Get Your Reps In: The Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” Is Seriously Funny

What to see at Portland’s repertory theaters.

A Serious Man (2009)

Michael Stuhlbarg stars in the Coen brothers’ seriously underrated black comedy as a serious Minnesotan Jewish physics teacher in the middle of a serious crisis of faith and family. Screens as part of Cinemagic’s Roger Deakins Retrospective, a tribute to the Oscar-winning cinematographer. Cinemagic, Sept. 14.

Daisies (1966)

After two women (both named Marie) have had enough of being “good,” they decide to rebel by pulling off a series of absurd pranks and schemes. Quickly banned by the Czech government upon release for “depicting the wanton,” this avant-garde, off-the-wall feminist romp from director Vera Chytilová is as playful as it is radical. New 4K restoration! Living Room, Sept. 14-15.

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s eponymous novel, this film noir from Alfred Hitchcock centers on, well, strangers on a train. When an unhappily married tennis player and a charming psychopath meet on the rails, the latter convinces the former that, if they each want to “get rid” of someone, they should “exchange” murders, and that way neither will be caught. Living Room, Sept. 14-15.

Xanadu (1980)

When a frustrated artist (Michael Beck) meets his literal dream girl (Olivia Newton-John), a Muse sent from Olympus to reignite his creativity, he becomes inspired to create a nightclub called Xanadu. The inimitable Gene Kelly co-stars in his final film performance, memorably tap dancing while on roller skates. Screens as a tribute to the late Newton-John. Hollywood, Sept. 15.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

In Spielberg’s seminal blockbuster, an unrealistically handsome archaeology professor (Harrison Ford) suffering from ophidiophobia eschews teaching to hunt down supernatural artifacts. Our hero competes against the Nazis to secure the biblical Ark of the Covenant, which is said to make armies invincible (as long as you don’t look into it). Hollywood, Sept. 16, 18-19.


Academy: National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Sept. 14-15. Cinemagic: No Country for Old Men (2007), Sept. 15. Clinton: Black Waves: Experimental Cinema in Yugoslavia, Sept. 14. Twister (1996), Sept. 17. Hollywood: Space: 1999 (1975) and UFO (1970), Sept. 14. Top of the Heap (1972), Sept. 16. The Matrix (1999), Sept. 16, 20. RBG (2018), Sept. 17. The Shining (1980), Sept. 17-18. The Mist (2007), Sept. 18. Supersonic Man (1979), Sept. 20. PAM CUT: Wildness (2012), Sept. 17.