"Madam, your smile is the sun and fallen men like me, we need the sun."-- The Brothers Bloom
#306 | Sep 29, 2009
GreenCine covers the New York Film Festival from several angles and mediums, including Vadim Rizov's three capsule reviews on films of particular interest, including the Chinese film Ghost Town. We also serve up a podcast on Alain Resnais' playful ode to romantic impulses late in life, Wild Grass, which kicked off the fest. [Reviews] [Podcast]
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Away We Go, Girlfriend Experience, and more.
  • What We're Watching: O'Horten, Mum & Dad, Good Dick.
  • Explore: San Sebastian Film Festival report.
We think people didn't know what to do with a film in which the central relationship is damaged or cynically portrayed. Sam Mendes' film (with script by Dave Eggers) stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a couple expecting a child and searching for a place to put down roots. Wrote Peter Travers: "Rudolph, a comic force on SNL, can speak volumes with the tilt of an eyebrow. She and Krasinski are absolutely extraordinary. Ditto the film, which sneaks up and floors you." Adds Scott Tobias, the film has "an unexpected depth of feeling, a novelist’s (or memoirist’s) sense of detail, and a panoramic view of what home means."
Five days in the life of Chelsea (played by real life porn actress Sasha Grey), an ultra high-end Manhattan call girl who offers more than sex to her clients, but companionship and conversation, too. "One of Steven Soderbergh's bite-size, semi-improvised, shot-on-DV doodles (like Bubble or Full Frontal), and it's the best one he's made," writes Owen Glieberman. "This film is true about human nature," says Roger Ebert. "It is not universal, but within its particular focus, it is unrelenting." And the SF Chronicle's Mick LaSalle adds, "The smartest thing Soderbergh did... was to cast Sasha Grey."
Also out today: Brothers Bloom; Wizard Of Oz (Special Anniversary Edition); Monsters vs. Aliens; Away We Go; Management [Steve Zahn is the best reason to see this sweet little rom-com; it's uneven but appealing]; Shrink; Blade of the Immortal Vol 1; Filth and Wisdom [directed by... Madonna!]; Woodpecker.

New and Coming Releases lists | Your Queue | Discuss! | GreenCine's review blog: Guru | GC Member Reviews and Lists | New DVD Spotlight

What We're Watching
The oddest quality about the 67-year-old Norwegian pipe puffer who grants Bent Hamer's low-key absurdist comedy its title is his name: Odd Horten. Or perhaps, because this loyal railroad engineer of four decades is a creature not just of habit but of synched timetables, his dedication to his near-ceremonial morning preparation is the mark of an eccentric. Meticulously dressed, polite and reticent, the lanky Horten walks curiously through the wintry Nordic landscape with a stiff upper everything. He's the epitome of everyman dignity, though his ever-present pipe and ability to meander into frame as a curious, Magoo-ish observer draw easy comparisons to the accidental slapstick of Jacques Tati's...read review >>
2008 seems to have been the year the British discovered that they, too, could do torture porn a la Hostel and Saw. And maybe do it a tad better in some ways: lower budgets and more primeval plots that are less fussy and set-piece-heavy – and subtler, too. That year saw the release of both the award-winning Eden Lake and the lesser-known Mum & Dad. The latter, released to DVD a few months back, is written and directed by Steven Sheil, whose first full-length film this is (he's made but one eight-minute horror short previously, though he did work as cinematographer on a handful of films). The movie is very well cast with an ensemble of.... read review >>
Warning: A not-quite-glowing review of this one follows. Proceed (and rent) at your own risk. Erin Donovan writes on Guru: When in a state of terror, the brain begins to develop a series of processes to cope with the brutality. Watching a film as bad as Good Dick, I find myself first desperately clinging to hope, trying to find potential in any nook or cranny. Then the monotonous boredom reaches a near Zen-like state as my spirit begins to let go of any concept of there being a beginning or an end, a passive acceptance that what is happening merely is. Eventually, what breaks down the inner Bodhisattva is a profound sense of sorrow that there was a person whose mind generated not only these ideas, but...read review >>
More like this Clerks | Film Geek
Explore
With its streets hugging the coastline of two beautiful beaches and a broad river running through it, you don't have to go far for a glimpse of water in San Sebastian and, for the first part of this 57th consecutive edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, torrential rain ensured the streets were wet, too. Amber Wilkinson was there and reports back for GreenCine Daily on many of the fest's most interesting films. More >>
 

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