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Archive for August 9th, 2010

Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’ at Walter Reade Theatre Festival

by Sam Juliano

Anyone still professing issues with Michael Mann’s Miami Vice only needs to explore Kevin Olson’s extraordinary essay, In Defense of Miami Vice, which appeared at WitD earlier this week, and has since turned into one of the most spectacularly-received threads ever at the two year-old site, attracting as of this writing close to 160 comments.  While the majority of the commentators have voiced agreement with Mr. Olson’s effusive praise, the discussion has gone in a number of directions, making this one of the most intellectually inspired of all film posts.  Jim Clark’s wonderful essay on Pee Wee’s Great Adventure, and Jamie Uher’s remarkable multi-part series on Letters of a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (which has reached the fourth installment) have afforded the site further enrichments, while  Allan Fish’s superlative series on the relatively underexposed Japanese director, Yoshishige Yoshida, continues on, with four of the director’s very best films slated for review this coming week and two days into the next.

The long dormant series on ‘creative bloggers’ which so far has included features on Longman Oz, John Greco and Michael Harford, is being prepped for the next subject, and hopefully a post will be showcased later this week.  In the meantime, the horror film polling is nearing realization, with only three weeks or so before the launch.  The highly-successful John Huston blogothon at Icebox Movies, with Adam Zanzie as proctor, continues this week with more posts from some of our most respected bloggers.  Check in if you!  I plan to contribute a review on The Dead later this week.

The past week, represented for me, perhaps the most hectic activity on the movie theatre front that I may have ever managed in a week’s time, though the final week of the Chaplin Festival at the Film Forum, a three-film negotiation of an eight day Ken Russell Festival (discovered two days late) at the Walter Reade Theatre in Lincoln Center, and the weekly Ozu Festival at the IFC comprised the lion’s share of the activities.  A new techicolor print of Howard Hawks’s cult classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and two recent releases completely the torrid, albeit dysfunctional week at the cinemas.  Activity this week was again restricted to film, though the music and theatre exposure will be increased in the coming weeks, after a brief absence due to typical summer drop off in new stagings.  No matter, as July and August are the ‘film festival’ months year after year.  However, with an increase in anxiety caused by the non-stop action and an upcoming seaside vacation with the family, I will be sharply scaling back my moviegoing in the weeks to come.  Either that, or I’ll be looking on this blogsite from a psychiatric ward.

Here is the completed lineup:

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child **** 1/2 (Friday) Film Forum

Brotherhood  *** 1/2         (Saturday night)      Cinema Village

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  ****  (Friday night)   Film Forum

A King in New York   ***   (Monday night)  Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

The Cure    ****    (Monday night)     Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

The Adventurer   *****   (Monday night)  Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

The Immigrant   *****  (Monday night)   Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

Easy Street   **** 1/2   (Monday night)   Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

The Kid  *****   (Wednesday night)   Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

A Day’s Pleasure  ****  (Wednesday night)  Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

Limelight   *****     (Thursday night)    Chaplin Festival at Film Forum

Savage Messiah  **** (Wednesday afternoon) Ken Russell at Walter Reade

The Devils  *****   (Thursday afternoon)  Ken Russell at Walter Reade

The Boy Friend  ** 1/2   (Thursday afternoon)  Ken Russell at Walter Reade

There Was A Father  *****  (Sunday morning)  Ozu Festival at IFC (more…)

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