I'm going to give this another crack. There is so much going on in the city film-wise, and coverage is spotty at best. Every Friday I will try and pull together special screening and openings for the week. This week is too good to ignore. Using the free internet waves to the best of my abilities, here is what the week has to offer in town.
Petition—The Court of the Complainants (2009) directed by Zhao Liang
Expanding the Frame at the Walker
Friday, January 29, 7:30pm
Introduced by the director.
"Since 1996, Zhao has filmed the “petitioners” who come to Beijing from all over China to file complaints about abuses and injustices committed by the authorities. He follows the sagas of peasants thrown off their land, workers from liquidated factories, and homeowners who have seen their dwellings demolished but received no compensation. Often living in makeshift shelters around the southern railway station, the complainants wait months or even years for justice and face brutal intimidation. Filmed up to the start of the 2008 Olympic Games, Petition arrestingly illustrates the contradictions of a country experiencing powerful economic expansion."
Crime and Punishment (2007) directed by Zhao Liang
Expanding the Frame at the Walker
Saturday, January 30, 7:30pm
Introduced by the director.
"Filmed on the border between North Korea and China, Crime and Punishment documents the daily life of young Chinese guards dealing with a range of people, from petty thieves to those truly in trouble. The film positions itself at the border of past and future, where the idea of justice has advanced but the practice does not necessarily follow. Winner of the Best Director Award at the 10th One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic) and the top prize at the Festival of Three Continents (Nantes, France)."
The Truck (1977) and Césarée (1979) directed by Marguerite Duras
The Films of Marguerite Duras at the Walker
February 4, 7:30pm
Introduced by Joëlle Vitiello, professor of French and Francophone Studies, Macalester College. This is the first of four programs focusing on the films of Marguerite Duras that will continue through February 7.
"In Duras’ typically minimalist style, this conversation in a dark room between Elle (Duras) and Lui (Gérard Depardieu) is interspersed with images of life on the highway. The dialogue creates a seamless juxtaposition of images, and the sparse lyrical plot alludes to the journey of life that we all share."
Cry Baby (1990) directed by John Waters
In Deppth at the Trylon
Friday and Saturday, January 29 and 30, 7 and 8:45pm
The last film in Take Up's Johnny Depp series.
"An energetic and hyperactively hormonal romp through '50s kitsch from trash-master Waters. In Baltimore, 1954, the town's youth are divided into Squares and Drapes, the latter presided over by gang-leader Wade 'Cry Baby' Walker (Depp), orphaned son of the electrocuted Alphabet bomber. When Cry Baby ('That's Mister Baby to you!') falls for lithesome daughter-of-wealth Allison Vernon-Williams (Locane), she is sucked into a world of 'coloured' music, skin-tight slacks and reckless driving, from which her erstwhile companions seek to extract her forthwith. Replete with a thumpingly good soundtrack mixing old standards with modern pastiches, this is Waters' finest film to date, a worthy successor to Hairspray which exudes teen angst and young lust from every pore. Cameos from notable degenerates Iggy Pop and Traci Lords beautifully complement Depp's spunkily hollow-cheeked performance, while Patty Hearst plays the American middle class nightmare to a tee. Seriously sexy stuff." —Time Out
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) directed by Jim Sharman
Midnight Movies at the Uptown
Saturday, January 30, Midnight
"The longest-running midnight movie of all time stars Tim Curry as the kinky yet endearing “transsexual from Transylvania” Dr. Frank N. Furter, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as his hapless guests Brad and Janet, Meat Loaf as motorcycle-riding rough trade and author Richard O’Brien as the hunchbacked butler Riff Raff. It’s harmless musical fun—a delightful spoof of Hollywood horror movies and Old Dark House melodramas. All of our engagements feature live casts who perform scenes during the movie, and the audience is always welcome to respond to the on-screen action. The Rocky Horror Picture was the first—and is still the best—interactive movie experience!"
