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GreenCine: Appropriate header image for today http://t.co/77SjOZ2P but notable truly bc A HOLLIS FRAMTPON ODYSSEY releases next wk http://t.co/ck3WyOt8

Greencine - Twitter - April 20, 2012 - 1:20pm
GreenCine: Appropriate header image for today http://t.co/77SjOZ2P but notable truly bc A HOLLIS FRAMTPON ODYSSEY releases next wk http://t.co/ck3WyOt8

GreenCine: Retro Active: @nchager finds D.Argento's boarding school saga PHENOMENA brimming with malevolence and Freudian shadings http://t.co/Dp8uERNh

Greencine - Twitter - April 20, 2012 - 12:57pm
GreenCine: Retro Active: @nchager finds D.Argento's boarding school saga PHENOMENA brimming with malevolence and Freudian shadings http://t.co/Dp8uERNh

GreenCine: "Hong Sang Two" @vrizov on Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's OKI'S MOVIE and THE DAY HE ARRIVES, playing @MayslesCinema NYC http://t.co/SYhjrZqN

Greencine - Twitter - April 20, 2012 - 12:38pm
GreenCine: "Hong Sang Two" @vrizov on Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's OKI'S MOVIE and THE DAY HE ARRIVES, playing @MayslesCinema NYC http://t.co/SYhjrZqN

RETRO ACTIVE: Phenomena (1985)

GreenCine Daily - April 20, 2012 - 9:56am
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by the female boarding-school chiller The Moth Diaries.]

Dario Argento's fascination with sight takes sexually anxious form in Phenomena, the Italian giallo maestro's surreal 1985 saga of boarding school maturation. That carnal awakening isn't overt in Argento's film, which is nominally about a serial killer stalking young females in a remote Swiss village, a spree that coincides with the arrival of Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), the daughter of a famous hunky movie star, at the imposing Richard Wagner Academy for Girls. On her maiden drive from the airport, Jennifer protects a bee from being swatted by hysterical Frau Brückner (Argento regular Daria Nicolodi), an act that's soon explained by the fact that Jennifer shares a telepathic bond with insects, thus making her a prime candidate to befriend local entomologist Professor John McGregor (Donald Pleasance). McGregor is fascinated by Jennifer's relationship with bugs, which—as when she causes one to emit its mating call out of season—boasts a quasi-sexual nature that's further heightened by Jennifer's use of this human-insect connection to help find the area's psycho. Jennifer comes into direct contact with that lunatic during a bout of sleepwalking (a habit attributed by school staffers to "schizophrenia") that leads her to a ledge where, in a moment of shocking brutality, she witnesses a young girl stabbed through the mouth with a blade.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: Phenomena (1985)...

Hong Sang Two

GreenCine Daily - April 17, 2012 - 3:23pm
by Vadim Rizov

2005's A Tale of Cinema inaugurated the second phase of Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's career (Hong 2.0), introducing basic components returned to and toyed with in every subsequent film: drunken directors who swear to change their lives before lapsing a scene later, women alternately being idealized/treated badly but granted final telling-off authority, events repeating themselves with no explanation, goofily inelegant zoom shots. Oki's Movie (screening in NYC through April 22nd) is an excellent introduction for novices, distilling and compacting the familiar elements of Hong's last seven years into 80 minutes, his shortest-ever feature by eight minutes.

The first of four parts is a short film by Jingu (Lee Sunkyun)—still a college student, but already filming predictive nightmares of his onscreen alter-ego being accosted at a post-screening Q&A by the angry friend of a woman he callously broke up with. The last segment is directed by his crush/fellow student Oki (Jung Yumi). Jingu longs for Oki—at inebriated length, with melodramatic, near Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" outbursts—but never realizes he's involved in a love triangle with his rival film professor/mentor Professor Song (Moon Sungkeun).

Continued reading Hong Sang Two...

GreenCine: Lots more great stuff to rent, too: SHAME, Chantal Akerman's FROM THE OTHER SIDE, Robert M Young's ¡ALAMBRISTA!, more http://t.co/rNE0dGBZ

Greencine - Twitter - April 17, 2012 - 10:34am
GreenCine: Lots more great stuff to rent, too: SHAME, Chantal Akerman's FROM THE OTHER SIDE, Robert M Young's ¡ALAMBRISTA!, more http://t.co/rNE0dGBZ

GreenCine: New DVD highlights for today include PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE - we've great, and personal review from @trustmovies http://t.co/Wl2RWMK1

Greencine - Twitter - April 17, 2012 - 10:33am
GreenCine: New DVD highlights for today include PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE - we've great, and personal review from @trustmovies http://t.co/Wl2RWMK1

GreenCine: .@dollarama3k interviews Jonas Mekas for MY MARS BAR MOVIE, a personal snapshot of the legendary East Village dive http://t.co/op1U7eDv

Greencine - Twitter - April 16, 2012 - 9:39pm
GreenCine: .@dollarama3k interviews Jonas Mekas for MY MARS BAR MOVIE, a personal snapshot of the legendary East Village dive http://t.co/op1U7eDv

