Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov. revivals: now thru Thanksgiving weekend

Mike here with what to catch from now thru Sunday, November 30th. Actually thru Tuesday, December 2nd. Won't waste time, here we go:

CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES- Now thru Tues Dec 2 at 4:30 (City), 6:15 (Modern), 8 (City), and 9:45 (Modern)- plus Fri Nov 28 and Sat Nov 29 at 1 (City) and 2:45 (Modern)- Film Forum- A return of a very popular double feature at the Forum. I caught the two films together back in early May, as the conclusion to the Forum's retrospective on films that came out of the United Artists studio. It was very popular, with every screening of one of the films either sold out or very close. Based on this match-ups' extreme popularity, and I would guess a lack of recent success with the Forum's recent slate of new releases, these 2 Chaplin classics are back for a long run. For the moment, these 2 AFI Top 100 flicks are only scheduled to run through Dec 2, yet I've already brought up extended runs of Rosemary's Baby, The Wild Child and the first two Godfather on previous lists, so I'm learning to take schedules there with a grain of salt.

This was the double feature in that UA retrospective I anticipated the most. Even though I had already seen Modern Times, I had never seen more then a few clips of City Lights. Specifically, the scene where you find the Tramp sleeping in the Virgin Mary statue's arms, and the well choreographed boxing scene. I'd never seen City Lights from beginning to end. Hearing and reading enough stuff about how great it was, and Woody Allen's fawning at how the last 30 seconds are the greatest ending ever in film (an ending Allen did an homage for his ending of Manhattan), piqued interest further. While I liked the film a lot, and laughed hard at some scenes, like his dealings with a drunken millionaire who was the Tramp's best friend (until the rich man sobered up), I came away with the feeling of eh. Good film, yes, great film, nah. Maybe the line from Pretty Woman is appropriate, that I'll like and even grow to appreciate it, but never love it. I enjoyed Monsieur Verdoux more, perhaps because I had no preconceptions going in there as opposed to City Lights. But I'm willing to try again.

Modern Times, that was easy. My favorite of the full length Chaplins, and easily in my top 100. If you've seen Wall-E, then you've seen Modern Times, and vice versa. Wall-E and the Tramp are similar, the same style awkward romance between the heroes and their object of affection, and the same message about not letting improved technology overwhelm humanity. It annoys me that it took MOMA to make me notice the last two, but even I managed to figure out the first part on my own. Yea me. Whatever.

The first 15 plus minutes, until the Tramp is fired, is among my favorite sustained sequences in comedy, but the scenes in the last quarter, when he's a waiter, I like even more. And Paulette Goddard as the gamin, definitely made my heart skip a beat. No wonder Chaplin at 47, went after her, at 26. If you never seen both films, jump at the chance now.

LABYRINTH- Thurs Nov 27, Fri Nov 28 and Sat Nov 29 at Midnight- Landmark Sunshine Cinema- Here's something to catch for Thanksgiving weekend. Perhaps a little weird to go on Thanksgiving night, after a heavy meal. But I'm game if you are, and if you're in town that weekend. For the rest, I'll reprint what I wrote early this January:

A flop back in the summer of 1986. A cult following today. Personally, I think the cult is bigger in say, L.A. and Chicago than here. It feels to me that; if there is more of a following in terms of mid80s Jim Henson work, then it would be more for Fraggle Rock then for this flick. When you hear those from 26-30 in NYC, who had HBO back then, talk lovingly about the show, or even Tina Fey, when she compared Paris Hilton's wig with a Fraggle, you might come to the same idea I did. That said, tell me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Labyrinth the only Jim Henson film to be re-released in a 2 disc DVD set to actually sell pretty well? Someone's rocking out to this.

