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GreenCine: Japan Cuts 2012: Critic's Notebook. @dollarama3k on @japansociety's annual showcase - TORMENTED, LOVE STRIKES, more http://t.co/YkgFwzMM

Greencine - Twitter - July 10, 2012 - 2:54pm
GreenCine: Japan Cuts 2012: Critic's Notebook. @dollarama3k on @japansociety's annual showcase - TORMENTED, LOVE STRIKES, more http://t.co/YkgFwzMM

GreenCine: New releases! Find out if you're on #teammargaret, out today, w/BEING FLYNN, FLOWERS OF WAR, nikkatsu, and more! http://t.co/MoOHw9Dx

Greencine - Twitter - July 10, 2012 - 11:29am
GreenCine: New releases! Find out if you're on #teammargaret, out today, w/BEING FLYNN, FLOWERS OF WAR, nikkatsu, and more! http://t.co/MoOHw9Dx

JAPAN CUTS 2012: Critic's Notebook

GreenCine Daily - July 10, 2012 - 9:31am
by Steve Dollar

Wabbits! Wabbits! Wabbits! Elmer Fudd would crap his pants and blow his (shotgun) load if he took the M15 bus uptown, just past the United Nations, and headed over to Japan Society this weekend. There, he’d encounter a far more formidable nemesis than Bugs Bunny: The never-ending hallucinatory fuzzy-wuzzy terror of Tormented (Rabbit Horror 3-D)—though this is the 2-D version. One of those films that gives Japan Cuts its edge, this latest lump of disgorged J-Horror is nonetheless more aberrant curiosity than culturally subversive reason-to-go-on-living.

The participation of ace cinematographer Christopher Doyle and J-Horror auteur Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) has the promise of genius, and a six-foot-tall actor inhabiting a rabbit costume can only add to the psychotronic glory of it all. The latter haunts a little boy who, in an act of mercy, finishes off a deathly sick rabbit with a big rock one day at school. The kindness earns him the taunts of his peers, who call him "rabbit-killer." His mute older sister tries to offer solace, but their home is some kind of strange penumbral world of weirdness, with an artist father lost in his own world after the deaths of both his wives.

Continued reading JAPAN CUTS 2012: Critic's Notebook...

GreenCine: Retro Active: CHOPPER (2000) @nschager revisits Andrew Dominik's savage portrait of an Aussie jailbird sociopath http://t.co/vGp9Yz2l

Greencine - Twitter - July 9, 2012 - 1:43pm
GreenCine: Retro Active: CHOPPER (2000) @nschager revisits Andrew Dominik's savage portrait of an Aussie jailbird sociopath http://t.co/vGp9Yz2l

RETRO ACTIVE: Chopper (2000)

GreenCine Daily - July 9, 2012 - 9:06am
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by Oliver Stone's criminals-and-drugs saga Savages.]

Fascinated by self-mythologizing criminals and the futility of their navel-gazing adoration, Andrew Dominik plumbs the twisted mind of Australia's most notorious convict with Chopper, the reality-fractured tale of tattooed lunatic Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read (Eric Bana). Dominik's film is based on a number of Reads' own books, and assumes their author's wacko view of himself and the world around him, plunging into its protagonist's headspace over the course of two distinct periods—1978, when he was incarcerated in Melbourne's Pentridge Prison; and 1986, when he was back on the streets—with a enveloping intensity. Bookended by the sight of Chopper watching himself in an exclusive TV news interview from his cell alongside two guards, a chat punctuated by Chopper gleefully calling himself "a normal bloke who likes a bit of torture," it's a jet-black comedy of volatile ferocity. Admitting to right-hand man Jimmy (Simon Lyndon) "I don't hate anybody" shortly before he viciously stabs a rival to death, then sincerely asking his victim, "You alright, Keith?", and then cheekily quipping to the guards who tend to this wounded man, "Keithy seems to have done himself a mischief!", Chopper proves a terrifyingly schizophrenic specimen, a cross between a pit bull and The Joker.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: Chopper (2000)...

GreenCine: Film of the Week: DAISIES @vrizov on the 1966 Czech New Wave pearl, now playing @BAMcinematek and on DVD via @Criterion http://t.co/TfdDhjxw

Greencine - Twitter - July 6, 2012 - 9:05pm
GreenCine: Film of the Week: DAISIES @vrizov on the 1966 Czech New Wave pearl, now playing @BAMcinematek and on DVD via @Criterion http://t.co/TfdDhjxw

FILM OF THE WEEK: Daisies (1966)

GreenCine Daily - July 6, 2012 - 3:16pm
by Vadim Rizov

A tornado took Dorothy out of black-and-white Kansas into colorful Oz: destruction bred creation and imaginative release. The link in Vera Chytilová’s Daisies is brusquer. Two girls are sitting in what appears to be some kind of bathhouse: Marie I (Jitka Cerhová) is the brunette, Marie II (Ivana Karbanová) the blonde. A brief discussion of the state of the world leads to the conclusion that it's spoiled, and hence the Maries will be too. Marie I slaps Marie II, knocking her backwards out of the black-and-white interior into a colorful field.

