Old Dog at Cornell Cinema, 7:15 p.m. on Thursday at Willard Straight Hall: Nope, it’s not that Disney movie where John Travolta and Robin Williams team up to take care of a pair of wacky kids and learn a valuable lesson about fatherhood in the process. Acclaimed Tibetan Director Pema Tseden’s Old Dog is a stark, sweeping meditation on father-son relations, and an exploration of urban and rural culture.
Its premise is simple: as his family struggles to survive, a young man sells his highly valuable Tibetan Mastiff against the will of his shepherd father who seeks to return the dog home and prevent it from being sold again. Through this straightforward lens the film manages to explore the true cost of losing the dog, and the difficulties and contradictions of life on the Tibetan plains.
Tseden will be present at Thursday’s screening to talk about the film. — Sam Bromer
Little Shop of Horrors, afternoon and evening shows, October 18 to October 20 at Risley Theatre: It’s the time of the year when leaves redden, pumpkins get harvested and days turn dark rapidly. Risley Theatre’s production of the comedy horror rock musical Little Shop of Horrors comes just in time for this moody month. Risley’s spoof of the 1950s horror movie humorously stalks an unlucky floral assistant who chances upon fame and romance after discovering a mysterious plant that craves blood. What could be a better setting than a windowless theater with towering balconies for melodramatic horror? Or, if you’re just interested in watching a killer plant sing R&B, there will be five showings this weekend at Risley Hall. — Meredith Joyce
Cat Power, 8 p.m. on Thursday at The State Theatre: Charlyn Marie Marshall — who performs under the stage name Cat Power — will bring her soft but danceable compositions to The State Theatre. Power's repertoire over the past 16 years has consisted of mostly soft tracks with haunting harmonies and alternative melodies. Her most recent album, Sun, is significantly more upbeat than her past work and makes use of alt/electro synthesizers, making the more experimental tracks feel almost like a collection of indie dance music. Fans of artists like Feist or Sharon Van Etten should check out Cat Power, as should anyone looking to enjoy an evening with a quirky performer with an impressive vocal range. Cornell Concert Commission has teamed up with Dan Smalls Presents to provide discounted tickets, available for students at cornellconcerts.com. — Kimberly Scarsella