Reno: Rebel Without a Pause
Directed by Nancy Savoca
Seventh Art, opens May 2, at Cinema Village

A digital-video record of Reno’s incisive 9-11 monologue, aptly subtitled an “unrestrained reflection.” What seems like a nut-on-a-bar-stool rant morphs into a triumphal evocation of the emotional-political bluster of that time. The artist rifles through her wild, wiry mane for the rawest, most immediate responses. Reno’s stream of consciousness omits few details, incorporating the weird (cooing over Vladimir Putin) to the truly gruesome (admitting to weeping over Celine Dion’s “God Bless America”). The DV blur, the black backdrop, and Reno’s velvet shirt give the whole thing a bizarre thrift-store-painting sheen. —Edward Crouse

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer
Written and directed by Aparna Sen
Tips, at the Loews State

Detained under curfew while on a bus to Calcutta, an upper-caste Hindu housewife is drawn to a hunky nature photographer in this Bollywood spin on The Bridges of Madison County with a flabby polemical underbelly. Discovering that he is Muslim, the woman, despite initial revulsion, protects him from bloodthirsty extremists by pretending he’s her husband. The actors appear game, yet director Aparna Sen, who conceived the film in the wake of September 11, resorts often to hokey pseudo-lyricism and prefers sound-bite ballyhoo to sociological depth. —Joe McGovern