September 14, 2012
Director: Roman Polanski | Year: 2011 | Run Time: 80 minutes
Carnage is a razor sharp, biting comedy centered on parental differences. After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the "victim" invite the parents of the "bully" over to work out their issues.
A polite discussion of childrearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage. (source: Sony Pictures)
September 21, 2012
Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Year: 1960 | Run Time: 109 minutes
In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in the world) when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common moment in a major studio film in 1960), Psycho announced that it was taking the audience to places it had never been before, and on that score what followed would hardly disappoint. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is unhappy in her job at a Phoenix, Arizona real estate office and frustrated in her romance with hardware store manager Sam Loomis (John Gavin). One afternoon, Marion is given $40,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Minutes later, impulse has taken over and Marion takes off with the cash, hoping to leave Phoenix for good and start a new life with her purloined nest egg. 36 hours later, paranoia and exhaustion have started to set in, and Marion decides to stop for the night at the Bates Motel, where nervous but personable innkeeper Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) cheerfully mentions that she's the first guest in weeks, before he regales her with curious stories about his mother. There's hardly a film fan alive who doesn't know what happens next, but while the shower scene is justifiably the film's most famous sequence, there are dozens of memorable bits throughout this film. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Year: 1964 | Run Time: 130 minutes
Tippi Hedren plays Marnie, a compulsive thief who cannot stand to be touched by any man. She also goes bonkers over the sight of the color red. Her new boss, Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) is intrigued by Marnie -- to such an extent that he blackmails her into marriage when he stumbles onto her breaking into his safe. Rutland is in his own way as "sick" as his wife because of his fetishist desire to cohabit with a thief. After innumerable plot twists and turns, Marnie is "cured" by a facile but mesmerizing flashback sequence involving her ex-hooker mother (Louise Latham). Among the critical carps aimed at Marnie was the complaint that the studio-bound sets -- particularly the waterfront locale where the film ends -- were tacky and artificial; curiously, this seeming "carelessness" adds to the queasy, off-setting mood that Hitchcock endeavored to sustain. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
September 28, 2012
Director: Stephen Spielberg | Year: 1991 | Run Time: 144 minutes
In Spielberg's take on the classic story about Peter Pan, Peter Pan has become the 40-year-old merger and acquisitions lawyer that goes by the name Peter Banning (Robin Williams). Banning is all about business in which he cares more about pleasing his clients than his own children. He has lost sight of his past as Peter Pan, and he is also in danger of losing his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) and two children, Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott). When Peter and his family travel to London to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith) who recalls Peter's lost youth and asks him, "Peter, dear, don't you know who you are?" With Peter's children asleep in the same bedroom where the original Peter Pan story began, there is a blinding flash. Peter comes into the room to discover a note from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), informing Peter that he has kidnapped his children. With his children trapped in Neverland under Hook's close watch, Peter emabarks on a journey to re-discover who he once was. With the encouragement of Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) and the Lost Boys, Banning will have to transform into Peter Pan to save his children and defeat his arch nemesis, Hook, once and for all. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
October 5, 2012
Director: Francois Truffaut | Year: 1959 | Run Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
The 400 Blows was Francois Truffuat first attempt as a director who began as a film critic. Upon creating this film, Truffaut drew inspiration from his own troubled childhood. The film stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, Truffaut's preteen alter ego. Misunderstood at home by his parents and tormented in school by his insensitive teacher (Guy Decomble), Antoine frequently runs away from both places. The boy finally quits school after being accused of plagiarism by his teacher. He steals a typewriter from his father (Albert Remy) to finance his plans to leave home. The father angrily turns Antoine over to the police, who lock the boy up with hardened criminals. While at a delinquency centre, a psychiatrist examines Antoine's unhappiness, which is revealed to the audience in a series of fragmented monologues. This film was originally intended to be 20-minute short film. Fortunately, The 400 Blows was expanded into a feature when Truffaut decided to elaborate on his unhappy self-analysis. To those who enjoy Truffaut's work, The 400 Blows is full of references to Truffaut's favourite directors, notably his idol Jean Vigo. Upon the film's release it won the 1959 Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival despite Truffaut's inflammatory comments about the festival's commercialism, which garnered him a bad reputation. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
