December 23, 2007

Vacation Matinees With a Culinary Rat

Ratatouille

The Cinecultist is on vacation this week in Northern California spending the holidays with the fam but if you're in the New York area and looking for some heartwarming cinema head to Queens. The Museum of the Moving Image will be showing vacation week matinées of Ratatouille, one of Cinecultist's favorite flicks of the year, every day at 1:30 pm. They are also organizing post-screening workshops for children to teach them the fundamentals of animation. So if you know any budding Brad Birds, age 6 and up, bring them along.

Tickets for the museum and the screenings cost $10.00 for adults; $7.50 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $5.00 for children ages 5-18. Children under 5 and Museum members are admitted free. 35 Avenue at 36 Street in Astoria. Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Company.

June 26, 2007

"The Vending Machine Says Hi"

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The New York Asian Film Festival began this past weekend, and on Sunday night amidst the residual brouhaha of Pride weekend in the West Village, Cinecultist caught a screening of I'm A Cyborg But That's Okay at the IFC Center. We've been anticipating Park Chan-wook's newest as well as the sixth annual fest from the folks at Subway Cinema and for the most part neither parties disappointed. Complex visuals and kooky characters from Park? Check. High energy programmer Grady Hendrix acting delightfully spastic as he introduces the film and gives away free stuff? Double check.

Unfortunately I'm A Cyborg, while containing a lot of great moments (including the part where one of the characters utters that bizarre and hilarious line we used for the headline), isn't uniformly as compelling as some of Park's previous work. Set in a mental institution, the two main characters are Young-goon (Su-jeong Lim, who played one of the sisters from A Tale of Two Sisters) and Il-Sun (Rain, a HUGE Asian pop star), who fall for each other while trying to cope with their mental instability. Il-Sun believes he has the ability to steal people's character traits as well as their prized possessions while Young-goon thinks herself a cyborg and chats with inanimate objects in the hospital like the fluorescent lights and the aforementioned vending machine. Of course because she's animatronic, Young-goon believes she needs to be recharged with electricity rather than refueled with conventional food, a theory at odds with the standard practices of a hospital.

Like in his previous films, Park's movies really take off when he enters his characters' warped perspectives. The sequence where Young-goon becomes the cyborg and takes out all of the evil "white 'uns" holding her hostage with her automatic rifle fingers is spectacular. It's just that some of the internal logic of the crazy people was tough to parse. Psychosis isn't really the most light topic, nor the stuff of obvious romantic comedy, so there are times where the craziness seems tacked on and solvable. There seems to be something disingenuous about creating characters with debilitating phobias and then implying they could just "make themselves better" if they really wanted. While we'd never try to expect a Park Chan-wook to be "realistic," it's usually at least believable and consistently compelling. In that respect, I'm a Cyborg isn't as powerful as you'd hope.

The rest of our screening schedule for the fest: on Thursday Takashi Miike's Big Bang Love, Juvenile A which stars jail-bait handsome Ryuhei Matsuda and includes a Mayan pyramid, a Chinese movie (tangentially) recommended by Grady, Getting Home next Sunday, and then Hula Girls, which is always a crowd favorite according to our friend William, the following Monday.

We've also been toying with the idea of finally buying a DVD copy of The Taste of Tea, which CC saw at NYAFF a few years ago. However our poor, belabored credit card isn't quite buying our rationale about the importance of supporting good Asian cinema with our American dollars.

May 3, 2007

Some Serious Tribeca Fatigue

Holy moly, the Cinecultist is exhausted. Today was the first day in nearly a week and a half when we weren't running off to a screening for the Tribeca Film Festival. It's been a fun few weeks, especially when we were actually hanging out down in Tribeca, but now CC's ready for a break from the movies, the parties and remembering to bring our festival pass when we leave the apartment.

Here's what we saw, and a brief review:

  • Planet B-Boy - A doc about the annual break dancing competition in Germany, it's fun to see the acrobatic boogying, though it's not a strong on the history of hip hop as say Style Wars is.
  • Napoleon and Me - Is it just CC or could you also watch Monica Bellucci recite entries from the phonebook on screen? This Italian period comedy about Napoleon's exile to Elba with Daniel Auteuil as the aging dictator was cute but no revelation.
  • West 32nd - One of our favorite films from the festival, CC accosted its star John Cho at a Tribeca party to tell him so and he nicely offered to introduce us to the equally chill and friendly director Michael Kang. We interviewed him for Gothamist today and recommended the movie last week in a roundup of New York themed flicks at the fest. Hopefully it'll get picked up for distribution soon.
  • Lost in Beijing - Starring the other Tony Leung (Ka Fai, not the more famous in the US/Infernal Affairs Tony Leung Chiu Wai), this character study reminded us of a French film, but maybe because it has nudity, marital ennui, partner swapping, class divide and adultery in it.
  • Still Life - We're not (too) embarrassed to admit that CC fell asleep for about a half hour during the middle of Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke's newest. Mostly because when we woke up, CC could still follow the plot. Yeah, it moved that slowly. The cinematography of the demolished Three Gorges Dam area is totally gorgeous and the movie reminded us of Michelangelo Antonioni's Eclipse. Depending on your feelings about Antonioni, you'll see that as a recommendation or a diss.
  • Blue State - Hear our solemn vow: we will never ever ever see anything with Breckin Meyer in it again. That guy just sucks, there's no two ways about it. Cute concept (liberal guy moves to Canada after 2004 election) but Anna Paquin could do much better than slumming with the Breck.
  • The Gates - Christo and Jean-Claude are too adorable for words. While parts of this doc about the making of the 2005 art piece in Central Park does drag, the footage from the late '70s and early '80s when they first pitched the idea to the city is totally fascinating. It's so cool that the Mayles brothers have been capturing Christo and Jean-Claude's career for so long that they'd have that historical continuity. A very fitting close to the fest.
  • Purple Violets - We've long given up that Ed Burns will make an original, interesting movie but was curious to see how Selma Blair would do in a more conventional romantic comedy. We still love her, but this is not her best role, despite acting opposite the always hunky and thoughtful Patrick Wilson. One might say Burns has a rare gift for making even these two actors look bad.

It's a weird mix of movies to see we know, and bear in mind timing kept us from some screenings we intended to catch. However, Tribeca is sort of an odd, hodge podge kind of festival, so maybe our selections were fitting for the spirit of the thing.

April 11, 2007

Hey, That Giant Packet of French Fries Just Cut In Line

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A little camera phone action from the press line at last night's premiere screening of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. It seems sort of messed up that the stars of this blockbuster in the making had to wait in line to get in, but that they had the nerve to elbow their way in front of the Cinecultist was even more unbelievable.
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Quick, get in the theater concession line for the free popcorn before Meatwad makes it through security. He seems like the kind of guy to boggart all of the snacks.

February 2, 2007

A Little Snoring Coming From the Back Row

For the Cinecultist, moviegoing is a full body contact sport. Not content to just be a regular kind of movie person who laughs at jokes, cries at tragedy and says "awww" at kittens or small children, CC will leap out of our seat at unexpected acts of violence or fall asleep during the boring bits. For CC watching a movie isn't passive, it's utterly active. Except for that habit of sometimes sleeping during the movies, of course. Seriously, we've taken brief cat naps in pretty much every major movie house in New York and after last night can add the IFC Center to the unfortunate list. Worse yet, we think our tendency to "breathe loudly" while sleeping may have disturbed the woman next to us trying to enjoy the red carpet movie premiere of the documentary, East of Havana. Oops. Our bad.

When we arrived at the Sixth Avenue theater last night at 7:20 p.m., the line of photographers and journos at the red carpet were in full twitter snapping photos and yelling to Charlize Theron. Theron produced East of Havana which was directed by her long time friend Jauretsi Saizarbitoria and Emilia Menocal, so there was quite a downtown New York celeb contingency at the screening. Inside we spotted our imaginary boyfriend Justin Theroux, Famke Jensen, and some other cool fashion-y types (the night was sponsored by DKNY). CC was just there to see the movie, not mingle, so we waited kind of impatiently reading our New Yorker as the bold face names trickled in until 8 p.m..

The movie started out well enough, with a very stylized, graffiti-inspired photo montage of the main characters in the doc. Following the lives of three young rappers in Cuba, the film tries to show with grace the catch-as-catch-can life on the island. The music on the soundtrack is quite good and the rappers' screen presence telling their stories is moderately engaging. However, there's no particular drama in the hour and 20 minutes and a bunch of pretty pictures of decaying Havana don't add up to anything substantial. About 40 minutes in, CC started to feel the full effect of our 5 p.m. happy hour beer and began to get the heavy eye lids. Then, because we were leaning to the right slightly to read the subtitles around a guy's big head, our nodding off at this point may have bugged our neighbor. If so, we heartily apologize. We never mean to sleep at the movies, it just happens sometimes when the action on screen doesn't totally compel. The sad reality, because the filmmakers seemed so well-meaning and earnest in their introductions, is that this movie probably shouldn't be on the big screen. On television, particularly somewhere like MTV or Fuse, it's music video-esque flashy editing would really pop. But as a feature film, it was snore city.

Cinecultist skipped the surely star-studded after party. People who nap during the screening don't really deserve free drinks and celeb gawking.

Posted by karen at 10:42 AM | IFC Center, premieres | Comments (0)

January 19, 2007

Your Official Outré Double Feature For This Weekend

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As CC mentioned yesterday on our Gothamist weekly picks, New York film goers have quite a double feature option for those who like their movies bizarre AND brilliant. See a Quay Brothers collection at Film Forum (machines! doll heads! weird sexual repression!) then David Lynch's classic Eraserhead (industrial landscapes! alien-looking babies! weird sexual repression!). They should practically be setting up a shuttle service to bring the hardcore film viewers from midtown to the West Village or vice-versa.

