"These things bring you to reality as to how fragile you are; at the same moment you are doing something that nobody else is able to do. The same moment that you are seen as the best, the fastest and somebody that cannot be touched, you are enormously fragile." - Ayrton Senna
#431 | March 6, 2012
MIAMI 2012: Critic's Notebook
Ah, Miami! City of Jackie Gleason and Tony Montana. Lost frontier of the cocaine cowboys and the city where Charles Willeford, America's greatest hardboiled novelist, wrote Cockfighter. Palm trees, art deco, Cuban coffee and models everywhere. And a film festival, too, for 27 years now. The 2012 edition of the Miami International Film Festival runs through Sunday at various locations amid the ocean-sprayed sprawl, including the historic 1926 Olympia Theatre, whose soaring ceilings and exotic Moorish architecture now resonate with live organ performances before each night's big feature. In this Critic's Notebook, Steve Dollar reviews Mariachi Gringo, Susan Seidelman's latest, Musical Chairs, and the Korean film Choked. Read more >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Senna, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, The Skin I Live In, and more. 
  • What We're Watching: Vanya on 42nd Street (Criterion).
  • Explore: Retro Active - Run Ronnie Run.
  • Contest: Being Flynn Prize Pack Giveaway and SFIAAFF30 Ticket Giveaway!
"Adiences don’t need to be familiar with or give a damn about Formula One racing to get drawn into Senna, a finely wrought documentary about Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna," writes Alison Willmore in an A- review for the 1980's-90's set riveting sports documentary following the famous racer's rise from go-kart racer to superstar of the sport's pinnacle of popularity. "Like 1996’s inspiring Rumble in the Jungle blow-by-blow, When We Were Kings, Kapadia’s documentary represents a heroic rescue of archival footage: mist-slick European tracks where the spray lifts up like fog, probing network interviews from the heyday of sports reporting, some material even filmed from Senna’s jostled perspective in the driver’s seat. The result, chronologically assembled with a minimum of commentary, is surely the most thorough look at the art and passion of auto racing yet made," adds Joshua Rothkopf.
A slightly off-kilter look at one of France's most beloved personalities, Gainsbourg was adapted to screen from the comic book artist himself, Joann Sfarr, a self-confessed superfan. Vadim Rizov notes, "The film sticks to the professional and romantic highlights, plus the more endearing of Gainsbourg's public embarrassments, retaining speed and momentum by juxtaposing many of the musician's strangest, most unexpected acts at lightning speed." "Unconventional, imaginative, nothing if not audacious, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a portrait of creativity from the inside, a serious yet playful attempt to find an artistic way to tell an emotional truth," adds the LA Time's Kenneth Turan.
Antonio Banderas could be experiencing a late career revival due to fruitful collaborations. His voicework with Salma Hayek in Puss in Boots got the film an Oscar nom for Best Animated Feature. And here he is reunited with the auteur who made him famous: Pedro Almodovar. "There are several genres nimbly folded into The Skin I Live In, which might also be described as an existential mystery, a melodramatic thriller, a medical horror film or just a polymorphous extravaganza. In other words, it’s an Almodóvar movie with all the attendant gifts that implies: lapidary technique, calculated perversity, intelligent wit," writes Manohla Dargis, who adds in regards to Banderas' performance, "There’s a vital toughness, in particular, to Mr. Banderas, as this likable if often misused actor goes dark without compromising his character with softness or light."
The Skin I Live In
What We're Watching
Vanya on 42nd Street
Watching a play rehearsal is usually the province of long-suffering stage parents showing support for their fledgling thesps. The idea of sitting on cold chairs in a darkened, dusty theater while actors in street clothes decipher their text and block out their movements isn’t a universally appealing one. But that’s the essence of Louis Malle’s 1994 swansong, Vanya on 42nd Street: watching actors informally work over the finer points of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Read more >>
[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by the TV sketch-comedy-goes-full-feature (sorta) Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie.] The perils of transporting cult TV comedy to the big screen has few case studies more glaring than Run Ronnie Run, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross' sole, failed attempt to cross their '90s sketch-comedy sensation Mr. Show over to theaters. Plagued by studio interference and conflict with director Troy Miller, Odenkirk and Cross' film—a satire about fame and the burgeoning reality-TV craze focused on redneck idiot Ronnie Dobbs (Cross)—met an ignominious fate, with its release shuttled altogether in favor of a direct-to-DVD fate that, it turned out, was a deserving outcome for a work that even its makers eventually admitted wasn't very good. Read more >>
Run Ronnie Run
Being Flynn is the new dramatic feature from Academy Award-nominated writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Adapted from Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City, the movie explores bonds both unbreakable and fragile between parent (Robert De Niro) and child (Paul Dano).

We've got a prize pack up for grabs! Read more >>

Being Flynn
The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), presented by the Center for Asian American Media, is the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, annually presenting over 100 works in the San Francisco Bay Area. GreenCine is proud to sponsor the Festival’s 30th anniversary program.

Thanks to our friends at CAAM, we've got 10 tickets to give away for any of the SFIAAFF screenings! Read more >>

Miami Heat


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