Opening This Week

Karin Sturn/Producers Distribution Agency

A look at smaller and independent releases for this week.

Senna
Directed by Asif Kapadia (Producers Distribution Agency, Aug. 12)

Aryton Senna, the Brazilian Formula One champion who was killed on the track at age 34, is the subject of Kapadia's film, which won the Audience Award for World Documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Todd McCarthy praised its "outstanding racing footage, often from the point of view of the driver himself," saying Senna's "life story merits the attention it receives in this unexpected and very good documentary."

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
Directed by Sofie Fiennes (Alive Mind Cinema, Aug. 10)

Fiennes (sister of Ralph and Joseph) trains her camera on German artist Anselm Kiefer and, without adding any narration, watches as he creates a half-dozen of his large installation paintings. "This little film of austere beauty is aimed at a small elite of art connoisseurs and cineastes," Maggie Lee wrote when the film bowed at Cannes in 2010. Newcomers to Kiefer's work may find it tough going, though, since "little background is given about the artist. One is expected to know it all or not give a toss."

3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy
Directed by Christopher Sun (China Lion, Aug. 12)

A reboot of Michael Mak's 1991 erotic cult classic Sex and Zen, Sun tosses 3D into the mix as he follows the picaresque tale of a scholar looking to become a better lover after the collapse of his marriage. "The movie's not pornographic in the traditional sense; this is purely 'R' material," Elizabeth Kerr said, reviewing it in Hong Kong. But after an hour of "amusing escapades, things take a turn for the decidedly vicious," and as the movie focuses on torture and rape, "the overall tone becomes intensely unpalatable."

ALSO OPENING: Aug. 12

  • 30 Minutes or Less (Sony)
    Directed by Ruben Fleischer
    Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari
     
  • Final Destination 5 (Warner Bros.)
    Directed by Steven Quale
    Starring Nicholas D'Agosto and Emma Bell
     
  • Glee the 3D Concert Movie (Fox)
    Directed by Kevin Tancharoen
    Starring the cast of Glee.
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