October 12, 2012
Director: Spike Jonze | Year: 1999 | Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Being John Malkovich marked the feature-length debut of director Spike Jonze, who previously made acclaimed music videos for Weezer, the Beastie Boys, and the Breeders, among others. Puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is having money problems, so he takes a temporary job as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a large office building. One day, while rummaging behind a cabinet, he finds a small door that leads to the center of the mind of actor John Malkovich (played by, you guessed it, John Malkovich). Craig discovers that entering the portal allows him to become John Malkovich for a brief spell, and in time he and his beautiful but aloof co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) get the bright idea to charge admission for the privilege of spending 15 minutes inside the head of a well-known actor. Malkovich realizes that something strange is happening to him, but can do little to stop it, as strangers take over his mind for a quarter-hour at a time. Craig's wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), eventually takes a trip into Malkovich's psyche, and she soon finds herself in love with Maxine, with whom Malkovich has an affair; meanwhile, Maxine in time becomes infatuated with both Craig and Lotte, but only when they're inside Malkovich. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
October 19, 2012
Director: Luc Besson | Year: 1997 | Run Time: 126 minutes
In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay. The movie is initally set in 1914 as scientists gather in Egypt at the site of an event that transpired centuries earlier. Aliens arrived to collect four stones that represent the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. They warn the sceientists that the elements were no longer safe on Earth. Skip a few hundred years later to the 23rd century to focus on the part scientist part holy man Victor Cornelius (Ian Holm) who declares that in order to prevent it from destroying the planet from a giant ball of lava heading towards them, those four stones that represent the elements must be combined with the fifth element. The fifth element is embodied in human life form that goes by the name Leeloo (Milla Jovovich). However, if the force of evil presents itself to the stones instead, the Earth will be destroyed, and an evil being named Zorg (Gary Oldman) can trigger this disaster. Leeloo, who has supernatural powers, needs help with her mission, who she chooses her accomplice, military leader-turned-cab driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), when she literally falls through the roof of his taxi. Writer and director Luc Besson began writing the script for The Fifth Element when he was only 16 years old, though he was 38 before he borught it to life on the big screen. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
October 26, 2012
Director: Takashi Miike, Fruit Chan, Park Chan-wook | Year: 2004 | Run Time: 125 minutes
The name “Three... Extremes” is contributed to a compilation of three short horror films. The films are also by three different Asian directors, from Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan who join forces to make “Three Extremes”.
The first film is "Dumplings,” directed by Fruit Chan. The story follows Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a mid-thirties former actress who goes to visit a woman who goes by “Aunt Mei” (Bai Ling). Aunt Mei is known for her dumplings. These dumplings are not ordinary dumplings, however. They contain rejuvenating powers, which is what brings Mrs. Li to Aunt Mei in the first place. As she begins her dumpling regime, she discovers the secret ingredient that rejuvenates the consumer. Will she continue to eat the dumplings afterwards or continue her new diet to regain her youthful complexion?
The second film is "Cut”, directed by “Oldboy” writer/director Park Chan-wook. The story follows a successful filmmaker (Lee Byung-hun) who is kidnapped when he arrives home. When he awakes discovers that an extra form one of his film set’s (Lim Won-hee) has snuck into his home, and tied his wife (Kang Hye-jun of Oldboy) to their grand piano using piano strings. The madman threatens to cut off the wife's fingers, one by one, if the director does not comply with his orders. Who is this madman and why is he tormenting this director?
