Monday, January 19, 2009

No list, but thanks anyway . . .

Hey all. Mike here with what to catch for the remainder of January. I thought I would have a list of revivals to catch for the second half of January. But it turns out that either I have no time for some films on a particular date, or I'm not extending myself for something that I have marginal interest, and other people I know have even less. I'm especially saddened about being unable to catch neither ADVISE AND CONSENT or MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. Both are playing on Saturday, January 23 at 2 (Consent) and 7 (Mr. Smith). I recommend them both, but I won't be there. So this time around, let me take the time to thank those who caught the following revivals over the past calender year:

LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD: not every choice is a winner; what pretentious crap,

DON'T LOOK BACK: how enjoyable this was to see after watching I'm Not There,

LACOMBE LUCIEN: excellent Louis Malle film. On the Criterion Collection I believe,

NETWORK: despite the 70s fashion, still accurate about the TV industry then and now, despite the 40 plus years difference. Foreseeing reality TV, Fox News and, arguably, Al Jazeera. And if you're a fan of great acting and dialogue . . . ,

PRINCE OF THE CITY: a little surprising this is forgotten, especially in New York. But if you have over 2 and a half hours, go for it,

ALL THE KING'S MEN: the original. Let's pretend the Sean Penn version doesn't exist,


THE SOUND OF MUSIC: seeing it with over a hundred and fifty Sound of Music fanatics gave it a very interesting feel. Watching on the Ziegfeld screen with an overture and intermission music, I get it. I finally get it. But I can't see it on TV anytime soon, and the saccharine levels got a little much during the marionette sequence. I had to step out.

JAWS: seeing on the Ziegfeld screen with a similar number of Jaws fans was also excellent. When Shaw gave the Indianapolis monologue, or during his death scene. You could hear a pin drop in the theater,

DR. NO, GOLDFINGER: not a Bond retrospective again, but a retro of United Artists pictures, as were the next 6 films below,


WHERE'S POPPA?: interesting precursor, satire-wise, to South Park and the original SNL. If the ending doesn't make you uncomfortable, you weren't paying attention,

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY: introducing this film to someone who'd never seen it before, and his post-film reaction, made me feel great inside. There are more of you out there who can get that same feeling if you catch this next time it plays at the Forum or Ziegfeld, you know . . . ,

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR: the original. Let's pretend the Pierce Brosnan version doesn't exist, ok?,



BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: the edited 1979 theatrical release of the 1978 ABC pilot, which explains the Sensurround picture. Better than you might think. Kept the major story elements, and cut the bad acting in half,

THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST: a forgotten comedy. If you like Austin Powers, you'll like one of its inspirations. Put it on Netflix now,

BREATHLESS: 1959 version. Someone I know was surprised and shocked that I would see a revival of this. It was then explained to her that we were seeing the French original, not the American remake starring Richard Gere's penis. Disappointment set in quickly . . . ,

MONSIEUR VERDOUX: A forgotten Charlie Chaplin talkie. It's been playing late at night on TCM occasionally since its Film Forum run. Hope you tape or DVR it next time its on, so you can see it when you're awake,

THE GENERAL: never mind it being a classic Buster Keaton comedy. It's one of the best action films ever made,

S.O.B.: A bit disappointing,

THE WILD BUNCH: kicked ass. When it plays again, I will push it hard. Especially for those of you who've never seen it. You know who you are . . . ,

RAN: see this on the big screen if you ever get the chance. Astonishing,

FANTASIA with SKELETON DANCE, and MONKEY BUSINESS: seeing those two followed by Wall-E was my favorite movie going day/night of the year,


LE CERCLE ROUGE: There will be more Melville this spring at the Forum. I can't wait,

DIABOLIQUE: the original, not the Sharon Stone version. Good God, not the Stone version,

SOYLENT GREEN: a fun outing, even if I was the only one who thought it was decent,

THE GODFATHER: seeing this cleaned up print was wonderful. And I was stunned that it was three hours, even though I've seen it a bunch of times. It felt like 2 hours, boy did time fly,

OLIVER TWIST: the David Lean-Alec Guinness version. Puts the musical to shame,





WALL-E: a revival when I caught it for free at MOMA. Saw it with Happy Go Lucky, but since that was still in release, I'll leave it off here,

and AMARCORD: I'm not sure how estactic I'd feel if I saw the Fellini flick on TV. But on the big screen, it's a revelation.

39 films in total. 13 more than last year, 5 more than two years ago. That's great. Special thanks for those who caught more than one. And big special thanks to Ed, who caught so many of these with me, it's not even funny.

Next month, I'll have a few, so the list will be back to normal. And for some of you who want a real cheap film outing, reserve Friday February 6 at the Forum, for a screening of I'm No Angel (Mae West, Cary Grant). It will also include vintage trailers of what else the Forum will screen during its Depression era retrospective, cartoon shorts, and vintage Metrotone News, all for 35 cents. That's right, that wasn't a typo. A movie in Manhattan for thirty five cents. Methinks this will take mucho planning to get into this one. Later all.

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