Today in Brilliant Pairings: Rise of the Planet of the Apes + Project Nim
Over at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, tonight's double feature is a particularly inspired pairing of simian cinema from 2011: the cautionary thriller Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the equally harrowing doc Project Nim. What lessons can be taken from this matching of monkey movies?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, dir. Rupert Wyatt
Premise: A chimpanzee raised by humans grows up to lead a simian revolt against humanity.
Major players: Caesar the chimpanzee, his scientist guardian, a greedy biotech suit, the evil kid from Harry Potter
Oscar hopes: Special effects, Best Actor (wearing mo-cap dots)
Lessons learned: Animal testing is bad... very bad. Also: an angry revolutionary chimpanzee is a dangerous chimpanzee. (And let's not forget the eternal question: Why Cookie Rocket?)
Project Nim, dir. James Marsh
Premise: A chimpanzee raised by humans to study language learning and behavior grows up to be a sad, sad monkey.
Major players: Nim Chimpsky the chimpanzee, a Columbia University psychologist, warring foster mothers, and many other misguided humans
Oscar hopes: Best Documentary
Lessons learned: It's hard out here for a chimpanzee caught between worlds, left to stew in his own loneliness and rage and confusion. Also: an angry, messed up chimpanzee is a dangerous chimpanzee.
Inspired stuff in the midst of awards season from the good folks at the New Beverly, where the ROTPOTA/Nim double feature plays tonight at 7pm for just $8. Check out their full monthly slate here.