Both run for a week only, so make your plans now.

Posted by karen at 5:21 PM |

October 6, 2006

Wielding Our Opinion For Good, Not Evil

An events heads up for fans of new film technologies, the HDFest comes to New York tonight with screenings at the Tribeca Screening Room. As the name aptly implies, this is a film festival devoted to high definition cameras and projection which is touring a number of international spots this fall. Now in their sixth year, HDFest features independently produced comedy and sci fi shorts as well as full length features.

Cinecultist will be one of the judges tonight for the comedy selection, so if you're at the fest be sure to say hello. The schedule is 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm for the Comedy Shorts, 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm for the Sci Fi and Other Worldly Shorts and then from 9:30 pm to 11 pm, the New York premiere of John Putch's feature, Mojave Phone Booth. Tickets cost $10 for each of the short programs and $12 for the feature. They can be purchased online or at the box office.

Posted by karen at 1:08 PM |

October 2, 2006

Hob Nobbing, Shmoozing at NYFF Opening Night Party

Every year the New York Film Festival throws a big shindig at Tavern on the Green to fête the festival and Cinecultist has always been curious to attend. So when our friend William invited CC to be his plus one at said black tie event, we hopped at the opportunity. The party included a full dinner buffet, tasty deserts and an open bar for a few random celebs, film society members, New York film types and their hangers on, like CC.

While we didn't snap a photo of gorgeous guest Helen Mirren who was holding court at the Miramax table, we did take a few others seen below.

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It was 11 pm when the party kicked off, so unfortunately we only had room for dessert—that and a few generously poured glasses of white wine.

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In the outside courtyard area of Tavern on the Green which abuts Central Park, they have tons of lanterns and twinkle lights strung up in the trees. CC is such a sucker for twinkle lights, they're lovely.

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Our evening's invitation poses with Cinecultist's pass to the festival. (No, that's not actually a picture of us on the pass but we've still been able to get into the screenings, fortunately.)

Posted by karen at 11:07 AM |

July 21, 2006

See 13 Tzameti With Gothamist

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Sometimes the Cinecultist gets really, really obsessive about a new movie and we've gone completely gaga for 13 Tzameti a new French film which will be starting a run at the Film Forum next weekend. We've arranged via Gothamist with Palm Pictures, the distributors of the film, to do an advance screening next Tuesday night which should be really fun. While it's usually joking when we call something a "taut psychological thriller" in this case, we're completely serious. This movie about a immigrant roofer in France who gets embroiled in an underworld roulette game had us on the edge of our seat, covering our eyes and then gasping audibly at the end. Plus, it's gorgeous to look at, shot in black and white and on 70 mm with Cinemascope, like an old film but made utterly modern.

We hate to tell you more about the plot because it would ruin the fun of the movie's clever story, so just email into Gothamist [gothamist contest at gmail dot com] for a free ticket or promise us you'll go next week to Film Forum. Promise? Okay, good.

Posted by karen at 5:14 PM |

July 13, 2006

Q&A City

While compiling our weekly posting for Gothamist today about this week's new releases, Cinecultist realized there's a bunch of director Q&As and movie happenings in the city this weekend. We thought we'd make a hand dandy listing for you NYC metro readers to guide a little of your viewing/director-stalking.

• William H. Macy and director Stuart Gordon - Edmond - 6:35 pm, Lincoln Plaza on Friday - 8:10 pm, Quad on Saturday

• Ed Burns - The Groomsmen - 5:30 pm, Village East on Friday - 3:20 pm, Village East on Saturday

• post screening premiere party - Oh in Ohio - 7:30 pm, Loew's on 19th St on Friday; party at B Bar

Rooftop films - Messenger by Dan Leeb - 8:30 pm, live music by Key; 9:00 pm screening on the roof of Automotive High School

Also, FYI on two future events that you may want to purchase tickets for now:

Young Friends of Film at Lincoln Center will be screening Factotum with a Matt Dillon Q&A on August 4 at 7:30 pm. $60 Film Society member and general public/$50 for YFF member tickets, which includes a cocktail party after the film.

BAM Cinematek presents a preview screening of Half Nelson with a Q&A with the filmmakers, Ryan Nelson and Anna Boden moderated by Stu VanAirsdale of The Reeler.com on August 9 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10/$7 for students under 25.

Go commune with movie geeks! It'll be fun. Cinecultist will be there, won't you?

Posted by karen at 6:01 PM |

May 16, 2006

Happy Birthday To CC!

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Every year on May 16th, Cinecultist wakes up thinking about that scene from 16 Candles where Anthony Michael Hall serenades a mortified Molly Ringwald. "You say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too!" But while that scene's goofy, silly and obviously memorable, it's not really a happy birthday story. Though now that we think about it, are there really any honestly heart-warming movie moments about birthdays? In Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore ends up just pleased he's received a part of a broken balloon he can put inside an empty honey pot. That's not so happy happy either, mostly just sweetly melancholy.

No matter. Cinecultist is determined to be chipper and up beat all day today despite rain, day job annoyances and general Tuesday-ness. And tonight, we're going to celebrate with the birthday food of champions: some wine and cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Rivington St. Please leave us birthday comments below, especially if you can think of some real happy birthday movie moments.

Posted by karen at 9:02 AM | | Comments (3)

March 6, 2006

'Crash' Wins? Holy Crud.

Cinecultist has an award ceremony hang over this morning. Probably not as bad as the cast of Crash mind you, but we did sit on the couch for five hours last night watching the pre-show coverage and then the telecast itself, so we're tired today. Though at least we didn't have to go on the Jimmy Kimmel show afterwards and try to be witty like poor host Jon Stewart did.

CC live blogged the whole sordid affair with Jen Chung on Gothamist which was a lot of fun. Jen is a serious fanatic about film and you know CC respects that kind of fandom. So far there are 118 comments on the post, zowie.

In terms of our predictions for the Oscars, we admit we're no Dave Karger in terms of accuracy. We got almost 2/3 right with the wins for Crash as best picture, Rachel Weisz for best supporting actress, Brokeback Mountain for adapted screenplay and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as best actor all coming as surprises. Frankly, this is why we never enter Oscar pools. For the full list of winners with their fellow nominees via Oscar.com.

And now, let the "Oscar hates gay cowboys" backlash begin!

Posted by karen at 8:56 AM |

February 14, 2006

Bah Humbug to Feb. 14th

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Cinecultist had mostly decided to ignore that today is Valentine's Day. After all it's an annoying, consumeristic, excluding holiday that we don't even have time to celebrate even if we wanted to, since things are crazy busy at the Day Job. But everything from girls carrying flowers on the subway this morning to the line of people waiting outside the Godiva chocolates near the office conspired against our fingers in the ears strategy.

If that's the way you're going to be Valentine's Day, fine. We don't like your sneaky proliferation tactics but we accept that people in the world are in love and feel they must celebrate it with blooms and sugar and kissie faces. Blech. If we were going to be cutesy about the "holiday," it would probably include a re-viewing of Amélie. Audrey Tautou plays the titular naif who decides to mend her isolated ways by helping out the lives of people around her with secret good works.

There's so many parts to this completely charming Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie that we love (not least of which involves a traveling garden gnome) but the romance between Amélie and Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) is surely one of them. The quirky photo-booth picture collections, the motorbike and those brown eyes, sigh. It's enough to make CC all unnecessarily sappy and gooey and we can't have that.

Fight the power this February 14th! Don't let the homogenizing Hallmark celebrations get you down!

Posted by karen at 2:48 PM |

February 9, 2006

My She Was Yar

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A long stressful day at the Day Job with many more left until a break has the Cinecultist longing for a nice double feature. As a fan of the comedies of remarriage, we noted with glee Symphony Space's The Awful Truth and The Philadelphia Story match up this weekend. The four blissful hours of Cary Grant goodness begins at 4 pm. Sigh. Witty banter, WASPy accents and Katherine Hepburn in some very chic trousers sounds like the ideal way to spend Sunday.

If you can't make it this weekend darlings, there's also going to be a screening of these two on Tuesday, ie. that most evilest of Hallmark holidays, Valentine's Day. Block out the cooing couples and proliferation of message heart candies with serious contemplation of the most important question ever: if you were Katie Hepburn would you choose Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant? For the record, CC's a Grant girl but we can see the appeal of Jim.

Posted by karen at 11:11 PM |

December 5, 2005

In China, When Things Were Golden

On Friday night, Cinecultist dragged our tired butt* up town to the Museum of Modern Art to see the opening screening in a series of Chinese films to celebrate the centenary of Chinese cinema, Bright Lights, Big City. We also had a ulterior personal motivation for attending, as well as of course our love for movies from China, our dear friend William who works for Asian Cinevision curated the series along with our former NYU professor Zhang Zhen and a curator from MoMA Jytte Jensen. It may seem sort of odd to attend a film to cheer on the programmer but that’s the rarified and super film geeky world the Cinecultist lives in.

