"You're still reaching for the moon." "No, father. The moon is reaching for me." -- Sabrina (Happy birthday, Audrey.)
#336 | May 4, 2010
In anticipation of the new documentary Best Worst Movie, about the film Troll 2 (one of the movies on this list), we present you with Simon Augustine's "8 Strangest and Strangely Awful Films Ever." These films would seem to have little in common, other than being genuinely strangely bad, but all are interesting in their own weird ways. At least one of them even has its share of sincere fans.  Read More >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Tetro, Tokyo Sonata, and more.
  • What We're Watching: Taxidermia, Five Minutes of Heaven, Beethoven.
  • Explore: San Francisco International Film Festival.
Francis Ford Coppola's most interesting film in years made #1 on GreenCine's Aaron Hillis' best of 2009 list, Tetro "feels like a transitional work but also an inspired one," wrote Manhola Dargis in the NY Times, "the creation of a director who, having recently turned 70, has set off on a new adventure that requires more from his audiences than some might be willing to give. Which is itself a sign of vigorous artistic renewal." Adds Roger Ebert: "Here is a film that, for all of its plot, depends on characters in service of their emotional turmoil. It feels good to see Coppola back in form."
Writing on GC Daily, Vadim Rizov,noted that Kiyoshi Kurosawa is most known here for Japanese horror films, but had yet to apply his approach "to a traditional drama to give it the juice so often sorely lacking. Now he has. Two-thirds of the way in, Tokyo Sonata is a nicely observed low-key drama just unnerving enough to keep you on edge: Kurosawa's framing is always a bit cluttered and claustrophobic, his willingness to sit and watch for a little too long makes it seem like violent disaster is always just on the verge of breaking out. And then suddenly it does and all hell breaks out." It's a "work of tremendous passion, daring and delicacy," adds Andrew O'Hehir.
What We're Watching
Taxidermia has abundant elements of gross-out body horror, it's really not something that would be promoted as a horror film. And though it is often shriekingly funny in the most disturbed and perverse ways, it might be a cruel joke indeed to lure audiences with the promise of comedy. Plus, it's a Magyar art film. Who goes out to see those in August, besides characters in Woody Allen movies? And yet, Taxidermia is easy to describe. If the Farrelly Brothers were Viennese Aktionists vine-ripened on a steady diet of subversive Eastern Bloc satire...Read more >>
More like this Sweet Movie | Delicatessen
In Five Minutes Of Heaven, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (who has given us the fine films Downfalland The Experiment) and award-winning Brit TV writer Guy Hibbert join forces to create a surprisingly effective combination of real characters and invented scenario. Having seen a number of films (the not-very-good drama In My Country and the very good documentary My Neighbor, My Killer come immediately to mind) that deal with or glance off the now-popular "Truth and Reconciliation" motif...Read more >>
This music documentary about the enigmatic composer is just now out on DVD and is "one of the finest movies about a great musician I've ever seen," extolled the Observer. Adds the LA Times, "Phil Grabsky has created a splendid work that will be a revelation to the uninitiated and a joy to music lovers." The film works as "a tutorial, but with an awfully high-class soundtrack," adds the NY Times.
Explore
On GreenCine Daily, Craig Phillips reports back from the San Francisco International Film Festival, which ends on Thursday, with reviews of several disparate films with coming of age themes, and one very moving, and surprising, doc called Marwencol. More >>

 

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