Friday, February 26, 2010

Twin Cities Film 2/26 - 3/4

Special Screenings:

Band of Outsiders (1963) directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, 7:00 and 8:55pm
Godard's 60s at the Trylon
The last Godard film in the series and one of his best.
"Godard at his most off-the-cuff takes a 'Série Noire' thriller (Fool's Gold by Dolores Hitchens) and spins a fast and loose tale that continues his love affairs with Hollywood and with actress Anna Karina. Karina at her most naive is taken up by two self-conscious toughs ('The little suburban couins of Belmondo in A Bout de Souffle', is how Godard described them), and they try to learn English, do extravagant mimes of the death of Billy the Kid, execute some neat dance steps, run around the Louvre at high speed, and rob Karina's aunt with disastrous consequences. One of Godard's most open and enjoyable films." - Time Out

Gold Film Festival 2010: Oscar Nominated Documentaries
Various Times
Woodbury 10 Theaters
All five of this year's Academy Award-nominated, feature-length documentary films will be shown over three days. The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers tells the story of a former Pentagon employee who released classified material to the media to try to end the Vietnam War. Food, Inc. exposes the unsavory and highly industrialized process of bringing food to your table. Burma VJ uses footage surreptitiously filmed by protesters who put their lives at risk to document a 2007 uprising led by Buddhist monks against an oppressive regime in Burma. Which Way Home follows the harrowing stories of children trying to migrate through Mexico to reach their parents who have illegally entered the U.S. In The Cove, the former animal trainer who trained dolphins for the TV show Flipper journeys to a remote cove in Japan to document an annual slaughter of dolphins." - City Pages

The Neverending Story (1984) directed by Wolfgang Petersesn
Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, midnight Willow Creek 12
Check out that awesome poster. Almost makes me want to go to Willow Creek, where ever that is.
A fairytale of the very best kind, with luscious effects which include a flying dragon, a rock monster, a fairy princess (mercifully grave and untwee), and a threat in whose vanquishing lies hope. Made at Munich's Bavaria Studios, the film concerns a withdrawn schoolboy, ignored by his businessman father and bullied at school, who steals a book and finds himself in thrall to the point where he is called upon to enter its world and save the magic land of Fantasia. Adapted from the novel by Michael Ende, the film is a mix of German Romanticism (complete with Wagnerian sets and a score in part by Giorgio Moroder) and Syberberg by way of Disney, or perhaps vice versa. There are even moments of moralising which give the twin heroes' quest someting of the steely tone of a Pilgrim's Progress." - Time Out

Hapax Legomena (1971-72) directed by Hollis Fampton
Part I: Saturday, February 27, 7:30pm Part II: Sunday, February 28, 2pm Expanding the Frame at the Walker
Gorgeously restored by the Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Film Archives, the seven-part Hapax Legomena investigates the potential of film and its relationship between artist and audience. Frampton’s towering achievement poses complex philosophical questions about the nature of the moving image in a manner that can be challenging, revealing, and at times amusing. Introduced by former Walker film/video curator Bruce Jenkins, who was a close friend of Frampton’s and is a leading scholar of his work and editor of On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton. Frampton’s (nostalgia), one of the sections of Hapax Legomena, is featured in the Walker’s new exhibition Abstract Resistance."

It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) directed by Robert Hamer
Monday, March 1, 7:30pm Brit Noir at the Heights
"A resolutely downbeat - remarkably so for Ealing Studios - account of a day in the life of Bethnal Green when an escaped convict (McCallum) seeks shelter at the home of a former girlfriend (Withers), now respectably married but bored and waspishly discontented. No attempt is made to elicit easy sympathy for either of the protagonists as they pursue their selfish ends, and the sense of drab squalor, with pursuit ending in the railway yards, is a minor key echo of the poetic realism (also carefully studio-built) of prewar Carné and Renoir. Only slightly compromised by a certain pawkiness in some of the minor Cockney characterisations."

The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (2010) directed by Emmett Malloy
Wednesday, March 3, 6:00, 7:45 (Sold Out!) and 9:45pm
Sound Unseen at the Trylon
Tickets are going fast. All three shows will sell out.
In 2007 the legendary American duo White Stripes toured Canada. Besides playing the usual venues they challenged themselves and played in buses, cafés and for Indian tribal elders. Music video director Emmett Malloy followed the band and managed to capture both the special tour, extraordinary concert versions of the band's minimalist, raw, blues-inspired rock songs and the special relationship between the extroverted Jack White and the introspective Meg White - a formerly married couple who for a long time claimed to be siblings. The film makes striking use of the band's concert colors: red, white and black"

Portrait of Jennie (1948) directed by William Dieterle
Thursday, March 4, 7:30pm Jennifer Jones Tribute at the Heights
A companion piece to the Dieterle/Selznick Love Letters, also starring Jones and Cotten; but where the earlier film remained rooted in superior romantic hokum, this one takes wing into genuine romantic fantasy through its tale of a love that transcends space and time as Cotten's struggling artist meets, falls in love with, and is inspired by a strangely ethereal girl (Jones) whom he eventually realises is the spirit of a woman long dead. Direction and performances are superb throughout, but the real star is Joseph August's camera, which conjures pure magic out of the couple's tender odyssey, from the gravely quizzical charm of their first encounter in snowy Central Park (when she is still a little girl, strangely dressed in clothes of bygone days) through to the awesome storm at sea that supernaturally heralds their final parting. Buñuel saw it and of course approved: 'It opened up a big window for me'." - Time Out

Blood Into Wine (2010) directed by Rayan Page and Christopher Pomeremke
Thursday, March 4, 7pm Riverview Theater
"Blood Into Wine is the widely anticipated documentary that shares the story of Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan and his mentor Eric Glomski as they pioneer winemaking in the hostile deserts of Arizona. Maynard’s various musical entities have sold over 30 million records worldwide. His band's have headlined the world’s most prominent music festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Roskilde while the man himself has reveled in revealing little of his personal life. On stage Maynard dresses in costume and stands in the shadows as an affront to typical rock star theatrics. He even bolted from Los Angeles just as his band began to pay off, leaving behind a potentially lavish lifestyle for the craggy rocks of Northern Arizona, settling into an area of 300 residents and a rumored ghost town. Blood Into Wine gives unprecedented insight into Maynard’s world and his motivations for taking on the arduous task of bringing winemaking to the region’s unforgiving landscape and how winemaking fits into his creative trajectory."

Clandestinos (1987) directed by Fernando Perez
Thursday, March 4, 7:30pm Cuban Movie Festival at St Anthony Main
"Satisfying as both a political thriller and a love story, this feature film by Fernando Pérez is so naturally realized that it avoids being didactic even as it commemorates events of the Cuban Revolution. Anti-Batista activists move from one safe house to another, trying to elude a relentless police commissioner. Their leader (Luis Alberto García), hardened by prison and torture, is suspicious of nearly everyone but gradually falls for his newest recruit, a headstrong idealist (Isabel Santos of El Benny). The climactic rooftop chase is well choreographed and edited, and Edesio Alejandros surging score recalls early Isaac Hayes."


The Sun (2005) directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
MFA at St Anthony Main
One more chance to pimp my review: read it here.
The events surrounding Japanese emperor Hirohito's August 1945 call for a complete cease fire among his troops serves as the subject of Alexander Sokurov's thought-provoking historical drama. In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito (Issey Ogata) announces to the world that Japan will surrender unconditionally. His declaration was broadcast over the radio on August 15, 1945, and stunned the Japanese people. In this film, Sokurov details not only the events surrounding the emperor's declaration of surrender, but his renunciation of divine status as well."

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009) directed by Werner Herzog
MFA at St Anthony Main
"Based on a harrowing true story centered around policeman Hank (Willem Dafoe), who is called to a bungalow in a respectable San Diego neighborhood where a man named Brad (Michael Shannon) has barricaded himself in his house and taken two hostages. Across the street, Brad's mother (Grace Zabriskie) lies dead, found sprawled in a pool of blood, the victim of a sword wound. The son is suspected of the murder. As Hank uneasily prowls the sunlit street outside the bungalow, a string of Brad's friends arrive on the scene, among them his girlfriend and a director pal. Slowly the bizarre pieces of the story are placed in front of the cop, who tries to make sense of it all. Not only has the suspected murderer never been the same since he returned from a kayaking trip to Peru, but he also seems to be suffering from a strange mother complex. To deepen the psychosis even further, Brad has been rehearsing one of Sophocles' plays that has a lot to do with mothers!"

44 Inch Chest (2009) directed by Malcolm Venville
Lagoon Theater
From the writers of Sexy Beast comes a powerful drama of a wronged husband trying to regain his self respect, in this spectacularly foul-mouthed acting tour de force. Colin (Ray Winstone) lies sobbing in a wrecked room, his wife of 21 years, Liz (played with Mirren-like sensuality by Joanne Whalley) has left him. He calls his mate, Archie (Tom Wilkinson), who’s just settling in on the sofa with his aged mum, to gather up the rest of the sometime-gang: Old Man Peanut (John Hurt), Meredith (Ian McShane), and Mal (Stephen Dillane). The motley crew of old friends rallies to his aid, though their plot to kidnap the lover and push Colin into taking revenge is misguided in conception and inept in execution. Hurt is hilarious as the old con telling the story of Samson and Delilah, complete with clips from the Victor Mature film. A provocative and darkly funny study of masculinity at its most troubling, it gives the actors full rein to explore the male ego pushed to its limits, and this wonderful ensemble certainly rises to the task."

The Crazies (2010) directed by Breck Eisner
Area Theaters
As a toxin begins to turn the residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa into violent psychopaths, sheriff David Dutton (Olyphant) tries to make sense of the situation while he, his wife (Mitchell), and two other unaffected townspeople band together in a fight for survival."

Cop Out (2010) directed by Kevin Smith
Area Theaters
A comedy about a veteran NYPD cop whose rare baseball card is stolen. Since it's his only hope to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, he recruits his partner to track down the thief, a memorabilia-obsessed gangster."


Sandy Nawrot said...

I want to see your review on The Crazies...heh heh!

Kathie Smith said...

Yeah, I think I am going to check that out tomorrow, but I have nary the time to do all the reviews I would like...

Kevin Vu said...

You'd need to get your head examined if you pass up an opportunity to see 'Band of Outsiders' in its 35mm glory. : )

Kathie Smith said...

Agreed! In this case, I'm the projection booth grunt, gettin' my grimy hands all over that 35mm glory!