While babysitting, Teenager Jennifer Connelly gets sick of her little brother, and wishes him taken away by some goblins. Why a mid 80s teen would pick goblins, who knows? But she gets her wish, as Goblin King David Bowie does exactly that. Jennifer goes off to David's Goblin castle to keep the rugrat from becoming a goblin. And of course, has to go through the title set of mazes to get there.
Executive produced by George Lucas, but hey, at least it's better than the other film he produced from that summer, Howard The Duck. Directed by Henson, who co-wrote the story. Monty Python's Terry Jones wrote an early version of the screenplay, with some kind of uncredited re-writing from Elaine May. I'll give this a shot.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE and NOTHING SACRED- Fri Nov 28 and Sat Nov 29 at 1:15 (Sacred), 2:55 (To Be), 4:45 (Sacred), 6:20 (To Be), 8:15 (Sacred), and 9:50 (To Be)- Film Forum- Part of the Carole Lombard retro. And frankly the only other Lombard films I have interest in for the rest of the Forum's retro. I'll go in reverse order, and start with Nothing Sacred, Lombard's only color film from director William Wellman. She's a small town girl, who thinks she's dying, so she wrangles a free trip to NYC from low level (and possibly low life) reporter Fredric March. She finds out she's not dying, but why not get the free trip, and people fawning over her with sympathy, and manipulate the reporter who's manipulating her, and maybe even fall in love? There's more, but if you don't know this screwball comedy, I won't spoil it for you. Dark satire from writer Ben Hecht, with a rapid fire war of worlds between Lombard and March.

Next, To Be Or Not To Be. Lombard's last film, and where she received her biggest kudos. A dark comedy, where she and Jack Benny, the stars of a small Polish theatre troupe, pull out all stops from keeping the Gestapo shutting them down and worse, while helping a Polish solider find a German spy. But since this film was made in 1941 while the U.S. was "neutral", it kept from release until after this country declared war. Even then the darkish rapid fire paced satire turned off audiences in 1942. Has a major cult following (some claim it fits our time more then at it's initial release), and has been referred to as a comedy classic. Definitely a classic compared to Mel Brooks' mediocre remake. I wouldn't mind seeing both, but if I could only see one, then it's To Be, easily.

THE OMEN (1976)- Fri Nov 28 at 3- The Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of the weekend series Problem Child: A Cinematic Display of Bad Behavior. And if the little son of Satan, planning on destroying the world with only Gregory Peck to save us, doesn't count, then what does? Effective horror film from director Richard Donner. Usually on the list for best horror films ever made. I may not rank it that high, but I still recommend it. This might never have been made if The Exorcist wasn't huge hit, but it became more successful then expected thanks to an aggressive ad campaign, touting the cute killer child concept, the number 666, the fact it was also coming out in 6/6/76 and the music. Fox proved quite effective, which would come in handy over the years, with the Star Wars films. An Oscar for Jerry Goldsmith's creepy score (but over Bernard Herrmann's score for Taxi Driver?). Donner credits Goldsmith's music and horror chanting song (also Oscar nominated), as being responsible for the film's success.

Accept no substitutes; such as Damien: Omen 2, where it's up to a barely sober William Holden to save us from a teenage Antichrist, or The Final Conflict, where Sam Neill, as a grown up Damien is the only effective part of that crap flick, or the TV film Omen 4 (let's all pretend it doesn't exist), or the limp Julia Styles remake from 2 summers ago.

MOMMIE DEAREST- Sat Nov 29 at 9:30 (Mommie)- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of the weekend series Problem Child: A Cinematic Display of Bad Behavior. A special screening of the cult classic from 1981. Adapted from the payback novel by Joan Crawford's adopted daughter, this is how Crawford will be thought as forever more. Even though the accuracy of the tale gets questioned more and more as the years pass. That doesn't make this a good film. But it also doesn't mean it's not fun to watch. I don't know if this was supposed to be serious or camp, and I'm not sure if everyone else involved knew what tone to take either. But back in Sept-Oct 1981, when the wire hanger scene came up, a pop culture moment was born. And Faye Dunaway's A list film career ended, while who thought it was a good idea to have Diana Scarwid start playing adult Christina Crawford at age 13?!?!? No wonder she went from an Oscar nominee to a Razzie award winner. If you want to enjoy yourself, catch this campy crappy fun film.

This isn't like the screenings at Chelsea Clearview. There will be no comic there hired to make fun AT the film. But that doesn't mean there won't be any spontaneous action among our fellow patrons. I don't think that's a bad thing, mind you. Not for this one. Just a friendly warning.

