Asides

06/20/2014 – 06/26/2014

FRIDAY, JUNE 20

Dead Man

DEAD MAN    7:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1996    134 mins.    TBD

“The best movie of the dog days of the 20th century. Made in 1996, it might as well be a silent. You can read the whole film off its faces. The sense of an undiscovered West — a West that vanished before it could be incorporated into national myth. That’s all there on the train ride from Cleveland to the Pacific, some time after the Civil War, as the white passengers shift inexorably into barbarism.” – Greil Marcus, Salon

 

JE T’AIME, JE T’AIME    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1968    91 mins.    35mm

“Alain Resnais takes dozens of interludes from one man’s life — images of everyday banality and commonplace delights — and arranges them non-chronologically. Those leaps add up to a cubistic portrait of a not especially remarkable man who becomes something more, not because of his commonplace life but because of the extraordinary manner in which his story emerges in its sweep and details, its simplicity and grandeur.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

 

KILLER OF SHEEP    5:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    88 mins.    TBD

“A dollar really means something in Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, a milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few movies have. Set in the post-riots Watts section of Los Angeles, where poverty comes in degrees, the film is a major landmark in American moviemaking: a vivid ballad for life as it was lived by people whom movie cameras could rarely seem to find.” – Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

 

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2001    97 mins.    35mm

“Paying homage to risqué junk of the Meatballs ilk, it plays out like a low-rent hipster lark in the spirit of Soderbergh’s Ocean franchise: an invitation to kick it with groovesters on holiday as they hang out, pal around, and amuse themselves just this side of smug. The movie feels tossed off in the most appealing way, bobbing along like the cute, dim-witted nephew of Dazed and Confused.” – Nathan Lee, The Village Voice

 

VICTORY OF WOMEN    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1949    96 mins.    35mm

“Easily one of the most fascinating of these hitherto unavailable Mizoguchi films is Victory of Women, an ardent, early post-war feminist film, a Japanese Adam’s Rib. For Mizoguchi the ‘woman’s victory’ means not only independence for his spunky heroine, but a life in which she does not live only for herself. Yet, Mizoguchi insists, without autonomy selflessness becomes mere self-sacrifice.” – Joan Mellen, The New York Times

 

CLERKS    3:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1994    92 mins.    TBD

“A buoyant, bleakly funny comedy chronicling a day’s worth of activity at two adjoining stores, Clerks is true to the slacker motif of mixing smart twentyish characters with precocious burnouts, throwing them together in an atmosphere of funny yet frustrating paralysis. Though nominally situated in New Jersey, this convenience store and video rental place are in spirit somewhere very near the end of the world.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

THE ROOM    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2003    90 mins.    35mm

“Tommy Wiseau thrust his flexing naked ass into the psyches of cult-film lovers with a disturbing yet strangely hypnotic ferocity. He opened up the Pandora’s box of his warped imaginationand bats and ghosts and spiders and other creepy-crawlies of the psychological variety flew out with such insane force and intensity that a decade later, we as a culture are still asking, ‘What the fuck was that?’” – Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve

 

THE GOONIES    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985   114 mins.    Digital Video

“Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure tale was executive produced and conceived by Steven Spielberg and it has every mark of a hack director striving to replicate Spielberg’s wide-eyed optimism.  The movie (which runs a punishing near-two hours, even without the octopus), is basically unwatchable without the sticky sheen of nostalgia. Personally, I’d rather sit through Adventures in Babysitting again.” – Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 21

Serenity

SERENITY    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2005    119 mins.    Digital Video

“Although watching the movie feels a bit like tuning into a television program just in time for the series finale (which, um, it sort of is), once you gather the plot threads, Serenity reveals itself as a goofy interstellar Wagon Train — with a ragtag band of space cowpokes engaging in the kind of rapid-fire banter and foolish derring-do sorely missing from the recent Star Wars prequels. Everybody quips like Han Solo.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

PRINCESS YANG KWEI-FEI    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1955    98 mins.    35mm

