Kind of like Toxic
Avenger by way of Trash
Humpers, Jim Muro's Street
Trash (1987) lives up to its title. Stinky derelicts start
buying booze called Tenafly Viper at Ed's liquor store for a buck a bottle and
unleash the cheapo, gross-out special effects. Not only a revoltingly hilarious
indulgence in politically incorrect bad taste, the movie also reflects, not
unlike Bret Easton Ellis's American
Psycho, the contempt for poverty so popular during the Greed is Good
One of Boston's most vital and exciting film events, the Roxbury International Film Festival,
now in its 13th year, begins tonight with Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew's The Athlete (2009), a
biopic mixing dramatization and documentary about Abebe Bikila, the first black
African to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's marathon - which he ran
barefoot, no less.
Two years ago Lee Daniels's Precious
(2009), an adaptation of the novel Push by
Sapphire, confronted viewers with its hardscrabble, intense story about an
unwed teenage mother beset by inner-city and family turmoil. It defied the odds
and became an Oscar-winning commercial hit (Best Supporting Actress for Mo'Nique;
Best Adapted Screenplay for Daniels).
Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler
(2008) introduced many moviegoers to the sweaty, bloody, brutal world of
professional wrestling on the fringes of the WWE. Robert Greene shows us more
of this subculture in his documentary Fake
It So Real, in which he explores with cinema-vérité
intensity the dedicated gladiators of the Millennium Wrestling Federation of
Lincolnton, North Carolina.
Less graphic but perhaps more disturbing than
Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is his Doctor
Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
(1964). It might be the funniest doomsday movie
ever made, and certainly has the funniest character names, like Merkin Muffley
and the Kissinger-esque nuclear scientist of the title, two of the three roles
played by the great Peter Sellers.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Those who have passed by the Fourth Wall Project gallery
recently will have noticed that the place has been overrun by the Vitamin Water
people. Together with Coolidge @fter Midnite, they have scheduled a month-long
series of events including tonight's free screenings of two visceral
masterpieces by film school reject Fred Dekker.
Nobody had as much fun with human folly as Stanley
Kubrick, and two of his satiric masterpieces screen this week at the Somerville
Theatre. His X-rated adaptation of Anthony Burgess's A
Clockwork Orange (1971) still shocks
today. In a hilariously awful dystopia the only sympathetic character is
Malcolm McDowell's sociopathic delinquent, perhaps because he croons "Singin'
in the Rain" and listens to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony while engaging in his
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All
About Eve (1950) is included in just about everyone's top 10
best Hollywood movies list, and the line "Fasten your seatbelts. Its going to
be a bumpy night" comes in at #9 in the AFI's list of greatest movie quotes.
But that film is just one of the nearly two dozen Mankiewicz turned out in his
richly varied, remarkable career.
short life - she died at age 29 in 1990 as a result of her multiple addictions
- was as tormented and astonishing as her three plays. They are uncompromising
accounts of the desperate, defiled lives of the poor in the housing project in
Bradford, England, where she grew up, including The
which is also the title of Clio Barnard's 2010 biographical film about her.
Nino Rota's famous theme for Fellini's 8-1/2
Imagine Hitchcock's Psycho or
Scorsese's Taxi Driver without the lacerating, haunting music - or The
Godfather films and Fellini's 8-1/2 without
the lush scores of Nino Rota. Still masterpieces, just . . . not
the same. The music without the movies, however, is well worth a listen as is
demonstrated in the program Music For Movies: A
Celebration Of Bernard Herrmann And Nino Rota at the
Brattle, which is also currently running a series of each composers' films in
honor of their centennials.
Superman II (1980)
Remember Terence Stamp as General Zod in Superman
(1980)? He might prefer to forget it himself, and you might not want to see the
whole film in order to catch his performance, but it's all there in the trailer
featured in this year's Trailer
just one of many in this annual collection of trashy coming attractions at the
Does a penthouse apartment in a skyscraper give you a
better perspective on the ills of the society down below? In his documentary High Rise, director Gabriel Mascaro interviews
the inhabitants of posh spots in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and
Recife and asks them tough questions about injustice, insecurity, the future,
and the availability of parking.
The Sleeping Beauty
Always a must-see cinema event, The
Boston French Film Festival at the MFA opens with laughs this year as it
screens Philippe Le Guay's The Women on the Sixth Floor
(2010; July 7 @ 7:30 pm; July 9 @ 5:40 pm), a comedy about a bevy of Spanish
housekeepers who turn a staid bourgeois family upside down.
"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.