Happy Saturday From Mammoth!

We had to squeeze in one more weekend of skiing

Greetings from the mountains … again! Skiing lasts until the summer here at Mammoth, so we thought we’d drive up and squeeze in a few more runs. Conditions have been perfect in the mornings with flurries in the afternoons. And it’s been so fun watching as Nic becomes a stronger skier — he very much enjoys being faster than us now that he’s 14, but he also loves shooting photos along the way.

My boy is like a young Ansel Adams.

If you’re new around here, welcome! And yes, this newsletter is mostly about movies, I promise. Several folks have subscribed in the past month or so, and some of those sign-ups went to my spam folder, so if you’re just now getting these, hello, and apologies. I’ll keep an eye out there from now on — and hopefully my newsletter isn’t ending up in your spam folder, as well.

Zendaya is not amused.

The big movie of the week is “Challengers,” Luca Guadagnino’s love-triangle thriller set in the elite tennis world. We reviewed it a couple of weeks ago because we loved it so much and couldn’t wait to talk about it. We’re also doing a live spoiler talk about the film on Tuesday at Noon Pacific, so be sure to join us then. But! You have lots of options in theaters and on streaming, which we discussed on our Breakfast All Day YouTube channel:

In space, no one can hear you meow.

  • ALIEN (1979). Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece is back in theaters for a one-week run in honor of its 45th anniversary. The film is playing nationwide, so if you’ve never seen it projected, or it’s been a while, here’s an excellent opportunity. We loved having the chance to revisit this movie and ponder how influential it remains today. Check Fandango for listings.

  • WILDCAT. Ethan Hawke directed and co-wrote this unconventional biopic about American fiction writer Flannery O’Connor, starring his daughter, Maya Hawke. We appreciated its ambition and its tremendous supporting cast, and agree that Maya Hawke (“Stranger Things,” “Asteroid City”) was terrific in a role that required a ton of range, but didn’t think this totally worked. In theaters.

Tilda Swinton can tell you all about FileMaker Pro.

  • PROBLEMISTA. Comedian Julio Torres wrote, directed and stars in this absurdist comedy set in the New York City art world. It’s amazing that this is Torres’ feature filmmaking debut: His voice and vision are so confident and bizarre. If you like the weird whimsy of Michel Gondry, you’ll dig this. Plus it’s always a joy to watch Tilda Swinton tear into a larger-than-life character. Streaming and in theaters.

  • CHICKEN FOR LINDA! We loved this French animated charmer from GKIDS about a single mom trying to assuage her daughter by fixing her favorite dish: chicken with peppers, just like her late father used to make. There’s a retro-cool quality to the colorful animation style, and a lot of laughs in the film’s increasingly farcical situations. In theaters.

Just hanging out, being effortlessly stylish.

Over at our Breakfast All Day Patreon, we revisited “The Talented Mr. Ripley” for April’s Off the Menu review. We offered several incarnations of Patricia Highsmith’s infamous grifter in this month’s poll, and the majority of our subscribers chose Anthony Minghella’s 1999 drama. It provided a fascinating contrast with the “Ripley” Netflix series starring Andrew Scott — the finale of which we recapped in-depth this week — as well as an incredible time capsule of young talent. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett are all pitch-perfect here, and we love the stealth-wealth cool of the mid-century costume design. What are your memories of “The Talented Mr. Ripley”? Let me know!

A fascinating watch, streaming now on Hulu.

Finally, I wanted to recommend the documentary “Hip-Hop and The White House,” written and directed by Jesse Washington. Full disclosure: Jesse was my editor at The Associated Press and has been a friend for over 20 years. But I’m genuinely impressed by the many ways he connects the dots between culture and politics, and how they’ve influenced each other over the past 50 years. Jesse gets his arms around a lot of recent American history very efficiently — the film is only an hour long — and he’s amassed an impressive array of interview subjects from the worlds of music, politics and cultural criticism. This is a subject he knows extremely well, so he’s the perfect person to tell this story. Plus I’m thrilled to see him making his directorial debut, and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. “Hip-Hop and The White House,” the first in a series of Andscape documentaries, is streaming now on Hulu.

Thanks so much as always for sharing a bit of your time with me. It’s so gratifying to see this very personal endeavor grow and connect with so many people. If you’ve found value in my newsletter, I’d be honored if you shared it with a friend. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next Saturday.