Terayama-Throw-Away-Your-Books-Rally-in-the-StreetsBy Simon P. Augustine

"Your liberation – who is it for?"
       – from Throw Away Your Books, Rally In The Streets

The advent of the internet has changed the landscape for cinema lovers forever,unveiling whole treasure troves, and in some cases entire sub-genres of filmic history that may have heretofore escaped the eyes of even the most ardent critic or cinephile. Within the matrix of video rental services, websites devoted to cinema culture, blogs, etc., there is almost no dark corner of the world’s movie theater that cannot now be explored. A happy example of this phenomenon for me is a recent encounter with a group of bold, visually stunning, intellectually challenging, spiritually and erotically charged films that rival the most daring films of today’s international and independent scene: the cinema which emerged from Japan in the 60’s and 70’s.

Blog entry 06/26/2012 - 7:30pm

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): SET **** ½
Pearls of the Deep: *** ½ (Shorts: Mr Baltazer’s Death **, The Imposters *** ½, House of Joy **** ½ , The Restaurant The World *** ½ , Romance ****)
Daisies: **** ½
A Report on the Party and Guests: *** ½
Return of the Prodigal Son: *** ½
Capricious Summer: ***
The Joke: **** ½

Eclipse’s latest set ingeniously collects ten films – five shorts and five features – by five directors at the forefront of the retroactively titled “Czech New Wave.” Pretty much every film presented here was eventually banned by the Soviet overlords who micromanaged the Czechoslovakian culture following the Warsaw Pact.

Blog entry 06/25/2012 - 6:12pm

 by Steve Dollar


When it was first released 25 years ago, Something Wild seemed very much a part of the zeitgeist. As "morning in America" drifted into the senile platitudes of Ronald Reagan's second term, and Top Gun and Back to the Future cleaned up at the box office, some filmmakers were reconsidering the national identity, in particular, the apple-pie verities of small towns in what might now be called Red States - aka, the Heartland.

Blog entry 05/13/2011 - 3:32pm

 By Kathy Harr

Camus said, "Yes, there is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever the difficulties the enterprise may present, I would like never to be unfaithful either to one or the other."

That describes the folksinger-songwriter Phil Ochs as seen in Kenneth Bowser's new documentary, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune. Bowser, who is married to actress Amy Irving and has also made a films about Saturday Night Live, Preston Sturges andFrank Capra, is probably best known for making the film based on Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. His next project may be one based on another Biskind best-seller, Down & Dirty Pictures.

There But for Fortune, which is slowly releasing nationally, including San Francisco'sBalboa Theater this weekend, was called a “A complex portrait of an ultimately unknowable man,” by Peter Rainer “At once an unsentimental portrait of the ambitious singer who thought himself bound for glory, and an affecting elegy for a time when song was a form of revolution,” wrote Lisa Schwarzbaum. Bowser was kind enough to chat with me about art and truth, yesterday's failures and today's wars, and what was left on the cutting-room floor.

Blog entry 03/25/2011 - 10:42am

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Though the multitalented Tom McCarthy, 45, made his acting debut in Mike Binder's Crossing the Bridge (1992), the nineties gave him very little follow-up work. But in the 2000s things began to happen for him, including small parts in movies like Meet the Parents (2000), The Guru (2002), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Syriana (2005), and Flags of Our Fathers (2006). However, McCarthy answered his true calling when he was able to write and direct his first film, The Station Agent (2003).

That film may have seemed on the surface a slight, indie comedy, but had subtle depth of character in addition to sharp writing, clever casting, and strong performances, and it was a modest success story. The same thing happened with McCarthy's second film, The Visitor (2008), which still serves as a model for cross-cultural Hollywood tales. An achingly good Richard Jenkins earned an Oscar nomination for his lead performance. McCarthy himself earned an Oscar nomination the following year for contributing to the screenplay of Pixar's Up (2009). Now comes McCarthy's third movie, Win Win (opening today in select theaters), which is a good deal messier, but perhaps even deeper than his previous works.

Blog entry 03/18/2011 - 10:14am

By Adam Hartzell

Every year since 2000, the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) in South Korea selects three prominent directors and provides each with 50 million won (roughly $44,500) to put together a piece around 30-minutes in length, for the Jeonju Digital Project (JDP). While the Busan International Film Festival is the most prestigious of Asian film festivals, Jeonju has made a name for itself through the JDP. (The festival even makes an appearance as part of the meandering plot of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo's 2009 full-length feature Like You Know It All, where the film director character we follow in the film begins his sojourn at the festival.) The mission of the festival is less about promoting digital works and more about allowing directors a respite from the adjustments they might feel are needed to contort their visions into the logic of marketing and profit.

Blog entry 03/03/2011 - 1:35pm

 By Simon Paul Augustine


8. Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969).

Long before South Park broke out of DIY cartoon obscurity to become a cultural force, and You Tube allowed every aspiring animator to crawl out of the woodwork, independent animation was represented by things like this two minute national treasure. It was a burst of irreverence and innovation way back in the days when to see this sort of piece you had to set up a Super 8 or 16mm projector in the den to entertain folks for a special occasion - yes, handle actual celluloid (other short films like Hardware Wars, a satire of Star Wars featuring toasters battling other kitchen appliances, fell roughly in this same category).   

Read on for the rest!


Blog entry 01/07/2011 - 12:04pm


By Craig Phillips

An interesting year for film, to be sure -- even if there were few out and out indisputable classics, there were a great number of remarkably interesting films, both American independent and documentary, and from abroad. And even Hollywood gave us a few groundbreaking, if flawed, blockbusters. All in all a hard year to pin down, but cinema was full of life. As always, I'm attracted to the films that were consistent in presenting their vision from start to finish, and whether or not the general concept was unique, gave us a work that stayed with you long after the lights went back up. These films all did that for me.


Blog entry 01/04/2011 - 11:12am

by Steve Dollar


If you added up all the allegedly great movies I didn't happen to see this year, there would be enough for three or four Top 10 lists. More if you include the yet-to-be distributed gems and oddities that flourish on the film festival circuit. But don't worry, I'm not going to open up a can of Uncle Boonmee on your ass. There's no need to come off as some savvy super-insider. I'm still coasting on my breakthrough cameo as a backgrounder in Greenberg. With a couple of exceptions in the postscript, these are all movies that had at least a one-week theatrical run in New York.

Blog entry 01/03/2011 - 10:49am

GreenCine is back in the holiday spirit with our 2010 Gift Guide, chock full of ideas to please your favorite cinephile, techie, or to tack on to your own wish list!  Compiled from staff picks and writer contributions. 

Right off the top, let us mention that GreenCine gift certificates are available and are good for 2 to up to 12 months of membership.  Instead of buying a loved one just one DVD or book, give them the gift of access to our entire collection of over 25,000 ecclectic, independent, and hard-to-find titles.   

 Onto the goodies...

Blog entry 12/10/2010 - 6:28pm

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