"Even those of us who love Daisies have trouble finding the proper terms to account for it," blogger/theorist Steven Shaviro wrote in 2007. Many dazzling, ahead-of-their-time effects literally saturate Daisies, their connection to broader ideological dissent rarely obvious. Within a brief scene, Chytilová will cut every few seconds to slather the shot in another pop-art monochrome. Train journeys are rendered proto-video blur, with the passing landscape anticipating the similarly dizzying effects Wong Kar-Wai would conjure up with more resources in Happy Together. The effect resembles a surlier A Hard Day's Night, with each effect is indulged for its own pleasure.

Continued reading FILM OF THE WEEK: Daisies (1966)...

GreenCine: New and Coming Releases for this Independence Day Eve: GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE HUNTER, SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE +more! http://t.co/fXeRNczL

Greencine - Twitter - July 3, 2012 - 11:55am
GreenCine: New and Coming Releases for this Independence Day Eve: GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE HUNTER, SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE +more! http://t.co/fXeRNczL

GreenCine: Retro Active: MAGIC (1978) Talking teddy bears aren't half as mental as what @nschager unearthed http://t.co/GqmjvGsE

Greencine - Twitter - July 3, 2012 - 11:04am
GreenCine: Retro Active: MAGIC (1978) Talking teddy bears aren't half as mental as what @nschager unearthed http://t.co/GqmjvGsE

RETRO ACTIVE: Magic (1978)

GreenCine Daily - July 2, 2012 - 1:54pm
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by the man-and-his-doll fantasy Ted.]

"We're gonna be a staaaaar!" crows Fats, the ventriloquist dummy controlled by Corky (Anthony Hopkins), toward the beginning of Magic, but stardom is something to be feared as much as coveted by the showman protagonist of Richard Attenborough's adaptation of William Goldman's novel (itself seemingly indebted to The Twilight Zone episode "The Dummy"). That hopeful exclamation is made while both Corky and Fats are spied in a mirror, a recurring visual trope that speaks to the mounting duality and insanity of its confidence-lacking main character, who after early struggles at amateur nights—where he responds to audience indifference with vitriolic rage—finds himself on the precipice of stardom upon taking to the stage with Fats. A big-eyed, sailor-capped wooden sidekick, Fats is the motormouthed Id to Corky's Ego, and his profane (at least by 1978 standards) brashness makes him an instant hit, as well as marks him as a potential breakout sensation to agent Ben Greene (Burgess Meredith), who believes that "magic is misdirection," and that Fats will be the key misdirection element that will allow Corky's act to transfer properly to TV. The only problem, alas, is that Corky, when offered an NBC pilot, won't take a medical exam, purportedly "on principle" but, in truth, because he fears what doctors might discover about his mental condition.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: Magic (1978)...

GreenCine: THE 39 STEPS gets the @Criterion BluRay treatment and looks better than ever, packed with supplements. @philmiv reviews http://t.co/DQxb2c2o

Greencine - Twitter - June 29, 2012 - 4:55pm
GreenCine: THE 39 STEPS gets the @Criterion BluRay treatment and looks better than ever, packed with supplements. @philmiv reviews http://t.co/DQxb2c2o

GreenCine: DVD of the Week: 21 JUMP STREET. @vrizov digs this well-crafted revision of the high school comedy http://t.co/CEVohO6L

Greencine - Twitter - June 29, 2012 - 1:52pm
GreenCine: DVD of the Week: 21 JUMP STREET. @vrizov digs this well-crafted revision of the high school comedy http://t.co/CEVohO6L

DVD OF THE WEEK: 21 Jump Street

GreenCine Daily - June 29, 2012 - 9:29am
by Vadim Rizov

21 Jump Street is the best-crafted, most consistently funny American studio comedy since 2007's Superbad. Both star Jonah Hill, a relatively unlikely leading man, here at his most slimmed-down, introduced in a 2005 prologue as a too-much-too-late Slim Shady lookalike aspirant to cool kid status, a nerd whose bumbling prom overtures to a hot childhood friend are met with unambiguously mocking laughter. The main joke is that his return in the present as an undercover cop along with admitted jock Channing Tatum makes Hill a popular kid on the ascent. His liberal pieties, quick bully-scorning wit and comfortably unconventional appearance help him fit right in, while Tatum's self-secure stupidity no longer is a sure route to popularity.

