Perhaps the earliest of the found-footage horror
movies, Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust (1980) remains one of the
most grotesque and frightening. It consists in part of footage supposedly shot
by a film crew in South America who run afoul
of indigenous people, and then some. The rest, equally disturbing, involves
what happens to the film after it's brought back to civilization.
A sex symbol, a
role model, and one of the best and smartest actors of his generation, Viggo Mortensen joins a list that includes Meryl
Streep, Jonathan Demme, and Robert Altman in receiving the esteemed Coolidge
Award. The festivities start at noon with a screening of David Cronenberg's Eastern
(2007), for which Mortenson received a Best Actor Oscar nomination and which
includes the unforgettable nude knife fight in a sauna.
Winner of this
year's Coolidge Award, Viggo Mortensen has brought to life characters ranging
from the regal Aragorn in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy to the adulterous
"blouse man" in Tony Goldwyn's A
Walk on the Moon (1999). Perhaps he has done his best and edgiest work
in collaboration with David Cronenberg, as is the case in A History
of Violence (2005), about a mild-mannered small town family man
who is in fact a ruthless assassin trying to escape his past.
Any film with Udo Kier in it is, de facto, a must-see. In the
portmanteau horror film The Theater Bizarre (2011) he plays the creepy puppet
man - is he a muppet or a man? - who introduces the six tales of terror
presented at the title venue. Among the committee of directors is George Romero
collaborator Tom Savini, whose episode " Wet Dreams" involves a wronged wife's
oneiric revenge, and Canadian filmmaker Karim Hussain's "Vision Stains," which
investigates the nature of memory by means of hypodermic needles and eyeballs.
We've seen time travel so often in the movies you have
to wonder why nobody's figured out how to do it in real life. Certainly if the
amiable dunces (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) in Stephen Herek's Bill
and Ted's Excellent Adventure
(1989) can visit past luminaries like Napoleon and "So-crates" via George
Carlin and a phone booth, some actual scientist should have cracked the puzzle by now.
Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones star in Celeste and Jesse Forever
Who needs to brave the thin air and mobbed screenings
of Sundance when you can enjoy the very best the fest has to offer in the
comfort and convenience of the Coolidge Corner Theatre? Fresh from its debut in
Park City comes Lee Toland Krieger's indie rom-com Celeste and Jesse Forever,
which stars Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg.
Boston's now-defunct industrial/metal heavy-hitters
Big Catholic Guilt played their last show as a regular working band at the
(also defunct) Rathskellar back in '96 - reuniting for a blow-out, one-night-only
show at the Middle East two years back - but their legacy of scene domination
lives on. Today you can catch a screening of that reunion show Big
Catholic Guilt-Resurrection - filmed in full and including the entire
22-song set-list - when it opens for public viewing at the Coolidge.
it's the same: they announce the five "Best Foreign Language Film" Academy
Award nominees and you haven't heard of any of them, let alone seen
them. But here's a chance to get an early look at a strong contender, the
official French Oscar entry, Declaration
Of War. Directed by and starring
Valérie Donzelli, it's about a young couple who discover that their infant son
has a potentially terminal brain tumor.
As technology now invades every aspect of our lives,
the paranoid, dystopic scenario posed by James Cameron in The
Terminator (1984), arguably the director's best film,
appears creepily prescient. In his signature role, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays
an unstoppable cyborg from a future dominated by machines sent to the present
day to bump off the woman who would one day be the mother of the man who might
save the human race.
If you were wondering where the basic concepts behind
Coke commercials, Mitt Romney ads, and advertising and propaganda in general
come from, you should take a look at Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925). His silent
version of the 1905 mutiny on the title Russian warship marks a high point in
montage, the technique by which he edits disparate images into a dynamic fusion
that compels audiences to buy something they might otherwise not be interested
in - in this case the Bolshevik Revolution.
If you've seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Project Nim this year, you owe
it to yourself to see what might be Terry Gilliam's best movie, Twelve Monkeys (1995). A
phantasmagorical riff on Chris Marker's short La Jetée (1962), it stars
Bruce Willis as a poor schmuck from a future dystopia enlisted to travel
through time to undo the plague begun by a well-intended but delusional animal
rights activist played by Brad Pitt.
Let's face it, some movies should never have been made in 3D.
For instance, Jonas
Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Scratch that - it
probably shouldn't have been made, period. But then there are movies that seem perfect
for in-your-face, three-dimensional media blitzes. Such is the case with the
classic fright flick Creature
From The Black Lagoon (1954), which was made in 3D long before
it became the Tyler Perry of film techniques.
Called "the bad boy of
Buddhism," Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche left a monastery in India in the '60s for the West
where he smoked, drank, and caroused with women. He also helped transform the
counterculture with his teachings and meditation techniques, inspiring such
acolytes as Thomas Merton, Allen Ginsberg, Joni Mitchell, and David Bowie.
Tony Scott may
have directed it, but True Romance (1993) might be
Quentin Tarantino's best movie. He wrote the screenplay about a dorky guy, not
unlike himself, who falls in love with a hip sex worker, grabs a suitcase full
of cocaine, and takes on all comers. Sounds dumb, but it glints with brilliant,