Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April revivals: second half

Hey, Mike here with a revival list for the rest of April. Let's not waste time, here we go:

9 To 5 for 7.50- Thurs April 19 at 7 and 9:30- Chelsea Clearview Cinemas- A cheap screening of the hit film that unexpectedly hit the cultural zeitgeist back in late 1980/ early 1981. A revenge comedy about three female office workers (the terrific trio of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton) in a giant corporation who are subjected to a lot of crap by a chauvinist boss (played marvelously by Dabney Coleman). They entertain wild fantasies to get even and they seek to make their revenge a reality. But revenge alone doesn't make change, and when reality (and the vindictive boss) strike back, can they take it?

When the film came to theaters in time for Christmas 1980, it was one of that year's biggest hits. Not Empire Strikes Back high, but big enough to leave heavier advertised films like Popeye, Flash Gordon and First Family in its dust. And it was a hit not just because of the quality of the film, but because of the subject matter of women being treated fairly in the workplace struck a major chord while making the audience laugh as well. Yes, it begins to peter out at the end, but at that point we're at the story's home stretch, and we want to know how it ends. With Dolly's Oscar nominated title song. All for a cheap price. It's your choice if you want to see it either at 7 (with a pre-film opening by Hedda Lettuce), or at 9:30 (without Hedda):

WILD AT HEART- Fri April 20 and Sat April 21 at 11:55pm- IFC Center- An almost Midnight screening of David Lynch's picture. A road film/ romance with a few touches of Wizard of Oz, all through the filter of director Lynch. Cage and Laura Dern are screw-ups hot and heavy in love, who go on the road, much to the anger of Dern's mother, played by Dern's real life mother, Diane Ladd. Mom is more like the Wicked Witch, unleashing a gangster to use his methods to bring back her little girl, and kill the bastard who took her (and ignored Mom's drunken gropes years before. Oh yeah, that).

An arthouse hit from 1990, but I feel it took unnecessary hits when it was compared to Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks (a brief cultural phenomenon that year), as well Lynch's previous picture, Blue Velvet. Yes, not a lot of things matched the quality of the first six episodes of Twin Peaks, but why should it. Blue Velvet is closer to Twin Peaks then Wild At Heart, but even there, the comparisons of heavies is unfair. Yes, Willem Dafoe's repulsive villain, with the slicked hair, pencil thin mustache and nearly black teeth, doesn't match with Dennis Hopper's fully committed and committable psycho. But it works in Wild At Heart, with Dafoe's attempted seduction scene with Dern a standout.

Since 1990, the film has received more respect, though why some people love Mulholland Dr. than this is beyond me. Yes, the film can feel excessive, but it works, mainly because you want to see this pairing of Cage (in gentlemanly Elvis mode a good deal of the time) and Dern (who just seems ready to quiver whenever Cage is ready to touch her and when he does . . . . ) work and stay together. If you don't care about them, forget it. But luckily, you do. Besides, you would be watching this as a midnight movie. It's ok to watch something a little strange at that point. A supporting cast including Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rossellini, and several Twin Peaks alumni help. Oscar noms for Dern and Ladd for Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively:

F/X- Sat April 21 at 7- 92ndY Tribeca- 200 Hudson Street- I've yet to catch a revival at the 92nd Y Tribeca. I've posted on a few occasions a few revivals from there, with no success. But now comes a personnel favorite of mine. And in this case, I mean a film that I've seen a bunch of times over the years, from start to finish or somewhere in the middle. Doesn't matter, I have fun with it always.

A little film from 1986. Bryan Brown plays a top special effects man, hired by Government agents to help fake a hit on a turncoat mobster (Jerry Orbach), so that he testify at a later date. But something goes wrong, and everyone is out to either arrest or kill Brown's character. He must rely on his FX and makeup gifts to survive and find out what's really going on his way, while NYPD detective Brian Dennehy must investigate his way. Not a hit at the box office outside NYC limits. But it did pretty well in New York, and became a sleeper hit thru VHS sales and rentals. At times funny with some good action scenes (a cool car chase that takes place not far from the site of 92Y Tribeca itself), good lead perfs from Brown and Dennehy and a talented supporting cast made up of character actors and NY theater people (Orbach, Diane Verona, Mason Adams, Gordon from Sesame Street, plus Angela Bassett in her film debut). For me, one of the best films of 1986, but that's mainly because I find there to be a lack of quality films from that year. Anyway, this film seemed to drop in terms of popularity after the mid 1990s, and you may not know it. Now's a good time to know it:  

CASABLANCA- Thurs April 26 at 7- AMC Empire 25, AMC Kips Bay, College Multiplex plus theaters in S.F., Denver, Miami, Columbus, parts of New Jersey, upstate NY and elsewhere- The 70th anniversary screening of Casablanca, sponsored by TCM, was so popular last month, it's being brought back again. In at least most of the theaters it played in last March, including AMC Empire in Times Square and AMC Kips Bay, plus elsewhere around the country. I believe it's a digital screening, but will definitely be shown in its original aspect ratio.

No point in breaking down the Bogart classic. On both AFI lists, (top 5 on both), Multiple Oscars including Best Picture, in my personal Top 15, and if it isn't in yours, what the hell is wrong with you. Preceding the film will be a special about the making and I believe history of Casablanca, hosted by Robert Osbourne and featuring some talking heads. So expect about 2 hr- 2hr 15 minute night:

BONJOUR TRISTESSE- Sat April 28, Mon April 30 and Wed May 2 at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30- Film Forum- A new 35mm print An Otto Preminger film I've never seen. David Niven and Jean Seberg play play self-interested father and daughter who vacation on the French Riviera with his girlfriend. An Oedipus attachment develops between parent and daughter, but things get worse when old girlfriend Deborah Kerr comes to visit. Very curious and wouldn't mind trying it:

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

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