This is rare: Montpelier’s Art House theater, The Savoy, has not one, but two SF films screening, at the same time. Montpelier’s snooty veneer is cracking!
Right now, you can catch Under the Skin in their Upstairs theater, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who cruises around England looking to eat men. Downstairs, you can catch Only Lovers Left Alive, starting Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton (what a match that is!) as a pair of vampires.
It’s easy to see just why the Savoy has picked up both films: both have gained a considerable amount of critical buzz, even if the subject matter really isn’t that of what you typically find in your summertime Scifi fare. In a lot of ways, it goes to show just how pervasive science fiction ideas are, especially in this day and age. It’s impossible to deny the influence and impact of technology, and humanity’s relationship to it, and it seems to be bleeding into the types of films that the Savoy typically picks up. Also see Her, which recently screened at the theater, while Jodorowsky’s Dune is coming later this month.
Still, I have a visceral dislike of a dismissal of modern science fiction films. Movies such as Moon, Primer, Gravity, District 9, Minority Report, Children of Men, and others carry with them real weight as entries in SF film canon, and shouldn’t be dismissed in the same breathe as films such as Transformers. However, even films such as Star Trek, Avatar and Pacific Rim have real qualities that not only make them huge summertime spectacles, but also often with some excellent points to pull out and examine.
Under the Skin is Upstairs at 6:30 & 8:30 each evening and with 1:30 & 4:00 matinees on the weekend.
Only Lovers Left Alive is Downstairs at 6:00 & 8:15 each evening, 1:00 & 3:30 matinees on the weekend, and with a special, 11pm screening tonight.
So, maybe it’s time for us to rethink our feelings on the Savoy. Maybe they’ll be on track to bring in some of the latest, critically acclaimed SF films that theaters such as the Majestic 10 and Essex Cinemas wouldn’t touch. Either way, I’ll likely be getting tickets soon.