Since movie theaters have temporarily closed, there are few local options for film fans to have communal moviegoing experiences. To soothe that ache, our own Terrace Theater is up and running with its own virtual theater online — an easy way to catch a flick and support the local theater from home.
Here are a few flicks they’re offering:
Javier Bardem is a great actor. I made such a drunkenly passionate comment to a friend right after seeing No Country for Old Men at the Terrace, basing that pronouncement on just the single movie. Twelve years later, I still think I was a smart guy that one time. That said, Bardem is best when he’s playing a damaged person. Sally Potter’s latest empathetic film, The Roads Not Taken, plays to that strength.
In The Roads Not Taken, Bardem plays the frenzied Leo while the equally talented Elle Fanning plays his long-suffering daughter Molly. In this day-in-the-life tale, we watch them traverse New York City for Leo’s doctor appointments while he relives parallel visions in his mind and Molly wrestles with the complexities of their relationship and her own future.
Speaking of actors I dig who are currently in movies showing at the Terrace, how about Brian Cox? He was once a menacing psycho that stated “You want the scent? Smell yourself!” and an exhausted chief that blurted “I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says ‘shenanigans.’ ” I’m a fan.
In The Etruscan Smile, Cox plays Rory MacNail, a man who leaves his beloved isolated lifestyle in the Hebridean island for a medical treatment available in San Francisco. The fish-out-of-water perspective morphs when he stays with his estranged son, his wealthy daughter-in-law, and most notably, his baby grandson.
Extra Ordinary, Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s horror comedy introduces us to extra-ordinary people like Rose (Maeve Higgins) a patient, kind driving instructor who also has a few hidden paranormal talents, and Christian Winter (Will Forte), a one-hit wonder rock star looking for a virgin to sacrifice so he can regain his stardom. Eventually, their paths collide and the results are horrifyingly funny in an early Peter Jackson/Ghostbusters/Shaun of the Dead sorta way.
True to form, The Terrace is still offering foreign films that you normally wouldn’t be exposed to at most multiplexes. Corneliu Porumboiu, a man who has made quite a few films, is a name I’d never heard of until catching the trailer for his latest film, The Whistlers. Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), a corrupt-ish policeman embarks on a heist with Gilda (Catrinel Marlon) complete with all the inevitable twists and turns of corruption, treachery, and deception.
As in I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s latest searing film, Sorry We Missed You, further explores the lives of the working class. This time, we follow a UK delivery driver (Kris Hitchen) and his wife (Debbie Honeywood) struggling to maintain their dignity and humanity while trying to raise a family after the financial collapse of 2008.
Nell Minnow of RogerEbert.com sung its praises as a narrative film that is “as intimate and immersive as a documentary.”
Speaking of documentaries, the Terrace’s virtual cinema currently has three of them available. In Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, Daniel Roher follows Robertson’s personal journey to making his musical mark with four other men. Accompanied by rare archival footage, photography, and iconic songs, the documentary features interviews with some random folks like Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, and Van Morrison.
Christopher Durrance and Barak Goodman’s Slay the Dragon highlights the gerrymandering initiative and the everyday citizens who fight to make their votes matter with particular focus on Katie Fahey, the activist who successfully led a campaign to ban partisan gerrymandering in Michigan.
Sarah Jessica Parker narrates Mark Bozek’s The Times of Bill Cunningham. With an exhaustive 1994 interview with Cunningham serving as the film’s backbone, we’re treated to incredible photographs chosen from over three million previously unpublicized images and documents and tales about his four decade stint at The New York Times.
While we’re on the subject of New York, D.W. Young’s The Booksellers offers us a zippy Parker Posey-narrated behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of New York’s rare bookstores, the sleuthing antiquarians that work there, and the bibliophiles that keep them afloat.
For Terrace’s virtual theater, visit terracetheater.com