Anyhow, Wild Rose the film that kicked of the series is from 1932 and is a part of this group of “golden age” films from Chinese cinema, before the advent of sound in their industry but when acting, composition and theme were really flowering. Like American movies from the ‘20s and early ‘30s, the Chinese had their own star system and movies grouped around particular stars’ personas except they also throw in either good Socialist values or good Confucian values into the plot. In other words, just when you think the movie is going to be about the love relationship between the country girl who fell in love with the bourgeois painter boy, it’s actually about the painter boy’s awakening to his duty for his country and its poor people. Except for our slight cultural disconnect on what made for a happy ending to this movie (seeing our protagonist march with the people is supposed to put a lump in our throat, right?), it was actually a fun little rom com. There’s banter (as much as you can banter via Chinese intertitles) and slapstick (the country girl took off her shoes at the fancy party and then knocked over the tea cart), it was a good time. Also, MoMA has employed an accompanist for the films so what you may think of as “silent film” isn’t really quite so quiet.

The series runs through Dec. 22 so if you get a chance to head uptown you really ought to catch some of this group, they all look really interesting. In particular, we’d recommend catching The Goddess this Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 pm or Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 pm. If you’ve seen Maggie Cheung’s brilliant performance in Center Stage, Stanley Kwan’s paean to the silent star Ruan Lingyu who killed herself at the age of 25, this is one of the roles Maggie reenacts to such great affect. In this one Ruan Lingyu plays a prostitute driven to murder for the sake of her son and we’ve heard it’s a really five hanky affair. Isn’t women’s melodrama grand?

*Which is our excuse for that very brief, 10 minute nap in the middle. That the Cinecultist -- trying to get a nap in at every major reperatory screening space in the five boroughs.

Posted by karen at 9:04 AM |

September 21, 2005

A Bevy of Birthdays

Pol_Plots_Bday_mid.jpeThings are a touch crazed for the Cinecultist this week. Our grandparents are in town visiting from California. We're closing the issue at the Day Job. And a whole bunch of our friends are turning a year older, today in particular. So many happy happy returns to the lovely Jen, Aaron and Briana (who doesn't have a blog to link to but is still really cool) today. In honor of, and as a birthday gift to everyone, we've posted a link to the hilarious 10 minute short, Pol Pot's Birthday by Talmage Cooley [free registration required] which we first saw last year at the RESfest.

While none of our birthday friends are crazed, murdering despots, we still wish we could give them all golden retriever puppies to show how much we care. (This statement makes much more sense after you've seen the video, so please click over straight away.)

Posted by karen at 11:16 AM |

September 19, 2005

Pretty Fly For A White Guy

Many thanks to our Toronto Correspondent William for filling us in last week on the buzz films at the Canadian film festival that's often the first stop to Oscar. To catch up on his coverage, read one, two and three installments. Festivals can be a wonderful way to pack a lot in to a few days but they can also be exhausting. The Cinecultist should know as New York hosted both the CMJ music festival and the RES fest for digital video this past weekend. We may need all week to be totally recouped.

On Saturday night, Matty and CC attended an intriguing retrospective o' Beck videos as a part of RES's excellent four days of programming at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. This group of videos reminded CC what we've known since we saw him perform in '96 in our college gym, Beck is the full package. His music is always intriguing and thought-provoking but it's also catchy as hell. Plus, his quest for innovation extends into the visual as well. He's worked with a number of well known video directors like Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Mark Romanek and Stéphane Sednaoui as well up in coming ones and has even directed himself a few times. In his work, Beck plays with his own image (he's in an Indian headdress, he's a '60s popster, he's a disembodied cartoon head) and yet he's also funny and a showman. An entertainer with a brain, how delightful.

We caught another real showboat later on Saturday, though not on stage. Anton Newcombe, the singer from the Brian Jonestown Massacre and one of the stars of the docu Dig! was standing right in front of the door when we got to Pianos later for the Spinto Band show. And when we say right in front, we mean smack dab. Blocking the entrance. A fire hazard, if you will. It was also flustering because despite the music venue, it was so out of context. And of course, being Anton and quickly noting our confusion at his location in front of the door, he started miming like he was the doorman, directing us to go in one at a time. Anton's like that weird guy in high school whose attention seeking antics make you roll your eyes but inwardly, secretly you sort of admire him.

Oh and speaking of seeing famous people out of context, we should also mention that last Thursday after work, our artsy co-workers Melinda and Jonathan took us along to the opening for Amanda de Cadenet's photography show at Stanley Wise gallery in SoHo. Weaving our way around the space, we didn't expect to spot Keanu Reeves standing over in a back corner looking morose, scruffy and dressed all in black. Smile Keanu! You have major Matrix money! You're in Manhattan, it's the end of the humidity season, life is good.

Dude, some people have no sense of perspective.

Posted by karen at 8:54 AM |

September 16, 2005

A Man With Many Nicknames

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Some know him as Ziggy Stardust. Others call him the Thin White Duke. Though as Cinecultist watched David Bowie take the Central Park Summerstage last night with the Arcade Fire as a part of CMJ, we couldn't help but think of him as that guy who freaked us out in Labyrinth. ('Member Labyrinth? Young Jennifer Connelly? '80s New Wave Bowie? Muppets? Awesomeness? Yeah, sure you do.) But maybe that's because it was really tough to see the stage. We think perhaps everyone got taller somehow during the encore. Anyhow, despite the need to hop up and down to get a glimpse of his white suit, it was pretty damn exciting. For a little more of a visual recounting, check Lawrence's photos via Flickr.

Posted by karen at 9:06 AM |

September 9, 2005

When Directors Go Out On The Town

Last night, Cinecultist went to the launch party for the next four volumes of the popular Director's Label dvds. It's a chance to see the collected music and experimental video work of Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek and Stéphane Sednaoui all at once. CC'd hoped when we got the invite for some sort of gift bag/swag action at the event, particularly with the discs themselves nestled inside but instead we settled happily for open bar and the four volumes displayed on the wall in mute mode.

There was also much amusing people watching to be had. We saw poor Chris Rock cannibalized by a flock of party photographers from various publications, James Iha chatting with Melissa Auf der Maur, Peter Dinklage resting on a cushion, Patrick McMullan trailed by a camera crew plus many, many models/musicians/artists. We assume they were models or musicians or artists because they were either freakishly tall, unnaturally gorgeous or wearing hairstyles that you couldn't imagine seeing in a midtown brokerage office. JP and the Cinecultist also intended to propose a weird, admiration-based three-way marriage to director Michel Gondry. While he did pass us a few times in the crowd, we didn't quite get around to suggesting spending the rest of our lives in surreal yet whimsical wedded bliss.

So after we consumed our quota of free booze and eye candy, CC headed home, eschewing cab, subway or rickshaw for a walk the whole way from Chelsea's 21st Street and the West Side Highway to our Eee Vee. That's surely enough exercise for at least the next week, right?

Posted by karen at 9:13 AM |

August 14, 2005

Congratulations to John and Adriane

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"A couple cannot last if they don't share a singular vision of the cinema. One can love rap and detest Beethoven and the other the contrary. But if one loves the cinema of Spielberg and the other detests it, one day, they will separate, because the cinema is still a representation of the world." -- Jean-Luc Godard

More pictures of the happy evening in the Eee Vee.

Posted by karen at 11:37 PM |

August 2, 2005

Salsa Shark

Tomorrow, August 3 at the Hudson River Park -- free screening of Clerks at dusk. It's BYOIS -- Bring your own ironic smirk. Bunch of fuckin' savages in this town.

Posted by karen at 2:16 PM |

July 31, 2005

East Villagers Unite!

Bearing in mind that Cinecultist will never be offered a job by Patrick McMullan because we are the worst digital photographer ever, a few images from last night's activities wherein we fulfilled one of our long held Eee Vee fantasies -- going to the top of the Red Square Building on Houston.

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Left: The "clock" with a well-placed shadow. Right: The Lenin from the back. Below: Nice view even with all of that digital blur, no?

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Psst. Speaking of, this is another party CC attended last week where we can now say that we've been offered a plate of cheese hors d'oeurves by Bill Murray. Good times.

Posted by karen at 6:59 PM |

July 27, 2005

Call For Entries

You're a short filmmaker and you always thought it would be cool to see your movies screened on board airplanes...

Greetings from Asiana International Short Film Festival in Seoul, Korea. We are pleased to announce our third aviation, and we cordially invite worldwide short filmmakers to participate in AISFF 2005.

Asiana International Short Film Festival2005 (AISFF2005) will be held in the central part of Seoul, the capital of Korea. Organized by Aiana Airlines, one of major airline companies in Korea and supported by Korea Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Korean Film Commision, Asiana International Short Film Festival has been the first international short film festival in Korea and the first In-Flight film festival ever all around the world by presenting ‘in-flight’ as a new territory for short films. As the ground and sky short film festival, it allows the audience to encounter global short films in transformation.

With AISFF, award films will be screening to around 3 million passengers at the in-flight of the international flights of the international flights of Asina Airlines. AISFF will provide a great opportunity to short filmmakers as an alternative arena going beyond their local and national boundaries, for greater international audience awareness.

Entry Deadline : Aug. 26, 2004

- Festival Date : Nov. 02 ~ 07, 2005, Seoul, Korea

- Application Fee : None

Visit our website for further information. http://www.aisff.org
The entry form is available to download from our website.

Posted by karen at 9:01 AM |

July 11, 2005

Hot Time In The Old Town

Cinecultist is melting. July in Manhattan ain't pretty folks and neither is our frizzed out Jew-fro. For some reason this level of humidity has kept CC from the movie theaters in favor of drinking too many vodka tonics at East Houston happy hours, drinking iced coffees in Williamsburg coffeehouse back gardens and drinking margaritas on the rocks in Cuban gardens in Brooklyn.

On Saturday night, we consumed even more liquids in celebration of the dual Reverse Shot birthdays -- Michael and Jeff. Michael's actual birthday is tomorrow, and we can't say enough nicey nice things about our co-worker and one of the critical voices from RS and the RS blog. Someday we think it'd be fun to have a Siskel and Ebert style movie review show with Michael wherein we bicker about movies and then he does one of his truly excellent actor impressions which disolves CC into giggles.

