Withnail and I

There are certain films about mindless headlong rushes into a vice-fueled artistic self-explosion that in some way serve to reaffirm our desire to live. Stuff like Johnny Depp's performance in The Rum Diary, or the cult classic Dogs in Space starring Michael Hutchence. Withnail and I is the British equivalent of those films, and if you've never seen it, this is the time. It features two unemployed actors (Paul McGann from Doctor Who and Richard E. Grant…also recently from Doctor Who, funnily enough) who are waiting for their careers to take off. They decide to head off into the country to shack up with Withnail's eccentric Uncle Monty on a lush country estate, where the owner has a tendency to argue with his cat. The two men go on a binge of mutually assured chemical destruction (everything from ex-pensive red wine to lighter fluid) until they step out on the other side of the chaos with hopes toward a new life. It's one of the most amazing British comedy films ever made, full of mad circumstances and a pathos that lend it tremendous depth. Of course, it goes without saying that watching Withnail and I while imbibing is traditional. We, however, do not suggest you try to match the characters' consumption of alcohol and its substitutes since we do not wish you to die.

7:30 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park, 114 Vintage Park. For information, call 713-715-4707or visit drafthouse.com. $7.
Sun., Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2013

 
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