WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL?
in life, there is before you see Sion Sono’s WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, and there is after you see Sion Sono’s WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? and once you cross that great divide, this fucking jingle for a fake toothpaste will haunt you for the rest of your days.
Drafthouse Films is going to release the movie in US theaters on Halloween, 2014. expect them to have some fun with this in the process.
An admirably diverse update of West Side Story that’s varnished with all the charm, budget, and formal elegance of Gossip Girl, the irresistibly dopey Make Your Move drops the spectacle endemic to most dance films in favor of a forward-thinking sweetness. While this international coproduction between Robert Cort Productions and Korea’s CJ Entertainment bends over backwards to communicate that it’s Step Up: Bushwick, it moves with the kind of corporate vibe that Brooklyn’s least gentrified hipster hotspot is struggling to resist. What the film lacks in authenticity, however, it makes up for in good intentions and simple pleasures.
Sensitive where Step Up is sweaty, Make Your Move feels simultaneously regressive and ahead of its time. Written and directed by Duane Adler, a dance-community fixture who used the project to marry the sentiment of his Save The Last Dance script with the carnal “choreography conquers all” attitude that anchored his Step Up script, Make Your Move is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. By cleaving close to the Romeo And Juliet template, the film’s plot introduces a degree of simmering violence that feels foreign to this type of fare, but this most wide-eyed take on star-crossed lovers is probably the first riff on the classic tale that ends with Mercutio and Tybalt shaking hands and saying “We good?”
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
The title card that introduces Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost In The Shell is split into two sentences. The first reads like boilerplate pretext for a techno-thriller: “In the near future—corporate networks reach out to the stars, electrons and light flow throughout the universe.” The second is perhaps the most quietly upsetting foreword in film history: “The advance of computerization, however, has not yet wiped out nations and ethnic groups.”
On first blush, it seems reassuring, as nations and ethnic groups are things that people typically prefer not to be eradicated off the face of the earth. But there’s something unnervingly nonchalant about the wording of that opening scrawl. It may not be palpable at first (particularly in the dubbed and graphically retouched version of the film available on Hulu, which doesn’t bother to subtitle the Japanese text), but the bleak implications of the preamble poke through as the film’s resigned worldview begins to take shape. A philosophical treatise masquerading as cybernetic noir, Ghost In The Shell immediately looks beyond human civilization as we’ve known it, and does so with a confidence that steals the story away from the speculative and locates it firmly in the inevitable.
APATOW / GODARD
SPRINGTIME FOR JARMUSCH NEAR BOWERY
LE SIGNE DU LION (Eric Rohmer) 1959
Godard is the life of the party.
REVIEW: “THE RAILWAY MAN” (1.5 / 5)
If Eric Lomax hadn’t existed, Harvey Weinstein would have had to invent him. As it stands, Weinstein merely had to distribute his biopic.
The life of the Scottish World War II vet—an avid train enthusiast whose post-war years were tortured by repressed memories of his time spent building Burma’s “Death Railway” as a Japanese POW—provides perfect fodder for the sort of polite, severely compromised period melodramas that Weinstein has churned into a self-sustaining genre of its own with films like Il Postino, The Cider House Rules, and The King’s Speech. But the indignities Lomax survived are just table-setting for his story’s ultimate human and commercial appeal. While any chronicle of the fall of Singapore and its scattered aftermath is a valuable addition to the canon of WWII narratives, Lomax’s saga emerged as a defining account not because of his traumatic experiences, so much as the way he revisited Burma several decades later, in a desperate bid to make peace with them.
Lomax’s journey has already been the subject of an award-winning autobiography and a 1995 TV movie (Prisoners In Time, starring John Hurt), but Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man contends that a man’s life story is never really told until he’s played by Colin Firth. And while history may indeed prove that to be true, the genteel gravitas Firth brings to the latest and presumably last screen depiction of Eric Lomax is typical of this handsome film’s insurmountable softness. The Railway Man is such a safe, respectful portrait of true-life catharsis that it feels afraid to reopen the same old wounds it exalts Lomax for confronting.
Marvel movies have *really* gone downhill since 2003.
TRAILER: “PALO ALTO” (dir. Gia Coppola)
legit less excited to be quoted in this trailer than i am to learn that Dev Hynes did the (great) original music for the film. can’t wait to see this one again. opens May 9th.
POSTER: GIA COPPOLA’S “PALO ALTO”
apparently this is a movie that i really like. here’s my film.com review from TIFF.
Cigarette smoke rises from the Vatican chimney – a new Coppola has been chosen! 26-year-old Gia Coppola’s first feature sounds like a toxic brew of nepotism (she’s Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter) and restless vanity (the film is adapted from a collection of short stories by James Franco), but such suspicions, however warranted, are almost immediately put to bed. Essentially Fast Times at Raymond Carver High, a tight and teen-sized “Short Cuts”, “Palo Alto” begins with a blast of frustrated energy, the prologue soaked in such sensitive and assuredly adolescent nowhere, California verve that you’re helpless to accept that the film exists for reasons other than the fact that it can.