Friday, February 19, 2010

Twin Cities Film 2/19 - 2/25

Kind of a lot of crap going on. I'm happy.

Special Screenings:

Contempt (1963) directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, 7:00 and 9:05pm
Godard's 60s at the Trylon
One of my favorite Godard films.
"If Godard could be reduced to a single genius idea—essential to his filmmaking if obviously not the whole story—it might go something like this: To love cinema is to love life. He is the original movie geek, swaddling his films in adoring reference, and embracing, pushing, reveling in the plasticity of pop. Even his politics work best when set against cool haircuts and jump cuts. Contempt is the only one of Godard’s films in which his sequences have enough room to become spells, boosted on the achingly sad strains of Georges Delerue’s seesawing orchestral score. Piccoli’s screenwriter is Godard’s most honest indictment of his treasured fake world, a hired gun too blind to see his own ruination. And by film’s end—“Silencio!”—Godard has finally dared to get serious, achieving not mock pathos but a perfect tragedy." Time Out

I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) directed by Mary Harron with Berlin (2007) directed by Julian Schnabel
Friday, February 19, 7:30pm
Filmmakers in Conversation: Ellen Kuras at the Walker
"This riveting portrait of radical Warhol groupie Valerie Solanas’ descent into madness is highlighted by Lili Taylor’s bravura performance. Kuras’ cinematography intercuts the tinfoil sheen backstage at Warhol’s Factory with grainy black-and white scenes of Solonas’ blistering quasi-feminist diatribes, and handheld camera shots reveal her jumbled state of mind. 'Kuras’ lensing luminously combines the broad strokes of the Pop Art era with the immediacy of reportage.'"
"Lou Reed recorded the album
Berlin in 1973, but didn’t perform it live until 33 years later at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. For this concert film, Kuras collaborated with artist/director Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Basquiat) to capture his moodily majestic set design and bring to life the album’s devastating story of Caroline (Emmanuelle Seigner) and her lovers. Reed hailed Kuras’ gritty, intimate cinematography as “incredible.” Featured at the Venice and Toronto film festivals Berlin has rarely been screened in the United States."

An Evening with Ellen Kuras
Saturday, February 20, 7:30pm
Filmmakers in Conversation: Ellen Kuras at the Walker
"The Walker hosts an evening of conversation with cinematographer/filmmaker Ellen Kuras and screens some of her most groundbreaking work. Called by Filmmaker magazine ”one of the most talented directors of photography working today,” Kuras’ impressive body of work ranges from documentaries to features, straddles the commercial and independent film worlds, and is shot on formats from mini-DV video to 35mm film. She has been the ongoing director of photography for many celebrated directors, including Martin Scorsese, Michel Gondry, and Spike Lee."

The Room (2003) directed by Tommy Wiseau
Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, midnight
Midnight Movies at the Uptown
It's good that the Uptown keeps screening this, so eventually I will go and see it.
"The Room is an electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies, starring writer/director Tommy Wiseau as a successful banker with a great respect for—and dedication to—the people in his life, especially his future wife Lisa (Juliette Danielle). As the film depicts friendships and relationships in the lives of its five major characters, it raises life's real and most-asked question: "Can you really trust anyone?" A midnight cult sensation, this quirky black comedy has been running for over 6 years in Los Angeles and is ready to take the rest of the country by storm. You'll want to be there for the devastation it will leave in its wake!"

Brighton Rock (1947) directed by John Boulting
Monday, February 22, 7:30pm
Brit Noir at The Heights
"Wracked with religious guilt and anxieties of inadequacy (both sexual and political) on a Napoleonic level, Attenborough makes a perfect Noir protagonist. He combines the boyish good looks of Farley Granger and the psychopathic placidity of Richard Widmark. In true Noir fashion, there are no heroes — only those who have been tainted by the darkness. Harry Waxman's expert black-and-white cinematography imbues even the sunniest outdoor locations with claustrophobic paranoia." —L Magazine

Trash Film Debauchery at the Trylon
Wednesday, February 24, 7:30pm.
I've learned my lesson about spilling the beans on what TFD is screening, so just show up and have some fun. More details here.