The final film is "Box”, directed by Takashi Miike. The story is about Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa) who was a gymnast for a circus. She and her sister combined their incredible flexibility to perform acts with magician into unimaginable positions. Now adult, Kyoko has retired from circus performance days. Moving on proves to be challenging because the ghost of her twin sister haunts her. Here sister died a mysterious and horrible death while practicing their circus act. How did her sister die? Will Kyoko move on from her traumatic past or will her forever haunt her?
Three...Extremes was shown at Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival in 2005. This film was actually preceded by another omnibus film, Three, that was retitled Three...Extremes II for the English market.
November 2, 2012
Director: Akira Kurosawa | Year: 1950 | Run Time: 88 minutes
A priest, a woodcutter and another man are taking refuge from a rainstorm in the shell of a former gatehouse called Rashômon. The priest and the woodcutter are recounting the story of a murdered samurai whose body the woodcutter discovered three days earlier in a forest grove. Both were summoned to testify at the murder trial, the priest who ran into the samurai and his wife traveling through the forest just before the murder occurred. Three other people who testified at the trial are supposedly the only direct witnesses: a notorious bandit named Tajômaru, who allegedly murdered the samurai and raped his wife; the white veil cloaked wife of the samurai; and the samurai himself who testifies through the use of a medium. The three tell a similarly structured story - that Tajômaru kidnapped and bound the samurai so that he could rape the wife - but which ultimately contradict each other...
November 9, 2012
Director: Marcel Carné | Year: 1945 | Run Time: 190 minutes
Les enfants du paradis.
This tragic tale centers around the ill-fated love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by three other men: Frederick, a pretentious actor; Lacenaire, a conniving thief; and Count Eduard of Monteray. The story is further complicated by Nathalie, an actress who is in love with Baptiste. Garance and Baptiste meet when Garance is falsely accused of stealing a man's watch. Garance is forced to enter the protection of Count Eduard when she is innocently implicated in a crime committed by Lacenaire. In the intervening years of separation, both Garance and Baptiste become involved in loveless relationships with the Count and Nathalie, respectively. Baptiste is the father of a son. Returning to Paris, Garance finds that Baptiste has become a famous mime actor. Nathalie sends her child to foil their meeting, but Baptiste and Garance manage one night together. Lacenaire murders Edouard. In the last scenes, Garance is returning to Eduard's hotel and disaster as Baptiste struggles after her through crowds of merrymakers, many dressed as his famous character.
Introduction by French Cinema professor James Cahill.
November 16, 2012
Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones | Year: 1975 | Run Time: 91 minutes
From its opening multi-language titles (that sure looks like Swedish) to the closing arrest of the entire Dark Ages cast by modern-day bobbies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail helped to define "irreverence" and became an instant cult classic. This time the Pythonites savage the legend of King Arthur, juxtaposing some excellently selected exterior locations with an unending stream of anachronistic one-liners, non sequiturs, and slapstick set pieces. The Knights of the Round Table set off in search of the Holy Grail on foot, as their lackeys make clippety-clop sounds with coconut shells. A plague-ridden community, ringing with the cry of "bring out your dead," offers its hale and hearty citizens to the body piles. A wedding of convenience is attacked by Arthur's minions while the pasty-faced groom continually attempts to burst into song. The good guys are nearly thwarted by the dreaded, tree-shaped "Knights Who Say Ni!" A feisty enemy warrior, bloodily shorn of his arms and legs in the thick of battle, threatens to bite off his opponent's kneecap. A French military officer shouts such taunts as "I fart in your general direction" and "I wave my private parts at your aunties." Rabbits are a particular obsession of the writers this time around, ranging from the huge Trojan Rabbit to the "killer bunny" that decapitates one of the knights. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin collaborated on the script and assumed most of the onscreen roles, while Gilliam and Jones served as co-directors. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
November 23, 2012
Director: Kevin Smith | Year: 1999 | Run Time: 130 minutes
