On Screen: Oscar Shorts, Atlantics, Botero, Citizen K, After Hours

This weekend’s Super Bowl distractions include the continuation of Cinerama’s Oscar Prep Marathon with Parasite, Uncut Gems (snubbed, but worthy!), Little Women (stereotypical, if accurate, Big Game counter programming), and Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood still on the docket. Elsewhere, there’s more Oscar Catch-up in the short subject categories as well as some other suggestions from Chris (CB) and Morgen (MS).

  • 2020 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated and Live Action
    If Cinerama’s full-length watch-o-rama isn’t enough for you (or maybe too much?), then you can head over to SIFF for the Oscar nominated short film programs. The short films are always the trickiest part of the Oscar pool, so this will give you a leg-up on the competition. You’ll get a delightful and/or very serious taste of what the short-film world had to offer last year plus a few others that SIFF wanted you to see regardless of their nomination status. The animated package is well worth your time just to see Hair Love, one of my favorites from this year. (SIFF Cinema Uptown has Live Action and Animated, AMC 10 has the short documentaries Tickets/Locations) –MS
  • Atlantics (2019 | France | 104 minutes | Mati Diop)
    Even though this is the first full-length from director Mati Diop, it’s intriguing as hell and honestly I’m not sure I can even sum it up and do it justice at the same time. A story of love, deception, manipulation, and escape all wrapped up in a dreamy haze with more than a touch of nightmarish darkness. Set in Senegal, two lovers are thwarted by an arranged marriage and while one tries to escape to a better life, he and his fellows disappear. Politics and fantasy, romance and villainy all collide in this fascinating film. Yea, I told you it was hard to explain but you want to see it now, don’t you? While you can stream it on Netflix as we speak, this will definitely be better on the big screen viewed with friends (or friendly strangers). (Beacon Theater, January 31 through February 6) –MS
  • Botero (2018 | Canada | 84 minutes | Don Millar)
    This loving documentary focuses on the life of the famous painter Fernando Botero. It was one of my favorite movies to play at SIFF earlier this year, where I wrote, “Director Don Millar is a fan of Botero’s work, and it shows through this film that includes interviews with Botero himself, as well as his family. It’s a beautiful, and moving film about this popular (and populist) artist.” See this movie this weekend and then see Botero’s Adam statue at Fourth and Lenora across the street from the aforementioned Cinerama and, umm, pay your respects. (Northwest Film Forum, January 30 through February 2) –CB
  • After Hours (1985 | USA | 97 minutes | Martin Scorsese)
    One of Martin Scorsese’s most underrated films, this one stars Griffin Dunne as a yuppie (it was the 1980’s) who faces one misfortune after another on his way home from work one night. It’s one of Scorsese’s most enjoyable films to watch (and about half the running time of The Irishman). Did I mention both Cheech and Chong are in it? (Beacon Theater, Sunday, February 2 and Wednesday, February 5) –CB
  • Citizen K (2019 | USA/UK | 126 minutes | Alex Gibney)
    Alex Gibney is one of the best and most recognizable documentarians working right now (Morgan Neville is one of his few peers), and after exploring Theranos (The Inventor) and Scientology (Going Clear), Gibney focuses his attention on Mikhail Khodorovsky, once thought to be the richest man in Russia and who is now one of Putin’s top critics. See this movie at the Grand Illusion before it heads to Amazon. (Grand Illusion Cinema, January 31 through February 13) –CB