Opening this week
ALIEN OUTPOST This modest slice of smalltime sci-fi centers on a documentary crew at a military outpost in Afghanistan some time after aliens have invaded from outer space. There are parallels with current events, but the film is mainly a chance for special-effects artist Jabbar Raisani to show the world he has some writing and directing chops and can destroy the world on a small budget, too. However, it’s mostly just men running around and barking at each other. Not rated. 90 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema , Santa Fe. (Robert Ker)
BIANCA COME IL LATTE, ROSSA COME IL SANGUE Sixteen-year-old Leo (Filippo Scicchitano) has fallen hopelessly in love with a beautiful redhead named Beatrice (Gaia Weiss). When he learns that Beatrice is dying from leukemia, Leo feels caught between life’s painful highs and lows. He finds inspiration in his philosophy teacher (Luca Argentero) and sets out on a quest to save her. This is a funny, heartwarming, if sometimes saccharine coming-of-age tale, screened as part of the New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival. 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, only. Not rated. 102 minutes. In Italian with subtitles. Jean Cocteau Cinema , Santa Fe. (Michael Abatemarco) THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY Director Peter Strickland’s third feature is a potent, sensual film that twists and turns through a dream world of charged sexuality, role-playing, and insects. Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) plays the submissive part in her relationship with the stern Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen), but this is only an elaborate game set in a world inhabited solely by female entomologists. The “duke” of the title is not a man at all but a butterfly. The film avoids all reference to a specific time or place, reinforcing the notion that nothing we see on-screen is quite real but, rather, part of a sexualized fantasy. Not rated. 104 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts , Santa Fe. (Michael Abatemarco) See review, Page 48.
JUPITER ASCENDING In 1999, Andy and Lana Wachowski changed blockbuster filmmaking with the monster hit The Matrix . Since then, they’ve tried to reclaim that magic to little avail. Their latest effort stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis as two people in the distant future who attempt to overthrow a tyrannical reign. The effects look impressive, but the movie was bumped to February from last July, which is never a good sign. Rated PG-13. 127 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14 , Santa Fe. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher , Española. (Not reviewed)
THE MET LIVE IN HD: LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN Vittorio Grigolo stars in this staging of Jacques Offenbach’s opera, which is broadcast live from the Met. Hibla Gerzmava and Thomas Hampson co-star. Not rated. 226 minutes. 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, only (rescheduled from Jan. 31). Lensic Performing Arts Center , Santa Fe.
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN The series of high-definition screenings continues with a showing of Verdi’s Il Trovatore from Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. Anna Netrebko and Plácido Domingo star. 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, only. Not rated. 137 minutes plus two intermissions. The Screen , Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
REEL NEW MEXICO The monthly series showcasing films with a New Mexico connection offers Red Sky
at Morning , the 1971 film that is set in the early days of World War II and was primarily shot in Santa Fe, Galisteo, and Truchas. Richard Thomas stars. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, only. Not rated. 112 minutes. La Tienda Performance Space , 7 Caliente Road off Avenida Vista Grande, Eldorado. (Not reviewed)
SALVO When Mafia bodyguard Salvo (Saleh Bakri) and his boss find themselves the targets of an assassination attempt, Salvo pursues Renato, the man behind the attack. After sneaking into Renato’s house to lie in wait, he encounters Renato’s blind sister, Rita (Sara Serraiocco), whose life he makes a last-minute decision to spare. Fabio Grassadonia’s award-winning work is a slow-burn thriller. Part of the New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival, Salvo examines the pervasive, all-consuming nature of crime in contemporary Sicily from the perspective of its enforcer-cum-hero and the person who once was his target and now is his charge. 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, only. In Italian with subtitles. Not rated. 110 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema , Santa Fe. (Michael Abatemarco)
SEVENTH SON This fantasy adventure was first scheduled for release in February 2013, and after approximately the time it takes for the seventh son of a seventh son to be born, it has finally arrived in theaters. It stars Ben Barnes as the son of the title; he fights witches and monsters and all manner of evil spirits. Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore co-star. Rated PG-13. 102 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14 , Santa Fe. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher , Española. (Not reviewed)
THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER SpongeBob SquarePants splashes out of the cartoon world of Bikini Bottom and into the real world of Southern California in this comedy. SpongeBob, Patrick Star, and the rest of gang are animated by computers and face off against a pirate (Antonio Banderas) who has stolen their special hamburger recipe. Is Los Angeles really any weirder
than Bikini Bottom, however? Rated PG. 93 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14 , Santa Fe; DreamCatcher , Española. (Not reviewed)
TELLURIDE MOUNTAINFILM FEST WildEarth Guardians’ annual festival of films about outdoor adventure and environmental conservation efforts returns. This year, there are a lot of short films and the 48-minute Who Owns Water . 176 minutes plus one intermission. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, only. Lensic Performing Arts Center , Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT Sandra (Marion Cotillard, nominated for an Oscar for her performance) returns to work at a factory after a medical leave to discover that her co-workers are required to choose between laying her off and getting a bonus in their pay. Sandra visits 13 people in two days, hoping to get at least half of them on her side. In each new locale, we get a glimpse into the lives of the Belgian working class, some of whom are struggling more than others. The film is free of emotional manipulation and offers excellent performances, writing, and pacing. Rated PG-13. 95 minutes. In French and Arabic with subtitles. The Screen , Santa Fe. ( Jennifer Levin) See review, Page 49.