Friday, June 29, 2007

July revivals: first half

Mike here with a long list of revivals for the first half of July. First, did catch Texas Chainsaw Massacre at AMMI. Not as scary as when I first saw it as a teenager. But definitely creepy as all hell from beginning to end. A respectable print; I thought it was occasionally out of focus, but I'm guessing it was the way it was shot. And great, the last section with the family all gathered together, with Grandpa with the hammer, rotting meat and actual skeleton had to be clearly in focus. The best 83,000 film I've ever seen. A superior version of a Grindhouse picture then the recent Grindhouse movie, even though I did like it. There's more then one of those types of films on the list, scattered with others. The first film listed is the one I'd like to catch most, with a few others not far behind. Here we go:

AIRPLANE! and THE BIG LEBOWSKI- Mon July 2 at 6:30 (Airplane) and 8:30 (Lebowski)- MOMA- 53rd st. and 5th Ave- Part of MOMA's retro on comedies. One admission covers both films. Now The Big Lebowski is a film that has a major cult following. But I'm not a member of this cult. I admire and at times, like this Cohen brothers film. But it's hard for me to hate one of their films, unless it's The Hudsucker Proxy. That's easy. But I'm willing to give this a second chance. Especially we see the first film.

Airplane was not a high priority for Paramount. The early reviews were mixed, some were even horrible. It took almost 10 months of release, but by then, it became the biggest sleeper hit from that year. And eventually, a comedy classic, with too many quotable lines and scenes to bring up here. I've taken flack for putting this in my top ten of 1980, while leaving out Ordinary People and some other films all together. It's fluffiness of subject matter, is compensated by superior execution.

LE DOULOS- Tues July 3- Thurs July 12 at 5:30, 7:40 and 9:50- Film Forum- A new 35mm print of this film. Opened June 29, but this is the earliest I can go. Do I know this film? Nope. Never heard of it before. Why am I putting this on the list? Because it was from Jean-Pierre Melville, director of Army of Shadows. After seeing that film, I'll catch anything he has directed. Especially at the Forum. If you read previous lists and such between late December and late February, you know how much I've talked about it. But for the rest of you, I'm cutting and pasting from the Forum's website to give all an idea of what this film is about:

(1962) “One must choose: die... or lie?” The only sound the rapping of his shoes on the concrete pavement as the camera tracks ahead of him down an endless underpass during the opening titles, trench-coated Serge Reggiani (Casque d’Or, Army of Shadows) is back from the slammer — but what to do now, even as Monique Hennessy puts him up and old pal René Lefevre offers to stake him. First things first: there’s a debt to be paid and a piece-of-cake heist to be pulled for operating capital — but why are those darn flics here already? Could there be a squealer? That’s the meaning of doulos in French underworld argot (one who wears a doul — a hat — or stool pigeon). And A-list gangster Jean-Paul Belmondo (magnetic in the second of three straight Melville roles) is a prime candidate for the title — even by the cops, with toothpick-chomping Inspector Jean Desailly (the adulterer of Truffaut’s Soft Skin) providing an eight-minute grilling done in a single, 360° panning take, shot in a room full of reflecting glass (take six, and one of the two shots Melville was most proud of in his entire oeuvre; the other was the opening of Army of Shadows). But then the head-snapping plot twists start coming, even as the bodies start dropping — plus homage to Psycho’s doom-laden drive in the rain and a stoically-telling cameo by Michel Piccoli — with the ironies and ambiguities mounting until the very last minute of the picture, and the question of Belmondo’s guilt up in the air until. . . (Belmondo supposedly didn’t know if he was or wasn’t until he saw the movie.) Based on a série noire pulp, Melville considered this his first true policier (calling his earlier noir Bob Le Flambeur “a comedy of manners!”), melding the themes of friendship, betrayal, and tragedy with a star-powered, suspenseful thriller, done in a subtly rendered, studiously unrealistic atmosphere: the phone booths, subway, bar, sash windows, and inspector’s office are repros of U.S. originals, all underlined by an echt 60s Paul Misraki jazz score. This new 35mm print captures the shadowy b&w of cinematographer Nicolas Hayer (Cocteau’s Orphée, Clouzot’s Le Corbeau) and features an all-new translation and subtitles by Lenny Borger. “This mix of Warner Brothers and Rossellini has a forceful, adolescent lyricism. The action is scored to cool vibraphone doodles, punctuated by the ceremonial display key totems (trenchcoats, cigarettes, revolvers) and interspersed with sudden spasms of violence. Melville was not just a father figure of the French New Wave, he was ascetic warrior priest.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice.

