Thursday, May 22, 2008

May revivals: the rest of the month.

Mike here with the remainder of of May's revivals. Most of them would be fun birthday viewing options for me, even if they're playing after the birthday. Here we go:

ANNIE HALL- Fri May 23 at 10 (tentative on my end), Sat May 24 (the whole day tentative for me for this film) and Mon May 26 at 3:30, 6 and 8 (the last 2 times on Mon. tentative for me), and Tues May 27 at 8 and 10- Film Forum- The end of the United Artists Back By Popular Demand retrospective. I've talked about this before, so I won't go into this Oscar winning film/ one of the best romantic comedies ever/ in my personal Top 100. For those who did this with me back in the days of Movie Night meets, you've done this before and that's good enough. But others haven't caught this, not in a long time anyway. So back on the list it goes. For some reason, the Forum describes this as a 70s Abbie's Irish Rose, but I don't get that. And by the way, good job of by the Film Forum folks to draw people to a 1977 Woody Allen film; by comparing it to a play that was already outdated and cliched by 1935!

ALIEN- Fri May 23-Sun May 25 at Midnight- IFC FIlm Center- The first of IFC's 70s Sci-Fi retrospective. A perfectly constructed film as far as I'm concerned. Some have you seen this classic with me before, and I'm not saying you have to see this again. May or may not be in my personal top 100, but one I can see over and over again. Sci-fi for those who aren't into Star Trek or Star Wars. Great visual effects, and just enough of Jerry Goldsmith's beautiful score to make the silences even more effective. Ridley Scott never made a better film; sorry for those of you who are fans of Blade Runner, or Black Hawk Down, or American Gangster.

Even more convenient, is that's playing all three nights of the Memorial Day weekend. I'm assuming of course most of you aren't working on Monday. But another option for this weekend is . . .

THE SHINING- Fri May 23-Sun May 25- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- If you rather do Kubrick-Nicholson at Midnight, well here's The Shining. This film works for me to on this weekend. Longer and a little more out of the way, but worth it. If you don't know this film, what good are you? Moving on.

PILLOW TALK- Thurs May 29 at 7 and 9:30 for 6 dollars- Chelsea Clearview Cinemas- The first of the Rock Hudson- Doris Day comedies, as well as both the most successful and the best. No point in breaking down plot, they're all about the same. Man and woman hate each other, love each other but don't know it, then eventually find out and after much arguing, a happy ending, with Tony Randall on the sidelines, making jokes. Like I said, the best of the bunch. Oscar nominations include Day for Actress, Art Direction, Score and for Thelma Ritter for Supporting Actress in another wisecracking role. An Oscar for the Screenplay. And only for 6 dollars.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA- Fri May 30 and Sat May 31 at Midnight- IFC Film Center- Part of the 70s Sci-Fi retrospective. The pilot gets a Midnight screening. This is strictly childhood for me, though the memories for me are strongest in terms of remembering this show on syndication, as opposed to it's original run on ABC. The remake is a very good show, and if you haven't seen it, get to Netflix already. It used the feelings and emotions of dread from post 9/11 and spread on a multi-global level, mixed some 24-esque tension, hired some good (mostly Canadian) actors, took some story chances, and have come up with a superior series than the original.

The 1978-79 edition of Battlestar didn't have that kind of emotional heft around. Okay, there was the Holocaust, that was too far away and too long ago I guess. This was created in part or mostly, depending on who you ask, to rip-off Star Wars. Lucas sued them, and concessions had to be made in order to keep George from owning Universal. This is big space opera, with explosions, space battles, acting that verges from the ok, to campy to amateurish. For this last part, ABC had the tendency to cast hot chicks who were models or college students with little skill, whose career would either end within 5 years, or finish in infomercial or direct to video hell. Not every actress hired could be Jane Seymour, who is in this. One of my early crushes, an ideal for beauty that has screwed me up to no end, but that's for another blog . . .

I also have quite a lot of affection for the main villains, the Cylons. Over 6 ft tall, all chrome except for the ruby quartz eye that moved across the head with a swerving hum. And that low electronic monotone voice. The most original aspect that I still have a fondness for, despite the massive improvements done to them in the remake series. Plus decent to good visual effects, though because of the budget restrictions, the same battles were repeated throughout the series' run, and even to an extant, in this.

I can't say this would be the best flick you'll ever see whether you've seen it or not. And I can't say seeing this now wouldn't ruin any childhood memories. There are some aspects that will just seem laughable now. And as much as I like this, I would probably laugh at those absurd or lousy moments with the rest of you. But dammit, not everything can be The Rules of the Game, or Annie Hall, or Lawrence of Arabia. This is silly campy fun, and I'm not ashamed of having fun with it. And I hope you will as well.

For the record, I don't know if this is the original ABC pilot from 1978 that will be screened at IFC Film Center, or the 1979 theatrical release that was in Sensurround. For those under 32, or didn't watch films in the U.S. in the mid-late 70s, Sensurround was basically Universal's failed attempt to get people interested in some of their flicks. Speakers would be under some of the seats, and in scenes of shakes or explosions, they would go on and cause the seats to shake. And in some cases, it caused plaster to fall from the theater walls.

No matter what version they screen, I just hope those working in IFC Film Center can have the whole thing in focus from the beginning. I still remember what trouble they had with the start of Eraserhead. Please please don't screw this up. This and Alien too for that matter.

Any chance to catch the midnight screenings would be great. Anything else would be a bonus. Let me know quickly, and I do mean quickly. Especially about this weekend. Later all.

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