A young boy gifted with the ability to see ghosts has to rise to the challenge when his small New England town is cursed by the spirit of a vengeful witch in PARANORMAN, the latest 3D stop-motion animated effort from Oregon’s Laika Studios. With an onslaught of mouldering zombies, voluble spirits, and malevolent storm fronts, plus a production that pushes the artistic boundaries of stop-motion in terms of scope and character performance, the film has no shortage of ambition. But is that enough? Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Lawrence French differ wildly with Dan Persons on this point, and the group discuss their divergent impressions in this episode. Plus: Dan’s capsules of the energetic Hong Kong fantasy/actioner PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION, and the indie science fiction romantic comedy CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME.
After several festival screenings around the country (Sundance, Museum of Modern Art, Outfest, etc.), this campy science-fiction comedy shows up for a one-week run at the Downtown Independent Theatre in Los Angeles, with other screenings promised to follow.
Advanced reviews have been favorable. Melissa Anderson of The Village Voice called the film “satisfyingly incongruous and slyly subversive.” Hollywood Reporter’s Justin Lowe predicted that CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME would become “a staple of festival midnight movie programs.”
Written and directed by Madeleine Olnek. Cast: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan, Dennis Davis, Alex Karpovsky, Rae C. Wright, Kimberly FLyn, Clay Drinko, Elizabeth Dahmen. Dates:
August 17-23 at the Downtown Independent Theatre, 251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA (213) 617-1033. Cast and crew will be on hand for Q&A sessions after screenings on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday.
Plot summery from the press kit:
CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME tracks the adventures, misadventures and experiences of three aliens from the planet Zots, sent down to Earth on a mission to rid themselves of romantic emotions, which are considered toxic to their planet’s atmosphere. They are told to have their hearts broken on Earth, where such heartbreak is considered a given.
Two of the aliens, Zylar (promiscuous and sassy) and Barr (codependent and clutchy) fall into an unfortunate romance with each other, but Zoinx, the third, meets Jane, an Earthling of mild manners who lives an uneventful life and works in a stationery store. Unaware that the sudden object of her affection is an alien (despite her bald head and monotone speech), Jane falls hard for Zoinx. The feeling is mutual.
Meanwhile, two undercover government agents are following Jane in order to ﬁnd the spaceship and cover up the existence of the aliens. The Senior Agent has been working for years, ﬁnding himself passed over again and again for promotions, for reasons he is too dense to understand. The Rookie Agent is mysterious and focused, and something is obviously different about him. Their bizarre, comical espionage is another of the ﬁlm’s odd couplings, and reveals itself to be something other than what it seems. By ﬁlm’s end, the espionage car has one less agent, and the spaceship has one more commuter, in this original mash-up of lo-ﬁ New York City romantic comedy and a sci-ﬁ B-movie spoof.