What We Did On Your Summer Vacation
Friday, September 22 -
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Presented by the Brattle Theatre and the Harvard Coop
One of the most disappointing aspects of Summer vacation for cinephiles is the prospect of going to some fantastic beachfront location only to be confronted with the fact that the only movie theater within 100 miles is a mega-plex playing the typical Hollywood fare. All too often, we return to the city only to find that we've missed many arthouse highlights. Leave it to the Brattle! This Fall we've put together a sampling of some of the best Summer art films. From the dusty Australian western, THE PROPOSITION to the twisted high school hi-jinks of STRANGERS WITH CANDY, from the suave poeticism of LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN to the snotty surrealism of BROTHERS OF THE HEAD, we've got the cure for the back-to-school blues.
LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN
(2005) dir Lian Lunson w/Leonard Cohen, U2, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, Linda Thompson, Rufus Wainwright [105 min]
If you were born after the mid-1960s, Leonard Cohen probably played some part - directly or indirectly - in your conception. Nick Cave, U2, Antony (without his Johnsons), three generations of Wainwright-MacGarrigles, Beth Orton, and many more pay their respects in a tribute concert. The man himself appears at intervals to discuss his art and life. A stirring celebration of one of pop music's most fascinating icons.
"When Leonard Cohen speaks, the elevated cadences of language are strewn with images so precisely articulated in a rumbling bass baritone voice that they all but erase the distinction between his song lyrics and personal conversation" - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
(2005) dir Larry Clark w/Jonathan Velasquez, Francisco Pedrasa, Milton Velasquez, Yunior Usualdo Panameno, Eddie Velasquez, Luis Rojas-Salgado, Carlos Velasco [111 min]
This joyfully anarchic, verite-style film follows the adventures of a Latino skateboarding crew from South Central, L.A. Putting aside the gangbanging style and attitude of their neighbors, these guys favor tight jeans and Ramones tees. The kids take an epic journey up into Beverly Hills to skate and what results is an odyssey that resembles The Warriors without the pathos. Lacking the grim sexuality of Clark's other teen-sploitation films, WASSUP is nearly sweet and definitely fun, but don't worry, Clark doesn't sugar-coat either. While taking the same lighthearted approach that the boys take to their lives, he clearly shows the challenges they face fighting against profiling, exploitation, exoticism, and ignorance.
Double Feature w/LADY VENGEANCE
(2005) dir John Hillcoat w/Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Emily Watson, David Gulpilil, John Hurt, David Wenham; Screenplay and music by Nick Cave [104 min]
Only Nick Cave could conjure the sort of epic bloodletting Cormac McCarthy fans have long wished to see in their Westerns. Like his music, Cave's script is bleak yet beautiful, mordantly funny, morally ambiguous, and rich in biblical and literary allusions. Happily, Cave's work is sharply animated by Pearce, as an outlaw forced to trade his younger naïve brother's life for that of his ruthless, Kurtz-like brother, and Winstone, as the tortured lawman who offers this proposition in the vain hope of civilizing the Outback. Hillcoat's direction - recalling Peckinpah and Leone - wonderfully captures the oppressive, pitiless landscape and creates a palpably dusty, sweaty, fly-clotted atmosphere. Gorgeously lyrical passages, often punctuated by abrupt bursts of violence, demand the big screen.
Double Feature w/THE PROPOSITION
(2005) dir Chan-wook Park w/Yeong-ae Lee [112 min]
The climax of visionary Korean director Chan-wook Park's "Vengeance Trilogy," is a phantasmagoric neo-noir about a woman who, at the age of 19, takes the fall for the kidnapping and murder of a child. Betrayed by her accomplice, she spends her time in jail befriending women she can use to put her elaborate revenge plan into motion. Featuring an impeccable performance by Yeong-ae Lee and with the addition of Jean-Pierre Jeunet-style flights of cinematic fancy, LADY VENGEANCE once again establishes Park as a major new voice in contemporary filmmaking.
"Kaleidoscopically seedy." - Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
BROTHERS OF THE HEAD
(2005) dir Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe w/Harry & Luke Treadaway, Jonathan Pryce, Ken Russell, Brian Aldiss [120 min]
A mock-rock-doc about a set of British conjoined twins who are groomed by a '70s music promoter to become rock stars. The film takes the form of a fake documentary that incorporates footage from another fake doc as well as a fictional fiction film (supposedly directed by cult film icon Ken Russell who appears as himself). The whole thing is based on a novella by the great Brian Aldiss (who also appears in the film as an actor). Plus, the original music is note-perfect and the performances are spot-on.
STRANGERS WITH CANDY
(2005) dir Paul Dinello w/Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Greg Hollimon, Deborah Rush [97 min]
Jerri Blank - forty-six year-old boozer, loser, user - is back, as her cult TV series gets the big screen treatment. Jerri, returning home to find her beloved father in a "stress-induced" coma, resolves to be "the good girl [she] never was and never had any interest in becoming" by picking up her life exactly where she left off: high school. A mix of sharp satire and delightful absurdity, this afterschool special from an alternate universe is a gem for fans of the show and newcomers alike.