Friday, February 12, 2010

Twin Cities Film 2/12 - 2/18

One more week until Shutter Island and B-13 U, but until then loads and loads of good stuff going on in the city this week. Having to choose sucks.

Special Screenings:

Liverpool (2008) directed by Lisandro Alonso
Friday, February 12, 7:30pm
Expanding the Frame at the Walker
"Another of Alonso’s minimalist parables in the form of a slow, largely mute and obscurely motivated oddyssey, this chronicles the journey of a middle-aged sailor from the Atlantic freighter on which he works, via Ushuaia, the southernmost town in Argentina, to the remote and snowy hamlet that was his birthplace. After years of travelling, this loner, who communicates with a bottle of booze more comfortably than with humans, wants to see if his mother is still alive. When he finally reaches home, he not only finds her dying and unable to recognise him, but discovers that he has a sister he never knew existed, a young woman lost in her own sad and abused world. The imagery is meticulous, the pacing carefully measured, and the mood generally melancholy and enigmatic. Whether the film adds up to more than the some of its parts is moot; Alonso certainly seems keen not to give away any superflous information." - Time Out

Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13, 7:00 and 8:50pm
Godard's 60s at the Trylon
"Despite some time-bound concerns and irritating conceits, the sheer energy of Godard's dazzling sociological fable is enough to commend it. Paris and prostitution, seen through 24 hours in the life of a housewife-prostitute (Vlady), tell a story of selling yourself to buy happiness, but getting paid in bad dreams. A fictional documentary of Alphaville's nightmare, its virtuoso display of confession and analysis, the sublime and ridiculous, show Godard's deft grasp of the subversive nature of laughter and passions. Too good to miss." - Time Out

Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) directed by Tim Burton
Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13, Midnight Midnight Movies at the Uptown
When his beloved bike is stolen, Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) sets out on a hilarious cross-country trek that leads him to the basement of the Alamo and the backlot at Warner Bros. Studios. Highlights include Large Marge (the truck-driving ghost) and Pee-wee’s Big Shoe Dance (“Tequila!”). Directed by Tim Burton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice)."

Rebecca (1940) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Sunday, February 14, 7:30pm Special Valentine's Day screening at The Heights
Any interest in seeing this should send you straight to preordering tickets. It will sell out.
Hitchcock’s first US production, Rebecca was overseen by the notoriously hands-on David O Selznick, and is somewhat tonally inconsistent; following the social comedy of Monte Carlo and suspense of Manderley, the pace slackens in the crime procedural of the final half-hour, which is all tell and no show. Still, Hitchcock shows superb technical control and attends to his trademark motifs, from monstrous mother figures to the fetishisation of clothing (strong foreshadowings of Vertigo). Struggling not to drown in a stifling miasma of nostalgia, expectation and soft furnishings, it’s no surprise that our heroine’s own identity barely gets a look-in." - Time Out

Gaslight (1940) directed by Thorold Dickinson
Monday, February 15, 7:30pm Brit Noir at The Heights
The first film version of Patrick Hamilton's stage play about a Victorian criminal who tries to drive his wife mad in order to prevent her from discovering his guilty secret while he searches their house for a stash of precious rubies. Nothing like as lavish as the later MGM version with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, but in its own small-scale way a superior film by far. Lurking menace hangs in the air like a fog, the atmosphere is electric, and Wynyard suffers exquisitely as she struggles to keep dementia at bay. It's hardly surprising that MGM tried to destroy the negative of this version when they made their own five years later." - Time Out

Swoon (1992) directed by Tom Kalin
Wednesday, February 17, 7:30pm
Filmmmakers in Conversation: Ellen Kuras at the Walker
The story of Leopold and Loeb – two young intellectual aesthetes, from wealthy Jewish families, who murdered a 14-year-old boy for kicks in Chicago in 1924 – has been filmed twice before. Rope located the roots of fascism in Nietzschean discourse. Compulsion was a more muddled ‘true crime’ saga. Kalin’s film is the least naturalistic and most factual. It is also the first to expand on Clarence Darrow’s argument for the defence, that the pair’s homosexuality was a sign of pathological deviance; ergo they were not accountable for their actions. The film’s second half sticks to court transcripts, to diagnose a repressive, racist, homophobic pathology on a wider social scale, endemic to patriarchy itself. Sketched in deft, sharp strokes, this is no more than a postscript to the earlier exploration of the lovers’ sado-masochistic relationship: how Loeb bartered crime for sex, and how their transgressive games escalated to the point of no return. With its sinuous monochrome finish, Swoon is decadent and economical, subjective and detached, fascinating and appalling – conjunctions Sacher Masoch himself might have recognised." - Time Out

Dreamland Faces at the Trylon
Wednesday, February 17, 7:30pm
"Music & silent movies at 7:30, then the feature at 8pm. The Foreigners is a feature length drama shot in rural Turkey by the same Milwaukee crew who did January's films (also Yes Men, The Pool, and American Movie).

