Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Thanks: Meant to write this a few months back

Hey all, Mike here. Sorry I haven't had a new list for a while, life got in the way. To the point that if there isn't a Saturday night after 10PM or Sunday PM revival I can do, there's no point in my posting it because I'll never get to it. Nevertheless, let me thank those of you who caught the following revivals from mid-February 2012 through January 2013:
YELLOW SKY, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT- A good double feature, but would Ox-Bow Incident qualify as best classic film known by the fewest people? At least in America? At least among films released in the 1940s?,
THE MUPPET SHOW with John Cleese, THE LADY EVE, FORTY GUNS, THE PUBLIC ENEMY, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, 5 EASY PIECES, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Digital Restoration and 70mm Restoration, but only counting it once),
NORTH BY NORTHWEST- A must-see on the big screen. I'd do it again in a heartbeat (if schedule allows),
MOONLIGHTING- a forgotten gem of a drama starring Jeremy Irons,
RUGGLES OF RED GAP- Not only is this also a forgotten gem, it also seemed to go ignored from fans of the Film Forum's revival calender. A wonderful Charles Laughton comedy, among the sound film pioneers of the fish-out0of-water story,
WILD AT HEART- Now with Twin Peaks fever having died out for over two decades now, this David Lynch film holds up quite well. An appropriate Midnight Movie,
GRAND ILLUSION- Any film that inspired both Casablanca and Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds deserves classic status. Orson Welles wasn't far off when he said if he could only save one film, he would save Grand Illusion. And yet still I prefer Renior's other major classic, The Rules of the Game. Fans of Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey should get acquainted with it,
THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY- So glad I could introduce this film to someone who never saw it before, and I welcome the chance to do that for others in the future,
ANNIE HALL, BATTLE ROYALE- The weirdest double feature I did in 2012; two films that couldn't be any different. After having seen both Annie Hall and Manhattan on the big screen in 2012, the former is my favorite Woody Allen, though the later should be seen on the big screen. Hell, I'll settle for a Blu-Ray on a 50"-70" TV for Manhattan. As for Battle Royale, it was great up until the last 15-20 minutes. By then I was suffering a kind of Battle fatigue and the rest of the film was merely good. As much as I like The Hunger Games, I call bullshit that nothing from Battle Royale inspired anything in Hunger Games,
FUNNY FACE, STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN- The other weird double feature I did in 2012. Two different fantasy worlds, yet with the same grip on reality. Go figure,
CHARIOTS OF FIRE- No, I still feel this shouldn't haven't beaten Raiders of the Lost Ark, Atlantic City or Reds for the Oscar for Best Picture of 1982 (Beating On Golden Pond? Fine by me.). But this film deserves a lot more respect than it gets in this country,
HELLO DOLLY!- Seeing a restored 70mm print was a revelation to me. Still not enough to convince me Striesand and Matthau shared any chemistry together, but a revelation nevertheless. Too bad it ran into the "genre is dying so let's not even watch it" buzzsaw,
THE ROOM- So yeah, I did this fun piece of crap again. And yeah, that's a picture of me, a buddy, Tommy Wiseau, and Greg Sestero. There was no way I could see the movie without being on line to see them, Landmark Sunshine Cinema workers didn't let me. Luckily Greg was nice and Tommy was his lovable, wacked-out self. The Room played on 3 screens that night, and each screen waited for Tommy and Greg to come in and introduce before the screening started. I figure we were second, and just before 12:10, Tommy and Greg came in. They didn't introduce the film, thy did a contest where one lucky person would win an official The Room stuffed dog ("Hello, Doggie!"). How to win it? By catching an empty water bottle (just like in the movie) 25 times in a row , you drop it you lose. Greg would throw the bottle like a football, again just like in the film. 4 contestants were chosen. It seemed like a joke until we realized the joke's on us, because we might be looking at people trying catch an empty water bottle up to 97 times. When when one of the schmucks almost ripped up the screen trying to catch the bottle, I was almost in head-in-my-hands mode. Luckily it ended after about twenty-something throws, though we didn't feel lucky at the time. After that, Tommy said he would answer only two questions, one of which was how do you feel (PEOPLE, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!?), the second was forgettable, and on with the film. I'm not opposed to catching this film again with someone who hasn't seen on the big screen, or just see it again in general. But it probably needs to be in the summertime, and it also needs to be somewhere with a better sound system than what Landmark Sunshine has,
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK- Saw it twice this summer, but only counting it once. First in Bryant Park, where it was a mahdouse. Forget about hearing the dialogue clearly, but the score and action came in loud and clear. But for overall improvement in sight and sound, there was the IMAX screen at AMC Kips Bay. Now that was a blast and a half,
FOLLOWING- Christopher Nolan's first film. I saw it the same day I caught Dark Knight Rises (for the second time) on an IMAX screen. Compared to Rises, Following had fewer plot holes (if any), and far fewer absurd leaps of logic. Good for Following, but not good enough for Dark Knight Rises to make my Top 10 of 2012 (even if I still give it a big thumbs up),
DIAL M FOR MURDER in Digital 3-D- Boy does this film look different in 3-D. And no, I'm not being a joker here. Hitchcock's use of perspective makes Dial M a somewhat different, somewhat better film. The Digital 3-D was quite effective, and if you have a capable Blu-Ray player and TV at home, you can experience it the same way I did,
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE- all from MOMA's James Bond retrospective, all in new 35mm prints, all fun outings. Though why we had a version of Majesty's with 2-3 missing minutes I have no idea,
HALLOWEEN- Not nearly as effective as it used to be, and AMC Empire did a piss-poor job of screening it to boot,
THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, RED DAWN- The other pseudo-double feature I did in 2012. What I said before about Ruggles in terms of ignored by the Forum faithful seems to apply to this Alec Guinness comedy, sorry to say. Still I enjoyed it. Not as much as Kind Hearts and Coronets or The Lavender Hill Mob, but still pretty good. As for Red Dawn, I went into this 1984 film thinking I would have a blast making fun of it. But seeing this film again in a theater put me in a weird position. The action scenes were good to very good, and the rest of the film was all over the map. It's so earnest at times that you just can't dismiss it out of turn, yet the script really makes you want to try,
DJANGO, MONSTERS INC. in (unnecessary) 3-D, THE MUPPET MOVIE (pictures of Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher from their Q and A at the Museum of the Moving Image included here) and ISHTAR.
44 in total, up two from last year, up 12 from two years prior. Going to be hard to top that number over the next twelve months. Special thanks to Ed for once again catching a little over half the titles listed. But also some thanks to the rest of you (too many to name), who helped "spread the wealth" so to speak, in catching the other half of this list with me. Thank you, take care, and good luck with the relatively new New Year.

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