SouthFlorida.com
Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!

Weekend preview: Indie films and indie girls

Movies create communities, from the fresh-faced mob bonding over a free screening of Disney’s “Frozen” in Hollywood on Friday, to the only slightly less frisky crowd headed to “Life Partners” in Fort Lauderdale and the audience looking for more complicated entertainment from the Glen Campbell documentary “I’ll Be Me” in Miami and Lake Worth.

“Life Partners,” a girl-with-lesbian-BFF-meets-boy dramedy starring Gillian Jacobs (“Community”), Leighton Meester (“Gossip Girl”), Adam Brody (“The O.C.”) and Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”), is one of two films to debut on Friday at the Cinema Paradiso theaters, as part of  a three-week indie film series created by veteran South Florida art-house curator Robert Rosenberg. It joins the dark Italian comedy “Viva La Liberta.”

A former New Yorker now living in Miami Beach and a founding director of the popular Coral Gables Art Cinema, Rosenberg believes the Cinema Paradiso theaters in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood are under-appreciated gems.  

“Each one of them is delightful in different ways,” he says.  

The downtown Fort Lauderdale theater (503 SE Sixth St.), located in a former church but retrofitted with all the latest digital technology, has “incredible atmosphere… it has history, a sense of place.”

In advance of his guest programming gig for the Broward Film Society (which runs Cinema Paradiso), Rosenberg recently made his first visit to the year-old Cinema Paradiso Hollywood (2008 Hollywood Blvd.), an 80-seat theater set inside a downtown storefront. Another uniquely charming space, Rosenberg says, comparing Hollywood Boulevard to a mini Lincoln Road “with its own funky flavor.”

“They did a wonderful job with this little old storefront. It’s very comfortable. It’s very intimate. And they just put a marquee up, with the old-fashioned letters, so you can see it from down the street,” he says.

Citing eight nonprofit art houses in Miami-Dade County, Rosenberg says two theaters leave Broward County “under-screened.” But he does see “incredible opportunity” for growth. The audience is there, he says.

“I was at the Green Bar & Kitchen (a health-conscious café on 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale), at Sunday brunch with a friend who had never been to Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale, had heard of it vaguely, and didn’t know there was one in Hollywood,” he says. “And we looked around  at the 20- and 30-somethings, it was packed, and I said, ‘I bet you 90 percent of these people have no idea either theater exists.’

“And this was a ‘Williamsburg-in-Fort-Lauderdale’ crowd. The hip, funky crowd who would just love to come and see a cool, foreign film, or a cool American indie film,” Rosenberg says.

“Life Partners” and “Viva La Liberta” will screen Friday-Dec. 11 at both Cinema Paradiso theaters. “Life Partners” director Susanna Fogel will take part in a Skype Q&A at the 1:30 p.m. Sunday screening in Fort Lauderdale. Info: 954-525-3456, FLIFF.com.

NIKKI LANE IS IN MY EARS
Friday at 10 a.m. is your first shot at advance-price, two-day passes to the Tortuga Music Festival, April 11-12 on Fort Lauderdale beach, with headliners Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band. The general-admission passes cost $149, with two-day VIP passes ($699) and Super VIP ($1,099) also available.

The headliners get the job done, with Chesney the crowd-pleasing star of the first Tortuga in 2013 and Brown just perfect in every way for the beachside vibe of the event. But what about the supporting acts? From Jake Owen and Trace Adkins to Chase Rice, Frankie Ballard, Chase Bryant, Sam Hunt and David Nail, there will be no shortage of guys perfectly stubbled for the occasion.

Yet another reason to look forward to the moody Nikki Lane, whose 2011 debut, “Walk of Shame,” chronicled a life of lousy boyfriends and one-nighters, followed this year with “All or Nothin’,” produced by the Black KeysDan Auerbach and filled with (as she told Rolling Stone) “lots of talk of misbehaving and moving on.”

Info: TortugaMusicFestival.com.

GLEN CAMPBELL, TENDERLY
Bruce Springsteen, the Edge, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Steve Martin, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Sheryl Crow are just some of the famous faces who testify to the influence of country icon Glen Campbell in the documentary “I’ll Be Me.” But more memorable will be scenes when the camera trails Campbell, especially the tender moments with family offstage, during the 2011 farewell tour that followed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In pushing its Oscar potential, the Los Angeles Times said the film “puts a brave, much-adored face on a disease that has touched so many families.” Especially frustrating then to learn that it will open in South Florida on Friday in a grand total of one theater, the Regal South Beach Stadium 18 (1120 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 844-462-7342). A second screen, at the Stonzek Theatre (713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; 561-296-9382), is scheduled to begin showing “I’ll Be Me” on Dec. 12. If you would like to explain, nicely, why those in charge should make the film more widely available in South Florida (hello, Broward?), contact PCH Films at GlenCampbellMovie.com.

