Arts This Weekend at the Movies
posted by October 19 at 17:30 PMon
Tons of stuff opening this week—and we’re ramping up into quality cinema season, so there’s a lot worth paying attention to.
In a crowded On Screen lineup, we’ve got reviews of three winners right off the bat: My Kid Could Paint That (Jen Graves says it’s “the most honest, direct movie about the dark side of art that I’ve ever seen”), Gone Baby Gone (Andrew Wright: “Ben Affleck’s adaptation of the [novel] absolutely nails the dismount, keeping the book’s thorny sense of morality while adding a living, breathing Boston atmosphere that most veteran directors would be proud of”), Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl (Lindy West points out that “Lars doesn’t want to exploit [his sex doll] Bianca, and Lars and the Real Girl doesn’t want to exploit Lars.”)
The list wraps up with 30 Days of Night (Andrew Wright says: “Impressive as the episodes of full-blown splatter are, it’s the quieter moments, such as an insta-classic extended overhead tracking shot of the town under siege, that make you kind of sort of wish that they had never flicked off the theater’s house lights”), Things We Lost in the Fire (Andrew Wright again: “The film has yet to be made that fully does justice to Benicio Del Toro’s alien transmissions, but director Susanne Bier comes awfully close”), a cartoon The Ten Commandments (Lindy West: “the animation fell out of 1995’s butthole”), the torture thriller Rendition (Jeff Kirby says it “could be celebrated solely for the fact that it’s a political thriller that actually has something relevant to say about politics”), and finally, the hit-and-run drama Reservation Road (Andrew Wright again—yes, I overworked him this week—says it “fails to make much of an impression”).
In amusing but pointless film publicist news, I received a press release regarding Lars and the Real Girl earlier this week. It said, in part,
Hello, I need to let you know that one of the images from the Sidney Kimmel Entertainment film LARS AND THE REAL GIRL has been removed from the press site and the studio would like it removed from circulation completely. The photo is the shot of LARS and the “pink bowling ball.” Essentially, the studio is asking that this image NOT be used in ANY opening day reviews or breaks.
What it so dangerous about the “pink bowling ball”? Well, I’ve been banned from showing you (though, curiously, the image has not been removed from the press site), but you can find it over at MSNBC. The bowling ball is so pink. So subversive. So mysterious. I’ve become obsessed.
There’s also lots worth checking out in this week’s limited runs. I love the sweet, smart Blame It on Fidel and defend the abortion closeups in the (overall mediocre) Lake of Fire. The microcinema series Independent Exposure has a Halloween showcase next Wednesday at Central Cinema. I’m intrigued by the “cinema of transgression” doc at Grand Illusion. There are small festivals for Vietnamese and Taiwanese cinema at the UW. Robert Horton is doing one of his fabulous Magic Lantern talks on David Cronenberg. Landmark is starting its Wednesday director series with Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo at the Metro. Northwest Film Forum is doing an evening with renowned avant-garde landscape filmmaker (and father of Sadie Benning) James Benning. And the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival continues with a boatload of queer titles (check under SLGFF). Enjoy!