INTERVIEW: Jonas Mekas

GreenCine Daily - April 14, 2012 - 5:37pm
by Steve Dollar

I remember the first time I visited the Mars Bar. It was 1997, and a friend dragged me there very late one night. It was the kind of East Village dive, just a block off the Bowery, that seemed like a hallucination: dank, dark, walls covered in graffiti and gonzo artwork, lots of cheap canned beer, a jukebox stuffed with Stooges, Motorhead and local scum-rock acts, and a clientele from... Mars. There were only three people in the place, besides us and the bartender, a young woman who looked exactly like the kind of neighborhood siren who you saw, naked, in an R. Kern photo collection: a dwarf, a blind man and a Native American. Was this a Tom Waits song? Somehow two of them got into a fight. And then someone was forcibly locked into the bathroom. More drinks were served, and eventually everyone was back at the bar, a thick haze of cigarette smoke (ah, the '90s!) the ideal ambience for the murder beat lurching out of the juke's tinny speakers.

"You've been in that bathroom?" Jonas Mekas asked me after I told him the story, in a tone one might use when debriefing a refugee from the abyss.

Now 89, the New York filmmaker and archivist speaks from experience. Mekas has spent a third of his life drinking at the Mars Bar. The dive at the corner of Second Avenue and First Street opened in the early 1980s, when Mekas was busy renovating the future site of his Anthology Film Archives, a block away.

"We came into existence together, so it was friendship," he said, chatting over Lithuanian beer and vodka shots at the Anyway Cafe, one of several East Village bars he frequents more often since Mars Bar closed last June (and was subsequently demolished). The demise of the bar, a refuge for the neighborhood's old-school bohemians, artists and rogues, prompted the filmmaker to edit more than 15 years of casual video footage into My Mars Bar Movie, which runs this weekend at Anthology.

Continued reading INTERVIEW: Jonas Mekas...

GreenCine: "Beyond Here Lies Nyukkin' @vrizov' reviews the Farrelly brothers' THE THREE STOOGES http://t.co/Zj5nUSWc

Greencine - Twitter - April 13, 2012 - 4:17pm
GreenCine: "Beyond Here Lies Nyukkin' @vrizov' reviews the Farrelly brothers' THE THREE STOOGES http://t.co/Zj5nUSWc

Beyond Here Lies Nyukkin'

GreenCine Daily - April 13, 2012 - 3:08pm
by Vadim Rizov

The original proposed cast for the Farrelly brothers' feature was a dramatic power-house—Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn—that would've underscored every eye-gouge and double-slap with considerable darkness. After more than a decade of development delay, the resulting The Three Stooges is an angst-free 91 minutes, the zippiest Farrelly project since their '90s Dumb and Dumber heyday. Watching it is like being run over by a bus and liking it.

The Three Stooges have their admirers, but it's hard for anyone outside of 12-year-old boys to summon up much enthusiasm for them, your humble critic included. (Bob Dylan's a notable fan, for what it's worth.) The shorts repetitively cycle through permutations of pain on dingy black-and-white sets. Expanding this to feature length turns the Stooges into the Blues Brothers: raised by long-suffering nuns, they're forced to venture out into the world to raise $830,000 in 30 days lest the orphanage be shut down. The three-act plot is divided into a trio of "shorts" that more or less mimic the length of a two-reeler. Frequent location changes and the Farrellys' usual flood-it-with-flat-light approach literally brighten up the drab template.

Continued reading Beyond Here Lies Nyukkin'...

RETRO ACTIVE: Con Air (1997)

GreenCine Daily - April 10, 2012 - 2:18pm
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by Guy Pearce's prison-break heroics in Lockout.]

Nicolas Cage is a paternalistic white American god who unites the country's disparate cultural-political schisms while sporting oiled biceps, stringy long hair, a scruffy beard and an overcooked southern accent in Con Air. That may not be immediately apparent from Simon West's 1997 blockbuster, a spectacularly stupid piece of mayhem spawned by Michael Bay's The Rock, which had, a year earlier, legitimized both Bay's more-is-better ethos and Cage's tough-guy credentials. Yet a peek beneath the insane bombast of this "high-concept" work—which hews to the extreme template of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose name tellingly appears during the opening credits over the image of an explosion—reveals West's film as a comprehensive catalog of action movie attitudes and paradigms, summing up all the clichés, racism, sexism, jingoism and all-around absurdity that defines the big-budget, testosterone-spectacle genre. At the heart of this dunderheaded maelstrom is Cage's Cameron Poe, a former army ranger who, after returning to sweet home Alabama to reunite with his wife Tricia (Monica Potter), winds up killing a drunken lout in self-defense after the man harasses Tricia. For this accidental murder, he is sent to federal prison for seven-to-ten years because, as the judge hilariously intones, "With your military skills, you are a deadly weapon."

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: Con Air (1997)...