A BABOON BOON
A year of 20th anniversary performances by the Baboons, who introduced their lively funk-rock-salsa-circus hybrid at Fort Lauderdale’s late-great Squeeze nightclub, continues at 9 p.m. Saturday at Fritz & Franz Bierhaus (60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables). Because this also will be a birthday celebration for lead singer Majica, we expect the Baboons (Mano Pila, Miguel Rega, Michael Mut, Isaac Rodriguez and Dominick Cama) to take the show where few have gone before. Info: Facebook.com/TheBaboons.

YOUR WEEKEND BEER
You’ll need to drink a lot of the stuff in your garage fridge this weekend to create space for Funky Buddha’s top-selling Floridian Hefeweizen and Hop Gun India Pale Ale, which will be available in bottles for the first time beginning Wednesday at Total Wine & More, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Whole Foods in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but in January the Oakland Park brewery plans to launch bottled versions of Zen Session IPA (formerly known as Crusher IPA) and a limited four-pack release of the cult-favorite porter Last Snow. Info: 954-440-0046, FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.

DEL REY OF HOPE
As you know, tickets will go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday for a June 16 concert at the Cruzan Amphitheatre by the lovely Lana Del Rey ($19-$73.50 at LiveNation.com). Interesting to note that former Hole rocker Courtney Love is joining her for the first few tour dates, but not, as things stand now, the show in West Palm Beach. But we like to think that will change.

Del Rey’s Love connection is a complicated one. Earlier this year, in an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, the “Born To Die” singer listed Love’s late husband, Kurt Cobain, among her heroes, and she was quoted as saying she found the idea of dying so young alluring. This earned a sharp rebuttal on Twitter from Cobain and Love’s daughter, Francis Bean, who wasn’t 2 years old when her father died.

Francis Bean is the executive producer of the recently announced documentary of Cobain, “Montage of Heck,” scheduled to air on HBO in 2015. While Love is said to have no editorial control over the film, she does (according to HBO) appear in it and, in the interest of supporting her daughter, may welcome the publicity opportunities the Del Rey tour offers. Info: LanaDelRey.com

M'S THE WORD
Reminder: Tickets will go on sale 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8, to see the divine Bette Midler, who’ll open a 22-city national tour in support of her new album, “It’s the Girls!,” May 8-9 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. Tickets: $154, $254, $354 and $454. Info: MyHRL.com.

STEINBECK’S MICE AND MEN
Coral Gables Art Cinema (260 Aragon Ave.) this weekend will show performances of the landmark John Steinbeck play “Of Mice and Men,” a Broadway production distinguished by critically lauded performances of Oscar nominee James Franco and Tony nominee Chris O’Dowd, filmed onstage by National Theatre Live. Show times are 1 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Tickets are $20. Info: 786-385-9689, GablesCinema.com; NTLive.NationalTheatre.org.uk.

CAT DOES NOT HAVE HIS TONGUE
I heard comedian John Caparulo making fun of “cat people” on “Paul and Young Ron” the other day. As someone who just acquired our family’s first cat, I found the jokes … hilarious. Here’s a Caparulo being catty: “I miss having a pet. We're not allowed to have dogs in my building. We're allowed to have cats. My friend's like, 'Why don't you get a cat?' I'm like, 'Why don't I just start kissing dudes, too, alright? Why don't I do that? Just go all the way with that one.' You can't be a single guy with a cat, alright? It just looks bad: you're either gay or you're a villain.” Caparulo performs through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Improv (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets:  $17. Info: 954-981-5653, FTL.Improv.com.

‘SUMMER’ LOVIN’
If you have a daughter of a certain age living in your home, then you have heard many of the songs in the soundtrack of Disney’s animated hit “Frozen” more than once. For instance, I have heard Olaf’s “In Summer” precisely 373 times. Forget about “Let It Go.” So we’re expecting the chorus of young voices at a free 8 p.m. Friday screening of “Frozen” will be heard far beyond the confines of Hollywood’s ArtsPark. Info: 954-921-3500, VisitHollywoodFL.org.

HAPPY HOLIDAY HEADS-UP
The Snow Owl Market, from the folks who bring you Night Owl Market and Food in Motion, is set to create a pop-up holiday marketplace on Dec. 12 in downtown Fort Lauderdale. From 5 to 11 p.m., you’ll find displays by local artists, designers, sweets vendors, businesses and boutiques in Peter Feldman Park (310 NE Sixth St.), which will be decorated for Flagler Village’s inaugural light-up event. There will be 15 food trucks on site, and City Church will offer live music and caroling karaoke, so bring your fah-lah-lah-lah-lah. Admission is free, there will be free beer for those 21 and older (while supplies last) and free parking (with shuttle service) at Sears Town. Info: FlaglerNOM.com.

HAPPY XMAS
The traveling road show Classic Albums Live, which offers a note-for-note homage to iconic rock albums, was a sellout at the Parker Playhouse in June with the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” On Friday, they have a better idea: the music of John Lennon — recordings as a soloist, with the Beatles and the Plastic Ono Band — wrapped up in a package titled “A Very Lennon Christmas.” Included will be everything from “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” to “A Day in the Life,” “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and “Imagine.” Tickets: $39-$59. The Parker Playhouse is at 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Info: 954-462-0222, ParkerPlayhouse.org.

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
69°