Cinematheque . June 26-30: Pootie Tang, Hipsters, The Fairy & More!
Hilarious POOTIE TANG concludes salute to Paramount Pictures' 100th anniversary! Lambasted upon release as everything from a "train wreck" (Roger Ebert) to "audience abuse" (The Onion A.V. Club), Louis C.K.'s dumb, tasteless 2001 movie POOTIE TANG is now considered an alt-comedy classic. Derived from a sketch on The Chris Rock Show, it tells of a young black man rises from a small town outside Gary, Indiana to become an ultra-cool ghetto folk icon: ladies' man, pop star, and crime-fighting superhero. But when he warns inner-city kids about foods and substances that are bad for them, white corporate America plots to compromise and emasculate him. Lance Crouther, Wanda Sykes, and Chris Rock star. POOTIE TANG concludes our centenary salute to Paramount Pictures (in a 35mm print) on Thursday and Saturday. Here's the trailer. The near-silent sight-gag comedy of Keaton and Tati lives on in delightful THE FAIRY The 2011 French-Belgian film THE FAIRY is the latest film by Belgium-based pantomime artists and clowns Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy (who previously directed the very funny ICEBERG). THE FAIRY is another whimsical, absurdist, near-wordless, candy-colored comedy that pays tribute to the sight gags of Jacques Tati, Jerry Lewis, and Buster Keaton. Set in Le Havre, the film focuses on a hotel night clerk who registers a woman claiming to be able to grant him three wishes. But after Wishes 1 & 2, she vanishes? NPR says that "THE FAIRY continues the French new wave of near-silent cinema." It flits into town on Thursday and Friday. Russian musical HIPSTERS focuses on 1950s Soviet youth enamored of American music, dancing, and fashion Winner of Russia's "Oscar" for Best Picture of the Year (and an audience favorite at the 2010 Cleveland Int'l Film Festival), Valery Todorovsky's candy-colored Cold War musical HIPSTERS is set in post-Stalinist 1955 USSR. It focuses on a group of rebellious young people enamored of American fashion, dancing, and jazz ("hipsters"), and on one outsider, a young Communist party member, who raids their hangout. But when he falls for a cute hipster chick, he converts to the lifestyle himself, taking up the saxophone and growing a mean pompadour. The musical numbers are wonderful in this singular look at Soviet society, which shows in a 35mm color & scope print on Friday and Saturday. SURVIVING PROGRESS features Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, and others Is human progress always a good thing? Or could some advances with short-term benefits but long-term liabilities be hastening civilization's collapse? Renowned thinkers like Stephen Hawking, David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, and Margaret Atwood address these questions in Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks' provocative new film SURVIVING PROGRESS , inspired by Ronald Wright's bestseller A Short History of Progress. Variety says that the film "does a remarkable job weaving together big ideas in a crisp, coherent, easy-to-take fashion?Never becomes informational overload." See it Friday or Saturday. Spend AN EVENING WITH GEORGES MÉLIÈS and a CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN tonight at the Capitol Theatre! Tonight the Cinematheque returns to the Capitol Theatre (1390 W. 65th at Detroit) to present two different shows. At 7:00 pm you can spend AN EVENING WITH GEORGES MÉLIÈS , the French film pioneer of HUGO fame. Méliès' contributions to cinema will be detailed in the new documentary THE EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGE, the first part of the Méliès program, which will be followed by the Cleveland theatrical premiere of Méliès' newly restored 1902 classic A TRIP TO THE MOON. At 8:45 pm tonight (for a separate admission), the extraterrestrial theme continues with the Cleveland premiere of Madeleine Olnek's new low-tech outer space comedy CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME . A Skype Q&A with Olnek (live from the planets of Zots) will follow the screening. Regular Cinematheque admission prices apply for both shows. THIS WEEKEND Thu., June 28, at 6:00 pm Sat., June 30, at 9:15 pm Louis C.K.'s indescribable POOTIE TANG Thu., June 28, at 7:45 pm Fri., June 29, at 5:30 pm Whimsical French near-silent THE FAIRY Fri., June 29, at 7:25 pm Sat., June 30, at 5:00 pm Provocative doc SURVIVING PROGRESS Fri., June 29, at 9:15 pm Sat., June 30, at 6:50 pm Russian musical set in 1950s HIPSTERS NEXT WEEK Thu., July 5, at 5:30 pm Fri., July 6, at 7:35 pm SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION Thu., July 5, at 7:45 pm THE HUNTER Fri., July 6, at 5:30 pm Sat., July 7, at 8:50 pm GOD BLESS AMERICA Fri., July 6, at 9:50 pm Sat., July 7, at 7:00 pm COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE Sat., July 7, at 5:15 pm JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI