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Thread: NEW YORK MOVIE JOURNAL (Feb.-Mar. 2016)

  1. #16
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    GREEN ROOM (Jeremy Saulnier 2015). Preview: it opens limited 15 Apr. 2016, wider 29 Apr. Full review then. Saulnier shows even more technical skill at doing realistic clumsy violence than he did in his previous Blue Ruin. That one was about a solitary man on a revenge mission. This about a young punk band fighting off angry white suprematists at an Oregon enclave is bigger, better, more violent. It will get more attention, more audience. But in story terms it's dumber and less interesting, a step backwards: it's just a movie Saulnier long wanted to make. Complicated wrangling of action and multiple cast led him to hire a cinematographer instead of shooting himself. Well received when it opened at Cannes Directors Fortnight last year, it probably will do well with US critics. But the older audience must avoid. I frankly could barely follow and don't know the music. Watched at Park Ave. Screening Room 17 Mar. 2016.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-18-2016 at 06:13 AM.

  2. #17
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    THE CLAN/EL CLAN (Pablo Trapero 2015). A highly professional, rather than great, movie telling the chilling, astonishing story of the Puccio family in Buenos Aires in the early Eighties whose patriarch went on kidnapping folks freelance after the horrible dictatorship stopped, for personal gain, charging a million in cash dollars US, but killing the victims anyway. Victims were held at home, with sons, daughters, and wife going on as usual. Times changed, the police ally no longer cooperated, and they got rounded up and jailed for a long time. This is a handsome production enlivened by a lot of loud period pop music and featuring excellent performances by Guillermo Francella as the patriarch Arquímedes Puccio and Peter Lanzani as his very cooperative rugby star son Alex. There are several memorable sequences such as a brutal kidnaping sequence intercut with Alex having hot sex with his future bride in the back of his car. But really the most memorable image is just the serene, confident face of simply Arquímedes: smug sadist, dutiful family man. Watched at Landmark Sunshine on release day Fri. 18 Mar. 2016.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-28-2016 at 09:30 PM.

  3. #18
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    THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD (Jen Senko 2015). The filmmaker describes how a growing addiction to right-wing talk shows turned her father into a mean-spirited arch conservative. His wife eventually snuck liberal blogs into his email and he gradually changed. The larger picture is that Fox News and other conservative personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, et al., whose material is light on fact, actually do have a brainwashing effect on American listeners and this helps explain the shift to the right: Supreme Court justices Scalia and Thomas' main source of news turned out to be such broadcasts. Not a satisfactory documentary by any means, but it is relevant and relates to Noam Chomsky's books on media control and "manufacturing consent." Watched at Cinema Village 15 Mar. 2016.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2016 at 08:39 PM.

  4. #19
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    KRISHA (Trey Edward Shults 2015). A woman of a certain age visits her sister's big Texas house full of family members on Thanksgiving, the first time she's been around in ten years. She has had problems she was dealing with, emotional issues no doubt, and clearly drugs and alcohol, which she returns to on site, with disastrous results. This film took top prizes at SXSW 2015 and got nominations and awards at other festivals. It was in Cannes Critics Week. The notable aspect is that Shults kept things simple and close to home with a vengeance, keeping his costs to a minimum. (It grew out of a short and it still feels like it ought to be one.) Krisha Fairchild, an actress, who plays the lead role, is his aunt; he himself plays her son. She has been compared to Gena Rowlands and the treatment to Cassavetes -- though Shults has worked with Malick and the camerawork shows his distracting influence. The house used is his mother's, and Shults persuaded other family members to play the role of family members, along with some actors and friends who fill out the cast. Obviously this film has made a very strong impression, and it has received rave reviews upon release. But I do not like it because it is a cliched, predictable, commonplace treatment of a familiar indie film subject, which lacks specificity or interesting dialogue and wallows in misery without offering enlightenment or eloquence. That it was therapy for some family members who have had to deal with addiction and alcoholism and might be therapy for viewers does not make it a good film. Though only 83 minutes it still felt interminable. Some sound effects-plus-music early on are unbelievably grating. Watched at Landmark Sunshine Sat. 19 Mar. 2016.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-28-2016 at 09:30 PM.

