The Week in Film is a column dedicated to bringing awareness to award-winning films, special movie screenings, rereleases, limited-distribution runs and avant cinema that should be seen in theaters to be properly appreciated.
Shark Week at the movies
If you’re one of the many people who tune in to Discovery each year for their Shark Week coverage, you’ll be happy to hear that the channel will be screening a new episode from the 2017 event in a handful of theaters across the country. They will also show a fan favorite episode from last year. The mammoth weight and power of these creatures will be on full display when seen on the big screen, and for those who show up early, you just might be able to get your hands on a foam shark hat (first come, first serve). Fear the teeth and respect the animal as Discovery brings these majestic and primordial hunters to select Chattanooga theaters.
When: Tuesday, July 18
Where: AMC Chattanooga 18, Regal Hamilton Place 8
Rating: Not rated
Directed by Babak Jalali, “Radio Dreams” follows the work of station manager Hamid Namjoo, who works at Pars Radio, the Bay Area’s largest Persian-language radio station. When a jam session between Afghan rock band Kabul Dreams and Metallica fails to materialize, he must deal with irate fans, commercial-minded owners and the obstacles of working in a country whose language he barely speaks. Touching on aspects of immigration and cultural assimilation, the film deftly handles these hot-button issues in a way that doesn’t land a hammer blow to the back of the head. The idea of identity, and of losing it among strangers, is another theme that Jalali explores, giving the film a measured force that ramps up as the narrative resolves into a conversation about the complexities of social status and the power of music to connect people across cultural and geographical boundaries.
When: Friday-Thursday, July 21-27
Where: The Palace Picture House
Rating: Not rated
“The Naked Kiss“
Director Samuel Fuller was known for taking pulpy, dark stories and laying bare the seedy underbelly of modern society. With his 1964 film “The Naked Kiss,” he crafts a neo-noir story that revolves around the troubles of ex-prostitute Kelly (played by Constance Towers), who relocates to a small city in hopes of leaving behind her abusive pimp and the dangers of her former life. But the town isn’t as picturesque as she might have hoped, and she’s quickly drawn into a world of murder and suburban depravity. Never one to send his characters home unscathed, Fuller exposes the dark heart of the town and how it seeks to crush Kelly’s spirit. Only with luck and the help of a young girl can she pull herself out of this emotional devastation to reclaim some small piece of her humanity.
When: Monday, July 17
Where: Heritage House Arts and Civic Center
Rating: Not rated
“The Big Sick“
“The Big Sick,” the latest film from director Michael Showalter, isn’t your average romantic comedy. It recounts the life of comedian Kumail-portrayed by Kumail Nanjiani, who also wrote the screenplay with his real-life wife, Emily V. Gordon-and his struggles navigating the treacherous landscape of standup comedy while also trying to establish his independence from his family, whose insistence on observing the custom of arranged marriage grates on his nerves. He meets Emily (played by Zoe Kazan), and the two immediately develop an attraction, although they initially shrug off attempting to establish a long-term relationship because of their cultural differences. But after tragedy strikes, they’re brought together under terrible circumstances to see if there’s any basis for their mutual affection.
When: Monday-Sunday, July 17-23
Where: AMC Classic Chattanooga 10, AMC Chattanooga 18, Regal Hamilton Place 8, AMC Classic Battlefield 10, AMC Majestic 12, AMC Northgate 14, Cleveland UEC Theatres 14
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.