If it's really good and draws a sizable audience, like Army of Shadows did, then it might be extended or come back later in the year. But for now, we must assume the film will end after July 12. Would hate to miss it.

AIRPLANE!- Thurs July 5 at 8:30- MOMA- But if Monday night isn't doable, Airplane can be caught on this night as well. In all the time I've done these lists, going back to 2001, this film has NEVER played in a revival house before, until this month. I can't stress how much I'd REALLY like to make an effort to catch this.

DEAD OF NIGHT and HOMECOMING- Sat July 7 at 4:30 (Dead) and 6:30 (Homecoming)- AMMI in Astoria- 35th Ave. and 36th St- Continuing the horror film retrospective. 2 films telling a very silimilar story, over thirty years apart, each with thier own political purposes of their day. The first film, I've been very curious about. The following I didn't write. Copied and pasted from another website, back when I was ready to cut and paste it as part of something else to forward to others. But it gave such an interesting anylisis, that I saved for this. Sorry I don't know who wrote it, but if you tell me, I'll be sure to credit the person.

Directed by Bob Clark

Almost a decade before Clark made a mainstream name for himself with "Porky's" and "A Christmas Story," he turned out this rough but wickedly effective indie horror film equating zombism with Vietnam vet trauma. The Brooks family hasn't heard from soldier son Andy for long enough that his father and sister suspect the worst; it's only his devoted mother who keeps the faith with a fervor that borders on madness. Her conviction that her son is alive seems to actually pull him from the grave — he arrives in the dead of night, having hitchhiked to the house, and, given that we witnessed Andy's death in the jungle before the opening credits, it's clear nothing good is in store. Andy's changed — he's monotone, unresponsive and spends most of his time staring at nothing from a rocking chair on the porch. Oh, and he's picked up an addiction — he needs injections of fresh blood to keep himself from rotting. Dread builds over the course of the film, but so does a sense of tragedy; everyone is unable to understand that Andy has been (literally, in his case) to hell, and can only respond with frustration that he's not the same.

It's double featured with Homecoming, directed by Gremlins's Joe Dante, for Showtime's Masters of Horror series. A representative for the current administration wishes on TV that someone's son, who was killed in a war that resembles the Iraqi conflict, could come back to life to explain why he died. The son does indeed come back from the dead, along with every other soldier killed. They've come back for revenge. And to do it the only way they know how. By voting Republicans out of office. Should make an interesting double feature.

RED BEARD and George A. Romero's MARTIN with (maybe) 28 WEEKS LATER- Sun July 8 at 1 (Red Beard), 4:30 (Martin) and 6:30 (Weeks Later) - AMMI in Astoria- An interesting potential double feature; a triple feature if you're insane.

First is Red Beard. Not a horror film and despite being a Kurosawa/ Mifune film, it's not a Samurai film either. A medical drama, starring Mifune as a taskmaster doctor in 19th century Japan, who slowly teaches his arrogant pupil how to become a better doctor, and a better man. The last of the Kurosawa/ Mifune films. Note that the film is 3 hrs, 5 min long. Especially make note of this if you're interested in one of the other films later in the day.

