See “Nosferatu” and help UW-Cinematheque convert to digital

On the Set of "Nosferatu"

You really don’t need an extra reason to see Werner Herzog’s 1979 chiller “Nosferatu” on the big screen, especially with Halloween coming up. The 1979 film is effect both as an homage and an update to the F.X. Murnau silent vampire classic; as UW student Ryan Waal said on the UW-Cinematheque blog, “this film is emotionally expressive and scary in ways most films only aspire to be, and a fantastic demonstration of Herzog’s abilities to curate and display pure weirdness on the screen.”

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“Gravity,” “Captain Phillips,” and being trapped off the grid


Spoilers abound in this article, not surprisingly.

“I get it.” astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) says to astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) at one point during “Gravity.” “It’s nice up here.” Earlier in the film, before everything goes to hell, Kowalski asks Stone what she likes best about outer space, and she says, “The silence. I could get used to that.”

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“I Used to Be Darker”: Heartbreak in a minor key


“I Used to Be Darker” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. Not rated, 1:30, three and a half stars out of four.

In musicals, people sing when mere dialogue isn’t enough to express the emotions that they’re feeling. In that sense, Matthew Porterfield’s “I Used to Be Darker” follows those same rules. For the most part, the characters are closed off from each other, mumbling pleasantries or veiled insults instead of saying what they mean. It’s only within the safe confines of a song that they feel comfortable revealing themselves.

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“A.C.O.D.”: Breaking up is hard to do with a straight face


A.C.O.D. opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:27, three stars out of four.

“A.C.O.D.” is a movie that might properly described as “sitcommy,” although that speaks less to problems with the movie than just how good sitcoms are these days. With sharp writing and acting, including two of the stars of “Parks and Recreation,” “A.C.O.D.” (“Adult Child of Divorce”) is in the tradition of everything from “I Love Lucy” to “Modern Family,” an amusing collision between insufferable people and those who try to suffer them. It’s more a situation than a story, but a pretty funny situation.

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“Our Children”: A young mother suffocates under her family

Nos Enfants

“Our Children” has its Madison premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St., as part of its Spotlight Cinema series. Not rated, 1:51, three stars out of four.

“Our Children” opens in the aftermath of a horrifying event, one of those unspeakable tragedies that we hear about on cable news and come away a little more convinced that there must be evil in the world. Writer-director Joachim Lafosse gives us a sense of the what, and then the rest of “Our Children” goes back in time to show us the how and, as much as it can be possible to understand, the why.

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