THIS FRIDAY, JULY 18th: come see HAROLD AND MAUDE at our backyard screening room. The Cat Stevens soundtrack alone is worth watching this beautiful film about an older woman (much older) who teaches a young man (a boy, really) about love and life and passion. Beautifully, and wonderfully funny, this film is terrific. Doors open at 8:45, film starts at 9:00pm.
Lots of great movies up this week starting with 21, the nearly true tale of a group of MIT students who’s excellent schooling helped them take the casinos of Las Vegas to the cleaners. Also up this week is a batch of interesting looking foreign films such as HELP ME EROS, THE HEARTBEAT DETECTOR, THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION and THE FOLLIES OF MISS EVA. Also notable this week are a pair of Criterion releases (Kurosawa’s HIGH & LOW and Carl Dreyer’s VAMPYR. EARTH: THE BIOGRAPHY is the new BBC nature documentary release, and there are two terrific looking kids movies, both by Michael Sporn – ABEL’S ISLAND and THE MARZIPAN PIG.
Ah, there’s more. Pan down and read on.
Love and kisses,
AMERICAN SLAPSTICK VOL. 2.
* Three discs comprising 440 minutes of amazing and historical comic brilliance.
Gabriel Byrne/Christopher Plummer/Susan Sarandon.
Directed by Paolo Barzman.
* A story of survivors of internment camps during WWII and the complicated questions they ask themselves for the rest of their lives.
David Naughton/Brian O’Halloran.
Directed by Steven Mena.
* Harry Penderecki (Naughton) a once famous horror filmmaker now considered washed-up, gets one last chance to make his opus. Unfortunately, things go badly wrong from the get-go.
Alain Delon/Richard Crenna/Catherine Deneuve.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.
* Melville’s last film from 1972 tells the tale of a group of robbers involved in a bank heist.
THE FOLLIES OF MISS EVA.
Directed by Kazimierz Tarnas.
* Another of these mad-cap Polish comedies that I love so much, this one is about a fifteen year old girl who is trying to right the wrongs of the world. Based on a book by Kornel Makuszynski.
THE HEARTBEAT DETECTOR.
Mathieu Amalric/Michael Lonsdale.
Directed by Nicolas Klotz.
* A psychologist (Amalric) working for a big petrochemical corporation gets involved in an internal investigation that leads him into knowledge about the company’s inner workings that could prove fatal.
HELP ME EROS.
Drama /Foreign (Mandarin).
Kang-sheng Lee/Jane Liao.
Directed by Kang-sheng Lee.
* A young man in down economic times slips into a depression while hanging out all day smoking pot. Sound familiar? Well, it does to me. Loneliness is the central theme in this erotic and somewhat suicidal tale.
HIGH & LOW.
Thriller/Drama /Criterion/Foreign (Japanese).
Toshiro Mifune/Tatsuya Nakadai.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
* 1963 film about a business executive who is involved in a tight and dramatic showdown at his company must choose between using his funds to gain control at work or to pay the ransom on the supposed kidnapping of his child.
ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS.
Directed by Seth Green.
* Goofy and funny collection of Adult Swim Star Wars parodies.
TURN THE RIVER.
Famke Janssen/Rip Torn/Jaymie Dorman/Matt Ross.
Directed by Chris Eigeman.
* A pool shark (Janssen), who’s son lives with her drunk ex-husband, desperately wants a better life and to raise her son, but barely has the means to take care of herself. Good pool playing scenes.
21. ****ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY****
Jim Sturgess/Kevin Spacey/Kate Bosworth/Aaron Yoo/Laurence Fishburne.
Directed by Robert Luketic.
* Inspired by the events of the somewhat true story of five MIT students who took Vegas down with their card counting and other cheating skills.
TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE.
John C. McGinley/D.B. Sweeney.
Directed by D.B. Sweeney.
* When mid-life crisis hits, three guys hit the road to the College Football National Championship Bowl and attempt to re-find themselves. Man, I can’t wait for my mid-life crisis. I’m gonna dye my hair green!
Julian West/Maurice Schutz/Rena Mandel.
Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.
* Originally shot as a silent film in 1931, eventually it was dubbed with voiceovers. It is a dark, washed out tale of sinister developments in the village of Courtempierre.
THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION.
Directed by Cao Hamburger.
* A story of political unrest and government oppression in Brazil in 1970 is told through the eyes of a child wrapped up in the excitement of football’s World Cup while his parents are on a mysterious “vacation”.
EARTH: THE BIOGRAPHY.
* Another superb BBC doc featuring tremendous imagery.
WITHOUT THE KING
His Majesty King Mswati III/Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso.
Directed by Michael Skolnick.
* Have you been to Swaziland? Could you find it on a map? Did you know it was the last absolute monarchy on earth? Dude, the king has 13 wives. A fleet of limos. Private planes, fat palace…over 9 billion in assets. The Swazis? Hungry, angry, ill (46% HIV rate – worlds highest), and a super low life-expectancy (31!). Think they got problems in Swaziland?
TRANSFORMERS: CYBERTRON ULTIMATE COLLECTION.
Directed by Michael Sporn.
THE MARZIPAN PIG.
Directed by Michael Sporn.