At Film Space: on Saturdays at 7 pm
Film Space is now showing “A Month of Musicians” throughout October.
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 4, 7 pm: Last Days (2005) by Gus Van Sant – US Music/ Drama – 97 mins. A Seattle-set rock & roll drama about a musician whose life and career is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain's, the lead singer of the popular Seattle-based rock band Nirvana who committed suicide in 1994. It’s a meditative journey through the last days in the life of fictional musician Blake (Michael Pitt). In a bewildered state of drug withdrawal, Blake stumbles through deep woods groaning and mumbling quietly. His words are only occasionally audible, and even less occasionally coherent. The focus is on Blake's tortured, slow-motion movements and his tangle of chin-length blond hair, which hangs like a mask over his face. Reaching a clearing, Blake enters a dilapidated mansion where he lives with four similarly confused young rockers. A string of foggy events follows in partially chronological order. Scenes overlap, allowing for minor details to be added later. This style hints at the insignificance of time—and of everything—from Blake's perspective. Avoiding human contact, taking long walks, playing music, and hiding in the greenhouse, Blake nears his inevitable end. He digs up a parcel from the backyard, smokes a cigarette and painstakingly pours a bowl of Cocoa Krispies, changes into a black evening gown and grabs a rifle, answers the phone and says nothing when a voice asks him about an upcoming tour. Blake then descends into a bizarre, barely conscious state during which people come and go from the house. But none of it seems to register, as he is already lost. Last Days finds melancholic beauty in green trees reflecting in windowpanes, and the sound of rippling lake water echoing the ambient noise in Blake's head; and Pitt shows chameleon expertise in his mutely charismatic depiction of the unreachable Blake, whose resemblance to Cobain is both haunting and magical. While the minimalist style is not for all viewers, those who appreciate experimentalism will find Last Days hypnotic. Rated R in the US for language and some sexual content. Generally favorable reviews: 67/60 out of 100.
At Film Space on October 11, 7 pm: I'm Not There (2007) by Todd Haynes – US/Germany Biography/ Drama/ Music – 135 mins. Starring Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Ben Whishaw, and Marcus Carl Franklin. I'm Not There is a film that dramatizes the life and music of Bob Dylan as a series of shifting personae, each performed by a different actor—poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity, rock and roll, martyr born-again Christian—seven identities braided together. The unique editing, visuals, and multiple talented actors portraying Bob Dylan make for a deliciously unconventional experience. Each segment brings a new and fresh take on Dylan's life. Rated R in the US for language, some sexuality, and nudity. Generally favorable reviews: 73/71 out of 100.
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.
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.