Would you believe that the last living descendent of Jesus Christ is a woman working at an abortion clinic in Illinois? And that she's been sent on a holy mission with two minor characters from Clerks and Mallrats as her guides? Prepare to suspend any and all disbelief as you watch the religious satire Dogma, the fourth film from writer/director Kevin Smith. Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) has been disappointed in life and has found her faith severely tested after her husband leaves her when she discovers she cannot have children. So Bethany is all the more puzzled when she's approached by Metatron (Alan Rickman), a grumpy angel. Metatron wants her to help him stop Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon), two fallen angels who were ejected from paradise, have escaped from exile and are heading to New Jersey. If they are able to pass through the arc of a certain church, it will prove God is fallible and the world will come to a swift end. Bethany has no idea what to do or why she's been given this project, but she heads out anyway, with her assigned assistants Jay (Jason Mewes), an appallingly rude former dope dealer and self-styled ladies man, and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith). Along the way, Bethany picks up more helpers, including a celestial muse named Serendipity (Salma Hayek) and Rufus (Chris Rock), who claims to have been the 13th apostle and that Jesus owes him 12 dollars. Boasting a huge supporting cast -- including George Carlin, Jason Lee, Janeane Garofalo, Bud Cort, and Alanis Morissette (as God) -- Dogma proved to be highly controversial even before its release. Miramax Pictures, owned by Disney, financed the film, but several weeks before Dogma's world premier at the Cannes Film Festival, they announced they would not release the picture and intended to sell it to another distributor (which would turn out to be Lions Gate Films). Director Smith, however, has always contended that Dogma is a film about the importance of faith, if not organized religion. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
November 30, 2012
Director: Orson Welles | Year: 1973 | Run Time: 89 minutes
The final directorial project the legendary Orson Welles completed during his lifetime, F for Fake is less a documentary than an example of cinematic free association on the topic of trickery. Much of the film is in fact drawn from other sources, most notably an unfinished documentary by Francois Reichenbach on the notorious Elmyr de Hory, whose extremely skillful forgeries of famous paintings caused scandals amongst art collectors and experts. In an additional bit of irony, de Hory's interviewer is author Clifford Irving, who became infamous due to a forgery of his own: a falsified autobiography of Howard Hughes. Welles openly re-edits and manipulates this footage, using it as a spine for his own commentary, arguing that there is an extremely close relationship between art and lying, and citing instances from his own career to prove the point. Through a combination of documentary and staged footage, Welles attempts to illustrate the artifice behind all filmmaking, even that of a supposedly non-fiction variety. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
January 11, 2013
Director: Roman Polanski | Year: 1962 | Run Time: 94 minutes
Knife in the Water was not only Polanski's first feature-length film, but it also marked the first screen appearance of Polish actor Zygmunt Malanowicz who played a young student. In fact, the only experienced thespian in the featured trio is Leon Niemczyk as Andrzej, the self-important, somewhat arrogant husband of Kataryna. Andrzej and Kataryna pick up the student as he is hitchhiking and invite him to join them on their boat for an outing. As the threesome head out to open water, the husband and the student start a kind of jealous interaction that keeps Kataryna mildly amused. What began as a macho sparring ends up in a fight that has the student falling overboard and the husband swimming to shore for help. But appearances are deceiving, as the husband will soon discover. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
January 18, 2013
Director: Louis Malle | Year: 1981 | Run Time: 110 minutes
An extended conversation between two old friends over dinner proves an unexpectedly fascinating subject for a film in the critically acclaimed My Dinner with André. The talkers in question are André Gregory, a renowned experimental theater director, and playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, both of whom play themselves. The film is not a documentary, but a condensation of several real discussions fashioned into a dramatic exchange by Shawn and director Louis Malle. The subtle conflict stems from the differences in the men's characters: Gregory is an inquisitive, uninhibited wanderer, willing to travel to remote lands to take part in unusual foreign rituals, while Shawn is the cynical, realistic New Yorker, more concerned with the challenges and rewards of day-to-day city life. Malle approaches their philosophical yet playful back-and-forth with a straightforward, minimal style that only rarely wanders outside its restaurant setting. The focus therefore falls on Shawn's and Gregory's contrasting verbal styles and facial expressions, highlighting conversational nuances normally lost on film. While the idea of watching any conversation for over 90 minutes, no matter how fascinating, may turn off some viewers, enough audiences have supported the film to make it an art-house classic. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
