Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Film Space schedule

At Film Space: on Saturdays at 7 pm

Film Space is now showing “A Month of Musicians” throughout October. [In December, they will give you another chance to view Kieslowski’s great Three Colors Trilogy, plus his The Double Life of Veronique.]

Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school, on the 2nd floor. Or maybe the roof. A small but nice place to view movies. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance. Well worth supporting.

At Film Space on October 18, 7 pm: Sid and Nancy (1986) by Alex Cox – UK Biography/ Drama/ Music – 112 mins. Alex Cox's biopic tells the bleak, heroin-drenched story of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his disturbed American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Gary Oldman delivers a bravura performance as Sid, matched by Chloe Webb's grating, clearly unhinged Nancy. The two lovers' childlike tenderness with each other contrasts sharply with their bleak, violent nihilism, and while the script implies that Nancy's death was accidental, the line between intention and accident is deliberately blurred. By turns romantic and horrific, Sid and Nancy is often grueling to watch, but always compelling. Cox's romantic vision draws us in while throwing us back in time to London and New York at the inception of the drug-laden British punk era. The film's dreamlike style and a hypnotic score dramatize the schism between Sid and Nancy’s world and the world around them--and the inevitable horror when those worlds collide. Generally favorable reviews: 72 out of 100.

Corey Levitan The love between junkie Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his groupie/girlfriend, Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb), was so sadistic yet so pure (in a punk-rock sense, at least) that Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were said to have based their own ill-fated courtship entirely on this movie. (Not coincidentally, Love plays a minor role in it, as a Spungen friend.)

Oldman gives a career-making performance in this twisted twist on "Romeo and Juliet," which is based fairly tightly on real life: Vicious and Spungen trade all their friends, loved ones (and band mates) for smack; Vicious stabs Spungen to death after she begs him to end her misery; Vicious kills himself with a heroin overdose.

Interspersing the tragic action with surreal dream sequences and gobs of pounding punk, writer-director Alex Cox flawlessly captures the nihilism at the heart of punk rock's original wave.

At Film Space on October 25, 7 pm: Linda Linda Linda (2005) by Nobuhiro Yamashita – Japan Comedy/ Drama/ Music – 114 mins. A somewhat beguiling teenage charmer that follows the antics of four high school friends, all girls, who decide to form a band only three days before a potential gig at the annual school festival. Unburdened by plot or hormonal drama, the movie follows the girls through lengthy rehearsals, minor setbacks, and painfully awkward encounters with boys and teachers. With the title taken from a catchy 1980s tune by Japanese punk icons The Blue Hearts, Yamashita's film is as unconventional and understated as a teenage drama can be, yet it's fairly enjoyable with moments of painfully awkward humor, and solid performances by the four lead actresses.

Beginning “The Month of Mental Retardation”

At Film Space on November 1, 7 pm: Forrest Gump (1994) by Robert Zemeckis – US Comedy/ Drama/ Romance – 142 mins. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 82/76 out of 100.

Roger Ebert: Its hero, played by Tom Hanks, is a thoroughly decent man with an IQ of 75, who manages between the 1950s and the 1980s to become involved in every major event in American history. And he survives them all with only honesty and niceness as his shields.

And yet this is not a heartwarming story about a mentally retarded man. That cubbyhole is much too small and limiting for Forrest Gump. The movie is more of a meditation on our times, as seen through the eyes of a man who lacks cynicism and takes things for exactly what they are. Watch him carefully and you will understand why some people are criticized for being "too clever by half." Forrest is clever by just exactly enough.

Tom Hanks may be the only actor who could have played the role.

I can't think of anyone else as Gump, after seeing how Hanks makes him into a person so dignified, so straight-ahead. The performance is a breathtaking balancing act between comedy and sadness, in a story rich in big laughs and quiet truths.

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