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The Future Is Now: Ten Movies We're Excited About in 2014 

Wednesday, Jan 15 2014

Yes, this list contains one arguably unnecessary sequel, one arguably unnecessary remake, and two true stories, but we must be honest with ourselves and allow that franchise propagation taps directly into what makes movies so fun in the first place: pure anticipation.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Jan. 20

In this curiosity from those ever-adventurous indie stalwarts David and Nathan Zellner, Rinko Kikuchi stars as a lonely Japanese woman who thought the satchel full of money buried by Steve Buscemi's character in Fargo was real, and went looking for it. This is based on a true story. Jonathan Kiefer

The Trip to Italy

Jan. 20

Known for making films that don't resemble each other, director Michael Winterbottom tries a sequel to his quasi-fictive road movie with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a tour of English restaurants and rich comedic rivalry. This Italian reprise sounds delicious, but how will they top the dueling Michael Caine impressions? JK


Feb. 12

If Paul Verhoeven movies always seemed slightly ill-advised to begin with, remakes thereof must deserve some points for chutzpah. Or so we thought until the 2012 Total Recall. But there is at least one good reason to hold out hope for this possibly timeless, possibly pointless parable of a mechanical constable: It stars The Killing's Joel Kinnaman. JK


Feb. 21

Director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass reunite for their first film since completing the Qatsi trilogy in 2002. While there's definitely some Koyaanisqatsi DNA in this film, it's a more languid work, presented in stunning black-and-white digital 4K and composed of a mere 74 shots — often of silent people unnervingly staring right back at you — and thus never quite picking up the pace required for Glass's controversial trademark doodle-deedle-doodle-deedle scoring. Sherilyn Connelly

The Wind Rises

Feb. 21

On the one hand, the latest (and possibly final) anime film from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki is a beautiful, poetic fantasy about real-life WWII aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Zero. On the other hand, the film is already mired in controversy, accused of whitewashing Japan's crimes during the war, and sidestepping the fact that Jiro is designing killing machines. This is why we can't have nice things. SC

Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 & 2

March 21 & April 18

The eternal question of "What's Lars von Trier's damage, anyway?" may or may not be satisfactorily answered by this two-part film, the title of which is likely to raise hackles, as is the fact that the genitals of porn actors having real sex are digitally imposed onto the not-porn actors having not-real sex. But von Trier also made two of the most accomplished films of the past half-decade, Antichrist and Melancholia, so your mileage may vary. SC

Jodorowsky's Dune

March 28

Not a new version of Dune, but instead a documentary about El Topo director Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt in the mid-'70s to turn Frank Herbert's novel (which Jodorowsky never actually read) into an epic film that Jodorowsky intended to accurately replicate the effects of LSD. Oh, what might have been! Portions of the film are simulated using contemporary designs by H.R. Giger and storyboards by Jean "Moebius" Giraud, both of whom would move on to Alien. SC

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

April 4

Marvel Studios has always shown interesting taste in directors for its franchise pictures, and bringing on Anthony and Joe Russo — who, together and separately, have directed some of the best episodes of Arrested Development and Community — for this first post-Avengers Captain America flick may prove to be its smartest choice yet. And, best of all, there's no Robert Downey, Jr. around to smarm up the joint. SC

The Galápagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

April 4

Any new documentary from local filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller is one to mark your calendar for. Their latest is the true tale of strange events that occurred when, in 1929, a philosophically inclined German doctor and his lover decided to get away from it all. Featuring the voices of Cate Blanchett and Diane Kruger, among others, it's billed as "Darwin meets Hitchcock." JK

Winter Sleep


You might reflexively suppose that title describes the current moment on the moviegoing calendar. But how could it if there's a new film from Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) coming soon? We don't know many details yet, but as the Turkish cinema titan himself has said, "It's about humans." From him, that's enough.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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