An R-rated comedy that's already proven massively profitable, the $42-million 21 Jump Street has already made $192 million worldwide. Ostensibly trading upon the market value of its once-popular TV series namesake, it has even less meaningful relationship to the show than, say, 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie, which mocked its model as an out-of-date, socially laughable anachronism. 21 Jump Street pays sardonic lip service in the form of an updated police station church, plausibly inspired by LA's Koreatown and complete with a meme-ready wood carving of a "Korean Jesus." "We had our production designer create a partially Korean Jesus," noted co-director Phil Lord; "not so much that it was impossible or grossly racist. Just slightly racist was what we were going for." A similarly deft attention is paid throughout towards characters that initially come off as stereotyped goofs are later revealed to have hidden comic depths. It makes sense that the only element to fall flat is Ice Cube as Loud, Belligerent Cop Ironically Played By Ice Cube—a one-note joke with minimal screen time not that far off from Not Another Teen Movie's "Token Black Guy."

Continued reading DVD OF THE WEEK: 21 Jump Street...

GreenCine: Hoping MARGARET, Kenneth Lonergan's ambitious, contentious epic gets lots of DVD love, out next week #teammargaret http://t.co/xtE0OR75

Greencine - Twitter - June 28, 2012 - 5:35pm
GreenCine: Hoping MARGARET, Kenneth Lonergan's ambitious, contentious epic gets lots of DVD love, out next week #teammargaret http://t.co/xtE0OR75

GreenCine: Color us surprised, one of June's top renters is JOHN CARTER. A. Payne's dramatic effort THE DESCENDENTS is #1. Full list on the homepage!

Greencine - Twitter - June 28, 2012 - 5:28pm
GreenCine: Color us surprised, one of June's top renters is JOHN CARTER. A. Payne's dramatic effort THE DESCENDENTS is #1. Full list on the homepage!

GreenCine: #BAMcinemaFest Critic's Notebook, Shorts! @dollarama3k on Josh + Benny Safdie's BLACK BALLOON, MEANING OF ROBOTS, more http://t.co/plwGZJSL

Greencine - Twitter - June 28, 2012 - 11:07am
GreenCine: #BAMcinemaFest Critic's Notebook, Shorts! @dollarama3k on Josh + Benny Safdie's BLACK BALLOON, MEANING OF ROBOTS, more http://t.co/plwGZJSL

BAMcinemaFest '12: Critic's Notebook

GreenCine Daily - June 28, 2012 - 12:19am
by Steve Dollar

Shorts—as in short films—have become a peculiar manifestation of film festival culture. Almost any festival you go to will have multiple shorts programs on the schedule. And guaranteed, the filmmaker you meet who wins the short-film prize will be back soon with something special, whether it's the guy who made Hesher (see the Down Under zombie mash note I Love Sarah Jane) or the guy who made Beasts of the Southern Wild (anticipated by Glory at Sea). I don't really know under what circumstances they are exhibited anywhere else outside the institutional/museum/repertory world. Nonetheless, YouTube and Vimeo appear to be terrific bounties for short-film surfing and many an auteur's DVD bonus features would be sorely lacking if they didn't include available and relevant short exercises that laid the groundwork for the masterpiece at hand.

Josh and Benny Safdie had the bright idea of packaging their recent short The Black Balloon (a prize-winner at Sundance) with The Red Balloon, Albert Lamorisse's 1956 classic to which it pays homage, along with Buster Keaton's The Balloonatic and the animated 1935 Balloon Land (The Pincushion Man) and circulating the whole shebang under the title: "Take Me to the Balloony Bin!" It's touring the United States now, through the agency of the CInema Conservancy, and just screened as part of BAMcinemaFest—now in its fourth year at Brooklyn's BAMcinematek.

Continued reading BAMcinemaFest '12: Critic's Notebook...

GreenCine: Sorry all for the continued site bumps, should be up to full speed later tonight.

Greencine - Twitter - June 27, 2012 - 2:21pm
GreenCine: Sorry all for the continued site bumps, should be up to full speed later tonight.

GreenCine: We're back up and running this morning, huzzah!

Greencine - Twitter - June 27, 2012 - 9:02am
GreenCine: We're back up and running this morning, huzzah!

GreenCine: Still working on getting the main site back up, and unfortunately that means newsletters are hitting inboxes in the AM. 'Till mañana!

Greencine - Twitter - June 26, 2012 - 9:49pm
GreenCine: Still working on getting the main site back up, and unfortunately that means newsletters are hitting inboxes in the AM. 'Till mañana!

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