The summer is nearly over, and, unfortunately, August tends to be something of a cinematic wasteland. Aside from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” there isn’t much to look forward to this month. Luckily, the Brattle Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theatre are offering up a ton of goodies over the coming weeks. From strange cult hits to American masterpieces, these are the best film screenings to check out this month.

Also, not written up here, but worth checking out, is the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s “Postmortem” film series that will be playing Friday and Saturday nights throughout the month, featuring “28 Days Later,” “Night of the Living Dead,” “Shaun of the Dead,” and more.

The Brattle Theatre

“Paprika” (directed by Satoshi Kon, 2006): Saturday, August 9 at 11:30 p.m.
This Japanese animated film is probably most well-known for being an influence on Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (which employs the same concept), but in the years since its release, the film’s star only continues to rise. “Paprika,” with all of the trappings of a cult hit (originality, trippy animation, dream logic, offbeat style), has evolved from its midnight movie status to critical darling, recently being called one of the greatest animated films of all time by publications such as Time Magazine, Time Out, and more. For those of you who thought “Inception” could be way more bizarre and psychedelic.

“Videodrome” (directed by David Cronenberg, 1983): Saturday, August 16 at 11:30 p.m.
Another month, another late-night David Cronenberg screening. As I said last time, Cronenberg’s films were practically made for after hours viewing, and “Videodrome” is no exception. The most fully-realized work of his early career, “Videodrome” is a blatantly weird and startlingly violent depiction of the media circa 1983, and some of its ideas still resonate today. The ending is also one of the most strange and ambiguous of any film I can recall.

“Ghost World” (directed by Terry Zwigoff, 2001): Wednesday, August 20 at 5:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
If you like your teen comedies seasoned with sarcasm and bite then look no further. Depicting adolescence and growing up as a painful and monotonous experience in a strange adult world, “Ghost World” is often hilarious, particularly due to the lead performances of Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Buscemi. That humor, however, is laced with an undercurrent of sadness and loneliness brought about by the realities of “adult” life. Perfect for that first post-college summer.

“Eraserhead” (directed by David Lynch, 1977): Saturday, August 23 at 11:30 p.m.
If you thought David Lynch’s later films were a little out there, then you might want to check in on his first feature. Soaked in Freudian imagery and fully embracing its avant-garde tendencies, “Eraserhead” is a sometimes funny, mostly disturbing and nightmarish look at the fears of parenthood. Bonus: a lady sings inside of a radiator!


“The Godfather” (directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1972): Friday, August 29 at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 30 at 4:30 p.m.

“The Godfather, Part II” (directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1974): Saturday, August 30 at 12:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
It’s a double feature of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather, Part II.” I should hope that no further explanation is needed.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre

“Thelma & Louise” (directed by Ridley Scott, 1991): Monday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m.
There isn’t much depth to “Thelma & Louise,” but damn if it isn’t entertaining. One of the greatest buddy movies of all time, with pitch-perfect lead performances by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, “Thelma & Louise” has some feminist overtones, but they’re mainly a vehicle for one hell of a ride. The ending is also one of the most iconic in film history. Take a trip with your buddy to the local theatre.

“The Big Lebowski” (directed by the Coen Brothers, 1998): Monday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m.
It appears that “The Big Lebowski” is always playing at one theatre or another nearly every month. As I’ve said before (and will say again), the dude abides. Enough said.

“Nashville” (directed by Robert Altman, 1975): Monday, August 25 at 7:00 p.m.
The definitive Robert Altman film, with its sprawling cast of characters, overlapping dialogue, and somewhat cynical viewpoint, “Nashville” is one of the definitive films of the 1970s. Following people involved in the country and gospel music scene over the course of five days in Nashville, the film features some of the best musical numbers in cinematic history, while also working as a snapshot of 1970s American life. If you need to be schooled in the art of American filmmaking, I recommend checking this one out.