Queen of the Sun
The Magic Trip
Sept. 14, 9 p.m. Bijou Theatre 275 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. 203-332-3228, thebijoutheatre.org.
The Big Lebowksi
Sept. 10, 7 p.m. Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., New Haven. 203-432-0670, yale.edu/whc.
Destry Rides Again
Sept. 10-11, 11 a.m. Criterion Cinemas, 86 Temple St., New Haven. 203-498-2500, bowtiecinemas.com.
It's after Labor Day, post-Irene, and the school year has started. That means the lazy days of summer are over and there are movies aplenty on view.
First of all, Artspace, 50 Orange St. in downtown New Haven, is screening Queen of the Sun, a film whose subject — the recent declines in bee populations world-wide — coincides with gallery's exhibition Marie Celeste (the name for this bee-depleting syndrome, aka Colony Collapse Disorder). The film investigates the crisis in hive life as both a mystery to be solved, consulting not only professional beekeepers but environmentalists, philosophers, scientists, and other kinds of beekeepers and protectors, and a symptom of our planet's condition, a way of reflecting upon important environmental issues in our time, while at the same time letting viewers experience some of the wonders of nature. Sept. 10, 6 p.m., $5.
Check out Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood's The Magic Trip (2011), an "archival verité" revisiting of Ken Kesey's legendary outings with his Merry Pranksters, acid-addled youth (including novelist Robert Stone, late of Yale) who, in 1964, took to the road in a bus (destination: "Further") and filmed and taped 40 hours of it, including the speed-induced ramblings of the even more legendary Neal Cassady (hero of Kerouac's On the Road, and of Ginsberg's Howl) — "there was cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to Never-neverland," say the Dead in the song "That's It For The Other One"*; the directors have distilled it all to about two hours' worth of frolics at the straight world's expense; at the newly restored Bijou in Bridgeport, Sept. 14, 9 p.m.
If you prefer your California zanies in a more edgy zeitgeist, Yale's Whitney Humanities Center is presenting, righteously free of charge, the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, in which the spirit of those long-gone days of haze abides in the figure of The Dude (Jeff Bridges, in one of his most iconically laconic roles), a hapless sap who gets into an extortion scheme way over his addled head, with supporting roles from John Goodman and Steve Buscemi that attain to the status of myth: Sept. 10, 7 p.m.
And at the Criterion, New Haven, the tribute to one of film's most famous icons, Marlene Dietrich, continues with Destry Rides Again (1939), Sept. 10-11, 11 a.m. Co-starring James Stewart, as a lawman who won't wear a gun, doggone it, it's the kind of film that might be called "surreal" if only because it brings together, the way surrealism does a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table, the Wild West, the ultra-Teutonic Dietrich, as "Frenchy," no less (a role best-known as the inspiration for Madeline Kahn's hilarous take-off in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles), and Stewart, the dad next-door type, as the gosh-durnit sheriff. Only in Hollywood.
Also this weekend: The newly restored Bijou, redolent of a Golden Age of movie theaters, complete with a bar and cabaret-style tables as well as stadium-style seating, holds its Gala Opening on Friday, Sept. 9, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and entertainment by cabaret-style singer and satirist Christine Pedi, of "Forbidden Broadway" fame. 272 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, 203-332-3228.
*This story originally said these lyrics were in the song "Cassady," but we've since discovered that that was incorrect. Those lyrics are fromthe song "That's It For The Other One." We regret the error.