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Thread: 'R XMAS, film maudit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    4,666

    'R XMAS, film maudit

    Talk about a film that has been maligned and mistreated. Bronx-born Abel Ferrara had to get financing from France to get this otherwise all-american film made. This is the director of Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, The Addiction and The Funeral, all amerindie darlings. 'R XMAS opened in two screens in L.A. and N.Y. and video last November and barely got any notice. It features drug dealers who are happily-married, altruistic, devout catholics with a rich family life. This is not a thriller, it is a crime drama with strong sense of its time and place, NYC in '93. Ferrara is still using DP Ken Kelsch but couldn't find a part for Chris Walken this time. Soprano regular Drea De Matteo excels here as "the Wife" surrounded by a mostly latino cast. The film is not devoid of incident but it refuses to pander to the violence-and-action crowd. 'R Xmas keeps the focus on the quotidian, the little moral dilemmas, the texture of life, verisimilitude triumphs over artifice. The film deserved at least some attention. Ferrara will be heard from again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
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    5,499

    On a completely unrelated note...

    "Maudit" is also a fine Quebec beer tanking out at 9% alcohol. The same company makes "la Fin du Monde"- fitting titles for these beers- they sure as hell taste like it!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,666

    BEER and NIGHTJOHN

    I hope to have a chance to taste these beers someday. Based on my experience it's the Belgians who make the best beer and enjoy drinking the most, with the Czechs and Irish coming second. These beers are not popular here because they are NOT hot weather beers. Back to film, I wonder if I anybody has seen the films of Charles Burnett, a wonderful African-american director who deserves Spike-size fame. This term "maudit" applies to this director well. His films are so assured but so personal, they don't appeal to a large enough demographic so few have seen them. His film The GLASS SHIELD, about a black cop trying to fit in, and TO SLEEP WITH ANGER got some distribution. My favorite Burnett film eh...was made for TV by Hallmark/Disney...yep NIGHTJOHN is a masterpiece, a triumph of commercial mainstream filmmaking. The most honest, most hopeful, most inspired film about slavery and the power of literacy. If we have great holocaust cinema, why can't we have great slavery cinema?
    How can a movie this thoughtful, emotionally devastating, tough and engaging, be unknown to most cinephiles?

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