"Now, Mr. Dancer, get off the panties. You've done enough damage." - Anatomy of a Murder.
#435 | April 3, 2012
Guy Maddin Interview
One loquacious greybeard, that most Canadian of Canadian filmmakers (or should we say "most Winnipeggian"?) Guy Maddin never so much sits for an interview as he does take occasion to deliver what sounds like a old-time radio drama, only far more wild and vivid and philosophical. Images whirl through the air. Ideas take shape and dissolve. Time collapses into a black hole that suddenly reopens like the iris of a camera lens. One senses—while processing the bitter jolt of a Starbucks coffee, alert to the home movie flickering across the director's eyes—that, for Maddin, everything really is cinema. Steve Dollar speaks with Maddin about his new film, Keyhole, memories, homes, new shooting formats, and more. Read more >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: The Double Hour, In the Land of Blood and Honey. 
  • What We're Watching: Anatomy of a Murder (Criterion), We Bought a Zoo. 
  • Explore: Retro Active - Battle Royale, The Deep Blue Sea, SXSW 2012 - Critic's Notebook #3.  
  • Contest: Winners Announced!
This twisty thriller from French Director Giuseppe Capotondi is many things, including "a crime story full of dualities, second chances, and wishful fantasies," describes Jamie S. Rich of DVD Talk. The plot is hinged on two people who meet at a speed dating event, and thrills (good and bad) ensue. "There are elements of ghost stories, old-school noir, and also a little gothic romance...The film is ingeniously structured in how it gives us the clues to solve its own mystery, dismantles them, and then allows them to reemerge one by one...It's a movie that deserves to be seen, talked about, debated, and passed on."
The Double Hour
A love story set against the backdrop of the outset of the Balkan War in 1992, this feature certainly drew attention for being the first film written and directed by megastar Angelina Jolie. In it a Serbian soldier falls for Muslim beauty, and, "Despite the film’s generally somber tone, there’s more than a hint of Night Porter-style perversity to their relationship, which at different times is platonic, therapeutic and highly erotic," writes Salon's Andrew O"Hehir. The war scenes are as intensely charged, as Manohla Dargis praises that "Jolie manages the tricky feat of creating a chaotically violent vision, in which the focus remains intently on those who, in many war movies, are often an afterthought: the women."
In the Land of Blood and Honey
What We're Watching
Anatomy of a Murder (Criterion)
From its opening onward, Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of Murder simmers like a slow-cooked stew. After Saul Bass’s sultry opening credits, the film opens as Paul Biegler (Jimmy Stewart) returns home from a fishing trip. Biegler methodically, wordlessly cleans his fish, places them in the icebox, and tidies up his office/living space. It’s a wonderfully inauspicious beginning; no flashy opening hook or clumsy exposition. While the film is by no means slow, this nice moment of domestic activity establishes Preminger’s pace – as its title implies, the film is a dissection of little, seemingly insignificant, moments and tossed-off words that add up to... Read more >>
We Bought a Zoo
Big gestures are common currency in Cameron Crowe country: John Cusack holding a boombox over his head in Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire's much-quoted romantic highlights ("You had me at hello"), an unironically lovestruck-and-desperate run alongside a moving bus in Almost Famous. Crowe openly states his method in We Bought a Zoo: "all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage," dad Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) tells lovestruck son Dylan (Colin Ford). "And I promise you, something great will come of it." This is both a baldly stated stab at future quotability and a declaration of Crowe's full investment: every time his characters do something outsized and cornball, he's the one hoping a great moment rather than a fiasco will emerge from it. Read more >>
More like this  Dan in Real LifeSmart People
"What the world needs to work properly is a large mass of normal people," transfer student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) concludes near the end of Damsels in Distress. With his fondness for preppily dressed, decorous men and women behaving discreetly, writer/director Whit Stillman also seems to believes this, but he's too in love with eccentrically posited aphorisms for their own sake to make a convincing case for bland societal assimilation. Here, his leading lady is Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig, mastering Stillman's unusual cadences), her name a self-created yoking of two different flowers.  Read more >>
Damsels in Distress
[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by another fantasy revamp of a storybook classic, Mirror Mirror.] Red Riding Hood's signature shawl symbolizes the eroticism and menace at the heart of The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan's sensuous reimagining of the iconic fairy tale. Jordan blends realities with the same dreaminess that characterizes his entire film, opening with a wolf's dash through a misty fantasyland forest that ends at a manor house and the arrival of a modern car, out of which appears the parents of Alice (Georgia Slowe) and, in an upstairs room behind a locked door, Red Riding Hood herself, Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson). Read more >>
RETRO ACTIVE: The Company of Wolves (1984)
Vadim Rizov reports from the "New Directors/New Films" Festival, covering Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds and Mads Brügger's second "hidden agenda" film The Ambassador. "Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds opens with contextless black-and-white stills implying a history of subjugation: villagers interviewed by tailored officials, laborers hoeing a field. 'Slavery is very much present in our everyday life in Brazil,' Filho noted Saturday night after a New Directors/New Films screening. He's a critic and director making his fiction feature debut after a series of shorts and a feature mockumentary... Read more >>
NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2012: Critic's Notebook
A huge thanks to Caam Media and the SFIAAFF 30 team for sending 10 lucky winners to this year's San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival!

Congrats to GreenCine members wolf23 and Ronster for winning our Columbus Circle Giveaway!

Fairy Tales, Reimagined

The Company of Wolves
(reviewed below)


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