Next is Martin, a George A. Romero film from 1978 (U.S. release). As opposite from Red Beard as you can get. A film most people in general and most horror fans under the age of 32 probably don't even know exists. One part horror, and one part psychological thriller. We meet a lonely, emotionally damaged teenager, who claims to be an 84 year old vampire. So what if he can walk in the sun, remain unaffected by garlic, crosses and holy water, and doesn't even have fangs? Razors work just as well as fangs . . . Over ten years before the Nicolas Cage film Vampire's Kiss, this covers part of the same ground, but supposedly better. Never seen it, except for a few late night clips that got me real interested. Hard to find on video, except on an early 80s tape, and good luck finding the 2000 DVD.

Next is 28 Weeks Later, a sequel to 28 Days Later. Not a revival, but then again, since it's mostly out of New York theaters and with mediocre box office returns, maybe it is time to consider this as a revival now. Not superior to the original, but it has its own effective scares. Plus with a sucker punch attitude to current U.S. foreign policy that rivals anything done by the previously listed Dead of Night and Homecoming. Or anything done by Michael Moore.

Now I can imagine doing two of these films. I've already seen 28 Weeks, so I can only imagine seeing this again with someone chomping at the bit to go. GET IT CHOMPING AT THE BIT?!?! ZOMBIES . . .CHOMPING . . . I suck. Anyway, I could go for 2 films, but all 3? 12:45 to about 8:05? Oh my back . . .

WAIT UNTIL DARK- For free at Bryant Park- Mon July 9 at sunset (Rain date Tues July 10)- 6th ave and 42nd st is but one area enter from- This Audrey Hepburn suspense film is a little dated. But this story of a blind woman being manipulated by three criminals, should play well in Bryant Park. Among the criminals is Alan Arkin, in a performance that verges on, but never crosses over into camp. The final confrontation should be perfect in the park.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY and SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT- Wed July 11 at 6 (Sex) and 8 (Smiles)- MOMA- 2 comedies with a similar story; of lovers who come together, split apart, and/or form new relationships with other people in the story, all during a summer night or 2 or 3. The first, a Woody Allen comedy that got steamrolled in the summer of E.T. In the cast are Allen, Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen, Jose Ferrer and in her first Allen film, Mia Farrow. I believe she and Allen fell in love while making this film. Ignore the fact that she was nominated for a Razzie award for her performance.

This is double featured with the film that Allen remade/ did a variation on: Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night. Later used as the basis of Sondhiem's A Little Night Music. If you can stand the fact that Send In The Clowns will not be sung, I think you will like this.

LOOK BACK IN ANGER- Sat July 14 at 1:30 and Sun July 15 at 8- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of the Leading the Charge: Woodfall Film Productions and the Revolution in '60s British Cinema retrospective. The success of director Tony Richardson and playwright John Osbourne's play Look Back In Anger, enabled them to create Woodfall Film Productions, a place to prove that you didn't need Hollywood to make affordable films that will find an audience. Their adaptation of the play was the first hit, credited as the start of the Angry Young Man films. Either way, the chance to see Richard Burton at the height of his pre-alcoholism powers should be a draw all by itself.

THE ENTERTAINER- Sat July 14 at 6:30 and Sun July 15 at 3:30- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of the Leading the Charge: Woodfall Film Productions and the Revolution in '60s British Cinema retro. One of Laurence Olivier's most famous non-Shakespearean roles, though it does have those aspects. Playing an over the hill, second rate vaudeville actor, making one last grab at stardom in a falling apart music hall. Not what you would call a happy movie, which might explain the respect, but lack of audience in the U.S. A Best Actor nomination for Olivier. Hell of a supporting cast, with Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Joan Plowright (Olivier's future wife). From director Tony Richardson.

THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY and/or ICHI THE KILLER and/or WOLF CREEK- Sun July 15 at 2 (House), 4 (Ichi) and 6:30 (Wolf)- AMMI in Astoria- 3 different horror films. The first, an Italian flick from 1981 (released in the U.S. in 1984), that's kind of an unrated or hard R variation of The Amityville Horror. This is the original release, not the British version with 2 minutes cut, or the U.S. DVD version with 5 minutes cut, or the first U.S. VHS release, where they mixed up the order of the middle reels!

