At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
November is “The Month of Noir” at Film Space.
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. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, November 7: Blood Simple (1984) by Joel Coen – 134 mins – US, Crime/ Drama/ Thriller. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 81/83 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: When a bar owner discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife, a complex web of deceit and double crosses ensues in a small Texas town. The Coen brothers' first picture is an intricately plotted film noir filled with surprises at each turn. The cast, largely unknown at the time, includes Dan Hedaya as the cuckolded bar owner, Frances McDormand as the cheating wife, John Getz as the adultering bartender, and the fabulously creepy M. Emmett Walsh as the slimy, sweaty private detective who should not be trusted. The film is a marvel to experience; director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld has created stunning compositions filled with open spaces, and the sound--from the slightest footsteps or dripping water to a sudden shotgun blast--reverberates ominously, as if it is a character unto itself. Directed by Joel Coen and cowritten by Joel and his brother Ethan, Blood Simple is an eerie testament to the limitless possibilities of low-budget filmmaking.
At Film Space Saturday, November 14: Péril en la demeure / Death in a French Garden / Peril (1985) by MichelDeville – 100 mins – France, Crime/ Drama/ Mystery/ Romance/ Thriller. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 81/83 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: A wealthy industrialist and his wife hire a Parisian musician to give guitar lessons to their daughter. However, the wife has a much more dangerous repertoire in mind.
Variety: Peril is a sleek drama of eroticism and murder from Michel Deville, who is finally earning the commercial success that has evaded his last few films, including Deep Water, a failed attempt to adapt a Patricia Highsmith novel. Based on a French novel [Rene Belletto's Sur la terre comme au ciel], Peril finds the tone of disturbing ambiguity and perversity missing in Deep Water, though the conventional, overexplicit denouement dilutes the overall effect. Still for most of its length, the film intrigues by its camera virtuosity, cryptic dialog, and shadowy characterizations.
Christophe Malavoy is David, an unsuspecting guitar instructor hired by a well-heeled suburban couple, Julia and Graham Tombsthay (Nicole Garcia, Michel Piccoli), to give lessons to their teenage daughter. Latter (Anais Jeanneret) is nubile and seemingly attracted to Malavoy, but mother is quicker on the sexual draw and beds the young man in no time, visiting him at his Paris loft.
David drifts on the erotic currents, not overly concerned with the apparent complicity of Julia's husband or the prying of a voyeuristic neighbor (Anemone). Complications arise when videocassette recordings of their trysts are mailed to the lovers.
A new element in the drama comes in the form of Daniel, a professional killer (Richard Bohringer), who saves David from a mugger and befriends him, apparently out of homosexual impulse. Daniel soon admits he has a contract out on Graham, and warns David about his involvement.
Deville's direction is stealthy and stylish, aided by Martial Thury's gliding camera and Raymonde Guyot's sly editing, which enforce the feeling of deepening insecurity. Fine use of limpid themes by Brahms, Schubert, and Granados offer contrast to the unsettling events.
At Film Space Saturday, November 21: Mulholland Dr. / Mulholland Drive (2001) by David Lynch – 147 mins – France/ US, Fantasy/ Mystery/ Romance/ Thriller. Rated R in the US for violence, language, and some strong sexuality. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 81/76 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Mulholland Dr. makes little sense, even for a Lynch film, but its dreamlike imagery is mesmerizing, and Naomi Watts delivers a great performance.
David Lynch strikes again with this literal nightmare of a motion picture--a brilliant, scathing, hysterical, and haunting ode to Hollywood. In the film, a mysterious dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) emerges from an accident with a purse full of cash and a head full of amnesia. Meanwhile, Betty Elms (Naomi Watts), a wide-eyed gal from Deep River, Ontario, has just landed in Los Angeles with dreams of movie super stardom. When Betty finds the nameless beauty in her aunt's apartment, she is deeply intrigued by the situation and offers to help her. This sends the two women on a bizarre search for the truth through the macabre, sun-soaked streets of the City of Angels, where the mob, a young film director (Justin Theroux), a studio executive with a tiny head, and an enigmatic figure named the Cowboy all float into the picture, then out again, until there is no longer any distinction between what is dream and what is reality. Originally filmed as a pilot for ABC, Lynch's daring, open-ended vision was coldly rejected by the network. As he was about to abandon the project, French producer Pierre Edelman convinced Lynch to rethink it as a feature. The result is this stunning expression of the subconscious, a testament to the power of personal artistic vision.