Our Man in Havana (1959)
As the release of the new
007 movie nears, the Brattle Theatre whets our appetite with its "Cloak and
Dagger: Spies on Screen" series. Wednesday they screen the classic Our Man in Havana (1959), Carol Reed's
adaptation of the Graham Greene novel starring Alec Guinness as the title
vacuum salesman-turned-secret agent.
What would Hollywood
do without the Bard? For one thing they'd have to come up with another premise
for Gil Junger's 10 Things I Hate About
You (1999), in which Shakespeare's The
Taming of the Shrew has been updated to a modern high school. Julia Stiles
and a pre-Joker fame Heath Ledger star.
A little-known milestone in the history of movies took place
50 years ago at a film festival in Oberhausen, Germany,
when 26 German filmmakers signed a statement demanding an independent cinema.
In his lecture "Provoking Reality: the Oberhausen Manifesto," film historian
Ralph Eue explains the movement and its influence and presents select films
from the project Provoking Reality.
Phoenix film critic Brett Michel talks the talk at Talk Cinema, hosting a screening of
Julian Farino's upcoming romantic comedy, The
Oranges, a comedy about the fallout from a May/December romance. Watch the
movie and air your opinions.
True, there's a presidential election coming up, but here's
a chance to vote for something really important. From September 28 to October 4
the 15th annual Manhattan Film Festival will be screening its 10 finalists in
300 theaters in cities worldwide, our own Coolidge Corner Theatre included,
inviting viewers to cast ballots for their favorite.
FRIDAY | For Ellen
Drama about a musician on the brink of success, and divorce. Check out this week's review. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St,
Cambridge | Friday, September 21-Sunday, September 23; Friday @ 8 pm | $9.75; $7.75 students; $6.75 seniors | 617.876.6837 or brattlefilm.org
FRIDAY | The Passions of Werner Schroeter
It's had some rocky times, but the Boston Film Festival is back for its
28th year, this time ensconced in the classy digs of the refurbished Stuart
Street Playhouse. Among the features scheduled are Head Games, in which Steve James of The Interrupters fame takes on sports head injuries, and Alexia
Oldini's debut feature, To Redemption,
about dark family secrets.
Nobody has quite the affectless, quirky, frigidly
ironic (but always delightful) sensibility of Hal Hartley, except maybe his
frequent collaborator, the actor Martin Donovan. The erudite CineCache series
at the Brattle Theatre screens Donovan's directorial debut, Collaborator
(2011), in which a failed playwright and a right-wing former criminal share
their differences and similarities.
Hitchcock's early silent movies, nobody can hear them scream. In Blackmail
(1929) , the last of these, a working girl murders a rakish painter in self
defense. Panicking, she tries to cover it up, and a sympathetic detective helps
her out. But there was a witness, which is where the blackmail comes in, and it
climaxes with a chase in the British Museum, a warm-up for Mount
Rushmore in North by
The kids are skateboarding and acting cool, all right,
but as the title of Martin Perseil's offbeat documentary makes clear, This
Ain't California (2012). It is, in fact, '70s East
Berlin, where three boys rebel against the stringent Marxist
regime by imitating Western punks. The years pass and it is suddenly 1989 - the
Wall has fallen, the kids have grown up, and now they must redefine their
Can you name any great woman horror or fantasy
filmmakers? For some reason Hollywood
just doesn't let the fairer sex bloody their hands with those traditionally
macho genres. The Etheria Film Festival, hosted by All Things Horror,
might change their minds. It's an all-day juried event at the Somerville
Theater showcasing horror shorts by talented women.
Before you completely write off the print medium, you
might check out Jörg Adolph and Green Wetzel's documentary How to Make a Book with Steidl
(2010). The publisher of the title, Gerhard Steidl, has helped artists and
photographers like Ed Ruscha and William Eggleston transform their work into
exquisite limited edition volumes.
FedEx boxes of a certain size have never been the same
after an infamous scene in David Fincher's Se7en (1998), a film that has its
share of outrageously brutal moments. A serial killer has taken the seven
deadly sins to heart, choosing victims who are flagrantly guilty of each vice
and murdering them with hideous, Dantesque appropriateness.
Howl's Moving Castle
negotiates the fine line between nightmare and enchantment like Japanese
animator Hayao Miyazaki. Two of his best films are featured on Sunday, September 9 as part of
the Brattle's Masters of Studio Ghibli
series. In Spirited Away (2002),
a little girl wanders through a derelict carnival and finds herself in a
magical world that rivals Alice's
Wonderland for surreal, mind-boggling weirdness.
[Rec] (2007), the splashy Spanish zombie
film remade by Hollywood
into the more tepid Quarantine
(2008), has itself generated sequels. The third in the series, Pablo Plaza's
Genesis (2012), resumes the premise of a zombie plague as seen in the
now obligatory found footage. This time around the source is a wedding video,
which records a reception that goes beyond Bridesmaids
wrong when a guest starts eating human flesh.