I’m recommending Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and Almayer’s Folly, both showing at the Cinematheque this weekend. Unlike past weeks, I haven’t seen either one.
The documentary about Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has earned a 97% at the website Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates critics’ reviews. Weiwei is an iconoclast who’s fought Chinese government censorship of his work and courageously protested human rights abuses. For this, he’s been beaten and imprisoned, but remains unbowed. This film should be interesting and inspiring. It shows Thursday, November 1, at 8:40 pm, and Friday, November 2, at 7:45 pm.
Among the five fiction films this weekend, I pick Almayer’s Folly (Sunday, November 4, at 3:45). I’m intrigued by the 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and the high rating at John’s website of choice, Metacritic.com. I’m also interested in trying to read the Joseph Conrad novel it’s based on before the weekend, but who knows if that will happen? Chantal Ackerman is a 60ish pioneering Belgian feminist director. Be forewarned that this film is supposed to be moody and atmospheric–not so much character or plot-driven–with a heart-of-darkness theme.
Speaking of darkness, I usually pass on the violent films, and Killer Joe certainly fits that criterion.Â I’m slightly intrigued by Matthew McConaughy’s well-reviewed performance, and the other actors are supposed to be great as well. I just don’t enjoy seeing people get killed that much, so I’m skipping the spaghetti Western The Great Silence, too.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
I might be tempted, though, by Alps (Thursday at 6:45, and Sunday at 8:40),Â should I have the urge toÂ feelÂ disturbed and unsettled.
(Heads up on the following weekend: Mary Badham, who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird  appears in person at the Cinematheque and answers questions after the screening.)