Godzilla, The Sound of Linda Ronstadt’s Voice, plus Guy Maddin

A relatively odd week for new mainstream releases , but there are plenty of independent and archival presentations to keep you busy when you’re not trick-or-treating. Below, some of the films that your friends at the SunBreak are most excited about, with picks from Chris (CB) and Tony (TK), one of which has already inspired its own Grooming Kit.

  • The Lighthouse (2019 | USA | 109 minutes | Robert Eggers)
    Director Robert Eggers follows up his dark, atmospheric horror movie The VVitch with a tale of two lightkeepers in 19th Century New England whose isolation from the rest of the world leads to hallucinatory madness and, I’m told, flatulence. Stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are two of the finest actors working today so I’d watch them read from the phonebook, but this one-location, black-and-white, thriller looks like the type of movie that will haunt me for the next few weeks. I can’t wait. (CB)
  • Dolemite is my Name (2019 | USA | 118 minutes | Greg Brewer)
    It opened locally last week, but Greg Brewer’s biopic about foul-mouthed standup comic-turned-unlikely-blaxploitation action hero Rudy Ray “Dolemite” Moore has been a critical smash. A reputedly phenomenal star turn by Eddie Murphy serves as focal point, and the script’s by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who’ve made a career out of really strong biographical features: they’re the scribes behind Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt, among others. (Ark Lodge Cinemas,  SIFF Cinema Uptown, October 24  – 31). (TK)
  • Godzilla  (1954 | Japan | 96  minutes | Ishiro Honda)
    Godzilla is such an indelible pop culture figure that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it all started with this somber black and white horror movie, directed with surprising atmosphere by Ishiro Honda, who directed scores of kaiju (Japanese monster movies) in between gigs as Akira Kurosawa’s longtime second unit director. (Grand Illusion Cinema, October 25 – 28, 31) (TK)
  • Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of my Voice  (1954 | USA | 96  minutes | Ron Epstein, Jerry Friedman)
    For decades, Linda Ronstadt was the Golden Girl of California pop, with a bell-clear voice of unerring loveliness that lent itself well to a broad swath of pop music styles. Epstein’s  and Friedman’s doc about the woman could be a little deeper, but it remains a solid chronicle of a singer who remains strangely underrated, despite a couple of decades of chart success.. (Ark Lodge Cinema, October 25 –  31) (TK)
  • Running tonight through November 3, Northwest Film Forum presents a mini-retrospective of the work of Canadian auteur Guy Maddin. Along with some of his better-known features (Archangel, Careful, and My Winnipeg), this series includes a new storytelling project called Seances, a cloud-driven short film experience driven by an “indefatigable film-generating-and-destroying algorithm” that makes each single viewing a unique and unrepeatable experience. These film events are generated from material starring Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, Udo Kier, Geraldine Chaplin, Maria de Medeiros, and Elina Löwensohn, among tens of others. Drop in for one seance for $7 or see three for $15. Maddin will be around for all non-Seance screenings.