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Friday, February 15, 2008

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on February 15 at 15:09 PM

The news, celebrity red carpet edition:

The Oscars are totally back, and you have just over a week to catch up on movies you missed and obsess over your picks. I have to say, I like this brief lead time. We should have a writer’s strike that threatens the Oscars every year.

Madonna’s directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival this week. Variety sums up the plot:

Story revolves around three flatmates living in London. Ukrainian-born aspiring musician A.K. (Eugene Hutz), haunted by memories of an abusive father, now dominates and humiliates pervs for pay. Ballet dancer Holly (Holly Weston), for whom A.K. carries a weighty torch, tries her hand at pole dancing to raise extra cash at A.K.’s suggestion. Finally, pharmacy assistant Juliette (Vicky McLure) dreams of going to Africa to help starving children and thus escape some poorly explicated family strife.

Steven Spielberg quit his Olympics gig over displeasure with China’s dealings with Sudan. And the controversy won’t end there.

This week’s crop:

Diary of the Dead

In On Screen this week: George Romero’s Diary of the Dead (Andrew Wright: “Diary of the Dead, the filmmaker’s faux-camcorder revamp of the mythos for the YouTube generation, might be his jumpiest film yet, as a group of student filmmakers stumble haplessly into a zombie apocalypse. In most other respects, though, this is a bit of a bummer, drowning its predecessors’ virtues in what feels like an endless Mad Lib of Wired magazine buzzwords”), Definitely, Maybe (Megan Seling says that despite its “blatantly ridiculous outline, the movie doesn’t suck), Jumper (Bradley Steinbacher: “At a mere 85 minutes, the film is a blur of set pieces without a backstory, a cool idea never honored with coherence”), and The Great Communist Bank Robbery (Charles Mudede: It “has to do with what Fanonians call ‘the betrayal’”)—which opens Monday.

Limited runs are abundant, as ever.

Madame Tutli Putli, in 2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films

Especially notable: André Téchiné’s The Witnesses, about AIDS in the ’80s (I know, I know, but it’s not bad); SIFF Cinema’s lineup of double-feature noirs, which don’t look quite as good as last round, but still intriguing (SIFFblog has the breakdown of which films aren’t available or are only available in poor transfers on DVD: The Prowler, The Hard Way, Moonrise, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Woman in Hiding, Reign of Terror, Road House, Conflict, and The Suspect); two programs of Academy Award-nominated shorts (the sucky live action films and the mixed bag of animated films, notable mainly for Madame Tutli Putli, pictured above); three more Finnish films at NWFF; the Seattle Human Rights Film Festival at Northwest Film Forum (I recommend China Blue); Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion at Grand Illusion; a dirty movie called Pets Chained Heat at Grand Illusion late nights; Charles Burnett’s My Brother’s Wedding at Seattle Art Museum; and Heathers with screenwriter Daniel Waters at EMP’s JBL Theater.

And last but hardly least, Lindy West takes on the What the Hell Did I Just Watch? Comedy Video Festival (continuing this weekend at the Rendezvous) in Concessions.

RSS icon Comments


There was a great review of the new Madonna movie, which says the movie leaves its audiences "staggering around . . . in a state of clinical shock, deathly pale and mewing like maltreated kittens."

Posted by Ziggity | February 15, 2008 3:23 PM

So, since the SIFF Fool Serious group isn't doing an Oscar Watch party, can we expect any other ones?

Jumpers - sigh, I was kind of looking forward to that, but it's sounding like "watch it on DVD".

And Heathers is one of my all time fave movies ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 15, 2008 3:24 PM

Hasn't Madonna done enough to harm film by just acting in them?

Posted by Abby | February 15, 2008 3:26 PM

Lay off on Madonna, yall. Desperately Seeking Susan is one of the best movies of all time. I think I'll watch it for the millionth time tonight.

Posted by Mr. Poe | February 15, 2008 3:38 PM

The print of Pets at the Grand Illusion didn't arrive, so tonight and Saturday instead they are showing Caged Heat starring Linda Blair and Sybil Danning.

Posted by ratzkywatzky | February 15, 2008 3:45 PM

@5: Thanks.

Posted by annie | February 15, 2008 4:16 PM

While I have doubts about the quality of the movie I do love Eugene Hutz -- Gogol Bordello has to be once of my favorite bands.

Posted by Sven | February 15, 2008 4:28 PM

Hutz is great in Everything Is Illuminated.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | February 15, 2008 4:45 PM

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