Monday, October 26, 2009

Film Exhibition in Baltimore (October 2009)

First, it should be noted that this week marks the two year anniversary of this blog. Others have come and gone, but the Cineaste abides.

In that light, it is a good time to check in on the "big three." The Senator has become a sad mess of karaoke and one-off screenings. Although it has been possible to see films there occasionally, I will officially remove it from the "key" this month. I wash my hands of this business, and will try to avoid any more than the most minimal reporting on the next round of shenanigans. Does the Rotunda have its own website yet?

In terms of the other two, it seems like a things have stabilized. The Landmark Harbor East spends most of its time playing whatever will make the most money. This seems to be the settled mission of the chain in this area. In DC, things skew way more "arthouse" for the chain and the LHE seems more than happy to let the Charles handle that business locally, especially if the subject matter is controversial or LGBT (Milk, Bruno, and Capitalism: A Love Story being recent examples).

Could this be how things stay? What does the future hold? There may be little to report on this front for some time, although with the precarious state of the economy, one never knows.

Perhaps it is time to quit the monthly updates on the state of things in general and focus more on specific film-going experiences. I have also toyed with the idea of explaining just how I came to my affliction via this blog. Maybe it is time.

Up next, films viewed in October, a month that still affords viewing opportunities. Until then...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Films Viewed (September 2009)

Le Doulos
The September Issue
Fists in the Pocket
Bright Star
Notorious (2009)
Heavy Metal Parking Lot
The Decline of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years
Lorna's Silence

The Charles
The Senator
The Landmark Harbor East
The Rotunda
Other (Video Americain, Enoch Pratt Free Library)
Total: 10 films, 1 short film (7 in theaters)

Notes: For me, a slow month. The films I did view (save one) have already exited the big screen. This is perhaps symptomatic of the month, which is filled with summer leftovers and odd ducks. The two standouts for me were Teorema and Tetro, which I suspect are not for many viewers. Teorema channeled a deep Catholic vein in a highly theoretical and unconventional way, and Tetro was perhaps too operatic to cross over. I enjoyed both.

It was also good to catch a decent-quality digital screening of two underground classics, Decline... Part II and Heavy Metal Parking Lot, both of which are bootlegger's delights (although it is true the HMPL has received a proper DVD release in recent years). As I lived through the era and was babysat by many Heavy Metal enthusiasts, it is sometimes interesting to look back. My life and choices may have taken me far away from that world, but I will never forget where I'm from.

So, that is that. The new Dardenne brothers film was brutal but moving, Notorious was Biggie-sized, and Le Doulos was good but not "big-g" Great. Up next, film exhibition in Baltimore in general.