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Big Screen | This Week’s Top 5: “Shoah,” “The Fighter,” Thessaloniki and More

Big Screen | This Week's Top 5: "Shoah," "The Fighter," Thessaloniki and More

Each week here at indieWIRE, five recommendations for theatrical viewing pleasure are being offered up, tackling everything from new releases, to film festivals, to curated series and events around North America. This week, a re-release of one of the greatest docs of all time, Greece’s premiere film festival event, and the theatrical debuts of “The Fighter,” “You Won’t Miss Me” and “Everything Is Going Fine” top the list…

1. Shoah
IFC Films is re-releasing Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah” – often regarded as one the greatest documentaries ever made – in honor of its 25th anniversary. Using 2 brand new 35mm prints, the re-release begins this Friday at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York, with a national rollout in 2011. Nine and a half hours long, and chronicling the systematic murdering process behind Hitler’s Final Solution, “Shoah” might seem like an overwhelming cinematic experience to take on. But its well worth it.

““Shoah’ taps into an inaccessible world with experiential hints,” Eric Kohn wrote for indieWIRE. “Its most memorable extended sequence features Abraham Bomba, a Treblinka survivor selected to cut the hair of prisoners before they were gassed. Lanzmann shoots Bomba in a modern-day barbershop, capturing his testimony as the survivor clips away at the head of a blank-faced customer. The director’s intentions command tremendous power precisely because of their transparency. Lanzmann makes us watch an everyday routine while we hear about its swift transformation into a ritual of death.”

Check out the trailer for the re-release:

2. The Fighter (criticWIRE page)
“I Heart Huckabees” and “Three Kings” director David O. Russell’s boxing biopic of “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older brother Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale) is one of December’s MVPs when it comes to Oscar season. Its cast – particularly Bale and supporting actresses Amy Adams (as Ward’s girlfriend) and Melissa Leo (as the brothers’ overbearing mother) – are all essentially assured acting nods, and its a pretty safe bet for Oscar’s top ten.

Check out the film’s trailer:

3. Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Continuing through December 12th, Greece’s largest film festival offers a wide array of work in its international competition, including David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom,” Athina Rachel Tsangari’s “Attenberg,” Mike Ott’s recent Gotham Award winner “Littlerock,” Michelangelo Frammartino’s “Le Quattro Volte,” and Belma Baş’s “Zephyr.” Check out the festival’s website for more information.

4. You Won’t Miss Me (criticWIRE page)
A kaleidoscopic film portrait of Shelly Brown, a twenty-three-year-old alienated urban misfit, Ry Russo-Young’s “Miss Me” won the “best film not playing at a theater near you” award at last year‘s Gotham Awards, and just over a year later, it has proved its award wrong, opening in theatrical release this Friday, December 10th.

Check out the trailer here:

5. And Everything Is Going Fine (criticWIRE page)
Steven Soderbergh’s Spalding Grey documentary “And Everything is Going Fine” debuted at Slamdance earlier this year and is now finding its way into art houses. A series of clips of Grey’s monologues and interviews, it’s a heartfelt tribute to Grey, who committed suicide in 2004.

Check out the trailer:

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