Saturday, July 30, 2016

Phantom Boy, Cosmos and Birth at the Vancity Theatre

I gather attendance at Andrzej Zulawski's Cosmos at the Vancity Theatre was pretty poor last night. Odd how that seems to be an ongoing story - even what by me were surefire winners that got me actually OUT OF THE HOUSE in recent months (like a bunch of those DePalma's) only drew a few dozen other people out at best. Zulawski is a bit of a more daring bet, of course, especially during the summer, but surely there are people in Vancouver who care about cinema like this? The one film of his that most film geeks I know have seen, Possession, has a huge, culty reputation, and is a very strange, dark, singular experience, uncompromising and uncomfortable. It's a sort of surrealist horror film, and Zulawski occupies in his own way a unique place in cinema, akin to Lynch or Jodorowsky (not that his practice bears any relevance to theirs). To be honest, I've only seen Possession once, never really wanted to go back to it, though I do have a DVD of it. Plus it's not exactly the sort of cinema my girlfriend gets excited about; I mean, she still hasn't forgiven me for Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, which she found totally devastating. So what can I say? How can I impart blame on anyone who didn't go check it out, when, while Cosmos was playing to a house of ten or so attendees, I was off with Erika seeing the new Star Trek movie in New West...?

...Which, by the way, is a disappointing film, quite a bit lesser than Into Darkness, bearing more resemblance to Justin Lin's usual action-packed Fast and Furious fare than the previous films in the, uh, "reboot franchise." Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow remains my favourite of his films; it's too bad he hasn't made anything else quite like it (that I've heard of, anyhow; I haven't seen Finishing the Game, but compared to his other ventures, Better Luck Tomorrow is personal, subversive, smart, and indy, which is usually a pretty pleasing combination....).

Anyhow, my apologies to the Vancity Theatre for not doing more to plug Cosmos. But if tomorrow is as hot as I think it's going to be, perhaps I might attempt an air-conditioned triple bill of (the animated French film) Phantom Boy, Cosmos, and Birth - by Jonathan Glazer, of Under The Skin fame, and apparently an unheralded masterpiece, which will be followed by a bit of a "Frames of Mind"-style discussion. This sounds like a pretty pleasant Sunday at the movies, actually - plus they have beer, which you can now take into the auditorium.

Here's hoping it's a scorcher, I have more of a chance of getting Erika out to something like this if it is. If I'm not there, we're probably off somewhere, swimming. Sorry.

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