Yesterday the Brattle Theatre launched their new “Girls Rule” repertory series with screenings of Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best! The Swedish film about a group of middle-school girls starting their own punk band in the ’80s received a very limited theatrical release, but is currently available on video on demand. You’ll wanna watch it, especially if you have daughters. It’s a fun and funny look at people who don’t know what they’re doing. Sometimes not knowing is cause for rebellious fun (two of the three girls don’t know how to play instruments but are determined to rock anyway), while other times it’s fuel for future embarrassment (the bassist reminds me pretty strongly of certain people I knew at that age who were always causing trouble for others naive enough to go along). It’s very real and charming, and I can’t be the only one hoping Magnolia is planning on an Original Song Oscar campaign for “Hate the Sport.” Though it’s sure to be enjoyable however you see it, seeing it with a crowd on the big screen laughing at all the right moments made for a great night.
Bringing attention to movies not currently playing in mainstream theaters is something the Brattle excels at. The Girls Rule series is playing every Wednesday this summer and featuring such great movies as Ghost World and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. We Are the Best! also starts the resumption of their semi-regular “Recent Raves” series, showing acclaimed movies that just recently left theaters in the past few months. Among other selections along these lines include the martial arts crime film The Raid 2: Berandal playing this weekend as a double-feature with the first Raid film and on the 24th a double feature of the Scarlett Johansson alien freak-out Under the Skin and the hipster vampire hangout movie Only Lovers Left Alive. I missed Raid 2 and Under the Skin and am interested in checking them out, but I did see Only Lovers Left Alive the last day of its run at the Coolidge, and now that it’s going to be playing again I can write a bit about it. Not much happens in Jim Jarmusch’s film, and it runs a bit too long for its hypnotic effect to be consistent throughout, so I can understand why some would dislike it. Yet there’s lots to enjoy for those who can get on its wavelengths: the film’s music and visuals are entrancing, its lead performances by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton likeable, and its creative take on the vampire mythos clever and philosophically interesting.
Also starting at the Brattle soon: the Saturday night at 11:30 “Reel Weird Brattle” series of cinematic mindfucks. It starts this Saturday with Ebert favorite expressionist sci-fi film Dark City, a quality selection if not the weirdest out there. Hausu, the film playing the following week, may be the weirdest. A piano eats a girl. A severed head that bites a butt. A painting of a cat spews blood. And then, in what might be one of the most beautiful shots in cinematic history, bananas. See it for yourself. It’s astonishing.