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Bong Joon-ho: Horror on the River Han

Interview By John Esther

"Eschewing the reactionary tropes of the supernatural or working class threats to the paranoid ruling classes vis-àis mutant horror in most American movies, Bong Joon-ho's The Host (Gue-Mool) brings a social conscious to a story of a world run amok. The film commences with chemicals being dumped into a drain leading to the Han River..." John Esther spoke with director Bong Joon-ho about his newest feature The Host. An impressive buzz has built up around the film, including coverage in ArtForum.

The Host is now available on DVD.

Continue Reading Bong Joon-ho: Horror on the River Han

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Poison Friends: Cannes winner


"Not for nothing did this movie open the International Critics' Week (and win its grand prize) last year at Cannes," wrote J Hoberman in The Village Voice of this biting, (very) French drama set at a university. "Poison Friends may be all talk, but it's cut like an action flick."

Adds the LA Times: "Steeped in shrewdness about the often contradictory workings of human nature, gratifying in the best tradition of French cinema."

Continue Reading Poison Friends: Cannes winner

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Ace in the Hole: Wild Wilder

Billy Wilder's most famous box office flop, the searing 1951 satire Ace in the Hole (once retitled The Big Carnival in a lame attempt to save it) has long been a cult item and now that Criterion's revived it on disc, clearly much more than that, too. "It's dark, funny, ferocious, and vintage Wilder all the way," wrote the Christian Science Monitor's David Sterritt.

"An acquired taste," adds The New York Times' A.O. Scott, "and an unforgettable one."

Also see: An interesting essay on the film by Richard Armstrong in Senses of Cinema

Continue Reading Ace in the Hole: Wild Wilder

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New on DVD: July 17, 2007

Something old, something new, something uh, French, something... blue? Well, sort of blue, although the "unrated" edition of Factory Girl, while sexy, isn't all that ribald. We'll have a review of that one up soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the diverse batch of titles out this week.

Continue Reading New on DVD: July 17, 2007

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YBCA Screening Series: Movies You Can't See on DVD

GreenCine Members get a special discount on tickets ($6!) for a fun new series Thursdays and Saturdays at SF's Yerba Buena Center in July and August. Get off your couch and away from your computer! Seeing films projected in a theater does not even resemble the experience of watching at home. This series will showcase twelve remarkable films which have not been released on DVD. All will be presented on 35mm film, and many are pristine studio vault prints.

Films include Love Streams, Urgh! A Music War, Boys in the Band, She's Gotta Have It and Unholy Rollers. Don't miss 'em!

Please visit YBCA’s website for more details. 701 Mission Street, San Francisco. Thursdays: July 12, 19, 26 & August 2, 9, 16. Saturdays: July 14, 21, 28 & August 4, 11, 18
$8 regular, $6 seniors, students, & teachers/ $6 YBCA Members


Continue Reading YBCA Screening Series: Movies You Can't See on DVD

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Film Crew's first riff: Hollywood After Dark

Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark

Those wacky guys from Rifftrax (and Mystery Science Theater 3000), Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, are at it again. Think of Film Crew as MST3K without the silhouettes and robots, but still chock full of snarky comments on bad, obscure films -- serving as a survival mechanism for both commenter and viewer.

Continue Reading Film Crew's first riff: Hollywood After Dark

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New on DVD: July 10, 2007

Finally, a chock-filled DVD releasing week again! We've got new anime, new kids movies, an Oscar-nominated Danish drama and other excellent international seletions, new indie flicks and dramas, a new season of Extras, new old noir, and much more. Enjoy!

Continue Reading New on DVD: July 10, 2007

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Sweet Land: A Love Story


Sweet Land is "a tale of pure Americana that speaks both to the immigrant experience and the nature of love," (Hollywood Reporter), this poignant film is set in Minnesota farm country in the early 20s. "A movie of extraordinary tenderness," wrote Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman. "If Terrence Malick could ever banish the wispy art clouds from his brain and give in to the storyteller inside, perhaps he might make a movie as stirring. I want to be absolutely clear about what an independent triumph this is."

Continue Reading Sweet Land: A Love Story

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After the Wedding

Susanne Bier's drama After the Wedding was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and manages to be both sweeping, yet entirely intimate. "A highly original and unusually powerful drama that deserves comparison to the great Scandinavian films of the past," says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "After the Wedding would never pretend to have any answers, but in hands this skilled the act of exploration itself couldn't be more illuminating, or more dramatic," adds the LA Times' Kenneth Turan.

Mads Mikkelsen played the baddie in Casino Royale, but showing an entirely different side here you'll see why he's the biggest star in Denmark.

Continue Reading After the Wedding

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