The Producers, playing on TCM on Sunday
I threw in some stuff on Sundance this week, including Mammoth and Summer Hours (both on Monday) that I haven’t seen but have heard good things about, so I’m hoping I get to check those out. Also note that IFC is playing the Coen Bros. version of The Ladykillers late Wednesday/early Thursday, while TCM has the original version Thursday night – rather apropos given recent conversations about the Coens and remakes. There are a few other newly featured things scattered throughout, the most notable being Mel Brooks’ hilarious send-up of the business of Broadway in The Producers (the original version) and Martin Scorsese’s biopic of Howard Hughes, The Aviator.
Monday, January 3
6:30am – Sundance – Mammoth
A favorite among a few Row Three writers, though not unanimously, this film from Swedish director Lukas Moodysson gives a three-faceted look at the modern world, contrasting an American businessman, his family, their Filipino maid, and her family.
2009 Sweden. Director: Lukas Moodysson. Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Michelle Williams, Marife Necesito.
(repeats at 12:30pm)
8:40am – Sundance – Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog’s fascination with the duality of nature’s beauty and destructiveness continues into documentary, as he brings the story of grizzly researcher Timothy Treadwell to the screen.
2005 USA. Director: Werner Herzog.
(repeats at 2:40pm)
10:40am – Sundance – No One Knows About Persian Cats
A pair of Iranian rock musicians, unable to perform their music publicly because the government won’t give them a permit, try to put together a final underground gig to raise money to escape the country – it’s based on the actual story of the two people playing the musicians, so there’s an intriguing intersection of reality and fiction.
2009 Iran. Director: Bahman Ghobadi. Starring: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad.
(repeats at 4:@5pm)
6:15pm – Sundance – Summer Hours
In what sounds like a very beautiful and meditative film, Olivier Assayas explores a French family as the matriarch prepares for her own passing and then the actions of her family after she does. It got the Criterion treatment almost immediately upon release, which is enough for me to get excited on its own, but I’ve also heard really good things about it.
2008 France. Director: Olivier Assayas. Starring: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier.
(repeats at 5:40am on the 4th, and 9:25am on the 8th)
8:00pm – IFC – Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Easily one of the most absurd, random, hilarious, and quotable comedies of all time. A more hapless bunch of Round Table knights couldn’t be found, and Monty Python has never been better than they are here.
1975 UK. Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones. Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones.
(repeats at 1:30am on the 4th)
9:30pm -TCM – Morocco
My knowledge of the Josef von Sternberg-Marlene Dietrich cycle of films is woefully slight, but the one I have seen (The Blue Angel) was pretty impressive, so itís an oversight I intend to fix at some point. Dietrich here takes a leap of androgyny with her tuxedo-clad cabaret numbers, while an extremely young Gary Cooper is along for the ride as a Legionnaire.
1930 USA. Director: Josef von Sternberg. Starring: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou.