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AN ART THAT NA­TURE MAKES: THE WORK OF ROSAMOND PUR­CELL

This doc­u­men­tary looks at the ca­reer and process of ac­claimed pho­tog­ra­pher Rosamond Pur­cell. Her work re­veals her fas­ci­na­tion with cap­tur­ing both nat­u­ral and man-made things in vary­ing de­grees of de­cay, as she shoots ev­ery­thing from junk­yards to an­i­mal car­casses in ways that ren­der her sub­jects ab­stract. Stephen Jay Gould and Er­rol Mor­ris are among those who ap­pear in the film to ex­press ad­mi­ra­tion for her work. Not rated. 75 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

This re­make of the en­dur­ing French fairy tale La belle

et la bête from di­rec­tor Christophe Gans (Brother­hood of the Wolf ) has at­mos­phere go­ing for it, and it may ap­peal to fan­tasy-lov­ing tweens (there’s a whiff of Hog­warts about the Beast’s mag­i­cal do­main). But the heav­ily com­puter-en­hanced vi­su­als fail to cap­ture the sense of mys­tery that in­fuses Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film, with its stark light­ing, liv­ing stat­ues, and mag­i­cal smoke. Like­wise, Vin­cent Cas­sel, who ra­di­ates in­ten­sity in darker ma­te­rial such as Read My Lips and The Crim­son Rivers, goes soft here as the Beast, at least in com­par­i­son to the spell­bind­ing Jean Marais. Léa Sey­doux is spir­ited and vi­brant as Belle, but she doesn’t in­vest the role with the un­wa­ver­ing pas­sion of Josette Day in Cocteau’s ver­sion — prob­a­bly no one else could. Not rated. 112 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jeff Acker)

BE­ING 17

Teenage boys are rarely por­trayed on screen in a way that seems true. In real life, they’re of­ten moody and un­com­fort­able, young enough to still be good at heart but too awk­ward to ex­press even their best in­ten­tions — none of which makes for feel-good cin­ema. Be­ing 17, how­ever, is one of the most hon­est char­ac­ter stud­ies of teenage boys in re­cent mem­ory, and it is even more re­mark­able for the fact that it was co-writ­ten and di­rected by seventy-three-year-old French film­maker An­dré Téch­iné. This com­ing-of-age ro­mance cen­ters on two boys (Kacey Mot­tet Klein and Corentin Fila) with ab­sent par­ents who live in a moun­tain town dom­i­nated by the mil­i­tary and agri­cul­ture. The ro­man­tic in­ter­est they sense in each an­other man­i­fests it­self in school­yard vi­o­lence — for a time. Even when au­di­ences know they likely will end up to­gether, the plot still un­folds in sat­is­fy­ing fash­ion, thanks to their won­der­ful act­ing and the film’s lively, thought­ful edit­ing. San­drine Kiber­lain de­serves spe­cial no­tice for her em­pa­thetic per­for­mance as the mother to one boy and mother fig­ure to the other. Not rated. 116 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Robert Ker)

CER­TAIN WOMEN

Rated R. 107 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. See re­view, Page 39.

CREEPY

Not rated. 130 min­utes. Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. See re­view, Page 41. There were slasher films be­fore John Car­pen­ter’s 1978 movie Hal­loween, but this was the one that sparked the genre that came to dom­i­nate mul­ti­plexes and over­whelm video stores in the 1980s. Jamie Lee Cur­tis, the orig­i­nal scream queen, showed enough act­ing chops to launch a ca­reer, and her stalker, the vil­lain Michael Myers (Tony Mo­ran, be­hind an ex­pres­sion­less Wil­liam Shat­ner mask) be­came a celebrity in his own right. The film touched on a num­ber of is­sues of the time, in­clud­ing Cold War-era para­noia, the iso­la­tion of sub­ur­ban life, and a crum­bling men­tal-health sys­tem. Due to its un­de­ni­able in­flu­ence and the mas­ter­ful use of sus­pense (with barely any gore or vi­o­lence by lat­ter-day stan­dards), Hal­loween is not just one of the great hor­ror movies in film his­tory but is one of the great movies, pe­riod. Car­pen­ter’s work as a mu­sic com­poser has en­joyed a re­dis­cov­ery of late, and this film’s score is among his best. Rated R. 91 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Ker)