January 25, 2013
Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Year: 1997 | Run Time: 95 minutes
Co-winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, The Taste of Cherry is the venerable Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's examination of life, death and the small miracles in between. Homayoun Ershadistars as Mr. Badii, a middle-aged man wishing to kill himself; driving his Range Rover across the arid outskirts of Tehran, he searches for someone to aid him in his final hours, someone who will agree to bury his body if he succeeds in his mission -- a planned overdose of sleeping pills -- or rescue him if he fails. Offering a large sum of money in exchange for services rendered, he first picks up a Kurdish soldier who ultimately flees in fear upon learning of Badii's plan; the next passenger, an Afghani seminary student, instead attempts to convince him of the sanctity of human life. Finally, Badii picks up a Turkish taxidermist who reluctantly agrees to check the body for signs of life; having long ago contemplated suicide himself, the taxidermist also tries to dissuade Badii from ending it all, accepting the offer only because he needs the money to care for his sick daughter. Kiarostami's refusal to answer the film's two most obvious questions -- exactly why does Mr. Badii wish to end his life, and does he successfully carry out his plan? -- invites viewers to share in his protagonist's plight by triggering their own powers of imagination. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
February 1, 2013
Director: Mary Harron | Year: 2000 | Run Time: 102 minutes
Bret Easton Ellis's dark and violent satire of America in the 1980s is brought to the screen in this unsettling drama with blackly comic overtones. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), the son of a wealthy Wall Street financier, is pursuing his own lucrative career with his father's firm. Bateman is the prototypical yuppie, obsessed with success, fashion, and style. He is also a serial killer who murders, rapes, and mutilates both strangers and acquaintances without provocation or reason. Donald Kimble (Willem Dafoe), a police detective, questions Bateman about the disappearance of Paul Allen (Jared Leto), whom Patrick murdered several days earlier. As Kimble stays on Bateman's trail, Bateman's mask of studied, distant cool begins to fall apart. American Psycho also features Reese Witherspoon as Bateman's girlfriend, as well as Samantha Mathis, Chloe Sevigny, and Guinevere Turner; the latter also co-authored the screenplay. Controversy followed the production from the start, when speculation that Leonardo Di Caprio would play Bateman sparked concerns that he would lure preteens to an R-rated movie. Di Caprio soon bowed out of the project, and original leading man Bale was reinstated. Later, a group of Toronto residents attempted to block filming in that city after Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo claimed that Ellis's novel inspired his murder spree. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
Director: David Lynch | Year: 1992 | Run Time: 135 minutes
David Lynch's prequel to his cult television series "Twin Peaks" concerns the last seven days in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), whose plastic-wrapped corpse, found floating in a river, was the fulcrum for the television series. During the day in the town of Twin Peaks, Laura is a top honors student at the local high school. By night, she is a sex-crazed cokehead, prostituting herself at a sleazy sex club to get money to feed her drug habit. Her race to oblivion is fueled by her father, Leland (Ray Wise), who, as his alter ego Bob (Frank Silva), has been sexually abusing Laura since she was a child. But Laura has an attack of conscience when she realizes that she is leading her best friend Donna (Moira Kelly) down the same rocky road. Leland, however, discovers Laura's nocturnal debauchery when, during a business trip out-of-town, his mistress for a sexual tryst sets him up with his own daughter. In a fit of jealous rage, Leland follows Laura as she travels to a sex party in an abandoned railroad car. Consumed by insatiable longing, Leland transforms himself into Bob, with tragic results for Laura and her friends. (source: Rotten Tomoatoes).
