There are ominous echoes of the past in this fall’s crop of “Halloween movies,” which is what we call them – even though most of the season’s signal scarers will be unleashed well in advance of October 31.
At this writing, the biggest attraction in theaters – by a long shot – is a new version of Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel, It. The tale of a killer clown used a clever marketing campaign and Me Decade nostalgia to gross more than $200 million in its first ten days of release. Not surprisingly, a remake is already in the works, and King’s book royalties have been accordingly boosted.
However, another harkening to 40-plus years back figures to have fantasy-film folk really a-chatter this month. Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction/neo-noir classic Blade Runner, opens October 6. Scott didn’t direct this time – Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) did – but Scott helped develop the story and was an executive producer, and the new version brings back original star, Harrison Ford, as 21st century gumshoe Rick Deckard.
Ford is in support this time, as he continues to revisit his most famous characters (Deckard joining Indiana Jones and Han Solo). Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto head the 2049 cast. But which version of the first Blade Runner will the sequel treat as canon: the theatrical original, with its voiceover narration and studio-imposed ending, or Scott’s more-ambiguous 1991 director’s cut? Another issue to be settled has to do with the … uh, nature of Ford’s character.
Since Scott is strongly involved with the sequel, maybe those questions won’t be so hard to answer. But as the Blade Runner sequel has been in development for 18 years(!), one hopes it will be worth the wait.
The season’s “Halloween movie” in the Flint Institute of Arts’ Friends of Modern Art film series is also a piece of sci-fi, but one that adds dark comedy and social commentary. Colossal – at the museum October 27-29 – offers Anne Hathaway as a jobless, alcoholic writer whose dreary life in New York City is jolted by the very real possibility that she is closely linked to a giant reptile wreaking havoc in South Korea. This is also a romance, as evidenced by the presence of co-star Jason Sudeikis, but there’s much more depth to the story than this cursory description allows.
Colossal is one of four titles in the mainline FOMA series at FIA. The month begins October 6-8 with I, Daniel Blake, a drama from England about a working man’s quest against government bureaucracy to find proper health care. Manifesto (October 13-15) showcases the acting skills of Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett, in a series of vignettes, and My Cousin Rachel (October 20-22) revives Daphne Du Maurier’s Gothic novel with Rachel Weisz in the title role.
An additional offering at FIA this month (October 26, 28 and 29) is My Journey Through French Cinema, a documentary in which acclaimed director Bertrand Tavernier presents a personal overview of cinematic influences from his native country.
Information on all screenings at the FIA is available by visiting flintarts.org or by calling 810.234.1695.