Matthew Lickona 9:21 a.m., Sept. 29
Dark Star — HR Giger's World
A Portrait of the Artist as a Very Old Man. There has always been a healthy dollop of death surrounding Swiss artist H.R. Giger, whose great (and worthy) claim to fame is the biomechanical design work he did for Ridley Scott's Alien. And mortality is very much in attendance during Belinda Sallin's prolonged visit with the man and his retinue (assistant, archivist, agent, etc., along with lovers both curent and former): right away, Giger is showing us the first skull his father ever gave him (!) But the real morbidity here lies in life more than art: the (still-painful) suicide of his longtime lover, the hoard-heavy house, the faded career of a man too popular for galleries and too esoteric for the mainstream (he had to build his own museum), and finally, the man himself. (Frail and feeble throughout, Giger died shortly after filming was completed.) It might have made for an interesting exploration and reassessment, but instead, it plays as a curious peek inside a niche artist's niche, and little more 2015.