Hollywood can do a lot of things with special effects these days: Alien ships fly across the sky with no strings attached, dogs talk and Tom Cruise is tall. Not surprisingly, movies with a big special effects budget tend to be lacking in other areas, like script and character development. But audiences crave the Big Action Sequence, and we expect our movies to be effects-laden. If Hollywood took a script and shot the whole thing in the desert, with nothing but sand dunes and sky, American audiences would shift in their seats for a few moments before heading next door to the newest Jerry Bruckheimer flick. And that's a damn shame. Bab' Aziz is that movie—a story of a Muslim monk and his granddaughter searching for a mythical gathering of other monks somewhere in the deserts of Tunisia and Iran. The film weaves storytelling throughout stunning landscapes, and each story contributes to overall themes of faith, of longing for someone, and of wanting to belong to something bigger. A Will Smith movie it's not, but you won't find this kind of magic in any CGI flick. The film plays at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.50. Visit themodern.org for more information.
Fri., May 16, 6 & 8 p.m.; Sat., May 17, 5 p.m.; Sun., May 18, 2 & 4 p.m., 2008