As you can probably imagine, we heartily enjoyed the super geeked out movie conversation you'd expect to hear at an RS summer cookout. Apparently, Todd Solondz was none to pleased with writer Nick Pinkerton's review of his latest and singled him to his distributors. Snicker. We also found ourselves emeshed in a Bergman love-fest which also mentioned JLG and their mutual use of DV (Jean-Luc Godard and digital video respectively, not to be confused with JGL and DvF, ie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Diane von Fürstenberg).

But don't worry, dear ones. Cinecultist promises to rouse ourselves from our movie slump very soon, just like the rest of the American public. Sure, it's tempting to just sit at home watching episode after episode of Felicity: Season Senior Year on DVD but we know it's our patriotic duty to drag our butts into those plush rocking chair seats with over-priced popcorn in hand. God bless us, everyone!

Posted by karen at 11:39 PM |

May 22, 2005

Closing Down 0ne 91 Lounge

cake3.jpgChampagne, roast chicken, homemake chocolate cake with whipped cream and strawberries and lots of friends, both film geeks and not -- could a Cinecultist ask more from a birthday? (That question is rhetorical but the answer of course is "no!")

Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate and made sure we had a fresh vodka tonic in hand throughout the evening. More digital pictures after the jump.

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Adriane, awesome cook and last-minute organizer, prepares the cake.

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A blurry John and CC pose with the cake.

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Josh and Ilana, two people who know a good steak frites when they see it.

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Fiona, James and Jen, the original rockstars.

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Alex and Kate, an Anglo and his phile.

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Darren, Kristi and Ilana, back from travels in the country made famous by Peter Jackson's hobbits.

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Kristi, CC and Ilana (part of the dinner club, reunited).

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Aaron, who is that random guy? oh right, it's Sean, CC and Matty.

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Sean and Matty, perhaps discussing grass roots film exhibition. Or maybe not.

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Self-portrait before the evening began. We don't look any older do you think? Didn't think so.

Posted by karen at 1:00 PM |

April 21, 2005

Tribeca Film Festival: There In Spirit

The Tribeca Film Festival started this week, an event every year Cinecultist always intends to attend more seriously than we actually end up doing. It's really quite guilt inducing to be honest, especially when we have good friends intimately involved in the programming.

Earlier this week, CC received a nice e-mail invite from Ari of Cinemantics suggesting we come down to a party last night at Sugar in Tribeca for some Shorts filmmakers who are in the fest. "Party, good deal," we thought to ourselves. Go out, be social, feel a part of the New York movie making scene which we always enjoy, a solid post-work Wednesday night CC thinks. Except, CC realizes once we walk into the mildly happening bar at a quarter past 10, that we have no idea what any of these shorts filmmakers look like. There's no "Hello, I'm An Indie Director" name tags on anyone, no velvet rope section for those carrying mini-DV cams. Drat! So with the disheartening concept of drinking a $10 cocktail by ourselves on a Wednesday night looming too large, we headed home. Totally pathetic, but what would you have done in our shoes? [So that's our way of saying, sorry Ari but we totally didn't flake! We were there, sorta. Rain check!]

Good news from Aaron though regarding screenings, he says "Nothing is "sold out" at the Tribeca Film Festival until the film starts. You can always get in a "Door Sales" line, and if you're reasonably near the front, there's a better than not chance you'll get in." CC promises to take this to heart, if you do. See you in the film line! (Or maybe not actually, because of this pesky online anonymity thing...)

BTW, more news on the TFF ground from Eugene Hernandez of indieWire over at their festival-dedicated blog. In the comments, leave suggestions on films at the fest you want to see or bitching about trying to meet fellow film geeks from the world wide web.

Posted by karen at 9:13 AM | | Comments (2)

March 4, 2005

Recycling And More Jakie G.

We hate to be regurgitating what we've been posting over at Gothamist, but the two events* we highlighted this week are surely worth checking out, all ye cinecultists.

Sandra Oh movie, Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity (2002) from Asian CineVisions at AMMI tonight and Cinema Village on Wednesday.

Chan-Wook Park movies over at BAM all weekend.

Also, not to turn into a total Jake Gyllenhaal fan site or anything but Donnie Darko is the midnight movie at the Sunshine this weekend. We're guessing it will not be the extended director's cut which is good, because we didn't like it as well as the original anyway. Go out and sing along with the Echo & the Bunnymen track, it'll do you some good.

By the way, if you've never been to the official DD site, it's weird. That's not an endorsement, just a comment.

*To give credit where it's due, both of these suggestions are directly related to the excellent taste of Ms. Seattle Maggie.

Posted by karen at 8:59 AM |

February 16, 2005

Wednesday Night Plans, A Sophie's Choice

What to do? What to do? Two activities for those below 14th Street tonight in New York:

Cleo From 5 to 7

French New Wave director Agnès Varda sits in for a Q&A following her new film, Cinévardaphoto's 6:30 pm screening at Film Forum and will introduce the movie before the 8:20 pm show. How exciting is that? She was married to and collaborated with Jacques Demy! She made Cleo From 5 to 7 (pictured) and Vagabond, two of Cinecultist's all time faves from our cinema studies schooling!

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Gothamist Movable Hype 2.0 is also tonight at the Knitting Factory featuring Elkland, the Information, Other Passengers and the Cloud Room plus the dj stylings of two music bloggers CC's always trying to discretely pump for new CD recommendations when we see them, Stereogum and Coolfer. Mp3s for the bands available via the Gothamist link. This is also the two year birthday party for Gothamist complete with LES baked yummy cupcakes so it should be quite the bash.

Of course much of this social life hemming and hawwing is a bit mute because of our late night schedule at work but our dear readers should go out and enjoy themselves on the town. Just don't send us too many "wish you were here, this rocks!" text messages, it makes Cinecultist weepy.

Posted by karen at 8:59 AM |

January 24, 2005

Slush and Shameless Plugs

For some reason, we've got nothing today, cinema-wise. The blizzard has left Cinecultist depleated and sluggish, even though we spent part of it in an Australian bar deep in the Eee Vee drinking fruity champagne cocktails and the other part in bed reading Lemony Snicket books. Both the mother and the grandmother (not related, except by former marriage) called from California to make sure we were wearing boots. The streets are clogged with slush and we really need to go shopping for more potent moisturizers.

In the face of all of this, we bring you two shameless plugs --

° If you live in the Pacific Northwest, particularly Seattle you really should go out to see Seattle Maggie's theater group, the Pork Filled Player's sketch comedy show running from Feb. 4 through Feb. 26. The show is called "In the Mood for Lard" which is such an awesome title for an Asian American comedy troupe's performance, we can barely stand it. Our SM works as a writer/lighting designer for them and if only we hadn't just started a new job with no vaca days yet, we'd hope on the first cheap JetBlue flight out there. Tickets cost $12/$9 and can be purchased at ticketwindowonline.com. Performances at the NW Actors' Studio Cabaret at 1100 E. Pike Street.

° Please go vote for Gothamist in the Bloggies this year. The reasons are two-fold: 1) Gothamist is a great little site that we're honored to be contributor to and 2) maybe then Dobkin will stop sending us e-mails about the pending nominations.

Posted by karen at 11:50 PM |

January 13, 2005

'OK, Let's Go!'

Last night, Cinecultist attended the second film screened by the Asian Cinevision as a part of their continuing Asian and Asian American film showcase at the Cinema Village of the 2003 Japanese film, The Hunter and the Hunted. If all of the films are going to be of the caliber displayed in Izuru Narushima work, you can expect to see CC there every month without fail.

The title sounds like it could be for some sort of thriller or action drama, but instead it's a whimsical, heart-felt comedy with a few dramatic elements — one of our favorite kinds of foreign films. There's a cute kid, an awkward romance, a deepening professional friendship, a noble father, a sincere childhood flashback and some bubbly montage in the Japanese spring time. If only it were possible to plug in these elements to any film, and like circuits on a breaker, make the whole thing spring to light. No, we know there's much more art to it than that, thanks to the subtle art in Narushima's direction.

A word also on Kôji Yakusho, who stars as Jin the noble father and detective who is the hunter to Akira Emoto's Neko who is the hunted first class thief. This man knows how to act! He's fabulous. We loved him in The Eel (1997) [rent it, you won't be sorry] and we're heard wonderful things about his performance in the original Shall We Dance. Imdb says he's going to be in the adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha, which also stars Gong Li, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh. Sounds like it's going to be a sweet cast, now we're really excited to see it released.

Posted by karen at 9:04 AM |

October 12, 2004

Updates: JD & RS

That's just what we were thinking!

JD Update: The Film Forum brings a limited engagement of the Derrida documentary to their screens this weekend, from Friday to Tuesday, in honor of the French philospher's recent passing. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe called him, “the Mick Jagger of cultural philosophy!” Isn't that enough to make you want to go see a film about his ideas?

RS Update: Our favorite independent film magazine, Reverse Shot has up their newest edition on the website. This quarter's theme is political films, and many of our compatriots chose some unlikely films to discuss in a partisan light, so you know they're essays well worth a peruse.

After the jump is a reposting of Cinecultist's own full essay on Robert Altman's Tanner '88, from this issue. Tanner '88 is being replayed on Sundance Channel right now, along with new episodes, Tanner on Tanner.

