Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October revivals: 2nd half.

Mike here with a list of films to catch for Oct. Can't say for sure I can catch all of them. Some conflict, and there's the little matter of the Mets in the playoffs. But we'll see. Here we go:

REAR WINDOW- Fri Oct 13 at 5 and Tues Oct 17 at 8:15- The Ziegfeld for 7.50- I know this was already done, as those who were involved in our movie night session already knows. But if there's a major interest, let me know. My personal favorite Hitchcock, and in my top 25. Also the best film in Jimmy Stewart's career, with a knockout entrance from Grace Kelly that matches or tops anything done today. An AFI Top 100 film.

MANHATTAN- Sat Oct 14 at 2- MOMA- 11 West 53 St, bet. 5th and 6th ave- Part of the films in New York retrospective. The last of the 70's Woody Allen-Diane Keaton romantic comedies. It's hard to find a bad review for this, but all of them single out Gordon Willis's cinematography. The title borough probably has never been so attractively photographed. Nominations for the screenplay (co-written by Marshall Brickman) and Supporting Actress for Mariel Hemingway (who lost to co-star Meryl Streep for her performance in another 1979 film, Kramer vs. Kramer).

THE BIRDS- Sat Oct 14 at 2 and Thurs Oct 19 at 8:15- The Ziegfeld for 7.50- 141 West 54th St- I saw this Hitchcock film, his last big commercial hit, already this year. But if there's a major want, let me know.

CALIFORNIA SPLIT- Sat Oct 14 at 3:10, Mon Oct 16 at 9:40 and Thurs Oct 19 at 7:30 and 9:40- Film Forum- 209 west houston- bet. 6th and Varick- A new 35mm print of a possibly forgotten Robert Altman film from 1974. A character study of 2 gamblers (Elliot Gould and George Segal in giving some of their best performances), and how they live their lives when things go generally wrong and (surprisingly?) go right. Perhaps it's more relevant now that poker and online gambling are popular. Also known as the first time a film ever used eight track stereo, perfect for Altman's style of overlapping dialogue.

Being screened in its original, uncut form, as opposed to the current DVD. That is three minutes shorter, due to problems with music rights.

THE 7 SAMURAI- Sat Oct 14 at 7:30 and Tues Oct 17 at 6:30- Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center- Part of the New York Film Festival, honoring Janus Films, the premiere art house distribution company, and the best films they introduced to America. And this film, the first modern action film with a script to match, deserves the attention. In my personal Top 15.

Ed, once again you cannot avoid this Kurosawa classic; one of the best films ever made.

THE SHINING- Sat Oct 14 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- 143 East Houston St bet. 1st and 2nd Ave.- The Kubrick-Nicholson classic gets a midnight screening.

DIAL M FOR MURDER- Wed Oct 18 at 8:15- The Ziegfeld for 7.50- For this, i quote an old pitch from the film forum website (no it's not playing at the forum, stop getting confused . . .) "Flat-broke husband Ray Milland, jealous of rich wife Grace Kelly’s friendship with Robert Cummings, plans the perfect murder. And, despite an errant pair of scissors, things look good until Inspector John Williams arrives . . ."

Don't know if it's regular screening or in 3-D, but it's good Hitchcock, therefore it's here.

TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in Disney Digital 3D- Starting Fri Oct 20- Theaters TBA- For the record, Burton didn't direct, but he did produce this fun film, as well as write the story and create all the characters. Standout stop-motion animation with good music and songs
from Danny Elfman has kept the cult status of Disney's modest hit alive.

Elfman also does the voice of Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King, ruler of Halloweentown, who happens upon Christmastown, and decides to change Christmas into another Halloween. He kidnaps Santa Claus, and with a song in his heart and a twinkle in his eye(socket), takes it upon himself to
deliver some alternative gifts to unsuspecting children. Watch and enjoy.

This is not a revival, but a re-release, being shown now in 3-D. If you've never seen it, this is a good intro.

AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD- Fri Oct 20 and Thurs Oct 26 (tentative) at 7:30 and 9:30- Film Forum- The highly praised first teaming of director Werner Herzog and star/madman Klaus Kinski. We see how the title character leads an expedition in 16th Century Peru, for the lost city of gold. We see how obsession leads to madness, then tragedy. That is if the lead character wasn't an evil son of a bitch.

Star and director hated each others guts, but apparently that didn't stop them from working with each other again. I've never seen it, but I'm curious. In a new 35mm print.

RASHOMON- Fri Oct 20 at 7:30- AMMI in Astoria- 35 Ave at 36 St- I wrote the following in a pre-blog list. I think i cut and pasted portions of it, but I don't remember where exactly. Just writing this so I don't get into any possible trouble. Basically, I only came up with parts of the following paragraph on my own, but I find the words to be true:

"This highly acclaimed film, set in feudal Japan, presents a tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters - a bandit (ToshirĂ´ Mifune), a woman, her husband, and a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura). Only two things about the incident seem to be clear - the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. However, the other elements radically differ as the four participants and/or witnesses relate their own stories (with the dead man, eerily enough, speaking through a medium). As each account is revealed, what seemed black and white turns to various hues of gray, leading to surprising - and confounding - revelations. Put Kurosawa on the international film map, with a plot device and/or story-telling style that has been copied ever since. Memento, most Tarentino films, and Catch-22 are only the most famous variations."