That's all. I was tempted to post Scenes From A Marriage at IFC Film Center, but to see what's basically a 5 hour autopsy (well acted throughout) of a marriage at varying states of decay on Thanksgiving weekend? Yeah, right. If I'm going to stick my neck out for a Bergman film right now, it will be for something like the director's cut of Fanny and Alexander or Autumn Sonata, both playing next month. Let me know if there's interest. Later all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November revivals for the next few days

Mike here with what to catch for the few days in November. I wish I could have gotten this out 48 hours earlier, but this is the best I could do. Normally I would have the entire second half of November posted here. But I noticed there was a bunch of films to catch this week and weekend, then nothing either of not or doable for me until Thanksgiving weekend. So I cut it off this list after a few days, then post another one stictly for Thanksgiving weekend. Here we go:

THE WILD CHILD or ROSEMARY'S BABY- now through Thurs Nov 20 at 2:45 (Baby), 5:30 (Child), 7:15 (Child) or 9 (Baby)- Film Forum- Both films have new 35mm prints. Both films have been held over. Both films are worth catching. But one can't purchase tickets for these films as though they were the typical Forum double feature (buy one, stay for the other). Therefore a choice would have to be made. I won't pick for you.

WILD STYLE- Now through Thurs Nov 20 at 10- Film Forum- A new 35mm print of a film screened only at 10pm at night. Was popular in 1983 and in its various re-releases in 84 and 85. Well, let me re-phrase, it was popular in places like Brooklyn and the Bronx. Outside, the rest of the country preferred films like Breakin and Beat Street. A quasi-musical/documentary, it followed various graffiti people (I'm not calling them artists), DJs and rappers, with concert performances of people like Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy. Consider this a lesson in Hip Hop history, pre-MTV Raps.

WALL-E- Wed Nov 19 at 6- MOMA- Part of the Contenders series. Basically, MOMA picked what they felt were the best films of 2008 up to this point, that have a chance at winning critics' awards and/or an Oscar or two. I have no time to list films like Iron Man (good summer blockbuster. Passable to decent action, but an interesting script and Downey's performance makes it worth catching on your own, if you haven't already.) or Encounters at the Far End of the World (interesting Antarctica doc from our old buddy Werner. You learn a little more about penguins, and a lot more about the type of person willing to spend years studying down there).

But I am willing to make time to catch Wall-E again on the big screen. This summer, I made the time to catch a revival screening of Fantasia first, Wall-E last, and Monkey Business in-between. An unexpectedly (and not completely planned) perfect combo of movies in one day. Wall-E, in its way, combined the visual dazzle of Fantasia, with the quality humor of a very good Marx Brothers film. Don't have time to go further, but let's just say, my new favorite Pixar, and it will take at least a 20 megaton bomb to blast it out of my Top 10 for 2008. For this screening, I don't know if there will be any shorts before it, or just Wall-E, which is fine by me. Yes, I know its on DVD now. So are most of the films I list. Shut up.

Now if you can't go on a Wed., it will play this Friday for free, but one would probably need help to pull that off, and I'll go into that later in the list.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1- Thurs Nov 20 at 7 and 9:30 for 7.50- Chelsea Clearview Cinema- The Mel Brooks comedy from 1981 gets a cheap screening. Not in the league of Blazing Saddles and The Producers, but still fun. Took a critical shellacking back in the summer of 81, with Rex Reed, Jeffery Lyons and Kathleen Carroll leading the brutally unnecessary charge. Time has since been kinder to the flick. It's a silly comedy, with some witty moments, some "gross" moments that rival some of South Park, and like I said before, it's fun. Even the line "It's good to be the King" has entered the lexicon. Not every revival has to be a serious French film, you know.

I personally prefer the Busby Berkeley number that Brooks himself performs about the Spanish Inquisition, and the little section of "Jews In Space". Most of Brooks' regulars appear, including Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, and Dom DeLuise. Some new cast members include Gregory Hines (a last minute replacement for Richard Pryor, after Rich turned himself into a human charcoal with a freebasing accident), Pamela Stephenon (hired mainly for her British accent and her breasts), and Mary-Margaret Humes (hired only for her beauty; gained fame on Dawson's Creek as Dawson's mom). Funny cameos from Bea Arthur, Jackie Mason, and John Hurt as Jesus, and Orson Welles as the narrator (in full paycheck mode). All this for a cheap price, so why not?

WALL-E and/or HAPPY GO LUCKY- Fri Nov 21 at 6 (Wall-E) and 8:30 (Happy)- For free, subject to availability- MOMA- Now if you can't go for Wall-E on Wed, here's a second chance for free. That is, if you can get tickets in time. See, like I've said before on previous lists, tickets for admission into MOMA is free on Fridays, late afternoon and evening. No problem providing free tickets for the Museum itself, but the film tickets can go fast. I had no problems seeing the original Breathless, but catching a Coen brothers double feature was impossible. If you can get there by 5, give or take a few minutes, it shouldn't be a problem. If you can't get there yourself by then, send someone who can.

