What We Do in the Shadows, a vampire romp written by, directed by, and starring New Zealand clowns Jemaine Clement (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark) may be the best horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead. It opens Friday at Music Box, and our long review is here. Also in this week’s issue, Ben Sachs recommends Wild Tales, an Argentinian feature collecting stories of chance and revenge.
Check out our new reviews of: Actress, a documentary about a former TV actress, now a mother of two, who decides to get back into show business; Ballet 422, which chronicles the development of a new piece for the New York City Ballet; Bluebird, starring Steppenwolf veteran Amy Morton as a small-town bus driver thrown for a loop when a child freezes to death on her vehicle; Focus, an international tale of intrigue with Will Smith; Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, an Israeli drama about a woman trying to win a divorce from her husband; The Lazarus Effect, a low-budget horror item from the company that gave the world Paranormal Activity; Poison Pen, screening as the opening-night program of the Chicago Irish Film Festival; Tales, an Iranian drama that interweaves the stories of ordinary people in Tehran; and What’s the Time in Your World?, another Iranian import, starring Leila Hatami (A Separation).
Best bets for repertory: Jean-Luc Godard’s Every Man for Himself (1980), Saturday and Monday, and Hail Mary (1985), Saturday and Wednesday, at Gene Siskel Film Center; Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center; and the four Marx Bros. in Horse Feathers (1932), with matinees Saturday and Sunday at Music Box. Don’t forget these special events: Annoyance Film Night, a collection of comedy shorts, Sunday at Annoyance Theatre, and An Evening With Ernie Gehr, with the experimental filmmaker introducing two new shorts, Friday at University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts.