one puts on a showcase of the macabre like J.
the cult impresario, who works as an undertaker when he isn't busy being a
zombie connoisseur. In tonight's FEAST OF FLESH XI he outdoes himself, with music from
local metalcore band Acaro, bumps and grinds from
horror/stripper ensemble Black Cat Burlesque, and a screening of Demons (1985).
"Dreams and Demons," the most recent installment in the Goethe Institut's series Short & Sweet III: German Animated Films, ventures into the haunted Teutonic terrain
familiar to the filmmakers of the Expressionist period and writers like the
Brothers Grimm with its program of seven outstanding shorts.
Hip-hop culture was already well established
back in 1983 when Charles Ahearn's documentary-style drama Wild
Style came out, and even then it
was confronting the issues of authenticity and commercialism that it faces
today. Here Zoro (Lee Quinones), a Bronx graffiti artist, practices his art on
the margins of criminality until lured from the 'hood by tony Manhattan gallery people.
Baltimore has given birth to its share of
disparate filmmakers, including Barry Levinson, John Waters, and now Matt Porterfield, who presents his two features this week
at the Harvard Film Archive. The first is Putty
Hill (2010), which takes place in a working class section
of Porterfield's hometown, where a group of disaffected teens gather when a
friend dies of an overdose.
The title of Manoel de Oliveira's A
Talking Picture (2003) is a bit ironic, considering that the
102-year-old director was making movies when they were still silent. His genius
remains undimmed in this witty, provocative, somewhat allegorical tale about
globalism, communication, and doom. A mother and daughter on a cruise share the
captain's table with three beauties from different countries.
Why "The Lion King?" Why now? Seventeen years after the film
entered the ranks of Disney animated classics, its 3D re-release last weekend
shot to the top of the box office with a $29.3 million take. You'd think that by now that every parent in the world has seen the DVD a
million times already with their kids.
Traditionally considered the purview of male
directors, the horror genre has increasingly been embraced by women. Taking
note of this, the All Things Horror people present a program of shorts and features by
female filmmakers from the Viscera Film Festival, "a nonprofit organization committed to
expanding opportunities for contemporary female horror filmmakers."
A few days have passed since the Toronto International Film
Festival ended, giving us a chance to reflect on the highlights of our trip there that were
not necessarily film related.
Starting with the hotel we stayed at. Built in 1929, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel boasts 1365 rooms and the largest
hotel kitchen in Canada.
You might recognize it as the setting for a big scene in the film
"Red" (not the conclusion to Kieslowski's "Three Color" trilogy but the one in
which Helen Mirren shoots a machine gun).
The title of the HFA's retrospective For My Crushed Right Eye:
The Visionary Films Of Toshio Matsumoto suggests a messier version
of the infamous razor blade scene in Buñuel's Un chien
The veteran Japanese director's work lives up to the comparison, challenging
conventions with his formal experimentation and transgressive subjects as much
as Buñuel did with his surrealism.
Me and My Gal (1932)
These days the title of the ArtsEmerson series Movies Matter seems a bit naive. Aren't movies just mindless
entertainment whose sole purpose is making money at the box office? Dave Kehr, one of America's best film critics, doesn't
think so, and in a recently published collection of his film criticism written
between 1974 and 1986, When Movies Mattered, he makes a strong case.
Recent Italian politics have been chaotic and
outrageous - so what else is new? As can be seen in the terrific period films
in the Harvard Film Archive's series Viva
L'italia! The Risorgimento On Screen, that's pretty much the
way it's always been. The program opens with Luchino Visconti's masterpiece, Senso (1954; 7 pm), a lushly
romantic extravaganza set during the 19th century Italian war for independence
in which a patriotic Venetian countess falls in love with an officer of the
occupying Austrian army.
The Boston Film Festival,
now in its 27th year, has seen its
ups and downs. But its organizers definitely made a shrewd move when they
settled into one of the city's classiest venues, the Stuart Street Playhouse,
where it opens its weeklong run of world premieres. They include Peter Askin's Certainty (6:45 pm), the
tale of a young couple who undergo Catholic pre-nuptial counseling.
Aside from the glitz and parties and nonstop illusions, sometimes a film festival, and a film, can, in some small way, change the world. The independent distributor Palisades Tartan picked up the latest work by the incarcerated and banned Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi. Back in December the Islamic Republic sentenced Panahi to six years in prison and banned him from making films for 20 years for the obscure crime of “assembly and
colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s
national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.
It’s not just Kevin we need to talk about. There are a lot
of bad boys here at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Like Brandon (Michael
Fassbender), a 30ish Wall Street in “Shame,”
Steve McQueen’s bleak “Last Tango” for the internet porn age. Unlike Kevin, he
doesn’t kill anyone. No, that would be more the style of his 80s predecessor Patrick
Bateman in Mary Harron’s 2000 adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis’s “American
(Fassbender at times bears a resemblance to Bale in that movie).
As a female writer struggling with domestic woes, Margot in
Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" had it pretty easy. Consider Eva, played by
Tilda Swinton, in another film by a non-American, female filmmaker, Scottish
director Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of the Lionel Shriver novel "We Need to Talk