"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."- The Wolf Man
#360 | October 19, 2010
81-year-old filmmaker and distributor Radley Metzger has never been an artist who chased cheap thrills. Until the sea change of the '70s, when theatrically-released erotica was rejected in favor of hardcore pornography like Deep Throat, Metzger gained international acclaim for directing sophisticated, literate and lavishly stylized erotic films like The Lickerish Quartet and Therese and Isabelle. With his 1972 milestone Score, a film that Interview once said "hilariously hits the bull's-eye of bisexual chic," now available and uncut for the first on DVD from Cult Epics, Metzger chatted with Hillis for a podcast >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Please Give, Agora and more.
  • What We're Watching: The Magician, Breaking Upwards and Holy Rollers.
  • Explore: Leaves of Grass podcast.
In Nicole Holofcener's latest social comedy (after Friends With Money and Lovely & Amazing), "the sharp-eyed filmmaker sends her vibrant representative out into the world to explore what it means for a woman to be lucky and still feel itchy," writes Lisa Schwarzbaum. "The report has the resonant ring of truth." Adds Shawn Levy: "There are laughs and moments of pain and many instances of embarrassing (and deeply human) behavior throughout, but there's also delicacy and grace."
Alejandro Amenabar's historical epic is, Roger Ebert describes, "a movie about ideas, a drama based on the ancient war between science and superstition. At its center is a woman who in the fourth century A.D. was a scientist, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher...although women were not expected to be any of those things." Rachel Weisz "is an excellent Hypatia," adds David Edelstein. "For all her intelligence, there's something childish, off-kilter, vaguely otherworldly in her aura. She's just the type to be gazing into the heavens while around her all hell breaks loose."
What We're Watching
Steve Dollar writes: When I was in college during the retroactively wondrous 1970s, every budding sophomore movie buff got introduced to the giants of world cinema through 10-week retrospectives that accompanied each quarter's film classes, unspooling in a creaky auditorium with a leaking roof. These crash courses were fairly amazing, since even VHS barely seemed to exist at the time, and the closest art house was a day's drive away. One semester, I watched tons of Ingmar Bergman, supplemented by various textbooks and histories, including the near-Biblical Four Screenplays of Bergman, which featured treatments for The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Smiles of a Summer Night and The Magician..." Read more >>
Glad I viewed Breaking Upwards-- the new do-it-yourself movie from fledgling filmmakers and on-again/off-again couple Daryl Wein & Zoe Lister-Jones -- before I read the full-page article by Larry Rohter in the March 26 New York Times. It detailed how the movie came to be at the relatively rock-bottom cost (for a film shot in NYC) of only $15,000. Much of the information Rohter provides is very interesting, especially for would-be filmmakers. The film itself, however, despite some comparisons to early work of Woody Allen (his themes may be present but little of his wit or style)... Read more >>
For a podcast, Aaron Hillis talked with Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Adventureland), who stars in Kevin Asch's film Holy Rollers, which just arrived on DVD. They chatted about the illusion of "based on a true story," among other topics. The film received mixed reviews for its thriller elements but praise for honest portrayal of a Hasidic Jewish community. "Eisenberg lets us see Sam's growing distress, and also the fortitude with which he faces down his fears," says NPR's Bob Mondello. "Few young actors are as adept at simultaneously conveying panic and bravado." The film "fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease--a good mix of tones. It's also wonderfully acted," adds David Edelstein.
More like this Kadosh | Π
Newly released on DVD and Blu-ray this week is writer-director-actor Tim Blake Nelson's comic thriller Leaves of Grass, starring two-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton. Last March during the SXSW Film Festival, Aaron Hillis talked with Nelson and Norton to discuss the technical and performance logistics of single-handedly playing twins, smoking joints (and fake joints), Horatio's "golden mean," and the reason nobody makes pot dramas. Read More >>

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