Nearly all of David Lynch's films are inscrutable
masterpieces, but this mammoth adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic is
considered by some to be an inscrutable mess. As such it is also very
entertaining, with Kyle MacLachlan hamming it up as an intergalactic desert
warrior leading a jihad against an Evil Empire.
One of the best ways to get to know a country is through its
films. For example, Hollywood informs us that America
is a country of wise presidents (Lincoln),
murderous slave owners (Django Unchained),
and unfunny Billy Crystal movies (Parental
Guidance). So what do the films of France tell us? Find out by
attending tonight's French Cultural Center's program "Experiencing Contemporary
France through Films," in which Anne-Christine Rice discusses
her book La France
contemporaine à travers ses films.
If the supernatural critter Kyubey appeared and offered you
the chance to become a Magic Girl who fights witches and harvests "grief seeds"
that will purify your "soul gems," what would you do? Sounds like a good deal,
but in Akiyuki Shinbo's anime Madoka Magica the Movie (2012) all is
not sweetness and light; the fun comes at the cost of hard experience.
We've seen over 30 films so far and already I see patterns forming. Hollywood takes a lot of heat for its formilaic repetition but I'm starting to think that the rest of the world has caught up and is mixing up formulae of its own. Anyway, that's my excuse for posting this quiz about films you probably haven't seen yet and some of you probably never will.
Celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur directs this rapid-fire
documentary bashing the sleazier brand of parasitic paparazzi, interviewing stars like Jennifer Aniston, Elton
John, Kid Rock, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who talk about how miserable it is to
be rich and famous. Sure, it's hypocritical, but so is our love/hate affair
with trash and gossip.
What is it like to work at the Pine Street Inn and find that
your long-estranged father is a resident there? And then write a book about it?
And then have it made into a movie, Being
Flynn, directed by Paul Weitz and starring Paul Dano and Robert De Niro? All
of this is the subject of Nick Flynn's new memoir, The Reenactments, which the author will read from and discuss at the
Brattle Theatre at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 9.
I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of election campaigns. So I'm glad that hot on the heels of the Presidential showdown of 2012 comes a contest that really matters, the Oscars.
That race got off to a semi-official start Saturday night at the 24th annual "International Black Tie Awards Gala" hosted by the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Those ambivalent about having children might consider
watching David Cronenberg's meditation on the subject, The Brood (1979). A woman with anger issues consults a therapist
whose experimental treatment results in her sprouting demons of wrath from her
body. They kill people, and they never call and never send flowers on Mother's
Combine Peter Pan with the horrors of World War II and you
might get something like Volker Schlöndorff's Oscar-winning adaptation of Günter
Grass's The Tin Drum (1979). In it, a
little boy recognizes the cruel absurdity of the world, refuses to grow up, and
beats the title instrument to annoy the hell out of everyone.
We must be at the end, because Harlan Jacobson could only come up with eight. Here's his and Brett Michel's.
Harlan Jacobson's Eight Best Films of 2012
D: Steven Spielberg, W: Tony Kushner based on DK Goodwin's
Team of Rivals
With: Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Fields, David Strathairn (Secretary
of State Seward), TL Jones (Thaddeus
Stevens, R of PA, Chairman of the House
Just in time for the New Year two more lists of 2012's best films, and those not so great.And some not even from 2012.
Betsy Sherman's Top Ten 2012
 Moonrise Kingdom -- Young soulmates find each other, triumphantly,
in Wes Anderson's meticulously realized microcosm. It has a great ensemble cast
and endless treasures of sight and sound.
Long ago, detectives in movies could drink martinis, smoke,
banter with their spouses, and treat every night as if it were New Year's Eve - detectives like Dashiell Hammett's inimitable
PI pair Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. So it's
fitting that the Brattle Theatre usher in the new year with two of the pair's best
films, both directed by W.
shows a bit of Francophilia in Vincente Minnelli's ambitious An American in Paris (1951; 2:30 + 7 pm). In it Gene Kelly plays an expatriate Yank artist
who exults in the canvases of Renoir and Monet, the tunes of George and Ira
Gershwin, and the gamine charms of 19-year-old Leslie Caron. It's paired with Kelly's
first solo directorial effort, Invitation
to the Dance (1956; 5 + 9:30 pm),
a triptych of tales told entirely in music and dance.
The days of winter brighten with the deft footwork and
irrepressible geniality of Gene Kelly. Tomorrow, the Brattle Theatre's
retrospective of his films offers a triple dose of terpsichorean therapy. In
Charles Walter's Summer Stock (1950; 12:30 + 5 pm) he plays the head of a theatrical troupe
who charms a small-town girl played by Judy Garland.
If Holy Motors
intrigued you, or if you're already a fan of French enfant terrible Leos Carax, you should take a look at this
passionate and brilliant 1991 film that stars Juliette Binoche (then Carax's significant
other) as a homeless woman who lives on the Pont Neuf. She's a painter who's
going blind, but can she find love with an alcoholic ex-circus-performer?