Sarah Polley, a young actress and director, has created another one of those engrossing documentaries (like Still Bill or Searching for Sugar Man) that you want everyone to see because they’re so good. In carefully ordered sequences, she reveals secrets about her family. Or, more accurately, she gets her family members to reveal secrets about themselves. The stories they tell relate most directly to Sarah herself and her parentage. I don’t want to say more, due to the film’s exquisitely maintained suspense, except to tell you to see Stories We Tell at the Cleveland Cinematheque this weekend, Thursday at 9:05 pm or Sunday at 6:30 pm.
A different kind of exquisite is Miyazaki’s animated feature Castle in the Sky (Friday 7:00 pm; Saturday 5:00 pm). Get your kids and grandkids there, and get yourself there, too. All of Miyazaki’s films are charming and beautiful, but this one—about a spunky little girl and a magical floating island—is especially so.
Two other Cinematheque offerings this weekend some might regard as guilty pleasures. The documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s profiles the pricey, plush New York store. It features commentary by bunches of celebrities, exhibits fashions and riches galore, and looks highly entertaining. It shows Saturday at 7:25 pm and Sunday at 4:00 pm. Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring (Saturday 9:20 pm; Sunday 8:40 pm) features fashions of the stolen variety. It’s based on the fascinating true story (watch the ABC story here) of seven young Californians who burgled the homes of rich Los Angelenos, including Paris Hilton, just because they wanted some glamour to rub off on them. This fictionalized version gives Emma Watson a chance to shed her Hogwarts uniform for some designer gear.
Clevelander Jim Jarmusch’s quirky Dead Man also shows this weekend, combining two of my favorite male celebrities: Johnny Depp and William Blake. Depp plays a character with the poet’s name who takes a spiritual journey from Cleveland into the 19th century American West. Also featured are the always eccentric Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, and (musically) Neil Young. I saw this film when it came out (1995) and found it mordantly funny. (Thursday, 6:45 pm; Friday, 9:30 pm ).