Archive for the ‘ Film ’ Category
BY Beth Comery
The 2014 French Film Festival, presented by Brown University at the Cable Car Cinema, starts Thursday.
Seen here is Queen of Montreuil. Says The Hollywood Reporter,
Quirky with a capital Q, but endearing all the same, writer-director Solveig Anspach’s deadpan dramedy Queen of Montreuil brings a weeping French widow, two Icelandic refugees and one depressive sea lion into the eponymous Paris suburb for a series of mishaps, false starts and nonstop weed smoking.
Other titles include: Jeune & Jolie; Le Météore, Cycling With Moliere, Haute Cuisine, Far from Vietnam, Thérèse, et plus.
Runs February 20th through March 2nd, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Daily Dose
Founded in 1908 as the Rhode Island School for the Feeble-minded, the Ladd Center closed two decades ago after lawsuits and exposés by advocates and The Providence Journal, among other media outlets, of abuses at the Exeter institution.
Musician Mark Cutler came on board to score the movie only to discover that former Ladd resident Jimmy Isom (left in picture) had unique musical talents of his own. More money is needed to bring this worthy project to completion, so head down to the Met, give what you can, and enjoy the show featuring Mark Cutler and Men of Great Courage with special guest Jimmy Isom.
(Mr. Wolpaw is known for the screwy musical thriller, “Complex World” and received an Oscar nomination for his short documentary “Keats and His Nightingale: A Blind Date.”)
Suggested donation $10, 5pm to 7pm, Sunday, February 9th, Met Cafe, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket
BY Beth Comery
Well here’s a guy who puts the ‘mental’ in ‘monumental.’ What is going on in the landscape of the American southwest that is spawning these utterly mad and wondrous projects? First we learned of James Turrell re-purposing the Roden Crater in Arizona with his still unfinished complex of tunnels, viewing rooms, and luminous, numinous oculi (please, before I die). Now comes Ra Paulette — one state over in New Mexico, and the subject of the Oscar-nominated short documentary “CaveDigger” — who has also found his inspiration below the surface. (Trailer after the jump.) I wonder if the two men know each other.
Ra Paulette digs cathedral-like, ‘eighth wonder of the world’ art caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences.
And if you can figure out how the people marketing this particular film want you to write its title please tell me. Cavedigger, Cave Digger, or CaveDigger — I don’t care, just pick one.
Starts Friday, January 31st, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
filed under: Film |
BY Beth Comery
I was hoping this would happen because I missed one of these. Following the results of last night’s Golden Globes Awards the Cable Car Cinema has decided to hold over two of the winners: “Dallas Buyers Club” (which I liked a lot more than the NYT reviewer) and best foreign film, “The Great Beauty” (NYT review). Apparently this last one will have you booking a flight to Rome, pronto.
Journalist Jep Gambardella (the dazzling Toni Servillo, Il divo and Gomorrah) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
And in spite of its grim topic — the AIDS crisis in the mid-80’s — “Dallas Buyers Club” is not horribly depressing. There is much humor in the script and in the performances. Jared Leto, who won last night for best supporting actor, is stunning in more ways than one; and best actor winner Matthew McConaughey has finally won me over (a process that began in 2011 with “Bernie”).
Held over through January 29th and 30th, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Beth Comery
Keep eyes peeled for a rebroadcast of “Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’” on the PBS show ‘American Masters’ and get ready to swoon. What a sweetie he was. There’s lots of new old footage, inside background anecdotes, and great music. And the clothes! Utter Edwardian-psychedelic-hippie fabulousness . . . what an exquisite creature. Be warned, you will immediately have to go fill in the tracks missing from your iPod.
Hair as metaphor: Al Pacino is stunning in the HBO movie “Phil Spector,” and the writing is fantastic. It is also something of a lawyering procedural (is that a genre?) although this is not a defense either you or I could ever afford. When Spector arrives for his last court appearance . . . priceless.
Also on HBO this year, “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” which will be much easier to watch now that they have been released from prison. The courage of these young women is humbling. The fearful pride exhibited by family members is wrenching. The New York Times reported yesterday that “The first public screening in Russia of a documentary about the activist group Pussy Riot was canceled by the government at the last minute on Saturday.” Stay tuned.
