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  • June 09, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The summer-camp movie, circa 1980, hardly seems a viable enough genre to justify a parody, but in cult favorite Wet Hot American Summer (2001) director David Wain and his talented cast (Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, to name a few) make up in enthusiasm and silliness what the movie lacks in relevance.

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  • June 02, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Following his reading of Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers Du Cinemart Collection at the Brookline Booksmith Friday evening, Mike White returns to discuss an obscure gem of '70s exploitation filmmaking, Greydon Clark's Black Shampoo (1976), the story of a sexy African-American hair-salon owner who goes ballistic with a chainsaw when his receptionist is menaced by the mob.

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  • May 26, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Reputedly even more disgusting than Centipede, Srdjan Spasojevic's notorious A Serbian Film has tested the stomachs of even the most hardcore splatter-porn fans around the world. In other words, don't miss it. (For more insight into ASF and its extreme-horror bretheren, see Simon Paul Augustine's essay in this week's Phoenix

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  • May 15, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Two prototypical New York artists collaborate in Public Speaking (2010), Martin Scorsese's documentary portrait of acerbic writer and irrepressible conversationalist Fran Lebowitz. She discusses culture, politics, and decades of New York memories while presiding over her booth in Manhattan's Waverly Inn.

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  • May 12, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The master of philosophical carnage, Park Chan-wook reaffirmed the ongoing world-class status of Korean cinema with Oldboy (2003). In a precursor to Saw, a man finds himself inexplicably imprisoned in a whimsical kind of solitary confinement. Fifteen years later, he's plenty pissed off, so when he's released and given five days to find his tormentor, he's ready for revenge.

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  • May 09, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    All About Eve (1950)

    This year's Coolidge Award goes to "Film Preservation," and the two days of ceremonies will climax with a prime example of that noble work, a screening of the restored version of All About Eve (Wed @ 8 pm)- now, despite her quips about aging, Bette Davis's Margo Channing will remain as fresh and vivid as when Joseph L.

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  • May 05, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Vengeance is served not just cold but repeatedly in Korean director Kim Je-woon's relentlessly gruesome and frequently hilarious I Saw the Devil (2010), in which a member of the police elite whose fiancée has been butchered by a serial killer takes justice into his own hands. Over and over again. Crime may not pay in this movie, but punishing crime offers diminishing returns as well.

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  • April 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Not knowing why the avian hordes attack might be the scariest thing in Alfred Hitchcock's diabolical The Birds (1963). Is it the sexual tension Rod Taylor's character brought to the sleepy seaside town? Is it Tippi Hedren's flawless hairdo? On the other hand, perhaps knowing why would be far more terrifying.

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  • April 08, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Among the campy sci-fi movies that never quite made it big, one worthy of greater cult status is The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension (1984). Peter Weller plays the title hero, whose talents range from neuroscience to electric guitar and who along with his sidekicks the Hong Kong Cavaliers battles the evil alien invaders the Red Lectroids.

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  • March 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Every now and then, two trashy genres collide and something wonderful happens. As when blaxsploitation met grindhouse horror and gave rise to William Crain's Blacula (1972). An African prince (William Marshall) visits Count Dracula to get him to lay off the slave trade. Our hero gets bitten for his troubles and is buried in a coffin.

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  • March 10, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    In Danny Boyle's harrowing 127 Hours, you see the protagonist take himself apart. In his spectacular adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is currently being staged in London, you see him get sewn together. You can watch that idea work itself out in this live broadcast of the production (whose notices are good as, if not better than, those for Boyle's film) at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Ave, Brookline | 6:30 pm | $20; $17 seniors | 617.

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  • March 10, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    In a perfect world, everyone would look like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Until that happens, we must be content with this sparkling adaptation of the Truman Capote novel, perhaps the late Blake Edwards's most charming movie, in which Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, the kooky waif who beguiles neighbor George Peppard.

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  • February 04, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    A 300-pound transvestite eating dog shit might seem tame today, but back in 1972, when John Waters's Pink Flamingos came out, it raised some eyebrows. Doing the turd-eating honors is Waters's late muse Divine, as she and her family try to qualify as the filthiest people in the world. But after Edith Massey's egg-sucking Edie and Divine's sex scene involving her son and a chicken, coprophagy seems almost anticlimactic.

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  • January 28, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The '60s officially ended for many baby boomers when they stumbled into a midnight screening of El Topo (1970) and something happened to their minds that was unpleasant and irrevocable. Here's your chance to share the same experience as the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents Alejandro Jodorowsky's ecstatic, nonsensical, visionary psychedelic Western.

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  • January 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One of the best films about the Vietnam War, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987) also offers insight into the trauma endured by veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Starring Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio as Marine recruits, Kubrick's stark masterpiece shows the process of dehumanization, from boot camp to the killing fields.

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