Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fims Viewed (April 2010)

Chloe was a psycho-sexual good time, courtesy of Atom Egoyan. Although flawed and a bit too Freudian, it should be noted for its attempt to tell the story from the perspective of the female lead, getting inside her needs, neuroses, and sexual desires.

Greenberg was about that guy who was older than me that I hated due to his uber-1990s slack and his inability to transcend his own hang-ups. Ben Stiller was fine, Greta Gerwig was lovely and amazing. It's hard to make a good film about a poisonously unlikable main character.

The Incredible Shrinking Man was a satisfying meal of 1950s smart Sci-Fi. Held up well and got me thinking. All I remember from seeing it as a kid was the battle with the spider.

Play It Again, Sam is Woody Allen as a play as a movie. Not quite there yet, but the pieces are in place for greatness. I want to live in the main character's apartment.

A Lesson in Love made for a good follow-up considering Allan's love of Bergman. A film unavailable on DVD I had taped off of TCM 11 or so years ago. I enjoy his work too much to criticize. A smart early effort that saved his career, apparently. Thanks for the info, Robert Osborne!

The Runaways is a standard bio-pic, but one that I still enjoyed. Another film that should be noted for its efforts to take stock of things from a female perspective (would there be any other way to tell this story?). Clearly from the viewpoint and with the authorization of Joan Jett and Cherie Curie. Lita Ford gets reduced to a bit part, which seems wrong somehow.

Mother, not based on the Danzig song in any way, was perhaps made more odd by my lack of understanding of the Korean mother-son relationship. A troubled boy gets in trouble. Mom gets to investigating. And then... hoo-boy!

Danger: Diabolik was just the kind of campy early-1960s comic-book relief I needed during a grinding work week. Slow in parts, fantastic in others, Diabolik is quite a piece of work.

Sympathy for Mister Vengeance struck me as the weakest of Park Chan-wook's vengeance trilogy. I would say check out Oldboy first, then Lady Vengeance. Points gained for leftwing radical nutjob female lead. Points lost for a "yeah, I already get it" unnecessary voice overdub and one plot convolution too many.

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Landmark Harbor East
Other (Video Americain, The Maryland Science Center)
Total: 9 films (5 in theaters)

NOTE THE NEW NEW POLICY: I will now give a capsule review with each film. I will continue to experiment with the format. Please leave comments or suggestions if you are not a spammer.

Film Exhibition in Baltimore (April 2010)

Well, it may be all over except for the negotiating. The Charles theater's owner will take over the Senator, (probabilistically). The details are here. The Senator being leased for one dollar a year? Sounds like a deal, though I think I hear the Senator's soon-to-be-former owner crying off in the corner somewhere...

In other news, the Charles is gearing up for the 2010 Maryland Film Festival. The schedule is here. I may have to recuse myself from too much reportage on this, as I am a member of the screening committee and, at a few screenings, I will be introducing the filmmakers and running the Q and A afterward. Dan Deacon presenting Total Recall? Bill Callahan of Smog presenting Faces? Norwegian Black Metal Doc? Japanese Noise Band Doc? Some SNL doc that James Franco made? A whole slew of cutting edge festival fare, John Waters, 3D movies, and more? I would suggest giving that schedule a good going-over and making a weekend out of it.

Up next, a new format for my Films Viewed (April 2010).