Showtime recently ran “Sweet Summer Sun” a documentary of last July’s Hyde Park show (featuring Lisa Fischer of “20 Feet From Stardom” on “Gimme Shelter”). And that’s Mick Taylor on guitar. Showtime is running it again 11pm on New Year’s Eve. It’s available On Demand through January.
Saturday Night Live used to be a great place to discover exciting new talent, but now features Top 40 millionaires like Katy Perry/Rihanna/One Direction, or acts like the dreary and mystifyingly successful Kings of Leon/Arcade Fire — with the egregious Justin Timberlake laser show extravaganza being the worst anything of 2013. But then, one magical night, the audience was treated to the insanely delightful exuberance of newish sister act Haim (rhymes with ‘rhyme’). The studio audience exploded at the end of their song “The Wire.” I wish I could link to the video but Hulu has pulled it, and SNL has buried it, so I give up.
Top honors go to “Twenty Feet From Stardom.” Shown at the Avon this long-overdue story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century finally gave the spotlight to the likes of Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, and my fave, the stylish, muse Claudia Lennear. (Lennear was probably Jagger’s ‘Brown Sugar.’ Nice piece in HuffPo 9.16.13 by another Lennear fan. Her solo album has been reissued.). The movie covers decades, from early Ray Charles sessions up through Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, the Rolling Stones and more. The Brits sure kept these gals working and still do; Lisa Fischer performed with the Rolling Stones in Hyde park this summer (see above). The story of rousing Merry Clayton out of bed in the middle of the night to lay down the “Gimme Shelter” track is hilarious. Then the isolated track echoes through the theater speakers . . . absolute chills.
In May the Cable Car ran the absorbing documentary “The Source Family” which examines 70’s guru Father Yod, his gaggle of sister wives, obligatory Rolls Royce, and the dynamics of psychological manipulation. Unlike other cults this California group was much more out in the world, even launching a rock band of sorts. And the music wasn’t horrible.
Also at the Cable Car this year, now in my queue: “A Band Called Death,” which has revived interest in these black 70’s proto-punkers — Detroit brothers who wanted to play hard-rocking “white boys music” (NYT review); “Sound City,” for musicians and engineers as well as fans (NYT review); and “The Punk Singer” about Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill (NYT review).
BY Beth Comery
(12.24) Ever seen this one in a real movie theater? Here’s your chance. Starting this Friday and running through Christmas eve, the Cable Car Cinema will be screening the 1946 Frank Capra classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” New York Times reviewer Bosley “Bah Humbug” Crowther found it a little on the sentimental side.
Thomas Mitchell, Beulah Bondi, H. B. Warner and Samuel S. Hinds stand out among the group of assorted small-town characters who give the picture variety and verve. But Lionel Barrymore’s banker is almost a caricature of Scrooge, and Henry Travers’ “heavenly messenger” is a little too sticky for our taste.
Well, life was probably hard on a child named Bosley Crowther. My main complaint with the movie is that the worst fate imaginable for a woman was that she would remain unmarried and become a librarian. Also, was it the Dewey Decimal System or chronic celibacy that caused the bushy eyebrows?
Running time 130 minutes. (The fact that conscientious bank examiners once walked the earth will probably have to be explained to the younger members of the audience.)
Friday, December 20th, through Tuesday, December 24th, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street, 401.272.3970
BY H.L. Parker
Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. From The New York Times review:
Ms. Hanna herself appears in new interviews and in footage showing her dealing with the effects of Lyme disease. (The illness led to her uncharacteristic quiet during the mid-2000s.) The film shifts gears from the Bikini Kill parts to depict her climb back into the spotlight (doted upon by her husband, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys). The poignancy of being betrayed by her body, after fighting for the prerogative of its use and portrayal, is the film’s subtlest undercurrent.
Lyme disease? How unpunk sounding. Where would a riot grrrl cross paths with a deer tick?
Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna “The Punk Singer” takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.
Not rated. Running time 80 minutes.
