Sunday, April 27, 2014

A few upcoming films

Crazy days... I think I've spent a minimum of two hours a day on the bus (or Skytrain or in a car or so forth) every day for the last couple of weeks.... It's not that I AM actually on a bus every day but the days where I spend five hours or more on one make up for the ones I don't. I just want to stay in one place for awhile but I'm juggling three part time jobs, a Mom, a girlfriend, and a desire to stay at least partially abreast of the Vancouver scene... plus, you know, I need to eat, do laundry, run errands for Mom and myself... not enough time, not enough DOWN time, and certainly not enough money around so that I can take a break from it all... arrrgh...
Lots of interesting cinema coming up in town, though. I'm going to miss the long cut of Oliver Hockenhull's doc on psychedelics, playing Tuesday and Thursday, but I've seen a big chunk of it as an online screener and it looks amazing; I found the shorter version a bit distracting, with its in-your-face, intensely busy visuals, and would much rather meditate on the long version, which I *think* would make a very very very interesting film for an altered state of consciousness, but I'll have to catch up with it at a later date. Spoke to Hockenhull about it, highly recommend the film - you can read/ see more about it here.
What else? I really want to see Blue Ruin at the Vancity Theatre but who knows if I will; tried to see an online screener but guess what, my old desktop doesn't really like hi-def online streaming that much, and no DVD screeners are available. (It's funny to me that so many people presume a Blu-Ray/ high-def top-of-the-line technological access for people writing about film while many film magazines seem to want to pay only a hundred or so dollars for any given article; there's a disjunct there - is the presumption that anyone who would actually waste their time on writing must be an independently wealthy hobbyist?). The Gaudi-related documentary looks great, too. They've programmed a doc on Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band to run shortly after that band plays Vancouver (live show at the Rio on May 2nd); see my old interview with Efrim Menuck here. And I highly recommend for any environmentalists out there the doc about Alexandra Morton and fish farms, Salmon Confidential. It's especially interesting to me to note that Morton worked with John Lilly on dolphins!
In terms of local cinema, I'm also keen about Evangeline, at the Cinematheque, and the films Stress Position and Cruel and Unusual (below - and do not ask me to explain this image!) at the Vancity - who know if I'll get to see them or, say, write about them, but I'm always down to support BC film.
Speaking of the Cinematheque, there's a screening of Fritz Lang's M upcoming - an all-time favourite of dark, paranoid proto-noir starring the inimitable Peter Lorre. If I feel ambitious I will dig up an old film studies essay I wrote in the mid-1990s on that film, so I can scan it and post it; it's a must-see for anyone with a concern for cinema history, for its very early and ambitious uses of sound, and the inestimable influence it has, providing a link between the shadowy insanities of German Expressionism and the cold, dark world of American film noir (where Lang himself flourished; I'm particularly fond of The Big Heat).
I may also try to make it out to some of the Masterpieces of Polish Cinema series, though I'm kind of sad there's no Ryszard Bugajski screening. I always wondered if Scorsese's ending for Cape Fear was in any way influenced by the ending of Clearcut... They came out around the same time but I believe my chicken-and-egg are in the right order, here.
I don't have a lot to say about the DOXA Fest - I seldom make it out, and won't be covering any films - but the one I'm most interested in is DamNation, about the environmental impact of dams. My interest mostly relates to the desire to do homework for Kelly Reichardt's film Night Moves, which I am getting very impatient to see; but I've often wondered about the impact of dams, and know very little about them, so it's an interesting topic. (Does anyone know what the hell the delay is with Night Moves, anyhow? I really want to see this film!).
I didn't make it to see Jodorowsky's Dune or the sequel to The Raid: Redemption. Are they still even playing? Someone needs to pay me more money (without requiring much in the way of time commitments or, like, work in return) so I can see more movies! I will try harder to catch Only Lovers Left Alive, that I want to see. Meantime, those of you who have not seen Cronenberg's Eastern Promises should seize the opportunity, since it is probably his most interesting and accomplished film of the last couple of decades (and has what should have been a Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winning performance from the great Vincent Cassel).
 Hope my readers are getting to see more movies than I am (though I did get to take in a bunch of Cronenbergs onscreen, so that's nice).

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