Monday, October 06, 2008

Midnight Movies at the Rio

While cinephiles are peeking at my blog (I hope), I thought I'd do a square for the folks at the Rio on Broadway, who do not have their upcoming midnight movies currently listed on their site. This Friday, starting at midnight, it's The Haunting (I assume the classic, not the recent overblown Hollywood remake) and the creepy Canadian-made ghost story The Changeling. Next Friday, it's Tod Browning's Freaks and Dracula. October 24th, it's James Whale's Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. And then on Friday, October 31st, it's John Carpenter's Halloween and The Thing.

Here are some requests for future double bills - midnight movies *I'd* like to see in Vancouver (begging their pardon if they hit any of these already, I haven't been following the schedule religiously):

Saul Bass' Phase IV and that classic 70's insect fear pseudodoc, The Hellstrom Chronicle - don't know the director but the bug images are, as with the ants in Phase IV, shot by Ken Middleham (who also did the cockroaches in Bug).

Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation and Smiley Face. The latter is smarter than any of the Harold and Kumar films (tho' Harold appears in it, btw), and funnier that Pineapple Express, but its gutless distributors dumped it straight to video... It's crying out for a screening!

Alex Cox's Straight to Hell and Repo Man (run Straight to Hell first, so people are more likely to see it - it's a gem).

Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell's Performance, and Roeg's Don't Look Now.

George A. Romero's Martin and The Crazies (or even Season of the Witch)

A couple of Russ Meyer movies! (Better ones that not everyone has seen... someone was recommending Lorna. Tho' the privilege of seeing Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! with an audience would probably lure me out.

Heheheh: how about Philip Ridley's The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon? You've seen those, right?

...or Monika Treut's silly, delightful, and joyously kinky My Father is Coming (with Annie Sprinkle) paired with the transgressive, dark, and influential Swoon, by Tom Kalin? The Out on Screen queer film fest aside - which, based on my short experience as a reviewer for Xtra West, sometimes screen utter crap (like this year's execrable Bangkok Love Story) just because it has queer content - how many really GOOD queer-themed movies (ones that you don't have to be gay or lesbian to love, btw - which is the case of both of the above) screen in this city?

And while we're talking about sex, Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie and WR: Mysteries of the Organism!

And could we have a bit of Asian extremity, but nothing obvious: maybe Kichiku Dai Enkai and Marebito, or some Tsukamoto Shinya films? I'd LOVE to see Tetsuo on the big screen... Everyone drools over Miike these days, but Tsukamoto's much more exciting and consistent, I think. I'd vote for his Tokyo Fist as another film I'd love to see projected. Although now that I've mentioned Miike, wouldn't it be good fun to see Visitor Q with an audience? Woo!

Or how about Larry Cohen's Q, with Michael Moriarty? Maybe pair it with - shit, what other half-tolerable Larry Cohen films are there? Uhhh... Not It's Alive, to be sure. Not God Told Me To. I guess I'll vote for Bone, because I've never seen it and I like Yaphet Kotto.

Or Cronenberg's Shivers! How long has it been since THAT was projected here? Paired with Rabid, I guess.

Or speaking of Marilyn Chambers, can you go porno and do Behind the Green Door? Because I'm told - and do believe - that it was shot in the same little theatre as Sun Ra's Space is the Place, and that the Marilyn Chambers people and the Sun Ra people didn't have the best relations... The presence of the same room in both movies makes it a surefire double bill, and there are probably people in this town who would clean up whatever goo was left after the Chambers film, if you paid them, or bought them some crack, or something.

Which brings us to drugs! The Trip needs to be screened again in this city - it's an excellent film - and I think would make an excellent pairing with Zabriskie Point. These are both great under the influence of psychedelics. Or, speaking of Pink Floyd soundtracks, how about Barbet Schroeder's More (which I'm only half fond of) with his The Valley (which I greatly admire)?

...And then there's gangsters! John Cassavetes in Giuliano Montaldo's Machine Gun McCain - if you have a PAL/Region 2-friendly DVD projector, I can help out with that - maybe paired with Juzo Itami's swipe at the Yakuza, Minbo no Onna, aka Minbo? (Or do you have a better idea - another good Italian mob movie? Or mebbe you could do Montaldo's Time to Kill, with Nicolas Cage...?)

And finally, let's get Canadian: Clear Cut (or Clearcut) and Rituals, two of the great unreleased-on-DVD, shot-in-Canada, horror-in-the-woods films... Tho' Clear Cut is much smarter and richer than the genre it is modeled on, and a butchered public domain print of Rituals circulates, while a complete print, I gather, briefly made it onto DVD in Germany. I'd pitch in to rent nice prints of these last two, really I would. Or maybe do it for my birthday, March 7th - pleeeease?

Just some ideas for you to mill around... Good on you for having midnight movies in Vancouver!


Robert Dayton, Junior said...

Some nice choices, remember that tho it is in a theatre they are playing DVD (which they don't advertise) not film...
Phase IV is playing here in toronto at a place called the Trash palace that plays all 16 MM!!!! This Friday they are playing WACKY TAXI! And in a few weeks they are playing my fave Vancouver film SKIP TRACER!!!!
The RIO should play that (on film) AND get the director to introduce it!
It's Alive and It Lives Again are great movies , almost like Cassavetes in tone!

ammacinn said...

Mmmm... the Cassavetes comparison makes sense to me, believe it or not, except Larry Cohen is kinda incompetent; the sheer clumsiness of the way scenes are staged at times, especially in his early films, really gets to me (Romero's Season of the Witch, I think, also owes a debt to Cassavetes, tho' it's actually a far better-crafted film than Cohen's, which is saying something given how many issues it has)... Envy you being able to see Phase IV on the screen. There are rumours of a longer cut of the film with a sort of 2001-ish, abstract ending; please report if there's anything like that there!

I sort of figured that the Rio was playing DVD, but I don't really mind - I haven't seen what their projection equipment does (having caught only one major release there, assumedly shown on film), but DVD-projection in a place with good equipment, like the Vancity Theatre, works well enough for me. I prefer film but I wouldn't snub a chance to see a film that I wanted to catch projected because of a format issue.

I don't know WACKY TAXI, and still haven't caught up with SKIP TRACER... VIFF and life have kept me pretty busy... Didn't get to my thoughts on Ruppert, below - because I'm not sure I could lay them out without a lot more work than I wanna do... And speaking of work, I gotta go... Cheerio.