Kelly Reichardt’s debut film, River of Grass is getting a bit of a revival. A restoration of the film is playing at this years edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, and a new one sheet was made, shown here. It is a watercolour rendition of a screenshot from the film (below) featuring a very young Larry Fessenden holding a kitten, and Lisa Bowman holding a green tooth brush and a diet cola; beautiful losers against the beach and palm tree background. Heck, from this image alone, it looks as this could be a prequel to Inherent Vice.
This week is a bit of a struggle. A loving struggle but it took some finagling to make happen. Still, this week there’s (spoiler) love for the surprise “hit” of the summer in Edgerton’s The Gift. There’s a bit of a disagreement with “True Detective,” but that’s going to happen as we’ve seen from week to week. Then there’s some praise for the Amy Winehouse doc, Un-reality TV and the hate for Movie 43 baffles Andrew. Also John Carpenter is seen in a whole new way on the big screen. And surprising no one, Fantastic Four (2015) is the opposite of what its title suggests.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Just ask Jon Favreau: being a chef isn’t easy, but making a movie on the subject matter in the 2010s sure make for compelling viewing. Bradley Cooper loves it too; the heat, the pressure… the violence? Yes, try to open a kitchen in the world today and people will be out to kill you. Seems believable enough.
John Wells made one of the worst and most loathsome films in 2010 with The Company Men. Then he made a pretty angry, loathsome film with August: Osage County in 2012. Now he’s headed to the kitchen to make a pretty
angry intense version of the culinary scene.
I guess I’m in.
Also, heart the sound effect during the closing credits of the trailer. Nice touch!
This week Bryan flies solo as Jon is stuck at work at the very last minute. Ryan, Tony, and Elvis come to the rescue and they have a grand time talking about GUILTY PLEASURE VIDEO GAME MOVIES! That’s right! The movies based off of games that aren’t “good” but find a very special and enjoyable place in their hearts. Check it out to see which movie wins out over the others. Have a guilty pleasure film we haven’t mentioned? Let us know!
Prominently featuring Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, I’m getting a very delicious Django meets The Thing vibe here. Paranoia, guns, shacks, prisoners, a laundry list of great character actors (Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Zoe Bell) and a lot of excellent dialogue. It is oh so easy to be all in for this 70mm shot western.
Director: Samuel Fuller
Screenplay: Samuel Fuller
Based on a Story by: Dwight Taylor
Starring: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye, Richard Kiley
Running Time: 80 min
BBFC Certificate: PG
I‘ve reviewed a few Samuel Fuller films here, one not too long ago in fact (Forty Guns) and I have a habit of feeling a little disappointed after getting excited before seeing them. That’s not the case with Pickup on South Street. This isn’t a first time watch and I think my love for the film is partly why the last couple of titles I watched let me down a little.
Pickup at South Street is a classic film noir that opens on the subway where pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) snatches the purse out of the handbag of Candy (Jean Peters). It turns out he stole more than just a few dollars though. Candy was unwittingly on her way to give a top-secret government microfilm to a Communist agent and Skip ends up with this in his stash. Helped by professional stool pigeon Moe (Thelma Ritter), Candy, the police and the Commies all end up on Skip’s doorstep, demanding the microfilm. Realising what it’s worth, he tries to shake them all down for as much cash as possible. This gets him deeper and deeper into trouble though.
I love a good film noir and this has all the key ingredients of the genre that I can’t get enough of. On top of the moody high contrast photography and seedy back street setting, you get sharp dialogue throughout. It’s real hard boiled gutter talk in this case, with a wonderful streetwise poetry to it.
I had a university professor (English literature) who was fond of saying, “Nobody walks away happy from a threeway.” I wonder what he would have to say about the Blaine Brothers’ Nina Forever, a dark but droll relationship drama that layers on the blood and the sex. This movie, quite literally, has to change the bed sheets often.
Rob is a bright young man whose future is put on hold after a vehicle accident leaves his girlfriend Nina dead, and his own psyche is scarred to the point of depression and suicide. While receiving support from Nina’s parents, who were, it seems, closer to him than his own, Rob works at a minimum wage, low engagement, job as a cashier clerk.
There he meets Holly, a bright young thing we see getting dumped at the beginning of the film by her vanilla boyfriend who tells her that she is too safe and happy. Talk about the ceramic pot calling the kettle white. Holly is studying to become a paramedic, and they bond over Rob’s nasty road rash from his latest attempt to crash his motorcycle and his life. But sparks fly, and clothes drop to the floor, and before you can say “rebound,” something curious happens: Rob’s emotional baggage manifests itself as a blood and broken glass-encrusted ex-girlfriend, right in the bed, wedging herself between Holly and Rob.
Kind of creepy.
And funny as hell.
And yet, unlike the recent duo of ‘zombie girlfriend’ flicks Life After Beth and Burying The Ex, Nina Forever aims for sharp emotional catharsis, and it dares to get at resonating emotional questions for those young enough to be in their first (or second) serious relationship.
Bobby Canavale, an untapped resource of genius if there ever was one, and Juno Temple star in this ‘Mad Men of the 1970s record industry’ new show from HBO, Vinyl. Produced by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terrence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire). This is a dream team kind of project that might collapse under its own weight of talent, but I’m hoping that it is simply amazing.
Norwegian director Joachim Trier, a darling on the festival circuit after 2006’s Reprise and 2011’s Oslo, August 31, returns with his English language debut, Louder than Bombs, which stars the ubiquitous Jesse Eisenberg, the always wonderful Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne, David Straithairn and the boy who plays ‘Young Louis’ on Louis CK’s TV show, Devin Druid. His understated but powerful visual style is in full display in the trailer below.
An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently
Having already played Cannes and Karlovy Vary film festivals, and with Trier’s previous two films playing the Toronto International Film Festival in the past, here is hoping that some of us can catch this on this side of the pond before quite far off its April 2016 release date. If you’re in Norway, however, Louder Than Bombs opens in October.
A link to the trailer and two embedded clips are both tucked under the seat.