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Friday, January 18, 2008

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on January 18 at 16:38 PM

The news:

The contenders for the foreign language Oscar have been whittled down to a short list, which basically eliminated all the favorites (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days; Persepolis), and at the same time, tossed a number of films with interesting female protagonists (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days; Persepolis). Films from Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada, Serbia, Italy, Israel, Brazil, and Austria advance; the final nominations will be announced Tuesday.

Sundance kicked off yesterday with the hitmen-on-the-loose-in-a-Belgian-town-known-for-chocolate-&-lace caper In Bruges (written and directed by playwright Martin McDonagh). Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir previews the narrative hot tickets; reviews will continue to roll out at IndieWire and Variety.

Plus, you can watch a new short film for each of the next 10 days at the Sundance website. The first one—an Australian entry about a mildly post-apocalyptic crush—isn’t bad at all.

This week:


Bradley Steinbacher reviews the 9/11 allegory Cloverfield: It’s “a smart, and in many ways groundbreaking, creature feature.”

And in On Screen this week: Cassandra’s Dream (Brad again: “Woody Allen piles on the bleakness, daring to make his two brothers alternately pathetic and unlikable. Unfortunately, the gamble fails”), Mad Money (Christopher Frizzelle: “We would all like to think that Diane Keaton is more than just hats and belts and Woody Allen jokes, that she’s a person with dignity, a person who’s learned from herself, a person who wouldn’t subject herself, and the audience she’s built, to flaming piles of crap, but Mad Money is a flaming pile of crap”), 27 Dresses (me: “So sugary it made my jaw ache. Or maybe I was just clenching my teeth”), and Deep End (Brendan “Gas Huffer” Kiley: “Deep End isn’t as amusing as Harold & Maude nor as smart and rich as Rushmore, but its dark chronicle of young sexual frustration is, perhaps, more memorable”).

Don’t miss Lindy West on Crispin Glover (and drunk assholes) in this week’s Concessions (“Maybe this makes me creepy or snooty or borderline dead inside, but I’m not that freaked out by Crispin Glover and his taboo-smashing ways”). Can’t get enough Crispin? Read Kelly O’s interview from 2006. Can’t get enough Lindy West? The complete Concessions archive can be found here.

Also of interest:

Future So Bright: Western Edge still

Courtesy Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland

Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick has an installation up at Seattle U’s Lee Center for the Arts on 12th Ave—I previewed it for the visual art section and finally saw it last night. Highly recommended.

Limited runs this week include Steep, Imaginary Witnesses: Hollywood and the Holocaust, and the 16mm Broth of a Boy at Kenyon Hall in West Seattle, plus a Walter Hill series (Hard Times and The Driver) at the Grand Illusion and two great evenings with editor Thelma Schoonmaker at Seattle Art Museum (if you’re picking between them, I recommend the rarer Bluebeard’s Castle on Tuesday, but Scorsese fans shouldn’t miss The Last Temptation of Christ on Wednesday).

For all your movie times needs, see Get Out.

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Saw Cloverfield at the Cinerama early, early, early this morning. Moments of body-spasming surpise over a thick base of relentless, inexorable dread. Also, the sound is the best since Star Wars. Well worth seeing in a theater with a good sound system.

Posted by Big Sven | January 18, 2008 4:46 PM

I'm still watching Persepolis with my friends at the sneak preview - after seeing a news item about it on the BBC (on BBC America, the hour long version of their news) and the coverage about what just happened, I'm totally looking forward to it. Plus, my son is totally into watching an animated movie that is different (based on a graphic novel).

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 18, 2008 4:56 PM

Good looking out Annie, that aussie short was off the hook!!
A zombie flick!! loved it!

Posted by SeMe | January 18, 2008 5:22 PM

Was 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days not eligible or did it just not make the short list? I haven't seen it but most reviews of it have heaped lots of praise on it. Are those 9 listed films super great?

Posted by stinkbug | January 18, 2008 5:59 PM

how about that Spanish radio ad for Obama saying Hillary does not respect latinos. That Hillary -- playing the race card again. Yuck! First she says LBJ signed the civil rights laws; now this.

Posted by si se puede | January 18, 2008 6:49 PM

Cassandra's Dream. Shoot. I've always said that I'd pay to see Ewan clean a toilet. I'm there.

Posted by Dod | January 18, 2008 8:07 PM

@4: No, it was submitted by Romania and was on the long list (here). It just didn't make it through.

Posted by annie | January 18, 2008 9:22 PM

si se puede @ 5-

You mean this ad?

I bet Clinton actually paid that union both to support Obama and to then badmouth her. Just to make Obama look bad. That's how diabolical she is.

Posted by Big Sven | January 18, 2008 11:19 PM

How the fuck did "Days of Darkness" (the Canadian entry) beat out 4 months and Persepolis? That film was the worst piece of indulgent crap ever made. Quebec film board, I want my 2.5 hours back!

Posted by Anonymous | January 19, 2008 1:07 AM

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