Archive for August 31st, 2009

criminal 1

by Sam Juliano

      With August now a memory, the new school year looks the teacher contingent at WitD dead-on, and many must now focus their efforts in different directions. Three threads here at the site got fantastic action, with the Inglourious Basterds review attracting 109 comments, Joel Bocko’s Boston Examiner review of Spielberg’s Jaws nabbing 71 responses, and the Hannah and Her Sisters countdown review garnering well over 60. That man from The Aspect Ratio, the tenacious Bob Clark, has given WitD his heart and soul (and mind) for over a month now, and I can’t possibly thank him enough for all he has done. What a trooper this man is! I can’t wait to meet him. Joel Bocko (Movie Man) again gave the site a fabulous review yesterday of a thought-provoking film, Historias Extraordinarias, that has yet to open, and spurred on an interesting discussion.

     Around the blogosphere, there is a plethora of stellar writings, led by Ed Howard at Only the Cinema, whose latest superb piece is on “Rock Hudson’s Home Movies,” Dave Hicks’s annual countdown is up to 1973 with “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”, John Greco gives a stellar appraisal of Wilder’s classic “Ace in the Hole” at Twenty-Four Frames, the Inglourious Basterds battle continues with my dear friend Jon Lanthier sharing views with Jonathan Rosenbaum, related at The Powerstrip, David Schleicher at The Schleicher Spin, Pat at Doodad Kind of Town, and recently married Kevin Olson, returning from his Honeymoon at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies. My close friend Craig Kennedy reviewed the DVD of Sean Baker’s “Take Out” at Living in Cinema, R.D. Finch has his third Jacques Tati essay up at the lead spot at The Movie Projector, Daniel Getahun and Joey Demme have Ponyo pieces up at Getafilm and Movie Zeal respectively, Marilyn Ferdinand’s review of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” is one for the ages at Ferdy on Films, Judy at Movie Classics has Frank Sinatra’s “Suddenly” and Chuck Bowen is also talking Tarantino at Bowen’s Cinematic. Two continuing projects are on display at Screen Savour with T.S. and Buster Keaton, and Ibetolis with that true labor of love the 8 month old “Zeros Project”, at Films From the Soul which is one of the net’s most astounding sustained accomplishments. Samuel Wilson also has a Tarantino piece up at Mondo 70.  Of course, Jamie Uhler, our own resident writer and prolific commentator posted a unique take on Tarantino’s film at WitD, and Matt Lucas at From the Front Row penned a mixed assessment of the film at his place.  Yet another talented blogger, Andrew Wyatt of Gateway Cinephiles wrote a glowing appraisal of the Tarantino film.  Film Dr. is considering two DVD releases, including The Last Days of Disco at his place.  Alexander Coleman has been on sabbatical, but I still mention his great review of Tetro, which still leads at CCC.

Dearest Dee Dee and Dorothy Porker have “The Men Who Stare at Goats” by Eric Armstrong and “The Disappearing Act: Say Goodbye to the Classics” up at their respective sites, Noirish City and ITG. There are other fine pieces up, but I’ll wait for another week to point some of these sites out. I had a torrid week myself, that kept me away from the PC a good part of the time. Here’s what I saw:

In A Lonely Place ***** (Nick Ray Classic; Film Forum; Friday night)

Brighton Rock ***** (Brit Noir gem; Film Forum; Saturday night)

The Fallen Idol **** 1/2 (Brit Noir Carol Reed classic; Film Forum; Saturday night)

Yield to the Night **** (Brit Noir; Film Forum; Sunday night)

The Criminal ***** (Brit Noir; Losey masterpiece; Sunday night)

I also saw two contemporary films in the mix:

 Taking Woodstock ** (Ang Lee misfire; Edgewater multiplex; Friday afternoon)

We Live in Public *** 1/2 (Internet pioneer doc; IFC; late Friday night after BN screening)

The director of WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, a film that focuses on millionaire-turned-pauper Josh Harris, Ondi Timoner, appeared for a Q & A after the film, but I just couldn’t muster the staminer to stay on for it.

As always, we’d love to hear from all of you, whether it be film, theatre, music, food, politics, DVDs, CDs, or literature. This is an open forum.

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spinal tap 1

(USA 1984 83m) DVD1/2

This goes up to eleven

p  Karen Murphy  d  Rob Reiner  w/m/ly  Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer  ph  Peter Smokler  ed  Robert Leighton  art  Dryan Jones

Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel), Michael McKean (David St Hubbins), Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), Rob Reiner (Marty DiBergi), R.J.Parnell (Mick Shrimpton), David Kaff (Viv Savage), Tony Hendra (Ian Faith), Bruno Kirby (Tommy Pischeda), Fran Drescher (Bobbi Flekman), Anjelica Huston, Ed Begley Jnr, Billy Crystal, Patrick MacNee,

Rob Reiner’s spoof rockumentary of an ageing British rock band on tour in the US at the twilight of their careers truly was one of the most original films of its decade.  Here was a film that finally, deservedly attacked and made fun of that most pretentious of musical art forms, the heavy metal rock band, in this case the fictitious Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands behind such ‘classic’ albums as Intravenus de Milo, Shark Sandwich and The Gospel According to Spinal Tap, the latter prompting one reviewer to say that if God rested on one day why did he not rest the day he made Spinal Tap?  Thank God he didn’t, because the world would be a far less funny place without them. (more…)

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