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Something Wild (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

There are a lot of oddly shaped little boxes you could try to smoosh Something Wild into: a road movie, a cult film, or (most dubiously) one that invokes the phrase "manic pixie dream girl." Jonathan Demme's 1986 offbeat neon-bubblegum-pulp-powerpop-psycho-violent paean, though, doesn't fit any one of those genre identifiers. Demme, who passed away earlier this year, followed up his shaggy and sublime Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense (which screens Sept. 23 at Cinematheque) with this tense tale of a free-wheeling woman, Lulu (Melanie Griffith), who turns the life of bland banker Charles Driggs (Jeff Daniels) on its head and pulls him into her giddily chaotic lifestyle. Everything is all fun and games until Lulu's ex, Ray (Ray Liotta), shows up—and then things take a dark and decidedly unhinged turn. Something Wild is a hip goddamn movie, with music by Laurie Anderson and John Cale, and a memorable prom scene in which The Feelies hold court. Clock watchers will thrill to the incredible cinematography from Tak Fujimoto, who got his start working with Terrence Malick before applying here the lessons he learned from lensing better-known '80s classics Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty In Pink. If you only caught this still underrated gem when Criterion put it out six years back, now is an excellent time to revisit it. —Chris Lay

Earlier Event: September 29
Palehound, Pile, Trophy Dad (free)
Later Event: September 30
Dylan Moran