Lists

 By Simon Paul Augustine

Shorts:

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

 anotheryear.jpg

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

carlosmovie.jpg

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

By Simon Augustine

Some films are legendary for bearing the imprimatur of nearly unanimous praise. Others are notorious for a less fortuitous reason - iconic because they represent almost supernatural amateurishness, ineptitude, and a lack of artistic instinct that becomes an distinct art form in itself. For every Citizen Kane there is a Plan 9 From Outer Space. The question that defines absurdum, i.e. the improbably bad, is: "how did this thing ever get made?" As Tim Burton showed us in his bio-pic Ed Wood, however, there is an effable charm to a visionary intent on bringing her dreams to life, even if they are nightmarish in quality and merit. The worst, most self-deluded auteur is still, in some ways, more palatable than the most distinguished critic-snob. To paraphrase Woody Allen: there are those who make bad films, there are those who write about bad films, and there are those who teach gym.

Contenders for the Throne of Awful:

Blog entry 05/03/2010 - 3:37pm

Documentary filmmaker and rabble-rouser Michael Moore gave NPR a list of some of his favorite DVDs, even though he admits he doesn't watch DVDs. But hey, just because he's not a potential GreenCine member doesn't mean this isn't a useful list for all of us. GreenCine has all of the films mentioned for rent.

Here's just the first one, and then a link to the whole article on NPR.org.

Czech Dream (2004) You'll be hard-pressed to find a theater playing the documentary project Czech Dream, in which film-school students Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda dress up as CEOs to fake the elaborate opening of a fictional megastore and record the hype surrounding it. The duo uses bogus ad campaigns to reveal the power of consumer culture in the formerly socialist Czech Republic.

 It almost sounds like something Moore would do -- except he says he never could. Moore says because Czech Dream takes place in a country that, unlike the U.S., is new to capitalism, it's much more insightful than anything he could have made.

"I'm caught up probably just as much in the consumer culture as the next person," Moore says. "[The film] had more to say about us than about people in the Czech Republic."

"It was funny, which is so rare in documentaries," Moore says. "I've been encouraging documentary filmmakers to use more and more humor, and they're loath to do that because they think if it's a documentary it has to be deadly serious -- it has to be like medicine that you're supposed to take. And I think it's what keeps the mass audience from going to documentaries."

Bottom line: "I just loved it."

Whole story on NPR.org

Blog entry 04/21/2010 - 12:16pm

A list of all the Oscar-nominated films, alphabetically. Links to titles on DVD provided where available. This list will be updated as titles are added to DVD.

 

Go here for GreenCine's Oscars Live Blog; Live March 7, 2010, and replay available after conclusion of the chat.

 

 

Blog entry 03/05/2010 - 12:17am

Best Movies Seen on Screen or Via GreenCine in 2009

by Dylan de Thomas

As I wrote the last time I did one of these, I don't get to see all the hotly anticipated year-end flicks up here in rainy Portland, Oregon. That said, there were less glaring absences this year, with a bunch of excellent movies coming out earlier in 2009. And so here are my own favorites, unnumbered and split into arbitrary categories for nugget-sized consuming pleasure.

Blog entry 01/07/2010 - 5:01pm

by James Van Maanen

 

Chris and Don: A Love Story

2009 was a decent year for finding good gay-themed films on DVD. While Milk might seem a shoo-in for the list, I would suggest instead renting the original documentary about Harvey Milk, which is superior to the Van Sant film in almost every way (except budget). My choices this year include one very fine lesbian movie; I wish there were more in this vein to recommend. Some of these are more subtle than others in the manner in which they address their gay themes, but each is worth seeing and thinking about. I’ve chosen my top 12, not on the basis of whether the main characters are gay, or whether the film in question is a "gay movie." Instead, I’ve tried to choose films in which gay characters and themes are used more richly and inventively.

Blog entry 01/05/2010 - 11:29am

 

By Craig Phillips 

Any year in which it is truly a challenge to whittle down one's list of favorite films rather than a stretch to fill in the list is a good one and I'd deem 2009 such a year. As always, my personal choices tend to be films that I find both wholly unique, emotionally resonant, and with a well structured script (or in the case of docs, a well structured story) -- those who know me know I have a particular bias for or against films based on how strong or weak are the scripts. These are the films that inspire, and stick with me long after the lights come back on.

 

 
Blog entry 12/31/2009 - 12:04pm

By Jeffrey Anderson

Believe it or not, there were still some classics appearing for the first time on DVD in 2009, even though Blu-Ray continues to loom ever larger. Also, movies continue to be re-mastered and re-released on new DVDs, making up for the early flaws of the technology. Unfortunately, 3D hasn't quite been mastered in the home format just yet, but that's undoubtedly coming. The following is my list of the ten best DVDs of the year, plus 15 more runners-up for a total of 25. And most of them make great gifts too! Happy Holidays!


More inside!

1. The Samuel Fuller Collection (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony follows up their great Budd Boetticher box set with this tribute to Samuel Fuller. The set is of course limited to films that Fuller made at Columbia, and it contains only two films he actually directed, but they're both masterworks: The Crimson Kimono and Underworld U.S.A. Additionally it contains four other films written or co-written by Fuller, and two of those (Shockproof and Scandal Sheet) are very much worth seeing. The various bonuses and interviews make it the DVD of the year.

Blog entry 12/31/2009 - 9:40am

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