INFERNO HAL­LOWEEN

Tom Hanks re­turns to play au­thor Dan Brown’s wildly pop­u­lar pro­fes­sor Robert Lang­don of The Da Vinci Code once more. This time, Lang­don wakes up in a hos­pi­tal, suf­fer­ing from am­ne­sia that doesn’t hin­der his ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of his­tory but af­fects his mem­ory of the last few days. He teams up with Dr. Si­enna Brooks (Felic­ity Jones) to solve a mys­tery in­volv­ing Dante’s Inferno that could lead to count­less deaths. Rated PG-13. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

MUL­TI­PLE MA­NI­ACS

Bal­ti­more film­maker John Wa­ters’ lit­tle-seen 1970 fea­ture film pre­dates his cult break­out,

Pink Flamin­gos, by two years, but the aes­thetic is fully in place — it’s a trashy, an­ar­chic, ir­rev­er­ent slice of queer cin­ema that boasts am­ple amounts of sex, vi­o­lence, com­edy, and — of course — the larger-than-life drag queen Divine. She stars as a trans­gres­sive crime leader and jeal­ous lover who mur­ders and cack­les her way through many ad­ven­tures, in­clud­ing a church­set les­bian love scene in­ter­cut with a retelling of the life of Je­sus Christ and a fi­nale that re­calls Ham­let, but with a gi­ant lob­ster that re­sem­bles a 1950s sci-fi mon­ster. To watch Mul­ti­ple Ma­ni­acs now is to ad­mire the end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties of early in­de­pen­dent cin­ema, where a bunch of out­siders could use cheap film stock and their or­di­nary sub­ur­ban set­tings to glee­fully in­vent en­tire new re­al­i­ties. Not rated. 91 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Robert Ker)

PHANTASM

Fea­tur­ing an eye-daz­zling pal­ette of ecru, um­ber, am­ber, ocher, and taupe, this 1979 pin­na­cle of the Carter-and-Quaaludes-era of hor­ror movies cen­ters on a cou­ple of gun-tot­ing or­phaned broth­ers (Bill Thorn­bury and A. Michael Bald­win), a badass ice cream truck driver (Reg­gie Ban­nis­ter), a bunch of blondes with feath­ered hair, and a growl­ing ’71 Ply­mouth Bar­racuda. Writer-di­rec­tor Don Coscarelli’s plot un­folds around a spooky fu­neral home where evil dwarves from an­other di­men­sion stalk the grounds. The theme song will be stuck in your head for days af­ter­ward,

and if you hap­pen to walk through the ceme­tery, keep an eye out for the Tall Man (An­gus Scrimm). Look for Santa Fe’s own Kathy Lester as the most di­a­bol­i­cal blonde with feath­ered hair. Rated R. 88 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Jeff Acker)

TOWER

Mass shoot­ings on col­lege cam­puses are now a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence, but at one time, they were not a ma­jor part of Amer­i­can life. This doc­u­men­tary re­counts one of the first such tragedies — the shoot­ing on Aug. 1, 1966, when a sniper in the tower at the Univer­sity of Texas killed 16 peo­ple and wounded dozens more. The event is re­lived through in­ter­views, his­tor­i­cal footage, and reen­act­ments made us­ing ro­to­scopic an­i­ma­tion. Not rated. 96 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

THE WOLF MAN

An Amer­i­can (Lon Chaney) re­turns to his an­ces­tral home in Eng­land and falls prey to a were­wolf (Bela Lu­gosi) who is suf­fer­ing the tragic con­se­quences of turn­ing into a wolf­man when the moon is full. Al­though time and mod­ern hor­ror tech­niques have dulled some of the edge of ter­ror from this black-and-white chiller from 1941, it’s hard not to like. Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Wag­gner, work­ing from Curt Siod­mak’s script, de­liv­ers some very at­mo­spheric se­quences in­volv­ing fog-shrouded woods and grave­yards. And given that it was con­sid­ered a B movie at the time, what a cast: Be­sides Chaney and Lu­gosi, there’s Claude Rains, the beau­ti­ful Eve­lyn Ankers, War­ren Wil­liam, Ralph Bel­lamy, Patrick Knowles, and the won­der­ful Maria Ous­pen­skaya as the gypsy woman who knows more than she lets on. Not rated. 70 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Nott)

“I told you, no wire hang­ers ever!” Hal­loween, at Jean Cocteau Cin­ema

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