It's been a dozen years
since the last Muppet movie. But a new one will be opening in a couple of days,
and you can prepare yourself by taking a look at the last one, Tim Hill's Muppets From Space (1999). Here's where Gonzo gets in touch
with his long lost alien family by means of his breakfast cereal. Bad idea; the
Feds kidnap him by à la E.
In what might be every
Republican's worst nightmare, the aliens in John Carpenter's They Live (1988)
are not only illegal, but they've disguised themselves as rich people! They've
infiltrated the seats of power and delude the masses with the media and
advertising, even as they suck up billions of dollars of taxpayers' money!
Until, that is, some right-thinking dude gets a pair of magic glasses and sees
the truth! Time to lock and load and take this country back.
No matter what country
you're from, telling your parents you're gay can be difficult. Assi Azar,
popular Israeli TV personality, host of that country's Big Brother program, and named
by Out magazine as one of the 100 most influential gay people
in the world, shares what he went through in his moving but funny documentary, Mom & Dad: I Have Something To Tell You (2010).
When the Balagan Film Series went on hiatus a few
years back, Boston cinephiles who had come to love its offbeat, eclectic
programming of independent and experimental films felt the loss. Now the series
is back, starting with Native Short Works, a selection of some
of the best offerings from local filmmakers over the past four decades,
including Chores (2011) by Louisa Conrad, Covert Action (1984) by Abigail
Child, and Star Film (1971) by Saul Levine.
Local icon Jimmy Tingle, one of the few
bonafide practitioners of the great tradition of political comedy, now adds a
film to his credits. Directed by Vincent Straggas, Jimmy Tingle's American Dream (2010) follows the funnyman
as he seeks the meaning of the title phantasm, querying pundits such as Howard
Zinn, Robert Altman, Willie Nelson, and his own mother, Frances.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Here's a cinephile's dream: Stanley Kubrick directing
a Marx Brothers movie. The next best thing might be this twin bill of the two
cinema legends' funniest, and most politically incisive, films. In Duck
(1933; 7:15 pm), Groucho plays Professor Rufus T. Firefly, a disreputable wise
guy and con man who finds himself unexpectedly appointed the dictator of
Just one day before the 10th anniversary of the biggest intelligence
failure in US history is the
Frontline screening of Top
Secret America, a look at what the spy boys have done in the
meantime to compensate for that lapse and make America safe from terrorism. Or is
their War on Terror just an excuse to impose an oppressive, surveillance state?
If the film doesn't answer that question, or raises others, stick around for
the panel discussion that follows with producer Michael Kirk
and journalist Dana
Priest, who co-wrote the doc's tie-in book at the
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge | Saturday, September 10 @ 2 pm | free | brattlefilm.org.
After seeing Federico
Fellini at his most tragic in La Strada earlier this week, you can catch him at his most
cynical, self-reflective, and satiric in 8-1/2 (1963; 2:30 + 5:15 + 8 pm). Marcello Mastroianni
serves as Fellini's persona in this dreamlike portrait of a director losing his
grip under the pressure of trying to come up with a new movie.
Citizen Kane theatrical trailer
and editing are revolutionary, but the score deserves a lot of the credit for
making Orson Welles's masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941; 2:15 pm)
number one on everyone's ten-best-movies-of-all-time list. Watch it with that
in mind when it screens as part of the Brattle Theatre's ongoing Music For Movies: Bernard Herrmann Centennial Repertory Series
Twisted Nerve (1968) opening credits
You might not remember what you've seen in a film with
a Bernard Herrmann score, but you'll probably remember what you heard. Like the
taunting rhythms of the title music to Sisters (1973; 3:15 +
7:30 pm), Brian De Palma's diabolical thriller about a beautiful pair of
divided Siamese siblings who give added meaning to the term "evil twin."
A recent overlooked mini-masterpiece, Austrian
director Benjamin Heisenberg's The
(2010; screens at 3:30 and 7:30 pm) features an electrifying performance by Andreas
Lust as the real-life felon of the title, who supplements his compulsive bank
robbing with marathon running, two metaphors of existential futility that prove
not altogether complementary.
Disco. Bad hair. Roller skates. Scott Baio. Will we
ever get enough of the glorious bad taste of the '70s? All these elements, plus
an appearance by legendary dwarf Billy Barty and the late Patrick Swayze in his
first big role, come together for one huge hurrah in Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979). Swayze
plays Ace, leader of a hardboiled roller skate gang that tries to take over the
title roller disco rink the night of the big dance contest.