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75 posts categorized "Film" Feed

July 06, 2012

Movies You Missed 46: God Bless America

God-bless-americaThis week in movies you missed: Comedian-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait brings us a darker-than-dark comedy. A war vet decides we're a nation of mean-spirited vulgarians, so he starts executing annoying Americans. Surely you guessed the title was ironic?

What You Missed

Middle-aged Frank (Joel Murray, who played Fred Rumsen on "Mad Men") is having a bad day. His neighbors are stupid and loud. So is everybody on his TV. Everywhere he goes, people are discussing celebrities or quoting FOX News. When Frank makes a few harmless overtures to a coworker, he's fired for sexual harassment. His ex-wife is getting remarried, and his daughter is a materialistic brat.

But wait, the day isn't over! Frank's doctor informs him he has a terminal brain tumor — and pauses in the middle of his condolences to take a call.

When Frank sees a pampered teen on a reality show berating her parents because they didn't buy her the right car, he snaps. Americans aren't nice anymore. He's going to do something about it — starting with the girl on TV.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 46: God Bless America" »

June 29, 2012

Movies You Missed 45: Sound of Noise

Sound-noiseThis week in movies you missed: Music terrorists battle a lover of silence in Sweden.

What You Missed

Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson) was raised by musicians. His dad was a conductor, his mom a concert pianist, his brother a musical prodigy. He is tone-deaf.

As an adult, Warnebring heads an antiterrorism police unit and avoids music. But when he hears a suspicious ticking from inside a crashed van, he — unlike his fellow cops — knows it's not a bomb, but a metronome.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 45: Sound of Noise" »

June 25, 2012

Movies You Missed 44: Keyhole

KeyholeThis week in movies you missed: the world's strangest gangster film from Canadian director Guy Maddin.

What You Missed

In a black-and-white world that evokes the 1930s, gangster Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) brings his ragtag gang back to his home, which is stuffed to the gills with ghosts and memories.

After a shoot-out that leaves some of his men dead (they demonstrate their "dead" status by turning around and facing the wall), Ulysses rambles through the house's rooms, reliving memories of his wife, Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini), who's hiding in an upstairs room and refuses to admit him. Chained to her bed is her naked, obese father, who narrates the film and intones sinisterly, "Remember, Ulysses. Remember!"

As the family's dismal history emerges — the Pick kids don't have a good survival rate — Hyacinth and her father speculate that Ulysses seeks not revenge, but forgiveness, "which is even more threatening."

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 44: Keyhole" »

June 15, 2012

Movies You Missed 43: Thin Ice

Thin-iceThis week in movies you missed: murder and chicanery in the land of ice fishing, with Greg Kinnear playing a silver-tongued bastard.

First, a special announcement: This Monday, June 18, the Burlington Film Society is meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Palace 9 in South Burlington to watch and discuss Polisse. This is a French drama about an urban child-protection unit: Think cop show with more gritty realism. It made a splash at Cannes, was a hit in France and got great reviews here, too. It's playing all week at the Palace. So don't miss it. If you live in the area, watch the BFS page for more meetups like this.

What You Missed

"Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." That's the motto of Mickey Prohaska (Kinnear), an insurance agent who spends his life scaring and wheedling people into buying coverage they don't need. His constant hustling hasn't helped him escape frigid small-town Wisconsin — yet.

But then Mickey's guileless new salesman (David Harbour) introduces him to an old farmer named Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin, pictured). Hauer doesn't quite understand the concept of home insurance (he decides he needs it because his TV is "broken," i.e., unplugged), but he does possess a valuable antique. It's a violin that, according to a sniffy Chicago luthier (Bob Balaban), is worth $25,000. The farmer, who doesn't know that yet, is letting his beloved Australian cattle dog play fetch with the instrument.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 43: Thin Ice" »

June 08, 2012

Movies You Missed 42: Tomboy

TomboyThis week in movies you missed, a 10-year-old makes gender trouble in France.

What You Missed

When young Laure (Zoé Héran, pictured) moves to a new neighborhood with her pregnant mom (Sophie Cattani), her dad (Mathiu Demy) and her 6-year-old sister, Jeanne (Malonn Lévana), she isn't planning to pass herself off as a boy. But then she meets her next-door neighbor, Lisa (Jeanne Disson), who sizes up Laure's short hair and androgynous clothes and asks, "T'es nouveau?" ("Are you the new boy?")

Laure doesn't correct her. She offers her name as "Mikael." And so begins a summertime deception that leads to Laure beating up small boys, playing soccer, fashioning naughty bits out of modeling clay and having her first kiss with a girl.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 42: Tomboy" »

June 01, 2012

Movies You Missed 41: Goon

GoonThis week in movies you missed, a hockey movie with equal parts bloodshed, cussing and heart.

What You Missed

Seann William Scott (best known as Stifler in the American Pie series) plays Doug Glatt, a nice doctor's son whose only real talent is for violence. Punching people is what he's good at, though he's so sweet he sometimes apologizes to them first.

At a hockey game one night with his superfan friend (Jay Baruchel), Doug gets in a tussle with a player who insists on using a homophobic slur ("My brother is gay!" he objects). The coach is so impressed with the punishment Doug inflicts that he hires him to be the team's "goon," or enforcer, though Doug can barely stand up on skates.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 41: Goon" »

'Courageous Conversations,' With Art, Launch in St. Johnsbury

559549_272058466226794_1285184283_nThis month Catamount Arts begins a series called "Courageous Conversations" that will address somber issues "facing the nation in general and the Northeast Kingdom in particular," says an announcement from director Jody Fried. Poverty, mental health and disabilities are the general topics for June, July and August, respectively.

So what's the art part?

Artists have long tackled weighty topics using a variety of media, and the "Conversations" series follows suit. Catamount is augmenting its live community/panel discussions with relevant films on Monday evenings and visual-art exhibits in the organization's Eastern Avenue gallery.

Continue reading "'Courageous Conversations,' With Art, Launch in St. Johnsbury" »

May 25, 2012

Will Montpelier's Savoy Theater Close?

Terrence-youk-1Is Montpelier's Savoy Theater "Too Culturally 'Big' to Fail"?

That's the headline on a special insert that Terrence Youk (pictured right), who has owned the Savoy since late 2009, is sending to his membership list today along with the usual newsletter and appeal.

Youk continues:

Since printing the membership appeal included in this envelope, our financial position has eroded to the point where we may need to close the theater starting June 15th. This is due to very poor revenues in April and May, drastically reduced membership levels, and increasing costs (film distributors now get about 50% of our ticket sales). The shortfall is about $12,000. If we close, we will remain closed until we raise enough funds to allow the Savoy to continue, either as a theater or some other form.

Continue reading "Will Montpelier's Savoy Theater Close?" »

Movies You Missed 40: The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer

Infernal-comedyThis week in movies you missed: John Malkovich plays a psycho (again!) in this filmed theater production from Vienna.

What You Missed

Jack Unterweger was a dashing Austrian who committed murder, went to prison for life, started writing books, became a celebrated public intellectual, was released from prison, and promptly started killing again. In 1994, facing prosecution for the murders of several prostitutes, he hanged himself in his prison cell.

Malkovich plays Unterweger in this recording of a 2009 Vienna performance of the title play, written and directed by Michael Sturminger. The surreal conceit is that Unterweger, after his death, penned his memoirs and is now publicizing them from beyond the grave.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 40: The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer" »

May 18, 2012

Movies You Missed 39: Michael

MichaelThis week in movies you missed: To his friends and coworkers, Michael (Michael Fuith) seems like an average thirtysomething bachelor. He sells insurance. Takes ski trips. Buys Harry Potter books for his nephew. And makes sure to pick up an extra copy for the 10-year-old he keeps locked in his basement.

What You Missed

Five months in the lives of a pedophile and his victim (David Rauchenberger). Before you run away screaming, consider this: Michael is low-key, nongraphic and nonsensationalist. None of the horrible things you may be imagining right now happen on screen — but that is how the film gets under your skin and really disturbs you.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed 39: Michael" »

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