  5. #20
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    MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Jeff Nichols 2015). Again with Michael Shannon and featuring the remarkable young actor Jaeden Lieberher, also in this week's release The Confirmation, previously seen in Saint Vincent, as Alton, a boy with remarkable gifts. This is a fantasy and sci-fi film that is also a thriller involving a trio of adults and the boy fleeing from the FBI, NSA, Homeland Security, and other government agencies who suspect Alton of being a foreign spy or enemy alien, which in a way he is. This relates not to Nichols' 2014 Mud but to to his second, 2011, film Take Shelter , in which Shannon's character has apocalyptic dreams but comes to believe that they are visions of the world to come. Nichols in both plays with genre in an truly interesting way, making use of special effects, and he is a good storyteller. I felt the film went on a bit long to get to a finale we know is coming. Take Shelter benefits from greater ambiguity and is perhaps the better role for Shannon. But Lieherher is good: he's the Haley Joel Osment of these days -- more remote, less charismatic, but all the better alien. Cast is solid: Adam Driver has presence as the only government guy Alton will talk to; Kirsten Dunst touching as the wife and mom; Australian actor Joel Egerton human and vulnerable as the old friend who becomes an ally on the run. This is a movie with classic genre elements treated freshly and it could grow on you. See Anthony Lane's appreciative review and you'll see why. Watched at Regal Union Square Sat. 19 Mar. 2016.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2016 at 09:30 PM.

  6. #21
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    Film Comment Selects. March/April 2016 issue.



    Apichatpong Weerasethakul interview, pre-Stonewall queer film, Kent Jones on the American voice in film, King Hu, Vincent Lindon interview, Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some, Grosses Gloss reloaded, Paul Schrader on production design, Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room
    MORE INFORMATION

    FEATURES
    CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR
    By Violet Lucca
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul talks about the conflicted moods in his new film and the lingering influences of Thailand’s troubled past

    BEFORE STONEWALL
    By Michael Koresky
    The full artistic scope of queer cinema transcends categories in its groundbreaking portrayals of desire and loss

    VINCENT LINDON
    By Joan Dupont
    The French star of The Measure of a Man explains what it takes to seem ordinary

    KING HU
    By Andrew Chan
    The martial-arts pioneer who brought dynamic grace to the genre

    THE AMERICAN VOICE IN FILM
    By Kent Jones
    On a homegrown cinematic language, where word and image are united

    GROSSES GLOSS RELOADED
    By Donald Wilson
    The revolution in streaming, which changed the industry and helped make our annual box-office chart a thing of the past

    GAME CHANGERS
    By Paul Schrader
    Production design: part nine of a technological history of cinema
    Plus: Michael Sragow interviews the visionary Jack Fisk

    DEPARTMENTS
    Editor’s letter

    OPENING SHOTS
    News, Hot Property: Pietro Marcello’s Lost and Beautiful by Nicolas Rapold, Matías Piñeiro’s In the Moment: Louise Beavers in Imitation of Life, Site Specifics: Sound Design by Matthew Morrison, Restoration Row by Max Nelson, Readers’ Poll

    CRITICS’ CHOICE
    Eight critics rate 25 new releases

    BRIEF ENCOUNTERS
    John Turturro by Harlan Jacobson

    SOUND & VISION
    David Bowie by Nick Pinkerton and Aleksandr Sokurov’s Francofonia by Christina Svendsen

    MAKE IT REAL
    All These Sleepless Nights and The Fits by Eric Hynes

    FESTIVALS
    Sundance by Amy Taubin and Laura Kern

    SCREENINGS
    Everybody Wants Some by Nick Pinkerton, The Lobster by Yonca Talu, Green Room by David Fear, Marguerite by Kristin M. Jones

    SHORT TAKES
    Emelie by R. Emmet Sweeney, Louder Than Bombs by Yonca Talu, Miles Ahead by Andrew Chan, Neon Bull by Violet Lucca, Remember by Steven Mears, Take Me to the River by Manuel Betancourt

    HOME MOVIES
    Paris Belongs to Us by Nick Pinkerton, The Southerner by Michael Sragow, A Brighter Summer Day by Andrew Chan, Nikkatsu Diamond Guys, Volume 1 by Marc Walkow, Paolo Gioli: The Complete Filmworks by Patrick Friel, Murder in the Cathedral by Graham Fuller, Creed by Eric Hynes, Try and Get Me! by Steven Mears, The Littlest Hobo by Violet Lucca, The Unseen by Nicolas Rapold

    READINGS
    Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story by Mollie Gregory, reviewed by Grady Hendrix; White Robes, Silver Screens: Movies and the Making of the Ku Klux Klan by Tom Rice, reviewed by J. Hoberman; Strange As It Seems: The Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler by Chip Jacobs, reviewed by Matthew Morrison; Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System by Emily Carman, reviewed by Farran Smith Nehme

    GRAPHIC DETAIL
    Peter Strausfeld by Adrian Curry

    Subscribe
    Film Comment Selects is published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-01-2016 at 08:42 AM.

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