Through Thursday, December 19th, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Daily Dose
A ‘Q&A’ with “American Promise” directors Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson follows the Friday screening at 7pm and the Saturday noon and 6pm screenings at the Cable Car Cinema.
A documentary 13 years in the making, American Promise provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class Black families as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons. Our goal is to empower boys, their parents and educators and help close the black male achievement gap.
Running time 140 minutes, not rated. Through Thursday, December 12, NYT review.
“American Promise” starts Friday, December 6, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Annie Messier
(11/30) Today only, with showings from 1 p.m. through 9 p.m., the Cable Car Cinema is featuring the Short Story Film Festival, an international collection of live-action and animated films whose only common denominator is a six-minute limit.
From the Facebook event page:
The Heartstrings Program (3pm, 7pm) leans towards live action with films exploring the fragility of human bonds, the search for meaning, or finding humor in the struggles of everyday life.
The Headtrip Program (1pm, 5pm, and 9pm) is more animated and features dystopian visions, satires skewering current trends, unsettling psychological dramas, and mysterious voices from distant lands.
Audience members can vote on their favorites, and DJ Madame B will be spinning tunes in the lobby in between showings.
Saturday, 11/30, Cable Car, 204 South Main Street
BY Daily Dose
The Rhode Island Film Collaborative invites you to join us for the 6th Annual RIFC Black & White Fundraising Gala, Saturday, December 7th. The theme this year — the Roaring Twenties.
6pm — Cocktail Reception $25 for RIFC Members ($35 non-Members). Enjoy a complimentary Cocktail, Live Band, Hors d’oeuvres and much more. Delicious delights from Ellie’s Bakery, Vanity, and Lauren’s Cupcakes.
8pm — General Admission $15 for RIFC Members ($25 for non-members)
Live Performance by Superchieftrio/Burlesque performance by The Royal Providence Burlesque/Open Air Photo Booth hosted by Kaitlyn Bouchard Photography/Living Art/Door Prize Drawing, 50/50 Raffle and Find the Key to unlock Al Capone’s Vault Contest!
Saturday, December 7, RI Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Facebook event page
BY Beth Comery
Crispin Glover makes every movie he’s in better. Whether he’s upstaging Dennis Hopper in “River’s Edge” or creating an utterly new villain in “Charlie’s Angels” — you just want his face to be on the screen at all times. Mr. Glover will be coming to town this month to present the labor-of-love project that those Hollywood roles have bankrolled — his slide show and the two installments of his “It” trilogy.
Glover last came to town in September of 2011 with his “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Part 2″ at the Granoff Center. And, while his oddball reputation is well established, let me take this opportunity to note how charming and dapper he is in person. He appeared much like this image here — same suit I think. The following thoughts are based on that 2011 show, and there may have been changes in the format since. (This review of a June production at the Museum of Arts and Design seems to describe a somewhat different event, although it is still called a slide show.) And for reasons best known to the artist the show will be performed in reverse order; if you were thinking of attending both nights I don’t think it matters in the slightest.
The slide show was the highlight of the event and came first in the evening. Glover stood on the stage reading from a screen showing stills from his book, illustrations of oddities with curious subtitles, adding commentary and gesturing awkwardly. This part was wildly entertaining and Glover was positively beguiling. The movies however (at the Granoff show we were shown “It is Fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE”) are a rather different story. My main problem was that I could not understand/hear the dialogue at all, but I’m not sure that would have made a difference. This is pretty challenging stuff and not my cup of tea, but you had to watch the movie to get to the Q&A and book signing. Your call.
Saturday, November 30: Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Part 2 with the movie “It is Fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE” with a Q&A and book signing.
Sunday, December 1: Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Part 1 with “What is it?” and a Q&A and book signing.