Once More in Oh-Four
Karen Wilson on Tanner ‘88

On the campaign trail for the Democratic presidential nomination, two old political colleagues run into each other at a small town photo opportunity. Pausing in front of the cameras, one introduces the other to his daughter and all three chat amiably, though they represent different parties. The Democrat mugs that he hopes it comes down in the end to a contest between the two of them. Chuckling, the Republican shakes his hand and wishes him well.

For anyone who lived through the 1996 election or who has caught a few advertisements for Pepsi or Viagra, the face of the Republican—former presidential nominee Bob Dole—is a familiar one. However, the Democrat and his daughter may be less recognizable. They’re actually actors: Michael Murphy plays Jack Tanner, a congressman from Michigan running for the Democrat presidential nomination and Cynthia Nixon as his college-aged daughter, Alex Tanner, who has left school to help her father’s campaign. As the subjects of director Robert Altman and cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s TV political satire Tanner ‘88, Murphy and Nixon, plus their staff and the journalists following them on the nomination trail are supposed to blend in with the crowd, looking perfectly natural when at a fundraiser, leading an impromptu student rally, or schmoozing the delegates on the floor of the Atlanta Democrat Convention. Utilizing his signature roaming camera style, Altman makes us believe we’re watching the drama of Tanner’s run unfold before us unawares. Nothing’s sacred in a campaign and thus every salacious moment is perfectly caught by this anonymous camera.

However, unlike most professional politicians who seem as comfortable within their carefully crafted public personas as inside an expensive suit, Murphy’s Tanner has to undergo the transformation from idealistic professor/congressman to jaded spin doctor finagling votes from delegates before Altman’s intrusive camera. We get to see every awkward grimace and flash of self-aware embarrassment on Murphy’s face.

Tanner ‘88 runs for eleven episodes—an hour-long pilot plus 10 half-hour installments from the New Hampshire primary through the Atlanta national convention. Altman intended for the show, made for HBO, to run through the November election, but it was unfortunately canceled before he could complete it. Thus, the closing moment of episode eleven just after the nominating convention, feels only like a pause, as though the previous vignettes had been just snapshots within a larger picture. The miniseries format and the unresolved nature of the “ending” (will Tanner run as an Independent candidate after losing the primary?), both serve very well Altman’s purpose in constructing a complex satire grounded in “reality.” It’s as though Tanner’s life could not be contained in a two-hour feature film.

Most political films and television shows exist within a vacuum, a fantasy world not reflecting those actually in office but the ideal of what writers and directors wish could be our national destiny. David Edelstein in his Aug 18, 2000 Slate article about political filmmaking, “Pols On Film,” illustrates a cunning narrative trope common in campaign drama that he calls “the Big Speech.” At the climactic moment, our candidate throws aside his carefully crafted words to give his audience, and us, the real deal. It’s meant to be a humanizing and hero-making gesture that tugs at our heartstrings. In Tanner ‘88 Altman blatantly eschews this kind of sentiment-grubbing in favor of something more complex. With every episode, as Tanner and his crew confront logistical disasters (a broken-down bus filled with reporters), media bumbling (a helicopter swoops in on the congressman’s wedding), or situations fraught with moral grey areas (the discovery by a reporter of the candidate’s relationship with a fellow campaign’s manager), there do not seem to be any easy answers. This is much more satisfying than any triumphant Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style filibuster. As the moderator for the presidential debate, Linda Ellerbee (another politico playing herself), points out, anyone who goes through the whole process and gets to the White House probably isn’t someone you want there. Yet Tanner argues, in a direct address to the camera filmed for the Sundance Channel re-release, that this system is the best we’ve got. Altman and Trudeau’s main purpose could be to explicate this conundrum.

Recalling my own memories of the ‘88 election, I so remember wanting the process to be reducible to a fight between the good guys and the bad. In our elementary-school mock election, situated as it was in a moderately affluent suburb of San Francisco, it was unsurprisingly a decision for Dukakis by a landslide. In my own house, the Dems were the good guys and Ronald Reagan was “a turkey,” so of course that’s how the whole country must feel, right? Or at least, that was my eleven-year-old reasoning. I remember vividly how shocked I was by the muckraking and badgering about Dukakis’s personal life, in particular the exposure of his wife Kitty’s drinking addiction. For years, I would eye the opaque plastic bottle of rubbing alcohol in our medicine cabinet with wariness and think of our would-be First Lady.

It is intriguing to watch Tanner ‘88 16 years later and to be so aware of these hindsight-is-20/20 details about the actual candidates, and particularly to know how it all turned out. Watching Kitty onscreen as herself, in her faux regal posturing, chatting with the actress who plays Tanner’s love interest, is a little cringe-worthy. Yet, it’s still easy even now to be caught up in the characters’ tide of idealism and hope for that year’s election. Like our own current race, there’s a tendency to make it into a Manichean case of good versus evil—a regime that must be removed by a moral (read: liberal) imperative. Yet Tanner ‘88 also struggles hard against that tendency. Tanner characterizes himself to the media surrounding him as an aging hippie intellectual whose stance on drugs (legalize them) is based on his own experiences as a spouse of a drug addict. He also is quick to broadcast his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, acting shocked when the flacks around him don’t get his references to Selma. In one of the early episodes, at a campaign stop in Alabama, Tanner visits a prominent black preacher, an old friend from the Sixties with whom he has fallen out of touch. He is hurt and shocked that his media director uses this connection as an impromptu press conference, gathering the entire media corps on site without Tanner’s knowledge. Tanner can’t believe his staffer would so blatantly step outside the mode of privacy, and for the next few episodes, Tanner freezes the staffer out of the major decisions.

Yet in contrast to these instances of moral uprightness is Tanner’s growing sheepishness over his daughter Alex’s youthful brashness. The series depicts the father and teenaged daughter as surprisingly close, but Alex’s conception of her father’s stance on certain issues seems to fall further left than Tanner would like to appear. In one sequence, Alex talks her dad into attending an anti-Apartheid rally just before he’s set to present at a Congressional hearing. In the flurry of the moment, under Alex’s pressure and in front of a bunch of reporters, Tanner not only attends the rally but also ends up handcuffed to a line of other protestors and then carted off to jail. While Tanner certainly doesn’t come across as in support of the racist South African government in his obvious reticence to act decisively, he seems supremely embarrassed to have been caught on camera in such a display. Alex seems to think that all one needs to do to be elected is to speak from one’s convictions, but Jack Tanner appears to know differently. Partially that wisdom must come from age, but I think it’s safe to assume that Tanner also accepts the inevitable tidying up of principles for manageable sound bites. In a Jimmy Stewart for President America, we wouldn’t see such compromises, but here in Altman and Trudeau’s universe, it’s at the forefront.

After watching Tanner ‘88 again, what stands out most prominently in the depiction of Jack Tanner is how important it is to have elected officials who question themselves and our system. Tanner is an intellectual, engaged in the world around him, ideal when he feels he needs to be but pragmatic when the situation arises. Let’s just hope, as we come upon this November’s election, that kind of leader isn’t too much of an unfulfillable American fantasy as we so often see onscreen.

The original television miniseries of Tanner ‘88 will be repeated on the Sundance Channel Tuesday nights at 8 pm, Eastern and Pacific times, beginning Aug. 31 and continuing through Oct. 5; new episodes, titled “Tanner on Tanner,” begin on Oct. 5 at 9 pm, Eastern and Pacific times, and continue Tuesday nights at 9 pm. Check local listings for Central time. The Criterion Collection will also soon be releasing the series on DVD with video conversation between Altman and Trudeau, as well as additional essays by film critic Michael Wilmington, video critic/curator Michael Nash, and culture critic Garry Kornblau.

Posted by karen at 11:09 PM |

October 7, 2004

No Time For Movies...

At least to write extended posts about them. The reasons are three-fold:

1) Because Cinecultist is getting over a cold. The weather dips down below 70 degrees and our head fills with flem. Sucks.

2) Because the landlord is tearing up the bathtub in our Eee Vee apartment to re-spackle it and when CC came home tonight, we had to clean up the tracked grout dust from all over the kitchen and entry way. Also sucks.

3) Because Seattle Maggie's in town visiting! That's right, our favorite left coast movie correspondent is in New York to attend a family function and took a few extras days off from her busy life of coffee drinking, anime watching and mocking her red-headed boyfriend to hang with the Cinecultist.

On this coming Monday night, CC and Seattle Maggie will be having tapas at Xunta on First Ave at 11th Street. Seattle Mags suggested CC invite a few of our New York friends. If you're one of those people and like Sangria (and really, who doesn't?), come on down and join us. Drop CC an IM or an e-mail, so we can know to keep an eye out for you and/or provide further details.

In the meantime, CC's thinking about buying the shooting script for I Heart Huckabees. We saw the film last weekend and though we liked it, we're still formulating our thoughts on it. Perhaps reading the dialogue, rather than just hearing it from the actors, would help us get a handle on our opinion.

Posted by karen at 11:51 PM |

October 1, 2004

NYFF!NYFF!NYFF!NYFF!NYFF!

You can tell that fall's in the air, because Cinecultist finds ourselves eyeing wooly sweaters in the stores and obsessing about the New York Film Festival. This will be our third year in attendance and though it's still one of our favorite things about living in New Yawk, it can be a drain.

There's always too much good stuff too see and even though this year CC was able to swing some press pass action (wahoo!), the Day Job sorta prohibits attending every screening we'd like because they're all in the afternoon. Then, if you think you'd like to buy tickets to a bunch of evening screenings, the totaled bill can be pretty prohibitive with each ticket running $15. Sure, you get a feature, a short plus a conversation with the filmmakers afterwards, but that's still pretty steep for a movie ticket.

Anyhow, we will be covering a few of the screenings between now and the 17th, but don't expect the moment by moment reporting CC'd love to bring you in an ideal world. That's all we're saying — too many movies, too little time.

Which is why for most of the films already with theatrical distribution lined up, like the anticipated Sideways by Alexander Paye, it can be better to wait for it to hit theaters this fall. Or you can read the equally obsessive coverage on the sites of our compatriots like Out of Focus and Filmbrain (who already has a review up of Look at Me, the opening film tonight).

The Cinecultist picks for the next few days screenings over at Gothamist Arts + Events. Coverage from the New York Times, including the opportunity for other armchair reviewers to post their opinions on the NYFF offerings.

Posted by karen at 8:37 AM |

August 27, 2004

And The Answer Is... Yes

Thanks to all of the responses and visitors regarding our Vincent Gallo trivia yesterday -- CC heart responses from readers. Jess thought we should request pictures, with hottest guy wins, and though we found Gawker's suggestion intriguing, we thought we'd refrain this time. Envelope please. And the pass for the weekend screening at the Sunshine to Brown Bunny goes to ...our reader Ralph McGinnis. Ralph guessed Yes, and he is correct. Congrats, Ralph you're quick on send button, as you were the first correct answer. We hope you enjoy the movie.

According to Gallo, his uncle in Buffalo owned a limosine service and would get free tickets for all the cousins to the rock shows. At the age of 12, Gallo saw Yes, thought they were faboo and at the Rothko show dedicated one song to guitarist Chris Squires. Is there a guy more unabashedly earnest and romantic as Vincent Gallo, CC doesn't think so.

CC's off to Albuquerque this weekend with Seattle Maggie and her redheaded boyfriend Todd for the wedding of our friends Nicole and Mark. We shall return on Wednesday, god-willing preserved from the turquoise and fringe infestation that appears to be gripping the Southwest, though this information is based soley on research from the back of our two guide books.

We really are looking forward to the few days off, CC's been kinda running ourselves ragged lately. Last night at the final screening of the Leopard at Film Forum, CC sort of nodded off during the ball scene. But that could happen to anyone, right? Fortunately, a sound glitch which provoked upset murmurs from the viewers around woke us up right before Burt Lancaster dances with the smokin' Claudia Cardinale. Our friend Jose thought they timed that quite well, to make sure we all caught that triumphant and heart-breaking sequence. Cinecultist hopes we hadn't been snoring too loudly.

Posted by karen at 7:46 AM |

August 26, 2004

In Person, He's Gallo-liscious

There's a reason why Cinecultist is an obsessive movie goer and not quite so fanatical about the music shows. Those suckers run quite late for those of us who need their beauty sleep before heading off to the Day Job. That's CC's way of saying, we're sort of feeling the pain of attending Vincent Gallo's late performance at Rothko last night in the LES. The crush of the hipsters, that bright red light before the show started, the incessant flash of the digital camera bulbs and the lack of any real pathway to the bar made CC feel a bit old and out of it. Then, we ran into Miss Jen on the way home and she suggested a drink at Piano's. At 1 am. This is what we're talking about. Those music bloggers have the stamina of god knows what and we just can't keep up.

Anyhow, what did we think of Gallo in the flesh, Live at Budaki, so to speak? He's not the best musician, that's the first thing. He's certainly earnest and he does this soft-spoken mumbling with the sheepish grin thing that seems utterly indie. Sean Lennon on the other hand, who played with Gallo last night along with some young fellow named Nick Haas (perhaps the brother of the slightly ana, former child star Lucas Haas?), is quite a good musician. He has a stronger voice, and more of a style when it comes to his compositions, but we'd be hard pressed to say he has more personality on stage than Gallo.

The music really isn't our cup of tea -- sort of noodling, jazzy ambient folky stuff -- but the real reason we were there anyhow was for the personality. Star persona on stage, so to speak. Highlight in that respect: Rothko's a tiny place with no real backstage area so to start the show Gallo and the entourage had to part the crowd with the help of a ginormous bouncer. It was like red sea of greasy hipsters being separated by their Moses. He's shorter than you would expect, by the way. And the kids love him, they kept yelling for Vinnie and that they were there to support him.

By the way, HUGE BJ poster for the film over the bar.

The ticket for the evening came with a free pass for a Brown Bunny screening over the weekend at the Sunshine on Houston but CC's going to be out of town. Thus, we offer the pass to one of our lucky readers who can identify which noodling '70s band the 12 year old Gallo told us he saw in Buffalo and was influenced by. Drop us a line at karen AT cinecultist DOT com with your guesses.

HINT: It's not King Crimson. More classical rock, according to our friend who knows about this sort of thing. One word name. We'll be picking the winner at random from the guesses Friday morning and e-mailing them back.

Posted by karen at 10:51 AM |

July 22, 2004

Cinecultist Suggests

If you're in the Manhattan area this evening, might Cinecultist suggest two unorthodox but intriguing sounding movie activities?

An interactive screening of Showgirls in Chelsea to coincide with the release of the V.I.P Edition of Paul Verhoeven's 1995 film. It sounds sort of like Rocky Horror Picture Show only with thongs, Kyle MacLachlin and lesbianism.

Go to see Un chien andalou four times in a row with the Ensemble Sospeso accompanying them with four different contemporary music pieces at the Walter Reade. The 8 pm screening is a part of the Lincoln Center Festival 2004.

And while we're in a suggesting mood...

Might we also suggest reading every last article of the new Reverse Shot on Richard Linklater? It will make your brain happy.

For tomorrow, the midnight movie at the Sunshine theater on Houston will be Muppets Take Manhattan, a huge Cinecultist favorite. Perhaps even one of our childhood inspirations for moving to New York, though we soon discovered that Rizzo the Rat = cute, actual rats in the subway = not cute at all.

Posted by karen at 12:37 PM |

June 23, 2004

This Week In The New Yorker: Extreme Fishhook Penetration?

Last Friday, a screening of Zhang Yimou's Hero marked the kick off of the New York Asian Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives and the New Yorker covered the festival this week in their Talk of the Town. (The Festival runs through June 27). Cinecultist loves hearing stories like the one which follows about their J-horror series or the Exorcist urban legend that fainting and vomiting viewers had to be carried from the theater on stretchers. it's just that much more hard evidence to explain our own extreme squemishness when it comes to the genre. CC likes horror on an intellectual level but has to watch it through our fingers and often from behind the chair.

"The first year, 2000, was a modest success, but everything changed during year two, when [one of the festival planners and NYU alum Grady] Hendrix screened a Korean film called The Isle for members of the press. The movie contains what Hendrix calls 'a moment of extreme fishhook penetration,' and it was shortly after this part of the film that a critic emerged into the lobby, made a high-pitched gurgling noise, and passed out on the floor. Hendrix checked to see that the man was O.K. and then called the Post. The story was reprinted in other newspapers, and soon The Isle acquired a reputation as the most dangerous movie around."
Posted by karen at 8:08 AM |

May 26, 2004

Director Zhang Takes The Stage

Zhang Yimou at Asia SocietyLast night Cinecultist raced out of the Day Job and uptown for Asian Cinevision and the Asia Society's A Conversation with Chinese director Zhang Yimou. A part of the "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers from China, Zhang is one of the foremost members of the group which brought international prominence to their national cinema in the late '80s. One of his new movies, Hero is finally getting American theatrical release by Miramax in August and his most recent production, House of a Thousand Daggers just screened at this year's Cannes. CC researched and wrote an extensive paper on Zhang and his collaboration with actress Gong Li for a grad school class, so we were particularly excited when our friend William put us on the list for the event.

CC knows William from NYU but now he's working for Cinevision, a non profit Asian cultural organization which puts on the International Asian American Film Festival every year in July. He acted last night as the translator for director Zhang in his conversation with MoMA video currator Barbara London, though when we call it a conversation we're using the word loosely. The evening consisted of out of left field questions from Ms. London (samples: What is the Fifth Generation? What do you think of the three questions in Turnadot? Why did you set Hero in the Ching dynasty?), extensive answers from Mr. Zhang in Mandarin on what felt like responding where most of the audience around us followed along, William scratching down notes, and then what could only be described as a paraphrasing of his answers by William. CC thinks William rocks, as a film scholar and a friend, and he's exposed us to a number of amazing films we wouldn't have ever seen on our own, but as a translator he sort of missed the point. Interesting but frusterating at the same time.

During the Q & A, one audience member did ask what CC had wanted to know, was Zhang upset by the way Miramax held off on releasing Hero for over a year and is now touting it as a Quentin Tarantino produced product? However, the diplomatic director deflected the question saying it was up to Miramax to destribute the picture as they saw fit and that he personally likes Tarantino very much having interacted with him when he was in China shooting Kill Bill. This soft peddling makes sense since Miramax did co-sponsor the event last night with the Asia Society and Cinevision, but it still burns CC up that Harvey has his meddling fingers in every cinematic pie we seem to be interested in these days.

For even more information about Zhang Yimou than you knew you needed, read Senses of Cinema's Great Directors entry on him. Comprehensive, thy name is Senses of Cinema. Also, check out the Tarantino hyping-Hero trailer, the only star in this picture must be Jet Li, here.

