Scary Nights at the Museum

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Many of the nation’s filmgoers will satisfy their annual Halloween movie fix this month with Venom, Goosebumps 2 or the this-is-the-last-one-we-promise Halloween reboot with the indestructible Michael Myers and the inimitable Jamie Lee Curtis.

But at the Flint Institute of Arts, the cinematic Halloweens are less conventional. This October, the museum’s scheduled monster-related pictures are a biography of the unlikely creator of “Frankenstein” and a modern Jekyll-and-Hyde tale from France about a dualistic science teacher.

Maybe you’ll shudder a little rather than jump out of your seat, but the artistic effect promises to be worth it.

Mary Shelley, showing October 12-14 in the museum’s Friends of Modern Art film series, could be subtitled “How Frankenstein Came to Be.” Played by Elle Fanning, Mary battles polite early 19th century society – and her own family’s horror – to author one of the most famous gothic novels of all time … one that made its humanly assembled, electrically charged being into a cultural icon.

Showing October 26-28 is Madame Hyde, a French tale with a twist. A science teacher, played by Isabelle Huppert, undergoes strange personality changes after she is struck by lightning during a harvest moon. Her new alter ego is confident, powerful … and dangerous.

Two more empowered women are central to non-Halloween FOMA series entries this month.

The Wife, showing October 5-7, is already garnering Oscar buzz for Glenn Close’s portrayal of the devoted spouse of a novelist (Jonathan Pryce) who is about to win a Nobel Prize. The occasion of the award ceremony forces her to come to grips with how she has sublimated her own writing talents for the sake of her mate.

Screening October 25 and 27-28, Love, Gilda is a documentary about Detroit native Gilda Radner, the pioneering Saturday Night Live regular who was taken from us way too soon. Radner is recalled in her own words in a film that weaves together recently discovered audiotapes, rare home movies and interviews with friends and colleagues.

The month’s other FOMA film is Denmark’s The Guilty, in which a former police officer races against time after answering an emergency call – and uncovers a far bigger crime. This gripping thriller, coming October 19-21, was lately honored at the Sundance Film Festival.

As always, information on all screenings at the FIA is available by visiting FlintArts.org or calling 810.234.1695.

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