February 15, 2013
Director: Michael Haneke | Year: 2007 | Run Time: 111 minutes
Notoriously nihilistic filmmaker Michael Haneke revisits one of his most controversial works in this remake of 1997's Funny Games starring Naomi Watts and Tim Roth. When a family of three arrives at their remote summer cabin for a quiet getaway, the sudden arrival of two psychotic men sets the stage for a harrowing life-or-death struggle that offers savage commentary on the use of violence in entertainment.(source: Rotten Tomatoes)
February 22, 2013
Director: David Cronenberg | Year: 1977 | Run Time: 91 minutes
For his second commercial feature, following a pair of experimental films and 1977's Shivers, Canadian horror auteur David Cronenberg continued to mine the themes of disease and mutation that were already becoming his perennial concerns. Marilyn Chambers stars as Rose, an attractive young woman who becomes horribly injured in a motorcycle accident. Spirited away to the clinic of Drs. Dan and Roxanne Keloid (Howard Ryshpan and Patricia Gage), a pair of experimental plastic surgeons, Rose becomes an unwitting guinea pig in an operation that grafts genetically modified tissue into her body. Waking from her coma to find she is unable to ingest normal food, Rose unwittingly feeds on human blood by means of a phallic organ that emerges from a vulval orifice in her armpit. Within hours of providing Rose with sustenance, her victims fall prey to an incurable, highly contagious disease that turns them into raving lunatics who foam at the mouth and attack others indiscriminately. Soon, Montreal is under martial law, but nobody can find the Typhoid Mary whose vampiric urges are driving the epidemic -- not even Hart (Frank Moore), Rose's befuddled boyfriend. Although she is best-known for her starring role in the crossover porn epic Behind the Green Door, Chambers actually received her start in features with 1970's The Owl and the Pussycat. Rabid also stars TV and stage veteran Joe Silver as Murray Cypher, a mutual friend of Hart and the Keloids. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
Director: William Fruet | Year: 1976 | Run Time: 87 minutes
William Fruet directed this tense Canadian rape-revenge thriller which attempted to capitalize on the success of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (1972). The film concerns a vacationing couple, Harry and Diane (Chuck Shamata and Brenda Vaccaro), who are terrorized in a remote house on a picturesque lake. Don Stroud leads the quartet of vicious psychos who break in and attack the pair, and when Harry is revealed to be a bit of a wimp, Diane takes matters of revenge into her own hands. Vaccaro and Stroud give much better performances than the material requires, and although Fruet's film is hardly as excoriating as its predecessor, it is altogether more polished. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
Director: Greydon Clark | Year: 1977 | Run Time: 92 minutes
The cheerleaders of Benedict High are a rowdy, randy bunch with little regard for rules, decorum, or anything that gets in the way of a good time with the stud football players they date. The big game against Baker High is coming up, and the intense rivalry between the schools leads to spirited chicken fights on the beach and extensive T.P. sessions. The cheerleaders' chaperone, Ms. Johnson (Jacqueline Cole), tries hard to rally her charges and keep their restless libidos from distracting the star players, but they continually take advantage of her sweet nature and naïveté, leading to high jinks which get some of their boyfriends suspended from the team. However, high school politics will soon be the least of their troubles. Benedict High's creepy janitor, Billy (Jack Kruschen), is a member of a local Satanic group, and he wants revenge against all the kids who ridicule him on campus. He kidnaps the four cheerleaders and Ms. Johnson, then drives them to a remote location to sacrifice and ravage his victims on a Satanic altar. Suddenly overcome by the dark forces of the underworld, Patti (Kerry Sherman) strips naked of her own volition and climbs upon the altar, where she is imbued with a strange power that knocks Billy cold. The girls seek out the nearest law, which turns out to be Sherriff Bubb (John Ireland); he also doubles as the Satanic High Priest of the area. When his wife, Emma (Yvonne DeCarlo), senses the dark power that has invaded Patti, they decide that they have been delivered the perfect virgin sacrifice to their evil Lord. The girls make a hasty escape, but discover that the tiny town they've landed in is a hotbed of Satanism, so they are recaptured and brought once again before the devil's altar for a Black Mass. But which of these sassy, over-sexed girls is the virgin meant for sacrifice? The shocking answer leads to death, destruction, and a whole new way of life for the cheerleaders of Benedict High. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
March 1, 2013
Director: Te-Sheng Wei | Year: 2011 | Run Time: 276 minutes
This extraordinary film will be presented by the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. What's even more exciting about this special presentation is the director, Te-Sheng Wei, will also be present at this event!
