Inland Empire David Lynch is the reason why I fell (and still am) in love with the cinema. For 30 years, he has continuously made the most creative and hauntingly beautiful films in the world. His new film is shot entirely on high definition cameras and runs close to three frickin’ hours. Lynchian faves Laura Dern and Harry Dean Stanton are back, and there's even a small role by Michael Paré of Streets of Fire fame! (Premieres at the New York Film Festival in September.)
Old Joy Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Will Oldham) shines in Kelly Reichardt's precious Northwest gem that perfectly captures what it's like to be a man-child in your late 20s and early 30s. This tiny transcendental treat follows two friends on a camping trip outside of Portland and allows you to tag along with their slow entrance to growing up — and apart. They don't make films like this anymore. In fact, have they ever? (Opens Oct. 20)
What Is It? Crispin Glover's disturbing directorial debut contains an entire cast of actors with Down syndrome, an overabundance of snails, breasts, and Nazi paraphernalia, and was filmed on smoky sets that are a true flashback to the experimental, exploitative 1970s. It screened at Sundance two years ago, and I've been dying to get traumatized ever since. (Trailer at www.crispinglover.com; Oct. 20–22, Castro Theatre)
Jesse Hawthorne Ficks programs the "Midnites for Maniacs" series (which is hosting the What Is It? screening) at the Castro.