A double feature in a series of films MOMA considers to be contenders for awards and critics top 10 lists for 2008. Wall-E, I brought up earlier. If for some reason, you didn't catch it in theaters, this might your last best chance. Unless you choose to catch it at some theater for free at 10 in the morning next summer with a group of screaming kids. So catch it now, for free, if you can.

At the same time you get your tickets for Wall-E, you can also get free tickets for Happy Go Lucky, Mike Leigh's new dramedy. Haven't seen it, but I'd like to. Especially for free. Some of Leigh's previous films, including Topsy Turvy, and Vera Drake have been on my top 10 for their year before, and I hope this would be on this year's as well.

Award attention will probably not only go to Leigh's direction, but also to Sally Hawkins for her lead performance. She plays a young school teacher with an optimistic view on life. Cheery to the point of exasperating to some of the people around her. Pollyanna-like to the point that someone cynical might think she's insane, or overly naive. In fact, that's part of the point: is some as cheerful as her in our world today a sign of imbalance, naivety or stupidity, or is this something we need and we shouldn't try to crush? I'm very interested. Hope some of you are as well. This might have been the first time you've heard of this, but I expect you'll hear about this off and on for the next 3 1/2 months.

MY MAN GODFREY and TWENTIETH CENTURY- Fri Nov 21 at 8 (Century) and 9:45 (Godfrey)- and Sat Nov 22 at 1 (Century), 2:45 (Godfrey), 4:30 (Century), 6:15 (Godfrey), 8 (Century), and 9:45 (Godfrey)- Film Forum- The start of a Carole Lombard retrospective. Considered by some with an institutional memory as one of the great actresses ever on film. Her untimely death at 34 in 1942, has probably more to do with not being better known, then the fact that her best films were made in the 30s and early 40s.

She's best known for her comedies, and the retrospective starts off with a double feature of her two of her more successful screwball comedies. First, My Man Godfrey, one of my favorites of this genre. Lombard's rich girl character (think Paris Hilton, minus STDs and plus 100+ I.Q. points), on a whim and in scavenger hunt mode, brings in homeless man William Powell to become the family butler. He turns out to be more than meets the eye, not the least of which being brighter then the rest of the family. Why Powell's a hobo probably wouldn't hold up today, not without a big storyline about him getting treatment, put on medication, etc. But the rest of the comedy holds up quite well. Powell may always seem to have the upper hand on Lombard, but that's the script, and not for lack of trying. But Powell has the advantage of playing a straight man while also going into depth with his character, while everyone else around him are batshit nuts.

6 Oscar nominations; Powell for Actor, Lombard for Actress, Gregory La Cava for Director, plus 2 for Supporting Actress and one for the Screenplay. When this is shown on TV, it looks every bit it's age of over 70 years. While we're not getting a new 35mm print here, I'm hoping it's a lot better here then on TV.

Another film I hope the Forum has a better print of then what is used for TV, is the other half of the double feature, Twentieth Century. I'm more familiar with the stage version by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (uncredited!), then this film version. Specifically, the Roundabout revival from 2004. I was entertained, but I had higher expectations for it. I enjoyed Anne Heche, but Alec Baldwin seemed to have his ham meter set to 11, the supporting actors were more interesting then either Baldwin or Heche, except for Tom Aldridge (Carmela's dad on the Sopranos). I know he was playing an insane man pretending to be a millionaire, but he seemed to not match the tempo of the play, and frankly I didn't always find him funny. Why he got a Tony nomination, I'll never know. Sorry, I digressed.

Point is, this did color my initial viewing on TV of the 1934 film written by a credited Hecht and MacArthur (with uncredited assistance from Preston Sturges). It took a second chance to get into it more (it seems to play a lot on either TCM, or PBS' Ch. 21.). Full speed dialogue attacks, as John Barrymore is in full ham blast (is that why Baldwin did it hammily, to copy Barrymore?). He's a Broadway director whose career hit the skids when his biggest discovery (Lombard) leaves him and becomes a movie star. When he sees her on the same train from Chicago to New York, he spends the whole ride in a full court press to get her on his new show. And she spends the entire train ride resisting. Directed by Howard Hawks, 2 years after Scarface, and years before Bringing up Baby.

