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Friday, April 20, 2007

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on April 20 at 16:05 PM

First, the news. The Cannes lineup has been announced. We probably won’t see these movies for a long time—in most cases, SIFF, which comes right on the heels of Cannes, can’t get its hands on anything. Last year, I believe only one film, A Scanner Darkly, showed at both festivals, and at SIFF it was a sneak preview screening. SIFF 2006 did, however, have a handful of Cannes 2005 films, mostly lower-profile or Eastern hemisphere stuff that hadn’t opened theatrically. So read it and drool.

There’s some loud buzzing around the fact that Cho Seung-Hui might have gotten the idea for his hammer photo from Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy. (Here was Andrew Wright’s 2005 review.) Not to point out the obvious, but if Cho had tried to imitate the hammer scene with an actual hammer, the carnage would have been significantly diminished. (See also response from Dave Kehr and Richard Corliss, via GreenCine.)

Opening this week:

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Charles Mudede writes up The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a Cannes 2nd prize winner from last year: “The political message is here reduced to the function of being nothing more than a stage for the real star: the exceptional beauty of Ireland itself.”

Hot Fuzz

Andrew Wright assesses Hot Fuzz, the newest from the Shaun of the Dead team of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Seems it’s kinda slow for an actioner.

And in On Screen this week: Year of the Dog (Bradley Steinbacher says it’s “comedy built mainly upon loss,” and it’s surprisingly good), Fracture (Lindy West finds it GUILTY! [tchung tchuung!]), The Cats of Mirikitani (you’ve never seen the story of the Japanese internment told like this before), The TV Set (saved by an excellent—“most likely overqualified”—cast, says Andrew Wright), After the Wedding (bourgeois dreck dressed up as an anti-bourgeois Oscar contender, say I), and In the Land of Women (it’s all about the cancer stick, contends Christopher Frizzelle, forgetting to mention that its star Adam Brody played a bit role in Thank You for Smoking).

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A beautiful write up on Loach's new film by Mudede. Its good to see good lefty reviews about this important film maker. Amazingly this film has been playing ON DEMAND at the IFC if you have Comcast. I dont agree with Charles that its Loach's best film. I think his best is Hidden Agenda about the collusion between the British forces in Northern Ireland and the protestant paramilitaries, it is also one of Frances Mc Dormant's best performances. The wind that shakes the barley is indeed a sad film, but the betrayal by the Republican Army and their abandonment of the North of Ireland to the British crown has never been more beautifully and poetically put on film. It is also about the compromises and the cruelty and the ordinary nature of war. It is about how war sometimes compromises things. It is a bit preachy a little like his film on Nicaragua Carla's song. Hell of a review bro Charles.

Posted by SeMe | April 20, 2007 4:24 PM

of course, in 2005 SIFF and Cannes both had Me and You and Everyone We Know. How they ever managed to score that is beyond me, but I'm thankful that they did.

Posted by josh | April 20, 2007 4:39 PM

Hot Fuzz is going to be the untold summer movie hit this year.

But you didn't hear it from me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 20, 2007 5:04 PM

Fuzz is great, but yes it just needed to cut out a leeeetle bit. Would have been perfect!

Posted by Maggie | April 20, 2007 6:31 PM

I loved the Fuzz! I got to attend that premier a few weeks ago and it was great. I agree, it could've cut some parts out and been just fine. But Pegg/Frost are always such a treat to watch!

Posted by Fuax Show | April 20, 2007 8:07 PM

I just read Andrew's review of Hot Fuzz, and he really got it backwards. Shaun of the Dead was a fair-to-middling comedy and had some great moments, but petered out at the end and simple became a zombie flick. Hot Fuzz is leaner and better-written, and very hilarious throughout. It didn't bog down for me at all, and it's definitely the superior film of the two.

Posted by Gabriel | April 21, 2007 3:07 AM

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