The Red Tail (2009) directed by Melissa Koch and Dawn Mikkelson
Wednesday, February 24, 7:00pm Riverview Theater
Locally made documentary about Northwest Airlines.
"While 4,400 aircraft mechanics wage a seemingly endless strike to keep their jobs from being outsourced – Mechanic Roy Koch and his daughter Melissa (Director of The Red Tail in collaboration with Dawn Mikkelson) follow the trail of outsourcing to China. The Koch’s journey is a search for dignity amidst the helplessness experienced by global workers; a quest to reclaim their power. While in China, the Koch family not only meets Roy’s replacement and top management, but they also become enmeshed in the bigger picture. The Red Tail offers fascinating insight and access into the inner workings the global airline industry, providing a new perspective on globalization and the lives that hang in the balance."

An Evening with Daniel Barrow
Wednesday, February 24, 7:30pm Expanding the Frame at the Walker
"Wildly imaginative, heartbreaking, and intimate, Barrow’s “manual animation” tells the story of a sanitation worker who creates personal histories of the people along his route by sifting through their trash. The innovative performance combines animation executed on an overhead projector with video, music, and live narration. Winner of the 2008 Images Prize at its world premiere, Barrow’s work is like a graphic novel come to life."


Waiting for Armageddon (2009) directed by
MFA at St Anthony Main
"America's 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the world's future is foretold in Biblical prophecy - from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This astonishing documentary explores their world - in their homes, at conferences, and on a wide-ranging tour of Israel. By interweaving Christian, Zionist, Jewish and critical perspectives along with telling archival materials, the filmmakers probe the politically powerful - and potentially explosive - alliance between Evangelical Christians and alliance that may set the stage for what one prominent Evangelical leader calls 'World War III'."

Collapse (2009) directed by Chris Smith
MFA at St Anthony Main
I missed the Q & A with Michael Ruppert, but I am not going to miss this documentary.
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."

Shutter Island (2010) directed by Martin Scorsese
Area Theaters
"In 1954, U.S. marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), are summoned to the hospital for the criminally insane on remote and barren Shutter Island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a female murderer. Marshall Daniels is especially keen on cracking the case, for he has personal matters at stake. He suspects rampant unsavory (and illegal) treatment practices at the institution, but then clashes with Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), who refuses him access to hospital records. As a fierce storm cuts off both communication with and escape to the mainland, and dangerous criminals break loose on the island, Daniels’s grasp of the clues, his memory, his trust in his partner, and his wits begin to unravel. From Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese. Also starring Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams and Max von Sydow."

District 13: Ultimatum (2009) directed by Patrick Alessandrin
Lagoon Theater
Say what you will, but I am excited about this movie.
"Two years have passed since elite police officer Damien Tomasso (Cyril Raffaelli) teamed up with reformed vigilante Leito (parkour originator David Belle) to save the notorious District 13, a racially charged ghetto populated by violent drug dealing gangs and vicious killers. Despite government promises to maintain order, the state of the district has deteriorated, and a group of corrupt cops and elected officials are conspiring to cause civil unrest in D13, looking for an excuse to raze the area and cash in on its redevelopment. Now Damien and Leito must join forces again, and use their mastery of martial arts and their unique physical skills to bring peace to the neighborhood by any means necessary... before a proposed nuclear air strike wipes it off the map. With bone-crunching fights and death-defying leaps, this adrenaline-charged sequel takes the groundbreaking parkour action from District B13 to thrilling new heights."

North Face (2008) directed by Philipp Stölzl
Uptown Theater
This thrilling, intense mountain climbing cliffhanger tells of an attempt to climb the unconquered sheer north face of the Eiger (known as “the Murder Wall”), the hardest challenge of the Alps. It’s 1936, and Nazi propaganda trumpets the need for a mountaineering triumph prior to the Berlin Olympics. Ace Bavarian climbers Toni (Benno Fürmann) and Andi (Florian Lukas) are reluctantly drawn to the challenge, despite their lack of enthusiasm for the publicity. Their childhood friend Luise (Johanna Wokalek, The Baader Meinhof Complex), a rookie photographer who hopes their climb might make her name, is dispatched to cover the story with her Hitler-loving boss. With breathtaking irony, the life and death struggle of the climbers takes place within easy view of a luxury hotel, where tourists watch the drama while sipping champagne. Once the climbers are on the mountain, everything possible goes wrong and the weather worsens, escalating the tension to a nerve-wracking climax. Spectacularly filmed on location, North Face is one of the most exciting mountain movies ever made."

Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action
Lagoon Theater
I'm always disappointed after going to see these, but if you are involved in some sort of massive Oscar pool, it is pretty easy to peg the winner.
"Don't miss this rare opportunity to see all five Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Live Action Short! Program includes: The Door (Ireland), about a father who attempts to come to terms with the devastating affects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster; Instead of AbracadabraKavi (India/USA), in which a boy in India who wants to play cricket and go to school is instead forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave. Unsatisfied with his fate, Kavi must either accept what he's always been told, or fight for a different life even if he's unsure of the ultimate outcome; Miracle Fish (Australia), in which 8-year-old Joe has a birthday he will never forget. After friends tease him, he sneaks off to the sick bay, wishing everyone in the world would go away. He wakes up to find his dream may have become a reality; and The New Tenants (Denmark/USA), in which a prying neighbour, a glassy-eyed drug dealer, and a husband brandishing both a weapon and a vendetta make up the welcome wagon. Amidst the as-yet-unopened boxes and the hopes for a fresh start for the two men, it might just be the worst moving day ever. Their new apartment reveals its terrifying history in a film that is by turns funny, frightening and unexpectedly romantic. Vincent D'Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan star." (Sweden), about a man named Tomas who is a bit too old to still be living at home with his parents, but his failure to become a magician leaves him with no other choice. At his father's 60th birthday party Tomas gives him, and all his guests, a quite bizarre show;

Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animated
Lagoon Theater
"Don't miss this rare opportunity to see all five Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Animated Short and more! Program includes: French Roast (France), in which an uptight businessman in a fancy Parisian café who is about to pay his check finds out that he has lost his wallet; Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (Ireland), in which a grandmother loses the plot as she tells her version of "Sleeping Beauty" to her terrified granddaughter; The Lady and the Reaper (Spain), in which a sweet old lady who is waiting for death so she can see her beloved husband once again is invited to enter death's domain—if someone doesn't ruin it for her; Logorama (Argentina), featuring spectacular car chases, an intense hostage crisis, and wild animals rampaging through the city; and A Matter of Loaf and Death (UK), the latest adventure from Nick Park, in which Wallace & Gromit start a new bread baking business. Although business is booming, Gromit is concerned by the news that a dozen local bakers have 'disappeared' this year, so he turns sleuth to protect his master and solve the escalating murder mystery. Program also features three bonus shorts: Pixar's Partly Cloudy (USA), Poland's The Kinematograph and Canada's Runaway."

Bollywood Films at Brookdale 8

3 Idiots (2009) directed by Rajkumar Hirani
3 IDIOTS [based on a novel 'Five Point Someone' by Chetan Bhagat] doesn't tilt, it stands tall. Here's yet another illusion: 3 IDIOTS belongs to Aamir Khan. Yes, it does, but also to R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor and Omi, the entrant in Hindi movies, who delivers an equally sterling performance. The film would be incomplete without any of these characters. To cut a long story short, all you'd like to say about the film is, All izz very, very, very, very, very well. Watch this film to know what it means! On the whole, 3 IDIOTS easily ranks amongst Aamir, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra's finest films. Do yourself and your family a favour: Watch 3 IDIOTS. It's emotional, it's entertaining, it's enlightening. The film has tremendous youth appeal and feel-good factor to work in a big way."

Ishqiya (2010) directed by Abhishek Chaubey
Vishal Bhardwaj's Ishqiya is a story of romance between individuals caught in a web of crime, suspense, passion, and deceit. Two thieves, Khalujan and Babban, are on the run from their boss, Mushtaq. They seek refuge with an old friend, and instead meet his widow, Krishna. As they plan their escape, their time spent together draws the duo to her, Khalu with his tinted vision of old-fashioned love, and Babban with his lustful eye. The threat of imminent death forces them on a path of violence and betrayal. Set in a rural landscape, Ishqiya explores basic human emotions as influenced by desire, greed and revenge."

Did I miss anything? Probably. Let me know


Dawn Mikkelson said...

Thanks for sharing our screening of "The Red Tail" with the world! Hope to see you there!

Director/Executive Producer

YTSL said...

Hi Kathie --

I caught a screening of "North Face" a few months back here in Hong Kong. Like it a lot -- but wouldn't call it exciting as much as dramatic and emotionally involving.

joetron2030 said...

"Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death" is another cute one in the series. We've seen it. A bit darker than the usual W&G fare for kids since it involves a "black widow" character, it was still entertaining.