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.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, “Vertigo” is often hailed as one of the director’s greatest films. Released in 1958, this psychological noir follows retired detective John “Scottie” Ferguson (Stewart) as he attempts to recover from the death of a fellow policeman that he inadvertently caused due to a bout of acute vertigo that occurred while they pursued a suspect across some rooftops. He’s eventually tasked with following a friend’s wife around who is acting strangely. The resulting mix of thriller and investigative mystery creates a palpable tension that snakes through the entire film. This is the film which developed the now-standard “dolly shot” used to visually show the dizzying aspects of Scottie’s vertigo. A masterpiece and a work of art, “Vertigo” is a movie whose images make a lasting impression and reinforce Hitchcock’s reputation as one of the greatest directors of all time.
When: Sunday, March 18
Where: Regal Hamilton Place 8, AMC Chattanooga 18
“A Fantastic Woman”
Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards, “A Fantastic Woman” is the story of waitress and aspiring singer Marina and her romantic partner Orlando and the tragedies that befall them both. Directed by Sebastián Lelio, the movie tackles the issues of gender and transphobia in a way that feels honest and infuriating. Starring Chilean actress Daniela Vega and addressing stereotypes without the least bit of subterfuge, it takes a humanist approach to death and the emotional catastrophes that it leaves in its wake. Inundated by vicious social judgment and ostracized by Orlando’s cruel family, Marina must show them that the worth of a person is measured by more than gender and simple sexuality—and through the pain and heartache she experiences during the events of the film, she reveals just how fantastic she really is.
When: Monday-Wednesday, March 12-14
Where: AMC Chattanooga 18
“Mystery of the Wax Museum”
Directed by Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca,” “White Christmas”), “Mystery of the Wax Museum is a pre-Hayes code horror film about the lengths to which a maniacal owner of a wax museum will go to have the most realistic figures for his business. Spooky and terrifying even after 85 years, the film is a blessing for horror enthusiasts looking for something other than gore and violence. And while this film does have its share of both of those things, it uses them sparingly and to great effect. Classic in design and execution, “Mystery of the Wax Museum” is a film that shouldn’t just be appreciated but should be experienced with others who share a fondness for early scary movies with a rich story and colorful characters.
When: Thursday, March 15
Where: Heritage House Arts & Civic Center
Rating: Not rated
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.