Would definitely want to catch My Man Godfrey, and if you want to stay for Twentieth Century, so be it.

MEAN STREETS- Sat Nov 22 at 4:40- The Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- The first pairing of actor Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese. I have never seen this on the big screen, and I really want to. Not Scorsese's first film, but it is his first studio film. Done cheaply since Warner Bros was only going to devote so much Dirty Harry profits to distributing a film from the director of Boxcar Bertha. In college I dealt with a Scorsese sycophant, I mean fan, who talked about the raw power of this film was superior to the polished works of Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Considering he was coming out with Casino and The Age of Innocence, it was easy to conjure up babel like that.

But just because the film is raw as opposed to polished, doesn't mean it doesn't belong near the top of the director's work. Just that when you have Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and lower profiles works like After Hours and Kundun on your resume, it's hard for a lot of films to get the respect it deserves. And respect AND viewer ship is what Mean Streets deserves. More of a character study than a plot driven project, Harvey Kietel's small timer is who we follow, but De Niro's living embodiment of a psychotic screw-up is what steals the show. The quintessential New York film, shot mostly in Los Angeles. Please let's make time to see this.

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

Friday, November 07, 2008

November first half update

Mike here with an update of what to catch for the first half of November. I couldn't wait forever for some places to update, so now I have to go back and bring up a few more titles and/or extension. Here we go, as quick as I can:

ROSEMARY'S BABY- extended until Thurs Nov 13 at 7 and 9:35- Film Forum- Here's a stunner, people wanted to see Roman Polanski's horror film. So the Forum has extended it's run for another week. Another chance to catch this, people. A new 35mm print.

NOSFERATU THE VAMPIRE- extended at least thru Tues Nov 11 at 12:55 and 9:40, plus 11:55PM on Fri Nov 7 and Sat Nov 8- IFC Film Center- The Herzog-Kinski take on Dracula has been extended a few more days. It isn't scheduled to go beyond Veteran's Day, but you never know. I wouldn't tempt fate either, and wait. A new 35mm print.

COCKSUCKER BLUES- Sat Nov 9 at 7 and 9:30- Anthology Film Archives- 32 Second Avenue by E. 2nd Street- A rare screening of The Rolling Stones concert film, when they were touring in North America for the first time since the concert at Altamont (as depicted in Gimme Shelter). The film has a no-holds barred look at what the Stones did on tour, on and off stage. It was the off stage antics that led to a clash between the Stones and director Robert Frank over wether the film can be screened or not. It lead to an unusual court ruling, where it was decided that the film can only be screened if the director is physically present. So I suppose director Frank will be at both screenings on Saturday. As for more about the film itself, here's a description from the Anthology's website:

1972, 93 minutes, 35mm, b&w/color. With the Rolling Stones.
“With COCKSUCKER BLUES, Frank bids a final adieu to the utopia of the Beat generation. What did the Rolling Stones expect when they hired him to make a film about their 1972 North American tour? There are scenes of groupie sex in private jets, cocaine snorting, and even a masturbation scene in which Jagger reveals himself to be the cameraman in a reflected image. But ultimately Frank focuses on the lonely spaces that permeate the rock-and-roll machine. This is the ultimate direct cinema. The camera movement infects the images with an unbelievable filmic energy, and Frank ignores all orientation guidelines. Populated by the living dead, COCKSUCKER BLUES is a zombie film with no refuge.” –Tate ModernAll tickets $15 for these rare screenings.

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

Monday, November 03, 2008

Nov. revivals: first half.

Hey. Mike here with what to catch for the first half of November. Sorry I'm late with this, but that couldn't be helped. I'll list what's good to catch, and I'll write as brief as possible. Here we go:

ROSEMARY'S BABY- Tues Nov 4 and Wed Nov 5 at 7 and 9:35- Film Forum- A 40th anniversary screening, with a new 35mm print. It opened on Halloween at the Forum, but these are doable dates. I've brought it up before, and I bring it up again. No new details, but according to someone who was highlighted as a "member of the week" on the Forum's web page, if you get too scared by this film, just look at Ruth Gordon, and it becomes a comedy automatically. I agree.

NOSFERATU THE VAMPIRE- Tues Nov 4 (and hopefully longer) at 7:55 and 10:10- IFC Film Center- A new 35mm print of the shorter American release, as opposed to the director's cut. Herzog and Kinski, in this adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel. Definitely runs through Tuesday. I think it runs through Thursday, and hopefully at least a week longer than that, but the website hasn't been updated, so I can't provide any new info.

