Archive for September 8th, 2009


                     Scene from Sundance hit Unmade Beds at IFC

by Sam Juliano

Welcome to the first post-Labor Day installment of what will be referred to this week as the Tuesday Morning Diary here at WitD.  As expected, there was a drop off in the days leading up to the official death knell of the summer season, but for movie fans the excitement of the the year’s (traditionally) most prestigious releases beginning their roll-out makes this ‘the best of times.’  Meanwhile, in Kendal, fifty miles south of the Scottish border, life has been nightmarish for Allan Fish over the past days with both internet and phone service down.  I am deeply saddened at this lamentable development, as it has shut down our communication, and has left Allan with no viable options.  I am hopeful that Wednesday’s promised return of ammenities will be realized.  In any event, Allan’s spectacularly-popular countdown has gone uninterupted, as we moved further up the list of 80’s choices.  With 46 comments, Allan’s review of Au Revoir Les Enfants was the week’s hottest post after last week’s Monday Morning Diary, which gained 79.  Both the report of the final night of the Brit Noir Festival at the Film Forum and a CD review of the opera The Tempest by British composer Thomas Aides as well as a post report on Bob Clark’s The Aspect Ratio review of Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds all did extremely well.  “Movie Man” Joel Bocko’s latest excellent piece,  slightly obscured because of the holiday, is up and ready to be checked out.  It’s Nights and Weekends, a ‘mumblecore’ title just released on DVD.

Around the blogosphere a number of WitD friends are showcasing some great things:

At Noirish City, (“Darkness to Light) Dee Dee continues to post reviews from Andrew Katsis:


At Only the Cinema, Ed Howard gives a superlative treatment to D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back, a review that has generated a fantastic response in the OTC comment section:


At Dave Hicks’s Goodfellas Movie Blog, the stellar annual countdown series continues with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall claiming the honors for 1977:


John Greco’s latest review at Twenty-Four Frames is Richard Wallace’s Framed (1947), a review that has attracted outstanding blogger response:


David Schleicher’s latest movie post is “The Summer of War” where he looks at some of the year’s best films in an utterly engaging piece:  (He has since added a writer’s feature on “Editing”)


At Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies, the movie community’s favorite newlywed, Kevin J. Olson, as a DVD review up on The Ten:  (he previously published a very popular piece on ‘favorite film endings’)


Over at The Powerstrip the always effervescent Jon Lanthier of Slant has been away relaxing, but his third RT appearance on ‘You Tube’ is one of those ‘can’t miss’ clips.  ‘Jon’ is on his way to the ‘big time’  Actually he’s there already:


‘Internet Sweetheart’ Daniel Getahun (and he’s a talented guy too!) has what appears to be a can’t miss piece up, “Tony Manero Dances at the Walker This Weekend”:


The esteemed ‘Film Dr.’ a university film professor, just posted a new essay titled: “Teenaged Brit: Kevin (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1983 108m) DVD1/2

King for a night

p  Arnon Milchan  d  Martin Scorsese  w  Paul D.Zimmermann  ph  Fred Shuler  ed  Thelma Schoonmaker  md  Robbie Robertson  art  Boris Leven  cos  Richard Bruno

Robert DeNiro (Rupert Pupkin), Jerry Lewis (Jerry Langford), Sandra Bernhard (Masha), Diahnne Abbott (Rita Keane), Shelley Hack (Cathy Long), Catherine Scorsese (Rupert’s mum), Tony Randall (himself), Martin Scorsese (TV director), Victor Borge (himself),

How many characters in movie history become a noun?  It’s certain that Rupert Pupkin has, a byword for any gate-crashing, talentless wannabe who manages to make good.  At the time of its release The King of Comedy was a pretty resounding dud financially speaking.  People going along to cinemas in 1983 saw Scorsese and De Niro on the poster, recalled Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and expected something gritty, in your face, violent, and wholly adult in tone.  What they instead got was a film with no violence, no bad language, no sexuality, no peering into the gutter of life, but a film that, in retrospect, may be the most disturbing of the bunch.

            Rupert Pupkin is a thirty-something nobody who lives in the basement of his unseen mother’s house.  He dreams of being a stand-up comedian and idolises chat show king Jerry Langford, to the extent he imagines himself as a guest on Jerry’s show, placing himself on an easy chair between cardboard cut-outs of Jerry and Liza Minnelli.  His attempts to crash into fame run aground at every embarrassing turn until he hooks up with fellow manic obsessive Masha, with whom he kidnaps Jerry and ransoms him for a ten minute spot on his talk show. (more…)

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