Posted by karen at 8:04 AM |

May 17, 2004

Airing of the Birthday Tiara

tiara.jpgCinecultist doesn't often provide too much of the personal info in this space devoted to New York cinephilia but we thought those who couldn't make it down to Plant Bar last Saturday might like to see the birthday tiara in all its glory. Cinecultist is a princess, and don't you forget it. Thanks to all who came by and helped CC toast the new year.

karen & fiona
self-portrait with fiona
ilana
stephanie, kudah and ilana sitting a little too close to the drunken camera woman
lisa and janelle
lisa chats it up with janelle
amy
how cute, it's amy and josh
jen@7a.JPG.jpg
jen and the bemused host at 7A
john
celeb sighting — it's the hand from Evil Dead 2! no wait, that's just john and adriane
josh
that arm band is so eee vee, joshie with the punk rock fi

Posted by karen at 10:49 PM |

April 26, 2004

Can You Say "So Best?"

What a lovely thing to rediscover that bloggers can be as charming and witty in person as their online personas suggest. This revelation courtesy of a gathering at Pianos on Saturday evening which Cinecultist dragged Josh Cultivated Stupidity to. Thanks so much for the buzz-alicious convos with the cuties Uncle Grambo, Lindsayism, Gawker, Real Janelle, and Miss Modernage, as the CC tendency was to stand in the corner intimidated by the talent in this hipster haven. How nice to know that introducing ourselves as "Karen" gets either a "hi/kind handshake" or a "are you Karen Plus One?" but saying we're Cinecultist gets a big old hug.

Posted by karen at 7:45 AM |

March 25, 2004

New Directors, Old Directors

A reminder from Cinecultist that yesterday began the 33rd New Directors/New Films series at the Film Society of Lincoln Center which runs through April 4. Featuring films from around the world, this annual series co-produced with the MoMA brings a unique view to current international cinema. The films screen at MoMA Gramercy Theater, Alice Tully Hall and Walter Reade and there are even $8 student rush tickets available the day of with valid ID, for those of you out there on the cheap. $12 general admission and $10 member tickets are also available at the venue box offices.

Read brief reviews of the films by the Village Voice critics staff to figure out what you need to make time to see.

Posted by karen at 7:57 AM |

March 19, 2004

Now That's Twisted

A Tribute to Marco Bellocchio, one of the more important voices of Italian cinema in the '60s and '70s, kicks off at the BAMcinematek today and runs through March 28. He was a part of what P. Adam Sitney calls a "vital crisis" in Italian cinema of that period and what commentator/filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini depicts as "neodecadent and neoformalist" which "anticipated the renaissance of the Italian neo-avantgarde."

Cinecultist previously saw and found fascinating his first feature, Fists In His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1965) which will screen on Wednesday, March 24, about epileptic, incestious siblings with a violent streak. If you think The Dreamers is a freaky family story, you haven't seen any Bellocchio. The man himself will be available for a Q & A next Saturday after a screening of Good Morning, Night (Buongiorno notte), his most recent film from 2003. CC will be at a screening of Henry IV tonight because we want to expand our understanding of this intriguing director and because it has Claudia Cardinale. A full life really can not have too much Claudia C. in it.

A final link to some more freaky stuff, Trey Stone and Matt Parker's Princess cartoons are available on the Trio website. Princess reminds CC of the evil penguin Feathers from Wallace and Gromit, so much can be said in a simple blink of expressionless eyes. However, be warned cinecultists, "the sexual content was so extreme that production on the 'webisodes' was halted early on and have never been seen in any medium. Until now." Not to be watched at work with the speakers up very loud, in other words. [via Fleshbot, who will clue you into a login]

Posted by karen at 8:04 AM |

March 10, 2004

Spend Some Time Underground

Movie things to do tonight if you are downtown in Cinecultist's nabe:

* Today begins the New York Underground Film Festival screened at Anthology Film Archives on 2nd Avenue. In its 11th year and running through March 16, the festival features premieres of new documentaries, features, shorts, experimental works, installations and live music & multimedia shows. The full list of filmmakers (including CC favorite Guy Maddin) and their works screening available on the NYUFF site. Tickets cost $8.50 or 10 ticket punch cards for $50 and are available at Anthology. [via Flavorpill]

* Wednesday nights are Movieoke Night at the Den of Cin on Avenue A. Starting at 9 pm, act out your favorite movie scenes against the backdrop of a large screen dvd projection. Don't worry, beer and wine to fuel your Pacino impression will be available. The evening is created and hosted by Anastasia Fite and you can read more about it on this Fox News article. [via CC reader Lisa]
Update: CC and the NYT on the same brainwave -- honest, we didn't know this article was appearing when we wrote this posting. Eeoowww, creepy.

Posted by karen at 8:29 AM |

February 12, 2004

Mark The Calendar

If you always feel like you hear about these film events and festivals too late to get tickets, Charlie Suisman at the Manhattan User's Guide is looking out for you. Earlier this week he published a quite extensive list by month of festivals with dates of screenings and links to the official sites. Quite a resource for filmmakers looking for places to screen their works as well as cinecultists.

Posted by karen at 8:15 AM |

January 21, 2004

Hot Asian Chicks

Cinecultist loves those Asian chicks and the release of a new biography and coinciding retrospective at MOMA of one of cinema's original H.A.C.s Anna May Wong will further expand our historical understanding of these loverly creatures. Anna May, born in San Francisco's Chinatown and involved in moviemaking at an early age, was the Dragon Lady launching a thousand stereotypes of sexy femme fatales. While some have argued that Anna May set back the image of Asian women, this new historical interest in her work wants to revitalize her importance in early cinema.

Author Graham Hodges of From Laundryman's Daughter to Hollywood Legend: Anna May Wong will be facilitating an in-depth multimedia presentation and answering questions on Anna May Wong, with book signing and reception to follow today Jan. 21 at 6:30pm at the AsiaSociety,725 Park Ave at 70th St. $5 students; $7 Asia Society/MOMA members; $12 nonmembers. [An interesting article in the Times last weekend, although sadly to read it now on the Archives will cost you.]

From Jan. 22nd until Jan. 25th Hodges will be introducing the five films in the retrospective at MoMA. These pictures include The Toll of the Sea (1922), Hollywood Party (1937), Shanghai Express (1932), Picadilly (1929), and Dangerous to Know (1938). [thanks Fiona for the reminder!]

Also upcoming at MoMA, An Evening with Yang FuDong, a Chinese film artist whose work draws on "he decadent glamour of classic Chinese cinema and that of its stars, such as '30s actress Ruan Lingyu." Ruan Lingyu, isthe original H.A.C. and the subject of one of CC's favoritest films, Actress by Stanley Kwan, so we're definitely going to have to check out any work that references her. Hottness.

Posted by karen at 8:34 AM |

January 8, 2004

Marry CC Tony Leung

Last night at the screening of Chung King Express as a part of the Young Friends of Film at Lincoln Center series, Cinecultist decided we're ready to give up our prolifigate single gal in Manhatta ways for a life with Tony Leung, Hong Kong action/drama/pop star. When he steps into the Midnight Express snack bar for the first time in the film and the camera zooms in on his face as he removes his policeman's cap, CC literally swooned in her seat. Although, we fear we might have to have a knife fight with Miss So Much Modern Time for his affections, but regardless, when Tony realizes he wants to settle down with a nice girl film critic in the East Village, we'll be waiting.

The real clincher for CC on this screening of Wong Kar Wai's filmed on the fly masterpiece was when Leung's character No. 663 consols all of the inatimate objects in his apartment. The soap is letting itself go apparently by getting too thin and the dishtowel cries too much, now that 663's girlfriend is gone. So sweet, so melancholy and so clever, this is a movie filled with moments you want to memorize. If you haven't seen it, rent the DVD just ignore Quentin Tarantino's beyond stupid bookend commentaries.

The rest of the evening on the Upper West was filled with free food, too much red wine and sightings of movie geek friends. We heard the latest from a few Reverse Shot-ers never short on an opinion (Gus Van Sant=idiot. Movies at Gramercy Theater=filled with scary old people. Donor screenings=lots of free booze.). Evidently, we look like someone who went to school in New Jersey and we may have won a lunch for two at tony fish restaurant RM, we'll find out after the drawing January 7. As you can see, a good night out indeed.

Remainder: Happy Birthday to the fine folks (and EV neighbors!) over at Black Table! One year of publishing some of the best writing on the web is quite an accomplishment and deserves the oddest word of praise ever -- Kudos. They're also have a celebration party this Friday if you're around which sounds like fun. Mostly because having drunken, struggling writers flirt with us always sounds like fun.

Posted by karen at 4:37 AM |

December 24, 2003

We Wish You Much Holiday Hokum

wondlife2bw.jpgNothing says holiday cheer like hokie Christmas movies such as the perenial fav pictured right. Cinecultist wishes you all (in a non-demoninational way, of course) the most sappy and sentimental of seasons. Or be like CC a few years ago and get drunk on margaritas while watching White Christmas, or whatever suits your fancy.

[Ed. Note -- while we are now officially on holiday here at CC HQ, we shall try to update you with holiday movie reviews as time and gorging on peppermint candy canes allows. Cheers!]

Posted by karen at 10:26 AM |

October 31, 2003

Good Grief CC!

cbrown_halloween.jpgIn honor of Halloween, Cinecultist intended to post a list of favorite scary movies. But when we sat down to think of the list, we realized the number of actual scary movies we've seen and enjoyed is pretty slim. CC is sort of a wuss when it comes to the horror genre. Our mother says it's because we're sensitive.

CC has seen Psycho a few times, but that was in the context of an Alfred Hitchcock class. Same goes for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It probably stems from that time in the 6th grade when at a sleepover party everyone else wanted to watch Poltergeist 3. CC spent the movie behind an overstuffed armchair with fingers in ears. So that's why we're instead recommending a viewing or reviewing of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!. Linus knows it's all about getting into the spirit of the holiday. Happy Halloween cinecultists. Maybe we'll see you at the parade in Washington Square Park.

