Coming Attractions

Videodrome frightens, The Third Man intrigues, and E.T. flies in September

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ©2016 Universal Studios

All Rights Reserved


There is plenty of late-summer, early-autumn film fun still to be had in Western New York.  


Thursday Night Terrors—Videodrome: It was only a matter of time before the Thursday Night Terrors series unleashed a David Cronenberg creation, and Videodrome is a killer choice. I asked series organizer Peter Vullo about going with the 1983 that starred James Woods and Debbie Harry. “Cronenberg had an incredible run of movies in the ’70s and ’80s, so it was just a matter of picking an accessible starting point and eventually working forwards and backwards through his filmography from there,” says Vullo. “Videodrome feels especially relevant with its commentary on technology and how it can change us. It's also filled with brilliant and horrific special effects. It's sexy, strange, and kind of gross, which makes it perfect for Terrors." (7:30 p.m. on September 28 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.;


Noir Essentials—The Third Man: Dipson is cornering the market on film series for cinephiles. In addition to the aforementioned Thursday Night Terrors is Noir Essentials, a new monthly retrospective that started in August. For September, host Charles Dugan presents Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man. It’s zither time. (7:30 p.m. on September 20 at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema, 4545 Transit Rd., Williamsville;


Buffalo Film Seminars: The BFS greets September with an iconic, 1930s gangster classic, LIttle Caesar; Leni Riefenstahl’s controversial Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will; Visconti’s epic family drama, Rocco and His Brothers; and Jacques Demy’s still-influential musical, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. (7 p.m. on September 5, 12, 19, and 26, respectively, at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.;


Buffalo Niagara Film Festival: The BNFF returns this month with a new venue, the Four Seasons Cinema in Niagara Falls. The full lineup is posted at; this year’s highlight is probably Shinjuku Swan II, the latest from the great Sion Sono (best known for Tokyo Tribe and Why Don't You Play in Hell?). An acting workshop featuring Buffalo native Tom Todoroff is also on tap. (September 20 to 30 at Four Seasons Cinema, 2429 Military Rd., Niagara Falls;


Flix Free Family Film Series: Summer is not finished! So the free summer movie series at Flix is not finished, either. The Robin Williams-starring Jumanji is the final selection for 2017. (10 a.m. on  September 2 at Flix Stadium 10, 4901 Transit Rd., Lancaster;


Roycroft Film Society—The Sense of an Ending: Jim Broadbent stars in this month’s Roycroft pick, a mystery based on a Julian Barnes novel. The wondrous Charlotte Rampling co-stars. (4 p.m. on September 10 at Parkdale Elementary School, 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora;


TCM Big Screen Classics—E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Steven Spielberg’s E.T. is timeless. While the outfits, locations, and technology may scream 1980s, the film itself remains an emotionally powerful masterpiece. It is the September TCM Big Screen Classics presentation, and it’s hard to think of a better one. Seeing E.T. on the big screen should be pretty magical. (2 and 7 p.m. on September 17 and 20 at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville;


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

© 1984 Studio Ghibli - H


Steve McQueen

photo by Barbara Minty McQueen


Fathom Events—Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Steve McQueen: American Icon: Fathom Events GKIDS Presents Studio Ghibli Fest 2017 continues with one of Hayao Miyazaki’s less-heralded (at least, in the U.S.) but most interesting films. Nausicaä is an epic, future-set story of a heroic princess and a poisoned world. (With giant insects!) Screening on September 28 is American Icon, a documentary exploring the late Steve McQueen. The film pays particular attention to the actor’s final days. (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (dubbed): 12:55 p.m. on September 24; Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (subtitled): 7 p.m. on September 25; Steve McQueen: American Icon: 7 p.m. on September 28; at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville;


Western New York Movie Expo: Here’s a very unique event for cinephiles, a four-day gathering featuring screenings (including silent films), a “memorabilia emporium,” and more. Check for the full rundown. (September 1-4 at the Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo Airport, 4201 Genesee St., Cheektowaga;


The Zookeeper’s Wife at the Town of Collins Public Library: The entertaining recent World War II drama starring Jessica Chastain is certainly worth seeing, especially when it’s offered as a free screening. (1 p.m. on September 1 at the Town of Collins Public Library, 2341 Main St., Collins;


Erie Canal Bicentennial “Heartland Passage Tour”: This performance event celebrating the bicentennial of the digging of the Erie Canal will include a screening of the documentary Boom and Bust. (7 p.m. on September 22 at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.;


Maya Faces in a Smoking Mirror: This feature-length documentary about Mayan cultural identity was shot in Mexico over the course of five years. (7:30 p.m. on September 12 at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave.;


Killer Rack and The Man Who Knew Too Much at the Screening Room: Gregory Lamberson, who was profiled in Spree’s 2015 “film issue,” is a local filmmaker with a resume of fun horror-comedies. Any movie with the title Killer Rack probably fits that category. It screens on September 2 (9:30 p.m.) and 5 (7:30 p.m.) at Amherst’s Screening Room. The venue also has Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much—the 1956 version, starring Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day—set for a series of screenings starting on September 15. As usual, check for updates on dates, times, and additional screenings. (Check for times; all events at the Screening Room, 880 Alberta Dr., Amherst)


Movies in the Meadow: Rogue One: The blockbuster Star Wars spin-off about the quest to steal the plans to the Death Star is the season’s final Movies in the Meadow selection. (8:15 p.m. on September 1 at the Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park, 84 Parkside Ave.;


Bacchus Summer Film Series: Watch Psycho (September 6), Moulin Rouge (September 13), Gran Torino (September 20), and Road to Perdition (September 27) while seated in the lovely courtyard at Bacchus. (Films start at dusk at Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant, 56 W. Chippewa St.;


Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, David Gilmour Live at Pompeii, and The Cocoanuts at the Fredonia Opera House: Fredonia’s annual Freedonia Marxonia festival celebrating the Marx Brothers features a free screening of the brothers’ first film, The Cocoanuts, at Fredonia Opera House on September 29. The Opera House will also hold a high-def screening of the Harold Pinter Theatre (London) presentation of Edward Albee’s Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It is scheduled for September 9 and stars Vera Drake’s Imelda Staunton. And on September 13 comes a screening of David Gilmour Live at Pompeii, a concert film featuring the Pink Floyd legend. As usual, visit for the full listing of Opera House events. (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: 1 p.m. on September 9; David Gilmour Live at Pompeii: 7:30 p.m. on September 13; and The Cocoanuts: 7:30 p.m. on September 29;at the Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St., Fredonia;


Christopher Schobert is a film critic for the Buffalo News and other outlets. Check out his Toronto International Film Festival coverage at and follow him at


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