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE and PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE- Sat Oct 21 at 11AM(Corpse) and 2pm(Pee-Wee)- The Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space- W. 95th st. and Broadway- 2 films back-to-back from Tim Burton. It's part of a full day and night of his work. But I only have time for those two together. The first, an Oscar nominee for animated film. A terrific contrast between the Victorian era type look and the world of the dead. Good visuals, some highly underrated songs and score, and strong voiceover work (Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Albert Finney, etc.)

Followed by the sleeper hit of 1985. The story of a crazy man-child and the love he has for his bike. Better then I make it sound.

One admission should cover both.

WALKABOUT- Mon Oct 23 at 9 and Tues Oct 24 at 1- Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center- Excellent film from 1971 from director/cinematographer Nicholas Roeg, depicting the clash between Nature and civilization, and the clash between the modern and "savage" world. A teenage girl (Jenny Agutter- Logan's Run, An American Werewolf in London) and her little brother (the director's son) are stranded with no supplies in the middle of the Australian Outback, and are forced to rely on an Aborigine teenage boy for survival. Cultural and sexual misunderstandings play out to devastating effect. Agutter started to be considered a British beauty legend (only 17 or 18 at the time) with her terrific performance. Roeg's best film.

MEAN STREETS- Wed Oct 25 at 6- MOMA- Part of the Filmed in New York retrospective. The Scorsese- De Niro- Kietel classic gets a screening that for once gets a screening at a reasonable hour.

CARRIE- Fri Oct 27 at Midnight- Chelsea Clearview Cinemas for 6 dollars- The Brian De Palma classic where Sissy Spacek(Oscar nominated) goes nuts and wont be laughed at anymore, gets a screening. With John Travolta, Amy Irving and Nancy Allen when they were all quite young, and Piper Laurie (also Oscar nominated) as the mother of all demented mothers.

CHLOE IN THE AFTERNOON- Sat Oct 28 at Noon- IFC Film Center- W. 4th st and 6th ave.- Getting tired, so I'm going to IFC Film Center website, to cut and paste a review from Roger Ebert:

"CHLOE IN THE AFTERNOON, the last of Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales," is the best of those I've seen. It is also the most fully rounded, lacking the one-dimensional tone of some of his earlier tales. It's as if he were striking notes in the previous works, and is now bringing them all together into a chord; the final scene in CHLOE is his last comment on the series, and Rohmer is telling us to, for god's sake, stop playing games and embrace each other with honesty.

"Game playing is always his subject. He doesn't approve of it, but he's become obsessed with studying it. He isn't interested in making movies about people with shallow motives and obvious personalities (which is to say, about 90 per cent of the characters in movies). Rohmer's work contains surprises. People develop in unexpected ways. We don't know how to relate to them until well into the movie; they don't telegraph their intentions.

"Rohmer's hero this time is Frederick, a pleasant if somewhat cool business executive who inhabits a marriage of the greatest simplicity and mutual respect. He and his wife, Helene, live like students -- not because they can't afford better, but because they enjoy the lack of bourgeois physical and mental clutter. It's one of those marriages that outsiders call "perfect."

"But then Chloe materializes, right there in the middle of Frederick's afternoon. Frederick is a man who loves Paris, and who has arranged his work schedule so that he has his afternoons free for a sandwich, a little wandering, and his fantasies about the women of the city. It isn't that he desires them (although he daydreams of a magic amulet that could seduce them all), but that their beauty affirms his choice of a wife.

"This description of the movie may make it sound inconsequential and meandering, but then Rohmer's movies always sound like that. What makes Rohmer's films so sparkling and intelligent is the way in which he watches his characters. Nothing escapes him, and he uses the angle of a glance, the tilt of a head, the precise set of a mouth, in order to create wonderfully complex characters." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.

ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER- Sat Oct 28 at 9- Film Forum- Part of a retrospective, honoring the best documentaries that received money from the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund, and made an impact at the Sundance Film Festival.

Oscar winner for Best Documentary for 2000. One of those rare types, a documentary thriller. For those of you who have seen Munich, you have an idea of about the Munich Massacre at the 72 Summer Olympics in West Germany. But the true story is more engaging then Spielberg's story, and probably more disturbing. We see how the terrorists planned it and got in, how the German police screwed up and the German government kind of played both sides of the fence. How the Olympic Committee were at best indifferent and did worse, and how media helped influence what happened as it happened, for the worse.

Mixes footage from back then with modern interviews. 2 of the most notable is a widow of one of the slain athletes, plus the only interview ever given from the terrorist leader of the Black September group, who I believe still hasn't been caught.

SQUIRM- Mon Oct 30 at 7- Two Boots Pioneer- If you're into bad films, here's this whopper from 1976. Basically, you have man eating killer worms, knocking off rednecks. Not very attractive rednecks. Proof that this was done in the 70's: the leads are cute (especially the red headed girl Patricia Pearcy), but not model beautiful. Not saying they're good actors, but they'd be lucky to be crew members in a modern remake. Snakes on a plane, but with no stars, no budget and worms instead of snakes.




The kind of film that would have destroyed Kim Basinger's, Sly Stallone's and Martin Sheen's careers had they been cast as originally hoped.

Tacky fun. The writer/director Jeff Lieberman (from Stoney Brook) will be doing an appearance. Hopefully to explain himself.

ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN- Tues Oct 31 and Fri Nov 3 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- If you want to try something off beat for halloween, try this comedy.

For those who know me, let me know. With so many choices, you have to speak up. And don't be afraid to click on an ad once a day. Hopefully an ad for a real-life Jesus Camp won't be there. Who knows, I might get a newspaper out of it. Later.

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