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) (2008) directed by Ellen Kuras
Thursday, February 18, 7:30
Filmmmakers in Conversation: Ellen Kuras at the Walker
"Twenty-three years in the making, this story of a Laotian refugee family ripples with the impact of the covert U.S. war in Laos. Thavisouk “Thavi” Phrasavath escaped Laos at age 12 and landed in Brooklyn with his mother and siblings in the 1980s. Phrasavath’s role evolved from being Kuras’ translator to the documentary’s subject and its codirector, writer, and editor. A poetic tale of loss, The Betrayal was nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary.'Impressionistic and lyrical, as well as somber and gripping, The Betrayal conveys a ceaseless flow. It’s as if the filmmaker has opened a window onto a parallel world traveling beside our own.'— Village Voice"


Yes Men Fix the World (2009) directed by Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno, and Kurt Engfehr
MFA at St Anthony Main
MFA continues to to spice up Twin Cities film programming withe this doc which includes an appearence by Mike Bonanno at the 7pm screening on Friday, February 12.
"The Yes Men Fix the World is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world's most outrageous pranks.From New Orleans to India to New York City, armed with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men squeeze raucous comedy out of all the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. BrĂ¼no meets Michael Moore in this gut-busting wake-up call that proves a little imagination can go a long way towards vanquishing the Cult of Greed. Who knew fixing the world could be so much fun?"

Rashomon (1950) directed by Akira Kurosawa
New print at the Lagoon
If it weren't for the closing spasm of gratuitous, humanist optimism, Rashomon could be warmly recommended as one of Kurosawa's most inventive and sustained achievements. The main part of the film, set in 12th century Kyoto, offers four mutually contradictory versions of an ambush, rape and murder, each through the eyes of one of those involved. The view of human weaknesses and vices is notably astringent, although the sheer animal vigour of Mifune's bandit is perhaps a celebration of a sort. The film is much less formally daring than its literary source, but its virtues are still plentiful: Kurosawa's visual style at its most muscular, rhythmically nuanced editing, and excellent performances." - Time Out

Collapse (2009) directed by Chris Smith
MFA at St Anthony Main
Collapse opens Wednesday, February 17 with a special appearance from Michael Ruppert on Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18 and then will continue a week-long run.
"A look at the life of Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer turned independent reporter. Michael predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, "From the Wilderness", at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts were still in denial. He draws upon the same news reports and data available to any Internet user, but Michael applies his own unique interpretation."

Creation (2009) directed by Jon Amiel
Edina Cinema
Creation is the powerful and true-life tale of Charles Darwin and the most explosive idea in history. A world-renowned scientist, and a dedicated family man struggling to accept his daughter’s death, Darwin (Paul Bettany) is torn between his love for his deeply religious wife (Jennifer Connelly) and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. He finds himself caught in a battle between faith and reason, love and truth. This is the extraordinary story of Charles Darwin and how his masterwork The Origin of Species came to light. It tells of a global revolution played out in the confines of a small English village; a passionate marriage torn apart by the most provocative idea in history—evolution; and a theory saved from extinction by the logic of a child. John Collee wrote the screen adaptation, based on the book Annie's Box by Randal Keynes, the great, great-grandson of Charles Darwin. Described by director Jon Amiel as part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story, the film promises a Charles Darwin as you've never seen him before."

The Wolfman (2010) directed by Joe Johnston
Area Theaters
"Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man (Del Toro) is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf."

Valentine's Day (2010) directed by Garry Marshall
Area Theaters
I could be wrong, but I don't think she will love you more for taking her to this movie.
"Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day."

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) directed by Chris Columbus
Area Theaters
Holy cow with the title already.
"A teenager discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods. Based on the book by Rick Riordan."


Daniel Getahun said...

That Godard poster is outstanding.

Valentine's Day must be considered the current frontrunner as worst movie of 2010.

Percy Jackson blah blah blah must be considered the current frontrunner as worst title of 2010. I was literally shocked when I first heard the title in the trailer - I thought it was a parody of something.

Is Chris Smith or Michael Ruppert coming to the Collapse screenings? If it were Ruppert it would be a lot more lively...

Kathie Smith said...

Sorry. Good catch. It is Michael Ruppert that will be at the screenings. Fixed that.

When I first saw the trailer for Percy Jackson, I bet my friend that he couldn't remember the title of that movie by the time the feature started...sure enough it was gone!

Kathie Smith said...

Another fix: Creation opens at the Edina Cinema this week.

Sandy Nawrot said...

OK, so are you knocking on Shutter Island? I'm curious. I am less than one disc away from finishing the audio book (and if I would get my ass off the computer I might actually be able to finish it) and it is fabulous. Lehane at his best, in my opinion. I must see the movie.

We just saw Lightning Thief to entertain the kids on a rainy day. Meh.

I will be happy to pass on Valentines Day, thanks.

Kathie Smith said...

Yes, one never knows when I am knocking something...but, no, this time I am not. I am excited for Shutter Island and (ironically) B-13 U.

That Valentine's Day thing looks awful, but I can see guys thinking it would be good to take their girlfriend or whatever.

joetron2030 said...

For whatever unknown reason, the scene from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" when he's calling for himself at the hotel desk pops into my head frequently. I think it's because I love the way he changes his voice.

A favorite from my youth. I was commenting to a coworker the other day that I still can't believe that CBS allowed that to air as Saturday morning TV. Such an awesome show.

Kathie Smith said...

I know what you mean! I was in high school when Pee Wee's Playhouse was on TV and I loved it! I had to check and see if it is on DVD and it is! Two five disc sets! I'm going to have to check some of those out.