The second, is an interesting but bizarre Japanese, Hong Kong, South Korean flick from 2001, about a battle between a hitman and a crime boss. The blood flows, limbs fly like tissue paper, and disfigurement, sadomasochism, and psychotic behavior flow almost as much as the blood. 2 hours, 9 min long, but rarely dulll.

The last is an Australian flick where attractive teenager-types, meet one seriously bent middle aged killer. Partly docu-drama, partly Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Drew some attention being the only slasher film released on Christmas Day 2005, with praise from Quentin Tarantino. Then again, Tarantino praised Hostel, and I'm ignoring that film in AMMI's retrospective. Side note: are we surprised that Hostel 2 will only make around a third of its predecessor's box office cume? Are you telling me that seeing Weiner Girl as an adult, topless and hanging upside down, while she's cut open like a spigot is NOT a box office draw?!?!? If that sight can't even make ME pay to see this, then forget it.

Anyway, my preference in what to see is listed in the order they appear, though it should be noted that it may not be easy tracking down the first 2 films on DVD, so this might be your only chance, unless you get real lucky with either IFC or Showtime. I'm sure they'll have another episode of the original Spider-Man animated series at 1pm, but check the Moving Image website to find out more when that weekend draws near.

A FOREIGN AFFAIR and NINOTCHKA- Sun July 15 at 6 (Affair) and 8:15 (Ninotchka)- Symphony Space at The Leonard Nimoy Thalia- Part of the Thalia's series of double features. One starring Greta Garbo, the other starring Marlene Dietrich. The first, A Foreign Affair, stars Dietrich and Jean Arthur (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Shane), directed and co-written by Billy Wilder. To quote the plot outline from imdb, "In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi cafe singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her." Wilder had extreme difficulty working with both actresses, quote "I have one dame who's afraid to look at herself in a mirror and another who won't stop looking!" Take a wild guess which ones he meant.

Oscar nominations for Wilder, Charles Brackett and Richard L. Breen for the screenplay, and for the Cinematography. It's a shame that I'm a little indifferent to catching this. Don't get me wrong, if I had no desire whatsoever, it wouldn't be listed. That said, I have slightly less desire to see this than say, the Asian S and M/horror/action/comedy/I don't know what the fuck that is, or the Australian slasher film. Cinephiles could be highly insulted by that statement I imagine.

I have more interest in the second film, Ninotchka. Classic comedy where Greta Garbo as a stern commie woman who falls for decadent capitalist Melvyn Douglas. With Bela Lugosi. Oscar nominations for Picture, Garbo, Story and Screenplay, co-written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.

Let me know if there's interest. A push for Airplane, the Melville film and some of the stuff at the Forum. But catching any of these would be fine. If you don't like some of the horror films listed, some better ones are coming down the pike. Later all.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Alessandra Ferri at ABT

I know I'm going off on a different tangent from what I normally cover. However, I was there for her last performance at Lincoln Center. I'll go into more another time, but for now, I'm ready to go to sleep. So here are some pix I took from the curtain calls. Not my best angle, but it's where it's where I was allowed.
Some I have tried to fix, since I had no time to compose these shots, but again, there's this whole sleepy thing I'm going through right now. The occasional blur or saturation problem will appear, but I'm just putting them out right now. Later for now.

Friday, June 15, 2007

June revivals: second half

Mike here with a list of what to catch in the second half of June. It veers a little toward horror, mostly because of AMMI's retrospective of classic and forgotten horror films of the 70s and this decade. Speaking of which, we start the list with one of the best in the retrospective:

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE with a Spider-Man episode at 1pm- Sun June 17 at 2- AMMI in Astoria- 35th Ave. and 36th St- Part of the retrospective of Horror films of the 70s and today (not necessarily in-between). Here's an example of a successful independent film. One of the best horror films ever made. One of the few that can elicit some jumps even on home video. Not nearly as bloody as you think. Shot and edited in such a way that it is implied, but usually not shown. Helped put New Line Cinema on the map. Forget all imitators/remakes. For horror fans and those who came to like well made films of all genres, go.

