Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Movie Puke

I was at the Landmark Bridge Theater this past weekend to see Tokyo Sonata (great film by the way).

As I was milling about the lobby, I noticed some tri-folded pieces of 8.5 x 11 paper. I picked one up at there was a picture of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman on the cover with the subtitle "Corey vs. Corey The Ultimate Battle." The rest of the "tiny zine" was an introduction of the Two Coreys phenomenon in the late 80's. Does anyone remember the commercials for the Two Coreys chat room? After setting up the Coreys Craze, the unsigned author proceeded to give thumbnail descriptions of her favorite bad movies starring one or both of the Coreys. I thought it was entertaining and can relate to a fellow "bad movie connoisseur" as well as her adherence to grammar and spelling.

The title of the 'zine was Movie Puke - A Tiny Zine for Cinemasochists - clever word play.

Going back to the table with the handouts, I found two more Movie Pukes - Issue #2 titled "Revenge of the Beach Comedy" and Issue #3 titled "The Girly Issue." Both 'zines brought back memories from my teenage years or introduced me to films so obscure/bad that I wouldn't watch them as a hormonally overactive teenager.

Anyway, Movie Puke has a Myspace page. There is even a photo of Issue #4 called "Dance Dance Dance."


I notice that before screenings at Landmark Theaters, an employee will come out and thank the audience. S/he doesn't always comment on the film but they do thank the audience for coming. It's a nice touch in tough economic times. The Sunday 3:10 showing of Tokyo Sonata had a good crowd - there was probably over 50 people in the audience on Easter Sunday.


I notice several films at the upcoming 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival are being shown in previews trailers at Landmark Theaters. Tulpan, Tyson and Rudo y Cursi are three that I'm aware of.

I am violating my previous pledge to skip the 2009 SFIFF completely. I bought a ticket to see Rembrandt's J'Accuse at the PFA on April 26. One of the first "independent" films that I saw in a theater was Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover during the summer of 1989 when I was living in Los Angeles. I cannot remember the name of the theater but it was extremely wide. It might have been an IMAX screen although I don't think the film was IMAX. I'll never forget two scenes from that film. I'll never forget Helen Mirren and Alan Howard being spirited out of the restaurant (coitus interruptus) and having to make their escape in a meat van with dead pigs hanging off of hooks. Of course, the final scene where The Lover is literally roasted and served to The Thief. Roasted penis anyone?

“Just because you have eyes does not mean you can see,” challenges the great director-contrarian Peter Greenaway in his new cine-essay, which reveals the mysteries hidden in plain sight in one of the most famous paintings of all time, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Where most see only a great work of art, Greenaway dissects the Dutch masterpiece to uncover an indictment, a conspiracy and a murder mystery sweeping across the ruling elites of Amsterdam’s Golden Age. Hosting the proceedings like a well-mannered 21st-century judge, Greenaway “investigates” each of the painting’s 34 characters, their poses and costumes, as well as the picture’s setting and lighting, to discover clues to Rembrandt’s fascinating take on, and indictment of, the power struggles of 17th-century Amsterdam. In the process, Greenaway moves far beyond narrative and documentary filmmaking (further beyond his already out-there early works like Drowning by Numbers or The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover) to level his own j’accuse on contemporary visual illiteracy. With actors (including Martin Freeman of British TV’s The Office) restaging certain scenes and Greenaway’s clever intellectual side-notes and diversions (the development of candle-making in relationship to painting aesthetics, for instance), Rembrandt’s J’Accuse will change how you view art, and the world.

Actually, this film reminds me of an annual tableaux vivant event in Orange County called Pageant of the Masters in which paintings are recreated by real people in costumes, sets and make-up to match the paintings. I've never been able to attend but would like to see it one day.

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