Besides Batman, what to see this week

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Freida Pinto in Michael Winterbottoms Trishna
  • Freida Pinto in Michael Winterbottom's Trishna
I'm writing this from a steel-encased bunker 200 feet below ground level in New Mexico, where I've been relocated by the federal government following my bad review of The Dark Knight Rises. I'm not sure when I'll be able to come home, and the authorities won't allow me to contact my wife, so if you see her, please tell her I'm OK. It's lonely down here, and there's nothing to do besides watch DVDs on a flat-screen TV. Cruelly, the only titles they have are Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and a bunch of other superhero blockbusters. I wonder if this will be my life from now on, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed by despair. But I know in my heart that I did the right thing, because the new Batman movie is a dud.

You're much better off checking out Trishna, Michael Winterbottom's novel reimagining of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles as a 21st century tale about a poor country girl in Rajasthan, India. And we have new capsule reviews of Brave, the Pixar animation about a Scottish girl who casts an evil spell on her mother; Farewell, My Queen, a drama about Marie Antionette from French director Benoit Jaquot (A Tout de Suite); First Position, a documentary about young ballet dancers making their way toward an international competition in New York; Into the Wake, a suspense film by local talents John Mossman and Tim Miller; Sherlock Holmes, starring John Barrymore, which opens the Silent Film Society of Chicago's summer festival; and Soundings: Films by James Herbert, which collects experimental shorts by the man who directed most of R.E.M.'s videos in the 80s.

Best bets for repertory: Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark's Century Centre; Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (2004), Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (1997), Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday at Film Center; and Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet (1951), next Thursday at Doc Films.

Also this weekend, Music Box hosts Sing-a-Long Mary Poppins on Saturday and Sunday, and Chicago Cultural Center presents the Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Festival, a collection of pilot episodes for TV shows that never went anywhere (except, of course, the Cultural Center). And Music Box hosts Cinemapocalypse, a two-day festival of exploitation stuff programmed by the Alamo Draft House in Austin, Texas. Included are Vice Squad (1981) and Lady Terminator (1988); for a complete schedule click here.



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