Cinema al Fresco—Factory on 5th Art Space (1715 Fifth Street NW) is sponsoring a series of outdoor film screenings this summer. The Outdoor Movie Festival began last Thursday with the classic adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark. Things pick up again this Thursday, June 14, with the awesome Paul Newman prison drama Cool Hand Luke. Future screenings include 2001: A Space Odyssey (June 21), The Pink Panther (June 28) and Easy Rider (July 5). Screenings start at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.). Bring your own lawn chair and a suggested $5 donation. For more info, log on to www.factoryon5.com.
Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea
Apt documentary takes a look at one of the odder, more tragic places in America
There was never a story quite like this: In a matter of several years, a dry, salty desert basin in Southern California becomes an unintentional lake. This corner of the Earth gradually transforms from affluent resort to ecological massacre. A century later the place remains a massacre, a "beautifully awful paradise" where "success and failure collide." How American.
The ’80s were a pretty strange decade for horror films. In a way, you could almost say they were the antithesis to the gritty, survivalist-style horror flicks that defined the ’70s. Instead of the raw power of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, horror flicks in the ’80s were frequently accentuated with comedy bits and nudity for the sheer sake of nudity—often with dismal results. But when they worked, damn did these gems of the Reagan era kick a helluva lot of ass.
“Flight of the Conchords” on HBO
Let us not lament the loss of what has been and gone (“The Sopranos,” “Rome,” “Deadwood,” “Carnivale”). Let us, instead, look with hopeful eyes toward the future of HBO’s Sunday night lineup. I’m excited for a new season of “Entourage” (beginning this very Sunday). I can’t say I completely get David Milch’s apocalyptic “surf noir” series “John from Cincinnati”—but I’m intrigued enough to keep watching. And now I’m happy to welcome one of my favorite new shows to the schedule, the oddly endearing comedy “Flight of the Conchords.”