X-2: X-MEN UNITED (PG-13) Summer movie season kicks off with the sequel to the hit comic book adaptation. The follow-up adds even more "gifted" mutants to the mix, with heroes like Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Alan Cumming's Nightcrawler teaming with villains like Ian McKellan's Magneto to fight ruthless military meanies.
CHOPIN: DESIRE FOR LOVE (NR) Covering similar ground as the film Impromptu, director Jerzy Antczak explores Chopin's struggle for recognition in France and his romance with French writer George Sand. With music by Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Polish Club of Atlanta and Chopin Society of Atlanta. May 1, 8 p.m. Lefont Garden Hills Cinema, 2835 Peachtree Road. $13 ($12 for members). 678-319-1020. www.polishclubofatlanta.org.
FILM/VIDEO NIGHT (NR) Filmmakers Alan Algee, Andy Stewart, Jesse Hulcher, Nathan Antolik and Robin Brasington among others present a diverse program of works on digital video, including several pieces that comment on the mass media. April 30, 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum Art Music Gallery, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 8. $3. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.
MARQUISE OF O (1976) (NR) Director Eric Rohmer brings his mastery of understatement to retell Heinrich von Kleist's tale of a young widow rescued from a rape who finds herself mysteriously pregnant several months later. Crossing the Border: French-German Films. April 30, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388.
OSCAR SHORTS 2003 (NR) Peachtree Film Society offers its annual program of Academy Award winners and nominees over two nights. The program of live action and animated shorts include such winners as "This Charming Man" and "The ChubbChubbs!" but my favorites are the talking rocks of "Das Rad." April 29, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Lefont Garden Hills Cinema, 2835 Peachtree Road. $7.50 each ($6.50 for PFS members). 404-266-2850. www.peachtreefilm.org. --CH
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) (NR) George Cukor directs one of the most scintillating screwball comedies every made, as Katherine Hepburn's society girl is torn between her debonair ex-husband Cary Grant, her social-climbing fiance John Howard and down-to-earth reporter Jimmy Stewart -- who won an Oscar for his role. Commune Classics Series, May 5 at dusk. Commune Restaurant, 1198 Howell Mill Road. Free with dinner. 404-609-5000.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Marietta Star Cinema.
RUSSIAN ARK (2002) (NR) Nothing short of a masterpiece, Alexander Sokurov's sublime, dreamy, brilliant survey of the opulence and despair of Russia's history was shot entirely within the confines of the Hermitage Museum and in a single continuous shot using a High Def video camera in almost constant movement. Films at the High. May 2, 8 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.--FF
SUMMER LOVE (2002) (NR) A rebellious 12-year-old finds love and comes of age by spending the summer at a friend's country home in southeast Turkey in 1973. Films at the High: Discovering Turkish Cinema. May 3, 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium. $5. 404-733-4570. www.high.org.
WELLFAIR (NR) This evening of short films includes a mix of comedies, dramas and experimental works and features "La Casa de Los Gatos," a short documentary from Atlanta's Jeri Rowland. April 29, 8:30 p.m. MJQ, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. Free.
ABOUT SCHMIDT (R) Jack Nicholson does an about-face in his performance as a smaller-than-life midwestern insurance executive facing multiple crises -- mostly funny ones -- upon retirement. Election director Alexander Payne's critique of American mediocrity can feel snide and elitist, but also has considerable comic invention, from Schmidt's inappropriate letters to an impoverished African boy to Kathy Bates and Dermot Mulroney as the prospective in-laws from hell.--CH
ADAPTATION (R) One of the best and brightest films of the year, this brilliant follow-up to director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman's Being John Malkovich follows the self-loathing tribulations of Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) as he struggles to adapt cerebral New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean's (Meryl Streep) book The Orchid Thief for the screen. An astoundingly inventive exploration of writing's emotional and psychological complexity, the film also goes far deeper than its clever meta-construction to become a tender, lovely glimpse into the search for elusive dreams and desires in all of our lives.--FF
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