If we get there by 12:45, we will be able to see an episode from season 1 of the original Spider-Man series. Cool intro and ending credits. A 16mm collector's print will be screened.

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD- for free- Mon June 25 (Rain date Tues June 26)- Bryant Park- 6th ave and 42nd st is but one area enter from- Park opens at 5- Film starts at sundown- I know this is late in terms of when the free Bryant Park series starts. Annie Hall kicks it off on June 18. But I can't make it, the film is the dialogue heavy, and if you're in the wrong part of the park, or with people who are bored by that on a hot summer night, forget it.

The Thing from 1951, now that I can do. Directed by Christian Nyby and others are credited for the screenplay, but ignore all that. It's a Howard Hawks production all the way. Hawks brought the tough guy types that he used in Red River and The Big Sleep, while having the snappy pater and strong female type that he used in His Girl Friday. Isolated Air Force personnel and and scientists at the Arctic must stop a killer alien (James Arness, years before Gunsmoke), intent on mass self-breeding and world domination. Simple story, well told. The dark shadows and evil music should be effective in the dark city park. Hopefully, there won't be as many pot smokers, but we'll see. Rain date I believe is Tuesday the 26th.

EL DORADO- Wed June 27 at 6 and Sat June 30 at 6:30- MOMA- 53rd st. and 5th Ave.- Part of the John Wayne retrospective. Speaking of Howard Hawks, here's a film he directed, with a screenplay from Leigh Brackett (Hawks' favorite screenwriter because she "wrote like a man"; wrote the first draft of Empire Strikes Back before passing away). Essentially a lighter-hearted remake of their earlier Rio Bravo. Wayne reprises his role of a gunman helping his drunken sheriff friend get sober, and get the bad guy. Instead of Dean Martin, we get a tougher Robert Mitchum, who handles the humor quite well. Instead of Ricky Nelson, we get a major upgrade in James Caan, who can actually act. He handles the young rookie type well, though a scene where he "plays Chinese" will certainly be cringe inducing now. No brain surgery here folks, just a fun Western.

GYPSY- Thurs June 28 for 6.50- Chelsea Clearview Cinema- W. 23rd and 8th- A good movie musical that has become forgotten today. Not songs like Everything's Coming Up Roses, the persona of the domineering stage mom, or actress Natalie Wood in the title role. But the actual 1962 movie itself. Even annoying community theater types will run their VHS copies of the Bette Midler remake into dust with all their playing of it, before they even give this a sniff.

Maybe a little happier then typical biopics. And maybe a little surprising that for a film about the famous Gypsy Rose Lee, that the star is her mother Rose. But since Lee wrote the original book this was based on, let's cut this a little slack. Wood is lovely and good as Louise/Gypsy, and Karl Malden provides strong support. But in the end, it's Rosalind Russell's show as Mama. Oscar nominations for Cinematography, Costume Design and Music treatment.

There is also a 10pm, but there's no way in hell I'm staying out there for that long a movie. This isn't Barry Lyndon after all.

NEAR DARK- Fri June 29 and Sat June 30 at 6- MOMA- An archival print from director Kathyrn Bigelow. From a cult hit from 1987. Not so much at the box office, but from home video and cable. A teenage boy (Adrian Pasdar of Heroes), picks up a cute girl. She likes him. Then she bites him, thus turning him into a vampire. He ends up joining the girl's "family" of vampires, as they terrorize and feed of people in Oklahoma. The "family" includes Lance Henriksen and an especially brutal Bill Paxton, a year after their appearances in Aliens (Jenette Goldstein, Vasquez in Aliens, also appears as a vampire). Forgotten now, but for those who were video renting in the late 80s/early 90s, it was one of the few horror films that were released in that era worth repeated viewings. But most of us have never seen it on the big screen. Now is the time.

THE GREAT DICTATOR- Sat June 30 at 1:30- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Chaplin's first talking film, and the first (and for a while only) attacks on fascism. Where a dictator who wants to take over the world, is mistaken for a humble jewish barber. I know, a Cliffs Note-type description of the film. Banned in Germany until 1998. Banned in Spain until Franco died in 1975. 5 Oscar nominations, including Picture, Actor and Screenplay for Charles (not Charlie, so that people would'nt think of this as a Little Tramp film.). A Chaplin film that I'm painfully unaware of beyond the basics, but one I'm interested in catching.

