This Week in Movies

Jewel thieves from France, a killer Santa from Finland, sexy visitors from space and more.

Brad Abrahams’ documentary Love & Saucers screens at PhilaMOCA on Saturday.

Canyon Cinema 50 @ Lightbox Film Center | Wednesday, December 13
This program of short films pays tributes to 50 years of experimental and avant garde filmmaking by revered San Francisco collective Canyon Cinema. The lineup includes rarely screened works by directors Bruce Baillie (Canyon Cinema founder), Scott Bartlett, Gunvor Nelson, Alice Anne Parker and more, with the oldest dating back to 1964 and the newest from 2009.

Local Horrors: New Films by Jack Mulvanerty & Johnny Dickie | Wednesday, December 13
Johnny Dickie and Jack Mulvanerty — the two Pennsylvania-based independent filmmakers behind low-budget horror film Creeps — will screen their latest fake-blood spattered works including Mulvanerty’s Piety (“a nihilistic, experimental love letter to arthouse films and extreme horror”) and Dickie’s Keith Loves Ava (“a psychological thriller with flashes of dark comedy”).

Jean-Pierre Melville Centennial @ Lightbox Film Center | December 14-16
Lightbox wraps up its tribute to celebrated French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-1973). Anthony Lane of The New Yorker wrote this of Melvilleearlier in the year: “He compensated for the modest tally of his films by insuring that pretty much every one is a gem. String them together, and you end up with a necklace to die for.” The lineup includes Le Doulos on Thursday, Army of Shadows on Friday and Le Circle Rouge and Un Flic on Saturday.

Secret Cinema @ Fleisher Art Memorial | Thursday, December 14
The city’s most beloved presenter of almost forgotten cinema returns to the Fleisher with Creepy Christmas Films, “a special program of vintage Yuletide shorts featuring frightening puppets, demonic animals, and maudlin sentiments.” Expect grim visages of Christmases past, including Davey & Goliath (inspiration for Adult Swim’s Moral Orel), Howdy Doody and strangers’ holiday home movies. It’s going to be weird.

Love & Saucers @ PhilaMOCA | Saturday, December 16
Brad Abrahams’ documentary tells the story of 72-year-old Hoboken artist David Huggins who claims to have been abducted (and seduced) by aliens throughout his life. Huggins will be in attendance and his paintings — many of which feature the extra-terrestrial beings he’s encountered — will also be on display.

The Melancholy Fantastic @ PUFF | Saturday, December 16
PUFF (Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival) presents this screening of the director’s cut of A.D. Calvo’s “indie Christmas horror” from 2011. Though it’s billed as low-budget, The Melancholy Fantastic features a few notable stars (like Gotham’s Robin Lord Taylor) and looks pretty sharp:

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale @ Tattooed Mom | Tuesday, December 19
A fantastical holiday horror movie from Finland about archeologists finding the real Santa Claus and he’s not a chill dude. This looks like Reign of Fire meets The Santa Clause meets Trollhunter.