Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nightcap 2/26/12- It all begins Friday

Sunday night and I need to warn you that starting tomorrow night you can expect an influx of additional reviews over the next two months or so. The reason behind it is simple starting Friday a wave of film festivals and film series are going to take center stage to my dance card, so I'll be throwing up reviews all over the place.

Thursday starts Rendezvous with French Cinema. I've gone to four of the press screenings already and I'm going to attend a few more screenings once the series starts in earnest. Tomorrow night I'm going to start running reviews of what I've seen and they'll be an extra review most of the week.

Friday is the Opening Night of the New York International Children's Film Festival. Unseen will be be there for pretty all of the features, the noticable exception is going to be Saalam Dunk which we couldn't fit into the schedule. There is going to be limited coverage of the shorts simple because we can't manage to see them all in the time allowed. This means that look for extra reviews on the weekends as we report back from all of the screenings wee see. (And check back Tuesday for a review of Le Tableau a co-presentation with Rendezvous). I should stress tickets are rapidly running out so get them now.

Also Starting Friday is The Japan Society's series Love Will Tear US Apart which I did a piece on last night.

The list of films for this year’s New Directors New Films has been announced. It’s a great line up and it has those of us Unseen talking about what we’re going to see. We’ll be working that out once the actual schedule is released. Seriously there are some great films here including the much talked about The Raid, about a Swat Team going after a drug lord only to find they’ve been lead into a trap and have to fight their way out. Depending on the date this might end up as an Unseen Films night at the movies… The full list of films can be found here.

Tribeca is coming. If it runs like last year I'll be neck deep in screenings for the festival for the weeks before it starts right on through to the end. You will be buried with coverage for at least the week before, through the festival and probably even afterward. I have this huge hole in my schedule which I hope to fill with reviews and reports from the trenches. I expect my life to collapse and to I'll be reduced to a grunting fool. Actually I'm expecting to have a blast.

I need to also mention that a series of Japanese documentaries are playing the Asia Society. Details can be found here. We've reviewed The Emperors Naked Army Marches On back in 2010. We also have an interest in all of the other titles so, with luck expect reviews.

If you want to know why I have reviews stacked up into August it's because I expect the next two months to devour my brain, soul and body. When I come out on the other end I fully expect not to want see anything again ever or until The Brooklyn Film Festival comes up in early June and The New York Asian Film Festival brings me back to reality at the end of that month. (FYI if you didn't catch it on Twitter the first word on this years festival is that the NYAFF is looking to run some Shaw Brothers films from the 80's)

In a weird way it's cinematic self abuse but it's for a good cause you're education and edification.

Some updates on films we’ve reviewed before.

This is Not a Film has hit movie screens and it’s important that you see the film. Made by directors Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb wile under house arrest, the film is a look at life in Iran as Panhi waits to find out whether he is to go to jail for having made a film the Iranian government didn’t like. The plight of the director, who has gone to prison aside, it’s a masterpiece of a film that blends reality and fiction into what I thought was one of the best films of last year. Go see the film and add your voice to the chorus of people looking for the directors release.

The Assault, an amazing film detailing a French military squad raid on a hijacked plane is going to hit screens soon. I saw the film at Tribeca last year and it blew me away. I saw the trailer when I saw Coriolanus this week and I was told to shut up as I started telling everyone that they had to see the film. Simply put, the film has two of the best action sequences of the past few years- best of all it proves you don’t need hyped up Hollywood tricks to hold an audience riveted to their seats.

Also from Tribeca comes Turn Me On Dammit. This is a sexually frank comedy about some girls coming of age in Norway hits screens March 30th. I loved this film a great deal. It’s a film that is very funny and very human. You really want to see this small little treasure.

I need to clarify something I said in the review of Buster Keaton’s Dough Boys. I had said that Keaton’s sound films could be as good as his silents. I do still believe that is true, but I have to say that the number of really good sound films is not has great as silent ones. The reason I say this is that as I’m working on the next week of Keaton films I’m wading into several collections of Keaton sound shorts and it’s becoming a chore. Right now I’m watching his output at Columbia and they are a mess. Yes, He’s good, and yes the bits are very good, but the films seem to be little more that odd ball variations of Three Stooges material. I’ve seen most of the films found in the Buster Keaton Collection DVD set and I really wouldn’t recommend most of them except to die hard Keaton fans. Yes I’ll be posting a few reviews but that’s more the exception than the rule


Wong Kar Wai's There's Only One Sun (Thank you Eden)

Oscar Films as Info Graphics

An unmade Michael Mann Noir film (Thanks A.L.L)

Romantic comedies remade to star Cthulhu

Before Disney there was animation

All about Hide and Seek by Aminder Dhaliwal

(This week- some random titles-mostly of recent vintage- plus additional reviews from Rendezvous with French Cinema and the New York International Children's Film Festival)

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