BY Beth Comery
With special Q&A with Providence-based filmmaker and director Laura Colella on Friday and Saturday. “Breakfast with Curtis” was filmed in Providence, and will kick off its theatrical release here two weeks before its New York opening, after a festival run that earned it several awards and an Independent Spirit Award Nomination. We wrote about the film earlier this year when it began making waves around the country. Recently the Cable Car began startling local audiences with its reel of coming attractions (trailer after the jump) causing much chatter and finger pointing — “Hey, I know that house!” In a nutshell:
Syd, an eccentric bookseller with delusions of grandeur fueled by red wine, caused a rift five years ago between the freewheeling bohemian residents of his house and the family next door. Over the course of a balmy summer, he now tries to draft the boy next door to make videos for his online book business. Introverted young Curtis is reluctant at first, but soon gets drawn in by Syd’s creative fervor. Their unlikely bond dissolves bad blood between their households, replacing old grudges and repressed secrets with new camaraderie and fresh possibility.
Colella made the film with all-local actors and crew on a tiny budget with her neighbors playing the main roles, and using our homes in Providence’s Mt. Hope neighborhood as principal locations (who hasn’t driven past this house a thousand times?). The movie has been enthusiastically received including a rave from Paul Thomas Anderson: “I absolutely love it,” says Anderson. “You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a smile from beginning to end.”
Opens, 7pm, Friday, November 22, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Beth Comery
Now on view — Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.
Between 1964 and 1966, Warhol created more than 350 Screen Tests, 20 of which are screened in this exhibition. Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Nico, Lou Reed, and Susan Sontag were among the hundreds of subjects, all posed and recorded on 100-foot rolls of silent, black & white film by Warhol’s stationary 16mm Bolex camera. These portraits are projected in slow motion so that each lasts about four minutes; as a sequence, they induce an almost hypnotic reverie that “help the audiences get more acquainted with themselves,” as Warhol once said.
‘Screen Tests’ runs through May 11 in the Spalter New Media Gallery. A screening of two other Warhol films, ‘Kiss’ and ‘Eat’ (also silent and in black and white) is scheduled for November 21st at the Metcalf Auditorium.
filed under: Film |
BY Daily Dose
(11.16) The Brown University Center for Language Studies and American Sign Language program present a screening of director Mark Wood’s comedy Versa Effect (2011). The film is about a body switch that occurs between two feuding school teachers who are both deaf.
The film was favorably reviewed by DeafNetwork.com:
Versa Effect is the first comedy film directed by the venerable Mark Wood. Versa Effect is filmed in the vein of Freaky Friday that will be enjoyed by everyone of all ages!
The film contains no soundtrack and a script that is entirely in sign language. Running time 90 minutes. Rated PG.
5pm, Saturday November 16, Friedman Auditorium, Metcalf Building, 190 Thayer Street,
BY Beth Comery
The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America presents a screening of The House I Live In, a documentary about America’s unsuccessful war on drugs. The documentary follows the lives of everyone involved in the drug industry, from the law enforcement to the drug dealers, senators, and grieving mothers.
A brainstorming session will follow the screening. The session will be led by Bryonn Bain, Tim Mitchell, Gerald Torres, Tricia Rose, as well as scholar, civil rights activist, and the first African-American woman tenured professor at Harvard Law School, Lani Guinier.
(For more on the failed war on drugs, go to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.)
Free and open to the public, 7pm, Thursday, November 7, Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching, Main Green Brown University (directions)
BY Beth Comery
Here at the Dose we believe that it is occasionally good for you to step away from the computer, leave the house, and interact with the world. Head over to Acme Video and wander around the stacks and you might find a gem or genre you never knew existed. Get more info from proprietor Ralph Goudreau, a knowledgeable movie fan, although you can talk to him about anything because he’s smart and funny and interesting. There’s a wide selection of current titles and your fave TV series as well as the more obscure treasures.
Damon Darlin wrote a column in The New York Times a while back “Serendipity, Lost in the Digital Deluge” about the happy accidents that can occur when we get to browse . . . library shelves, bibliographies, record stores, book stores, newspapers.
WE’VE gained so much in the digital age. We get more entertainment choices, and finding what we’re looking for is certainly fast. Best of all, much of it is free.
But we’ve lost something as well: the fortunate discovery of something we never knew we wanted to find. In other words, the digital age is stamping out serendipity.
Go rent a movie this week. Everybody. Just do it. Sooner rather than later.
Acme Video, 137 Brook Street, 4pm to 10pm Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays, 401.453.2263, directions