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Bleak by Jowl: Dancers is dark and gripping.
Only four nights of cinematic splendor left, folks. Here’s this evening’s wheat and chaff:
Dancers, a romantic thriller about a lovesick Swedish woman obsessed with her boyfriend’s dark past. “Heavy-handed” at times, write Sarah Godfrey, but “fascinating” where it counts. 8:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema.
Four Nights With Anna, a stalker flick about lonely Leon, who drugs a young lady and then enacts a series of creepy-ass fantasies. Jeff Winkler: “In the hands of a torture-porn hack, Leon would be just another psycho, but famed Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s deliberate and precise storytelling reveals a weirdo who is both disturbing and sweet.” 6:30 p.m. at Regal Gallery Place.
Sparrow, about Hong Kong gangsters who lose their mojo when an attractive lady starts fuckin’ with their heads. “Smart thieves make great protagonists in any well-directed film,” says Tricia Olszewski, “and Sparrow is no exception.” 6:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema.
The English Surgeon, a documentary on British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, whose “nearly perverse sense of self-importance” drags down an otherwise agile film, Winkler says. 6:30 p.m. at Goethe-Institut.
Kabei, a film about WWII-era Japan, in which the title character has to raise two daughters while her husband, a suspected Commie, languishes in jail. “The film,” Justin Moyer says, “lacks a coherent voice and narrative center…. Kabei is no tearjerker—it’s a film that unreasonably demands tears.” 8:30 p.m. at the Avalon.
Parque Via, which tells the tale of lonely Beto, a live-in housekeeper about to lose his gig, his house, and what passes for a sense of purpose. Aaron Wiener calls it “repetitive but not tedious, bleak but not depressing.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. 6:30 p.m. at the E Street Cinema.
Villa Jasmin, a split-personality film about a young Tunisian man with daddy issues. Andrew Beaujon calls it mopey. 6:30 p.m. at Regal Gallery Place.