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Film Club: "Paprika," "Chalk," "Knocked Up" and "Once"

While the third "Spiderman" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" break box office records, we'll explore some of early summer's smaller releases. We'll talk about a modern-day musical from a former member o

Film Club: "Paprika," "Chalk," "Knocked Up" and "Once"

Alison St John (Guest Host): Stay with us for an hour of insightful talk, discussion, opinions and recommendations of what to watch out for in San Diego theatres this month.

While Hollywood is churning out its latest version of Shrek , Japan continues to push the boundaries of its trademark anime style. Its latest export is a film called Paprika , and it's being described as Japanese anime for adults. Paprika has a complicated plot involving a machine that allows scientists to enter people's dreams. There's a lot of intrigue and danger in this movie, but its real selling point is the incredibly imaginative, eye-popping dreamscapes. This is the result of both hand-drawn and 3D animation and it makes for a film you definitely want to experience on the big screen.

Paprika opens June 15th at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas. ou can see a special screening of Paprika sponsored by KPBS' Film Club of the Air. It's tomorrow night (Friday) at 7 p.m. at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinema. To get free passes email filmclub@kpbs.org.  

Everyone knows that teachers are underpaid, overworked and generally under-appreciated. The new movie Chalk appears to be a documentary that follows a group of teachers through one school year. But like I said, Chalk just appears to be a documentary, but it's really a mockumentary, in the tradition of Christopher Guest's films like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show . Like a documentary, it has footage of teachers working in the classroom and being interviewed, but really these are actors playing a role, and many of them are improvising. The film was made by two former teachers, one of whom stars in the film. Chalk also uses a number of real-life students and teachers as extras.  

Chalk opens on Friday June 1 at Landmark's Ken Cinema.

Two years ago, director Judd Apatow brought us the hit comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin . His second film opens this weekend and it's called Knocked Up . It tells the story of a slacker stoner named Ben and an ambitious entertainment reporter named Alison. Ben and Alison meet at a club and after a lot of drinking, they commence with the one night stand. But as the title suggests, these two won't get away with just one night. A couple of months go by and Alison learns she's pregnant. She tells Ben, he decides to help out, and they begin dating. The whirlwind that is their unusual courtship makes for a lot of comedic moments, especially since, on the surface, Ben is hardly husband or father material. 

Knocked Up opens in area theaters this weekend.

The Irish independent film Once is a modern-day musical that tells the story of two musicians. One is a street musician in Dublin, known only as Guy. The other is a single mom and classical pianist, who we know as Girl. The two strike up a relationship that is both creative and romantic. The lead singer of the Irish rock band The Frames plays the guy, and the film is directed by his former bandmate John Carney. Critics have been gushing about this film, let's see what our critics think.

Once is currently playing at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinema.

Guests:

  • Beth Accomando, KPBS film critic.
  • Scott Marks, film critic for the Gay and Lesbian Times