opening this week
THE CONSPIRATOR Director Robert Redford examines a little-remembered twist in the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination: the trial of accused conspirator Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) in a military tribunal. James McAvoy ( Atonement) stars as the Union war hero and peacetime lawyer who reluctantly undertakes Surratt’s defense and comes to see the issue as nothing less than the sacrifice of constitutional principles to the expediency of calming national fears in a time of crisis. There are clear parallels to post-9/11 America, but first and foremost, this is a sharp-eyed, accurate, and emotionally powerful historical drama. Rated PG-13. 123 minutes. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) See review, Page 44. KABOOM The latest film by Gregg Araki ( Mysterious Skin) looks quite a lot like Donnie Darko, what with the brooding teenager, the end-times imagery, and the people in creepy animal masks, but this film has more neon colors, attractive people, gore, and sex (of both the gay and hetero varieties). Thomas Dekker stars. Not rated. 86 minutes. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
THE LEOPARD Time and restoration of more than half of the 40 minutes that were ripped from the Englishdubbed 1963 release of The Leopard have erased any doubts as to the greatness of Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece. Based on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel of his aristocratic family’s history in mid-19th-century Italy, The Leopard is a tale of a vanishing world, an achingly beautiful hymn to values that may have been wrongheaded but still reflected nobility. Burt Lancaster was a controversial choice for the Sicilian prince, but his performance radiates majesty. The restored footage and original Italian language, along with a beautifully refurbished 35 mm print, would probably have softened Visconti’s disavowal of the film upon its initial American release. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, only. Not rated. 185 minutes. In Italian with subtitles.
CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)
MODERN TIMES Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, and starred in this silent classic (made during the sound era!) about a pair of lonely nobodies (Chaplin and Paulette Goddard) who try to make it during the Great Depression. This is a sweet, funny comedy that features the last appearance of Chaplin’s Tramp character and introduced audiences to the musical standard “Smile.” Even today, kids should like it. 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, only. Not rated. 87 minutes. Lensic
Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott)
ON THE BOWERY This lushly textured film is a restoration of Lionel Rogosin’s groundbreaking black-andwhite slice of Skid Row culture, originally released in 1957. Booze and banter flow freely as a crafty old guzzler is torn between his conflicting desires to fleece or help a young man just learning the unforgiving ways of the Bowery. The film blends fly-on-the-wall quasi-documentary footage with staged scenes in which the characters, played by nonprofessional actors, re-create episodes drawn from their own lives. It is paired with a making-of companion piece called
The Perfect Team, shot by Rogosin’s son Michael and featuring interviews with several of Rogosin’s colleagues and critics as well as doc filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya. Not rated. 112 minutes total. The
Screen, Santa Fe. ( Jon Bowman) See review, Page 38.
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN The series of high-definition screenings of performances from afar continues with a presentation of The Magic Flute at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17, and 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, only. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
RIO After Jesse Eisenberg’s Oscar-nominated turn in The Social Network, his career has gone to the birds. He voices an animated macaw named Blu, who is uprooted from his life as a pet in Minnesota and forced back into the wild in Brazil. Blu meets another macaw (voiced by Anne Hathaway), and they try to fly away home. Rated G. 96 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe;
DreamCatcher, Española. Screens in 3-D only at Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
SCREAM 4 What’s your favorite scary movie? That’s the central question posed by the killer in this movie, and in 1996 the answer, for a lot of people, was the original Scream. Director Wes Craven takes another stab at the franchise, along with stars Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette. Since the appearance of the first film, there have been many new horror trends to incorporate into the mythos, so it could turn out killer. Rated R. 111 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
THE UPSETTER: THE LIFE AND MUSIC
OF LEE SCRATCH PERRY In this Benicio Del Toro-narrated documentary, filmmakers Adam Bhala Lough and Ethan Higbee attempt to trace the life and career of Lee “Scratch” Perry, a notable pioneer of reggae music. Perry’s story is one of a creative genius sidelined by addiction, ego, and strange behavior that may be the result of a serious mental illness. Unfortunately, The Upsetter seems more interested in putting Perry’s physical and mental deficits on parade, freak-show style, rather than examining his psyche,
To cell and back: from left, Juno Temple, Thomas Dekker, and Haley Bennett in Kaboom at the CCA Cinematheque