Movie buffs have been known to refer to Sundance Audience Award winners as a load of garbage. In the case of Waste Land, which took the gong last year and has also been shortlisted for an Academy Award, the description is apt. The documentary about a Brooklyn artist who goes home to Brazil to visit Jardim Gramacho, also known as the world’s largest garbage dump, opens at the Avalon Theatre Friday.
Other picks this week: a midnight (presumably Glee-inspired) screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the last chance to see Tanya Hamilton’s stunning debut, Night Catches Us, at the West End Cinema.
Tuesday, January 11
Alamar (To the Sea) closes at the West End Cinema Thursday, so this is your last chance to see the sun-drenched, docu-fiction tale of a father attempting to bond with his son by Mexico’s idyllic Banco Chinchorro reef. Tickets ($11) are available on West End Cinema’s Web site.
Wednesday, January 12
Double-dealing, fraud, and duplicity get a closer look in two movies closing Thursday: George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack, starring Kevin Spacey as the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, about the hidden forces behind the 2008 financial crisis. Casino Jack is at the Avalon Theatre; Inside Job at the West End Cinema. Tickets to both movies ($11 each) are available here.
Thursday, January 13
Night Catches Us, a movie that compelled Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers to declare “remember her name” of director Tanya Hamilton, closes at the West End Thursday, so catch it while you can. Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington star in the drama, set in 1970s Philadelphia, about two former Black Panthers coming to terms with their past. Buy tickets ($11) here.
Friday, January 14
Pickings are a little slim this weekend as far as new releases go, but Avalon Theatre sees the opening of Waste Land, a documentary by Lucy Walker which follows artist Vik Muniz and his attempts to build something meaningful from the giant mountain of trash outside of Rio de Janeiro ($11 at the door). And Landmark E Street is hosting a midnight screening of 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Buy advance tickets ($10) at E Street’s Web site.
Saturday, January 15
If Japanese animated science-fiction romance movies aren’t your usual cup of tea, take a chance on Summer Wars, which opens at the West End Friday. The story of Kenji, a young, mathematically gifted but socially challenged high-school student, has been charming reviewers and festival boards alike. Get tickets ($11) at the door—they’re not yet available online.
Sunday, January 16
The National Gallery screens three movies January 16 from its “Stories From a Russian Province” film series. Director Marina Razbezhkina appears in person to present The Holidays, her film about two children at boarding school who long to return to their home village. Also on the program are Tiny Katerina, directed by Ivan Golovnev, and Valery Solomin’s Fisherman and the Dancer. 4.30; free.
Monday, January 17
The AFI Silver Theatre commemorates MLK Day with a screening of the 1970 film King: A Filmed Record . . . Montgomery to Memphis. The documentary compilation by Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz features narration and commentary from Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, and more. 10 AM and 1 PM; free.