“There was nothing extraordinary about the fact that you lose the people you love because it’s going to happen to all of us. It’s just that it happened in this targeted community of people who were disenfranchised and separated from their families. And a whole group of other people stepped up and became their family.” - We Were Here.
#441 | May 15, 2012
INTERVIEW: Bobcat Goldthwait, Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr
Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, whose career as a filmmaker has yielded such dark and excoriating satirical fare as Shakes the Clown and World's Greatest Dad, has been making the festival rounds for months (now in wide release) with his latest violent black comedy about a man and a teen on a rampage, God Bless America. Steve Dollar sat down with Goldthwait and costars Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr at SXSW '12 to chat about about their favorite reality TV shows, the death of common decency and Diablo Cody (don't ask, just see the movie). Read more >>
In This Dispatch:
  • What's New: Michael, Kinyarwanda, We Were Here, and more.  
  • What We're Watching: A Hollis Frampton Odyssey, Chronicle.
  • Explore: Film of the Week: I Wish, Retro Active: Vampire in Brooklyn.  
Steve Dollar dubbed this film "Queasiest New Austrian Film Not Made by Michael Haneke or Ulrich Seidl," but this low-key portrait of a pedophile and the 10-year-old boy he keeps locked in his basement doesn't play for shock or feel-bad sentimentality. Cinefamily's Hadrian Belove champions Michael as "the most assured film debut of the year, and a flat out piece of pure cinema." Director Markus Schleinzer creates an "incredibly private universe, the secretive world of his subject who does not share his life with anyone," and "pull us into this world, hypnotically hooking us into the minutiae, and emotional nuances, with a minimum of dialogue. He knows how to cut away at just the right moment to pop your synapses and take your breath away."
Not since Hotel Rwanda has Roger Ebert been educated about the times before, after, and during the Rwandan Genocide, but Kinyarwanda, based on the true and very personal stories of a man, a woman, and a boy, shook him deeply. "Each vignette adds to the mosaic. Characters from one turn up in another. Gradually a powerful outcome is arrived at." Adds Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post, "The film is not just a wrenching history lesson about how easily riven a nation can become. It is also a moving tale about the struggle of Rwandans to stitch their country back together."
"Director David Weissman does everything you’re generally not supposed to do in a documentary -- we get talking heads, old news footage, and still photographs, and that’s about it -- but We Were Here is never less than riveting, thanks to the stories themselves and the deep emotion with which they’re told," writes Alonso Duralde. Told through a handful of survivors, critics are almost unanimously banded behind the eloquence and power of this doc's story, chronicling the SF AIDs epidemic. Stephen Holden adds, "As grim as some of its images are, We Were Here is above all a film about love: not romantic love but the kind that really matters, in which people selflessly show up and keep on showing up for one another in the worst of times."
We Were Here
What We're Watching

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (Criterion)
A couple caveats before we dive in here. Firstly, I am out of my depth writing about the avant-garde, and bow to other qualified guides (Michael Sicinski, among others) well-versed in this terrain. I’ll try to split the difference between sounding like a pretentious wanker/a brain-dead rube writing about this, but I’m in vaguely foreign territory here. Secondly, Frampton’s films require the viewer to engage them in a way that almost makes the viewer a co-creator in the works.  Read more >>

In a review aptly titled "LMFAO I Can Move S*it with My Mind: Teens with Superpowers in Chronicle," Aaron Hillis goes along for the ride in this faux-found-footage flick brimming with teenage angst. "Unlike typical hero-in-long-underwear-origin tales, there's a shrewd naturalism to this outlandish fantasy that befits these emotionally underdeveloped, horny, and otherwise average high schoolers." It's only when "hostility bubbles over with superhuman hubris that the bromance explodes in sinister, surprising, seamlessly CGI-enhanced ways."
More like this I Am Number Four Jumper

Vadim Rizov reviews Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest film, I Wish, which, like his last film to receive American distribution, 2008's Still Walking, uses trains as a functional metaphor. Japanese National Railways' high-speed bullet trains serve a more optimistic function in I Wish, as well as providing some of its financing. Shane Meadows made use of Eurostar's funding for the delightful Somers Town, and Kore-eda is similarly adept in making sure he isn't compromised by his financiers. Read more >>
Inspired by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's fish-out-of-water vampire comedy Dark Shadows, Nick Schager bites into this awfully conceived film made in horror-comedy hell courtesy of Eddie Murphy and Wes Craven. The mid-90s-isms of this wretched collaboration are plentiful—cue Salt-n-Pepa's "Whatta Man" to underline Murphy's alpha-male sexiness? Read more >>
RETRO ACTIVE: Vampire in Brooklyn

Supernatural Teens


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