Stephanie Sigman stars in <i>Miss Bala</i>.

Stephanie Sigman stars in Miss Bala.

TALES OF TERROR (89 minutes) M

ROGER Corman was in peak form in 1962 when he directed this brilliantly economical trilogy of short Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, a tribute from one experimental artist to another. Vincent Price plays three different roles, while the middle segment, The Black Cat, features one of the best late performances from Peter Lorre. Screening as part of the Playing Under the Influence season, this was selected by musician Chris Bailey, who will be present for a Q&A. 35-millimetre print. ACMI, tonight, 7pm.

<i>Tales of Terror</i>.

Tales of Terror.

STAND BY ME (89 minutes) M

IN 1950s Oregon, four boys aged about 12 set out on the biggest adventure of their lives – a journey into the woods in search of a dead body. Rob Reiner’s 1986 adaptation of a relatively restrained Stephen King novella makes the most of King's gift for vividly vulgar dialogue as it explores the uncanny valley between childhood and adolescence. Digitally projected. Astor, tonight, 7.30pm.

RED SQUIRREL (114 minutes) M

A SUICIDAL failed pop star (Nancho Novo) poses as the boyfriend of an amnesia victim (Emma Suarez) and whisks her away on a camping holiday in this droll 1993 thriller from Spain’s Julio Medem, who keeps the tension bubbling beneath the surface of a story filled with apparent non-sequiturs. Part of the La Mirada film festival. Digitally projected. Cinema Nova, tomorrow, 4pm.

MISS BALA (113 minutes) MA

A POOR girl (Stephanie Sigman) from Mexico's crime-ridden north sets out to become a beauty queen, but soon finds it’s a challenge just to stay alive. Filled with muscular tracking shots that intentionally reduce the heroine to a near cipher, Geraldo Naranjo's tense thriller recalls the work of art filmmakers from Paul Thomas Anderson to Lucretia Martel. Cinema Nova.

DRIVE (100 minutes) MA

THIS silly but striking 1980s-style noir allows Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn to abstract the conventions of the genre to the point where he might as well be making installation art. Ryan Gosling looks pleasantly zoned out as the loner hero, a stunt driver with a peculiar code of ethics and gift for violence. 35-millimetre print. Astor, tonight, 9.45pm.

2 DAYS IN NEW YORK  (92 minutes) MA

Julie Delpy writes, directs and stars in this sequel to her 2007 romantic comedy 2 Days In Paris: the neurotic French heroine now lives in Manhattan where she and her new boyfriend (Chris Rock) face an unwelcome visit from her wacky family. Much of the humour is broad sitcom stuff, but with a personal edge. Selected.

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (88 minutes) G

SHE discovered Lauren Bacall, befriended Andy Warhol and invented the role of the fashion editor as we know it today. Fabulously eccentric and oddly endearing, the one and only Diana Vreeland is brought back to life in this entertaining documentary narrated by stage actress Annette Miller, who does a splendid job of imitating Vreeland’s amused patrician growl. Selected.

ROBOT AND FRANK (89 minutes) M

IN THE near future, a grouchy retired cat burglar (Frank Langella) is given a robot to help him around the house, and soon hatches a plot to return to a life of crime. This exercise in whimsy would be worth seeing just for Langella's chemistry with Susan Sarandon as a compassionate librarian nostalgic for the days when people read books. Selected.

SOUND OF MY VOICE (84 minutes) MA

RISING star Brit Marling has another intriguing role in this low-budget yarn about a woman who might be a messenger from the future, or just a new age guru on a power trip. Either way, a pair of would-be investigative journalists (Nicole Vicius and Christopher Denham) quickly find themselves out of their depth. Selected.

SKYFALL (143 minutes) M

THIS post-Olympics adventure for James Bond (Daniel Craig) sees him operating mainly on home turf as he fights to get back into shape while hunting down an eccentric cyber-terrorist (Javier Bardem, whose flamboyant performance is well up to series standards). This is skilful, self-aware entertainment, and a particular treat for fans of Judi Dench as M. General.