GreenCine: LOCKOUT's prison-break heroics inspire this week's Retro Active: CON AIR! @nschager on this work of insane bombast http://t.co/ObStYGjf

Greencine - Twitter - April 10, 2012 - 1:59pm
GreenCine: LOCKOUT's prison-break heroics inspire this week's Retro Active: CON AIR! @nschager on this work of insane bombast http://t.co/ObStYGjf

GreenCine: Apr 10 new DVDs are here! Highlights include the Charolette Rampling biopic, Herzog's homicide doc, SLEEPING BEAUTY... http://t.co/u8IlWzJe

Greencine - Twitter - April 10, 2012 - 1:21pm
GreenCine: Apr 10 new DVDs are here! Highlights include the Charolette Rampling biopic, Herzog's homicide doc, SLEEPING BEAUTY... http://t.co/u8IlWzJe

GreenCine: Retro Active: WHITE HUNTER BLACK HEART @nschager on Clint Eastwood's finest, and loosest, performance of his career http://t.co/cMmUdSqS

Greencine - Twitter - April 6, 2012 - 1:25pm
GreenCine: Retro Active: WHITE HUNTER BLACK HEART @nschager on Clint Eastwood's finest, and loosest, performance of his career http://t.co/cMmUdSqS

GreenCine: Review: @beingelmofilm BEING ELMO follows Kevin Clash from cutting up coats for monkey fur to creating the beloved Elmo http://t.co/euLSCtsl

Greencine - Twitter - April 5, 2012 - 4:57pm
GreenCine: Review: @beingelmofilm BEING ELMO follows Kevin Clash from cutting up coats for monkey fur to creating the beloved Elmo http://t.co/euLSCtsl

RETRO ACTIVE: White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

GreenCine Daily - April 5, 2012 - 2:29pm
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by Willem Dafoe's ignoble expedition in The Hunter.]

Clint Eastwood's surgical dissection of the iconic alpha-male persona that made him the '70s biggest box-office draw began as early as 1980's Bronco Billy (if not before, lest we forget the goofball shenanigans of 1978's Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel). Yet that critical modus operandi, which would gradually come to dominate his latter body of work (up to 2008's Gran Torino), began in earnest with White Hunter Black Heart, an adaptation of Peter Viertel's novel based on his experiences as a screenwriter on John Huston's The African Queen. It is, on the face of it, a wholly uncharacteristic vehicle for Eastwood, who not only helms the film but stars as John Wilson, a blustery, boozy movie director-cum-adventurer whom the star embodies with the same swagger, fierceness and drawn-out drawl of the legendary Huston. Devoid of serious action or genre accouterments, it's a character study with a thinly disguised true-life backstory, and one that winds up perfectly suiting Eastwood's patient, unfussy direction, especially with regards to his depiction of Africa, a "dark continent" that Eastwood refuses to romanticize or sentimentalize, instead shooting it with a straightforward sense of danger and toughness.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: White Hunter Black Heart (1990)...

GreenCine: Film of the Week: @vrizov on Whit Stillman's DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, an exploration into the lives of privileged oddballs http://t.co/5dDg9TOW

Greencine - Twitter - April 3, 2012 - 3:19pm
GreenCine: Film of the Week: @vrizov on Whit Stillman's DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, an exploration into the lives of privileged oddballs http://t.co/5dDg9TOW

FILM OF THE WEEK: Damsels in Distress

GreenCine Daily - April 3, 2012 - 1:37pm
by Vadim Rizov

"What the world needs to work properly is a large mass of normal people," transfer student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) concludes near the end of Damsels in Distress. With his fondness for preppily dressed, decorous men and women behaving discreetly, writer/director Whit Stillman also seems to believes this, but he's too in love with eccentrically posited aphorisms for their own sake to make a convincing case for bland societal assimilation. Here, his leading lady is Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig, mastering Stillman's unusual cadences), her name a self-created yoking of two different flowers. Violet's a college student who leads a small, Clueless clique of self-appointed social reformers dedicated to helping "young people crying out for guidance."

This sounds terribly condescending, and one of the nicest jokes is that Violet's literally out of her mind, a former OCD kid prone to depression whose sharp comic timing is the result of mental imbalance. Adding Lily to her small clique introduces both romantic competition and dissent not forthcoming from Violet's two acolytes: boringly prim Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), who insists every single male on the planet is a "playboy type oper-a-tor" (a joke the film beats into the ground through repetition) and dim but insistent Heather (Carrie MacLemore).

Continued reading FILM OF THE WEEK: Damsels in Distress...

GreenCine: Interview: Guy Maddin @dollarama3k chats w. the Winnipeggian filmmaker about KEYHOLE, homes, the "grand flow of time" http://t.co/1KYK0c99

Greencine - Twitter - April 3, 2012 - 9:36am
GreenCine: Interview: Guy Maddin @dollarama3k chats w. the Winnipeggian filmmaker about KEYHOLE, homes, the "grand flow of time" http://t.co/1KYK0c99

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