Posted by karen at 7:57 AM |

October 30, 2003

Theater Review: Landmark Sunshine

Being a Cinecultist isn't just about consuming as many movies as your eye sight can stand, it is about the whole movie going experience. With this in mind, CC brings you in the next few weeks, reviews of our favorite (and hated) movie houses in New York City.

Sunshine Cinema
address: East Houston. Closest subway: 2nd Ave F/V.
A restored theater that's been a staple on the Lower East Side culture reopened about a year or so ago and now screens independent and art house movies to the LES hip. Has 5 theaters on three floors, all with stadium seating. Chi-chi concession stand. Price of a Large Diet Coke? Well above the $4 mark. Special Events: Hosts premiere screenings of indie pictures like American Splendor and the Margaret Cho concert movie, the Notorious C.H.O. They also show Midnight Movies programmed by the Village Voice. Up coming features to be hitting their screens include the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Full listing and tickets at Moviefone or 777-FILM.

Plus side: CC often ends up standing out front of this theater waiting for a friend and Houston Street is a great place for the people watching. They also have a nice lobby area on the second floor to hang out in, if you're a little early for your movie. Minuses: Can be difficult to get tickets here on the weekend nights for popular movies.

Places to grab a nosh nearby:
A toasted sandwiche at Grilled Cheese (168 Ludlow Street) hits the spot on a rainy afternoon. Or a glass of red wine and the pate plate at the Pink Pony (176 Ludlow Street) post-film will make you feel particularly cultured.

Cinema Treasures' review of the Sunshine.Check out the rest of their extensive coverage of movie theaters all over the country.

Posted by karen at 8:34 AM |

October 27, 2003

Examining Celebrity

Over the weekend, Cinecultist finally caught a performance of the East Village hit, Matt & Ben over at P.S. 122. Winner of the best performance award at last year's Fringe Festival, P.S. 122 mounted a limited run of the show this fall that's had so much audience interest, it has been held over and performances added (including three on Saturday nights).

The play imagines that magical moment when the script for Good Will Hunting landed on the coffeetable in that humble Boston apartment. Literally, it falls from the ceiling. Mindy Kaling plays Ben Affleck and Brenda Withers is Matt Damon and these talented women also wrote the play. The play capitalizes on a delightful premise and our abiding fascination with celebrity. We think we know these two guys because we saw them collect their Oscars for best screenplay, but what do we really know, after all, about their collaboration? Kaling and Withers bicker so realistically, like two friends who've known each other much too long, there are moments where CC felt she should leave the room, it was too intimate a display. CC highly recommends it as a funny, thoughtful evening at the theater.

One More Cultural Consumption Suggestion: Death Cab for Cutie's new album, "Transatlantism". Buy it. Lurve it. Lordy, it's so so so great. That is all.

Posted by karen at 12:02 PM |

October 22, 2003

Dirty Old Men

Early Saturday evening, Cinecultist stood in a crowded room in Chelsea contemplating a photograph of a nude girl bent over taken by director/photographer/lecherous old coot Larry Clark. We found out later, this was a $40,000 vagina we were gazing upon. As usual, Jose Freire, the proprietor of Team Gallery (527 West 26th Street, NYC) puts on a show that takes art, media and modern culture then messes them all up together. The show's curated by Bob Nickas, features work by 30 odd artists and has the impressively long title "My People Were Fair and Had Cum in their Hair (but Now They're Content to Spray Stars from your Boughs)." Head down there to check out the show if you're in the neighborhood, its quite an array of smut. And we mean this in the best way. Of all of the interesting peices in the show, we found that boy and his pumpkin to be quite an eye opener. Jose is one of CC's dear friends from NYU but besides this connection, we trust him to expose us to the most thoughtful artists working now, in particular those who's work is mitigated by their relationship to culture. Fascinating.

Another shout out/suggestion: Charlie Suisman is another New York cultural force that keeps CC in the know with the cool kids. His site and e-mail newsletter Manhattan User's Guide is good stuff — pretty, interesting and off the beaten path — and like a good friend, is always welcome in the inbox. He's doing a push for new sign-ups this week, so that he can continue to run the site with the costs being defrayed by some subtle advertising. Click over and check it out.

Posted by karen at 8:02 AM |

October 15, 2003

CC @ NYFF

Cinecultist loves her beautiful, talented, well-connected friends — especially the ones who hook us up with tickets for things. *ahem* Hint, Hint. Tonight our dear friend Stephanie, the hardest working woman in film festivals, got us tickets to see Tsai Ming-liang's new movie, Goodbye Dragon Inn at the New York Film Festival. The title references King Hu's action classic but we're expecting a picture more like his earlier features the Hole and What Time Is It There? In other words depressing, slowly paced, alienated and oh so Taiwanese. We're psyched.

UPDATE: Ming-liang is an adorable, buzz cut-sporting, art cinema-promoting genius. We heart him. We're on first name basis. As we said to our friend William, we'd be happy to suffer to be his muse like Lee Kang-sheng, except we're not skinny enough for it. Ming-liang says his movies aren't all about nostalgia but we're not so sure about that. Goodbye is a love letter from a cinecultist to King Hu and his martial arts epic. Yes, the movie is all of the things we thought it'd be, particularly slow paced and there's probably about 10 lines total of dialogue in the whole two hours. It's not for the faint of heart or those who expect to be "entertained" at the movies. CC hopes for your sake it gets US distribution soon, it is awesome stuff.

Posted by karen at 8:03 AM |

October 9, 2003

Coming Soon!

ewan 11.jpgComing soon to a film blog near you: an IM chat between PCC and CCC (aka Mr. Cultivated Stupidity) on the merits of recent NYFF screenings of Lars Von Trier's Dogville and David Mackenzie's Young Adam. But to tide you over until then, here's a picture of Young Adam star Ewan McGregor himself, taken by PCC courtesy of CC's digital camera-and the fact that Mr. McGregor was gracious enough to stand still long enough signing a woman's program for PCC to take several photos. Enjoy!

Posted by jordan at 11:59 PM |

October 4, 2003

Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for PCC's report on the opening night of the 2003 New York Film Festival, featuring Clint Eastwood's Mystic River. Just a hint: amazing.

Posted by jordan at 11:47 AM |

October 3, 2003

Five Languages, Five Decades and Seven Countries

IB1.jpgUntil February 2004, Ingrid Bergman will be at a gin joint near you. If you live in New York City, that is. And if you consider the Scandinavia House to be a gin joint. For the next four months, The American Scandinavian Foundation's Scandinavia House is showing all of Bergman's Swedish-language films, from her first performance in 1935's Munkbrogreven (The Count of the Old Town) to her heartbreaking turn as Liv Ullman's distant mother in Ingmar Bergman's 1978 Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata). Ms. Bergman tops PCC's current list of all-time favorite actresses and while PCC has had the opportunity to watch many of the early Swedish films, courtesy of Movie Madness in Portland, she is very excited about the chance to see them on the big screen. Scandinavia House is located at 58 Park between 37th and 38th Streets. Tickets to the screenings are $8.

Posted by jordan at 9:29 AM |

Fresh-tivals

As you may have heard, this weekend kicks off the 41st New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center (Oct. 3 - Oct. 19). Considered one of the main festivals, a series other festivals around the world use to plan their line-ups, NYFF seems to try to hover between big-name releases from established American directors (Clint Eastwood's Mystic River and Gus Van Sant's Elephant) and international vanguards (Tsai Ming-liang's Goodbye Dragon Inn, Lars von Trier's Dogville and Claude Chabrol's The Flower of Evil).

But NYFF isn't the only festival of film on the horizon here in New York. Meanwhile below 14th Street, this weekend also begins CineKink:NYC, a festival of sex, film and kink held at the Anthology Film Archive. Latex, whips, dominatrix, the history of s&m on screen, these aren't the sorts of things you'll see at Walter Reade.

Also worth checking out, Oct. 9 - 12 the RESfest comes to the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, a series devoted to digital filmmaking by the digital culture magazine. They'll be running a retrospective to Michael Gondry on Sunday, including a Q&A with the director. Daft Punk will also be performing, so you can get your techno with your technology.

Posted by karen at 8:01 AM |

September 18, 2003

Cinecultist Heart Happy Hour

Just a brief mention that Cinecultist is looking forward to attending tonight the second installment of the Gothamist/601am Happy Hour, this time held at Remote Lounge. Being a bit on the stalker-y side, we're dying to know who's a part of the "blognoscenti" (perhaps the best made-up word we've heard in a long time) according to LS.com and JVG.com. Anyhow, if you're going to be there be sure to seek us out and say hi. Even if you're not blognoscenti, 'cause CC's cool like that.

Posted by karen at 11:50 AM |

September 13, 2003

Wet Hot Midnight

wethotposter.jpgThe very best midnight movies are silly good fun and completely camp-tastic. When Cinecultist caught Wet Hot American Summer on its initial theatrical release two summers ago, it seemed like the kind of film best appreciated with a crowd, musical guests and prizes. Fortunately for fans of this The State-produced flick who appreciate seeing it in a theater with a gaggle of like-minded friends, the producers have brought it back for a run of midnight screenings at the AMC Empire 25 (234 W. 42nd St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave., $10) this weekend. Members of the cast will be there, including Janeane Garofalo, and at the last weekend of sold out screenings after Labor Day, viewers dressed up as characters ala Rocky Horror. Break out those terry cloth short shorts and head down there tonight.

Posted by karen at 12:51 PM |