“Mizoguchi’s incisive sense of historical analysis is equalled by his exaltation of love and his recognition of the disproportionate price that women pay for pleasure and position. As injustice begets injustice and a corrupt regime besmirches beauty, Mizoguchi gives his lovers the last laugh, in one of the most jubilantly derisive endings in the history of cinema.” –  Richard Brody, The New Yorker

 

PI    3:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1998    84 mins.    TBD

“This is very much a first feature, with all the hyperbolic, sometimes indiscriminate cinematic energy of a student film. But it’s also sensational, a febrile meditation on the mathematics of existence. With its echoes of Jorge Luis Borges and Stanley Kubrick, even Frank Henenlotter’s great splatter flick Brain Damage, the whole movie is so hyper-alert that it seems pitched on the verge of a stroke.” – David Edelstein, Slate

 

DEAD MAN    10:30AM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1996    134 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

KILLER OF SHEEP    1:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    88 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2001    97 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

THE GOONIES    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985   114 mins.    Digital Video

See above.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 22

The War Is Over

THE WAR IS OVER    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1966    121 mins.    35mm

“Alain Resnais’ The War Is Over is exactly about the political dilemma of our time. This seems to be an age when the old and the young cannot agree on what is good or bad. The old (say the young) cling to outworn slogans and are worn down by centralization and bureaucracy. The young (say the old) care nothing for traditional values and seek to destroy society by anarchy.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

THE LOVE OF SUMAKO, THE ACTRESS    5PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1947    95 mins.    16mm

“I wonder if Mizoguchi lost a bet and was forced by his creditor to put his camera ten feet further back than he wanted. In this perversely stylized film, Mizoguchi will shoot theatrical scenes from the very back row, often from behind spectators’ heads, so that the spectacle of Kinuya Tanaka doing Ibsen is but a speckle on the screen. This is Mizoguchi’s master-shot scroll-painting style at its most severe.” – Ryan Wu, Pigs And Battleships

 

PI    3PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1998    84 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 23

ON THE WATERFRONT    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1954    108 mins.    35mm

“Thanks to Brando this posthumous Popular Front classic is a heart-clutcher from beginning to end. The greatest and most influential actor of post-war Hollywood, Brando would here redefine movie stardom with the eloquence of his strangled inarticulation. The scene of scenes, in which Terry reproaches his smarter brother for selling him out, is the most triumphant expression of failure in American movies.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

 

THE WOMAN OF THE RUMOR    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1954    83 mins.    35mm

“There are certain inevitabilities of narrative convention here, that Yukiko and Matoba’s relationship will blossom into romance and that Yukiko’s hostility to her mother’s line of work will mellow, but the first of these does not ultimately play out as expected and the latter develops logically as a result of, and in tandem with, the rediscovery by Yukiko of her own humanity.” – Slarek, CineOutsider

 

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06/06/2014 – 06/12/2014

FRIDAY, JUNE 6

Manhattan

MANHATTAN    7:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    96 mins.    35mm

Manhattan is not just Woody Allen’s dream movie. Wistful as it is witty, it’s his dream of the movies. Allen’s most personal film, it enshrines everything from his morality to his milieu. Youth fades. Love never lasts. Everyone is forever trying to retrieve the past. Only the skyline remains. Allen’s subsequent attempts to recapture Manhattan have often been embarrassing, but he (and we) will always have this.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

 

THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE    5:00PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    2001    116 mins.    35mm

The Man Who Wasn’t There skates across a thick layer of subtly suggested, richly realized themes, examining how movements in history, philosophy, science, and art inevitably situate themselves amongst tract houses, diners, and barbershops. The Coens create a world that draws no distinction between Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and the moral confusion of a dime-novel hero, a world that feels both familiar and strangely true.” – Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club

 

OSAKA ELEGY    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1936    90 mins.    35mm

“One of Kenji Mizoguchi’s finest efforts. The narrative is precisely crafted, the characters’ conflicting goals and demands creating a trap from which no one can escape. Mizoguchi often films from a distance, and as his characters gradually shift their positions, long takes become visual metaphors for the network of connections between people; individualism is always isolating.” – Fred Camper, Chicago Reader

