"You talkin' to
me?" has to be the most repeated movie quote of all time, although "Make my
day" and "We're not in Kansas anymore" might be close seconds. Actually, those
last two might also fit comfortably in Martin Scorsese's masterpiece Taxi Driver (1976), screening all week in a newly
restored version at the Brattle.
Every age gets the gumshoe it deserves, and for some reason we were fortunate to have one-eyed Peter Falk's Lt. Frank Columbo, disheveled, negligible, passive aggressive, and inescapable in the eponymous TV series that broadcast, after a pilot episode directed by Steven Spielberg, in one form or another for 32 years (1971-2003).
Far from being a source of escapism, the best science fiction
instead offers a perspective on the problems of our times. Such is the case
with Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005), the feature film based on the cult-favorite
TV show set on an outlaw cargo ship in a 26th century that has at least as much
bad shit going on as the present.
What to watch on a weekend that offers midnight
showings of Rubber, Serenity, and Jason Weiner's Hobo With A Shotgun? No beating around the bush with the latter; the
title tells it exactly the way it is, with Rutger Hauer unforgettable and
unwashed as the lethal bum. Sometimes hilarious, other times weirdly touching,
always violent as hell - of the three midnight options, this one just might be
The puns about this film may be getting tiresome, but
if you can spare a couple of hours you might find that Quentin Dupieux's Rubber
(2010) will jack up some excitement. You might say its tale of a mute,
telepathic, murderous automobile tire treads familiar ground, recalling John
Carpenter's Christine and Steven Spielberg's Duel
Block cast an uncompromising but compassionate eye on
his parents a few years back with the highly praised documentary 51
Birch Street. Now he flips to the opposite generation, profiling
his only daughter, Lucy, in The
Kids Grow Up, a look back at her life as she is about to go
to college. It regards this universal experience with a poignant personal
insight, and Block himself will be on hand to discuss it when the film screens
as part of The DocYard series at the Brattle Theatre at 40
Brattle St, Cambridge | Monday, June 20 @ 8 pm | $7.
Henry Thoreau said of the song of the wood thrush: "Whenever a man hears it, he is young and Nature is in her spring; Whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him." For some reason, Provincetown is full of these birds, appropriately so given the film festival's avowed intent to present "filmmaking on the edge."
If you're tired of the spiffed-up, romanticized tough guy in Casablanca
you might want to balance your image of Humphrey Bogart with his bandy-legged,
deluded scalawag in John Huston's The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
(1948), the best Hollywood depiction of greed
since, well, Greed (1924). It's the old story of gold coming
between friends, with John's dad Walter winning an Oscar as a wise old coot and
the great Alfonso Bedoya as Gold
Hat, the bandito who utters the immortal words: "Badges? We don't need no
badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" It's at the Brattle
Brattle St, Cambridge| Sat, June 18-Sun, June 19 @ 12:30 pm |
What is it about these Cambridge guys? You'd think the university that matriculated John Milton would not produce such funny alumni as Peter Cook, John Cleese, Sascha Baron Cohen and now Richard Ayoade, who has already established himself in the UK as a standup comic and a star of such shows as "The IT Crowd."
His debut film "Submarine," based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne (opens today) is a mordantly comic coming of age story about a pale, introverted, and fatally bright schoolboy named Oliver who with premature world-weariness confronts the inevitable initiation into the eternal verities of sex, death, disillusionment, and peer bullying.
Woody Allen has a little fun with one of the great
filmmakers of all time in his new film Midnight in Paris by
having him look confused when Owen Wilson suggests to him the plot of what
would eventually be his film The Exterminating Angel
(1962). But the real Luis Buñuel knew his way around a surreal concept, as can
be seen in the films opening the retrospective Bunuel:
The End And the Beginning
If 3D was meant for anything, it was for photographing
a blood-dripping machete wielded by a maniac wearing a hockey mask. Long before
there was Avatar, schlockmeister Steve Miner added depth to bad
boy Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part III 3D (1982) the old fashioned way - with ugly cardboard glasses.
In addition to an outstanding film festival, Seattle offers a very
cool museum combining two of the obsessions of its founder, local Microsoft
billionaire Paul Allen: science fiction and rock and roll. I visited the Experience
Music Project/Science Fiction Museum (EMP/SFM)
with YH and fellow FIPRESCI juror, stalwart Gideon Kouts of Paris.
As politicians take aim once again at all the
advances made in women's rights over the past four decades, it might be worth a
look back at some of those women who pioneered the cause. Lynn
Hershman Leeson's Women Art Revolution chronicles how feminist artists took issue with the male domination of culture
and politics in the '70s and set in motion what some consider the most
significant art movement of the period.