HELL FIGHTERS with INFLATION- Wed Nov 5 at 8:15- MOMA- Easier to copy this from MOMA's website:

1957. Great Britain. Directed by Cy Endfield. With its dog-eat-dog politics and breakneck chase sequences, Hell Drivers stands alongside Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night, Jules Dassin's Thieves' Highway, and Henri-Georges Clouzot's Wages of Fear as a gripping allegory of postwar capitalist exploitation and betrayal. The film's swaggering cast features the brooding, cocksure Welshman Stanley Baker and a then-unknown Sean Connery, along with Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner, Secret Agent), William Hartnell (Dr. Who), and Herbert Lom (The Pink Panther sequels, The Ladykillers). Preserved by the bfi, London. 92 min. Inflation. 1942. USA. Directed by Cy Endfield. With Edward Arnold. This witty wartime propaganda short—a parable of greed & was commissioned by the Office of War Information but was then rejected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its "anti-capitalist" message. 15 min.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN- Thurs Nov 6 at 7 and 9:30 for 7.50- Chelsea Clearview Cinema- The Mel Brooks comedy classic gets screened again, and at a convenient price. Many great scenes, but my favorite is easily Gene Hackman as the blind man/ the Host from Hell!. Skip the stage version and catch this. 2 Oscar nominations, for Sound, and for Gene Wilder and Brooks' Screenplay. Would you believe the script lost to Godfather Part 2? You do? Well never mind then. I hope those who introduce and occasionally speak during the film like MST3K, will not step on too many lines.

DINER- Fri Nov 7 at 1:30- MOMA- Another of the young male bonding/growing up type of film. Both Barry Levinson's first film as writer/director, as well Levinson's first film set in his native Baltimore. The sleeper hit of the summer of 1982. An Oscar nomination for the screenplay, and a major boost to the careers of Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Tim Daly, Paul Reiser and Ellen Barkin.

THE WILD CHILD- Fri Nov 7, Sat Nov 8 and Tues Nov 11- Thurs Nov 14 at 6:15, 8 and 9:45- Film Forum- A new 35mm print of Francois Truffaut's 1970 film. Shot in black and white, and in a style more akin to silent films, to try to match its 1798 setting. A nature versus nuture story, as Truffaut cast himself as a doctor, trying to both examine, study and raise a boy born in the wilderness, and also to "civilize" him. A performance from Truffaut that made Hitchcock ask him for "that actor who played the doctor's autograph", and made Spielberg cast Truffaut in Close Encounters. Yeah, I got that from the Forum's website. What a tool I am.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON- Fri Nov 7 and Sat Nov 8 at Midnight- IFC Film Center- Part of a retrospective of horror films from the 1980s. A sleeper hit from the summer of 1981. Funny and freaky. An Oscar for Makeup, highlighted by one of the great film transformation scenes ever.

WILD STYLE- Fri Nov 14, Mon Nov 17, Tues Nov 18 and Thurs Nov 20 at 10- Film Forum- A new 35mm print of a film screened only at 10pm at night. Was popular in 1983 and in its various re-releases in 84 and 85. Well, let me re-phrase, it was popular in places like Brooklyn and the Bronx. Outside, the rest of the country preferred films like Breakin and Beat Street. A quasi-musical/documentary, it followed various graffiti people (I'm not calling them artists), DJs and rappers, with concert performances of people like Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy.
Consider this a lesson in Hip Hop history, pre-MTV Raps. The film's director Charlie Ahearn will be at the Friday Nov 15 screening, with "surprise guests". If by surprise guests they mean surprise live musical performances, then you're guess is as good as mine.

VIDEODROME- Fri Nov 14 at Midnight- IFC Film Center- Part of a retrospective of horror films from the 1980s. One of the few studio films from director David Cronenberg. James Woods stars as a sleazy cable tv programmer, who gets hooked to Videodrome, an S and M, snuff-ish film show, that tends to distort things, physically and mentally, for the viewer. If you don't know this, I won't spoil it much more, except this is NOT for the physically or emotionally squeamish. Cronenberg's statement on overdosing on the varying visual media, and trashy TV (sounds timely, doesn't it?). Featuring a quite sensuous Debbie Harry.

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