 

THE DOWNFALL OF OSEN    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1935    87 mins.    35mm

“Mizoguchi’s key theme, and style, is humiliation: there is no private space, and as in Kafka, characters are always being watched and used even in their most private moments. Mizoguchi watches his cages from afar as the characters do in each other and then themselves. A prostitute is just a girl who turns a private act into a public one.” – David Phelps, MUBI

 

MULHOLLAND DRIVE    9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2001    147 mins.    35mm

“The movie is hypnotic. We’re drawn along as if one thing leads to another–but nothing leads anywhere, and that’s even before the characters start to fracture and recombine like flesh caught in a kaleidoscope. This is a movie to surrender yourself to. If you require logic, see something else. Individual scenes play well by themselves, as they do in dreams, but they don’t connect in a way that makes sense–again, like dreams.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING    2:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    2013    109 mins.    35mm

“Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is just about the sloppiest Shakespeare ever put on the screen. It may also be the most exhilarating — a profound trifle that reminds you how close Shakespeare’s comedies verge on darkness before pirouetting back into the light. A black-and-white modern-dress version of the play, shot in 12 days at the director’s house, the film has the slapdash air of Mickey and Judy putting on a show in a barn.” – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

 

THE HOLY MOUNTAIN    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1973    115 mins.    35mm

“A scandal when first released, Mr. Jodorowsky’s movie is a dazzling, rambling, often incoherent satire on consumerism, militarism and the exploitation of third world cultures by the West. It unfurls like a hallucinogenic daydreamending with a postmodern punch line suggesting that movies are drugs too, and the revolution can’t happen until we kick our habits.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

 

THE BIG LEBOWSKI    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1998    119 mins.    Digital Video

“A cubist comedy concocted by the irrepressible Coen brothers out of bits and pieces of the old and the new, the black and the blue, the profound and the profane, in a portion of Los Angeles where hyper-reality collides with hyper-gaucherie. The result is a lot of laughs and a feeling of awe toward the craftsmanship involved. I doubt that there’ll be anything else like it the rest of this year.” – Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 7

VERTIGO    12PM, 4:30PM, & 9:15PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1958    130 mins.    35mm

“One of the landmarks—not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film extends the relationship of creator and creation into the realm of love and sexuality. The film’s dynamics parallel the artist’s struggle with his work. But a thematic analysis can only scratch the surface of this extraordinarily dense and commanding film, perhaps the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

 

A GEISHA    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1953    84 mins.    35mm

“It shares with the director’s period films the quality of being incredibly beautiful without being particularly, foolishly pretty. The charm is the compassionate but completely unsentimental way it regards the two women’s friendship. Though the landscape of the film is restricted to a small, rather exotic quarter in Kyoto, A Geisha is far from esoteric. The scope is narrow and the focus is deep.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

 

POPPY    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1935    72 mins.    16mm

“Mizoguchi represents a delicately passé version of cinema. I have a hard time imagining a generation raised on CGI assimilating to his introverted rhythms and quietudes. But his material still stings. Most of the films are tragic diagrams of sexist inequity. There may not have ever been a more sincere maker of women’s melodramas in the history of film.” – Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

 

MANHATTAN    12PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    96 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE    2:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    2001    116 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

THE HOLY MOUNTAIN    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1973    115 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

THE BIG LEBOWSKI    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1998    119 mins.    Digital Video

See above.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 8

Jeanne Dielman

JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES    2PM & 8PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1975    201 mins.    35mm

“Akerman’s film just is, a life experience rather than a convenient story told. It’s not what you’d call a consciously pleasurable experience: the undulations of frustration, fascination, tedium, fury and epiphany you feel watching the movie are built in, part of the scheme, intrinsic to the point. But it’s as visceral as any horror movie. The climax is only a meaningful shock if you’ve been paying attention, and put in the hours.” – Michael Atkinson, IFC

 

ED WOOD    2:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1994    125 mins.    35mm

Raging Bull for starfuckers. A hagiography that’s as much critical analysis as homage, it engages in a conversation about how Wood’s films are seen at the same time that it endeavours to tell the highlights of Wood’s life. The result is a picture that bridges the gap between cult and camp classic; the melancholic and the melodramatic; and the difference between a director of vision and a director with a vision that sucks.” – Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

 

THE NAVIGATOR    2PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1924    59 mins.    35mm

“Buster Keaton’s 1924 film is about a rich young couple cast adrift on a deserted ocean liner. The situation is perfectly suited to Keaton’s natural sense of surrealism—everything is too big, too full, and too much. Keaton and his girlfriend become two innocents lost in a threatening, mechanistic Eden, alone in their oversized world. A masterpiece, and very, very funny.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

 

PORTRAIT OF MADAME YUKI    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1950    88 mins.    35mm

“The title echoes Portrait of Madame X, and Kenji Mizoguchi’s socialite is as detailed, evocative and mysterious as John Singer Sargent’s. Her aristocratic pavilion is a stifling maze of manicured gardens, winding trails and doors opening unto doors opening unto doors. The stunning dénouement points to Ugetsu’s spectral realms. Mist creeps in, and it’s as if Murnau had never died.” – Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion

 

OSAKA ELEGY    5PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1936    90 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING    12PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    2013    109 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 9

Boyz N The Hood

BOYZ N THE HOOD    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1991    112 mins.    35mm

“The film is at times violent, but is first and foremost about the relationship between a teenager and the wise father trying to set him straight. Columbia Pictures cut a trailer for the film, and the result made Boyz N The Hood look like Assault On Precinct 13. Filmgoers expecting to see wall-to-wall violence were confused. This was no exploitation quickie. There was more violence going at movie theaters and malls.” – Odie Henderson, Big Media Vandalism

 

THE LIFE OF OHARU    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1952    136 mins.    35mm

“The more obscure and spiritually complete The Life of Oharu represents the Holy Grail of Japanese cinema. Devastating from beginning to end, its genius is not so much Mizoguchi’s caustic criticism of a money-obsessed society’s refusal to acknowledge its accountability for Oharu’s degradation, but that Mizoguchi uses her life to peel back the layers of the physical self and reveal the soul that lies bruised beneath.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

 

MULHOLLAND DRIVE    8PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2001    147 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 10

Meeks Cutoff

MEEK’S CUTOFF    7:30PM & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2010    104 mins.    35mm

“Reichardt’s film is muted, severe and hardly an audience-friendly experience. It’s another one of those art movies that critics like because nothing happens. I was hypnotized from the opening sequence. Meek’s Cutoff is about the day-to-day grind, mundane tasks and the sick, helpless feeling of not knowing where you’re going. When the movie was over, I had to go walk it off for a little while before I felt like talking to anybody.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11

Pickpocket

PICKPOCKET    7:30PM & 9:15PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1959    75 mins.    35mm

“I adore Pickpocket and can watch it endlessly. To me it’s as close to perfect as there can be. Pickpocket gave me the courage to write Taxi Driver, and from that point on I have never had a problem with characters that appear beyond empathy. Bresson taught me I could take an outcast, a lonely man, a guy who lives an interior life, and say: ‘Let’s walk in his shoes.’” – Paul Schrader, The Telegraph

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 12

Rashomon

RASHOMON    7:30PM & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1950    88 mins.    35mm

“Like a lot of the really popular ‘foreign films’ released before loose European sex became the dominating attraction, Rashomon is a Thesis Film, setting out to prove an inconvenient truth, namely: that truth itself is unknowable, relying as it does on the various whims and prejudices of its entirely too human tellers. A sublimely well-made bit of obviousness, it’s gripping because it’s directed with the zeal of a boy’s adventure.” – Matt Prigge, Philadelphia Weekly

 

ED WOOD    4:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1994    125 mins.    35mm

See above.