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"PRELUDE: DOG STAR MAN"

Posted 3/17/2010

Editor's note: This article was originally published with the incorrect title of Yes Men Fix the World. City Paper regrets the error.

THE BOUNTY HUNTER Gerard Butler once again tries strutting like a manly man in a romantic-comedy from Hitch director Andy Tennant about the titular recovery specialist (Butler) who gets hired to pick up his ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston), after which some sort of action-movie-like hijinks ensue. Opens March 19.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID Hotel for Dogs director Thor Freudenthal directs this adaptation of Jeff Kinney's illustrated kid's novel about a snarky middle schooler. Opens March 19.

"PRELUDE: DOG STAR MAN" The first installment to experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage's epic five-part series from the early 1960s, and this 25-minute silent "Prelude" is, in many ways, about vision and all that we can see, in cosmic terms. It begins in darkness before a few flickering images appear, and it soon runs through imagery and themes that ricochet throughout the cycle--the sun and moon, a country landscape, the body (in the form of cells), a blue sphere-like object. These images are often intentionally blurry, as if not yet fully formed or still waiting to become what they will be, and these images recur throughout the film cycle. What's it a about? Sit through the entire cycle and you begin to sense it's a filmmaker-qua-thinker's history of the world, told through the visual perception. But what it's narratively about, per se, should really take a back seat to the visual experience itself: Brakhage's use of colors and rhythmic editing is disarmingly effective, and sometimes, his juxtaposition are as arresting hyperkinetic action-movie editing--only he's pulling such a startle off purely through his clashing imagery. One of the most personal and sensual avant-garde films of the '60s; it screens with Brakhage's short "Mothlight," a dazzling 1963 collage of moth wings assembled into a film strip. At the Hexagon Space March 20 at 7:30 p.m.

THE HANGOVER Groom-to-be Doug (Justin Bartha) heads to Las Vegas with his boys--best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) and his weird future brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis)--for a night they'll never forget. The Hangover is spent trying to remember what the hell happened. The night is as lost to the audience as it is to them, and they spend the next two days unraveling the clues--including Jade (Heather Graham), the earth-mama professional dancer with a baby and, yes, a heart of gold; a stolen police car; hospital time; Mike Tyson; Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), a seriously demented businessman; a chicken; a baby; a tiger; and black Doug (Mike Epps). (Wendy Ward). At the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Wheeler Auditorium March 20 at 2 p.m.

HUBBLE 3-D Leonardo DiCaprio narrates this IMAX 3-D documentary about seven Space Shuttle Atlantis astronauts repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. Looks like some serious outer-space photography porn. Opens March 19.

THE QUIET MAN On St. Patrick's Day, you might feel obligated to rent an Irish movie that's grim, heart-rending, and full of truth--something like In The Name of the Father. But why bother yer head with them doins' when ye could be gazin' upon a bit of shamrock-laden blarney like The Quiet Man, John Ford and Duke Wayne's valentine to an imaginary Erin filled with fiery redheads (Maureen O'Hara), burly men of the soil (Victor McLaglen), and sly, tippling marriage brokers (the inevitable Barry Fitzgerald). Wayne is Sean Thornton, a man with a troubled past who returns to the Irish countryside where he was born and falls for O' Hara's Mary Kate Danaher, sister to landowner Red Will Danaher (McLaglen). Relations between Sean and Red Will are additionally complicated by their rivalry over a piece of real estate, leading to a set-piece fistfight that established a new cinematic standard for bare-knuckle verve. Ford's Best Director Oscar notwithstanding, it's all as phony as green beer. But like that peculiar brew, it's great fun if you're in the right frame of mind. Say, half-drunk already. (Jack Purdy) At the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Wheeler Auditorium March 20 at 10:15 a.m.

REPO MEN As if the general economic suckiness weren't bad enough, along comes this bit of speculative sci-fi to crank up the paranoia a little bit more. In the future, you will be able to buy artificial organs to prolong life, but if you can't pay for them the titular collectors (Jude Law and Forest Whitaker) will come along to reclaim the property. And, yes, it does sound suspiciously like the rock opera Repo: The Genetic Opera. Opens March 19.

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD Mike Bonanno brings to town this 2009 documentary about the anti-globalization culture jammers pranking the turgid corporate and institutional inertia who have yet to own adequately respond to such events as the 1984 Union Carbide Bhopal disaster and Hurricane Katrina. Bonanno follows the screening a Q&A session. At the Senator Theatre March 19 at 7 p.m.

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