IT'S ALIVE with an appearance by director Larry Cohen- Sat June 30 at 2- AMMI- However, if heavy-handed fascism satires don't cut it for you, how about a 70s horror satire. Playing on the fears of child birth, Writer-Director Larry Cohen's surprise 1974 hit (39 mil according to the Village Voice), has the newborn, effected by the pills and the medicines of the day, killing right out of the womb. Note the babycam, as it attacks or runs away. It only attacks when its scared, but it seems to get scared quite a bit . . .

And the authorities don't want to know if other babies, whose mothers are taking the same prescribed drugs, are afflicted or why. It's KILL KILL KILL time! Let's just say, humanity is not portrayed in its finest here. Worth catching if you've never seen it.

Writer-director Cohen appears at the screening, though I don't know if he's introducing the film, or doing a post film Q and A. We'll see.

I make the biggest push for Texas Chainsaw and The Thing. The later should be fun on a hot summer night. Are we ever going to get some those I wonder . . . Anyway, let me know. Later all.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June revivals: first half. Small list.

Mike here with a list of what to catch in the first half of June. Small list. Please note, this is based on what I can definitely or tentatively make as of this writing. For example, Faces and The Conversation are playing at MOMA this weekend, but I can't make it, so forget it. Same with a Midnight screening of Fight Club at Landmark Sunshine, unless there's someone dying to go this Friday and can at least drive me home.

Since there aren't a lot of films listed here, let me talk about the screening of Barry Lyndon at the Walter Reade in Lincoln Center Tuesday night, May 29. Don't know why the 7pm screening had to start so late. Yes I know it was sold out, but if people can't get to their computer-bought tickets in a timely manner, or if it takes forever to get popcorn, that's not a reason to at least start the intros late.

That said, I got to revise my outlook on Barry Lyndon. I'm slightly more mature to appreciate it more. But only slightly. It helped that with this new inter-negative print, this was the best looking print of Lyndon I've ever seen. One of my favorite film logos from that era, from Lyndon that night, is posted above. Superior in sight and sound to the mediocre prints I saw years ago at Cinema Village and the late Screening Room, early this decade.

What also helped was no intermission. The "intermission" title card was shown, and the intermission music was played, then the film continued. I didn't get a break, then had to re-engage 10-15 minutes later. It forced me to concentrate more, and kept me interested. Granted, I gave up on any help for my back, and I'm sure other people's bladders went into knots. Nice job not announcing this.

But not only was the print worth catching, so was the post-film Q & A with co-star and now producer(Little Children) Leon Vitali. One of the most interesting Q & A's I've been to in the past 4 years. An engaging man who enjoys talking about whatever was brought up, whether it was Kubrick, the film, or the process of preserving the film, among the many topics brought up. It ended after 25 min, but it felt like if it was possible, Mr. Vitali and a lot of us would stayed even longer. Though my empty stomach appreciated it enough that I ate at the nearest diner. God, a turkey burger and the world's greasiest chicken fingers never tasted so good.

Because of the lateness of the time, half the people had to leave. And due to an apparent lack of preparedness, early hand raisers were ignored. Except for the one clean-shaven, 20something film school-type schmuck with brown hair, some kind of British dialect, who showed up with other male friends, who raised his hand constantly, repeatedly and emotionally, to the point where it seemed he would die on the spot if he was ignored. Even while Vitali was busy answering a previous question as long as he needed to take. I'm thinking "Yes, please pick this idiot and put him out of his misery. And ours." And then the kid couldn't spit out the question coherently, IDIOT!!! This is for the moron and the rest of you as a helpful suggestion. If you can't ask your question in 10-15 seconds, don't pollute the air with your babble.

