Hello cinema friends,

This weekend at the Cinema brings two very different takes on parenthood—the sublime and the absurd—and two startling visions of existential crisis—in faith and in space. 

Woody Norman, Joaquin Phoenix (L-R)

Mike Mills' C’mon C’mon is a disarming and affirming story of adults and children in which Joaquin Phoenix's Johnny, an emotionally stunted, soft spoken radio journalist unwittingly plays parent to his nephew on a cross-country roadtrip. The film is a midlife, black and white reverie—emotional, funny, and universal. Meanwhile, in the late-night slot, following Columbia’s annual Living Windows celebration this Friday night, we screen the Schwarzenegger/Sinbad-helmed holiday cult sensation, Jingle All the Way. This 1996 questionable family comedy is the stuff of Shakespeare á la Freud, with bad dads dueling for a rare action figure—its artificial scarcity made metaphor for their waning influence in their son’s lives. Don’t overthink it, Ted.

Additionally, on Friday, Paul Verhoeven (the Dutch filmmaker and maximalist master of satire and subversion responsible for Robocop and Basic Instinct, among others), unleashes Benedetta—the true story of a 17th-century French nun caught between a forbidden romance within the convent and her ecstatic visions that threaten both her life and the entire Church. Finally, Warped & Faded continues late-night on Saturday with genre-juggernaut John Carpenter’s premier effort, Dark Star, a true space oddity. Remarkably groovy, the flick finds a laid-back crew of astronauts obliterating planets in the name of some misguided mission. Depending on your outlook, things get more or dramatically less groovy as the captain is accidentally cryogenically frozen and intergalactic existential hysteria sets in.

Stay weird and beautiful,