Director Isao Takahata’s ecological fable, “Pom Poko,” will screen at a couple of local theaters this Sunday as part of the ongoing Studio Ghibli Fest 2018. (Photo: Contributed)

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.

Pom Poko
“Pom Poko” is the latest movie to screen in the continuing Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 series of films. Directed by Isao Takahato (who also helmed such masterpieces as “The Graveyard of the Fireflies” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”), “Pom Poko” is a fable built around the conflict between nature and humanity’s technological advances. Relating the story of a group of tanuki (sort of a cross between a  raccoon and a dog) as they attempt to scare off a group of land developers encroaching on their wooded homes, the movie looks at what it means to find a place in the world as it inevitably marches into the future. Poignant, funny and wonderfully weird, “Pom Poko” is a brilliantly animated marvel from one of the greatest animation studios in history.


A quick note: the film does show the male tanuki’s … um, “pouches” (read: genitals) throughout the film, so be prepared to possibly field some questions from any young ones in your company. However, their presence is completely innocuous and often played for laughs.

When: Sunday, June 17
Where: AMC Chattanooga 18, Regal Hamilton Place 8
Rating: PG

Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks
With the impending Blu-ray release of Tom Baker’s first season playing the time-traveling, sonic screwdriver-wielding time lord, fans will be able to warp back to 1975 (via transmat beam, of course) to watch one of the most popular of the early Doctor Who storylines. Baker, in his role as the Fourth Doctor, alongside his companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), are sent back to the planet Skaro prior to the creation of the Daleks, a race of killing machines who will go on to terrorize the universe. This screening will also feature a sneak peek at “In Conversation with Tom Baker,” a newly recorded interview that delves into Baker’s history with the series.

When: Monday, June 11
Where: AMC Chattanooga 18, Regal Hamilton Place 8
Rating: Not rated

RiffTrax Live: Space Mutiny
If you’ve ever witnessed the manic cinema-based hilarity of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” then you already have a good idea of what to expect from the guys at RiffTrax. It doesn’t hurt that the same people (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) who hosted MST3K also lend their expertise to RiffTrax. The formula is the same though: bad movies are watched, insults are hurled at the screen and everyone goes home with sore throats from laughing so hard. For this special screening, the gang tackles the 1988 science-fiction film, “Space Mutiny,” a laughably bad exercise in AstroTuff repurposing, floor buffer abuse and spandex experimentation. Come for the ’80s cheeseball acting but stay for the pilfered “Battlestar Galactica” spaceship effects.

When: Thursday, June 14
Where: AMC Chattanooga 18, Regal Hamilton Place 8
Rating: PG-13

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on FacebookTwitter or by emailThe opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.