Seediq Bale reclaims an extraordinary episode from 20th century history which is little-known, even in Taiwan. Between 1895 and 1945, the island was a Japanese colony inhabited not only by the majority (Han Chinese Immigrants) but also by the remnants of the aboriginal tribes who first settled the mountainous land. In 1930 Mouna Rudo, the leader of the Seediq tribe settled on and around Mount Chilai, forged a coalition with other Seediq tribal leaders and plotted a rebellion against their Japanese colonial masters. The initial uprising took the Japanese by surprise and was almost entirely successful. But the Japanese soon sent in their army to crush the rebellion, using aircraft and poison gas. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
March 8, 2013
Director: Sideny Lumet | Year: 1978 | Run Time: 134 minutes
Sidney Lumet's The Wiz is the film version of the popular Broadway musical that retells the events of L. Frank Baum's classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through the eyes of a young African-American kindergarten teacher who's "never been below 125th Street." Leaving a large family dinner to chase her dog into a snowstorm, Dorothy (Diana Ross) is swept up by a cyclone and transplanted to the land of Oz -- which looks suspiciously like a skewed version of the run-down Manhattan of the late '70s. Landing on top of the Wicked Witch of the East, the puzzled Dorothy is greeted by munchkins who peel themselves from a graffiti mural and sing to her about the Wiz (Richard Pryor), a powerful wizard living in Emerald City who can help her get home. On her journey down the yellow brick road, she encounters a garbage-stuffed scarecrow (Michael Jackson) in a junkyard, a broken-down tin man (Nipsey Russell) caught in the decay of an old amusement park, and a cowardly lion (Ted Ross) posing as a stone statue outside a museum. The quartet tangles with a subway station that comes to life, a poppy den, and a gaggle of motorcycle henchman on their way to the Wiz -- who orders them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West (a sweatshop tyrant) before he will grant them their wishes. The Wiz has about double the large-scale production numbers of The Wizard of Oz (1939), with songs written and composed by Charlie Smalls.(source: Rotten Tomatoes)
Director: Paul Justman | Year: 2002 | Run Time: 116 minutes
Based on the book of the same name by Allan Slutsky, Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a historical tribute to the unsung heroes responsible for some of the greatest hits of pop music. Part documentary and part concert performance, this film is an introduction to the intriguing personas of the Hitsville studio band originally assembled by Berry Gordy in 1959. Over 40 years later, the remaining members reunited in their home base of Detroit, MI, to tell their stories, remember their departed bandmates, and put on a concert. The creation of the Motown sound is told through in-depth interviews, archival footage, and reenactments. Personal stories are intercut with live tracks from the concert performance featuring the Funk Brothers live on-stage along with popular vocalists interpreting some of their biggest hits. Some of the guest singers stick around for conversation with the musicians and offer a contemporary perspective, including Joan Osborne, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, and Ben Harper. The film follows the group's contributions through the '60s up until Gordy moved the label to Los Angeles in 1972. (source: Rotten Tomatoes)
March 15, 2013
Director: John Waters | Year: 1990 | Run Time: 85 minutes
John Waters does a quirky spin on '50s nostalgia in Cry-Baby, his musical homage to Rebel Without a Cause and Romeo and Juliet. Set in Baltimore in 1954 at the birth of rock & roll, the film features Johnny Depp as Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker. Depp is pure charisma as a juvenile delinquent with a permanent tear slithering down his cheek, a reminder of his state-executed parents. In the depths of his despair appears goody-goody girl Allison (Amy Locane), who has a sexual crush on Cry-Baby. But Allison's Pat Boone-like boyfriend, Baldwin (Stephen E. Miller), the leader of the squares, is dead set against Cry-Baby and the rest of the juvenile delinquents and leads a revolt against them. In the resultant riot, the juvenile delinquents are blamed for the chaos, and Cry-Baby finds himself dispatched to reform school.(source: Rotten Tomatoes)
March 22, 2013
Time: 7:00 | Director: Rob Stewart | Year: 2013 | Run Time: 90 minutes
Revolution is a film about changing the world. The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater documentary continues his remarkable journey; one that will take him through 15 countries over four years, and where he'll discover that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger – it's humanity itself.
