"At 79, Jean-Luc Godard has again made a young man's movie," write Ben Sachs of Godard's latest, Film Socialisme, opening Friday at Gene Siskel Film Center. Read Sach's long review here. We're also recommending two new releases, both debut features: Shawn Ku's drama Beautiful Boy focuses on a husband and wife (Michael Sheen, Maria Bello) whose son has gone on a shooting rampage, and Cathryn Collins's documentary Vlast (Power) charts the rise and fall of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Also opening this week: Beginners, the latest from Mike Mills (Thumbsucker), with Christopher Plummer as an old man coming out of the closet; The Big Uneasy, Harry Shearer's documentary exposé of the human failure surrounding the flooding of New Orleans, with Shearer in person on Friday night at the Music Box; Fred and Vinnie and Mars, two new indie features playing as part of the Film Center's Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy; Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, about the Hawaiian woman who became the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress; Submarine, a British character comedy about a precocious 15-year-old and his unhappy parents; and Super 8, the much-hyped collaboration between J.J. Abrams (director of the new Star Trek) and movie legend Steven Spielberg.
Best bets for repertory: Roy Ward Baker's Don't Bother to Knock (1952), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994), Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library; Frantisek Vlacil's Marketa Lazarova (1966), Saturday and Monday at Film Center; Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Friday and Sunday at Film Center; and Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997), Wednesday night at Music Box with an intro by Scott Tobias of Onion A/V Club.
Music Box has three choice revivals with live introductions this week: on Friday night, after his New Orleans movie, Shearer will introduce Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and on Saturday, John Waters will introduce both The Wizard of Oz (1939) and his own Female Trouble (1975). And Sebastian Junger will appear on Saturday afternoon at Pritzker Military Library to introduce Restrepo, his acclaimed documentary of combat in Afghanistan; Tim Hetherington, Junger's codirector, was killed in April while covering the hostilities in Libya.