Night and the City (1950) directed by Jules Dassin
Brit Noir at the Heights
Monday, February 1, 7:30pm
"Bizarre film noir with Widmark as a small time nightclub tout trying to hustle his way into the wrestling rackets, but finding himself the object of a murderous manhunt when his cons catch up with him. Set in a London through which Widmark spends much of his time dodging in dark alleyways, it attempts to present the city in neo-expressionist terms as a grotesque, terrifyingly anonymous trap. Fascinating, even though the stylised characterisations (like Francis L Sullivan's obesely outsized nightclub king) remain theoretically interesting rather than convincing. Inclined to go over the top, it all too clearly contains the seeds of Dassin's later - and disastrous - pretensions." —Time Out
Still Bill (2009) directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlack
Sound Unseen at the Trylon
Wednesday, February 3, 7:30pm
"An intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics 'Ain’t No Sunshine,' 'Lean On Me,' 'Lovely Day,' 'Grandma’s Hands,' and 'Just the Two of Us.' With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that have – and always will – resonate deeply within the fabric of our times."
La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (2009) directed by Frederick Wiseman
MFA at St Antony Main
The cause to celebrate is not only for Frederick Wiseman's new film, but for MFA's rebirth at St Anthony. The film gets a one week run. Please support MFA's effort to bring overlooked first run features to the big screen.
"The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world’s great ballet companies. The film follows the rehearsals and performances of seven ballets: Genus by Wayne McGregor, Le Songe de MedéeLa Maison de Bernarda by Mats Ek, Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, Casse Noisette by Rudolph Nureyev, Orphée and Eurydice by Pina Bausch, and Romeo and Juliette by Sasha Waltz. The film shows the work involved in administering the company and the coordinated and collaborative work of choreographers, ballet masters, dancers, musicians, and costume, set, and lighting designers." —La Danse official website
The White Ribbon (2009) directed by Michael Haneke
"The setting of The White Ribbon is a village in Protestant northern Germany from 1913 to 1914, on the eve of World War I. The story revolves around the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village schoolteacher, and their families: the baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife, the tenant farmers—a cross-section of the entire community. Strange accidents and misfortunes befall the citizens of Eichwald, gradually taking on the character of a punishment ritual. But who is behind it all? Winner of three awards at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, including the prestigious Palme d'Or, this provocative and haunting film from writer-director Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Caché, The Piano Teacher) is stunningly photographed in black and white."
Edge of Darkness (2010) directed by Martin Campbell
"Thomas Craven, is a detective who has spent years working the streets of Boston. When his own daughter is killed near the door of his home, Craven realizes that her death is only one piece of an intriguing puzzle filled with corruption and conspiracy, and it falls to him to discover who is behind the crime."
When in Rome (2010) directed by Mark Steven Johnson
"Beth is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, on a whirlwind trip to Rome, she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love, and is then aggressively pursued by a band of suitors."
Bollywood Movies at Brookdale 8
Deserving its own category! Check listings; not all films have subtitles.
Chance pe Dance (2009) directed by Ken Ghosh
"Chance Pe Dance, actor Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming film, is directed by Ken Ghosh and produced by Ronnie Screwvala under the banner of UTV Motion Pictures. The movie tells the story of a struggling actor who makes it big through a reality show. Genelia D’Souza shares the screen with Shahid as a dance choreographer."
Adurs (2009) directed by V.V. Vinayak
"Adurs the much awaited movie of the year 2009 has completed the shooting and is slated to release on Jan 13 with possible premier on Jan 12th, Adurs is an action, comedy and romantic flick is on the way, to entertain you. 'Junior NTR' will be playing the dual roles in this movie, one as a Brahmin Character and the other as a 'Don' a mass character. Hasya Brahma character of Junior NTR & Brahmanandam will be donning in full length comedy, throughout the movie."
Namo Venkatesha (2010) directed by Srinu Vytia
"This Nonstop entertainer Namo Venkatesha is directed by Dhee, Dubai Seenu, Ready, & King fame Mr. Seenu Vytla is coming from the stylish production house 14 reels & Suresh productions. The movie will be released during Jan/Feb 2010 as Pongal/Shivarathri special. The movie is coming up as clean comedy entertainer which has all the comedians apart from the leading pair, and an out and out entertainment movie is coming after a long gap in Venkatesh’s Career in the lines of Nuvvu Naku nachav, Mallishwari."
Veer (2010) directed by Anil Sharma
"Veer the dream project - coming true, is on the way to hit the silver screen soon. You must be aware and surprised that our Sallu Bhai has not left no stone unturned in promoting this film with full involvement of his heart and soul. As a result Salman surprises us with his stunning looks than ever before."
Additions, comments, corrections? Let me know.