Travelling the globe to meet with the dedicated individuals and organizations working on a solution, Stewart finds encouragement and hope, pointing to the revolutions of the past and how we've evolved and changed our course in times of necessity. If people were informed about what was really going on, they would fight for their future – and the future of other generations. From the evolution of our species to the revolution to save it, Stewart and his team take viewers on a groundbreaking mission into the greatest war ever waged.Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution inspires audiences from across the globe to start a revolution and change the world forever. (source: Film's Official Website)
For more information about this screening check out our blog post with all the details: http://cinssu.ca/blog/?p=1768
You can also check out the film's official website: http://www.therevolutionmovie.com/
Time: 9:15 | Director: George Roy Hill | Year: 1967 | Run Time: 138 minutes
George Roy Hill directed this original musical set the 1920s that mixes pop standards with new tunes written by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. Julie Andrews, in a role that recalls her Broadway triumph in The Boy Friend, stars as Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York is search of a secretarial job and an unattached boss. She moves into a hotel for women, run by kindly Mrs. Meers (Beatrice Lillie), and she befriends the pretty, petite orphan Dorothy Brown (Mary Tyler Moore). Millie finds work with the handsome bachelor Trevor Graydon (John Gavin), but Trevor has his eyes on Dorothy. So too does Mrs. Meers, who despite her kindly exterior is actually an unscrupulous white slaver. Paper clip salesman Jimmy Smith (James Fox), on the other hand, pledges his undying love to Millie. One day, after attending a weekend party being given at the opulent Long Island mansion of Muzzy Van Hossmere (Carol Channing), Dorothy disappears. When Jimmy and Millie smell opium in Dorothy's room, they realize the awful truth about Mrs. Meers. Trying to rescue Dorothy and find the location of Mrs. Meers' hideout, Jimmy disguises himself as an orphaned woman and tries to get himself kidnapped. The scheme backfires, however, and Mrs. Meers drugs and kidnaps both Jimmy and Trevor. It is left to Millie to find the white slavers, free her friends from bondage and save the day.(source: Rotten Tomatoes)
March 29, 2013
Director: Leos Carax | Year: 2012 | Run Time: 115 minutes
Every year CINSSU likes to end our seasonal screenings' list by presenting our audience with a film we all agree that was spectacular, but didn't receive the credit it earned. This film typically garnered outstanding reviews from critics, however mainstream audiences nor Hollywood noitced the cinematic beauty presented before them. So CINSSU likes to return the favour to those forgottten masterpieces that fall under the radar each year and bring them back to life one more time on the cinematic screen.
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant), a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man... He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part - but where are the cameras? Monsieur Oscar is alone, accompanied only by Céline (Edith Scob), the slender blonde woman behind the wheel of the vast engine that transports him through and around Paris. He's like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit. In pursuit of the beautiful gesture, the mysterious driving force, the women and the ghosts of past lives. But where is his true home, his family, his rest? (source: Rotten Tomatoes)