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AL­WAYS SHINE

In this twisty psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller from ac­tressturned-direc­tor Sophia Takal, Anna (Macken­zie Davis) and Beth (Caitlin FitzGer­ald) play as­pir­ing young ac­tresses liv­ing in Los An­ge­les. They take off for a girls’ week­end in Big Sur even though ri­valry, var­i­ous per­ceived slights, and re­pressed re­sent­ment have made them more fren­e­mies than friends. The film is grip­ping from start to fin­ish, thanks to jumpy editing, in­tense per­for­mances, a tight script by Lawrence Michael Levine, and Michael Montes’ score, which amps up the ten­sion and dread (as the mu­sic in all good hor­ror flicks should do). This is more than a scary movie, though: It ex­plores Hol­ly­wood’s misog­yny and our ob­ses­sion with celebrity and phys­i­cal beauty. The in­flu­ence of Brian De Palma and David Lynch is clear, and like the Scream se­ries be­fore it, Al­ways Shine gently pokes fun at main­stream hor­ror clichés. The film nearly loses its way when it moves fur­ther into meta ter­ri­tory, but the con­cise story and brief run­ning time keep it on track. Not rated. 85 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

DON’T CALL ME SON

In Por­tuguese with sub­ti­tles. Not rated. 82 min­utes. The Screen. See re­view, Page 45.

FIRE AT SEA

The Si­cil­ian is­land of Lampe­dusa would be an idyl­lic iso­lated com­mu­nity — ex­cept for the fact that it’s uniquely po­si­tioned to res­cue boats full of African mi­grants who have got­ten lost or stranded. In this doc­u­men­tary, direc­tor Gian­franco Rosi es­chews nar­ra­tion and talk­ing heads to sim­ply show life on the is­land — starkly jux­ta­pos­ing the en­nui of is­lan­ders liv­ing in one fixed, sleepy place with the tu­mul­tuous and ex­tremely dif­fi­cult lives of the mi­grants, who have no place to call home. While it of­fers more op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­flec­tion than ac­tual in­for­ma­tion, the film ef­fec­tively shines a rare light on this se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion. Not rated. 114 min­utes. In Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Robert Ker)

IN­CAR­NATE

In the lat­est hor­ror flick in­debted to The Ex­or­cist, Aaron Eck­hart plays Dr. Seth Em­ber, a sci­en­tist who has the abil­ity to en­ter the sub­con­scious minds of peo­ple who are pos­sessed. This un­en­vi­able gift is put to the test when he is asked to help a boy (David Ba­zouz) who is un­der the con­trol of a de­mon that has pow­ers that the doc­tor has never seen be­fore. Rated PG-13. 91 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

OC­CUPY, TEXAS

Af­ter the Oc­cupy Wall Street camp in New York’s Zuc­cotti Park dis­persed, Beau Baker (Gene Galler­ano) lived on the streets for seven years as a form of protest. In this timely look at the ten­sion be­tween eco­nomic priv­i­lege and in­di­vid­ual moral choices, Beau re­turns to his fam­ily’s up­per­mid­dle-class Texas en­clave to care for his two younger sis­ters af­ter his par­ents’ sud­den death. An over­all earnest sweet­ness and strong per­for­mances by Galler­ano and Cather­ine Elvir, as twelve-year-old Ar­den — who is thrilled to fi­nally have a brother — do not quite mit­i­gate the movie’s awk­ward pac­ing and heavy re­liance on ex­pos­i­tory di­a­logue. 7 p.m. Thurs­day, Dec. 8. Screens as part of the Santa Fe Film Fes­ti­val. Not rated. 93 min­utes. The Screen. (Jen­nifer Levin)

SO­PHIE AND THE RIS­ING SUN

In the au­tumn of 1941, an Asian man named Mr. Ohta (Takashi Ya­m­aguchi) ar­rives by bus in Salty Creek, South Carolina, beaten to a pulp. A lo­cal woman (Margo Martin­dale) nurses him back to health with help from some in the small town — and with scorn from oth­ers. This quiet movie, writ­ten and di­rected by Mag­gie Green­wald and based on the novel by Au­gusta Trobaugh, ex­plores is­sues of racism and pro­vin­cial at­ti­tudes to­ward sex. Per­for­mances from a ros­ter of well-known char­ac­ter ac­tors (Martin­dale, Diane Ladd, Lor­raine Tous­saint) are uni­formly strong, even if the cen­tral love story be­tween Mr. Ohta and an in­de­pen­dently minded spin­ster, So­phie (Ju­lianne Nicholson), would have ben­e­fited from deeper char­ac­ter­i­za­tions. Takashi Ya­m­aguchi will be present at the screen­ing. 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Dec. 7. Screens as part of the Santa Fe Film Fes­ti­val. Not rated. 93 min­utes. 116 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jen­nifer Levin)

Texas fam­ily val­ues: Cather­ine Elvir, Gene Galler­ano, and Lorelei Lin­klater in Oc­cupy, Texas, part of the Santa Fe Film Fes­ti­val at The Screen

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