'Dancer, Texas: Pop. 81,' 'Artemisia,' and more

Dancer, Texas: Pop. 81
Just as director Tim McCanlies was to begin location shooting on this tale of four buddies who make a pact to leave their small town, a group of Republic of Texas separatists barricaded themselves nearby. “We’re in the middle of nowhere,” he recalls, “and there’s 10,000 reporters. Fortunately they resolved it, and we were able to shoot.” (May 1)

French director Agnes Merlet’s film stars Valentina Cervi as Artemisia Gentileschi, the celebrated 17th-century female painter who got out of her studio often enough to make “both her life and her work exciting,” as Merlet puts it. Critics agree: Artemisia earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. (May 8)

Still Breathing
Brendan Fraser doffs his George of the Jungle loincloth and puts on a Texas accent as a street performer in search of a soul mate. That’s not the only skill he acquired. “I did a puppet show on the steps of the Alamo,” says Fraser. The comedy also stars Inventing the Abbotts‘ Joanna Going as a con artist who fancies him — as her next target. (May 1)

After striking up a relationship with Annabella Sciorra, struggling writer Eric Stoltz becomes obsessed with her ex (Chris Eigeman), a famous author, in Mr. Jealousy, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Kicking and Screaming. Six people awaken to find themselves imprisoned in a deadly maze and are quickly at each other’s throats in Vincenzo Natali’s psychological thriller Cube. Jada Pinkett and Tommy Davidson star as a reckless couple on the loose in Manhattan in Woo. Nights of Cabiria, Federico Fellini’s 1957 classic about a hooker with a heart of gold (which inspired the 1966 musical Sweet Charity), returns to the big screen. Stephen Fry, Jude Law, and Vanessa Redgrave head up the cast of Brian Gilbert’s Oscar Wilde biopic, neatly titled Wilde. And finally, there’s the comedy-thriller I Went Down, fresh from the screening rooms of Sundance, which follows a just-out-of-jail Irish hood who owes one last dark favor to a gangster boss.