From June 10 to 16, moviegoers CAN see films from one of today’s most influential indie studios on the big screen at Cinemagic. The theater is devoting an entire week to movies released by A24, the company behind Moonlight, Ex Machina and Lady Bird.
But what to see? Where to start? To prepare Portland moviegoers for the big week, here’s a rundown of what Cinemagic’s A24 Studio Showcase has to offer:
Writer-director Alex Garland’s feminist horror flick confused a lot of filmgoers, but it’s worth wrestling with. Jessie Buckley is terrific as a widow tormented by an army of menacing males (all played by the terrifying Rory Kinnear) at an English country estate, but the best reason to see the film is Garland’s mastery of delicious suspense. 7 pm June 10, 5:15 pm June 11-16.
Ex Machina (2015)
Another great Garland film. Domhnall Gleeson plays a hapless techie summoned to the home of a Zuckerberg-like creep, played to egomaniacal perfection by Oscar Isaac. He’s created a humanlike android named Ava (an ethereal Alicia Vikander) who slyly turns the tables on the two men. 9:10 pm June 10.
Safdie Brothers Double Feature: Good Time (2017) and Uncut Gems (2019)
Personally, I can’t stand the in-your-face, pseudo-Scorsese swagger of the films by the brothers Josh and Benny Safdie. But they have plenty of passionate fans who won’t want to miss these screenings. Good Time stars Robert Pattinson as a lowlife who crosses countless legal and moral lines to protect his mentally disabled brother; Uncut Gems stars Adam Sandler as a jeweler with a gambling addiction. 7:30 pm June 11.
Lady Bird (2017)
Is Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is overpraised? Arguably, since Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen (2016), starring Hailee Steinfeld, is basically a more uproarious and emotional version of the same story. That said, Lady Bird remains an icon of late 2010s American indie cinema. Saoirse Ronan plays a teenager with a tormented relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) and her best friend (Beanie Feldstein). 3:15 pm June 12.
Green Room (2015)
Several things make this Oregon-filmed thriller directed by Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) notable, including one of the last performances of the late Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart’s turn as a white supremacist. 7:30 pm June 12.
You will never look at bugs or telephone poles the same way again after seeing this exceptionally nasty horror film starring Toni Collette, playing a mother whose experiences with grief and the supernatural reach sickening heights. The film was the directorial debut of Ari Aster, whose next movie (2019′s Midsommar) was even better. 7:30 pm June 13.
Swiss Army Man (2016)
If this were an episode of Friends, it’d be called, “The One Where Daniel Radcliffe Is a Farting Corpse.” Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who helmed the recent Michelle Yeoh-starring hit Everything Everywhere All at Once (also an A24 joint). 7:30 pm June 14.
The Lighthouse (2019)
Philosophical intrigue and bawdy wit from director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Northman). Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play two men descending into madness at a lighthouse, which is captured in sumptuous black-and-white by cinematographer Jarin Blaschke (who scored a much-deserved Oscar nomination). 7:30 pm June 15.
The perfect way to end the showcase. In Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning masterpiece, we experience three chapters in the life of Chiron (played at various ages by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes). It’s a tough, lovely and lyrical reflection on what it means to be Black and queer in America. 7:30 pm June 16.
SEE IT: Tickets are available at https://www.thecinemagictheater.com/a24-showcase.