Now I've vented, so on with the list. Here we go:

SHOCK CORRIDOR and THE BIG RED ONE- Sun June 3 at 4(Shock) and 6:30(Big Red)- AMMI- A double feature of 2 Samuel Fuller films. First, Shock Corridor. A 35mm archival print from UCLA will be screened. A film considered important enough to be included in the Criterion Collection, along with the 7 Samurai, Salo, Life of Brian, Fat Girl, and Armageddon. So yeah, take that as you will. Never seen it, but very curious. A reporter tracks a killer to an insane asylum. So he decides to commit himself to get closer to the killer. And guess what? An insane asylum is NOT A NICE PLACE TO BE!!! SCHMUCK!!! Anyway, wouldn't mind seeing this.

Double featured with The Big Red One. A restored 35mm print. A semi autobiographical Fuller film that is episodic in nature, covering the exploits of the famous WW2 Army unit. Among their exploits, were being part of the first to land in North Africa, being stuck on the beach on D-Day, and being the first Allied unit to see a concentration camp. Starring Lee Marvin as the tough, cigar-chomping Sgt., Mark Hamill in his only non-Star Wars performance worth noting (Joker voice overs don't count), and Robert Carradine as the pseudo-stand-in for Fuller.

Came out and flopped in the summer of 1980. It was either the original backers, Lorimar, or the film's distributor, United Artists(bracing for a period where they would have every summer flick bomb, plus the coming of Heaven's Gate), that took the picture away from Fuller, and tore almost an hour away. 45 min have been restored, and it gives the viewer an impressive odyssey. Maybe not better then Private Ryan, but a more personal, emotional and embracing war picture, then say, Eastwood's decent Flags of our Fathers.

Now I've seen this version already. I'd like to see it again with someone who's never seen this. I'd really like to see this with Shock Corridor, but you'll tell me.

MY BEST FIEND- Thurs June 7 at 7:30- Film Forum- One of the more explosive actor director collaborations, was between director Werner Herzog, and actor Klaus Kinski. To call this a love/hate relationship, might be an insult to the terms love and hate. We see behind the scenes footage from all 5 films, and none of it quiet. To give you an idea, the natives of Aguirre, The Wrath of God, offered to kill Kinski for Herzog! You see the offer. Should be very interesting to watch. Double-featured, with Herzog's Grizzly Man, a runner-up for me for my Top 10 of 2005. Stirring and worth catching, if you think you can take it.

LET'S GET LOST- Fri June 8 at 7, plus 9:30 on all weekdays from Fri June 8- Fri June 15, and 3:30 and 4:30 on Wed June 13- Film Forum- An Oscar nominee for Best Documentary, now in a restored 35mm print. NOT available on home video, except for out of print VHS from the early 90s. Photographer Bruce Weber covers the life of jazz great Chet Baker. A star in the 50s, we see him in the last 2 years of his life; ravaged by alcohol and heroin addiction. You see clips and photos of him from the 50s. You see interviews with him, his kids, his colleagues, his 3rd wife, and his former girlfriend, singer Ruth Brown. Not everyone loves the guy, as you might imagine. And of course, you hear the music. Would REALLY like to catch this. According to the Forum website:

This performance Director Bruce Weber will introduce the 7:00 show of Let's Get Lost on Friday, June 8. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Bruce Weber and LGL's director of photography Jeff Preiss.

It's questionable if I can catch that screening, but there are others during this engagement. I list the above paragraph for those who are interested.

BACK TO SCHOOL- Fri June 8 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- For 80s film fans, here the surprise comedy hit of the summer of 1986. Rodney Dangerfield plays a rich businessman, who sees the only way to keep his son interested, is to enroll himself. Fun, amusing, and surprisingly warm at times. Interesting cast: future director Keith Gordon as the son, Burt Young as the chauffeur, Robert Downey Jr. as the son's punkish best friend, DS9's Terry Farrell as the son's dream girl, Sally Kellerman and Sam kinison as professors, Ned Beatty as the dean, and Danny Elfman (who did the score) with his band Oingo Boingo, performing.

Let me know if there's interest. Later all.