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Spring Guide 2012: The Stabbin' Cabin

Enjoy a rustic bloodbath

'Goodbye First Love'
April 20

That first kiss is always followed by the agonizing first heartbreak. . . . Again digging into the bittersweet nostalgia of adolescence vanishing, rising French writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve (The Father of My Children) proves a sensitive storyteller with a Rohmer-like talent for sustaining mood and sexually candid nuance. When teenage Camille (Lola Créton) falls for older boy Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), their familiar affair and subsequent implosion leads to a decade of misguided devotion and poignant, gorgeously lensed longing. IFC Films, in limited release, ifcfilms.com

'Sound of My Voice'
April 27

Writer-actress Brit Marling broke out of last year's Sundance with two naturalistic sci-fi dramas—the first being the modestly cosmic dud Another Earth. Working here with director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij, Marling shines as the messianic leader of an insidious suburban cult that has been infiltrated by two doc filmmakers. Never less than riveting, this tautly scripted feature proves teasing suspense is more important than a blockbuster budget. Fox Searchlight, in limited release, foxsearchlight.com

'Céline and Julie Go Boating'
May 4–10

When redheaded librarian Julie (Dominique Labourier) spots cabaret magician Céline (Juliet Berto) dropping her scarf in the park, the pursuit leads to a curious new friendship and a down-the-rabbit-hole, shaggy dog of a masterpiece from the French New Wave's most mystical figure, Jacques Rivette. Presented in a new 35mm print, 1974's flirtatiously dreamy, delicately experimental comedic melodrama (of sorts) is hard to define but drips with spontaneous energy, game-changing puzzles, and delightful mise-en-scène. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, filmforum.org

'God Bless America'
May 11

Divorced and terminally depressed, office drone Frank (Mad Men's Joel Murray) sets off with a teenage stowaway (Tara Lynne Barr) on a prolific killing spree to rid the world of American culture's pervasive repellents. Like a vitriolic Idiocracy, Bobcat Goldthwait's scathingly hysterical follow-up to World's Greatest Dad is a critique-cum-fantasy that imagines Network's Peter Finch as not just mad as hell, but also packing heat against entitled reality-star brats and double-parking douchebags. Magnolia Pictures, in limited release, magpictures.com

'The Color Wheel'
May 18

A long-undistributed critic's darling, Alex Ross Perry's snarkily indulgent, black-and-white 16mm comedy stars the squeaky-voiced filmmaker as arrogant would-be writer Collin, one half of a hostile sibling rivalry with aspiring actress J.R. (co-scripter Carlen Altman). Persuaded by his sister for a lift to Boston, where she plans to reclaim her belongings from her smug professor paramour (Harmony and Me auteur Bob Byington), the duo exchanges barbed witticisms at each other and passersby, their complex grudges revealing a profound shared vulnerability. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org

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